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Wrestling's biggest heartthrobs: Hot or not?
Throughout sports-entertainment’s rich history, there have been certain competitors who earned the favor of female fans quicker than the fastest three-count. The screaming that erupted whenever they entered the ring probably made passers-by think Elvis or Michael Jackson were in town. ( PHOTOS)
Whether it was with a chiseled physique, deep blue eyes or a charming smile, these Superstars were the ladies’ choice back in the day. But would these competitors have the same status today? We asked a panel of WWE Divas, including Kaitlyn, Natalya and Rosa Mendes, to offer their thoughts on these heartthrobs. Do they stand the test of time? Let’s find out!
The Fabulous Ones
Part brawlers, part male models, there’s no doubt that Stan Lane & Steve Keirn ( CATCH UP WITH KEIRN TODAY) drove women wild. The high-pitched screams that reverberated in arenas from Minnesota to Miami were deafening as the blond-haired pair made their way to the ring, hugging every lady lucky enough to sit in the front row.
When they weren’t busy battling the likes of The Road Warriors ( WATCH) and The Sheepherders, the sharp-dressed men clad in sequins, top hats and suspenders could be found on the sets of photo and music video shoots. The shoots gave women an eyeful of The Fabs outside the ring, on the beach in Speedos, in a hot tub or hanging out shirtless in a barn. The all-out media assault made Lane and Keirn one of the most popular tandems — among women, at least — in the country.
But does our panel of Divas think The Fabulous Ones could still steal the hearts of women today?
“Wow, I need a glass of water,” Kaitlyn exclaimed when presented with some of Keirn and Lane’s steamier photos. “They’re dreamboats, oh my goodness.”
“They’re built in the front, stacked in the back,” Natalya said, though she did have one strike against The Fabs. “I thought Kaitlyn had bad hair dye; now I’m thinking The Fabulous Ones do.”
There was no hesitation in Rosa’s verdict. “Absolutely, yes,” she declared. “I love the tan, the blond hair and how lean they look. I love their style.”
In a unanimous decision, the Divas have determined that The Fabulous Ones are STILL HOT.
Tommy Rogers & Bobby Fulton joined forces in the mid-1980s and took the territories by storm. The duo, known as The Fantastics, may have taken a small cue in the style department from The Fabulous Ones. Although fans may have noticed another team of attractive men showing up in sequin-covered jackets and bowties, shaking their booties like there was no tomorrow, they didn’t seem to care at all.
The Fantastics did battle across the country with Jim Cornette’s Midnight Express ( WATCH), barnstorming through the Mid-South territory and World Class Championship Wrestling before bringing the heat to Jim Crockett Promotions. Female fans were reduced to tears as Cornette’s duo mercilessly whipped Rogers & Fulton with leather straps. That sadness would turn into joy when The Fantastics got their retribution, however, defeating The Midnight Express for the NWA United States Tag Team Titles.
Though ladies back then screamed themselves hoarse for The Fantastics, our Divas’ reaction was a little mixed.
After some hesitation, Kaitlyn said, “You know what? The jackets are what put it over the top for me. Anyone who can wear those and still be confident is my kind of guy.”
Though Rosa also admired Fulton & Rogers’ style, she thinks the tag team would have benefitted in trying to … fit the look a little better.
“They needed to do a little more cardio,” she said.
Natalya admired The Fantastics’ ring gear, but thinks they could tone it down a little. “The yellow kneepads, with the blue and silver, it’s a little busy, especially with the white boots,” the former Divas Champion explained.
Having sensed some reticence among the Divas, we’re going to say The Fantastics are NOT HOT.
The Von Erichs
During the early 1980s in Texas, being a rival of the Von Erich brothers was a dangerous occupation. Throngs of women packed into the Dallas Sportatorium and other venues in the Dallas–Fort Worth region to see Kerry, Kevin and David Von Erich try and get rid of villains like The Fabulous Freebirds ( WATCH).
However, for the Von Erichs, getting to the ring was almost as monumental a task as the battles that took place inside. As the Texas natives made their grand entrances, ladies would rush toward them, ripping at their ornate ring coats to get themselves a souvenir. The more daring ones would actually grab them by the head and pull them in for a kiss.
Would this trio get the same reaction today? The panel of Divas agreed that they would, but seemed to hone in on one brother in particular.
“Kerry was the heartthrob of the bunch,” Natalya explained. “He was a sex symbol, the Brad Pitt of wrestling.”
Kaitlyn concurred. “I’d let Kerry take me to Chili’s on a Tuesday night,” she said.
A resounding yes from Rosa, along with some positive comments on Kevin and David, means the Von Erichs pass the test. According to these WWE Divas, they’re STILL HOT.
Yes, Magnum TA got his name from a resemblance to actor Tom Selleck, who played the titular Hawaii-based gumshoe Magnum, P.I. in the TV show of the same name. We here at WWE.com don’t see much similarity between the two, but there’s no doubt that wrestling’s Magnum was as admired by women as his Hollywood counterpart.
As Dusty Rhodes’ right-hand man, Magnum stood by “The American Dream’s” side in countless battles against The Four Horsemen. Ladies were steadfastly in the hirsute grappler’s corner as he battled Tully Blanchard over the United States Title. ( WATCH MAGNUM TA IN ACTION)
Could the man who was once pegged to be a future World Champion meet the standards of today’s women? Surprisingly, the Divas are doubtful.
“I like his mustache, but I think he could have committed more to the handlebar,” Kaitlyn said. “The whole package [doesn’t do it for me]; too much chest hair.”
“The mustache has got to go,” Natalya declared. “And the furry chest makes me feel like he’s trying too hard.”
It was Rosa, however, who put any chances of Magnum TA’s modern sex symbol status to rest.
“My mom would think he’s hot, but not me,” she said.
Sorry, Magnum. This ain’t Hawaii, and the Divas have spoken: NOT HOT.
The Rock 'n' Roll Express
There’s no questioning that Ricky Morton & Robert Gibson, The Rock ‘n’ Roll Express, were teen idols. Back in the day, their teenage fan base could have rivaled any rock star’s. Girls packed arenas across the southeast to cheer on Ricky and Robert in the face of adversity, personified in the form of dastardly duos like The Andersons, The Midnight Express ( WATCH) and Rick Rude & Manny Fernandez.
It was their appeal to the teenage crowd that often made The Express an easy target for ridicule. Ric Flair often taunted Morton with training bras, saying that he needed to be more like “The Nature Boy” and hang around “real women.” That led to Flair catching a few beatings at the hands of The Rock ‘n’ Roll Express, while their loyal supporters screamed in approval.
Would any of our Divas have posters of Ricky and Robert hanging on their walls?
“They were bright, colorful and got the job done,” Natalya said. “And they’re pretty cute, too,” she added, noting she’s a big fan of Gibson.
Kaitlyn was a little cryptic in her response. “I would take one-half of that out on a date,” she said. “I’ll let you figure out which half.”
Primo & Epico’s lovely manager was excited to talk about Ricky and Robert with WWE Classics. “I love them, I’m a big fan of theirs,” Rosa exclaimed. Yet despite being all about The Rock ‘n’ Roll Express’ ability in the ring, the former NWA World Tag Team Champions’ looks just aren’t doing it for her.
“I don’t think they’re really hot and sexy, but I love their personalities,” she said.
Ouch. Can you say “friend-zoned”?
Still, Kaitlyn and Natalya have Rosa out-voted, 2-1. So, we’re declaring that The Rock ‘n’ Roll Express is STILL HOT.
This wild-eyed Southern boy took Dixieland by storm in the early 1980s. Tommy “Wildfire” Rich may have been the biggest hero in Georgia Championship Wrestling, earning the respect of men with his refusal to back down and his brawling ability, and getting plenty of love from the ladies for his fantastic blond hair and charming smile.
Rich received plenty of adoration as he fought tooth and nail with “Mad Dog” Buzz Sawyer across the Southern U.S. for nearly two years ( WATCH). But does “Wildfire” get our Divas heated up?
“No, absolutely not,” Kaitlyn said. “He doesn’t even have a tan.”
Natalya agreed. “He definitely needs some help in the style department,” the former Divas Champion observed.
Unfortunately for Rich, Rosa was on the same wavelength as her colleagues. “He needs to hit the gym a little more,” she said. “He has a nice smile, though.”
It looks like the Divas have extinguished “Wildfire.” He has been declared NOT HOT.
Shawn Michaels always had a little Heartbreak Kid in him, even when he was one-half of The Rockers, the high-flying tandem that took WWE by storm in the late 1980s ( WATCH). Michaels & Marty Jannetty stole the hearts of ladies from coast to coast, including one of our panel members — whose uncle, by the way, had a rather ugly rivalry with HBK years later.
“When I was a little girl, I had the biggest crush on Shawn Michaels,” Natalya revealed. “My sister loved Marty Jannetty, so every time The Rockers came on, we raced to our TV to watch them.”
With bright neon ring gear, Michaels and Jannetty stood out from the pack in WWE’s tag team division, but it was one of their physical attributes that made them stand out to our other Divas.
“Love their hair,” Rosa said. “They’d definitely be heartthrobs today.”
Kaitlyn concurred, admiring The Rockers’ teased out trusses.
Our panel of Divas agrees: Shawn Michaels is a Hall of Fame heartthrob, and Marty Jannetty’s there with him. The Rockers are STILL HOT.
The Can-Am Connection
Before The Rockers, there was a short-lived WWE tag team that women went wild for: The Can-Am Connection.
Prior to becoming “The Model,” Rick Martel joined up with muscular Minnesotan Tom Zenk to traverse WWE’s tag team ranks. The pair was instantly successful in the squared circle and, as WWE Hall of Famer Gorilla Monsoon used to say, they certainly didn’t have any trouble finding a date for Saturday night, either.
Their popularity skyrocketed after a huge WrestleMania III win in front of 93,173 people, with many thinking they were on the verge of winning the World Tag Team Titles. However, The Connection was cut off, as Zenk left WWE by the summer. Had they stuck together, would The Can-Ams have been bigger than Hulk Hogan?
“They’ve got it going on,” Natalya said, adding that the pair didn’t need to be flashy with their looks, donning plain white trunks and boots.
“Just the chemistry between them alone makes it a yes for me,” Kaitlyn declared.
Rosa seals the deal for Martel and Zenk. “Absolutely, yes. They’re cute,” she said, especially admiring Zenk’s well-sculpted abs.
Though their time in WWE was short-lived, our Divas think their appeal is lasting. The Can-Am Connection is STILL HOT.