There are a lot of elements that make up professional wrestling, many of which go far beyond what ultimately happens in the ring. The characters are created to excite, anger, or sometimes even instill fear in the fans. All these aspects combine to make professional wrestling a one of a kind sports and entertainment experience. From beefcakes wielding scissors, to grown men dressed as cats, wrestling fans have seen it all. But sometimes someone steps into the ring who is genuinely scary. Whether it’s the way they act, look, or the overall creepiness of the character, there definitely have been some disturbing acts who have terrified wrestling fans of all ages.
Even with some audience members as young as elementary schoolers, the WWE is not afraid to feature characters who could easily star in horror movies. Wrestling is already scary enough considering the stunts these athletes dangerously pull off, but the fact that some of them do it dressed as clowns, demons, or any other freaky character makes it that much better, or worse for some.
Even with these creepy performances and characters who are downright terrifying, we have to remember that they are just characters. These athletes/performers through their actions and costumes have created their on stage personas. For some spectators this can be so believable, that they sometimes forget what it is they are watching, and believe the wrestlers continue this behavior after the show. These athletes have real lives outside of their incredibly scary costumes. This article will be looking at the lives of some of the scariest wrestlers throughout wrestling history, including an update on their current activities.
Here are the top 15 scariest wrestlers ever, and where they are today.
15. Abdullah The Butcher (then)
Right off the bat, this guy’s name is already pretty freaky. Abdullah The Butcher didn’t just have the look of a crazed gypsy, whenever he stepped into the ring he put on a real show. Abdullah had scars from bladejobs that showed how dedicated, or just insane, of a wrestler he really was. But Abdullah didn’t just take it, he could dish it out too. He would often cut his opponents open with silverware, which would tend to cause a good amount of blood to spill. Abdullah The Butcher was definitely one of the scariest wrestlers to ever make his way into the ring.
15. Abdullah The Butcher (now)
Lawrence Shreve, at the age of 75, currently owns two restaurants appropriately named Abdullah The Butcher’s House of Ribs and Chinese Food. One is located in Atlanta, Georgia, and the other in Japan. Stop in for some ribs, as I hear they are quite good, but I wouldn’t challenge Abdullah to a wrestling match if the bill isn’t right. Shreve was also recently sued by Devon Nicholson who said he contracted hepatitis C when Abdullah bladed him without consent. Shreve was ordered to pay $2.3 million in damages.
14. Kevin Sullivan (then)
No, we’re not talking about Kevin Sullivan leading the Dungeon of Doom. Back in the late 80s, he was dubbed The Prince of Darkness. Much like Bray Wyatt today, Sullivan was portrayed as a cult leader, having his followers come down to the ring carrying snakes. Sullivan was one scary man in Championship Wrestling From Florida and in Jim Crockett Promotions. His return to WCW in the mid 90s was a failure in comparison, as the Dungeon of Doom was one of the worst stables ever.
14. Kevin Sullivan (now)
Since WCW folded, Kevin Sullivan has kept himself busy on the independent circuit, making several appearances over the years. He is often used as an interview subject by WWE on documentaries regarding WCW. Nowadays Sullivan mostly kicks back at his home on Whidbey Island, 80 miles northwest of Seattle.
“I’m in the 8th and the 49th parallel,” said Sullivan to WWE.com. ‘I have a place up there that’s right on the beach. It’s a nice place to kick back and relax.”
13. Seven (then)
If Dustin Rhodes’s persona “Seven” lasted a bit longer than it’s short stint with the WCW, there is no doubt that Seven would at least be in the top three of this list. The vignette that was revealed for Seven’s debut where we see his all white painted face staring in a child’s bedroom window, has to be one of the creepiest things we have seen in the wrestling world. Apparently too disturbing for viewers, Seven was soon pulled.
13. Seven (now)
Dustin Rhodes is currently in the WWE as a mid-card jobber wrestling under his most famous gimmick, Goldust. He has spoken out against the Seven gimmick saying he really did not care for it, but the possibilities Rhodes could of had with Seven may have been awesome. With no world championships as Goldust, Rhodes might want to reconsider bringing back the incredibly scary Seven. Although that might scare the PG crowd of WWE too much.
12. Doink The Clown (then)
The fear of clowns runs deep within almost every person, and Doink brought it out of everyone every time he wrestled. His creepy carnival theme music was very eerie, and added to the uneasy feeling the fans already had. Matt Osborne was the best man for the job portraying the dark clown, because after Osborne, Doink turned more comical and became more face then heel.
12. Doink The Clown (now)
During his professional wrestling career, Matt Osborne had a reoccurring drug problem which is why he was let go from the company. In 2013, he died from a morphine and hydrocodone overdose. In 2015, the mother of his children filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the WWE, claiming “WWE created a culture of violence and sacrificed Matthew Osborne’s brain for its own profit” which “led to further illnesses and injuries, including depression and drug abuse, which ultimately resulted in his untimely death.” The case is still pending.
11. Papa Shango (then)
A voodoo priest that could work dark magic over his opponent? Yeah, I can see why Papa Shango is considered one of the scariest wrestlers ever. He carried into the ring a skull billowing with smoke. With a wave of his arm he could control the arena lights, or could cast spells on his opponents to make them vomit or writhe with pain. We even saw him put a curse on The Ultimate Warrior, which was pretty hard to watch. His skull painted face, top hat, and his voodoo items all added to the overall fear that Papa Shango generated in the crowd. This fear was even felt by the television audience.
11. Papa Shango (now)
Charles Wright was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2016, under his “Godfather” persona. Needless to say, he found a lot more success under this gimmick. After his wrestling days, he moved to Las Vegas with his wife and four children. He now manages the strip club called Cheetah’s. Gees, talk about living your gimmick. That must be a lot more fun than going around pretending to perform voodoo on people.
10. Gene Snitsky (then)
Gene Snitsky was mildly entertaining for a little while. He was placed in a feud with Kane, where he was blamed for Lita losing her baby with Kane. Snitsky then coined the catchphrase: “it wasn’t my fault!”. Snitsky was scary for his big, creepy teeth. After a while, he became more of a comedic character, who was given a foot fetish as part of his character; heck, that was scary enough.
10. Gene Snitsky (now)
Snitsky has kept himself busy since leaving WWE. He has had small roles in TV shows such as ABC’s Primetime: What Would You Do? and took a role in a Power Rangers non-profit, fan-made film. He has also become a pitchman for Tristar Products’ Power Pressure Cooker XL. He has some videos on Youtube in which he shows the viewer how to use a product. His new thick beard may be scarier than anything he ever did in the ring.
9. Ox Baker
9. Ox Baker (now)
8. Gangrel (then)
Gangrel was undoubtably the fear of the Attitude Era. As a Dracula type creature, his sharp, blood stained teeth were a sight to behold. As he made his way to the ring, he drank blood from a goblet, but Gangrel wasn’t the only person who ended up covered in blood. Gallons of “blood” would fall from the ceiling creating a literal blood bath as Gangrel wrestled his victims.
8. Gangrel (now)
David Heath hasn’t just done some wild things in the ring. In 2007, he directed a dozen adult films, using his vampire roots as the theme. He’s one of several wrestlers who have dabbled in the world of adult entertainment.
His last WWE appearance came on the 15th anniversary on RAW back in 2007 as part of a battle royal. Heath now resides in Burbank, California, where he is married with two children.
7. Mankind (then)
Digging deep for this one, Mick Foley created a terrifying/saddening character named Mankind. He was a damaged character who lived in the boiler room of a wrestling arena. Mankind was an incredibly disturbing character, ripping out his own hair and screaming in the ring, is what made everybody watching feel uneasy. His mask was certainly frightening and the name Mankind, just had a weird feel to it as well.
7. Mankind (now)
Mick Foley is currently telling stories about his time as Mankind, during his acclaimed one-man shows. He has also been a multi-time New York bestselling author, for his work of ongoing memoirs. He has kept himself in the eyes of wrestling fans since his in-ring retirement. He is now getting his own show on the WWE Network alongside his lovely daughter Noelle.
6. The Boogeyman (then)
With a name like The Boogeyman and the sinister red and black paint he wrestled in, many people after watching his matches went to sleep with one eye open. Before debuting on Raw, The Boogeyman was introduced by a couple terrifyingly evil vignettes. The Boogeyman was sadly injured before his debut though, pushing back his arrival on to the scene. When he did end up debuting, he would just eat worms and do anything that made the audience question his sanity.
6. The Boogeyman (now)
The Boogeyman made an appearance in the 2015 Royal Rumble, where he was quickly eliminated by Bray Wyatt. After his independent circuit run, at the age of 51, Martin Wright signed a legends contract (a long-term deal to make infrequent, non-wrestling appearances) with the WWE. He is now residing in Fairbanks, Alaska. He has made some cameos on the WWE Network series Swerved.
5. Nailz (then)
Now this guy could REALLY scare anybody. An ex-con who claimed he was abused by Big Boss Man when they were incarcerated. On his way to his fight with Big Boss Man, Nailz destroyed jobbers with his nightstick and really was a threat in the ring. He ended up losing to Big Boss Man in a nightstick match at Survivor Series, but that doesn’t change the fact that Nailz is one of the absolute scariest wrestlers ever.
5. Nailz (now)
Nailz would be released by WWE after a backstage altercation with Vince McMahon in which he allegedly choked WWE’s chairman. He would then sue the WWE, claiming McMahon told him to take steroids. The WWE then counter-sued and needless to say, he was blacklisted from the company. Kevin Wacholz now resides in Bloomington, Minnesota. Kevin and his two adult kids, now run a family owned garage company.
4. Jake “The Snake” Roberts (then)
Jake “The Snake” Roberts was beloved by many, even though he is one of the creepiest wrestlers of all-time. Carrying his snake named “Damien” in a bag as he walked towards the ring, had a very eerie and evil feel to it. The Ultimate Warrior needed to train for his fight against The Undertaker, and went to Jake. Bad move. Jake put him through some awful trials such as burying him in dirt and even locking him alone with snakes.
4. Jake “The Snake” Roberts (now)
Aurelian Smith Jr. is now living in Henderson, Nevada at the age of 60. He was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2014. Also in 2014, it was found that Smith had cancer in his knee, which he confidently said, “If the devil can’t defeat me, cancer doesn’t stand a chance in hell! Pray for sick children who face this horrible disease ’cause The Snake will be just fine.” Roberts had drug issues throughout his life, but thanks to the help of Diamond Dallas Page, he was able to clean himself up using DDP Yoga.
3. Vader (then)
The Man They Call Vader was one of the best heels in the history of wrestling. He would destroy everybody in his path. His mask looked terrifying and when he took it off, he still had a masked visage only he could pull off. The Mastadon was an imposing figure and won multiple world titles in WCW. He never found the same success in WWE, but those who followed him in WCW know how intimidating he was.
3. Vader (now)
Unfortunately for Leon White battled with alcohol addiction for many years and his wife left him. That was the wakeup call he needed, as he quit drinking. He went through more troubles, as complications from a double knee replacement surgery left him in a coma for 33 days, during which he lost over 100 pounds. Since 2010, Vader has made appearances for WWE and other wrestling companies. He had his last WWE match in 2012, defeating Heath Slater, looking very nimble for his age.
2. Kane (then)
Making his debut in the WWE, Kane was on a mission of revenge against his brother, The Undertaker. During his childhood, Kane was horribly burned in a fire which is why he has to cover his scars by wearing his bodysuit and mask. Let’s talk about the mask. This thing is incredibly scary. The black and red design with his devil like eyes peering through the slits is what makes The Big Red Machine one of the scariest wrestlers of all time.
2. Kane (now)
After joining The Authority with the fictional role of “Director of Operations,” Kane returned as the Demon in 2015 and is back as the terrifying red masked Kane, we have all came to love, but mostly fear. What many may not know about Glenn Jacobs is that he’s incredibly intelligent and has invested his money earned from wrestling very wisely. He works as an insurer, owning an Allstate agency along with his wife.
1. The Undertaker (then)
Where should someone even start with The Undertaker? He is one of the most favorite and successful wrestlers of all-time, who has risen to mythical proportions. Whether he is burying someone alive or putting someone in a casket, The Undertaker is always doing something spooky. Being brothers with the almost as threatening Kane, the two may just be the most evil brothers to ever live! When the gong strikes and the funeral themed music comes on, all eyes are on The Undertaker, awaiting the next evil deed he has planned.
1. The Undertaker (now)
Mark Calaway is still sending chills up the spine of every man, woman, and child that happens to see him perform as The Undertaker. When he’s not wrestling, he invests in real estate with his business partner, Scott Everhart. The two constructed a $2.7 million building in Loveland, Colorado, which they called “The Calahart” (a combination of the two names). The Undertaker is well set up for life once he wrestles his last match, which many expect will be at next year’s WrestleMania.
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