It’s easy to come up with a list of wrestlers who were feared by fans. Many wrestlers live on some freaky personas and scaring the fandom is a natural part of the job. But it’s something else when they can scare their fellow wrestlers. It was a common thing in the old days when guys could be truly brutal in the ring and it still happens to the “Stiff” style of workers. WWE has tried to cut that down but many wrestlers still have a serious reputation for being truly feared guys. The Undertaker was known as the locker room boss for his tough attitude and many others have followed suit.
There are guys whose feared reputation is no surprise given how tough and wild they could be in the ring. However, a few guys may not have seemed the fearsome type but behind the scenes, were incredibly intimidating to their co-workers. These are men who didn’t just act feared guys but truly monsters in the ring. Here are ten wrestlers other wrestlers feared and often for good reason.
10 Brian Pillman
It may seem crazy as Pillman was never a huge guy and quite often small to others. However, Pillman had a temper and drive that threw many and that led to epic moments. A famous story is some Stampede guys set Pillman up to be beaten by a beefy NFL player...and Pillman beat the guy down easily. His “Loose Cannon” act showed it more with people truly concerned Pillman was out of his mind and the stories of his party antics on the road remain legendary. He may have been small in size but Pillman had a big power to scare guys much bigger than he was.
True,he lost some of his fearsome reputation when he lost a fight to Paul Orndorff when the latter was wearing flip-flops. However, in his prime, Vader was a truly fearsome enemy who broke the back of a jobber with his power bomb finisher. He was also famous for when Stan Hansen tore his eye out in a match and Vader popped it back in and went on wrestling like nothing happened.
He was a truly stiff guy who could cause injuries without meaning to. While his lost luster in his later years, for a long time, “Vader Time” meant some harsh stuff for a lot of workers.
8 New Jack
The infamous “Mass Transit” incident alone guarantees New Jack will be remembered as one of the wildest men in all of wrestling history. That’s just the start of numerous actions by the man, not just in the ring but also outside it, including some really nutty run-ins with the law. Many speculate the man was never quite the same following a famous fall on his head but even before that, he was known for some truly insane behavior that made people wary of getting near him. A bad attitude and that crazed behavior made New Jack truly feared.
7 The Sheik
Before Paul Heyman was even born, Ed Farhat was the original innovator of extreme wrestling. Throughout the 1960s and ‘70s, wrestling magazines would regularly feature the famous visage of the Sheik with his face a crimson mask and eager for more. He was one of the first guys to use a fireball back when few knew how to protect themselves from it.
He would stab guys with pencils and no one was sure what he was going to do next. Even into the 1990s, the Sheik was crazy as ever and proving his worth in the early ECW to be the original “Father of Extreme.”
6 Abdullah the Butcher
In the days before folks had to worry about catching diseases from blood, Abdullah the Butcher was a monster brawler. The man bladed himself so much that his forehead looked like the Grand Canyon and his brawls with Carlos Colon would make ECW fans wince.
The “Butcher From Sudan” was a very large worker and could be a bit sloppy in the ring but his eagerness to draw blood for the business made a few guys wary of getting in the ring with him. While Abdullah tried to be careful, he could go over the top at times and while he was a nice guy outside the ring, his eagerness to bathe in crimson made him a feared individual.
5 Road Warriors
When the Road Warriors hit the scene in 1983, they were unlike anything in wrestling. These two huge guys in makeup and leather outfits freaked guys out majorly. It was helped by how they were very stiff and raw and thus truly treated every wrestling match like a fight. Jobbers lived in mortal fear of facing the Warriors as they’d really be beating up guys hard.
That was matched by their bar brawls and other wild behavior. The reason the Legion of Doom worked so well was they truly were the tough monsters they played.
4 Stan Hansen
Stan Hansen was a great example of a guy whose in-ring persona wasn’t far off from his real-life personality. Hansen was a true wild man in the ring who was incredibly brutal in fights to the point of actually injuring guys such as Bruno Sammartino. That made him a hit in Japan with his brutal methods and famously tearing Vader’s eye out of its socket while engaging in bloody battles for years. He may have mellowed slightly in later years but Hansen enjoyed his reputation as a crazy Texan who never backed down from a fight and went to extremes to win.
3 Bruiser Brody
For the most part, in real life, Brody wasn’t nearly the wild man he played in the ring. However, when he got mad, Brody could be a very feared individual. He was known for often going rogue in the ring, especially with guys he didn’t like. That includes a famed match where he faced Lex Luger in a cage with tacks on his fingers and Luger fled the cage.
Brody rubbed a lot of guys the wrong way, which was a contributing factor in his fatal stabbing in 1988. Again, he wasn’t as terrible as others but Brody could be very intimidating to others.
2 Andre the Giant
When a man is seven feet tall and 500 pounds, he can basically do what he wants and no one can stop him. For the most part, Andre was an okay guy but when he got mad, other workers paid for it. Andre was known for going into business for himself in the ring and thus hurting guys for real with some matches.
Other times, Andre didn’t even realize his own strength and would cause injuries by accident. It got worse in his later years when his declining health made him more careless. While many loved Andre’s character, they were afraid of actually facing him in the ring.
The stories of Meng in wrestling circles are legendary. The man was not just tough, he defied every label of toughness out there. Among the tales are being handcuffed by the cops and breaking the cuffs while showing no effect at being maced. He once bit a guy’s nose at an airport when the man dared to say wrestling was fake. He also ripped Jesse Barr’s eye out of the socket and popped it back in. That’s not to mention his numerous brawls as absolutely no one dared mess with Meng at all. In the ranks of the most fearsome wrestlers of all time, he remains one of an amazing kind.