The older you get, the more ridiculous some of your old childhood photos may look to you. Even if you have aged gracefully, that just makes those photos all the more ridiculous looking.
Now, imagine if some of your most embarrassing photos were not only public knowledge but had a high chance of going viral! Not only do you have embarrassing photos, but you have someone out there, like me, who gets to write all about the unbelievable childhood photos people need to see to really believe.
Some of these wrestlers grew up around the business, so you better believe there are some cool photos, including #1, which features one of the biggest legends of all time. Included in this list are legends such as Ric Flair (sporting a unibrow), Hogan, Sheamus, and even The Undertaker makes an appearance.
Spoiler alert: Sheamus was not the biggest ginger out of that list!
While some of these photos feature the superstars at young ages, others show them going through stages of life, such as graduation. All in all, you’ll get a comprehensive behind the scenes look at some of your favorite wrestling superstars. They may have wished some of these photos of their past never existed but you can’t deny the proof of a photograph!
So, next time you pour over your old photos, just be grateful that they aren’t being shared all over the internet. Here are 16 of the best childhood photos that are out there of some of the biggest names in wrestling history.
16. Hulk Hogan
Hulk Hogan may have landed himself in some hot water with the WWE as of late, but he is still one of the biggest legends in the industry. Not to mention that after winning over $100 million in his lawsuit with Gawker, he’s probably feeling pretty comfortable.
It’s hard to imagine the icon emerged from the dorky looking young man that he once was. The bandana clearly should have been adopted earlier to hide that awful hair! As an added bonus, I imagine that’s what Hulk looks like every time he sees photos of his younger days.
15. AJ Lee
AJ Lee may have been excited about getting into film school at NYU, but she ended up dropping out after six months due to financial and family concerns. Things ended up working out for her, as she ended up being a prominent member of the WWE and married CM Punk.
While she is no longer with the company, her fan base is still very much in tact. Though it’s driving me crazy that I can’t find an image with the end of that quote! If you worried her husband is exempt from this list, don’t worry, he’ll make an appearance.
14. Jeff Hardy
The advantage of this photo is at least Jeff has done us the courtesy of telling us what year it was. I’m not too sure what is going on, on top of his head, but it does not look like anything good. This is one senior year photo that Jeff would probably rather keep hidden but unfortunately, when you’re a big name, anything is up for grabs. The real shame is that no photo of Matt seems to be out there.
13. The Undertaker
I don’t want to be mean to The Undertaker but, looking at his photos, he should be really glad that his gimmick in the WWE was so badass. You’re not going to look at the long, dark-haired phenom and think he used to be a little ginger kid, but now you know!
The other photo, taken during his teen years, shows an awkward looking Taker who clearly hasn’t quite yet figured out how to make the weight-room work. Just think, if Vince had seen these images, we could have seen a much different gimmick for The Deadman.
12. Shane McMahon
Shane McMahon grew up alongside wrestlers, but he also grew up close with his sister Stephanie. The right photo shows the two as children, hugging affectionately, while looking at the camera.
The other photo shows a much more muscular looking Shane, who was clearly starting to have ideas of doing something in wrestling. Though he probably wasn’t expecting to jump off the top of Hell in a Cell when he’d be in his 40s.
11. Chris Jericho
There is no doubt that on your graduation day you deserve to be able to smile! Jericho attended Red River Community College in Winnipeg, Manitoba for a course in creative communication. Perhaps that’s why he was always able to be so clever and original on the mic! Jericho was also able to graduate with top marks in his class. Clearly, he isn’t a stranger to excelling at whatever it is he chooses to put his mind to it.
10. Mick Foley
When it comes to the hardcore legend, it was a moment during university that made him realize that was what he needed to do for a living. Before that, he was in high school and on the wrestling team. The above photo seems to be taken from his high school days, when he, interestingly enough, attended classes with actor Kevin James. The two were even on the wrestling team together! There is also no denying the trademark curls of Mick. The real shocking thing is the fact that he still has two ears!
In case you have never watched a second of Sheamus in the WWE, he is Irish. Born in Dublin, he spent most of his life there, which is where this above photo was taken. Can you believe that this is Sheamus? Sometimes looking at kids, you can’t imagine they’re going to turn into 6’4″ giants who take over the WWE. When I look at this photo, I imagine Sheamus was just sent to timeout for doing some kind of mischief. Given it’s Sheamus, I wouldn’t be surprised if he gave out some boot kicking.
8. Shawn Michaels
Shawn Michaels was born in Chandler, Arizona and was the youngest of four children. He also spent part of his time growing up in Berkshire, England. Perhaps, that is where this adorable photo of the Heartbreak Kid was taken. I’m not really too sure what is going on with the design on his shirt but, given that he looks no older then 5 years old, we can probably let it slide. Who knew that every time he fell around the house, he was just preparing himself to take bigger bumps as an adult?
7. Vince McMahon
If there is one thing that you cannot deny about Vince, it is that he carries with him a great deal of authority in his facial expressions. That’s true as an adult and true as a younger man, when he clearly had the confidence to back his company. While we are not too sure if the photo is from a yearbook, it’s extra neat to see Vince have an incredibly similar look and hairstyle many decades later.
Something tells me he wouldn’t have gotten quite as far in business if he had decided to dye his hair red, but what crazy superstar would do that…? Oh, you’ll see…
6. John Cena
Cena is proud to be from Massachusetts, so is it really a shocker that he has a Boston hat on at a young age? I also cannot imagine what on earth was making him laugh so hard in the second photo, but kudos on him for having something in his life that made him that happy! Cena may not have the look of a future champion, but he was clearly dedicated to putting in the time and work to succeed.
5. The Rock
The Rock is one of the most electrifying performers in WWE entertainment, but that was not always his hope.
He spent part of high school in Hawaii, but ended up graduating from Freedom High School in Pennsylvania. While there, he was an outstanding athlete and ended up receiving an offer to go play football for the Miami Hurricanes. An injury hindered his football career but it was still an opportunity for him to show his athletic prowess. The Rock may have not had to use his education in a traditional sense but good for him for graduating!
4. Rey Mysterio
Now, I’ll be honest, this is a pretty adorable photo of a very young Rey Mysterio. It’s hard to imagine going up to that little boy and telling him that he is going to spend a large majority of his life wearing a mask. There is no doubting that Mysterio is one of the most iconic wrestlers of all time, partially due to his overall image.
Mysterio was born in Chula Vista, California and started making his name in wrestling by performing for AAA in Mexico from 1992 to 1995, before landing contracts with ECW, WCW and finally making it in the WWE.
3. Ric Flair
You know, Ric Flair built up his reputation as being a womanizer, a party boy and all around entertaining guy, who was not shy with the ladies. When you look at this above photo, it truly is a head scratcher as to how this man would ever land himself a woman. I’m sure he cleaned up his image, at least you’d hope so, because that unibrow is not going to do anyone any favors. Given that most fans are used to seeing Flair with his flowing grey hair, it’s an even bigger shock to see him with a shorter buzz-cut.
2. Stephanie McMahon
When your Father is Vince McMahon, it is only natural that you are going to grow up surrounded by wrestlers. The above photo shows an incredibly young Stephanie McMahon, sitting beside on of the largest individuals in the world: Andre The Giant. Just look at the size difference! His hand is literally the size of her face! Good thing he was known as a gentle giant. Stephanie, alongside her brother Shane, clearly enjoyed their father’s work and getting to meet legends like Andre was just another great perk.
1. CM Punk
What the hell is this? Are you serious CM? What would Steve Austin have been thinking in that moment? You made yourself look ridiculous when you tattooed yourself up but that hair was clearly where your bad decisions started. Please, note that the place appears to be pitch black, allowing that red fire to flame on hard.
You can imagine this picture was shared everywhere when he started rising to prominence. Sorry, Punk, some things you just can’t undo.