An interesting dynamic for some wrestling performers is having to play multiple characters. Most wrestlers will have to switch character roles at some point, but not many get to play a version of themselves along with alter egos. The history of the alter ego has seen wrestlers tap into their bag of tricks to bring a different version of themselves to the table. Commentators, fellow wrestlers and fans are aware that the same person is playing the character, but that adds to the act.
Some used their alter ego only for big matches, short stints or just switching things up, but they made a huge impression. Let's take a look at some of the best wrestlers ever to compete using alter ego characters.
10 Bray Wyatt (The Fiend)
The recent success of Bray Wyatt as The Fiend has made him one of the hottest performers in WWE today. Wyatt was off WWE television for about six months revamping his character. The reintroduction with the Firefly Fun House made fans want to see what was next for Wyatt
SummerSlam would give us a glimpse into the new alter ego that he competes as. The Fiend destroyed Finn Balor with relative ease in a tremendous performance. Fans loved Wyatt's entrance, along with his new look and mask. Even the use of the Mandible Claw finisher provided a nice change for this alter ego.
9 Terry Funk (Chainsaw Charlie)
Terry Funk was a legend, finding success in almost every major wrestling promotion of his era. WWE did not believe Funk on his own would be a draw in the Attitude Era later into his career, so, when he was signed, the new gimmick of Chainsaw Charlie given to him.
The tag team of Charlie and Mick Foley found success together for a short time, with stand-out matches and moments against the New Age Outlaws. WWE eventually confirmed Funk was Charlie, but they made it clear Chainsaw was his alter ego.
8 Chris Kanyon (Mortis)
The run of Chris Kanyon in WCW saw him showing his versatility as a performer. Kanyon had solid matches in the mid-card and would often lead lesser-talented wrestlers to good performances. The start of his WCW came under a mask while playing Mortis.
WCW was hoping characters inspired by the video game series Mortal Kombat would break out. Mortis had good matches, but the overall gimmick had a lower ceiling. Kanyon eventually unmasked, leaving his alter ego behind, and was probably better off without it for the rest of his career.
7 Kane (Demon)
Kane went back and forth between wearing the mask throughout his career. WWE did not use the story of the Demon being his alter ego until later into his career, during a feud with Seth Rollins. Corporate Kane was often backstage in a suit while the Demon was unleashed going after Rollins in violent fashion.
The alter ego of Kane was the Demon, who looked to punish those that wronged him. Kane went back and forth between the Demon and Corporate Kane, before letting the mask win out. WWE recently used both versions of Kane in an recent episode of Raw.
6 Abyss (Joseph Park)
TNA found success with Abyss as one of their top wrestlers for most of their run. Abyss played a character with similarities to both Kane and Mankind. TNA wanted their own version of a monster, with various wild reveals.
Abyss would add another layer to his character with his alter ego Joseph Park. This clumsy and unassuming lawyer was the “brother” of Abyss. Park wrestled a few matches before it was revealed that they were the same person.
5 Hulk Hogan (Mr. America)
Hulk Hogan found a comedic alter ego during one of his heated storylines with Vince McMahon. The angle featured McMahon firing Hogan for beating him at WrestleMania XIX as an unfair boss. Hogan returned under a new contract as the masked Mr. America.
The running gag was that everyone knew it was Hogan, but McMahon could not find proof to fire him again. Mr. America gave Hogan a solid run with hilarious moments to entertain the fans in a new way.
4 The Godfather (Papa Shango)
WWE rarely mentioned the fact that Papa Shango, Kama Mustafa and The Godfather were all the same person. The character change from Kama to The Godfather linked those two together, but WWE tried hard to stop fans from realizing he also played Papa Shango.
This unique character featured the heel tactics of using dark magic to make his opponents ill. Papa Shango’s feud with Ultimate Warrior was a disaster that luckily ended the gimmick sooner than expected. It became a forgotten alter ego of The Godfather, as he rebounded well with the new character.
3 Goldust (Dustin Rhodes)
Dustin Rhodes playing Goldust would make his WWE career a legendary one worthy of the Hall of Fame. WWE recognized Dustin played Goldust many times on air throughout the years, explaining that his alter ego was the one in the paint.
The gimmick worked thanks to Dustin putting his all into portraying Goldust to the best of his abilities. Goldust was successful enough to still be on the WWE roster two decades later, before Dustin made his own choice to leave WWE and join his brother Cody’s AEW promotion.
2 Finn Balor (Demon King)
WWE has done a good job establishing that the Demon King is Finn Balor’s alter ego. The Demon King comes out with the intimidating face paint and a different intensity.
This gimmick is saved for big matches, with the explanation that Balor channels that dark side of himself only when it’s absolutely necessary. He's had his share of defeats without the paint, but he has yet to lose on the main roster as his Demon King alter ego.
1 Mick Foley (Mankind, Cactus Jack and Dude Love)
The versatility of Mick Foley made him an iconic performer for WWE. Vince McMahon wanted him to play a new character, Mankind, when joining the company. Foley put his all into making Mankind formidable while still maintaining enough of a relatable nature behind the mask.
Dude Love showed his comedic side and Cactus Jack was the hardcore legend. Foley knew how to play three different alter egos to perfection. Ironically, though, fans loved it when he just started wrestling as himself under his real name!