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20 Outfits That Made a Statement
Superstars are known for their flashy ring and entrance attires. It’s what makes them stand out from other entertainers and athletes. However, there are certain occasions during their career when words or actions just don’t suffice in getting their message across. Sometimes, they need to wear something that makes their opponents take notice. These 20 outfits made the Superstars wearing them stand out in history ( PHOTOS | VIDEO PLAYLIST).
Ric Flair at WrestleMania XXIV
In the months leading up to WrestleMania XXIV, it was fight or flight for Ric Flair. Mr. McMahon gave Flair an ultimatum for every match he took part in: win and your career continues, lose and you have to retire. With no desire to hang up his boots, “The Nature Boy” faced the best WWE had to offer and soon issued a challenge to Shawn Michaels for The Show of Shows.
One night after his induction into the WWE Hall of Fame, Flair faced the toughest battle of his career. He had all eyes on him in Orlando, Fla.’s Citrus Bowl, and not just because of the magnitude of the match. “The Nature Boy” walked that aisle in one of the flashiest robes in sports-entertainment history.
A dark blue robe, which looked to be adorned with more feathers than all of Flair’s previous robes combined, made “The Nature Boy” stand out. When he got in the ring, he stood in the center and spread his arms out. Sequined wings flowed from under his outstretched arms, reflecting the lights of WrestleMania and the flash bulbs of the WWE Universe. Though he lost that match and retired ( WATCH), on that night, Ric Flair shined like never before.
Bradshaw becomes JBL
Bradshaw had established himself in the eyes of the WWE Universe as a no-nonsense Texas brawler, in the vein of Terry Funk and “Stone Cold” Steve Austin. However, it had been noted that beneath the blue jeans, he was a very successful investor, building a portfolio that would have him set for life. Despite this, Bradshaw never flaunted his wealth, which made his attitude change in 2004 all the more surprising.
Going from a T-shirt and jeans to trunks and a white cowboy hat, Bradshaw embraced his inner tycoon, transforming into JBL. Arriving to the ring in a white limousine adorned with horns, JBL had no problem sticking his vast fortune directly into the face of the WWE Universe.
While his newfound arrogance didn’t win him any fans, it did net him a great deal of success. After changing up his style, JBL won the WWE Championship, the Intercontinental Championship and the United States Championship. ( WATCH)
Adrian Adonis becomes "Adorable"
Adrian Adonis built his name on being a tough guy. The biker from New York City kept his ring attire simple, wearing black trunks and boots with a leather jacket he removed before the bell rang.
As 1986 approached, Adonis’ demeanor changed. The former World Tag Team Champion began wearing bows in his hair and bequeathed his leather jacket to “Rowdy” Roddy Piper. Eventually, he began wearing heavy makeup and traded in his black gear for bright pink tights and boots, along with fashionable hats and scarves. ( WATCH)
The new, “Adorable” Adrian Adonis was questioned by many of his former peers, who weren’t sure what to make of his confusing evolution. Adonis used the confusion to his advantage. While his opponents were distracted by the makeup and unusual attire, Adonis was still the same hard-hitting brawler. Before they knew what ran over them, Adonis had put them out with his “Good Night, Irene” sleeper hold.
The Awesome One had been the butt of jokes made by the WWE Universe and his fellow competitors for much of his early career. His outlandish hairstyles and garish ring gear made him an easy target. Still, The Miz believed he was destined for bigger and better things in sports-entertainment and was willing to do anything to get there. ( WATCH)
He ditched his baggy jean shorts for trunks with his new logo on them and kickpads to match. Though he looked like the Superstar people wanted him to be, The Miz never changed one thing: his attitude. He never stopped telling the WWE Universe he would be the best in the industry. With a new look and the brash demeanor to back it up, The Miz became truly awesome when he defeated Randy Orton to become the WWE Champion in December 2010. ( WATCH)
The Undertaker at Survivor Series 1996
Paul Bearer and Mankind thought they had rid WWE of The Undertaker when they buried him alive in October 1996. Needless to say, the sadistic brawler was surprised to find himself in a match against The Phenom the following month at Survivor Series. Mankind and his manager weren’t sure what to expect when they stepped in the ring inside Madison Square Garden.
When the lights went out and the familiar tolls of the funeral bell echoed throughout MSG, WWE fans focused their gaze on the entrance, only to find no Phenom. Ring announcer Howard Finkel introduced The Deadman, who was still absent. Then, a single spotlight shone on the rafters, casting the shadow of a bat on the arena. Fans held up lighters to catch a glimpse of The Undertaker, who descended from the top of Madison Square Garden. ( WATCH) He spread his arms wide, revealing a vest with wings sewn into it.
Like a certain dark knight, The Undertaker glided into Gotham, ready to vanquish its most hardened villains.
Ricky Steamboat becomes "The Dragon"
Ricky Steamboat earned the moniker “The Dragon” for his martial arts prowess, as well as a slight resemblance to movie legend Bruce Lee. Steamboat took his nickname from Lee’s film “Enter the Dragon,” and began wearing a gi and headband to the ring. The nickname was fitting, though no one ever expected him to take the nickname literally.
When he returned to WWE in 1991, Steamboat did exactly that. He entered the ring with a cape attached to his hands, so when he opened his arms, it resembled a dragon’s bright yellow wings. A long tail protruded from the back, to go with the scale-emblazoned red tights he wore.
“The Dragon’s” animalistic qualities didn’t stop with his outfit, though. The future WWE Hall of Famer carried a torch with him to ringside. The arena lights went out as he climbed the top rope and brought the flame to his lips, breathing out fireballs that made the WWE Universe collectively gasp. ( WATCH) Steamboat was literally showing a new fire in the ring, which often spelled bad news for his opponents.
Jerry "The King" Lawler at WrestleMania XXVII
Jerry “The King” Lawler reveled in being sports-entertainment royalty. For decades, he basked in the limelight, heading to the ring in regal robes and ornate crowns. However, when his in-ring schedule wound down and he focused more on being a color commentator, “The King’s” wardrobe lightened up a bit. He soon retired his kingly coats for shirts decorated with crowns and other royal regalia.
However, when Lawler became embroiled in a bitter rivalry with his broadcast partner, Michael Cole, a switch was flipped inside “The King.” With every one of Cole verbal barbs, every crack about his late mother, Lawler found himself reverting to the old “King.” He knew that when he got his hands on Cole at Wrestlemania XXVII, he would need to send him a message that this wasn’t Jerry Lawler, the announcer, this was WWE Hall of Fame competitor Jerry Lawler.
He exemplified his royal stature in his entrance attire. With a crown reminiscent of his days in Memphis, Tenn., in hand, “The King” marched to the ring with purpose. A marvelous shoulder piece encased his regal figure, with a majestic red cape flowing behind him as he prepared for battle. If Cole didn’t get the message before, he had to have known at that moment that he was in for the fight of his life.
Kane returns with his mask
The Devil’s Favorite Demon has gone through several evolutions during his 15-year career in WWE. Whether it was learning to speak or losing his mask, Kane changed quite a bit. Somewhere along the way, he felt he lost the qualities that made him a monster. After Mark Henry inducted him into the Hall of Pain, the demonic Superstar set out on a quest to regain his inhumanity.
He returned to WWE in December 2011, with a surprise attack on John Cena. What shocked the WWE Universe most, though, was Kane’s frightening new attire. His ring gear was adorned with stitches, much like a corpse after an autopsy. The crowd was silenced as The Big Red Monster decimated Cena, while hiding his face behind a metal welder’s mask. When carnage ended, Kane removed the massive helmet to reveal his new face, a red, skin-like mask. It was reminiscent enough of his original appearance to tell the WWE Universe that The Big Red Monster was back. ( WATCH)
Dusty Rhodes' polka dots
“The American Dream” had never been one for flashy ring gear. A pair of black trunks and cowboy-style wrestling boots suited the son of a plumber just fine. When he arrived in WWE, however, Rhodes’ choice in ring gear was surprising to many longtime fans of the former NWA World Champion.
Rhodes still wore his black trunks, but added a little flair to them. He had bright yellow polka dots sewn in, also adding a polka-dotted shirt and headband to his attire. Many thought this made the future WWE Hall of Famer a joke. But “The American Dream” endeared himself to a new group of fans, the WWE Universe. Engaging in heated rivalries with The Big Boss Man and “Macho Man” Randy Savage ( WATCH), Rhodes undoubtedly proved that the clothes didn’t make the man.
The Undertaker at WrestleMania XXVIII
In the weeks leading up to WrestleMania XXVIII, The Undertaker hid his face from the world. Ominous videos announcing his return to challenge Triple H showed The Phenom cutting off his long hair. When he came back to Raw, fans wanted to sneak a look at The Deadman’s new ’do. However, he hid behind the hood of his haunting robe, his voice booming out from under it, daring The Game to meet him inside Hell in a Cell.
Once The King of Kings accepted his challenge, The Undertaker knew that it would take something big to get inside The Cerebral Assassin’s head in a match with his unprecedented WrestleMania streak on the line. After weeks of anticipation, The Deadman accomplished just that.
The Undertaker approached the ring in a full-length leather coat, with a black velvet hood covering the face fans had been yearning to see. The jacket, adorned in metal studs, straps and large, protruding spikes, cast a dark shadow across Sun Life Stadium as flames arose from the stage. The Phenom had officially returned to the ring, with a new look and a willingness to go to any length to protect his streak. ( WATCH)
Demolition made it clear from the moment they stepped foot in a WWE ring that two things were on their mind: pain and destruction. The face-painted brawlers donned unusual gear to prove that to their opposition. ( WATCH)
Ax, Smash and Crush came to the ring covered in black leather and metal spikes from head to toe. They wore expressionless masks that covered all but their eyes, hiding the intimidating war paint beneath. Demolition even had spiked gauntlets covering the fists they used to deal out damage. Fortunately for their opponents, the three-time World Tag Team Champions had to take off their frightening gear before the beatings began.
Triple H at WrestleMania 22
The Game’s match against John Cena at WrestleMania 22 was one of the most hotly anticipated bouts in history. Triple H used the disdain for Cena shown by portions of the WWE Universe as a method of getting under the WWE Champion’s skin, as well as demonstrating why they call him The Cerebral Assassin.
However, Triple H needed a way to show the Cenation leader that once the bell rang on The Grandest Stage of Them All, the mind games were over and the real battle would commence.
When The Game’s music hit, he rose up from beneath the stage, sitting on a throne etched out of stone. He menacingly looked out over the arena from beneath a metal crown covered in skulls. With a fur pelt draped over his massive shoulders, The Cerebral Assassin looked more like Conan the Barbarian, but his message was clear: The game had just begun. ( WATCH)
No one was quite sure what to make of Goldust, one of the most controversial Superstars in WWE history. The son of “The American Dream” Dusty Rhodes, The Bizarre One was the exact opposite of what anyone expected him to be.
The cinema-obsessed Superstar came to the ring in a gold robe, decorated with white feathers. His long, golden hair was a ruse, as he pulled off the wig before each bout. He removed his robe to reveal a full gold bodysuit. Goldust somewhat resembled a living Oscar, aka the Academy Award.
With his opponents bewildered by his unusual attire, Goldust was in control of any match before the bell rang. ( WATCH)
"Macho Man" Randy Savage at WrestleMania IV
Most Superstars are known for one outfit that makes them stand out from the pack, like Hulk Hogan’s red and yellow gear or Bret Hart’s pink and black ensemble. In the case of “Macho Man” Randy Savage, one just wasn’t enough.
Savage had a wealth of flowing, sequined robes and ring outfits. On most nights, he only got to show off his style once. However, WrestleMania IV’s WWE Championship tournament gave the “Macho Man” the potential opportunity to flaunt his extravagance four times, should he advance to the finals.
He approached the ring for his opening round match against Butch Reed decked out in a stunning blue robe. The lights in Atlantic City, N.J., reflected off the silver writing on the back, which read “Macho Man.” For his quarterfinal bout against Greg “The Hammer” Valentine, Savage arrived decked out in a rainbow coat that probably blinded a few people in the front rows, with its pinks, blues and yellows shining bright.
Randy Savage was all business in the semifinals, donning a black cape with turquoise trim and a pair of his trademark sunglasses on the back, declaring that “Macho Madness” was in Trump Plaza. After defeating The One Man Gang, just one bout stood between Savage and sports-entertainment’s ultimate prize.
Savage knew he could out-do his opponent, The Million Dollar Man, and his white sequined tuxedo. He dug into his arsenal of capes and pulled out a bright white number that made him the center of attention. Underneath were his iconic orange trunks and yellow boots. One epic bout later and WWE’s flashiest Superstar was the new WWE Champion. ( WATCH)
And we can’t forget about the stunning Miss Elizabeth. Savage’s valet pulled off four wardrobe changes, as well, wearing a matching dress for each of “Macho Man’s” elaborate outfits.
Ultimate Warrior at WrestleMania VII
Ultimate Warrior was known for his outrageous outfits. His color choices made him look like a neon blur as he raced toward the ring. But the WWE Universe had never seen the Warrior make such a big deal out of one of his contests that he based his attire around it.
They also never had the time that they were allowed at WrestleMania VII to admire his gear. Facing "Macho King" Randy Savage at The Show of Shows in a match where the loser would be forced to retire, The Ultimate Warrior slowly paced to the ring, giving those watching an opportunity to gaze at the intricate vest he was wearing. Covered in his trademark tassels, the back of the full-length garment had highly detailed, airbrushed images of Savage and Warrior, standing nose-to-nose, on the brink of battle.
In addition, the face-painted maniac had his face printed on one of his kneepads, and "Macho King's" on the other. In a bout with the careers of two of WWE's most iconic Superstars on the line, Ultimate Warrior ensured that the epic struggle would stick with him forever.
Rick Rude's tights with Cheryl Roberts' face
“Ravishing” Rick Rude had it all. A perfect body, tons of confidence and the brute force necessary to succeed in WWE. Although Rude found victory quite often, he enjoyed playing mind games with his competition. This often came in the form of his tights, which he loved to have printed with his opponents’ faces or something else distracting. For example, when he challenged for Ultimate Warrior’s Intercontinental Title at WrestleMania V, Rude had the championship printed on his tights and left the ring that night with the title around his waist.
Another example came several months before. The Ravishing One’s eye was caught by a particular lady in the crowd, who just happened to be Jake “The Snake” Roberts’ wife, Cheryl. “The Snake” obviously didn’t take kindly to Rude’s unwanted advances and sought retribution to maintain his wife’s honor.
Rude knew he had struck a nerve with Roberts and could dig a little deeper. He soon revealed a new pair of tights that shocked everyone who laid eyes on them. The Ravishing One had airbrushed Cheryl Roberts’ face on the front, much to the chagrin of Roberts. Needless to say, Rude didn’t get to wear those very often, as “The Snake” ripped them off his rival’s body. ( WATCH)
For more than a decade, red and yellow had become synonymous with the power of Hulkamania. Hulk Hogan embraced his trademark colors, incorporating them into everything he wore to the ring. Hulkamaniacs flocked to arenas wearing T-shirts and bandanas and waving foam fingers in support of the man with 24-inch pythons. However, everything changed on July 7, 1996. Betraying WCW and his longtime ally “Macho Man” Randy Savage, Hogan joined up with rebels Scott Hall and Kevin Nash to form the infamous New World Order. ( WATCH)
The red and yellow–clad Hulkster was no more as he ditched all color from his wardrobe. The newly dubbed Hollywood Hogan made black and white his trademark colors, with The nWo followed suit. Hogan also donned a black beard that clashed with his blond handlebar mustache. Wearing long tights with lightning bolts striking down the sides and boots with his visage airbrushed on them, Hollywood Hogan let it be known that The Hulkster was now nWo 4-Life. ( WATCH)
Rey Mysterio at WrestleMania 22
The Master of the 619 shocked the WWE Universe by winning the 2006 Royal Rumble, earning a World Heavyweight Title opportunity at WrestleMania 22. However, because of his size, many pegged Rey Mysterio as an underdog heading into a Triple Threat Match for the championship against Kurt Angle and Randy Orton. He knew he had to do something to show his fighting spirit.
With fellow San Diego natives P.O.D. playing his entrance theme live, Mysterio joined the band atop the WrestleMania stage, wearing the battle gear of an Aztec warrior. He wore chest armor with intricate designs etched in gold. In addition to his trademark mask, Mysterio covered his head with an amazing headpiece, with the beak of an eagle peaking between his eyes. Rainbow-colored feathers stood tall, creating a crown that went all around the work of art atop the masked marvel’s head. ( WATCH)
Embracing his Mexican heritage while showing that he indeed had the heart of a warrior, Mysterio was more than prepared for his daunting challenge, and won the World Heavyweight Title.
Sting adopts black and white gear
For years, Sting was the most colorful personality in WCW. With spiked, bleached blond hair and neon tights to match his multi-hued face paint, The Stinger had loud gear to go with his personality. His legions of fans howled as Sting captured numerous titles in the NWA and WCW.
However, things changed for The Stinger in 1996, during WCW’s battle with The nWo. His allies believed he had turned his back on them to join the rebellious faction. Even after Sting proved them wrong, he felt alone. The despondent Stinger disappeared from WCW locker rooms, hanging out in the rafters of arenas across the country.
What stood out to fans was that all color had disappeared from Sting’s wardrobe. He wore a long, black trenchcoat, and painted his face in all white, save for a few black streaks. ( WATCH) He resembled the lead character from the movie “The Crow,” and was just as mysterious. Nobody had a clue what was going through Sting’s mind, which seemed to be the way he wanted it. The monochrome look worked for The Stinger. The black-and-white warrior terrorized The nWo, eventually unseating Hollywood Hogan for the WCW World Title. Even after he earned the trust and respect of WCW once again, Sting kept the black and white paint for the rest of his WCW tenure.
Shawn Michaels at WrestleMania 25
Shawn Michaels has had plenty of flashy outfits throughout his Hall of Fame career. None made a bigger statement than what he wore prior to his bout against The Undertaker at WrestleMania 25.
The Undertaker was in Michaels’ head, recalling their last bout in 1998, which led to Michaels’ four-year absence from active competition. HBK, however, wanted to prove that he was not afraid of The Deadman.
Descending from the heavens on The Grandest Stage of Them All, Michaels was clad in a long, white coat and hat, dressed exactly like The Deadman, but on opposite ends of the spectrum. ( WATCH) Openly mocking The Undertaker before such a momentous bout showed that Shawn Michaels was anything but scared.