People have always had doubts about the authenticity of professional wrestling in the landscape of professional sports. Though the outcomes may be predetermined, professional wrestlers are some of the most athletic people in the world. These are athletes that use their body over 300 days a year with no offseason, and fight through pain every single day.
Very few performers who make it to televised wrestling programs start as only a professional wrestler, with most transitioning to the sport after refining their athleticism in another. Two of the greats, Steve Austin and The Rock both started on a football field before jumping into the squared circle. Another great example is Mick Foley, who despite his lackluster physique, was actually a half decent amaetur wrestler. This isn’t to say that you have to be a great athlete to be an elite professional wrestler, with stars like Hulk Hogan relying more on their physical presence, than athletic ability.
What we are trying to rank here are some of the guys who truly utilize every part of their body, to ensure that when they are in the ring, you will be watching. You will be in awe during their matches, and think to yourself, “how is he not dead”, or “how is he still breathing”. Please be warned that for the sake of diversity, this list is not loaded up with former football players; in fact there is only one person on this list who played college football, and chances are you won’t know who he is until you read it.
After you see the ranking, please scream at us in the comments below, and let us know who we forgot to mention.
15 Mark Henry
Sure Mark Henry is 400 pounds, but that doesn’t make him any less athletic than someone half his size, on the contrary it makes him more. The World’s Strongest Man isn’t just a nickname, Henry has placed in almost every weightlifting competition that he has competed in; most notably winning the inaugural Arnold Strongman Classic in 2002.
14 Bret Hart
12 Big Show
11 Scott Steiner
10 Ric Flair
9 Rob Van Dam
8 Johhny Mundo
7 Bobby Lashley
6 Kofi Kingston
5 Dolph Ziggler
4 AJ Styles
3 Kurt Angle
Maybe this is a personal opinion, but Kurt Angle has carried every single match he has ever been in. This is due to the fact that Angle, who is a 1996 Olympic Gold Medalist, has the best conditioning in the history of the sport. Countless wrestlers have talked about how Angle just wouldn’t stop, and he never would need to catch his breath. In fact whenever Angle is laying on the ground while wrestling, it is actually just for show.
2 Brock Lesnar
Well you had to know that he was going to make this list. I know there are a lot of people that despise Lesnar, but he has a track record like no other athlete in history. It made sense for Lesnar to jump into professional wrestling, as he was a champion NCAA amaetur wrestler in college. What didn’t make sense to many was when he retired from wrestling, to pursue the NFL in 2004.
1 Shelton Benjamin
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