Professional wrestling has long been known for steroid use rumors. In some of those cases there is no truth behind the rumors. The wrestler in question just put in a lot of hard work and dedication at the gym. But plenty of times the rumors are true, whether or not the athlete admits to it. In most cases, an athlete that is on the juice can’t hide the improvements to their body. In other sports it also helps their performance, thus the name Performance Enhancing Drugs. That’s not so much the case to the naked eye in professional wrestling though. Everyone fights each other and picks them up and slams them in one way or another.
These drugs however can help a guy come back from injury faster and really that’s the only result in performance that we can see in wrestlers as they don’t keep real statistics of any kind. There have been many cases where you can just look at a guy and tell he is getting a little help on the side. In a lot of those cases the opinion can be based on nothing more than looking at photos from a year or so ago and then looking at them now.
Today we will look at some of the guys over the years that we just KNEW were on steroids of some type just by looking at them. A lot of them have since admitted guilt but some still have not. One wrestler was honest enough to say that he only took them when it was time for promo pictures to be taken. He said the fans care more about the “super hero” look than they do about actual wrestling ability. Another athlete’s father admitted that he was on steroids after his son died and another one killed his family and then committed suicide during a “roid rage.”
Some of the guys you will read about are longtime fan favorites. Some of them you knew were on the juice and some of them you didn’t. When you are finished reading this you will have knowledge that you didn’t have before on at least one professional wrestler.
24. William Regal
When Sports Illustrated did an article on steroid use in the WWE back in 2007, William Regal was named in it. He later admitted in during an interview with The Guardian that it was indeed true. As if we didn’t already know that, William! But what he said coincided with what we saw. “My steroid use used to coincide with me getting my publicity photos taken. I started taking steroids to get a certain look. Remember, a lot of our fans want the superhero look.” If you compare those photos to what you saw in the ring you’ll see there might be some truth to that.
23. Vince McMahon
If the boss does it why can’t you right? If the boss gives them to you it MUST be ok right? Vince McMahon admitted in 1994 that he not only used steroids but he distributed them as well. Now we may not have known about the distribution of them but it was more than obvious that he was a user. I mean come on now who couldn’t tell? He was much older than most of the people he got in the ring with and he was much more ripped than they were. That’s not normal and neither was McMahon’s physique during many of his matches.
22. Davey Boy Smith (The British Bulldog)
Anyone that saw Davey Boy Smith when he was in action could tell that steroids were part of his daily routine. He wasn’t a giant man but for his height he was totally ripped. Not that height has anything to do with it, but you could just tell that something was out of proportion with him.
After The British Bulldog died in 2002 the coroner said that it was due to a heart problem caused by steroid use, and they were steroids found in his system. Trainer Bruce Hart, who is also Smith’s brother-in-law didn’t try to hide it when he said “Davey paid the price with steroid cocktails and human growth hormones.”
21. John Cena
He has never been caught but you just know that John Cena is on the juice as well. Just look at some photos of him when he first came up and see him now. Yes, he was a very big man when he first started making public appearances but looking at him now there are a few differences. His abs are different and his pectoral muscles are far more defined now.
John Cena has obviously put a ton of time into what he looks like. But with the schedule they live by you shouldn’t still be showing improvements in your body. What he had before was very impressive for sure. But he couldn’t have gone on to improve certain areas to the point they are now naturally. That doesn’t make sense. It would all have been done at the same time. So all signs point to the juice.
20. Eddie Guerrero
Eddie Guerrero, just like Davey Boy Smith, died of heart disease. He died just three years after Smith in 2005 and it was reported that steroid use contributed to his death. He died just eleven days after receiving a drug shipment from Signature Pharmacy in Orlando, Florida. It contained the steroids testosterone, nandrolone, and the estrogen blocker anastozole. That is usually taken by steroid users to stop the growth of breast tissue.
He clearly had a much better physique after moving over to the WWE than he did during his days in WCW. The drugs took a major toll on his heart and he is just another in the long line of pro wrestlers that died way ahead of their time. Unfortunately, he wouldn’t be anywhere near the last one.
19. Shawn Michaels (The Heartbreak Kid)
When Shawn Michaels made his first run with the WWE he wasn’t a headliner. But it was common knowledge to those that knew the business that he abused several kinds of substances. Steroids were always one of the things that he was rumored to have dabbled with but there was never any proof. That is until he failed a drug test.
At that time he wasn’t nearly as big as he is now so it was kind of a surprise when he failed that drug test. He admitted wrongdoing once he was caught, although there is really no point at all in that because, well he got caught. He wasn’t that big at the time but he had a lot of energy that made you wonder. Look at him now. NOW we wouldn’t be surprised if he failed a drug test.
18. Booker T
Some of the guys on this list are no brainers and Booker T is one of those. It was proven in 2007 that he was taking steroids and he was suspended. He was linked to the same pharmacy that sold Eddie Guerrero the drug shipment that led to his death. Booker T says that he had done them in the past (as if we didn’t know) but he was innocent of the 2007 charges.
He once stated that “I never tested positive, it was a joke. I’ve done steroids. They’re something I had to do. I’ve had three knee surgeries and the doctor put me on steroids. I had to take certain things. But as far as ordering things from the black market, I didn’t do that.” Taking a look at him it’s a bit hard to believe that.
17. The Ultimate Warrior
The Ultimate Warrior is another no brainer. Look at what this guy brought to the ring every night. You just knew with that physique and the amount of energy that he had to burn, something was helping him along.
After he died of heart failure Bret Hart (who is also on this list) said “I don’t think it would be a surprise to know he took steroids for a long time, and I don’t know if he ever stopped.” He had retired from the ring at the time of his death but he was still as ripped as he had ever been. That just doesn’t happen without some kind of help. He is another one that died way before he should have. All just to be a professional wrestler. What a shame.
When Edge first broke into professional wrestling he was a slender man with not a lot of definition. But as the years went by and his stardom increased, so did his body. Yes some of that can be attributed to very hard work in the gym. Let’s not take anything away from that at all. But the fact is that everyone saw what was happening as his career progressed. A simple then and now comparison would give you all the answers and proof that you needed.
In 2005 he finally admitted it during a television interview on a show called Off the Record on TSN. He said he stopped the usage because he didn’t like how it made him feel. His fans were shocked but I don’t really see why.
15. Daniel Bryan
Daniel Bryan is someone that everyone speculates about. Now that he has retired he won’t be tested anymore so he is safe. We will never hear about him failing a drug test. But you know that he took them. Just look at him when his career got underway and look at him before he got hurt. Again, there was some hard work done to help that along. Just taking a pill or a shot or rubbing some cream doesn’t bring results. Some work has to be put in at the gym as well.
Some people point to the historic night that he beat Triple H, Batista and Randy Orton as a perfect example. They say that nobody could have pulled that off without help. Well, that’s just ridiculous. You can pull off anything if the results are pre-determined. If you are looking for proof of outside help, just look at body pictures at the beginning of his career and at the end of it. Enough said.
14. The Rock
The Rock (Dwayne Johnson) has stated that he tried steroids when he was a kid and never touched them again. He once said that “Training is my anchor. Sure, you get a lot of people out there who will suspect, and say s**t. They want to negate the hard work you put in.”
We don’t buy that for one minute. First of all he played football at the University of Miami. Home to scandal after scandal. And if you think that he played there without some help think again. Not to mention the fact that he looks much different now than he did when he first joined the WWE. Again, he put in a lot of work at the gym (we think) and that’s to his credit. But looking at him now from what he once was, he didn’t get there without help. “Can you smell what The Rock is cookin’?” Yup, sure smells like steroids of some kind to me!
13. Hulk Hogan
When Hulk Hogan testified that he had been a steroid user it wasn’t a shock to anyone at all. Anyone that saw him in person, or on TV for that matter, could tell that those 24 inch pythons were not completely man made. The only question really is if Terry Bollea took the steroids as well. Because everyone knows by now that Bollea and Hogan are two different people. Bollea even said so in court not too long ago. Or was that Hulk Hogan that said it? Aarrggh I’m so confused!
Sting has admitted that he used steroids back in his WCW days. But he really didn’t need to. He is the opposite of most of the other guys on here. He doesn’t look now anything like he looked back in those days. Back then it was easy to tell that he was on the juice. But he was one of the smart ones that saw what was happening and put a stop to it.
He once told Muscle And Fitness magazine that “Thankfully I got smart somehow or another in 1990 and stopped taking steroids. A lot of the guys I ran with all those years continued to take steroids year after year – those guys are having their knees and hips replaced. I’m not saying everybody who gets their knees and hips replaced took steroids. I just noticed that the guys who did that were too big, too bulky, too heavy, and the body couldn’t handle it and it took its toll.”
11. Chris Benoit
Anyone that saw Chris Benoit in action could tell that he was using. The public didn’t need to be told. Even those that are not real knowledgeable about what steroids can do could tell. There just comes a point that a man is way too ripped to be able to do it by hard work alone.
In 2007 when he murdered his family and then killed himself, nobody was shocked to hear the news that he had not only steroids but several other drugs in his system as well. But I think that it was a forgone conclusion that was the case, long before those details were even released.
10. Lex Luger (The Total Package)
Lex Luger was another no brainer. During the height of his career, he was ripped like few other human beings on the planet. You just knew that something was helping him along. He finally admitted it and once even said, “If you snort it, spray it, shoot it, inject it, I did it buddy.” What he was talking about was not just steroids but plenty of illegal drugs, prescription pills and alcohol as well.
He didn’t really need the help though. He was big in high school and his dedication to the gym paid off and it showed well back then. All it took was one guy from the gym to show him and tell him about what the pills did for him back then. It was the beginning of a new chapter in his life and he got bigger than ever. He is a good example of someone that once had the right attitude and didn’t need the help, but did it anyway.
9. Curt Hennig (Mr. Perfect)
Curt Hennig didn’t have the type of outrageous physique that a lot of guys had. But that didn’t mean he wasn’t juicing or that you couldn’t see any difference in him. A quick look at photos of his early career, compared to the prime of his career tell you all you need to know. It wasn’t as obvious as some of his fellow wrestlers, but if you watched wrestling for any length of time you could see him change over the years, just enough to give you the idea that something was up.
He never admitted it but anyone that knew him knew that steroids wasn’t the only substance that he abused. When he died at the age of 44 the official cause of death was released as a cocaine overdose. But even his father admitted that it was “a lethal combination of steroids and painkillers.”
8. Kurt Angle
Kurt Angle was always rumored to be on the juice. And we all could tell by watching him that the rumors were true. At the time he didn’t admit to anything until he got caught. It was only after that when he came clean and told us what we already knew. But he did it in a way that he tried to make us feel bad for him. Yeah, we felt all kinds of bad for him because he got caught cheating. Right.
He once stated that he did indeed use steroids “But I paid the price, both financially – I got fined $125,000 – and reputation-wise. I was a pure athlete, an Olympic champion. And all of a sudden, I’m like Kurt Angle the cheater? It really sucked. You can test me right now. I’ll come up clean. But there was a time when I did it.” Yeah, we knew that Kurt. His name was also tied to the company in Orlando, Florida that had delivered shipments to Booker T and Davey Boy Smith.
7. The Road Warriors (Animal and Hawk)
During the 80s and into the 90s The Road Warriors were one of the most devastating tag teams in the world. They brought their act across the WWE, WCW and NWA. One look at these guys and you could easily tell that steroids were a part of their daily routine. It was later admitted that this was true but nobody really needed an admission of guilt from them. It was obvious for the world to see.
Animal has been very forthcoming about what happened back in those days. Hawk died at the age of 46 from a sudden heart attack. But Animal has been very adamant in his defense of Hawk saying in 2011 that “Steroids wasn’t the reason that Hawk died. Steroids had nothing to do with Hawk dying. I want to make that perfectly clear. Because when we took steroids in the younger part of our career they were legal and we took them under doctor supervision. They told us that we couldn’t take them anymore, that they were against the rules, so we stopped taking them.” But it certainly played a part in his death. If they were in his body for any length of time, which they were, it had to play a part, no matter how small it might be.
6. Ken Shamrock
Ken Shamrock enjoyed decent success during his time in the WWE. But he is more known for his work in the MMA ring and he has admitted that he has done steroids. First of all we all knew this just by taking one look at him. Second of all one look at him also shows the effects that they have had on his body, face, and expressions. This dude has some of the craziest facial expressions ever seen in the ring. They are enough to scare the hell out of an opponent even if the end result has already been determined.
His words can never be taken as truth however because he talked in circles. He once said that he never took steroids before an MMA fight but then was busted in a drug test and suspended for an entire year. His adopted brother has said that Shamrock has taken steroids his entire life. That seems to be the truest statement ever from a Shamrock.
5. Ravishing Rick Rude
Rick Rude was a tremendous performer. He did time in many organizations including the WWE, WCW and the ECW. Looking at the near perfection of his body told anyone with half a brain that he was doing something. He did admit in the 90s that he had done steroids but he really didn’t have to do so. It was common knowledge that the near perfect body he had didn’t come about without help.
Sadly he died at the age of 40 when he was thinking about making a comeback to the wrestling world. Heart failure was the cause of death that was given to the public. He said that he had only “dabbled” with steroids so it probably isn’t the main cause of his death but it certainly played a part.
4. Randy Orton
Randy Orton was one of the wrestlers named in that Sports Illustrated story that we talked about earlier. He too was linked to that company out of Orlando, Florida. SI reported that he had been delivered the steroids stanozolol, nandrolone, oxandrolone and testosterone.
Orton has been no stranger to substance abuse over the years and there are reports that say he has gone through very long periods of time abusing drugs. It wasn’t a surprise when his name came out in that report. One look at him compared to what he looked like several years back and you could tell a difference. Once again I’m sure he spent plenty of time in the gym, but you need some kind of help to get a body like that and the world knows it.
3. Stone Cold Steve Austin
Stone Cold Steve Austin was a well-known steroid user around the WWE circles. The public didn’t officially know about it until his ex-wife called the police to report a domestic violence incident. She said that Austin frequently suffered from “roid rage” and that his usage gave him panic attacks and paranoia.
He had a very good body back in the day but it certainly wasn’t ripped like some were. But you still knew that he had to be taking something because he suffered some pretty serious injuries and he kept coming back to the ring. Sure some guys heal better than others but not like this guy could. It was obvious something was helping him along.
ESPN accused Batista of being a steroid user in an article back in 2007. Batista strongly denied the allegations but I don’t think anyone believed him. There have been rumors about him for years and when the article came out it seemed to only verify what we already knew.
He was never suspended by the WWE but that doesn’t mean anything. It wasn’t until very recently that the company started doing things outside the ring on the up and up. And even still we aren’t so sure they are. We need more time to see what may happen down the road, but back in 2007 they definitely were not, and that’s why a non-suspension doesn’t mean that Batista was in the clear. He was definitely on something.
1. Bret Hart
Bret Hart was never a guy that you would think was a steroid user just from looking at him. He had a good body but nothing like most of the guys around him. But you just knew that with everyone around him that was very obviously doing it, that Hart was too. He had to be and that’s what we all thought.
He never talked about it until recently when he admitted it. He said basically if you wanted to be successful back then you HAD to or the others would pass you by. “When I got to the WWF everyone was doing it. If I didn’t take them I wouldn’t have a career. If you wanted to be a star you’d take steroids because everybody else is taking them. If you want to keep your job you’ve got to get competitive with everyone else.” We figured you were Bret but we held out hope that you weren’t. Oh well.