The results in a WWE match are pre-determined, everybody knows this. But look at the size of the men that are performing this scripted outcome – they are absolute giants! Their feats of strength and athleticism are so impressive that oftentimes fans wonder as to which wrestlers would actually be the toughest if “push came to shove.” A little while ago, RAW was playing and as John Cena was delivering the Attitude Adjustment (seriously wish we could just keep calling it the FU), and a non-avid wrestling fan said: “wow, he’s strong. I would not want to mix with that guy.”
The statement is very true, very few people would like to mix it up with John Cena. The man is a genetic freak as he is pound-for-pound one of the strongest wrestlers in the business. But unbeknownst to casual fans, Cena isn’t really billed as a “rough guy” as he’s a company man and hasn’t been involved in any physical altercations backstage. For lack of better-term, there are some bad dudes back there that probably would have chosen a career in MMA had it been an available avenue back in the day, or simply a more lucrative option.
There is a lot of testosterone backstage at a wrestling event and there have been numerous legitimate fist fights that have gone down. When the billionaire boss has been both knocked and choked out, it’s safe to say that it’s not really a regular working environment. Hey, at least there’s more action than a standard 9 to 5 office gig. This does however beg the question: who are the top 15 wrestlers that you would not want to fight at a bar?
15. Yoshi Tatsu
In regards to the everyday world, Yoshi Tatsu is not a small man by any means. But he is considered undersized in the professional wrestling world. One of the larger men that Tatsu had a real scrap with was former World Champion, Sheamus. There’s different variations of the story but here’s the gist of it: Tatsu, Sheamus, and Ted DiBiase were roommates, and Sheamus was acting like the “alpha male” of the house and was simply a jerk. Tatsu finally confronted Sheamus, one thing led to another and the end result was Sheamus verbally submitting as Tatsu was whaling on him. Sheamus’ buddy, Evan Bourne also confirmed this incident but maintained that people were being too hard on Sheamus when they referred to him as “soft.” Regardless, the Celtic Warrior is 6’4 and 300 lbs. Tatsu must really know how to throw ’em, and we would not want to be on the other end.
14. David Schultz
He may be 60 years old and retired, but rest assured, you do not want to mix with Schultz. It came to everyone’s attention that Schultz had a few “screws loose” when he assaulted 20/20 reporter John Stossel. Stossel was having a “shoot” interview with Schultz and basically dove right into it saying: “I think this is fake” (in regards to wrestling). Schultz immediately slapped Stossel across the face as he went flying like a whiffle ball. He even taunted him on the way down: “what’s that, is that fake? Huh? What the hell’s wrong with you?!” Stossel was then escorted to the floor again with another opened hand slap. If Schultz was willing to ragdoll a 5’6 reporter like this, who didn’t even raise a hand to him, imagine what he’d do if he actually felt in danger?
Schultz did issue an apology, but Stossel obviously put assault charges on him. They ended up settling out of court and Stossel was rewarded with a whopping $425 000 settlement. He then later admitted in his book that he regrets filing the lawsuit because he maintains that it harmed hundreds of innocent people…so, he regrets the lawsuit yet kept the money? Hey John, to quote you: “give me a break.”
13. The Undertaker
The Undertaker is without question the most respected wrestler backstage. This respect stems from the fact that he’s always a straight shooter with his fellow wrestlers and because of his loyalty. During the Monday Night War when WWE wrestlers were jumping ship to WCW for more lucrative deals, The Undertaker stood strong and maintained that WWE was his home and he had no desire to leave them stranded. It also stems from the fact that he stands at 6’10 and nearly 300 pounds, and nobody seems very eager to cross him. On an old episode of Off The Record, Michael Landsberg asked Triple H’s opinion on who is the legitimate toughest wrestler backstage. Triple H name dropped The Undertaker and referred to him as a “bad dude” (in a sense that he wouldn’t mess with him).
12. The Big Show
There’s very little explanation needed for this one: how can you possibly defend yourself against a 7 foot, 450 pound wrestler? If this setting happened to be at a bar, it would probably be even worse because you’d be dealing with a drunken giant wrestler (although Show has stated his liver is too big to get drunk) on top of everything. It’s more than a matter of “taking the beating like a man” as he could simply fall on someone and very well cripple them. At Wrestlemania 24, The Big Show picked up Floyd Mayweather and calmly tossed him over the top rope. He had about as much exertion on his face as an NBA player tossing a free-throw, and it appeared that he could have thrown him into the fourth row if he wanted to. Mayweather is also regarded as the best pound-for-pound boxer in the world, what would a meagre civilian do against the giant?
11. The Great Khali
Do you know who can defend themselves against The Big Show? Somebody bigger! Yes, Khali and Big Show indeed duked it out backstage (confirmed by the Big Show himself on Chris Jericho’s podcast). Big Show wasn’t a big fan of Khali’s work (he’s not alone on that opinion). He finally reached his tipping point and called out Khali on a blown spot after a match as he yelled: “You don’t even know what you’re doing, you’re the sh**s!”. Khali calmly replied with: “You’re the sh**s too, bro”. That’s when all hell broke lose…
They both teed off on each other with haymakers until Khali took The Big Show down, as several frightened wrestlers attempted to pull them apart. Jericho simply summed up the whole altercation as: “great.” The Big Show on the other hand maintained it was the worst fight that he’s ever been in and asserts that he slipped on a bag and William Regal ended up sitting on his head once he hit the floor. While Big Show still scares the hell out of 99.9% of the human population, we’ll chalk this up as a win for Khali.
10. Mark Henry
People often use the term “big teddy bear” when describing a larger man. This is not the case with Mark Henry as “the world’s strongest man” is a powder keg of emotions and had been known to have an extremely volatile temper. First of all, let’s clear up the whole world’s strongest man thing. He was indeed a world champion at power lifting (WDFPF) way back in 1995. Yes, this was over 20 years ago but he is still one of the most brutally strong wrestlers out there. As for his temper, he definitely doesn’t pick his spots. Wrestlers are known for the practical jokes they play on each other (known as ribbing in the wrestling industry). Vince McMahon himself once tried to play a joke on Henry. At the end of a dark match (a match that isn’t aired on television), McMahon had 5 different entrance themes play as Henry stood in the middle of the ring with a puzzled expression on his face. He finally realized that had been “ribbed,” and grabbed the microphone but the production team muted it as soon as he started to talk. The big man was not happy as he marched backstage in a rage. If he got that upset over an innocent practical joke by his billionaire boss, could you imagine what he’d do to you in a bar?
9. Wade Barrett
The last thing you want to deal with is a giant man with tons of actual bare-knuckle brawling experience (that crooked nose had to come from somewhere). Many professional wrestlers are absolute physical specimens and put in countless hours at the gym. But amidst all the pumping of iron, they do not have actual fighting experience. Take Buff Bagwell for example, he’s as built as they come but anytime a physical altercation came about, he seemed to be on the receiving end, including an embarrassing TKO from Shane Helms. Wade Barrett on the other hand has the freakish physique and the legitimate fighting experience. His fighting wasn’t even in a structured venue like an MMA or kickboxing event as he actually engaged in bare knuckle fights for cash back in Liverpool. He claims to have been “pretty successful” at it, and we’re not going to argue.
8. Arn Anderson
Anderson was not physically the biggest wrestler by any means, but he was the definition of “no nonsense.” There’s one notable (and hilarious) altercation that took place on a plane, where Anderson told Mike Enos to turn off his cell phone because he was disrupting everyone on the plane. As you can already see, Anderson is quite the old school character. Disco Inferno decided to annoyingly ramp up the situation by egging the two of them on and seeing if a fight would ensue. Anderson responded by slapping Inferno right across the face, and not another word was spoken.
His most notable moment of fisticuffs involved a barbaric encounter with Sycho Sid. There’s so many variations of this story (the inconsistencies are mostly due to the fact that everyone was plastered) but the one constant is that Anderson ended up getting stabbed multiple times with a pair of scissors. Anderson and Sid had a heated exchange at the bar where everyone was drinking and it carried over to the hotel. The two went at it in Anderson’s hotel room for a while. Finally, Sid grabbed a pair of scissors and stabbed Anderson repeatedly. Ric Flair maintains that it actually looked like a murder scene as blood was everywhere.
One has to wonder, how bad must the fight have been going for Sid to resort to grabbing a pair of scissors? It’s important to note that Anderson was way smaller than Sid, and would you really want to fight someone that got stabbed repeatedly and lived to tell about it?
7. Sycho Sid
On that note, seriously, who stabs someone?! His name was spelled Sycho, but he’s actually psycho.
When two grown men have a drunken argument and it leads to blows, they usually settle it and can talk about it cordially the next morning. Boys will be boys, right? Apparently not with Sid as he took it to a whole new level. Getting into a bar fight and having your opponent grab a stabbing device to try and end your life is about as bad as it gets. Granted, there are some people that maintain that it was actually Anderson that grabbed the scissors first, but still, it’s safe to say that Sid made his point after stabbing him once.
This isn’t the only time that Sid had an argument at the bar and sought the help of a weapon. Brian Pillman verbally destroyed him on one occasion and Sid promised to come back with a weapon and make him pay. That one didn’t work out too well as he allegedly came back with a squeegee.
6. Booker T
Self Admittedly, Booker-T has: “always been pretty good at fighting.” This opinion is shared throughout the locker room as Big Show has gone on record saying that “Book” is one of the last people he’d want to mess with back there. Part of the reason he’s so revered by his peers is because of his backstage tilt with Batista. It occurred in 2006 at a commercial shoot as Batista was acting like a jerk to his co-workers. He was acting like a big shot because he was champion. Booker reached his breaking point at this commercial shoot and pulled Batista aside as the two wrestlers went into a room and closed the door (seemingly to talk it out). The wrestlers standing outside immediately started to hear “fists on flesh” and decided to open the door to break them up. Booker was on top of Batista whaling away but Batista urged them to let the fight continue. He managed to get to his footing but escorted to the ground once again by Booker-T and then they finally got broken up (Batista managed to get a sucker punch in as they were being pulled apart).
Booker-T was looked at as the hero in this situation because nobody had the balls to confront Batista about his inflated ego and the way he was treating others. Nobody has tried to fight Booker ever since, and neither would we, at a bar! (or anywhere).
Kevin Wacholz simply went by “Nailz.” His gimmick called for him to walk around in a prisoners jumpsuit, but his gimmick apparently wasn’t that far off as he actually assaulted the chairman Vince McMahon. Now it’s one thing to get into a kerfuffle with one of the other wrestlers, but it’s a whole new level of “crazy” when you lay the smackdown on your boss. Nailz and McMahon had a financial dispute and eventually had a confrontation in Vince’s office, as per Bret Hart’s book, he: “cornered Vince in his office and screamed at him for fifteen minutes.” Oh, Nailz is just getting warmed up.
He then proceeded to knock Vince out of his chair and choked him violently until he was pulled off. McMahon was also forced to wear one of those comical neck collars that dog’s usually wear (haha, funny visual) due to the damage to his neck.
4. Scott Steiner
We’re talking about a guy that had to be physically restrained from leaving the hospital after being kicked in the throat during a match, even after being told that he needed surgery immediately and that he could die if he got in a plane.
There was no “talking things out” with Steiner as his irrational solutions to problems between co-workers seemed completely fine to him, and he’d certainly got 0 to 100 real quick, as Drake would say. Here’s a perfect example of Steiner’s idea of conflict resolution.
Diamond Dallas Page’s wife found an illegal substance backstage and allegedly tried to frame Sunny by saying that it belonged to her. For once, Sunny was actually in the right as she passed a drug test right then and there. “The Big Booty Daddy” caught wind of this and was having none of it. He chased Page’s wife around the building, and she never returned. At the next TV taping, Page carefully confronted Steiner (kind of like tip toeing up to a pitbull). Steiner immediately took down Page and tried to gauge his eye out with his finger.
We’re good Scott, enjoy the beer!
3. Kurt Angle
“The name’s Kurt Angle, and what the heck…I WON A GOLD MEDAL WITH A BROKEN FREAKIN’ NECK!”. Ah yes, Kurt Angle indeed won a gold medal in freestyle wrestling at the 1996 Olympic games in Atlanta. Many fight fans maintain that: “he’s only a freestyle wrestler, and it wouldn’t do anything in a fight…bro.” They then try locking up with a collegiate wrestler (never mind an Olympian) and get tossed on their backs within seconds. Don’t get it twisted, freestyle wrestling is arguably the best base to start with in MMA or any real fight. Take Daniel Cormier and Yoel Romero for example, who are both Olympians in freestyle wrestling. Up until a few years ago, they knew nothing boxing, kick-boxing, muay Thai or jiu-jitsu. But because of that crazy wrestling base, they were able to transition into MMA and become the #1 contender in their respective divisions (sorry Cormier, Jones is still the champ, another wrestler, for the record).
Take it back 60 years ago all the way to the Bruce Lee days. There’s a reason he added wrestling to his game, because he realized that if a pure wrestler shot a quick double-leg on him, or a head and arm throw…he’s pretty much out of luck. All this to say, Angle could slam someone on their heads whenever he wants to. On one occasion, he and Eddie Guerrero had a heated argument that came to blows, and Guerrero shot for a take-down as Angle fended him off and stood there confused. Bradshaw later asked Eddie why he was shooting for take-downs on an Olympic gold medalist – Guerrero’s reply: “because I’m stupid!”
2. Brock Lesnar
Ladies and gentleman, BRRRRRRRRRRRROCK LEEEEEEEEESNAR! (Sorry, couldn’t resist). Lesnar will gladly punch any one of us in the face if we cross him because he “doesn’t really like people” (he also doesn’t like gays, another story for another day). Lesnar was not a freestyle wrestling gold medalist like Kurt Angle, but he did go 105-6 in college and university…and he was the UFC Heavyweight Champion…When you’re the Heavyweight Champion of the UFC, you’re unofficially the “baddest” man on the planet. This is because the UFC is regarded as the organization with the world’s best fighters, and because heavyweight is the highest division that they offer, it’s fairly simple. Lesnar is also a freak of nature as he would have to cut significant weight to make the 265 pound limit, and would also move as quick as a welterweight. Brock Lesnar was a very scary man in his peak and it’s a shame that his career got railroaded by diverticulitis. Keep your distance if you ever see him at the bar drinking a “COORS” Light.
1. Haku (Meng)
Arn Anderson managed to crack this list so let’s use his words to sum up Haku: “There are tough men, there are wrestler-tough men, and then there’s Meng.” Haku can’t really be compared to anyone else because he wasn’t the most imposing figure (by wrestling standards), but the man was as close as it comes to an android as he’d depict freakish strength and relentlessness in the process. He actually hung on to a job in WCW for 7 years because nobody had the balls to fire him, according to Eric Bischoff. There’s countless testimonials from fellow wrestlers about how Haku was “hands down” the scariest wrestler that ever lived.
Brutus Beefcake told a story about how they were in a bar one time, and a group of drunks tried to instigate a confrontation with them. Haku calmly picked the lead guy up off the ground, held him in mid-air, and proceeded to bite a chunk of the man’s nose off. This wasn’t his only biting incident in a barroom setting as Kevin Sullivan told a similar story about a guy who said something offensive to “Meng” while he was trying to play pool: “The next thing I know is that Meng goozles the guy like Mr. Spock. He then grabbed another guy that tried to get involved and knocked him unconscious.” All this to say, the guy who started it all ended up getting a chunk of skin getting bit off his back.
Our favorite Haku story was told by “The Million Dollar Man” Ted Dibiase. It’s the best one because Haku was actually trying to keep the peace rather than biting people’s body parts off. A brawl broke out at a St. Louis bar and Haku intervened to break it up, and the cops thought he was involved in the fight so they cuffed him. The hand cuffs managed to subdue Haku for about 5 seconds as he snapped them.
We’ll leave you with this quote from Jake “The Snake” Roberts: “If I had a gun and was sitting inside a tank with one shell left and Meng is 300 yards away, he’s mine right? Well, the first thing I’m going to do is jump out of the tank and shoot myself because I don’t want to wound that son of a b*tch and have him mad at me”.
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