Sometimes it is so easy to become accustomed to the characters that we see on WWE programming from week-to-week, that we forget there was ever a time they weren’t in the biggest wrestling promotion in the world. For example, who can even think of a time when the former members of The Shield weren’t prominent members of the main event scene? As time goes on, and these men and women become more permanent fixtures on our television screens, we forget more and more of their past; which is a shame considering that it leaves out so much of their own rich personal history.
Today we have scoured the internet, and found some pictures of current WWE Superstars that we hope you have never seen before. Admittedly some are more shocking than others, but in any case, these pictures provide insight into life before WWE. In many cases, you will be able to tell just how much of a physical transformation many had to make in order to make it to the big leagues. And hey, if you think a picture from this list is entertaining enough, spam the star’s Twitter with it, and tell them TheSportster sent you!
As always let us know your thoughts and opinions on this and all of our content in the comments section.
16 Braun Strowman
Do you recognize this silly looking fella? Well if you just slap an imaginary beard, and an old gardening outfit, you may realize that you are looking at Braun Strowman. Although his height came to him naturally, those muscles were gains made in a gym. Strowman was actually so into lifting weights, that he competed in many strongman competitions before entering the world of the WWE. The former Wyatt member excelled in the sport of being a strongman, winning the Arnold Amateur Strongman World Championship. There are a ton of photos floating around of Strowman from before his stint in wrestling, and this one takes the cake.
Being the daughter of two professional wrestlers sort of carves out the path that you will most likely take in life. In the case of WWE's Paige, an argument can be made that her debut was late in life, as her first match took place at the grizzled old age of 13. Since then it's been full steam ahead for the former WWE Diva's Champion, and despite a little hiccup here or there, Paige has done pretty well for herself in the WWE.
14 Dana Brooke
Dana Brooke has one of the best physiques in all of the WWE today. Despite being muscular, she balances it with femininity that she exudes in the ring. Ironically she has bulked up since joining the WWE, evident by her photo above. Before joining the WWE, Brooke was a fitness competitor and frequented bodybuilding competition. In fact, Brooke finished in 12th place at the 2013 European Arnold Classic.
13 Xavier Woods
Xavier Woods should be the president of geek culture, evident by his constant references to things from 90s, and YouTube channel that is dedicated to video gaming. With that being said, the man he looks like he knows how to have a good time, if you don't believe it, just take a look above. Now admittedly, we have no idea what the heck is going on in this picture. We don't know if this is after his run in TNA, or if he managed to slip away from his long days at WWE, but either way this picture deserves to be seen by the masses.
Who in the world is this scrawny guy sitting in the corner? That is the man who gravity forgot, Neville. Now, Neville is obviously missing some muscle in this picture, especially when compared to his most recent stint on television. While on the indies Neville, then wrestling as PAC, made a name for himself in Europe, wrestling in nearly every minor promotion from 2004-2012. During that time, PAC was able to hone his craft, and work on the aerial maneuvers that would eventually make him famous around the world.
While he is still rocking the Bulgarian flag in this photo on both his trunks and arm, the current United States Champion certainly looks extremely different than he does now. Besides switching from a singlet to trunks, Rusev looks... well... less hairy then he does now. Usually a simple haircut isn't enough to warrant a double take, but for the Bulgarian Brute, it does. Even the fact that he is smiling is enough to make you question that you are looking at the same guy who condemns Americans on a weekly basis.
10 Kofi Kingston
The Jamaican gimmick had deep roots for Kofi Kingston, as his introduction of the character came well before his stint in the WWE. Kofi initially debuted his false Jamaican accent in the ring at Chaotic Wrestling in 2006, which carried over into his gimmick in Deep South Wrestling (a developmental territory of WWE). There are a few great videos on YouTube of Kofi playing this character to the fullest, which we encourage you to check out.
From Chikara, to Ring of Honor, to even WWE, The Swiss Superman has been heralded as one of the best pure wrestlers in the world, having wrestled for the better part of two decades around the world. During that time, his appearance has made many drastic changes. In fact you could track his entire career based on his wrestling attire alone. The former Intercontinental Champion has wrestled in jeans, with long hair, and trunks as a baldy, but nothing takes the cake more than this ensemble that he is wearing above.
8 Baron Corbin
It's a bit hard to tell in this picture, but during his run in the NFL, Baron Corbin was well over 320 pounds. Sure he wore it well during that time, but it's a far cry from his loss of nearly 50 pounds since then. In fact, since getting cut from the Arizona Cardinals in 2011, the 2016 Andre the Giant Battle Royal winner has steadily been dropping weight.
7 The Anoaʻi family
This is a three for one special, as this photo features not only The Usos, but also their main event bound cousin Roman Reigns. The Bloodline, as they were known while teaming up in WWE, are all part of the Anoaʻi family tree, which also hosts notable members like Riskish, The Wild Samoans, and of course The Rock. Being in such a tight knit family has ensured that generations of the Anoa'i family have grown up together, which is evident in the photo above.
6 Seth Rollins
Before becoming one of the men responsible for the New Era of the WWE, Seth Rollins was just a normal guy. Granted he was a normal guy who loved professional wrestling, but a normal guy none the less. Maybe that is why in this photo shown above, The Architect is seen wearing just a normal pair of jeans for a wrestling match. Aside from his fashion choices, Rollins is also noticeably smaller than he is in the WWE. This picture was no doubt taken before his in Ring of Honor, which was before the former WWE World Heavyweight Champion discovered his love of Crossfit.
It would impossible to be born as huge (and pale) as Sheamus currently is in the WWE, which is why this photo gives us so much hope for our own future. Before becoming the WWE Champion, Sheamus was trained at Larry Sharpe's Monster Factory, and in doing so started to build up his physique as well. We can see from the picture above that despite having some noticeable muscles early on, Sheamus was nowhere near the mammoth of a man he is today.
4 Summer Rae
Ironically during her stint with the WWE, Summer Rae has been booked as a weak valet character, despite being an All-Star cornerback for the Chicago Bliss in 2011. In fact Rae was a member of the Bliss from 2008-2011, being one of the longest reigning players in the Lingerie Football League (now the Legends Football League). For those of you who are uninitiated, the LFL is a full contact football league featuring female athletes from around the world. So after playing in the LFL for three years, what did WWE decide to do? Well make her a dancer, who was less physical than any other woman on the roster at the time.
3 Enzo Amore
Before becoming one of the realest guys in the room, Eric Arndt was just your normal over the top guy from New Jersey. It just so happens that his past as an NCAA Division III linebacker, and his time as a DJ for the New York Jets, made him a perfect candidate for WWE's NXT program. He was signed to WWE despite having no in-ring experience, but impressed officials with several homemade promos. The videos featured a character we would come to know as Enzo Amore, training like an absolute freak, and running his mouth like an absolute mad man.
2 Eva Marie
Eva Marie gets a lot of hate on the internet from wrestling fans, which is understandable given her lack of in-ring ability. Since being signed in 2013, it seemed if WWE was more concerned with the fiery red head being featured on Total Divas then on normal WWE programming. Marie has heard the criticism of fans, and has actually worked hard on winning their respect in the ring, releasing training videos of her in NXT to show her improvements over the past few years.
1 Kevin Owens
It's hard to believe that there was ever a time that Kevin Owens wasn't in the WWE. His natural charisma, and heel ability lends itself to the show that he is currently the champion of. A long standing rumor for WWE's reluctance to sign the Canadian born wrestler, was that they were concerned with his weight. Jim Cornette has gone on record many times about how he thought Owens (then Steen) needed to lose weight to in order to succeed in the wrestling business. Owens seemed to take Cornette's advice, then proceed to do the exact opposite, by gaining more and more weight since staring in the wrestling business.
There was a time that Kevin Owens was actually pretty thin, and with his singlet on, he could pass for a wrestler. Obviously those days of skinny Owens have passed, but there are still plenty of pictures of the heavyweight before entering Ring of Honor, which show off his trim build.
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