There was a time in the world of professional wrestling when all a man needed in order to get in the ring and wrestle was a pair of boots and some black trunks. Of course, that was long before the invention of color television. Or tie-dye. Or even spandex, for that matter. Now, a superstar or professional wrestler’s attire and ring gear is as important to their identity as a finishing maneuver or a catchphrase. Enter the world of sports entertainment.
The wild and crazy world of sports entertainment has always been filled with over the top gimmicks, larger than life personalities, and flashy costumes and attire. There are so many great attires and various types of ring gear that have been worn by professional wrestlers and sports entertainers over the years including Bret Hart’s signature pink and black tights, Rey Mysterio’s colorful masks, and Ric Flair’s elegant robes. Unfortunately though, for every amazing Ric Flair robe, or colorful Rey Mysterio mask, there are at least a hundred wrestlers out there wearing something that is the exact polar opposite. These performers sometimes wear ring gear so bad or ugly that they can actually haunt the deepest recesses of our minds.
The following article is a compilation of the top 25 ugliest (and absolute worst) attires and ring gear worn by performers in the history of professional wrestling. My one hope is that by creating and compiling this list that we will hopefully never have to deal with seeing some of these awful atrocities in the world of professional wrestling ever again. With that being said, I’m not holding my breath waiting for that to happen, as I fear that there may always be something worse debuting on the scene but we can always hope for these positive changes.
25 The Shockmaster
After departing from the WWE, Fred Ottman found himself at the center of one of the most infamous moments in wrestling history. He had signed with WCW and was to make his debut in a match alongside the fan favorite team of Sting, Dustin Rhodes, and Davey Boy Smith. He would be their mystery partner in the upcoming eight-man tag match at Fall Brawl. When he was announced, The Shockmaster was supposed to make a dramatic entrance by crashing through the wall but instead tripped over a piece of lumber that was framing the set, causing him to fall forward through the wall, and his helmet to fall off and slide across the floor. The helmet was merely a Storm Trooper mask that had been painted and covered in glitter.
24 Naked Mideon
Dennis Knight (who was also known as Phineas I. Godwinn) returned to the WWE in a limited capacity in 2000 as Naked Mideon, a persona who ran around arenas wearing only a fanny pack, a pair of boots, and a thong. Yep, that’s it, a fanny pack, a pair of boots, and a thong. That was Naked Mideon’s ring attire and I don’t think I need to explain any further why it finds its way into this article. We'll spare you a picture of that. You're welcome.
23 Johnny B. Badd
Marc Mero is remembered by most for his time spent in the WWE. Not ringing a bell? During this time in the WWE, Marc Mero was also managed by his wife (at the time), her name was Sable, remember her? I thought so. Anyway, before he made his WWE debut, Mero worked for WCW as Johnny B. Badd. The gimmick (and terrible ring gear) was that of a flamboyant Little Richard look-alike.
22 Stevie Richards
In May 1997, Richards announced his retirement due to a neck injury, before recovering and signing with WCW. He wrestled briefly as a member of Raven's stable, The Flock, but failed a physical examination and left WCW in October before returning to ECW and eventually joining the WWE in 1999. During his time in ECW and WCW, Richards showcased an extensive wardrobe of awfully short shorts and tiny tops.
21 Farooq (Ron Simmons)
Ron Simmons defeated Vader to become the first recognized African American WCW World Heavyweight Champion. He appeared in ECW from late 1994 to early 1995 before signing with the WWE. Simmons made his debut for the WWE as Farooq on the June 22nd, 1996, episode of Monday Night RAW. His first gimmick was that of Faarooq Asad, a gladiator that wore an ugly black and blue gladiator outfit with a misshaped helmet.
20 Brodus Clay
Before George Murdoch became a professional wrestler, he worked as a bodyguard for Snoop Dogg for four years, and I’m pretty sure Snoop would not tolerate his choice in ring attire. I don’t know why and don’t want to know why Brodus Clay chose to wear the singlet as his ring attire but it honestly makes me cringe every single time. Brodus Clay is a talented professional wrestler but it’s unfortunate he continues to use this ring attire as it is awful and will forever haunt countless wrestling fans worldwide.
19 Viscera / King Mabel / Big Daddy V
Nelson Frazier Jr. was Viscera, King Mable, and Big Daddy V. Every single one of these gimmicks were portrayed by Frazier during his time with the WWE and they all included ugly (and massive) ring attire. Personally, I always found Big Daddy V’s ring gear to be the most horrifying. On the other hand though I’m not entirely sure what else he actually could’ve worn for ring gear.
18 Damien Sandow as Magneto
On the April 28 edition of Monday Night RAW, Damien Sandow dressed up as Magneto to confront guest star Hugh Jackman (who plays Wolverine) and Dolph Ziggler, which resulted in Sandow being attacked by both Jackman and Ziggler. As much as I personally enjoyed his impersonations and enjoy his current gimmick as The Miz’s stunt double, the Magneto ring attire was unforgettable and absolutely hideous to say the least.
17 Vito LoGrasso
In May 2006, various wrestlers began approaching Big Vito’s tag team partner (Nunzio) in backstage situations and spreading rumors that they had, in storyline, seen Vito in public places cross-dressing. Nunzio originally wouldn't hear of any such thing until the June 2 episode of SmackDown when Vito came down the ramp, in a dress, to collect Nunzio after losing a match. Vito would continue to cross-dress for months. With that being said, even when he wasn’t cross-dressing his original ring attire was terrible too.
16 Chris Hero
Before his “Fighting Spirit” days, Chris Hero used to wear some seriously appalling ring attire. Sometimes it would be the tights, sometimes it was the pants and/or shirt, but most of the time it was the entire ensemble. To make matters even worse, when Hero would wear all his various ring gear together it would just fall under the “cringe worthy” category. Fortunately this isn’t the case any longer, but it doesn’t undo the past.
15 Shawn Michaels (2002 Survivor Series)
Shawn Michaels is arguably the greatest wrestler of all time, however being the greatest wrestler doesn’t mean you have the greatest fashion sense. In 2002, Michaels returned to WWE television after 18 months of absence. At Survivor Series, Michaels won the World Heavyweight Championship in the first-ever Elimination Chamber match. Although it was a fantastic moment, it was almost ruined by his horrid ring attire. Michaels was not only wearing cowboy boots, he was also sporting a new (awful) haircut and poop brown tights.
14 Aldo Montoya
Would you believe the man in the picture above is actually former ECW World Heavyweight Champion Justin Credible? After having wrestled in the WWE as a jobber under the name P.J. Walker throughout 1993 and 1994, he was hired full-time in late 1994. His Portuguese ethnicity inspired the WWF to give him first the character of Aldo Montoya, the “Portuguese Man O War”. During this time, several wrestlers said his mask looked like a jockstrap. I could keep going on about the ring attire for several other reasons but I think the jockstrap comment just about covers it.
13 Battle Cat
At a house show on September 13, 1990, the man formerly known as Brady Boone debuted as Battle Cat. The character of Battle Cat donned a cat mask and utilized his gymnastics background to emphasize his "cat-like" agility. I know how awful it sounds and really it wasn’t as bad as the ring attire. The combination of the mask and the tights were just bad and obviously didn’t last long in the WWE.
12 Brutus The Barber Beefcake
In the summer of 1985, Brutus Beefcake began teaming with Greg “The Hammer” Valentine. They became known as the Dream Team and had a pretty successful run in the WWE until breaking up at WrestleMania III. Later that same night, Roddy Piper defeated Adrian Adonis and due to their match’s stipulations, Adonis would have his head shaved. Beefcake gladly undertook this task, and earned the “The Barber”. Thereafter, Beefcake started bringing garden shears (with the handles taped to resemble barber poles) to the ring, and started wearing some of the most hideous ring attire ever dreamed of.
In WCW, Kevin Nash is obviously best known for his role within the nWo alongside Scott Hall and Hollywood Hulk Hogan but before he returned to WCW in this capacity (after his time in WWE as Diesel) he had a few other gimmicks. Nash debuted in WCW as the orange-mohawked "Steel", one half of the tag team known as the "Master Blasters". The Master Blasters, however, disbanded within a year. In May 1991, Nash was repackaged as the silver-haired "Oz", a character based on the Wizard Of Oz. As bad as the gimmick sounds, the ring attire was worse.
10 Marty Jannetty
Marty Jannetty is best known for being the less successful member of the tag team, The Rockers. His tag team partner in that group was Shawn Michaels (tough break). After sustaining an injury, he returned in October 1992 challenging Shawn Michaels to a match at the WWF 1993 Royal Rumble. At the 1993 Royal Rumble, Marty Jannetty made his entrance wearing some of the worst ring attire I’ve ever seen. I wouldn’t go as far as to call it the ugliest but it is definitely the fringiest.
9 Well Dunn
Steve Doll joined the WWE in 1993 alongside his Southern Rocker teammate Rex King, and they became known as Well Dunn (Steven Dunn and Timothy Well) and were managed by Harvey Wippleman. They were used primarily as an undercard tag team but feuded with The Bushwhackers on several episodes of Monday Night RAW. Fortunately that was it because the group’s horrendous ring attire made them look like an uglier version of The Rockers.
8 Zack Ryder
Woo Woo Woo, You Know It! Mr. Long Island Iced-Z makes his way into this article because of his awful half pants that he used to wear. First off I want to mention that it pains me to even have Zack Ryder in here as a proud member of the Ryder Revolution but that is no excuse for this awful fashion faux pas. Fortunately Zack Ryder left these terrible tights in the past and has since upgraded his ring gear to something better.
7 Max Moon
Konnan spent eight months in the WWE as Max Moon in 1992. The Moon character, created by Konnan, was that of a cyborg (purchased by the WWE at the cost of $13,000) bedecked with circuitry and a pyrotechnic gun during his approach to the ring. Overall the ring attire was just ugly and too colorful, making Konnan look like a cheap MegaMan rip-off. One has to wonder how the gimmick, let along the ring attire, was approved.
6 EZ Money / Jason Jett
I’m all for trying something new with your look, but these tights just make it look like EZ Money / Jason Jett is wearing a garter belt. This ring gear is not only ugly it is just plain ridiculous. Let me backtrack for a second here, the outfit is definitely pretty standard for one of the Divas or female wrestlers out there. The only thing worse than this is that EZ Money / Jason Jett legitimately designs ring gear now. Customers must not look at his resume.
5 The Johnsons
On June 8, 2002, The Shane Twins won the NWA World Tag Team Titles from Chris Nelson and Vito DeNucci in Lima, Peru. The twins appeared on the first TNA PPV (June 19) under the ring names "Richard "Dick" Johnson" (Mike) and "Rod Johnson" (Todd), known collectively as "The Johnsons". They wore latex bodysuits, which were intended to make them resemble a pair of large penises. Mortimer Plumtree managed the Johnsons until they left TNA after several weeks.
4 Bastion Booger
Originally debuting in the WWE as Friar Ferguson in April 1993, the company received so much negative feedback from the Catholic Church of New York, that they dropped the character and Bastion Booger was born. Bastion Booger sneezed his way onto the WWE scene in June 1993 by utilizing the gimmick of an unkempt, slovenly and gluttonous man who wrestled in dingy singlets tailored to give him the appearance of a hunchback. The ring gear is about as appealing as the name Bastion Booger.
Goldust could find himself on a best and worst ring attire list, depending on which one you refer to. In November 1997, Goldust split with Marlena and refused to cooperate with his Survivor Series teammates, which once again turned him into a heel. This led to a feud with Vader and the appearance of The Artist Formerly Known As Goldust (a reference to Prince), managed by Luna Vachon. He began mimicking celebrities and fellow wrestlers with characters such as “Chynadust”, “Dust Lovedust”, “Dustydust”, “Hunterdust”, “Flashdust”, “Marilyn Mansondust”, “Sabledust”, and “Vaderdust”. One week he showed up wearing the ugliest and weirdest green dominatrix gear ever shown on television. Furthermore, he entered utilizing a decorated walker.
Additional Note: To be fair, the ring gear suits his gimmick but it still doesn’t keep him safe from finding himself in this article.
2 Jeff Jarrett
When Jeff Jarrett first debuted in the WWE in late 1993, he did so under the gimmick of "Double J" Jeff Jarrett, a country music singer who intended to elevate his singing career through his exposure as a wrestler. Jarrett's character would strut to the ring wearing flashing "Double J" hats and tights with extra suspenders. He ended his interviews by distinctly spelling out his name ("That's J-E-Double-F, J-A-Double-R, E-Double-T!"), which was almost as unnecessary as his ugly ring attire.
1 Giant Gonzalez
The man formerly known as El Gigante in WCW made his WWE debut in 1993 as the villain Giant Gonzalez managed by Harvey Wippleman. He grew a beard and wore a full body suit that featured airbrushed muscles with bushy hair attached (this includes the crotch). He was introduced at the Royal Rumble where he eliminated The Undertaker from the Royal Rumble match despite not being an official participant. Giant Gonzalez lost to The Undertaker at WrestleMania IX by disqualification after he knocked out the Undertaker using chloroform. His ring gear is by far the ugliest of all time; it was simply (Charles Barkley voice) terrible.