In the wrestling world, there are some truly legit tough badasses. That's always been the case throughout the history of pro wrestling, and it's still something that is prevalent to this day. Back in decades past, it was a vital part of the business that a grappler carried themself like a legit badass and that they would be prepared to thrown down if anybody happened to decide to try and test their toughness.
Those days are largely gone for the most part, although that's not to say that there's still not some truly tough SOBs in the game today. Whether someone is playing tough or are legit tough, though, is often hard to tell, but then there are absolute abnormalities like Brock Lesnar and Braun Strowman who could snap a man in half if their buttons were pushed.
What we've got for you here, however, is a little look behind the curtain. You see, for all of those tough wrestlers you regularly see on your TV screens, they've all got their own personal lives to go back to once the cameras stop rolling and the tights or trunks are taken off; personal lives in which they can let their guard down and just be themselves.
Even the toughest of the tough have a softer side than they tend to portray on screen, and that's where we've got you covered with this article.
15 The Shield And Their Bat Fan
What a ridiculously cool picture! Like, really, what more do we need to say about this image?
To be brutally honest, we have zero information on the background behind this picture. There's nothing online — at least that we can find — as to the context of this image, when it took place, why it took place, or any other sort of relevant information.
All that we know is simply what you can see. It's Shield brothers Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins casually grabbing some food in a diner with a young fan in a Batman t-shirt. Oh, and Ambrose and Rollins are decked out in their full Shield gear.
While the background behind this may be a tad unclear, there's absolutely zero way that this isn't just a hands-down ridiculously awesome picture. In fact, we might even go as far as to say it's the coolest image included in this entire feature. That's not to say you shouldn't check out what else lies ahead in this feature, of course, for there's still plenty more pictures of some of your tough-as-nails favorite stars showing their softer or more caring side.
But still, two-thirds of the iconic Shield, dressed up in full Shield outfits, chilling in a diner with a young Bat fan. If that's not enough to put a smile on your face then you seriously, seriously need to check your pulse.
14 Erick Rowan, Family Man
Who doesn't love snow, right? Well, unless you're one of those people who have snow 80% of the year round and constantly struggle to do anything or go anywhere because of the snow. But, yay for snow, right? Right? Totally!
Not only do (the majority of) people love snow though, but they also can't help but have their heart warmed by a good family man. And judging from this image, that's exactly what Erick Rowan — one half of the current SmackDown Tag Team Champions — is.
In the ring, Rowan is portrayed as a brutish, unrelenting powerhouse of a man, accompanying Luke Harper as the Bludgeon Brothers tandem. And let's face it, you know that someone isn't exactly an all-smiling, high-fiving, baby-kissing wrestling good guy if they're bringing a giant hammer to the ring with the intention of using it to cause untold damage to an opponent.
That again just goes to highlight the different between these on-screen tough wrestlers and their more softer, personal side. Based upon this photo along, Rowan seems like a genuinely good guy — which is far and away completely different to his in-ring persona.
13 Randy Orton's Rescue Dog
Our rescue from Bora Bora made it to his new home. What a great dog! pic.twitter.com/mKHXkfyOKn— Randy Orton (@RandyOrton) July 22, 2015
Throughout his career, Randy Orton has often been positioned as a vicious, calculating bad guy who would regularly stoop to new lows in order to get one up on his rivals. After all, you don't get nicknames like the Legend Killer and the Viper for being a nice guy, right?
In terms of real life, there have been stories of Orton being notoriously unwilling to take any sort of BS from fans, and he's similarly not afraid to tell people what he thinks. Now, while some may see him as a bit of a hard-ass, Randy also clearly has a massive soft side - as shown in this picture from his social media channels.
As per Orton himself, that there with him is a rescue dog that he'd got from Bora Bora. Despite maybe having a stern demeanour to some, there are similarly a whole host of stories out there of Randy being a warm, caring guy who looks out for those close to him. Certainly, we can see that he's looked out for the pooch pictured here, and a quick Google search throws up a whole bunch of similar pictures of Randy alongside his Bora Bora pal.
12 Bray Wyatt, Wish-maker
As of this writing, Bray Wyatt is one half of the Raw Tag Team Champions alongside Matt Hardy. A former WWE Champion, Wyatt has often found himself to be a prominent part of WWE television ever since he was moved from NXT to the main roster.
Having repacked himself as Bray Wyatt, the former Husky Harris honed his character and craft in NXT, assembling his Wyatt Family and eventually turning up in the big leagues of main roster television. Throughout his run, the Eater of Worlds had spent pretty much his whole time playing a bad guy up until these past few months. Sure, he may got some cheers here and there — specifically for his entrance — but the Bray character was positioned as a hell. And after all, let's face it, pretty any heel gets some sort of cheers in the modern-day landscape of professional wrestling.
Our point is, Bray Wyatt has been presented as some sort of twisted maniac throughout his WWE tenure. And yes, there are indeed some not-so-great things that have happened in his personal life, but Wyatt has always had the reputation of being a great guy to meet in real life. Here, we have an image of him granting his first ever wish for Make-a-Wish. Shown with Jovanni of the Marty Lyons Foundation, there are some great shows of Bray and Jovanni just having an absolute ball during this meeting; showing that there's more to Wyatt that just what you see on screen.
11 The Monster Tamer
Now, Finn Balor may not be seen as a scary, intimidating tough guy on screen, but the two guys pictured here with him certainly are.
On the left of Balor we have Braun Strowman, and to the Irishman's right is Lars Sullivan. Both Strowman and Sullivan are complete chaos and carnage in the ring, with both being seen as utter monsters between the ropes. While Strowman largely bypassed NXT and was given his shot as a part of the main roster Wyatt Family, Sullivan is currently in NXT and has decimated near-enough every single person he has come across. In fact, by the time you're reading this, Lars may even be the NXT Champion depending on how his TakeOver match against Aleister Black turns out.
These two behemoths are seen as two of the most dominant forces under a WWE contract, and many are actually hoping that we eventually get to see the pair butt heads. Strowman is dominating over on Raw these days, and plans could easily be put in place to have Sullivan head to SmackDown on go on a similar rampage before these two giants finally face off. But we're getting ahead of ourselves a little there.
Either way, despite being brutes on screen, this photo with Finn Balor certainly shows a softer side to both Braun Strowman and Lars Sullivan.
10 Daddy/Daughter Time For The Rock
Only this past April, the Internet gave out a collective gasp of cuteness at the sight of Dwayne Johnson welcoming his daughter Tiana Gia in to the world. Now, while those images were seen right across the world, Tiana isn't the first child of the iconic Rock. To be precise, Johnson has three daughters, and here we have an image of him with his eldest child, Simone.
In 2016, Dwayne Johnson was officially the world's most highest-paid actor, with him cementing himself as arguably the biggest box office draw in Hollywood these days. Not only is the former World Champion prolific with his output and work ethic, but he's just an all-round great guy.
If anyone could be entitled to let a little bit of the fame and glitz go to his head, it's The Rock. From one of the hottest stars in the entire history of professional wrestling, to a modern-day box office juggernaut, Johnson has still managed to stay grounded and have his everyman charm that suckers in men, women, and children as fans of his. And while all of this has been going on, Rocky has still managed to make sure that family always comes first — this image being yet another example of that.
9 Drew's Proposal
At present, Drew McIntyre is kicking ass and taking names on Monday Night Raw. After being thrust in to the spotlight as Vince McMahon's Chosen One in 2009, McIntyre would end up at the bottom of the card as part of 3MB before being released from his WWE contract in 2014. Unlike some, though, he would see this as a blessing in disguise, soon using his newfound freedom to completely change his character and focus on what he loved about wrestling.
In fact, his character soon became best known for his love of professional wrestling and for being a man of the people.
Success would soon follow, including several pieces of championship gold in Impact Wrestling. And it was actually his stay in Impact that the accompanying photo was taken. Fresh from winning the company's World Championship, Drew — then going by his real-life Drew Galloway name — decided to propose to his girlfriend Kaitlyn at the picturesque location of the Grand Kanyon. Despite being a burly, no-nonsense in-ring competitor, choosing such a locale for this moment definitely shows the softer side of this former Intercontinental Champion.
That engagement happened in February 2016, and the pair would get married in Florida this past December. Following his career reinvention, the future looks incredibly bright for this former NXT Champion — both inside the ring and out.
8 Sheamus Makes Some Young Fans Happy
If we're being honest, you'd find very few people out there who would say that Sheamus is their favorite WWE superstar. That's not to say that he's bad at what he does, he's just not the sort of performer who is ever going to be a John Cena or AJ Styles sort of talent when it comes to how he's perceived by the masses.
Despite having spells where his character was awfully dull, there's no doubting that Sheamus is actually pretty damn good at what he does between the ropes. If anything, it seems that he's at times not exactly been helped by the WWE creative time in how they've utilized him.
Over the past year or two, however, he's been a part of the hugely successful The Bar alongside Cesaro. Sure, everyone loves Cesaro, but Sheamus has more than held up his end of the bargain this tandem. In the image here, we have Sheamus taking some time after a match to absolutely light up the day of a couple of young fans. We mean, seriously, just look at their faces! Regardless of your thoughts on the former World Champion, you can't deny just how great it is to see the influence he's had on these two youngsters.
For a spell, Big Show and Batista were two of the most intimidating grapplers in the game. Here though, we can see a far softer side to Show and Big Dave. Having arrived in the then-WWF from WCW, Big Show has had a Hall of Fame career and has regularly proved himself to be one of the very best "big men" performers in the history of the wrestling industry. Sure, he had moments where it really looked like it wasn't going to happen for him, particularly when the WWE would take him off TV or send him to their developmental facilities due to his weight. But still, Show managed to get himself straight and has to go down as one of the great big men performers.
For Batista, he was late to get in to the wrestling business, but his look alone meant he had the potential to be a big, big star. After spending some time in OVW as Leviathan, Dave would wind up on SmackDown as Deacon Batista; a gimmick that was plain awful and was thankfully dropped relatively quickly.
Like Big Show, the Animal would go on to become a multiple-time World Champion and a truly dominating force in the wrestling world. Both of these guys are known for their charm and sense of fun away from the squared circle, and here we get a candid look at the two buddies just goofing around away from the alpha male posturing of the wrestling ring.
6 Grandpa Is... Kane?
While we are so used to seeing these larger than life grapplers on our screens for decades, it's sometimes good to take a step back and realize that wrestlers also have their own personal lives and families just like the rest of us.
We're sure that many of you will be well are that Kane — a.k.a. Glenn Jacobs — has recently become more and more involved with local politics over in Knox County, Tennessee. In fact, only this past May, Jacobs won the Republican primary election for Knox County's mayoral seat. The election for the position of mayor takes place this August, and many believes the multiple-time World Champion to be a favorite to take up office.
But away from politics, Kane not only has two daughters, he's also a grandfather, too. Yes, the guy you've seen for years slamming people left and right and electrocuting people is now a proud grandparent. To prove the point, here we have a picture of Jacobs just being a happy granddad. We can't tell what the T-shirt says grandpa is, but we can tell you that grandpa is a former World Champ, an insurance expert, and a serious contender to become the Mayor of Knox County.
5 Goldberg Loves Cats!
Many people will often say that man's best friend is the faithful dog, while others will lean more towards cats when it comes to their preferred furry companions. Truth be told, yeah, cats can be mean at times, but that doesn't mean that they aren't still all kinds of awesome. And one person who thinks just that is none other than multiple-time World Champion, Bill Goldberg.
Goldberg was known as a wrecking ball throughout his wrestling career, running through opponent after opponent after opponent in mere minutes as he amassed one of the greatest undefeated streak in the history of the wrestling business. That was back in the late '90s, of course, although Da Man came back out of retirement more recently to have one last feud with Brock Lesnar. And to be fair to Goldberg, he didn't look like he'd missed a step. Yes, his matches were often kept short this time around, but that was always the case with this iconic figure.
Outside of the ring, though, Bill has regularly made mention of his love of cats and how he makes a point of adopting unwanted felines.
During his recent WWE comeback, we saw a more humanized Bill Goldberg, with his son and wife along for the ride as he put himself out there as a hero for kids, and when you throw a love in cats in to the mix then you get even further evidence that Goldberg really is just a nice, caring dude.
4 From Bludgeon Brother To Doting Daddy
If there's two things that can make any behemoth look like a giant old softie, it's animals or children. And let's face it, you'll find both of those things featured here in this article.
For those of you who regularly watch SmackDown these days, you'll know Luke Harper as one half of the all-conquering Bludgeon Brothers tag team. Not just all-conquering, but the duo are the blue brand's current Tag Team Champions. On screen, Harper comes to the ring in an eerie-looking hooded robe and with some gnarly music accompanying an entrance video overflowing with skulls and sinister imagery. Oh, and he and partner Erick Rowan also make sure to bring some giant hammers to the squared circle with them, too. So yeah, the on-screen Harper character is quite the mean dude.
Away from the ring and the cameras, the former Brodie Lee always comes across as just a genuinely lovely guy who is cool to fans and just likes to enjoy time with his family. He's also a massive football fan. In case you hadn't guessed from the above image, he's a big fan of the Washington Redskins. So much so, he even began decking his young son out in full Redskins garb from an early age.
That's certainly vastly different to the aggressive, unhinged, and often brutal image that Harper portrays on WWE television, which again is part of what makes seeing pictures such as this so special.
3 Hailing From Winnipeg...
When it comes to professional wrestlers (sorry Vince, we mean "sports entertainers"), they don't come any more tough or legit that Brock Lesnar. If his NCAA success wasn't enough to convince you of Lesnar's legitimacy, his huge success in the UFC was enough to give a man nightmares. To borrow a phrase from the legendary Jim Ross, Brock is a stud. Plain and simple.
While Paul Heyman's Beast is certainly the last guy you'd ever want to cross, he does have a softer side to him, too. Having moved to Canada over the past few years, Lesnar fully embraced the country and in particular the Winnipeg Jets hockey team. Not only that, but he's similar made sure that the entire Lesnar clan having done the same thing.
A regular attendee at Jets games, here we can see Brock with his two youngest sons at a Jet game. Of course, wherever he goes, Brock Lesnar is a huge star attraction, and that's reflected here by him being asked to say a few words at a Jets game. For his troubles, Brock was given his own personalized jersey and allowed to mingle in the home team's locker room. Want a scary thought, though? Imagine Brock Lesnar coming toward you in a hockey game!
2 The Monster Among Me Is Awesome!
Really, where do we begin here? At present, Braun Strowman is the most dominant force on WWE television. Sure, Brock Lesnar may be the Beast with the Universal Championship, but Strowman is destroying everybody on a week-to-week basis as opposed to Lesnar's sporadic appearances every few months.
On TV, we've seen Braun dominate pretty much any and everyone who he steps in the ring with, and then there's his antics of flipping over ambulances and over such other ridiculous feats of power. Strowman doesn't have his Monster Among Men nickname for no reason, and he's head and shoulders above anyone of any WWE roster when it comes outright power and brute force.
Away from the confines of WWE television, though, and Braun just seems like the most awesome of guys. For anyone who follows his social media accounts, you'll see an everyday guy with a great sense of humor and an appetite for fun.
He's also never afraid to make a fool of himself, as shown by his Christmas-themed outfit shown above. Whether it's interacting with fans, messing around with fellow wrestlers, enjoying nature, or simply having a cold one with his old man, Braun Strowman seems like the complete opposite of the brutal wrecking ball often seen on Raw each week.
1 The Deadman Will Warm Your Cold Heart
If you asked any wrestling fan who the greatest wrestler of all time is, there's more than a likely chance that the Undertaker will be in the conversation. Sure, names like Bret Hart, Steve Austin, Ric Flair, and Shawn Michaels may head up that list, but the Phenom is always, always in the conversation.
Over his career, he has been a relentless zombie, a devil worshipper, a biker, and nothing but a complete ass-kicker. The point being, he's an absolute badass who is more often than not portrayed as having a leaning towards the dark side. In real life, though, the man is just an absolute class act.
Granted, so, so many wrestlers have worked with Make-a-Wish over the years — John Cena currently having the records for most wishes granted — but if you ever need your heart warming, just search out the video of the Undertaker meeting a young fan called Amanda.
According to the video, Amanda's biggest wish was to meet the famed Deadman of the WWE. When he does indeed turn up to surprise her, the youngster can barely get her words out. Just a sweetheart of a guy, 'Taker instantly makes her feel at ease and keeps the conversation flowing in a genuine and sincere way as he hands her over some personalized merchandise while joking about having his ass whooped by Amanda's father.
What makes this even more special is that this a side of the Undertaker that so, so few people actually get to see, and it makes you appreciate just how much of a classy pro Mark Calaway is.