The coolest ring gear in WWE history
There was a time when all a man needed to get in the ring and wrestle was a pair of boots and some black trunks. Of course, that was long before the invention of color television. Or tie-dye. Or spandex, for that matter. Now, a Superstar’s ring gear is as important to their identity as a finishing maneuver or a catchphrase. What would Rey Mysterio be without his mask, or The Undertaker without his dark leather garb?
With that in mind, WWE.com compiled a list of the Superstars with the coolest ring gear in WWE history, because sometimes clothes really do make the man.
Legion of Doom
In their earliest appearances, Hawk and Animal didn’t have the look quite right. There was too much leather, too much flesh and what was up with those hats? But when Animal stumbled upon the ingenious idea of shoving giant spikes through leather armbands, The Road Warriors began to find their groove. Part weight room bullies, part post apocalyptic nomads, the legendary team’s style became the definition of intimidation. What duo was going to stand a chance against two meatheads who looked like they just got done doing deadlifts in Thunderdome? As it turned out, not many.
Save for Bret “Hit Man” Hart, no Superstar was ever more closely associated with the color of their ring gear than Hulk Hogan. From the main event of WrestleMania III to the labels of his own brand of chewable vitamins, The Hulkster became immortalized in red and yellow during his rise to pop culture ubiquity in the ’80s. The colors came to mean something to fans to the point that Hogan’s trademark hues became the sports-entertainment equivalent of the cowboy in the white hat. Later on, after an evil stint in black and white, The Hulkster added feather boas and a weight belt to the mix, but those affectations hardly mattered. All WWE fans cared about was the red and yellow, brother.
See that smiling face emblazoned across Rick Rude’s rear end? That’s an airbrushed image of Jake “The Snake” Roberts’ wife, Cheryl. The Ravishing One — so often namedropped when the subject of best physiques in sports-entertainment comes up — is overlooked when it comes to the psychological game. But Rude was one of the few Superstars who understood that mental warfare didn’t begin and end on the microphone. Employing the backside of his tights to toy with his opponents' emotions, Rude used his gluteus maximus to maximum effect, canvassing everything from the Intercontinental Championship to The Junkyard Dog’s face across his bathing suit area. If that didn't throw a rival off their game, what would?
No Superstar ever covered up as much of their body as Goldust and, yet, no Superstar ever seemed as revealed. Oozed into a skintight suit of gold, The Bizarre One looked like a living Academy Award statue, but he was never as rigid as old Oscar. Slinking around the ring like a predatory cat, Goldust became a different monster in his gear. Stripped of it, he was an aggressive cowboy named Dustin Rhodes. But adorned in his glittering robes and "Children of the Corn" wigs, he was the most unnerving competitor WWE fans had ever seen. That dichotomy made Goldust’s attire more than just ring gear — it was a second skin.
For a heartless monster fueled by hatred, Kane sure knew how to color coordinate. Masked and anonymous under deep reds and ashen blacks that reflected the fury of his traumatic childhood, The Big Red Monster looked every bit as chilling as WWE fans expected The Undertaker's back-from-the-dead half-brother to look. As his appearance evolved through an unmasking and subsequent remasking, Kane held onto his signature colors, forever reminding the WWE Universe of the hellfire and brimstone that turned him into the monster he is today.
Hulking, wild-eyed and splattered in more colors than a man who just survived a paintball attack, Ultimate Warrior looked like a comic book character who found a crack in the ink panel that led to the real world. At a time when sports-entertainment was crowded with overgrown bodybuilders, the competitor from Parts Unknown stood out from the rest of the mesomorphs by dressing up like the toughest guy at Burning Man. All Day-Glo tassels and neon tights, he even swapped out the black leather strap on the WWE Title for a purple one when he won that championship from Hulk Hogan at WrestleMania VI. How’s that for accessorizing?
Had Johnny Cash not already been dubbed “The Man in Black,” the moniker would’ve suited The Undertaker just fine. First lurking to the ring looking like a mortician who just finished prepping a corpse in Dodge City, The Deadman was creep show chic. WWE fans immediately got the sense that he didn’t just wear those embalming gloves — he used them. As time went on, The Phenom’s appearance underwent changes, making him look like everything from a charismatic cult leader to the last guy you’d want to mess with at Sturgis. Through it all, the one constant has been the color black, because The Demon from Death Valley just wouldn’t look right in chartreuse.
"Macho Man" Randy Savage
Randy Savage’s ring gear was always a study in controlled chaos. Early on, it seemed as though his attire had been culled together from things he’d nicked from gym bags in the locker room — a Ric Flair robe here, a pair of “Superstar” Billy Graham’s sunglasses there. Later, his best outfits looked like they were designed by a group of third grade girls on a sugar high. He was an urban cowboy attacked by a bedazzler. A European prince out disco dancing. When he famously married Miss Elizabeth at SummerSlam in 1991, he bathed himself in white and gold and topped off his signature hat with a feather he presumably plucked off an albatross. It was madness, but wasn’t that the point?
Rey Mysterio will tell you there’s a lot of tradition behind his signature masks — and there is — but The Master of the 619 is doing a lot more than just nodding to the past every time he leaps into the squared circle. Operating with a pop star’s sensibility of “never wear the same thing twice,” Mysterio has turned his ring entrances into must-see events by always surprising. Looking like an Aztec warrior one night and the guy from Kiss the next, the masked Superstar knows how to keep things interesting.
Bret "Hit Man" Hart
As the story goes, when Mr. McMahon first spotted Bret “Hit Man” Hart walking across the locker room area in his pink and black tights he fell out of his chair. In that moment, The Chairman knew he was seeing something special. Adorned in electric pink with white and black hearts peppering his spandex, The Excellence of Execution should have looked like a last minute Valentine’s Day present, but he never did. Instead, he looked cool. Daring enough to do something different, Hart appeared unique without ever giving off the unpleasant odor of someone trying to be unique. He even brought credibility to a color most closely associated with newborn baby girls. With that, The Hit Man made his mark.