The 25 greatest nicknames in WWE history
While most monikers for athletes are given (often by the fans) a Superstar’s or Diva’s pseudonym can often be chosen. It’s the exception that proves the nickname rule. Remember the last time you tried to come up with your own epithet? Didn’t work out so well, did it? With that in mind, WWE.com presents 25 of the best handles in the WWE Universe.
The Showoff — Dolph Ziggler
Rule No. 49 for WWE nicknames: Keep it short and simple … Rule No. 49a … so that it can fit on the back of your gear … Rule No. 49b … and back it up every single night in the ring. Dolph Ziggler’s “The Showoff” nickname fits all of the criteria as easily as he makes it look like in the ring.
The All-American American — Jack Swagger
Remember the rule about vocab from school — you can’t define a word with that same word. That applies here, but this redundancy is too amazing. As a former All-American wrestler at the University of Oklahoma, Jack Swagger hammered the point home with his All-American American tag.
The Beast From The East — Bam Bam Bigelow
Although “Bam Bam” conjured images of Barney and Betty Rubble’s son, “The Beast from the East” couldn’t be more fitting for the massive monster from New Jersey, Bam Bam Bigelow, who dominated in ECW, WCW and WWE.
The Rated-R Superstar — Edge
A good nickname should roll off the tongue of a ring announcer (we can almost hear Tony Chimmel saying it right now), and “NC-17 Superstar” just doesn’t have that going for it. Edge earned the Rated-R Superstar name for creating controversy and too many love triangles.
The Glamazon — Beth Phoenix
We’re almost as big a fan of portmanteaus (the combination of two words and their definitions into one new word) as we are of Beth Phoenix. She proved she was a Glamazon, or “Glamorous Amazon” as Santino Marella often said, with three impressive Women’s Title reigns and one dominant tenure with the Divas Championship.
The Ayatollah of Rock ’N’ Rolla — Chris Jericho
No individual (other than a man also nicknamed Y2J) could pull off something so outlandishly ridiculous and ridiculously outlandish than this Mad Max–inspired sobriquet. Fozzy frontman Chris Jericho hinted at his future rockstar status as The Ayatollah of Rock ’N’ Rolla.
The Man That Gravity Forgot — Adrian Neville
The newest WWE nickname is already on our radar and NXT Champion Adrian Neville hasn’t even contested his first WWE match yet. But we’ve got high hopes he can live up to the hype. If you have any doubt that he’s The Man That Gravity Forgot, watch his title win at NXT ArRival.
The Samoan Bulldozer — Umaga
We’re certain construction vehicles aren’t one of Samoa’s exports, but this nickname won’t be pushed around. Umaga barrelled onto the scene in 2006 like a bulldozer by destroying opponents with ease and amassing an eight-month undefeated streak.
The Animal — Batista
From wildcats to mag dogs to dragons, sports-entertainment has so many animals that you might mistake it for a zoo. A simple, classic nickname for any era of sports-entertainment like “The Animal” encompasses all things with four legs and usually makes a lot of noise.
The Funkasaurus — Brodus Clay
Combining a musical genre like funk and a thunder lizard is a thing of beauty. Add to that the backstory of hailing from “Planet Funk” and having Funkadactyls, and it’s no surprise that Brodus Clay was the biggest nickname sensation of 2012.
The World’s Strongest Man — Mark Henry
This is pretty much the opposite of the preceding nickname, but one that is more than hyperbole and has been truly earned. “The World’s Strongest Man” title can never be taken away from Mark Henry. Try telling Henry otherwise and see how that goes.
The Brain — Bobby Heenan
Many WWE nicknames celebrate physical achievement, but “The Brain” was the WWE nickname equivalent of a “my child is an honor student” bumper sticker and one of the few that celebrate intellect. Also, being a so-called “Brain’ is a lot better than being a Weasel.
The Bad Guy — Razor Ramon
In this business there good guys and then there’s, well … “The Bad Guy” was straight and to the point and sounds pretty amazing when spoken with a tooth pick in one’s mouth and an effected Cuban accent. Oye me chico!
The Mouth of the South — Jimmy Hart
Like Bam Bam, rhyming and location-based nicknames are pure gold when they actually work. But in “The Mouth of the South,” we’re also celebrating a specific body part and one of the five senses. See, the “Nose from Melrose” just doesn’t work.
The Man of 1,000 Holds — Dean Malenko
Dean Malenko (also known as the Iceman, which could have easily made this list as well) could cause you excruciating pain every day for more than two and half years without repeating himself. Not that you’d want him to.
The Living Legend — Bruno Sammartino
“Legend” gets tossed around too much these days, but Bruno Sammartino, the longest-reigning WWE Champion, was the embodiment of a myth come to life. He carried the title for more than 4,000 days across only two reigns.
The Bionic Redneck — "Stone Cold" Steve Austin
Jim Ross coined the term “The Bionic Redneck” for “Stone Cold” Steve Austin after he returned from an injury in 2000 and hunted for — and captured — the WWE Championship at WrestleMania X-Seven. Honestly, a cyborg in denim shorts and camouflage running amuck sounds like our next favorite summer movie franchise.
The Viper — Randy Orton
“The Legend Killer” is badass, but it only accounts for part of Randy Orton’s career. And “Apex Predator” sounds dangerous, but a Viper strikes just like Orton does with an RKO: scary, savage and sneaky all at once.
The Dirtiest Player in the Game — Ric Flair
The “Dirtiest Player in the Game” tells you exactly what you’re going to get when you square off against 16-time World Champion Ric Flair. Of course, that’s a rake to the eyes and an effective low blow to the crotch.
The King of Kings — Triple H
As Mel Brooks taught us, “It’s good to be the king.” But wouldn’t it be even more impressive if your entire kingdom were made up of other kings? Triple H showed he was The King of Kings at WrestleMania 30 when he surveyed his kingdome on a throne.
The Heartbreak Kid — Shawn Michaels
Cute? Check. Sexy? Check. Moves that really move them? Check. Kid status? Well, we’ve been calling Shawn Michaels the “Heartbreak Kid” since he was in his late 20s. But somehow it works and always will.
The Deadman — The Undertaker
You’ve heard the saying, “He’s the man.” The Undertaker embodies all that, except that he’s, well, not exactly alive. That being said, we’re not here to discriminate against zombies or the living-impaired or whatever he prefers to be classified as.
The Excellence of Execution — Bret Hart
This nickname not only has some great alliteration, but it’s also to the point, just like the technically sound Bret Hart. The Calgary, Alberta, native could twist any opponent into a pretzel and competed in his share of five-star matches, earning the “Excellence of Execution” moniker.
The 8th Wonder of the World — Andre the Giant
The Great Pyramid of Giza. The Statue of Zeus (not the wrestler) at Olympia. The Colossus of Rhodes (also nothing to do with sports-entertainment). For the longest time, the world only had seven “Wonders.” Then along came a Giant, and he changed that and WWE forever.
The Champ — John Cena
Being WWE World Heavyweight Champion is the highest honor one can apsire to achieve in sports-entertainment, and John Cena has done it more times than we have fingers. With 14 World Championship reigns in only 11 years, Cena proved he will always be “The Champ.”