The legendary Japanese Superstar explains his shocking post-match beatdown of former friend Kassius Ohno.07/26/2017 - 13:15
Kassius Ohno tells NXT Insider what's on his mind heading into tonight's match against longtime peer Hideo Itami.07/26/2017 - 11:45
The 20 most impressive physiques in WWE history
WWE Superstars come in all shapes and sizes. Some are taller than others and they all tip the scales at varying weights. However, each competitor maintains a level of physical fitness that is suitable for their needs. Superstars also maintain high levels of fitness based on their past experiences through athletics or bodybuilding. No matter their training regimens, WWE Superstars uphold the highest standards of competition and physical perfection.
WWE Classics looks through the history books to rank 20 of the most impressive physiques of all time. Check out the list and let us know who you think ranks among the most physically fit Superstars in the comments section below and on Facebook.com/WWEClassics.
Lance Storm is highly regarded as one of the greatest technical wrestlers of all time. At just shorter than 6-feet tall, Storm didn’t exactly fit the mold for an industry dominated by larger-than-life competitors. Yet, he honed his craft and worked hard to balance his outmatched size with impressive physical conditioning.
The Canadian Superstar’s training and physique gave him an edge against competitors, as he managed to gain the endurance and agility necessary to battle everyone from highfliers like Rey Mysterio to powerhouses such as Albert. Storm built an impressive resume in ECW, WCW and WWE, becoming a multi-time tag team champion as well as a U.S. and an Intercontinental Champion.
Even today, the Calgary, Alberta–native maintains his perfect conditioning to train the next generation of Superstars at his Storm Wrestling Academy. ( READ MORE)
Dolph Ziggler’s in-ring agility and skills can be partially attributed to the top physical form that the Florida-native maintains. Ziggler isn’t the tallest competitor when matched up against some other WWE Superstars, but he’s certainly one of the more chiseled. The Showoff’s penchant for physical fitness can be attributed to his accomplished amateur wrestling career before WWE.
Ziggler was a national standout in high school before competing at Kent State University. As an NCAA Division I grappler, Ziggler set a record for most career wins and won championships in three consecutive years. Given his well-rounded past, it’s no wonder that The Showoff maintains top conditioning in WWE.
WWE Superstars always have to be at the height of physical fitness to compete at the top level throughout the year. There are some ring warriors who are more athletic than others, but each competitor remains in peak form. This has always been the case, dating as far back as the 1940s with Antonino Rocca. The Italian-born competitor possessed unbridled athleticism and agility uncommon among Superstars of the time. Rocca kept himself in prime condition and was a noted athlete outside of the squared circle as well.
An accomplished rugby and soccer player, as well as an avid swimmer, Rocca’s extracurricular activities certainly worked to his advantage inside the squared circle. The WWE Hall of Famer is also noted for the cover of “Superman No. 155,” where he is depicted tossing "The Man of Steel" from the ring with ease. ( MORE ABOUT ROCCA)
Competing at a collegiate level in any sport requires an athlete to maintain top physical condition to hold an edge against his or her opponents. This is most certainly the case for amateur wrestling, and Shelton Benjamin is a prime example.
Simply looking at the former Intercontinental Champion would not tell the entire story. Benjamin looked like a bodybuilder, but could move around the ring like a luchador. His agility can be attributed to a decorated wrestling career as a collegiate standout at the University of Minnesota. A two-time All-American, Benjamin was ranked nationally before pursuing a career in WWE.
Beth Phoenix will be the first to tell you that she doesn’t fit the mold of the average WWE Diva. Beth is a powerful competitor with a physique focused more on strength and endurance inside the squared circle than striking poses at a photo shoot. Undeniably one of the strongest WWE Divas in history, Beth doesn’t shy away from challenges, especially when it comes to entering the Royal Rumble Match.
The Glamazon knew from age 12 that she wanted to be a WWE Diva. With her goals firmly set, the Buffalo, N.Y., native became an amateur wrestler before enrolling in wrestling school while attending college. Setting herself apart from other aspiring WWE Divas, Beth hit the weight room twice as hard to maintain a physical edge that would ultimately benefit her career. ( WATCH)
Like many WWE Superstars, Cody Rhodes had a successful career as an amateur wrestler before entering sports-entertainment. Although he had aspirations to wrestle collegiately, Cody shifted course to follow in the footsteps of his father, WWE Hall of Famer Dusty Rhodes.
The son of “The American Dream,” Cody set himself apart from his famously husky pop by achieving a chiseled physique in the weight room. It should be no surprise that the former Intercontinental Champion was once known as “Dashing” for his obsession with his looks. ( WATCH)
"Sailor" Art Thomas
In the 1950s and 1960s, one of the most popular competitors inside the squared circle was “Sailor” Art Thomas. Standing at 6-feet-6, Thomas was a physically imposing Superstar and often challenged “Nature Boy” Buddy Rogers for the NWA Championship. His impressive stature was complemented by incredible quickness, which at the time was rare for a competitor of his size.
Thomas was a veteran of the Merchant Marines and became a renowned bodybuilding enthusiast before embarking on a career in sports-entertainment. Often, he would appear from the crowd, wearing his Merchant Marine uniform and stand up to the less-than honorable tactics of some competitors. His size made him a feared Superstar to cross, and his physical conditioning led to a career lasting more than four decades.
Can you name another 67-year-old corporate titan that has graced the cover of Muscle & Fitness magazine with a physique that men half his age strive for? Mr. McMahon’s physical conditioning is an inspiration for fitness enthusiasts of any age, and WWE’s Chairman has been known to demand nothing less than hard work and dedication in the weight room, just as he does from the boardroom.
After all, the head honcho has put his conditioning to good use, competing against the likes of Shawn Michaels, Bret Hart and Hulk Hogan. With his training regimen before his battle with the “Hit Man” at WrestleMania XXVI as evidence, Mr. McMahon shows no signs of dropping the weights. ( WATCH)
R-Truth has one of the finer physiques among WWE’s current roster of Superstars. With a career spanning 15 years inside the squared circle, Truth has always remained in prime condition for competition. Despite originally focused on becoming a musician, the rapping Superstar began his sports-entertainment career in 1997 and understood the physical conditioning required for such a profession.
Perhaps R-Truth’s motivation remains high with Little Jimmy acting as a drill instructor during sessions in the weight room. Although, the bottom line is that Truth maintains his agility and endurance through peak physical conditioning. ( WATCH)
From the moment he debuted in 2002 to the night after WrestleMania XXVIII when he returned to WWE, Brock Lesnar has proven to be a true genetic freak. The sheer size of the Minnesota native is enough to make anyone quiver in his boots, and his incredible power mixed with his unbridled intensity make him truly fearsome.
Lesnar has always put his genetic gifts to good use. As an amateur wrestler, he won the NCAA heavyweight wrestling championship in 2000 and is a two-time All-American. The Anomaly’s accolades continued when he became the youngest WWE Champion in history in 2002 at age 25. After his initial departure from WWE, Lesnar briefly played with the NFL’s Minnesota Vikings before punching his way to the top of the MMA world. ( WATCH)
When Bill Goldberg made his WCW debut on Nitro in 1997, no one could have predicted that he would become an influential game-changer in the history of sports-entertainment. But no one could deny that the unknown competitor entered the ring looking like a beast.
The University of Georgia alum was a defensive tackle for the school’s football program before being drafted and embarking on an NFL career. Goldberg went on to play for the Los Angeles Rams and the Atlanta Falcons before retiring from football and beginning his legendary wrestling career. His intensity and impressive strength were supported not only by his career choices, but also by the fact that each career required him to be in the best shape possible. ( WATCH)
Batista earned the moniker “The Animal” for his relentless intensity inside the squared circle. The Washington native pursued a career in bodybuilding before trying his hand at sports-entertainment in WCW’s Power Plant. With his size, power and incredible physical attributes, it is still hard to figure out how Power Plant instructor Buddy Lee Parker did not see the potential in The Animal.
While he didn’t make a splash at the Power Plant, Batista continued to maintain his massive and chiseled frame while training to become a WWE Superstar. Initially debuting as a bodyguard for Reverend D-Von, Batista joined Evolution and became the powerhouse of the faction. Of course, The Animal could not be kept caged for long and used his incredible power to overcome his mentor, Triple H, and become a multi-time World Heavyweight Champion. ( WATCH)
The legendary father of The Rock, Rocky Johnson had one of the ring’s most impressive physiques during the 1970s. Before bodybuilding and muscular physiques were the norm in sports-entertainment, Johnson was one of first competitors to adopt the new standard in physical fitness.
Before embarking on a career in sports-entertainment, Johnson trained as a boxer and sparred with two all-time greats — Muhammad Ali and George Foreman. Honing his endurance, agility and strength, The Great One’s father eventually made the move to professional wrestling. With his incredible strength, Johnson became a multi-time NWA champion and one half of the first African-American World Tag Team Champions alongside Tony Atlas. ( WATCH)
WWE Superstar David Otunga may not be the first person you think of when considering Harvard Law–educated litigators. His chiseled, bodybuilder physique certainly won’t help him during a deposition, but it does gives him a physical edge over his competition inside the squared circle.
Although the former WWE Tag Team Champion often covers up his build with a conservative sweater vest and a bowtie, he isn’t shy about showing off his impressive characteristics. The Hollywood A-Lister makes sure the WWE Universe is well aware of his musculature whenever he makes his way into the squared circle. ( WATCH)
Lex Luger’s moniker “The Total Package” stemmed from the fact that in the late 1980s, he was the finest physical specimen in NWA/WCW. Throughout his entire career, Luger remained at the pinnacle of human perfection. Obsessed with his physique, he was known as The Narcissist when he debuted in WWE.
The big man’s focus on his physical characteristics stemmed from a career in collegiate and professional football prior to sports-entertainment. The Chicago native played ball for the University of Miami before playing professionally in the Canadian Football League. Though he was injured when he was on the roster for the NFL’s Green Bay Packers, Luger would play professional football in the USFL — a now-defunct competitor to the NFL. ( WATCH)
When The Rock made his way to the ring for his “Once in a Lifetime” battle with John Cena at WrestleMania XXVIII, he was in the best shape of his career. But even before facing Cena on The Grandest Stage of Them All, The Great One maintained a stunning physique, a trait no doubt engrained in him by his father, WWE Hall of Famer Rocky Johnson.
As part of the famed Anoa’i family, The Rock has always prided himself on being conditioned to be the best inside the squared circle. Still, before he achieved the build of a WWE Champion and Hollywood action star, The Rock was a standout defensive tackle for the University of Miami football team. The People’s Champ was on the field when the Hurricanes won the 1991 National Championship.
Triple H has always strived to be the greatest WWE Superstars of all time. To do so, The Game has remained one of the most physically fit competitors in WWE. When his career was threatened by leg injuries in 2001, The Cerebral Assassin returned stronger and better than ever.
The Game’s focus on his physical conditioning can be traced to his teenage years. Following his high school graduation, Triple H began competing in bodybuilding competitions and was crowned as 1988’s Teenage Mr. New Hampshire. The Cerebral Assassin continued to improve his physical characteristics and even released a book entitled "Making the Game: Triple H's Approach to a Better Body," which featured training advice. ( WATCH)
In terms of physical strength, there is no WWE Superstar more impressive than John Cena. The Cenation leader’s physique is also one of the most impressive in WWE history, a trait he began building years before entering WWE. Before becoming a WWE Superstar, Cena was an NCAA Division III All-American center for the Springfield College football team.
While attending Springfield, Cena pursued his passion for physical fitness by majoring in exercise physiology. After graduation, Cena continued his dedication toward physical perfection by pursuing a career as a bodybuilder. However, the Cenation leader shifted gears to become a WWE Superstar. Judging by his physical prowess and strength, though, he has never left the weight room. ( WATCH)
"Ravishing" Rick Rude
“Ravishing” Rick Rude possessed the most chiseled physique in WWE history. Although his tactics inside the squared circle were often questionable and his arrogance unrivaled, Rude’s stature as the ring’s most impressive physical specimen was undeniable.
The Ravishing One was disgusted by anyone who did not uphold the same standard of physical fitness as himself. When he wasn’t insulting the soft bodies in the audience, Rude made a major production out of dropping his robe and showing his eight-pack abs to thrilled female fans and thousands of jealous guys. Throughout his entire career, the former Intercontinental Champion kept himself at a level of conditioning that was simply ravishing. ( WATCH)