WWE Superstars pride themselves on being athletes at the top of their game. They are some of the highest trained athletes in the world and their fitness levels have to be monitored on a daily basis. The superstars spend a lot of their careers in the local gyms (wherever they are travelling), as well as visiting WWE’s state of the art Performance Center, where they also have access to some of the best training equipment in the world.
Even though WWE superstars have this kind of equipment at their fingertips, many WWE wrestlers still manage to be out of shape. Out of shape to mere ordinary people is a different kind of out of shape to wrestlers, especially considering many of these stars can still put on five star-matches despite being slightly overweight.
Some of these stars are coming to the end of their career, so they are expected to be considerably out of shape since they are now cutting down on the hours they spend on the road, and the time they spend in the gym as well. It shouldn’t necessarily be thought of as a bad thing, considering the careers that they have had and the fact that many of them are heading towards retirement. It is expected that after so long of pushing their body to its limits, and keeping their metabolism at bay, these stars will obviously find it much easier to gain weight.
15. Dean Ambrose
“The Lunatic Fringe” is one of the hottest stars in the WWE right now. Brash, witty and a straight shooter on the mic, Dean Ambrose brings an intensity to the WWE product that some say has been missing an edge since the days of the Attitude Era or more recently, since the golden years of CM Punk being on top.
But much like CM Punk, Dean Ambrose’s body or wrestling gear doesn’t exactly scream main eventer. Wearing jeans and a wifebeater to the ring isn’t traditionally what a wrestler wears to compete in a match. His character is a bit of a street fighter, so he may be playing up his gimmick, but what if it’s because he’s not in good enough shape to show off his physique?
14. Sami Zayn
Everyone’s favorite modern day underdog ,Sami Zayn is a marvel in the squared circle. Whether he’s competing in front of small, rabid crowds at NXT or on the main roster scrapping for a win on RAW or SmackDown, Zayn aims to deliver feats of athleticism and undying resiliency that you can’t help but root for him.
Zayn is at a disadvantage; however, when in the big leagues of WWE where your look is usually more important than your talent. Zayn has a smaller frame, so he doesn’t fit the prototype of a star that the WWE machine would want to place on magazine covers like Muscle and Fitness or Men’s Health (even though he has great cardio and is in excellent condition). The wrestling industry is a cosmetic industry, and perhaps what’s holding Zayn back from becoming an elite player is his body.
13. Baron Corbin
When WWE scans the world for talent, for the most part, they are not looking for someone who can learn a million moves or can flip around the ring. They are also looking for larger than life characters. A former NFL player and retired boxer, Baron Corbin fit the bill mainly because of his size. Corbin was billed as a monster in NXT and his height and size catapulted him to the main roster in 2016.
At 6’5, Corbin is not particularly special in the ring or on the mic. He’s getting by because of his height and he should thank his lucky stars that he was blessed with good genes. His physique isn’t particularly sculpted, and he’s not capable to go in the ring for long periods of time because of his cardio. If he wants a lengthy career in WWE, he’s going to have to work on that cardio and tone up the softness in his upper body.
12. Shinsuke Nakamura
One of WWE’s biggest international signings of 2016 was the “King of Strong Style,” Japan’s Shinsuke Nakamura. Shinsuke was a rock star in Japan, where he earned his nickname and captivated crowds with his outlandish entrance, outfits and demeanour. Now that he is in the WWE, the audience has embraced him so far in NXT and appreciates his work.
While he has the adulation of the fans and critics, the biggest person he needs to impress is his 70+ year old boss, Vince McMahon. Vince is old-school. He likes big, physically imposing men and guys with bodybuilder-type physiques. Nakamura isn’t out of shape per se, but if you saw him at a pool somewhere and didn’t know he was a wrestler, you’d think he was just any old, average guy. He doesn’t fit the stereotype of a wrestler. In the WWE, on top of getting the english language down for promos, he may have to implement a regimen that can get him ripped to win over the front office.
11. Bo Dallas
Bo Dallas’ best work was done in NXT where he main evented for some time and carried the NXT Championship. Being a part of the main roster, though, is a totally different beast. There are more eyes on you, more pressure and being in front of the big lights and cameras in sold out arenas brings more scrutiny.
Bo Dallas would be regarded by Triple H as “skinny fat,” an insult the COO has thrown at CM Punk. He’s not a rotund individual, but his body doesn’t have any distinct toning or a ripped appearance, which is usually vital in such a cosmetic line of work. His unimpressive body may be the reason why he’s being held back from any significant TV time and development.
10. Bray Wyatt
The leader of The Wyatt Family and the self proclaimed “New Face of Fear in WWE,” Bray Wyatt has been pushed to the main event level of WWE over the past few years, but inconsistent booking has left him with a considerable loss of credibility.
Bray is by no means a small superstar and at 285 pounds, he certainly isn’t the biggest, but Bray manages to put on a fantastic show in the ring despite the fact that many fans consider him to have much more talent on the mic than he does inside the squared circle. News outlets have shown that during Bray’s latest absence from the WWE due to injury, he has been looking leaner to take some of the wear and tear off his legs that carry all of that girth around.
9. D-Von Dudley
One half of the nine-time WWE Tag Team Champions, D-Von Dudley and his brother were one of the most recognizable tag teams of WWE’s infamous Attitude Era, and lit up the ring with the likes of Edge and Christian and The Hardyz during a golden era for tag team wrestling.
D-Von was never a small wrestler. Even early on in his career, he was more of a heavyweight wrestler, but he still managed to execute moves in the ring that were usually only performed by superstars half his size. D-Von is still currently wrestling for WWE at the highest level at an impressive 290lbs. If D-Von and his brother from another mother want to stick around longer, especially being up there in years, they may have to get trimmer.
8. Kevin Owens
Kevin Owens fights like a cruiserweight, but he looks like a super-heavyweight. Many superstars in WWE have commented on Kevin Owens’ weight and even Vince McMahon was reported to have not been too high on him, stating that the star needed to lose a few pounds. However, Owens’ weight is something that defines his character, and makes him stand out amidst the cookie-cutter chiseled bodies on the roster.
Owens has the character of someone who doesn’t care about his size and shows that despite his look, he has the agility and in-ring prowess to go in the ring with the most in-shape competitors. Though he is technically considered to be overweight, he has proved many of his doubters wrong and remained the same size for much of his career at the highest level. The fact that he can pull off flips and moonsaults shows that his size isn’t a hindrance to him.
7. Nia Jax
Nia has her links to the famous Anoa’i family and it is thought that this helped her earn her place in WWE. That being said, WWE has been missing a female wrestler that is physically dominant since the departure of Beth Phoenix, and many consider Nia to be one of the superstars who will lead a new era in the WWE’s Women’s Division. At 272 lbs., Nia is not your typical WWE Diva, and the future holds a considerable amount of possibilities for her.
Nia may be a larger woman and that may work against her when the “female monster” novelty wears off, and fickle fans and WWE management alike begin to scrutinize her for her weight.
6. Big Show
Big Show is one of the most respected and loyal superstars in WWE history. He has remained a dedicated member of the company for the past few decades, even though over the past few years, he has become much bigger and looked much more out of shape. Big Show has always struggled with his weight, especially while being on the road with WWE. His weight has fluctuated numerous times during his WWE career and in the past, when he’s been at his heaviest, it hurt his standing with the company while being told to take time off to lose weight.
He’s a former World Champion and someone that many in WWE enjoy having around, and after suffering from gigantism for his entire career, it seems that he could have put his best days behind him and be heading towards retirement at some point in the near future.
5. Bubba Ray Dudley
Bubba Ray hasn’t only had a career as a tag team wrestler, but also had a wildly successful singles career in TNA as Bully Ray (before he and D-Von returned to WWE in 2015). Bully Ray’s main event run in TNA may have motivated him to get into better shape, as he looked to be in the best shape of his career when he was on top with TNA. Bubba Ray has been the same size throughout his career, and it has never hindered him. D-Von and Bubba are now coming to the end of their careers, which means that fitness would no longer be the main thing on their minds.
4. Samoa Joe
The “Samoan Suplex Machine” became a household name after an incredible career with TNA before he began performing as part of the NXT roster. Samoa Joe is not considered to be in the best shape of his career right now, but he has still captured the NXT Championship and has been part of many NXT main event matches.
Samoa Joe and Finn Balor have controlled NXT over the past few months, and Joe’s size has never been a problem for him, which shows that being out of shape as a wrestler is a lot different than being out of shape as an average person. Samoa’s round and pudgy body type has been his signature look, as he’s never been one who banked on being chiseled.
3. Chris Jericho
Chris “Y2J” Jericho is one of the busiest and most successful superstars currently on WWE’s roster, when he isn’t performing for WWE, Jericho is touring with his acclaimed band Fozzy or trying his hand at acting or hosting game shows. Jericho has made many epic returns to WWE but his most recent is one where he is finally showing his age.
Jericho no longer has the body type that he had when he was a tag team wrestler with his best friend Christian, and now he refuses to wear a shirt whenever he is on WWE TV, which has made his weight gain much more obvious. Maybe it’s the fact that wearing trunks rather than his signature tights for much of his career has been unflattering for his torso and accentuates his gut.
“The Big Red Machine” is a well respected superstar backstage and despite the fact that he is coming to the end of his WWE career, he is still able to be involved in some of the biggest storylines on WWE TV.
Kane has been with the company for almost three decades and during that time, he has become a multi-time world champion and used his size to his advantage, but at this point in his career, it has been made obvious that Kane is not as fast or as agile as he used to be Father time has taken it’s toll on the “Devil’s Favorite Demon” and it’s probably the reason why he’s transitioning more into an on-screen character rather than a full-time wrestler.
1. Mark Henry
Mark Henry won the competition to be named “The World’s Strongest Man” in 2002 and has since used it as a successful gimmick throughout his WWE career. In his early career, Henry was one of the strongest, biggest and fastest stars to ever set foot in a WWE ring, but over the past few years, Mark has become much slower and much less attractive to watch when he performs. The gruelling grind and travel schedule paired with matches around the world can take a toll on the body and it did so with Henry’s knees.
Mark hasn’t been used on WWE for a long time, but is still respected enough by many WWE officials to be inserted into many story lines. It’s clearly obvious that he isn’t the nimble big man that he used to be and he should be close to hanging up the tights pretty soon.