While it’s never been a requirement, there's no secret that Vince McMahon has always preferred his wrestlers to look like body builders. It's a mindset that was at its peak during the 1980s when being big was a sure fire way to get into the WWE. Guys could barely have any talent on the microphone or in the ring, but if they were 6’2” and over 250 pounds, they were still given a chance to be in the company.
Being muscular is great for presentation, but doesn’t always necessarily help the wrestler as it requires more energy and oxygen to keep the body going at a high rate. Without a balance of cardio, these types of guys tend to gas out quick, which can ruin a match in a hurry. Over the years, there have been plenty of jacked wrestlers to come and go, including Chris Masters, who was ridiculously jacked for his size, but after failing WWE’s Talent and Wellness Program on two occasions, he was let go, eventually returning, but noticeably smaller.
A couple other honorable mentions are for guys who may not be as “big”, but still pack on a lot of muscle on their respective frames. In the world of wrestling, John Morrison, Rick Rude, and Seth Rollins are all considered to be on the smaller stature, but each were in amazingly good shape. Also, just missing the cut was Vince McMahon himself; he has notoriously been known as a “gym rat”, staying in great shape his entire life.
Billed at 5’10” (most likely shorter) and 194 lbs, Neville is the smallest competitor on the list, but make no mistake, this guy deserves to be here. As you can see, he’s absolutely shredded, and it’s almost impossible to think he can put any more muscle on his frame.
14 Jimmy Snuka
Snuka was another wrestler who first found a career in bodybuilding, eventually learning the ropes of pro wrestling, and developing a new career for himself. At only 5’10”, Snuka was another wrestler who was in incredibly good shape during the prime of his career. In the mid-80s, he was one of WWE’s biggest faces and best high-flyers, most notably jumping off the top of a cage during a match against Bob Backlund at Madison Square Garden.
13 Brock Lesnar
It’s “The Beast”, does there really need to be any further explanation here? Okay, site policy requires words to be here, so at 6’3” and 286 pounds, Brock has dominated not only pro wrestling, but amateur wrestling (2-time NCCA All-American) and Mixed Martial Arts (UFC Champion) as well.
12 “Superstar” Billy Graham
Before his days in wrestling, Graham was heavily involved in the bodybuilding world, which helped immensely in developing his wrestling career. Trained by Stu Hart, this 6’4”, 275 lbs. monster began his career way back in 1970; keep in mind most wrestlers were not this big, so he really stood out among his peers. Graham wasn’t just a muscle-head though; he was fantastic on the mic, and was a huge inspiration for many including Hulk Hogan and Jesse “The Body” Ventura.
11 Bobby Lashley
Don’t let Lashley’s soft-spoken ways fool you; this 6’3”, 275 lbs. wrecking ball did serious damage while in the WWE. Initially, he was a 3-time national college amateur wrestling champion, and wrestled while enlisted in the Army; Lashley eventually found his way to the WWE.
10 Nathan Jones
A collective “who” was just let out after reading this name, which is understandable, since he was with the WWE for only about a year. Before the WWE, he won the 1996 “World Strong Man” competition and engaged in Mixed Martial Arts one time, losing in the first round.
Compared to many of the people on this list, Cesaro might not looked jacked in the traditional sense, but is easily pound-for-pound the strongest guy in the WWE, right up there with John Cena and Brock Lesnar.
8 David Otunga
As Lloyd Christmas from Dumb and Dumb once said: “He must work out”. Yeah, Otunga is in ridiculously good condition, which paired with his relationship with singer Jennifer Hudson, and having a law degree from Harvard, made for an easy hire by the WWE.
You may be noticing a trend here, but Batista first got into bodybuilding, and decided to try out for wrestling, initially for WCW (which he was told he would never make it), and then for the WWE, where he made it.
6 The Ultimate Warrior
One of WWE’s most popular and widely known talents, the Warrior had an impressive physique that rivaled basically everyone during his era. Warrior joined up with the WWE in 1987, instantly becoming a favorite thanks to his incredibly high energy, which involved running to the ring and shaking the ropes like a mad man.
Ryback is in fantastic shape, and is definitely one of the more jacked wrestlers currently on WWE’s roster. Initially, he tried out for Tough Enough back in 2004, but didn't win the competition. WWE felt there was something in Ryback worth looking at, and gave him a second chance by bringing him to Ohio Valley Wrestling to develop as a WWE wrestler.
4 John Cena
Cena has been known to show off his strength on multiple occasions, giving his finisher, the Attitude Adjustment, to giants like Big Show and Great Khali; heck, he’s even done it with two guys stacked on his shoulders! If you follow Cena on social media, he regularly posts videos of himself lifting insane amounts of weights, so it's fair to say, this guy is jacked.
3 Scott Steiner
“Holla, if you hear me!” That’s right ladies and gentleman, “The Big, Bad, Booty Daddy” comes in at #3, for being not only jacked, but kind of weird looking. Aptly nicknamed “The Genetic Freak”, Steiner has always been in great shape thanks to his amateur wrestling background, it was in more recent years where his time in the gym really seemed to go up.
2 The Rock
Breaking into the WWE as Rocky Maivia, Dwayne Johnson was a smiley babyface that crowds absolutely hated, with their “Die! Rocky! Die!” chants at every appearance. A heel turn was inevitable, which unleashed The Rock, a cocky loud-mouth that was ridiculously talented on the mic and extremely underrated in the ring.
1 Triple H
Topping off the list is a guy who went absolutely nuts in the gym after he had a terrible injury tearing his left quadriceps muscle that kept him out of action for eight months. Triple H has always been in good wrestling shape, so when he needed eight months to recover, all of that time went towards rehabilitation and working-out.
When he finally returned, the guy was huge! Fans still today talk about how insanely jacked he looked during that time period. Although he is semi-retired today, Triple H still constantly hits the gym, just in case he even needs to jump back in the ring. That non-stop commitment is a big reason why he lands at number one!
Sources: WWE.com, Wikipedia.org
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