When one stops and thinks about it, there are a surprising number of similarities between the animal kingdom and the WWE Universe. Most professional wrestlers need to show some sort of animal instinct attached to their ring persona, or at least they should if they want to win some matches. Not only that, but as goes life in the jungle, only the dominant, wily, and creative-minded individuals can survive, although perhaps this can be said of any particularly athletic profession.
In any event, it should be no surprise that WWE superstars are just like the rest of society in that they love spending time with our animal friends whenever they get the chance. Countless wrestlers own cats or dogs, while others might prefer birds, lizards, or fish, and some have even been known to keep bears. Also, like most pet owners, these wrestlers have been known to do all sorts of funny things with their pets, posting the results on Instagram, or in some older cases, the pages of WWE-related magazines.
On top of all this animal fun, there have also been a few instances of friendly critters getting inside the ring with our favorite grapplers, usually with ridiculous or hilarious results. No matter where or why the following pictures were taken, fans of wrestling and animal lovers should get a kick out of them, and the smiles on the wrestlers’ faces in most of them should say it all about how they found the experience. Keep reading to find 15 silly pictures of pro wrestlers interacting with animals.
15. The Hound Of Justice
Forget about anything the man has said about himself inside the squared circle. If there’s one thing fans should know about Seth Rollins, it’s that the guy absolutely adores dogs, flooding his Instagram with pictures of pretty much any pooch he runs into. Naturally, Seth’s favorite hound of justice is his own pet corgi, Kevin. Based on this picture, it would be a fair assumption to think Roman Reigns was also a fan of Kevin, though the pup seems to be reacting like the WWE Universe, ignoring Reigns and looking elsewhere for entertainment. Kevin finds what he’s looking for in “The Lunatic Fringe” Dean Ambrose, who doesn’t seem all that pleased about the attention. One would hope Ambrose is merely showing off his eccentric side, but on the other hand, maybe this photo reveals what really caused The Shield to break up in the first place…
14. Woof Woof You Know It
No matter how poorly Vince McMahon and his writers treat “The Ultimate Broski,” Zack Ryder does his best to uphold that status by never dropping his positive outlook. In the WWE Universe, he’s rarely more than an opening match comedy character, but online, Ryder is an Internet Sensation famed for his Long Island Iced Z series. Another element of Ryder’s life that’s earned him plenty of fans is his love of animals, including his pet dog, seen in this picture bro’ing out with the best of them. Based on a number of Ryder’s Tweets, there’s a good chance Ryder is also a fan of the song “Who Let The Dogs Out?” by the Baha Men, which fits in strangely well with his Jersey Shore party-boy persona. Maybe that’s been what McMahon hasn’t liked about the kid all this time.
13. Purr Next!
Despite certain stereotypes existing, there’s really no way to tell if someone is a cat person or a dog person on appearances alone. Take, for instance, Bill Goldberg, one of the biggest and most destructive pro wrestlers in WCW or WWE history. His size and nature scream canine, yet as it would turn out, Da Man strongly prefers felines. In this photo, it’s clear Goldberg is having fun as Dr. Katz gives him an ear exam, and in his everyday life, he takes the kitty love a step further by owning three cats of his own. Based on what one can only assume is a love of the Three Stooges, the only wrestler to win both the WCW World and WWE Universal Championships named his pet felines Moe, Larry, and Curly. Even better is the fact Goldberg also owns a pet goat, and it has the best name possible: Goatberg.
12. Bears. Big Josh. WCW.
For all the criticisms levied upon WWE for forcing the talented Matt Borne to dress up as a literal clown named Doink, at least they never made him walk out to the ring with two actually grizzly bears at his side. This simple picture doesn’t even capture the full stupidity of the idea, as the bears weren’t vicious creatures that molded Borne — who, by the way, was called Big Josh at the time — into some sort of vicious fighter. Instead, these bears were his friends, and they happily danced with him before and after his matches to prove it. How exactly any of this was supposed to make him a star, let alone a threat in the wrestling ring, is a complete mystery. That said, the same is true of countless ideas attempted by World Championship Wrestling, where the bizarre gimmick was created.
11. What The Hell Is John Cena Doing With This Goat?
More than a decade now, the face of the WWE Universe has been John Cena, and he has 16 World Championships to prove it. This is a record shared only by the legendary “Nature Boy” Ric Flair, and when it comes to making money, Cena has absolutely blown Naitch out of the water. That’s not even mentioning his ring skills, which fans have long considered top-notch under the right circumstances. On top of it all, Cena is known for his incredible charity efforts, truly second-to-none in terms of how many children he’s helped live their dreams through the Make-A-Wish Foundation. And for some reason, in this photograph, he’s shirtless and caressing a baby goat. It’s not like he’s on a farm and found a baby goat; this is a glamour shot, intentionally posed and photographed. Why? We have no idea.
10. Triple H Doesn’t Think Dogs Are Best For Business
As the heir apparent to the WWE Universe who’s always making moves based on what’s “best for business,” one might assume Triple H doesn’t have much time for our canine friends. At the same time, we’d hope he isn’t such a villain he devours the poor creatures, as seen in this photograph. All jokes aside, HHH and Stephanie McMahon are indeed dog lovers, though we don’t know the exact story behind the sleeping pooch The Game is threatening to make his meal for a laugh. WWE fans should be familiar with at least one of the Helmsley family pets, however, in Hunter’s pet, Lucy, who played an integral role in the storyline leading toward WrestleMania X8. More recently, they’ve also adopted a second hound in Andre, presumably named after The Giant wrestler Stephanie once called her childhood best friend.
9. The nWo Are For The Birds
Throughout the late 1990s, the New World Order of professional wrestling was, without a doubt, the most dominant force in WCW. Hulk Hogan, Kevin Nash, Scott Hall, and their various cohorts systematically destroyed anyone who dared stand against them, including legendary wrestlers like Ric Flair, Lex Luger, Roddy Piper, The Giant (Big Show), and countless more. Despite all this, at Clash of the Champions XXXV, they stood in the center of the ring utterly terrified of an almost entirely harmless vulture. Eagle-eyed readers can probably see something in the vulture’s claws, and it was supposed to be a message from Sting, reading, “I Want Hogan,” but unfortunately, the letter fell from its grasp as it flew from the rafters to the ring. Had the letter arrived, it would look like the nWo were scared of Sting as intended, yet without it, they merely looked like bumbling fools terrified by slightly large birds.
8. Daniel Bryan Reads With His Dog
As a vegan for many years and still mostly a vegetarian to this day, it should be obvious Daniel Bryan is a fan of humanity’s four-legged friends. Along with his wife, Brie Bella, Bryan has a pet dog of his own named Josie, seen in this photo eating one of his books. Of course, it’s possible the little pooch thinks she’s helping Bryan turn the pages, but with the number of pages in her mouth, there may have been some ulterior motives in mind. This photo was taken several years ago while Josie was still a puppy, and as of this writing, she’s grown into a larger adult pooch, still loved by Bryan and Bella and occasionally featured on their reality show. Sadly, Josie’s friend, Asparagus the Wonder Dog, passed away in late 2013. On the plus side, she’s since been joined by a new dog named Winston.
7. Randy Savage Reads To His Dog
If you thought Daniel Bryan was cool for reading to his dog, “Macho Man” Randy Savage takes the idea a step further by reading to his dog about his own exploits in the ring. In this photo, Savage holds his beloved pooch, Hercules, close as he thumbs through an issue of WWE Magazine with his then-wife, Miss Elizabeth, on the cover. The shot also reveals the WWE Championship on the ground in front of Herc, letting fans in on the fact Macho Man brought his prized possession with him wherever he went, including his own pool area. Savage was such a huge dog lover, or at least lover of Hercules, in particular, he told his brother Lanny that he wanted his ashes spread underneath the same tree he laid his pet to rest. In his own words, the Macho Man felt, “If it’s good enough for Hercules, it’s good enough for me.”
6. Scott Steiner Takes Tiger Blood
On October 23, 2000, the number one contender to the WCW Championship walked into the main event of Monday Nitro with a live tiger at his side. Scott Steiner was already big, mean, and intimidating as all hell, leaving the sitting champion, Booker T, fairly worried about his chances in their upcoming encounter. Of course, this was all true before he walked out to the ring with a live tiger, and the existence of said beast didn’t quite do anything to change this in a positive or negative manner. In fact, the tiger served absolutely no purpose at all except to say there was a tiger on Nitro, a classic case of WCW wasting money on something no one understands. According to the Wrestling Observer Newsletter, it could’ve been even worse, as the tiger nearly attacked and seriously injured Rey Mysterio backstage.
5. Who’s That Jumping Out Of The Trees?
Since making his wrestling debut while still a teenager, Rey Mysterio, Jr. has been lauded by wrestling critics as one of the crispest and fastest pro wrestlers ever to enter the industry. Sure, he’s a little bit smaller than the average grappler, but Mysterio has never once let this get him down, in fact using it to his advantage on many occasions. To this date, Rey is the shortest and lightest World Champion in WWE history, though he more than earned the honor by flying off the ropes and wowing millions of people across the globe for several decades. Perhaps, somewhere along the way, Rey had some inspiration from his koala friends, as seen in this picture taken at the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary in Brisbane, Australia. WWE is known to travel all around the world, and Mysterio is hardly the only one to visit zoos while doing so, though he seems to get along with marsupials better than most.
4. For The Benefit Of Dogs With Flash Photography
Pro wrestlers have countless reasons to pair up and form tag teams, the least important of which is excelling up the ranks of the WWE Universe. More than that, tag team members should have something in common or at least be able to blend together and form a greater whole than the sum of the team’s parts. One of the best teams in WWE history, Edge and Christian, most certainly possessed this level of synergy, in sync both in and out of the ring in just about every way. This includes a mutual love of dogs, as seen in this very special 5-second pose with two canines who seem just as happy as the seven-time WWE Tag Team Champions. The story on this specific snapshot isn’t totally clear, but we do know that Edge owns four dogs with his wife, Beth Phoenix, and Christian has at least one pooch of his own, as well, so these pups are definitely in good hands whatever the reason may be.
3. Seth Rollins Earns This Fan’s Seal Of Approval
It’s already been established that Seth Rollins is a huge fan of dogs, the wrestler owning an adorable pet corgi named Kevin to prove it. Like most animal lovers, though, the Architect of the WWE Universe hardly limits his love of other species to one animal, happily engaging in whatever creatures will reach out their hand to him in friendship. Or, if the case may call for it, reach out with their fins, as happened when Rollins met this welcoming seal at the Taronga Zoo in Sydney, Australia. Based on this photo, it would be a fair guess that Rollins enjoyed the experience quite a bit, later referring to it as “love at first site” when posting the shot to his Instagram. Now that “the Hounds of Justice” moniker has pretty much been forgotten about, maybe it’s time Rollins started calling himself a Sea Lion.
2. Ricky Steamboat Uses A Lizard As A Weapon
Pro wrestling fans in the 1980s were all well aware of Jake “The Snake” Roberts and how he would take his nickname literally, bringing a giant python named Damien with him to the ring on special occasions. Old school viewers were also definitely aware of Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat, though the few times he took his sobriquet literally were a bit sillier than they were terrifying or intimidating. As it would turn out, actual komodo dragons are pretty small and particularly scary, so Steamboat couldn’t just drag one to the ring with him. For some reason, WWE thought a baby crocodile was close enough, although they overlooked the fact that crocodiles, too, were almost completely harmless when out of the water… and lifted by their neck, flailed around wildly and without reason. There are no surprises Steamboat didn’t keep his lizard friend around for more than a few matches.
1. Goat Face, Huh?
Regardless of his incredible skills inside the wrestling ring, Daniel Bryan was criticized throughout his career for what was considered a somewhat unprofessional or perhaps uncouth appearance. Specifically, Bryan had a gigantic bushy beard and flowing long hair that he didn’t always take the time to maintain in the way some of his equally hirsute contemporaries are known to do. Because of this, Bryan’s detractors started calling him Goatface to insult the man and his facial hair all at once. Naturally, this infuriated Bryan’s character on screen, though he nonetheless dug into the persona by naming signature moves Air Goat and the Flying Goat as references to the supposed insult. More than that, Bryan came across an actual, real live goat visiting a zoo in Australia and decided to get a real good look at the creature. The result should either silence all insults or embolden the people spewing them.
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