A great name can really help kickstart a wrestler’s career. What are your top five best ring names in professional wrestling history? It can be either a full name or a nickname. They are all personal choices.
B. Dangerous and Brian Damage
Many wrestlers took some strange paths to get to the name that made them famous. A few examples of this are Hulk Hogan (Terry Boulder, Sterling Golden), Sting (Blade Runner Flash), The Ultimate Warrior (Blade Runner Rock, Justice, The Dingo Warrior), and The Undertaker (“Mean” Mark Callous, “Punisher” Dice Morgan, Texas Red, Master of Pain, etc.)
I grew-up not only a wrestling fan, but also a comic book fan, so to me names need to grab the imagination, flow well, and essentially define a wrestler’s personality.
Here’s my Top 5:
5- “Above Average” Mike Sanders
Nothing flashy about the name, but the nickname was golden. It was self-deprecating for a guy who was supposed to me full of himself and I loved it!
4- Bruiser Brody
In a nutshell, alliteration plus a name that sounds like someone you don’t want to screw with. It’s a natural winner.
3- The Widowmaker
A name that was tragically wasted.
It was Barry Windham in his physical prime looking like a killer, although the name was borrowed from a rodeo steer. Rumor has it that had things went differently, The Widowmaker was supposed to get the push that eventually went to The Undertaker.
2- “The American Badass”
Copped from a Kid Rock song, but cool nonetheless. The Undertaker basically found rebirth with this name. I just wish he’d dropped the Undertaker name altogether to complete the reinvention.
Also, I know we were coming out of that era by this point, but The American Badass should have feuded with some dastardly foreign heels and represented the American ideal as an edgy antihero if you ask me.
1- “Total Package” Lex Luger
First off, the nickname is unrivaled in coolness. His moniker was borrowed from Lex Luthor of Superman fame and Luger was always so much better as a heel, so that fit. A Luger was a handgun often carried by the NAZIs, who were the ultimate villains. Also, alliteration is always good.
I am a little embarrassed to admit, that I never picked up on his name in the beginning. He was called ‘The Laughing Man’ Hugh Morrus and yet I didn’t initially get the play on his name. It wasn’t supposed to be like Hugh Morris, but actually Humorous (as in ha ha funny) Hence, the nickname The Laughing Man attached to it. Honestly, I thought that was an extremely creative name.
While I wasn’t a fan of John Nord’s WWF Viking gimmick….I did love the name they gave him called ‘The Berzerker.’ Sure, the Berzerker’s mannerism’s were exactly like that of Bruiser Brody, but it really seemed to fit that character. Of course, it was a whole lot better than his original name of the more generic The Viking, but I’ll never forget the Berzerker name and isn’t that the whole point of a good name?
We really didn’t have enough time to enjoy Dan Spivey’s character and see him develop, but I really did dig the name ‘Waylon Mercy.’ As a kid, I thought the name was so cool and couldn’t wait to see him debut. Unfortunately, Waylon Mercy was wailing mercy due to all his injuries and that was the end of him.
‘Rowdy’ Roddy Piper
The man behind the name is an absolute legend in my eyes and one of the greatest heels of all time. The name just added to his great mystique. He was indeed very rowdy and him coming to the ring with bagpipes made perfect sense. To me, Roddy Piper was one of the very best catchy and marketable names in wrestling.
‘The Nature Boy’ Ric Flair
The name just rolls off the tongue so smoothly and fits the man perfectly. He has a flair for living a lavish lifestyle. He has a flair for being one of the all time greats inside the ring. There is no one better than to carry a last name of Flair than the Nature boy himself.