The average professional wrestler of the year 2017 looks quite a bit different from the top names that became household icons throughout the twentieth century. Until well into the 1990s, it was acceptable – and even encouraged at times – for the men of the ring to be as big as they could possibly be. Just have a look at one of the most popular World Wrestling Federation Champions of the early ‘90s in Yokozuna, who at one time managed to reach a whopping six hundred pounds. Then have a gander at the WWE Champions of today and you’ll realize that the expectations for fantastic physiques have gone through the roof.
Indeed, it is rare to see a WWE Superstar nowadays who isn’t ripped to shreds and has little in the way of body fat. As time goes on this becomes more and more the norm, although occasionally one will be able to spot someone competing in a WWE ring who could stand to drop a few pounds. Even the modern wrestlers in the worst shape can still run circles around the best of the 1980s, but the aesthetic is a much bigger part of the game now. Here are 8 WWE Superstars who are in the worst physical shape – and 8 more who are doing it right.
16. Worst Shape: Kevin Owens
Kevin Owens was once an internet darling as he made a huge name for himself on the independent circuit where he was then known as Kevin Steen. He’s now one of the most decorated stars to have graduated from NXT and gone on to Raw and SmackDown Live, having had reigns with the Intercontinental, United States and Universal Championships in just a couple of years. His success has been undeniable and despite playing a heel retains a massive fan base, but that hasn’t stopped the criticisms of his physique from plaguing him.
15. Best Shape: Naomi
JBL was once heard on SmackDown Live commentary remarking that he didn’t understand how Naomi didn’t need a defibrillator after doing her trademark dance from the stage all the way to the ring before competing in a match. It is indeed a sign of her incomparable athleticism that she can do it all and barely get winded. Naomi is easily one of the best athletes of any gender on WWE’s current roster, and the two-time SmackDown Live Women’s Champion has the body to back it up.
If watching Naomi, whose real name is Trinity Fatu, in the ring on Tuesday night’s wasn’t enough to convince you of just how fit she is, just take a look at some of her social media photos and admire her amazing physique.
14. Worst Shape: Bray Wyatt
To ask just about any member of the WWE Universe, the tale of Bray Wyatt is an unfortunate one. There has always been so much potential for Wyatt to take over as the modern day version of the Undertaker. He’s one of the best on the microphone in the entire company and he can have an excellent match with just about anyone. Don’t let his size fool you; he is one hell of an athlete.
But while Bray currently stands miles and miles away from the man he used to be when he was known as Husky Harris, his current physique still leaves a lot to be desired. At a billed weight of 285 pounds, Wyatt’s quite a bit more round than your average WWE Superstar.
13. Best Shape: Randy Orton
Randy Orton has been at the ring game for quite a long time now. He started with WWE about a decade and a half ago and started making history right off the bat. This third generation WWE Superstar has won more championships than almost anyone to have ever competed in the ring and is certainly a future member of the WWE Hall of Fame with first ballot status. He’s won nearly every title in existence during his time and is still churning out main event victories and World title reigns in 2017.
The fact that he’s been going as long as John Cena makes the fact that Randy is possibly in the best shape of his life all the more impressive. It seems that the older Randy Orton gets the better he is.
12. Worst Shape: Kane
In the late 1990s just as the Attitude era was being ushered in we were introduced to the Undertaker’s scarred younger brother Kane. He was straight out of a horror movie; he moved like a serial killer and wore a mask akin to Michael Myers from the Halloween movies. No one will ever forget the image of Kane ripping the door off the Hell in a Cell structure to reach his brother and the magical rivalry between the two that would follow.
In those days, Kane was a huge, fitness freak, but those days are long behind him. He’s obviously close to retirement but the Big Red Machine, who is apparently getting into politics now, perhaps should have hung up the wrestling boots a few years ago judging by his drooping physique in recent times.
11. Best Shape: Neville
As the longest reigning Cruiserweight Champion of the modern era, Neville has been holding it down for the competitors under 205 pounds for a while now. That’s a major relief for fans of this high flyer because for a few years it looked like once Neville lost the NXT Championship it would all be downhill for him. On the main roster, he found little success as he was rarely featured at all on Raw and SmackDown unless he was booked to lose in a throwaway segment.
Then the company reinstated the beloved Cruiserweight division and, even though it has yet to live up to expectations, Neville has been doing everything in his power to breathe some life into it. There is no athlete faster on the entire WWE roster and few who are in quite as good shape.
10. Worst Shape: Authors Of Pain
The tag team division down in NXT has been an up and down roller coaster ride since the introduction of the NXT Tag Team Championship. Though plenty of tandems have come through and stolen the show in Tag Team title matches at some of NXT’s biggest TakeOver events, there have also been times when the brand was lacking any really solid teams. Currently, though, the massive Authors of Pain, known as Akam and Rezar, are doing a stellar job keeping the division hot along with their manager, WWE Hall of Famer Paul Ellering.
And there is no better term for Akam and Rezar than “massive.” They’re indeed quite big, and though that doesn’t seem to keep them from putting on amazing matches with the other teams of NXT they’re certainly not in the best shape.
9. Best Shape: Seth Rollins
Ever since becoming the very first NXT Champion in 2012, former indie star Tyler Black has been making a huge name for himself in WWE as Seth Rollins. Though Roman Reigns has been heavily pushed as the next John Cena, it can be argued that if anyone can lay claim to carrying the entire WWE on his back for the past few years it would be none other than Rollins himself. Seth has proven to be able to have amazing matches with anyone the company puts in front of him and that he is versatile enough to stay at the top of the heap as either a heel or a babyface.
8. Worst Shape: The Miz
It was a rough start in the world of pro wrestling for Mike “The Miz” Mizanin. Anyone who watched him on MTV’s Real World reality series years before he became famous between the ropes knew it was his dream to one day make it to WWE, but who really thought it would happen? He did make it, and he has proven to be one of Vince McMahon’s most reliable and versatile stars. Despite all criticisms, The Miz has been a staple in the company and a part of some of the most memorable storylines of the past decade.
He’s not the best wrestler in the world, but that matters little when you know how to get the crowd riled up like The Miz. Unfortunately for The Miz, though, he’s never been in the best shape either, so he’s not got the physique to make up for any lack of natural ring talent.
7. Best Shape: The Velveteen Dream
Patrick Clark first became known to the WWE Universe when he was a competitor on the modern version of the Tough Enough competition in 2015. That competition wasn’t super popular and was once again abandoned upon completion, but Clark impressed enough people in WWE to earn himself a contract with the biggest professional wrestling organization in the world.
After a couple of years of training, Patrick Clark has re-emerged down in WWE’s developmental brand NXT and is now calling himself the Velveteen Dream. His athleticism is off the charts as he’s pulling off moves other WWE Superstars could only dream of, his charisma and uniquely flamboyant character are helping him stand out from the crowd, and his fit physique doesn’t seem to hurt matters, either.
6. Worst Shape: Matt Hardy
Ever since the Hardy Boyz emerged as one of the most popular tag teams in WWE history in the late 1990s and lit the Attitude on fire by helping to breathe new life into the tag team division, Matt Hardy has been seemingly struggling to keep a comparable fan following to that of his usually more exciting younger brother Jeff. As the daredevil, Jeff got crowd reactions that Matt simply couldn’t get, but once he showed his wrestling brilliance as “Broken” Matt Hardy in TNA, all that went away.
Matt now seems to possibly be the more popular of the Hardy brothers, but it has all come a few years too late as his body began wearing down years ago. The signs of aging are visible in Matt’s physique, but he also doesn’t seem to be able to move nearly as well as he used to.
5. Best Shape: Finn Balor
When the news broke a few years back that WWE had signed independent megastar Prince Devitt to a developmental contract the wrestling community went completely bonkers. Now going by the ring name Finn Balor, he has yet to disappoint as it seems that everything he touches turns to gold. He was one of the longest reigning NXT Champions of all time and also one of the most popular. If not for an injury that stifled his momentum upon his main roster arrival in 2016, he would likely have a lengthy reign as the Universal Champion behind him now.
4. Worst Shape: Big Cass
Enzo Amore and Big Cass have been one of the most popular tag teams to come out of NXT despite never winning tag team gold. Their charisma and energy are undeniable and they have had a strong connection to the WWE Universe, but recently the decision was made to split the team once it seemed they had done all they would be able to do. Rumors of backstage heat on Enzo and other rumors that Vince McMahon loves Big Cass make it obvious who the breakout star of this former team will be, but it won’t be a pretty sight.
3. Best Shape: Charlotte Flair
WWE announcers often refer to Charlotte Flair as one of the most valuable athletes in all of WWE. That’s a bold statement but there is definitely an argument that seems easy to make considering the major strides she has had. Flair sometimes single handedly helped the women’s division make in recent years. She can wrestle circles around the other women and even most men, proving that the blood flowing through her veins, given to her by her two time WWE Hall of Fame father the “Nature Boy” Ric Flair, is pure gold.
Charlotte Flair is incredibly decorated with an NXT Women’s title reign, a Divas title reign and four Raw Women’s title reigns to her name since getting her start, but she’s also got one of the most impressive bodies of anyone in the company.
2. Worst Shape: Undertaker
Mark Calaway has been making history since his debut as the Undertaker in 1990. His campy mortician gimmick was never expected to catch on, but it did just that and became perhaps the most recognizable figure in the entire industry. As a result of nearly thirty years of being the best in the business, the Undertaker can lay claim to being the most respected entity in all of professional wrestling with a plethora of World Championships and a legendary WrestleMania win ratio that will never be duplicated.
WWE has been pushing the rumor that the Undertaker retired at WrestleMania this year without actually coming out and saying it, which probably means he’s actually not retired so we can expect to see him again. He might want to reconsider though, as the last few times we’ve seen him time seems to have finally taken its toll on his physique.
1. Best Shape: Jinder Mahal
Up until not even a year ago, everyone was convinced that Jinder Mahal had reached his peak in WWE. The former member of the comic relief air guitarist trio 3MB seemed to have hit rock bottom in WWE’s eyes and the company showed no interest in ever making a star out of him. Then Mahal shocked the world when he defeated Randy Orton live on pay per view and won the WWE Championship, proving that miracles do indeed happen.
No one ever expected Jinder Mahal to be a title holder in WWE, let alone become the face of SmackDown Live, but he has done just that. He didn’t just surprise everyone by winning the WWE Championship, though; when Mahal returned to WWE in 2016 he did so with a brand new physique that put everyone else in the company to shame.
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