Most Memorable Wrestlers of All Time
His bright mustache and his dark, leathery skin are iconic of pro wrestling in general and '80s-era World Wrestling Federation in particular. But ever since his heyday, Hulk has never stepped away from the ring long enough for fans to forget his awesome stage presence, even when he was showcasing family brawls on his
"Macho Man" Randy Savage
Hogan may have been the break-out star of the WWF world of the '80s, but Savage was never far behind. In fact, Savage lived out his life in the wrestling ring, wowing fans with his flashy style until a few years before his death this year. Just think of Macho Man whenever you bite into a Slim Jim.
Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson
He's probably the pro wrestler who has transitioned best into mainstream movie stardom, taking top billing in action films and comedies alike. But to fans of his wrestling days, he'll always be the guy who kept the People's Elbow in his arsenal of moves.
"Stone Cold" Steve Austin
In a world of heroes and heels, Austin was an antihero, winning fans for his refusal to bow down to the authority of wrestling impressario Vince McMahon or anyone else. He got a cult following of wrestling nuts all proud to spread the gospel of "Austin 3:16."
Andre the Giant
The first ever inductee into the WWF hall of fame, Andre the Giant's story is a tragic one, in which the medical abnormality that allowed him to grow to a massive size ultimately killed him. But during his life, Andre ruled the ring -- and even scored a memorable supporting role in "The Princess Bride."
Jesse "The Body" Ventura
Not every pro wrestler wants to go to Hollywood, but Ventura did just that when he played roles in films like "Predator." No, Ventura had higher aspirations and ultimately ditched his feather boa and his villainous, cheating "in the ring" persona to serve as governor of Minnesota in 1999.
Yeah, pro wrestling isn't necessarily where most people go when they ponder the awesome power that is the T. However, this eventual "A-Team" star first cracked into show business in the WWF, appearing as Hulk Hogan's tag team partner in the first WrestleMania. He's been pitying fools ever since.
Joanie "Chyna" Laurer
Pro wrestling has had its share of ring girl eye candy, but the very buff Chyna stands apart as the first woman to ever compete in the World Wrestling men's division. Following her stint in the ring, Chyna seemed to be moving toward more legit stardom, landing a recurring role on "3rd Rock From the Sun" before moving on to "The Surreal Life" and, finally, more "adult" ventures.
Jericho won fans for eye-catching moves like "Walls of Jericho," but he also drew admirers for his all-around good looks. He parlayed the latter into a stint on "Dancing With the Stars" in early 2011.
He may have missed out on starring in the role he was born to play -- the lead in "Thor," of course -- but that doesn't mean his career hasn't thrived. The man who began his career in the ring as well-mannered aristocrat Hunter Hearst Helmsley has had a successful wrestling career, married Vince McMahon's daughter, Stephanie, and is currently the chief operating officer of World Wrestling Enterprises.
Would you have expected any professional wrestler of having a chance at dating George Clooney? If the rumors are true and Keibler is Clooney's current ladylove, then it would mark yet another surprising phase in life of Keibler, who's already done everything from kicking butt action movies to competing on "Dancing With the Stars" to appearing in her bra and panties in a wrestling ring.
Ric FlairThroughout his years of involvement with various wrestling enterprises, in which he both performed as a wrestler and acted as a manager, Flair made good on his last name and never lost his flamboyant style
In a part of the pop culture world where macho is in major demand, Cena delivers. Not only is he a terror in the ring, but he also went military as the lead role in the film "The Marine," and also performed for a hip-hop album. All he needs is a monster truck, and he'd win the masculinity contest.
The Miz (aka Mike Mizanin) stepped into the pro wrestling world with an existing fan base from his days on MTV's "The Real World," which actually documented the genesis of his ultra-macho "Miz" persona. In 2010, this reality star extraordinaire won the WWE Championship.
"Captain" Lou Albano
No, this isn't Albano in his wrestling guise, but it's still a pretty great pop culture footnote: He played Cyndi Lauper's dad in the music videos for "Girls Just Want to Have Fun," "She Bop" and the theme to "The Goonies." Albano, who also starred as Super Mario in a TV show based on the games, wrestled for nearly 40 years before passing away in 2009.
Lest you only think of McMahon as chairman and CEO of World Wrestling Enterprises and one of the minds who has most shaped pro wrestling into what it is today, McMahon occasionally stepped into the ring himself. What a great guy he is, allowing the regular roster of grapplers the chance to take down their own boss.
Bret "Hitman" HartHe had a successful 25 years in the professional wrestling circuit, but even more, Hart deserves praise for having a trademark look -- consisting of pink, black and mirrored sunglasses -- that somehow didn't look completely goofy
The guy's career hasn't significantly extended beyond the wrestling ring, but he doesn't really need to branch out. In a world of brightly colored spandex and bronzed pecs, The Undertaker brings a brand of creepy that sets him apart.
Rowdy Roddy Piper
He debuted in the ring in 1969 and hasn't retired yet. But more than just a talented grappler, Piper has managed to embody the stereotype of the raging Scotsman and introduce generations of wrestling fans to the magic of kilts and bagpipes. He also starred in the B-movie awesomeness that is "They Live."
Mae Young and The Fabulous Moolah
The lovely ladies of wrestling owe a great debt to pro wrestling trailblazers like Mae Young (left) and The Fabulous Moolah, who blazed the trail to make the sport open to both genders. These two -- who began wrestling in 1939 and 1949, respectively -- were the subjects of a 2004 documentary on lady wrestling, "Lipstick & Dynamite, Piss & Vinegar."