The various wrestling entertainment companies around the world churn out wrestlers like a factory conveyor belt. Many one-time wonders have graced the ring, wrestlers who have made an impact but have then been tossed aside. Others have had careers that have been short-lived, either due to injuries or because of the cut-throat nature of the business. There have also been many stars – wrestlers such as Hulk Hogan who have helped shape the sport and make it into the multi-million dollar industry it is today.
In any given year, the wrestling roster will have a combination of the best of the best and names you’ll probably only remember for a short period of time. Every wrestler is tough; we’re not disputing that fact. But some put in such pitiful performances, we can’t help but wonder how they reached that level. Has fighting in front of thousands of fans hindered their performances? Are they just the fall guys – given their shot and then pushed aside to make room for others? Regardless of what the specifics are, we’ve all tuned in once in a while to see some wrestler that we’re sure we could give a run for their money – wrestlers who wouldn’t last five minutes outside the ring against you or I, let alone against professionals.
Below is our list of 15 wrestlers that the average person could likely beat up.
He might be big, he might be marketed in the right way, but there’s a reason he’s not the fans' favorite. Look deeper into Ryback’s character and his moves in the ring, and many people regard him as a phony, a Goldberg copycat. That’s what the WWE hoped to get out of Ryback; they envisioned great things from him, wanted him to follow in Goldberg’s footsteps. But what they got was a guy who’s been deemed "unfit" by many experts, lacks any type of decent wrestling ability, and steals moves – it’s been alleged – from Goldberg.
He’s an overrated wrestler, gets taunted by fans time and time again and just does run-of-the-mill stuff. Judging from his capabilities in the ring to date, a non-trained professional wouldn’t have too much trouble going toe-to-toe with Ryback. His 290 pound frame may count for something, but that’s just about the only thing Ryback has going for him.
14 Tyson Kidd
Now this guy may look like a hard man, but his in-ring antics haven’t set the world alight. That’s probably why he’s been around a bit – he keeps getting shoved aside by different wrestling companies. His stint with WWE was less than remarkable. He was never an automatic choice on roster selections – it was a lottery whether or not he would get drafted, and the fans never took to his persona – a persona which did nothing to elevate Kidd through the ranks.
Kidd is not on this list because he’s currently out of action, recovering from a possible career-ending injury; I mean, anyone could beat up a wrestler laid up in bed, barely able to walk. But we’re judging this purely on his antics in the ring. Kidd has the body and the good looks, but no substance. Hence we’re pretty sure that many fans watching his fights would secretly think, “I could take that guy!"
13 Titus O’Neil
This mountain of a man started his career through the WWE developmental program, steadily rose through the ranks and is still contracted to fight with WWE. Therefore, you might be thinking, does Titus deserve a place on this list? We certainly think so. The man has a short fuse and fights with his bosses – he was recently suspended for 60 days for fighting with Vince McMahon. This shows his unstable personality, and judging by his other outbursts, things may be a little muddled between the ears.
But there have been plenty of other wild personalities to have graced the ring, so how does Titus differ from these guys? These guys are wild on and off the camera - no doubt they’d be able to handle themselves. With Titus we’re not so sure. He’s a devout Christian – not a bad thing, but away from the scripted storylines, will he really resort to using his fists when he would have learned the well-known phrase in Christian doctrine – turn the other cheek?
12 Disco Inferno
The name alone makes you think this man belonged in a nightclub spinning decks, not on the roster of the world’s top wrestling entertainment company. But it was his lackadaisical approach to the business – a business that other people work 24 hours a day to be successful, that makes you think he didn’t take wrestling, or himself for that matter, too seriously. He didn’t have a whole lot of street smarts about him either. He was arrested for holding illegal gambling games in his house, and once attempted to join the New World Order, but was severely mocked and deservedly so.
He’s considered to have been one of the worst gimmicks of all time – a role he supposedly fully embraced – but even so, watching the Inferno was very often cringe-worthy. He is a deserved winner of the Stooge of the Year and inductee into the Hall of Shame in 2016. If it came down to the real stuff, Inferno would be all show and no action – certainly earning him a place on this list.
11 Bo Dallas
Could the average person in everyday life beat Bo Dallas? You better bo-lieve they can! Sorry, had to get one pun in there. We don't want to take anything away from Bo Dallas, as he has trained really hard to be a pro wrestler and granted, he's taken some significant bumps throughout his career to prove his toughness. But come on, let's be honest here, the guy wouldn't exactly intimidate you if you got on his bad side in a bar. While you may steer away from a fight with his brother Bray Wyatt or his father Mike Rotunda, Bo Dallas won't exactly put a scare into many people.
You'd have to be in decent shape and would have to carry some power behind your punch, but with a little training and slight of hand, you could take on Bo Dallas if something arose. Don't go picking for a fight now!
10 Seth Rollins
Seth Rollins has been involved in professional wrestling for over a decade. He has some great credentials; he’s a two-time WWE World Heavyweight Champion and a one-time United States Champion. He’s certainly talented - in the scripted world of championship wrestling.
But what does Rollins get up to out of the ring? He’s an avid crossfitter. That’s all well and good – great if you plan on running a marathon or partaking in some form of endurance sport. Wrestlers certainly need to have some form of endurance about them. But as a former heavyweight champion, when pitted against heavier opponents, endurance won’t really be a factor. Crossfit training is great for ducking and diving, but when it comes to punching power, Rollins won’t really stand a chance. Leave the stamina to one side and hit the weights Rollins; that way you might actually survive a real fight!
9 Mikey Whipwreck
Remember Mikey Whipwreck? No? Not many do. That’s because Whipwreck hardly set the world alight during his tenure in the ring. He was a fall guy during his time with ECW, a guy on the roster just to fill up space, paid to get beat up. Initially, Whipwreck wasn’t even given a finishing move, so most of his initial wins occurred just through pure dumb luck. Somehow Whipwreck became the third ECW Triple Crown Champion, but this small guy, and not necessarily fit either, won’t be giving many guys sleepless nights.
In 2015, he faded into the past and the curtain fell on his wrestling career. During a career that lasted over two decades, Whipwreck never fought with WWE – the premier wrestling entertainment company in the profession - and there’s a reason why Whipwreck never a got a contract. Whipwreck could certainly take a beating, but could you or I take him? It definitely won’t be difficult to imagine doing so.
8 The Miz
Seeing The Miz clowning about, there’s no doubt that The Miz is a sheer entertainer – hence, why he probably got a contract with WWE. He knows how to work the mic and play to the crowd, but in terms of his wrestling prowess, there’s not really that much to shout about. Perhaps that’s why he’s found his calling in the movies over recent years – definitely a better career choice for The Miz. He’s not really in great shape anymore, resembles a spent figure in the ring and has been known to act like a bit of a girl during parties and events. He might be the WWE Intercontinental Champion, but away from the spotlight, he doesn’t strike me as being much of a man’s man. Better stick to the movie sets, wear the fancy clothes and forget the spandex. The Miz is a comedian, an actor – not a fighter.
Coming into the ring off the back of a mediocre bodybuilding career, Sting had no interest in wrestling and decided to get into it on a whim. He stuck at it for three decades, retiring in 2016, and won plenty of titles – I'll give credit where credit’s due. But his rise to stardom was due to his personality more than anything else. The menacing masks, face paints and multi-colored outfits endeared his character to the fans, but this didn’t hide the fact that his moves and entire skill set were pretty limited. Now, I’m not trying to do Sting a disservice here. He had a terrific and very successful career. But in terms of his REAL fighting ability? He’d fight like a typical muscle-bound guy; he’d be slow and cumbersome and you’d see his punches coming from a mile away. The prospect of fighting Sting is unlikely to fill anyone with dread.
6 Xavier Woods
Woods is a current WWE Tag Team Champion along with Big E and Kofi Kingston, but perhaps he chooses to fight as part of The New Day trio so that he can get some back up – relying on his partners and not his own wrestling abilities. But that’s in the ring, what about if Woods was to get down and dirty with you or I? Firstly, it’s highly unlikely that he would, because it doesn’t look like he has much time on his hands. Woods is an educated man; he’s earned a bachelor’s degree in philosophy, a master’s degree in psychology and is currently on course to obtain his PhD in educational psychology.
The soon-to-be Dr. Woods is also a bit of a tech geek, a lover of video games and a regular on various YouTube channels. So even if Woods could throw a few punches away from his profession, he just wouldn’t want to, mainly because he’s smarter than that, but also because he just wouldn’t have the time.
A small guy, Tajiri can certainly lay claim to being the most successful Japanese wrestler in the history of professional wrestling. But that’s not much of an achievement. Kudos to Tajiri for sticking at it and making his dream happen, a dream which steered him away from kickboxing – now long behind him – and into the big time. Firstly, let’s start off by saying that he’s a cruiserweight. This alone doesn’t make him an automatic choice on this list, as there have been a lot of cruiserweights that have graced the ring who have turned out to be pretty nifty. Tajiri did have some impressive moves – not counting the Green Mist signature move - but now he’s getting on a bit. He's 45, has evidently piled on the pounds, and fights for kicks rather than anything else. Tajiri against anyone over 250 pounds is an utter mismatch; his only chance would be if he had retained some of his kickboxing skills from his early days!
4 Matt Hardy
Matt Hardy is a bruiser and a great tag team partner, but get him one-on-one and pretty much everyone will fancy their chances against him. He’s not the fittest guy. He's lethargic and cumbersome in the ring – probably why he’s fought with his brother Jeff for most of his career, to have a partner to help bail him out of trouble. Two Hardys are certainly better than one, but get Matt on his own, in the ring or out, and he’s sure to get a beating. He can hit hard, can take punches, but his skill set as a force in wrestling isn’t anything to rave about. He’s survived this long due to his personality, his charisma, and by being part of the Hardy Boyz.
But now that the cracks have begun to show in Matt and his brother’s relationship, he finds himself fighting alone, and many people will think that he’s there for the taking.
Not many of you would remember Sandman. He made his debut way back in 1989 and was never setting the world of wrestling alight during stints with World Championship Wrestling, Total Nonstop Action Wrestling, ECW and World Wrestling Entertainment. He developed a hardcore persona, but it was clearly all an act, a bit too put on at times. With many wrestlers, the hard man image is scripted but take away the cameras and they’ll still be tough as nails. But you don’t get that sense with Sandman.
He’s clearly taken a few acting classes during his time in the professional circuit, and it shows. Isn’t the sign of a great actor to not look like he’s acting? You just get the impression that Sandman – still fighting on the independent circuit – might act macho after getting a couple of drinks in his system, but it wouldn’t be too hard for non-wrestling professionals to lay into him a little bit.
JBL lands himself on the list because while he has a reputation for having been a backstage bully, like many bullies, when someone stands up to him, he's not so tough. He sucker punched Blue Meanie at ECW's One Night Stand PPV, and proceeded to beat him bloody in the ring. One day though, JBL messed with the wrong guy. One time on a Tribute to the Troops tour, JBL kept bothering announcer Joey Styles. Bradshaw being 6-foot-6 and 300 pounds probably felt he could give Styles all the crap he could handle and Styles would just have to take it, because well, Styles is just a scrawny little commentator. Styles knocked JBL off his feet with one shot. When he did that, he presented hope for fighting underdogs everywhere.
JBL may be able to win a fight on most days, but maybe on a bad day, you could take him, much like Styles was able to do.
1 Cody Rhodes
Anyone worth their soul would fancy their chances against Cody Rhodes, aka Stardust. As the son of WWE Hall of Famer and complete legend, the late Dusty Rhodes, Cody had a lot to live up to when he embarked – or was pushed – into a career in professional wrestling. Look at Cody and you’d think "what’s this preppy school boy doing in the ring?" He doesn’t resemble your typical wrestler, which is probably why he didn’t climb through the ranks and gain as much success as his late father. Surprisingly, his skill set was mediocre; his tactics weren’t bad, but his size and possibly his family’s wrestling pedigree hindered his performances. In a real fight, you wouldn’t think he’d pose too many people too many problems – he has a number of weaknesses which have been found out and exploited during the course of his career. One solid punch and he’d be a goner. You can put his half-brother and fellow wrestler Goldust in the same category too.