The most important attribute in a wrestling star getting a chance at success used to be physical strength. The guys with larger physiques and the ability to exhibit powers of strength in the ring would get preferential treatment into being pushed. Fans at the time appreciated the land of the giants more with larger than life bodies battling for victory. That no longer applies today. In fact, wrestlers with a high level of strength are less likely to get over if they don’t work at a faster pace. The talent wrestles faster and produces better matches but there are less strong wrestlers.
Wrestlers are focusing more on cardio than weightlifting. Both are done today with importance placed on all levels of improving one’s condition but the cardio is most relevant. They are expected to wrestle longer matches with more action and cardio is pivotal to being ready to live up to the expectations needed. The change of wrestling style has caused success for less physically strong wrestlers than we are used to in the wrestling business. The gift of being able to lift heavy things in the air just isn’t as important today.
While it isn’t needed on a large level such as it was in the era of the bodybuilding freaks, it’s still necessary to have strength and most wrestlers are strong on some front. This isn’t just an outlook of a wrestler’s size. Rey Mysterio and Daniel Bryan are two of the smaller stars in wrestling history but they are deceptively strong. All wrestlers are strong on the surface due to their intense workout schedules but there are quite a few current stars that aren’t exceptionally physically impressive in the upper body area. We’ll look at those talents with the top fifteen wrestlers that aren’t that strong.
15 Dolph Ziggler
There’s no argument against Dolph Ziggler being one of the more fit wrestlers, as he obviously spends his fair share of time in the gym. Ziggler is more lean and cut than jacked despite his overall impressive look. You rarely see Ziggler execute many power moves that require lots of strength to pull off. Ziggler uses his superb stamina from cardio to pull off a flurry of moves at a quick pace. In the 90s, Ziggler likely would have been put in the Cruiserweight or Light Heavyweight division but his lack of physical strength is actually to his advantage in today’s wrestling world.
14 Rockstar Spud
TNA’s Rockstar Spud is one of the smaller performers in wrestling but is definitely one of the most entertaining. Spud won the company’s British Boot Camp competition to win a contract with the company and he’s become a valuable member of the roster. At just 5’4’’ tall and a weight of a moderate 140 pounds, Spud is small by nature with very little physical strength comparative to other wrestlers. You’ll never see Spud using a powerbomb or lifting his opponents in the air for long periods of time. Spud spends time in the gym but he isn’t that strong due to genetics.
13 Brie Bella
Brie Bella is one of the smaller wrestlers on the WWE roster and has to be among the least strong female wrestlers. Her twin sister Nikki Bella spends more time at the weight rack and has shown an improvement of strength but the same doesn’t apply to Brie. With more aerial moves and a flurry of kicks like her husband Daniel Bryan, Brie does not use much physical strength in her matches. The argument can be made for her being the weakest member of the entire WWE roster. Brie is arguably the most entertaining member of the Total Divas cast but she isn’t someone you would bet on in a weightlifting competition.
12 Jay Lethal
Jay Lethal is known most for being a ROH World Champion and a former TNA X-Division star. Both of those worlds have featured wrestlers with tremendous work rate that aren’t very strong. Lethal has emerged into one of the top wrestlers in the world but he doesn’t hold more strength than the average pro wrestler. With a combination of technical wrestling and fast paced offense, Lethal delivers in the ring with very little use of power and strength. If need be, Lethal likely would be able to execute moves that require strength in a big match but he can’t pull it off on a consistent basis and it would be silly for him to implement power moves in his repertoire.
11 Tyler Breeze
Many pundits would argue part of the reason Tyler Breeze has flopped on the WWE main roster is his lack of strength. Vince McMahon has a preference for physically imposing wrestlers that can showcase their strength in a wrestling ring. Breeze is not that type of a wrestler and doesn’t look like the kind of person that can easily beat you up in a fight. WWE values that quality and there are rumors that Breeze has failed to get television time due to McMahon not liking what he offers.
10 The Young Bucks
Both members of The Young Bucks, Matt and Nick Jackson, are not known for being the strongest men in the business but they’re one of the most popular acts around today. The Young Bucks look like average human beings until they enter the ring and become a must-see act with tremendous personality and an array of spectacular moves. Matt and Nick would not be able to hit the Meltzer Driver on Big Show but they don’t necessarily need to have that level of strength in ROH and New Japan. They are strong enough to pull off their move sets in the companies they work for, but overall they aren’t incredibly strong.
9 Bo Dallas
Bo Dallas falls under the category of one of the wrestlers that is not weak by any means, but who definitely isn’t that strong. With a long tenure in WWE developmental, Dallas finally made his debut on the main roster in 2014 but has yet to create a noteworthy presence. Bo is in good shape but he has one of the weaker upper body physiques in WWE today. The physical difference between Dallas and some of larger wrestlers are shown when he faces off with Big Show or Kane. Other smaller wrestlers Rey Mysterio and Daniel Bryan showcase the strength for their size but Dallas looks overmatched.
8 Adam Cole
Adam Cole looks like an average person but he has a special skillset that has made him arguably the biggest star in Ring of Honor. Cole isn’t very strong on the surface and just doesn’t look like he would be able to lift a giant wrestler to execute a power maneuver. His great matches and immense charisma are why Cole doesn’t need to be stronger than his peers but if we’re picking teams of a powerlifting face-off, he would be among the last picks in wrestling. Cole is most likely going to be in WWE one day and will probably improve his strength but right now, he just isn’t as impressive as most other wrestlers in that area.
7 Sasha Banks
It’s quite shocking to realize just how small of an athlete Sasha Banks is, considering how spectacular she is in the ring. Banks has one of the smaller physiques in the women’s division and has an overall smaller frame that limits her overall physical strength. You’ll never see her match the feats of Beth Phoenix or Awesome Kong but that works to her advantage. Banks dazzles us in the ring any time she’s put in a position to steal the show and she does that by channeling the Cruiserweight stars of the 90s. She uses it to make her wrestling game better, but the physical strength of Banks is quite limited.
6 A.J. Styles
A.J. Styles is currently the hottest name in pro wrestling due to the fact that he just debuted in the WWE at the Royal Rumble. The Phenomenal One lives up to his moniker with spectacular wrestling skills and just being one of the best wrestlers in the world. With his strengths coming in the form of a combination of fast-paced action and technical wrestling skills, Styles doesn’t have immense physical strength and works around it. The veteran has wrestled for years and has improved his upper body strength gradually but he’ll never be one of the strongest performers. Today’s wrestler works more on their cardio than their upper body and Styles’ work is an example of it.
5 Dean Ambrose
The tall and lanky look of Dean Ambrose may create a perception that he’s stronger than he actually is. Ambrose is in great shape but he’s not a very strong person, especially compared to other wrestlers. Ambrose's move set does feature a couple of maneuvers that require strength but they usually aren’t done against the bigger wrestlers on the roster. Ambrose is very good at what he does but there’s no comparison between him and most of his peers when it comes to overall physical strength. The Lunatic Fringe can cut a mean promo and have a good match but he isn’t a very strong wrestler.
4 Jeff Hardy
One of the wrestlers to succeed in a time when physical strength was important, despite lacking it, was Jeff Hardy. The high-flying daredevil connected with the fans due to his quiet charisma and mysterious personality, but he was not particularly strong. Hardy got by with his aerial display, yet was one of the weaker wrestlers in the WWE at the time. The company still favored more physically imposing stars and Hardy’s success was a testament to his unique skills. Most of the other wrestlers on this list fit in with their environment but Hardy’s lack of strength was a rare example of success of the time.
As WWE’s smallest featured wrestler, Kalisto is hoping to become this era’s Rey Mysterio with his luchador background and working under a mask. Unlike Mysterio, Kalisto isn’t shockingly strong for his size and works around it. The 5’6’’ tall and 175 pound rising star isn’t extremely strong but it helps him portray the underdog role easier. With less giants in the company, Kalisto still looks weaker compared to guys like Alberto Del Rio or Sheamus. Kalisto is as physically strong as the average person despite working out as hard as any other wrestler, but he’s one of the weaker members of the active WWE roster.
2 The Miz
The Miz is another case of a wrestler that falls into the middle ground. While he isn’t one of the smallest wrestlers in height and build, he’s one of the wrestlers that does not showcase much physical strength. Miz doesn't have any moves that require great power because it would just make him look bad. The former WWE Champion is among the best at overachieving and Miz is one of the rare cases of a star that isn’t particularly strong or a great high-flier. With neither strength, Miz is a thinking man’s wrestler and will never be accused of being a very strong WWE star.
1 Sami Zayn
As NXT’s first homegrown superstar to make the promotion relevant, Sami Zayn has played an important role in their success. Between classic matches and a loveable personality, fans care about Zayn and it has led to him being a valuable asset. The thing about Zayn is he looks like the average man. Unlike most WWE wrestlers, Zayn isn’t cut and definitely doesn’t exhibit a very high level of physical strength. Zayn gets around the ring with speed and heartfelt storytelling but he is not able to show great feats of strength in his act. You can argue he’s one of the best WWE wrestlers in the company right now, but he’s also a wrestler that just isn’t that strong.