Welcome, everyone! It’s the Dash Man, let’s get ready for Halloween! The month of October is still going strong, so why not do a little Top Ten? Since my latest review of Rob Zombie’s ‘The Haunted World Of El Superbeasto’, I’ve been inspired to do something a little different this time around. Some of you may not know this, but…*exhales* I’m actually quite the big pro-wrestling fan.
Yeah, yeah, yeah, whatever! Say what you will, go ahead. “Wrestling is stupid!”, “Wrestling is fake!”, “Wrestling is for idiots!”, “No one likes Wrestling!”, “Wrestling’s not cool anymore!”, “Wrestling is for kids now!”, I’ve heard it all. Personally, I don’t care and I still watch it whenever I get the chance. So what? Why should I still have to be mocked and vilified for liking pro-wrestling? Yes, wrestling IS fake! In other news, ‘Supergirl’ is fake, ‘Stranger Things’ is fake, ‘Game Of Thrones’ is fake, ‘The Sopranos’ is fake, ‘Gilmore Girls’ is fake, and your precious ‘Harry Potter’ & The Chamber Of Sequels is also fake, so shut up!
Now, to be fair, I was an even bigger fan when I was a kid. As an adult, I watch what’s going on from time to time and have accepted its ridiculousness. When wrestling’s good, it’s awesome. When wrestling’s bad, it’s hilarious. Just think of pro-wrestling as a manly Soap Opera. There are fights, betrayals, overdrawn storylines, twists and turns, shocking returns, John Cena selling a box of cereal, the whole shebang-a-bang. So, with that said, who is my favorite wrestler? Well, I do still have a soft spot for guys like The Rock, Chris Jericho, Shawn Michaels, Sting & Mick Foley, one of my favorite newer wrestlers was CM Punk, some other new guys like Kevin Owens and Seth Rollins are pretty good, and I love how Women’s Wrestling is being taken WAY more seriously nowadays…but you know what’s always intrigued me over the years? When wrestlers get creepy! No…I’m not talking about Hulk Hogan’s sex tape. I mean creepy…as in spoooooky!
As silly as it sounds, these horror-themed wrestlers were actually taken seriously back in the day. Nowadays, they may not be that scary to anyone but are still respected for what they’ve done over the years and are viewed as some of the coolest and most badass wrestlers in the business. Not simply because they incorporate horror elements into their personas, but because they managed to get away with it. Halloween is drawing closer and closer, and it’s bringing the Smackdown with it. These are my Top Ten Favorite Horror Wrestlers! Let’s get ready to RUMBUUUUUULLLLE!!!
Shut up, Arquette.
I think it makes sense that we start this list off with something from the ‘Attitude Era’ of WWF(or “E” for you newbies out there). I don’t think it’s worth mentioning why David William Heath a.k.a. Gangrel makes the list. He’s supposed to be a vampire…Nuff said. But what truly makes him memorable? Not so much his wrestling skills, but his style. This guy used to come out from the fire, he would walk around with a goblet of blood, he had the creepiest eyes, he would pour blood all over his opponents, and he had what was probably one of the coolest and creepiest theme songs from that era. He would’ve done alright as a Singles competitor, but made him even cooler was his own stable(or gang) known as The Brood, which consisted of what would eventually be known as two of the greatest tag teams in wrestling history; Edge & Christian, and then the Hardy Boyz.
Gangrel may not have had as much success as he deserved back in the day, but he’s always managed to make quite the impression during the Attitude Era, a time where it was encouraged to be as outlandish, violent, offensive, and cool as possible, in hopes of beating WCW for rating supremacy during the Monday Night War. Not only do I consider Gangrel one of the unsung heroes of the Attitude Era, but also a great way to kick off this list.
#9-“The Demon King” Finn Balor
Coming in at #9 is one of the newer and more creative performers on this list. Well okay, I might actually be cheating a little with this one. At a very young age, Fergal Devitt a.k.a. Prince Devitt had already received worldwide recognition in pro-wrestling. Once he came to the WWE developmental promotion, NXT, things just got even better from the young Irishman as he became the longest reigning NXT Champion to date(at 292 days). If I were to do a normal Top Ten of my favorite wrestlers of all time, this guy would also be on that list. But you wanna know what earns him a spot on this list? The rare occasions when he slaps on some body paint and becomes his alter-ego, The Demon King.
First off, the idea of someone with a split personality is already kind of creepy. Second, even Devitt’s character’s name “Finn Balor” comes from numerous stories in Irish Mythology. Okay, that’s pretty badass. Finally, the amount of time and creativity going into his body paint is absolutely phenomenal. Throw in one of the coolest theme songs in recent history, and the already athletically-gifted indy-star becomes a creepy and even more enigmatic performer.
However, it is a shame that we don’t see this side of Finn Balor that often as it may be used mainly for PPV events and Devitt himself is going through physical therapy after getting injured from this year’s Summerslam. So Finn Balor, if you’re reading this, here’s to a speedy recovery. I hope we get to see more of you in the future, I hope we get to see great things now that you’re on the main roster, and I hope we get to see the return…of the Demon King.
You may not have believed in stories about the Boogeyman, but you were definitely grossed out by them. I’m sorry, but Marty Wright is one screwed-up individual. Let’s not forget people…he ate live worms! Live Worms! That is already creepy as hell. Come to think of it, I don’t know what’s creepier. The fact that he ate those worms or the fact that he could make you believe that he enjoys it. He also ate a mole off a woman’s face, he would spit worms back at people, he would smash a clock over his head, he did that weird voodoo-dancing walk thing down the ramp. I hate to sound cruel but…I’m surprised he’s married to a woman who has no problems kissing that mouth.
Too bad we never did get to see this character go any farther than a couple of random appearances creeping out other wrestlers. Aside from the friggin’ worm-eating, The Boogeyman had so much charisma that you believed that he was truly deranged…well, he was deranged. Because he ATE LIVE WORMS!!!
Yep…another wrestler with a Vampire gimmick. As if walking out with the friggin’ Misfits wasn’t enough to cement his horror status, Ian Hodgkinson a.k.a. Vampiro has wrestled pretty much all over the world; from Mexico to Japan. However, he’s probably most well known for his time back in WCW and as the current color commentator for Lucha Underground on the El Rey Network. Also known as the “Canadian Vampire”, Vampiro would put on some of the most hardcore matches I’ve seen in a long while. Sorry Gangrel, but Vampiro was bloodier.
While semi-retired from wrestling, he’ll still pull out the corpse paint once in a while and put what’s left of his body on the line, in hopes of putting on one hell of a show for the fans. I’ve watched Vampiro for years and he has nothing but the utmost respect from me. Now, he’s also earned a spot on this list. Keep rocking out, El Vampiro!
Speaking of Lucha Underground, if you never checked out this show, it’s friggin’ amazing and it practically made me a fan of wrestling again. Now, allow me to introduce you to one of the most dominant warriors in the Temple. Also known as Ricky Banderas over in Mexico, I personally feel that the man struck gold when donned the mask and became “1,000 deaths”. Think of Mil Muertes as the Mexican Undertaker, and almost just as dark and destructive. Especially when standing side-by-side with the lovely Catrina & his Disciples of Death.
Just check out his “Grave Consequences” matches, they’re so theatric and eerie, it’s awesome! He’s big, powerful, aggressive, mysterious, and like an 80s slasher villain…he always comes back. Definitely one of the coolest wrestlers from Lucha Underground.
#5-Bray Wyatt…AND The Wyatt Family
I know, I’m cheating again. Can you blame me? I’m perfectly confident in the self-proclaimed “New Face Of Fear”, but I feel that Bray Wyatt is at his best and at his most destructive as the ringleader of his demented, bearded, backwoods cult. Aside from being a stiff in-ring performer(“stiff” meaning hard-hitting in wrestling terms), what truly makes Bray Wyatt so unique is his cryptic and pseudo-poetic way of talking. The way he strings along his messages along may be confusing to some, but that’s also kind of the point if you think about it. Bray Wyatt is a villain that wants to make you think. He’s the Eater of Worlds, a seducer, an accuser, and a destroyer.
An amalgamation of Charles Manson and Robert De Niro’s performance as Max Cady from 1991’s ‘Cape Fear’ remake(granted, the Wyatt gimmick is mainly an updated version of Waylon Mercy), this third-generation superstar from the Rotunda family reinvents himself to what is probably one of the most popular new wrestlers on the main roster, despite being a heel. In fact, Bray Wyatt is good enough and creepy enough to make it on the list by himself. But with the combined destruction of Luke Harper and Erick Rowan, you can be sure that the Wyatt Family will bring down the Machine and bring in the darkness…Don’t believe me? Just go up to any wrestling fan, and ask them if there one of the many fireflies. I promise you…Bray Wyatt’s got “the whooole world in his hands, he’s got the whole wide world in his hands”…Run!
#4-Pentagon Jr.(Pentagon Dark)
We’re right back to the Temple, and not a moment too soon! I’ve already stated how Mil Muertes is one of the coolest wrestlers in Lucha Underground, but now allow me to introduce you to my absolute favorite of the entire show. The rest of the wrestlers on this list are “horror” in the more traditional sense, but what makes this Mexican sensation stand out from the rest on this list is his sheer brutality, his look, and of course, his inability to fear anyone or anything. As he leaves nothing but spilled blood and broken bones in his wake, “Zero Fear” is more than just a cool catchphrase with this guy.
Pentagon Jr. was already a Grade-A badass in the ring. But once he took on a new “master” and evolved into Pentagon Dark, that’s when he truly becomes a living nightmare; a bone-breaking, blood-drinking nightmare.
Don’t believe me, just check out his Street Fight with Vampiro and his match with Matanza from the Season 1 & 2 finales, ‘Ultima Lucha’ & ‘Ultima Lucha Dos’, they’re arguably two of Pentagon’s best matches. Whether he’s shedding the blood of his opponents or breaking arms as sacrifices to his Master, there’s never a dull moment when this guy enters the Temple. He may only be #4, but he is my personal favorite from Lucha Underground. He IS Pentagon Jr.! CERO MIEDO!!!
Ahh yes, the Devil’s favorite Demon. So glad that Glenn Jacobs sent that Dentist gimmick of his straight to Hell. Quite literally, in a sense. This character is apparently the son of Paul Bearer and the half-brother of The Undertaker. However, Kane has had a bit of mystique to him as well. Back in the day, he was one of the most destructive forces in the WWF with one of the coolest backstories ever written…excluding the Katie Vick angle because it was stupid, but I’m too afraid to say it to his face.
Most people like to remember the glory days of Kane when he was the mute destroyer, as do I. However, I’m probably one of the few people who actually liked when Kane unmasked. Not to be confused with that moronic Corporate Kane angle, I’m talking Kane when he first took off his mask and wrecked havoc on ALL THE THINGS! In many ways, this unmasked version of Kane was much more twisted, violent, and creepy.
His masks, his wrestling gear, and his immense size will always remain burned into our minds, even long after he inevitably decides to retire. Words cannot describe the impact Kane has had in the Attitude Era, and it’s amazing how he’s still working hard in today’s New Era. When it comes to horror-themed wrestlers, the Big Red Machine has truly set the world of professional wrestling on fire.
I’ve waited so long to finally talk about this guy, you have no idea! Mick Foley is probably my all-time favorite wrestler. At one point, I even wanted to become a wrestler because of this guy. Much like Finn Balor, Foley also portrays himself as suffering from split-personality disorder. But whereas Finn Balor has one alter-ego, Mick Foley has three. The comical hippie Dude Love, the hardcore legend Cactus Jack, and today’s creature feature; a demented yet sympathetic schizo known as Mankind.
Granted Mankind had become slightly more light-hearted and comedic over the years, especially when he teamed with The Rock to form the Rock ‘n’ Sock Connection. Not to say that it’s a bad thing, and that’s mainly due to Mick Foley’s charisma, as well as his inhuman ability to take serious damage all throughout his 20+ year career. But what makes Mankind stand out from Mick’s other personas is his just how he could come off passionate and sincere one minute and become manic and scary at the flip of a dime in his promos. He would just freak out and start choking people, pull his own hair out, squeal like a pig while attacking his opponents, and purposefully harm himself. That used to creep me out, and that’s what I found cool about him. A morbid thing to say, I know. But I mean it in the most respectful way as Good Ol’ St. Mick would do just about anything to put on a great match.
Speaking of great matches, I’d recommend his Hell In A Cell match with The Undertaker from King Of The Ring 1998, his “I Quit” match for the WWF Championship with The Rock from Royal Rumble 1999, his match with Shawn Michaels from In Your House 10, and his WWF Championship match against The Rock from Monday Night Raw(January 4, 1999). Mick Foley is the man, no matter what face he puts on. But when he’s Mankind, trust me…you’ll have a nice day!
…and now, here it is! The number one greatest Horror Wres-it’s The Undertaker…
…Oh, I’m sorry. Were you waiting for some shock entry on this list? Come on, it’s the friggin’ Undertaker! It’s a surprise to absolutely no one. Everyone and their mothers, even people who aren’t all that familiar with wrestling ALL know who Taker is. I’m well aware that everyone may have their own personal favorite that they would put at the #1 spot, and they would STILL place The Undertaker at #1 just out of sheer respect alone. Look back at all of the other wrestlers I’ve placed on this list…where would they be if Mark Calaway never became The Phenom? Guys like Mankind might’ve never had some of their greatest WWE moments without The Undertaker. We would’ve never had some of the greatest Wrestlemania moments AND matches without The Undertaker. Bray Wyatt probably would’ve never been known as the “New Face of Fear” if it wasn’t for the “Original Face of Fear”. Hell, KANE & PAUL BEARER…would’ve never existed without The Undertaker. As wrestling fans, we owe a lot to The Undertaker. It’s the friggin’ Undertaker!
Speaking of Wrestlemania…where were you when The Streak ended? Even just looking at the numbers(23-1) and seeing that dreaded “one” loss at Wrestlemania, the very fact that he was undefeated for so long is still astonishing. But before his loss at Wrestlemania 30, his Wrestlemania winning streak was literally the stuff of legend and nobody could touch it. He’s even in the Guinness World Record for his amazing streak. That’s how awesome the legend of The Undertaker is. It’s the friggin’ Undertaker!
What’s also great about The Undertaker? Throughout his 20+ year run with the WWE, he managed to take a gimmick that would’ve failed with any other wrestler, and made it more successful than ever thought possible. But even when the world of professional wrestling was changing with the times, Taker always managed to adapt along with the times. From the original Dead Man…
To the Lord of Darkness…
To the leader of the Ministry of Darkness…
To the American Badass…
…okay, that was kinda stupid. But then the Dead Man came back!
Actually, I want to go back to what I’ve said before about the other wrestlers on this list. I wouldn’t even be writing this list if it weren’t for The Undertaker. The Phenom has earned the respect of practically everyone who is or was a wrestling fan and has been a part of some of the greatest moments, not just in the WWF/E, but in wrestling history. I can’t even do the man justice, but at the very least, I can do a quick rundown of some of my personal favorite Undertaker matches that have always stuck with me to this day. The Hell In A Cell match with Mankind which I mentioned earlier, but also the first-ever Inferno Match against Kane from Unforgiven: In Your House, his match with Randy Orton at Wrestlemania 21, both of his matches with Shawn Michaels at Wrestlemania 25 & 26, his Wrestlemania 29 match against CM Punk, his Casket Match with Yokozuna from Royal Rumble 1994, and finally, his Hell In A Cell match with Shawn Michaels at Badd Blood. Go, check out those matches if you’re looking to get into the whole wrestling craze or if you just want to relive some good classic matches. Trust me, you won’t be disappointed. How could you be disappointed? It’s the friggin’ Undertaker!
Once again, I’m sorry if this all seems like a long journey just to get to the obvious choice, but sometimes the obvious choice makes a lot of sense. Always shrouded in mystery, always with great matches, always with great music and atmosphere, The Undertaker is a living legend and will always be one of the greatest wrestlers of all time. But today, he will forever be known as the greatest horror wrestler of all time…BECAUSE HE’S THE FRIGGIN’ UNDERTAKER!!!
There you have it, my Top Ten Horror Wrestlers. Do you agree or disagree? Or are there some that I’ve missed? Let me know! Next time…
You again?!? Yes, I’m gonna do Request Time but not now. Just one more article and then it’s all up to the fans to choose the next review, I promise. Now get outta here. I’m looking to learn how to eat fried worms.
Come at me, jabroni. I’m the Best In The World! Until next time, Gotta Dash!
Written by Shane Moose
A special thanks to the three big F’s in my life(Friends, Family & Fans) for helping me get this far, pushing me to go even further and for putting up with me when I try going further than that. To hell with my limitations!
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