Over the years there have been more than a few colorful characters who have graced the world of wrestling. You’ve got to be colorful, have something about you, something that makes you stand out and be memorable, if you want to have a half decent time of it in this profession. Consequently, because of their gimmicks, individual personalities and antics inside and outside the ring, a lot of wrestlers get lumbered with nicknames – in some instances, really unfortunate nicknames. These nicknames are often bestowed upon these individuals to piss them off, antagonize them, and perhaps remind them of some of their not so proud moments. They can cause them a great deal of embarrassment – theses nicknames aren’t so welcomed. Others just shrug them off, but still have to contend with being referred to by those godawful names.
Some are delusional and truly believe their nicknames are clever, unique and just really awesome – they’re unique alright. But very often it's a commentator, writer or a fellow wrestler who spews the name out there and it just takes and sticks. These are the 15 worst nicknames – nicknames that make you cringe and shake your head in bewilderment – that have been bestowed upon wrestlers in wrestling history.
15 Alberto Del Rio - Mexico's Greatest Export
This is a classic case of a wrestler thinking he’s something he’s not. Sure wrestlers have inflated egos but this is just taking the biscuit.
Obviously, Alberto Del Rio originates from Mexico. He’s had a decent career too, winning titles and championships wherever he’s gone; but Mexico’s Greatest Export? I think not. This nickname would have suited certain members of his family; his dad, Dos Caras, widely regarded to be the greatest luchador to have come out of Mexico, and perhaps even his uncle, Mil Máscaras, a highly decorated wrestler who won a ton of titles around the world – but not Alberto.
Of the current crop, you still can't really say Del Rio is Mexico’s greatest export. Alberto’s done well for himself and is far from being finished with wrestling, but he’s not deserving of this nickname, hence he makes this list.
14 Jinder Mahal - The Man of Peace
This is just a really crappy nickname for a wrestler. Yes, the Jinder Mahal gimmick might portray a guy who’s religious, a guy who’s found inner peace, the enlightened one, someone who helps others climb the ladder of enlightenment; that’s all well and good, but ultimately, Jinder Mahal is a wrestler, so this nickname just doesn’t fly.
Religion, peace and tranquillity are things he might try to achieve in his spare time, but he shouldn’t really broadcast it because it takes away from the threat he poses in the ring. And what has he achieved in the ring? He’s been around for over a decade, has achieved a few championships here and there, but is pretty much irrelevant. Dump the peace stuff and that nickname – it’s not ideal for a wrestler.
13 Ryback - The Master of the Feed Me More
When cutting a promo with Kevin Owens, Ryback retaliated to Owens’ comments and called himself ‘The Master of the Feed Me More.’ When he said that, everyone kind of stopped, thinking, “what did he say, the master of the what?” It’s a pretty dumb nickname to christen yourself with and it left everyone scratching their heads. What does that even mean; what is the feed me more and how do you become a master of it? Sure, Ryback chanted "FEED ME MORE" all the time, but that's a sentence, not a tangible thing.
It just makes no sense. Sure Ryback’s a big guy, so it’s probably in reference – in some way – to that. But the big guy already had a nickname that suited him perfectly – The Big Guy. Thankfully for Ryback, people haven’t really taken on to ‘The Master of the Feed Me More.’ It’s a bit of a mouthful compared to ‘The Big Guy’ and people have no idea what it means.
12 Cody Rhodes - The Son of a Son of a Plumber
Dusty Rhodes was born into poverty in a relatively poor area of Austin, Texas. He was born the son of a plumber, and when he worked hard and made it work for himself in the world of wrestling, people began to become aware of his background and that nickname, ‘The Son of a Plumber,’ stuck. So, when Cody Rhodes embarked on a wrestling career, what’s the son of a plumber’s son going to be known as? The son of a son of a plumber. It’s a mouthful alright, but I guess it’s associated with Cody’s late dad’s nickname, so he wouldn’t mind too much.
But it’s funny how Dusty got the nickname. Dusty was unique as a wrestling personality in so many different ways, so it’s puzzling how people fixated on him being the son of a plumber.
11 Val Venis - The Big Valbowski
Val Venis began calling himself The Big Valbowski properly around 2002. He used to refer to himself by that name in promos, but he started using the name more and more frequently and then in 2002 it kind of stuck. Whether it was his genius idea or Vince wanting to do some gimmick repackaging behind the scenes, it seemed to be an impulse change but one that didn’t really work.
The name’s a take on the movie name; The Big Lebowski – very original nickname and kudos to whoever thought of that…not. There were rumors circulating that the Val Venis gimmick was going to be repackaged entirely, and that he was eventually going to be known as Jeffrey Valbowski, but thankfully nothing came of that.
It’s a decent nickname for the porn star gimmick that he portrayed, but unfortunately for Venis, it has stuck with him throughout his career.
10 Owen Hart – Nugget
This was not a self-inflicted nickname. Owen has Shawn Michaels to thank for this nickname. When The Hart Foundation was no more and Bret had left WWE after the infamous Montreal Screwjob, Owen Hart was still flying the flag for the Hart family in WWE. Shawn Michaels, who was creating havoc at the time with DX, started a feud with Owen and it was he who started the whole thing of Owen being a nugget. He initially coined the name when referring to Owen as a piece of poo – a nugget of s**t that couldn’t be flushed away, despite the numerous times Michaels tried to flush. It was a really vulgar and unfortunate nickname that the crowd took to chanting, and Owen, bless him, had to stick up for himself several times, saying “I’m not a nugget!”
9 The Undertaker - Booger Red
The Undertaker can thank Jim Ross for this nickname. It’s didn’t really take off – thankfully – but it was The Undertaker’s nickname – among many others – for a period of time.
It’s kind of a puzzling nickname, but there is meaning to it – it’s not a random name that’s just been conjured up out of thin air. It was a nickname given to Calaway’s fellow Texan, Thomas Henry Nobis Jr. Tommy played in the NFL as a linebacker and got the nickname as he was a frightening guy on the football field. What’s booger got to do with being frightening? Yes, booger does refer to a piece of nasal mucus, hence it’s on this list as one of the worst nicknames – certainly not one of The Undertaker’s best and perhaps why it didn’t really catch on. But in southern lingo, booger means ‘a frightening apparition,’ and The Undertaker’s red headed – Booger Red.
If more people knew what the hell it meant it may have taken on, but even JR will testify that it wasn’t one of his best creative concoctions.
8 Rick Steiner - Dogfaced Gremlin
Rick Steiner’s always going to be known as Scott Steiner’s brother. When they started out they formed quite a tag team duo together, and they still do team up now and again on the independent circuit. But in comparison to his brother’s career, he kind of fell into obscurity while Scott’s career went from strength to strength. Rick did have a very successful tag team career though but didn’t find success in single’s competition.
Both Scott and Rick have always been big guys. Consequently, Scott got some pretty awesome nicknames, namely "Big Poppa Pump". But what did Rick get? He got lumbered with the nickname, ‘The Dogfaced Gremlin." His bark was as loud as his bite in the ring and combined with his ring attire, he really stood out – perhaps that’s where the nickname originates from. If that’s the case it’s kind of a compliment, but just hear the name on its own, Dogfaced Gremlin, it seems like an insult and it’s a pretty unflattering nickname to have.
7 Lex Luger - The Narcissist
This nickname came about in 1993, just after the closure of another one of Vince’s terrible and failed ventures, the World Bodybuilding Federation. Luger joined the federation, but no sooner had he joined, he got injured in a motorcycle accident, and during his recovery, the WBF went bust.
Luger’s gained a reputation of being super arrogant and uber-cocky. It’s no secret he once thought the world of himself, so this persona he began to portray at Royal Rumble 1993 suited him down to a tee. After the Royal Rumble, The Narcissist was born. Luger would stare into mirrors before entering the ring, and the whole thing was just kind of cringeworthy.
Being a narcissist isn’t exactly a good character trait to have. And many around Luger in the locker rooms at the time will testify that Luger did think the world revolved around him. In that respect it fits, but for Luger – if he gave a damn – it’s a pretty lame nickname to be lumbered with.
6 Mark Henry - Sexual Chocolate
This nickname arose in 1999 and was another self-inflicted nickname. But it wasn’t just random – the nickname has a story to go with it.
Henry was involved in a feud with D'Lo Brown and during that whole storyline, he revealed that he was a sex addict. He claimed he would get with anything that walked and that he had a thing for his sister, with whom he was in a sexual relationship with. Henry played the part very well and the fans loved him during that period; thus the name, ‘Sexual Chocolate’ was born. Henry overcame the addiction but the nickname stuck. During that angle, it was a decent nickname to have, but that’s all done and dusted, and still referring to Mark Henry as Sexual Chocolate is cringeworthy.
5 The Great Khali – The Punjabi Playboy
This is just a play on words – some alliteration, but it makes no sense whatsoever. In fact, I can’t think of a nickname that’s less suitable for The Great Khali.
He’s a gentle giant – perhaps not in the ring – is stoutly religious and isn’t a controversial character. Even while decimating opponents in the ring, he did his thing then left, so why on earth anyone deemed him to be a playboy – a wealthy guy who spends heavily and is sexually promiscuous – is beyond me.
Yes, he hails from the Punjab region of India, so let’s think of another word starting with P and add that on to Punjabi; it’s as if the creative forces in the WWE did just that and thought playboy – Punjabi Playboy – has a nice ring to it.
4 Brodus Clay - The Funkasaurus
Brodus Clay’s appearance makes him stand out, but his accomplishment in wrestling after over a decade in the business have been less than remarkable. Perhaps that’s why he was given such a ridiculous nickname – it’s memorable, but for the wrong reasons.
When The Funkasaurus gimmick arose in 2012, Clay was actually doing quite well for himself. He was on a 21-match winning streak when we first heard that godawful name – Funkasaurus – and unfortunately, other funk-related names subsequently started popping up. Clay formed a tag team called ‘Tons of Funk’ and then started something with The Funkadactyls as well; what’s with all this funk?
‘Asaurus’ added to the end of anything means that person does too much of it; what does Clay do too much of – he has too much funk? Well, he doesn’t have too much of anything else, except perhaps weight and tatts, in wrestling.
3 Roman Reigns – The Big Dog
Roman’s nickname, ‘The Guy’ was a pretty decent nickname. Roman himself liked it and the name took on. But then, on an edition of Monday Night RAW, there was a segment during which Roman got into a brawl with Rusev and the commentary team did away with ‘The Guy’ and instead began referring to him as ‘The Big Dog.’ Perhaps he lost ‘The Guy’ tag due to his recent suspension and the powers at the helm of WWE. Or perhaps we’re just looking into reasons for the name change too much, and it was just simply a name change.
Whatever the reason for the change in name was, it’s a pretty tacky nickname. It’s a high school nickname, the kind of name bestowed upon the alpha male, the playground bully at school – certainly not a nickname befitting one of the biggest talents and the next superstar of wrestling.
2 Jack Swagger - The All-American American
Jack Swagger has a pretty impressive résumé as a professional wrestler. Even as an amateur and high school/college wrestler, Jack had a decent time of it.
Jack was heavily into wrestling from a young age. He began wrestling at the age of five, and continued through the years, balancing football and wrestling. Eventually he decided to put all his eggs in one basket and try and make it in wrestling. He wrestled for the University of Oklahoma, and that’s where he made a name for himself as a more than decent wrestler; he achieved a record for most pins in a season for an Oklahoma athlete, and that’s when he was named an All-American. That’s ultimately what got Jim Ross interested and got him a contract with WWE. It was a great achievement, but come on, that was over a decade ago.
1 Sheamus - The Great White
‘The Great White’ moniker got a lot of people talking. Browse through wrestling forums and you’ll discover that a lot of people were puzzled with the nickname. Some thought it was a bit of a racial thing, but that actually has nothing to do with it. The nickname arose at SummerSlam in 2011 where Sheamus was involved in a feud with Mark Henry. Henry started throwing his weight around, and that’s when Sheamus retorted with the remark that Henry resembled a killer whale, saying nothing he could do would affect the great white, roll of the beach and make way for the great white – in reference to a great white shark. Apparently, the name came up by total accident – it wasn’t planned or anything, and henceforth Sheamus was known as The Great White.
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