There was a time when WWE was known as "The Land of The Giants". It was the place where main event stars looked like Brock Lesnar and Goldberg. Vince McMahon regularly refused to push any superstar who didn't look the part. Of course times have since changed, with the likes of CM Punk, Daniel Bryan, Rey Mysterio, Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins all being former World Champions. All of them considered to be much smaller than the average man that the WWE Chairman would usually see as the face of his company. While Vince still goes wild for his typical big men, so much progress has been made.
205 Live has shown that small superstars are able to make something of themselves in this era. But there have also been small wrestlers around the business for the past few decades and they have proven that it isn't all about size when you step into a WWE ring. The saying goes that "it's not about the size of the dog in the fight, it's about the size of the fight in the dog" and these men have continued to prove this throughout their careers. Since breaking down those size barriers, many fans wonder what these smaller legends have been up to.
The following list looks at 15 of the smallest wrestlers of all time and what they look like today, whether they are still wrestling on the circuit or currently enjoying retirement.
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15 Dean Malenko
At 5ft 10 inches and just 212 pounds, Dean Malenko was one of the toughest little men there ever was. He had stints in ECW, WCW and WWE back in the 1990s and was considered to be one of the best technical wrestlers in the world at that time.
He was called the "Man of 1,000 Holds" because of his arsenal of manoeuvres inside the WWE ring and he is a superstar that many of the current crop have learned from. Malenko retired from WWE back in 2001 but has made brief WWE appearances since then, most notably as part of a backstage segment on Raw where he and Jamie Noble were considered to be partners for Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins but were quickly dismissed.
14 Billy Kidman
Billy Kidman is probably best remembered as Torrie Wilson's husband throughout his time in WWE, but he also had a number of memorable feuds of his own during that time against the likes of Jeff Jarrett, Hulk Hogan and even Rey Mysterio.
At just 5ft 10 inches and weighing just 195 pounds, Kidman was one of the smallest full-size wrestlers that WWE ever employed.
The former Tag Team Champion was released from the company back in 2005, but he returned to WWE just two years later and has been working as a trainer and backstage producer for WWE ever since, he has made a number of regular appearances as part of backstage brawls or any segments on WWE TV that needs officials to come between the stars in recent years.
13 The Hurricane
The former Cruiserweight Champion recently made a surprising and very brief appearance in the 2018 Royal Rumble match where he seemingly bit off a little more than he could chew when he got in the face of John Cena. He was quickly eliminated but was still loudly cheered by the crowd throughout the event. Gregory Helms was last seen in WWE back in 2010 before his most recent appearance and has since been working for Impact Wrestling.
At 5ft 10 inches Hurricane was one of the smallest Cruiserweight wrestlers and weighed in at just 191 pounds.
At 43-years-old, the former Champion has recently proved that he still has a lot of life left in him and could be set for a brief return to WWE in the future.
12 Spike Dudley
The Dudley Boyz are set to go into the WWE Hall of Fame this year, and even though they are going in without their much smaller brother Spike, current rumours suggest that Spike could actually be the one to induct them into the class as part of the ceremony in April.
Considering the things that Spike could do, it's crazy to think that he was only 5 ft 8 inches but considered to be one of the toughest WWE stars of all time. Spike made a name for himself in both ECW and WWE and became popular because he could take one hell of a beating and still look great while doing it. Spike departed from WWE back in 2005 and has had sporadic appearances for Impact Wrestling and on the Independent Circuit since.
11 Matt Sydal
Known as Evan Bourne throughout his time in WWE, Matt Sydal has since gone on to make quite a name for himself on the Independent Circuit ever since his release back in 2014. Bourne became known for his incredible shooting star press off the top rope throughout his WWE career and it seemed that his height was never a problem when it came to his ability in the ring.
At just 5ft 8 inches, Bourne is another star who was seemingly too short to be able to make it in the land of the giants.
But as Matt Sydal, he has gone on to become quite a force to be reckoned with in New Japan Pro Wrestling. He's a star that WWE should be looking at getting back in the near future.
10 Dynamite Kid
Dynamite Kid is considered by many professional wrestlers as one of the most influential in-ring performers of his generation. Even though his personal life caused him a number of issues, his career can easily speak for itself.
Dynamite wrestled in WWE from 1984 up until 1988 and then went on to perform for both All Japan Pro Wrestling and Stampede Wrestling before the end of his career. Issues with his health cut his career short and mean that he hasn't been able to perform as much as he has wanted over the past few decades. Dynamite Kid is just 5ft 8 inches which makes him one of the smallest professional wrestlers in history and at 59 years old, the British star is still going strong.
9 Rey Mysterio Jr
The WWE Universe got quite the surprise last weekend when Rey Mysterio became one of the entrants in the 2018 Royal Rumble match, 12 years after he was able to win the annual battle royale and main event WrestleMania 22.
At just 5ft 6 inches, Rey Mysterio is one of the smallest wrestlers of all time, but the biggest little man has never allowed his size to become a problem for him. He is a former World Champion and could be set to re-sign with WWE in the coming months as the company look set to cash in on the fact that the Master of the 619 has remained in incredible shape over the past few years. The above image shows that even at 43-years-old, Rey Mysterio has remained in peak condition.
8 AJ Lee
AJ Lee is one of the women who is credited to have started the Women's Revolution since she was the first woman to refuse to adhere to what WWE deemed was acceptable for their female talent. AJ was a trendsetter for female wrestling fans and was once seen as the longest reigning Divas Champion of all time before Nikki Bella broke her record.
Lee retired from WWE back in 2015 following WrestleMania 31 and has since released a New York Times Bestselling book that she recently announced was going to be turned into a TV series. At just 5ft 2 inches AJ Lee is one of the smallest female wrestlers of all time, but she could also go on to be one of the most successful, outside of the ring.
7 Layla El
Layla El came from out of nowhere to win the 2006 Diva Search and go on to become both a former Women's and Divas Champion. The British Diva teamed with Michelle McCool to become the first ever co-champions when they held both the Women's and Divas Championships, but after a short feud with Summer Rae, Layla quietly slipped out of the company.
Layla officially retired from professional wrestling back in 2015 and married her longtime partner Richard Young later that year. At just 5ft 1in Layla was one of the smallest female wrestlers of all time, the former Champion is now 40-years-old and still looks absolutely stunning as shown by this recent Instagram post, despite the fact that she hasn't wrestled for almost three years.
6 Terri Runnels
Known as Marlena and the valet for Goldust for the best part of her career, Terri Runnels wasn't someone who would be remembered for her accolades, more for the moments that she and her husband truly pushed the boundaries of what was deemed acceptable on national TV.
Terri was just 5ft and considered to be one of the smallest females that the company has ever employed. Even though she retired back in 2004 and decided to travel the world, Terri recently returned to WWE TV to be part of Raw's 25th Anniversary, even though she wasn't invited back to appear in the Women's Royal Rumble. At 51-years-old, Terri still continues to look just as beautiful as she did back in her heyday more than 14 years ago.
5 Mascarita Sagrada
Mascarita became a well-known mini Mexican wrestler throughout the 1980s and 1990s and even had a two stints in WWE, his first saw him reach his peak when he teamed up with Max Mini to wrestle at Bad Blood in 1997, but his second saw him play a part in the Juniors Division up until 2006 when he was released from the company.
Sagrada hasn't done a lot of work on the Independent Circuit since he was released from WWE back in 2006, but even though his real identity isn't known it is reported that he has a wife and two kids and has been enjoying spending some time with his family in recent years. It is reported that the former mini wrestler is now 53-years-old so it seems that some of his best days may well be behind him.
4 El Torito
El Torito will be best remembered by WWE fans as the bull that was the valet for Primo and Epico Colon when they were known as Los Matadores. El Torito was able to pick up a feud with fellow mini wrestler Hornswoggle while working with Primo and Epico and this then led to the first-ever WeeLC match at Extreme Rules back in 2014.
Torito stood at just 4ft 5in and incredibly was part of the 2014 Royal Rumble match, where he was able to eliminate Fandango before he was eliminated by Roman Reigns. Torito was released by the company back in 2016 and returned to his original name Mascarita Dorada on the Independent Circuit. At just 35-years-old, Dorada has a good few wrestling years in him in the future.
Hornswoggle is perhaps the best-known mini wrestler in the world. He made his WWE debut back in 2006 alongside Finlay and went on to become the final Cruiserweight Champion before the title was retired back in 2008 before he was part of a storyline where he was revealed to be Vince McMahon's illegitimate child and then the anonymous Raw General Manager.
Hornswoggle was released by WWE back in 2016 when it seemed that the company had nothing left for him and has since made a name for himself in TNA under the ring name 'Swoggle'. He left TNA back in November and has since been working on the Independent Circuit. Hornswoggle is just 4ft 5 inches and at 31 years old, he is another superstar who still has a lengthy career ahead of him.
2 Claude Giroux
Best known as Dink the Clown during his run in WWE, Claude's career has spanned for than two decades and it is reported that at 61 years old, he is still considered to be an active wrestler on the Canadian Independent Circuit. He became Doink's sidekick back in 1993 but only lasted until 1995 when Claude left the company and went off to make a one-off appearance as Tiger Jackson in WCW.
Claude was just 4 ft but seemed to have a heart that was three times this size, which allowed him to step in the ring with men who were so much bigger than him. Claude continues to wrestle to this day but has put his Dink character behind him, having been known by a number of other ring names over the past few years.
WWE has a long history of working with miniature wrestlers and Tzuki was indeed the smallest former WWE wrestler of all time at just 3ft 7 and a half inches. Despite having a career that spanned more than two decades in Mexico, Tzuki didn't make it to WWE until he was part of the Junior's Division on SmackDown back in 2005.
By March 2006, WWE had given up on the Division and all of the wrestlers were released, Tzuki went on to wrestle for CMLL and returned to his roots, but at 43-years-old, it is reported that he is still wrestling in Mexico. The former WWE superstar is another wrestler who lives and breathes the business and will continue to do so for as long as he possibly can.
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