50 Superstars from 50 states
It’s time to spice up geography class. Forget the nerds at Rand McNally; we’ve created the ultimate sports-entertainment map, featuring 50 competitors — including one from the 19th century — born and raised in each state in the union. Start exploring! Illustration by Travis W. Simon.
Alabama: Hardcore Holly
The tough-as-nails Bob Holly showed pride in his home state with the Alabama Slam, a signature move that busted the backs of hundreds of opponents during his 15-year WWE career.
Alaska: Yukon Eric
A former champion who competed in the 1940s, ’50s and ’60s, Yukon Eric from Fairbanks, Alaska, famously lost his ear in a match against “Killer” Kowalski, but kept fighting through the pain.
Arizona: “Superstar” Billy Graham
WWE Hall of Famer Billy Graham held the WWE Championship for nearly 300 days in 1977. Only his interviews were as colorful as his tie-dye gear and feathered boas.
Arkansas: Sycho Sid
Sycho Sid captured two WWE Championships and two WCW Championships while becoming the self-dubbed “Master and Ruler of the World.”
California: John Morrison
This former “Tough Enough” winner and master of Parkour claimed the Intercontinental Title on three occasions, reinventing high-risk attacks with his acrobatic mid-air spins and moonsaults.
A 450-pound Mastodon from the Rocky Mountains, Vader played football at the University of Colorado before dominating WWE and WCW, and guest-starring on “Boy Meets World.”
Connecticut: Triple H
Triple H broke onto the scene in WWE as a Greenwich snob, sporting the finest clothes and manners in New England. As he seized control of WWE, the 14-time WWE World Heavyweight Champion unleashed his more cerebral and degenerate sides.
Delaware: Bulldog Brower
The “Delaware Destroyer” competed in Stu Hart’s Stampede Wrestling and Frank Tunney’s Toronto-based promotion before joining WWE in the 1970s, where he established his powerhouse style against the likes of Bruno Sammartino and Ivan Putski.
Florida: Razor Ramon
Miami’s Razor Ramon made being bad look so cool. With his trademark toothpick and swagger, Ramon cut through the New Generation competition to win four Intercontinental Championships.
Georgia: Cody Rhodes
Second-generation Superstar Cody Rhodes — the grandson of a grandson of a plumber — battled against the likes of Randy Orton, Rey Mysterio and John Cena during his nine-year WWE career. His current whereabouts are unknown.
Hawaii: Don Muraco
A former King of the Ring, WWE Hall of Famer Don Muraco could overpower his opponents so easily that he once was able to eat a sandwich mid-match and still win.
Idaho: Torrie Wilson
Boise’s own Torrie Wilson became a staple of the invading Alliance in 2001 and star of SmackDown in the early days of the brand split.
Illinois: The Road Warriors
Hawk and Animal conquered every promotion they competed in, from the AWA and Georgia Championship Wrestling to WCW and WWE. Their iconic Doomsday Device move took down dozens of legendary tandems.
Indiana: Rip Rogers
A multi-time tag team champion, Rip Rogers debuted in the mid-70s in International Championship Wrestling, where he formed the Convertible Blonds trio.
Iowa: Seth Rollins
The first member of The Shield to capture the WWE World Heavyweight Championship, Seth Rollins successfully cashed in his Money in the Bank contract during the main event of WrestleMania 31.
Kansas: “Cowboy” Bob Orton
A second-generation Superstar and father of Randy Orton, Bob Orton sported a cast on his left arm for years, aka the longest rehab ever.
Kentucky: Hillbilly Jim
The 6-foot-7 hayseed from Mudlick, Kentcuky, was a crowd favorite in the mid-80s — appropriate since he debuted by walking through the crowd. One of us! One of us!
Louisiana: Rodney Mack
The hard-hitting Rodney Mack was so skilled at knocking out WWE opponents from 2002 to 2004 that it became his staple to beat challengers in five minutes or less.
Maine: Scotty 2 Hotty
The master of the Worm, Scotty 2 Hotty formed Too Cool with Grandmaster Sexay and won the World Tag Team Championship thanks to an unlikely assist from Joe C, rapper and friend of Kid Rock.
Maryland: Stacy Keibler
Baltimore Ravens cheerleader Stacy Keibler danced her way into becoming the newest Nitro Girl in 1999 before starting a career in WCW and WWE as a successful manager and Superstar.
Massachusetts: John Cena
With nearly as many World Championships (15) as the Boston Celtics (17), John Cena’s refusal to ever back down from a challenge has helped him etch out one of the greatest careers in sports-entertainment.
Michigan: Rob Van Dam
Although he built his legacy in Philadelphia bingo halls, Rob Van Dam’s first appearance on WWE TV came when he kissed The Million Dollar Man’s foot at a Live Event in his hometown of Battle Creek, Michigan.
Minnesota: Brock Lesnar
Brock Lesnar won the NCAA Division I heavyweight championship at the University of Minnesota in 2000, then proceeded to unleash his freakish strength in WWE.
Mississippi: Uncle Elmer
There’s no such thing as a perfect WWE wedding, and Uncle Elmer’s 1985 nuptials set the standard, from Jesse Ventura’s scathing speech to the ensuing food fight.
Missouri: Randy Orton
From the adopted home of legends like Sonny Liston and Stan Musial emerged a figurative killer of legends, third-generation Superstar and 12-time WWE World Heavyweight Champion Randy Orton.
Montana: Gary Albright
The heavyweight Gary Albright, a member of the Anoa’i family by marriage, won a Montana state championship in 1980 before finding success in Stu Hart’s Stampede Wrestling and Japan.
Nebraska: Gorgeous George
Long before WWE Hall of Famer Gorgeous George moved to Hollywood and became “The Toast of the Coast,” his first steps were taken in Nebraska.
Las Vegas may be the biggest party destination in the US, but a run-in with The Big Guy from Sin City, Nevada, will have you avoiding the glitz and glam of the strip at all costs.
New Hampshire: “Dangerous” Danny Davis
WWE President Jack Tunney relieved Danny Davis of his refereeing duties after he repeatedly showed bias during matches in the late-80s. That’s why Danny was so “Dangerous.”
New Jersey: Bam Bam Bigelow
Whether he was hitting his Greetings from Asbury Park finishing maneuver or teaming with Diamond Dallas Page and Kanyon as The Jersey Triad, The Beast from the East always did New Jersey proud.
New Mexico: Brian “Chainz” Lee
Chainz may have rode onto the scene as a member of The Disciples of the Apocalypse, but a lot of people thought he resembled The Undertaker — especially The Million Dollar Man.
New York: Brooklyn Brawler
The pride and joy of BK — sorry, Jay-Z — The Brooklyn Brawler always sported a beat-up New York Yankees T-shirt when he stepped through the ropes.
North Carolina: Ric Flair
Scientific surveys have shown that North Carolina has the highest concentration of “Woos” by population density in the United States. It’s no coincidence that everyone calls the Tar Heel State “Flair Country.”
North Dakota: Red Bastien
After his successful in-ring career, Red Bastien helped train future WWE Hall of Famers like Sting and The Ultimate Warrior. He also sported one of the greatest mustaches in history.
Ohio: Dolph Ziggler
Years after setting wrestling records at Kent State University, Dolph Ziggler defeated fellow Ohioan The Miz in a “Battle of Cleveland” Match on Raw in 2014.
Oklahoma: Jack Swagger
Hailing from Perry, Oklahoma, Jack Swagger was a two-sport athlete at the University of Oklahoma, winning the Cotton Bowl Classic in football and earning All-American recognition in wrestling.
Beauregarde may have been known as the “Sensation of the Nation,” but he always repped Portland, Oregon, and the Pacific Northwest wrestling scene.
Pennsylvania: Kurt Angle
Kurt Angle always heard the loudest cheers — or in his case, the faintest “You suck!” chants — in his native Pittsburgh, where he forced “Stone Cold” Steve Austin to submit to the Ankle Lock in 2001.
Rhode Island: Chuck Palumbo
A former six-time tag team champion, winning four in WCW and two in WWE, Providence, Rhode Island’s Chuck Palumbo now builds custom choppers.
South Carolina: The Fabulous Moolah
Imagine being a champion for 28 years. It happened. The start of Fabulous Moolah’s Women’s Championship reign predates the formation of WWE, and lasted from 1956 until 1984.
South Dakota: Earl Caddock
Long before Dean Malenko was “The Man of 1,000 Holds” (or Chris Jericho’s “1,004 Holds”), that nickname belonged to Earl Caddock, a pre-World War I competitor from Huron, South Dakota.
Tennessee: Jerry “The King” Lawler
Jerry Lawler is known as the “King of Memphis,” and it’s not an exaggeration. When Tommy Rich, Austin Idol and Paul E. Dangerously cut his hair in 1987, the Mid-South Coliseum rioted.
Texas: “Stone Cold” Steve Austin
The Texas Rattlesnake led the charge of The Attitude Era and taught America two things: 1) Don’t trust anybody, and 2) Chicks dig jean shorts.
Utah: “The Mormon Giant” Don Leo Jonathan
“The Mormon Giant” competed all over the world, but made an especially large special footprint in Canada, where he won the Canadian Tag Team Championship on 18 occasions.
Vermont: Green Mountain Boy
A Civil War veteran, “Green Mountain Boy” John McMahon was a collar-and-elbow style wrestler who competed until the late 19th century at circuses in the United States and Canada.
Virginia: Mojo Rawley
Newton’s first law of motion simply states: An object in a state of hypeness, stays in that state of hypeness. The always hyped Mojo Rawley proves it. That’s just physics.
Washington: Daniel Bryan
An avid Seattle Seahawks fan, Daniel Bryan captured four WWE World Heavyweight Championships before retiring in his home state.
West Virginia: Heath Slater
The leader of The Social Outcasts and host of WWE Game Night, Heath Slater hails from the wild and wonderful state of West Virginia, and brings that fun-loving attitude to the ring every night.
Wisconsin: The Crusher
When you’re known as “The Man Who Made Milwaukee Famous,” it’s safe to say you represented Wisconsin well. The Crusher even credited his ring prowess to his polka skills.
Wyoming: Parts Unknown
Across 50 nifty United States — from 13 original colonies — only one state can claim all of WWE’s strangest Superstars, from The Ultimate Warrior to Demolition. With no competitor hailing from Wyoming, it’s clear the Cowboy State is home to Parts Unknown.