The world of professional wrestling has been compared to the traveling circus by many superstars over the years, including legendary wrestler Bret "The Hitman" Hart. We more than understand his point, as the wacky characters we see can sure put a smile on our collective faces— or make us terrified to our very core.
Wrestling fans have seen many a character appear in the WWE and other territories over the years, and of course we’re sure that we all have our standouts. But the question has always been posed: Are these wrestlers as tough and terrifying as some of them seem to be, or are they all just a character to be played? Many would say yes, and we’d have to agree, but there are in fact those that you wouldn’t want to mess with just the same, as they seem to give off the impression that they actually are pretty terrifying.
So join us as we take a look at some superstars both past and present that are playing a character, and those that really are as creepy as they seem.
20 Pretends To Be Tough: Braun Strowman
The WWE wants to make this dude look like he's a monster. They've done everything in their power to get that message across, but who are they kidding? This guy's a sweetheart. Just get a load of his social media posts and videos on YouTube! He's also just jumped into a frozen lake for charity for crying out loud, and what more, for a children's cause. Scary monster? More like cuddly bear.
19 Is Actually Terrifying: The Undertaker
Now here's a gentleman that can definitely have a mean streak. He's been in the business for a long time. He's worked, hurt, and delivered time and time again. He's all about respect back stage, and if you don't show it where it's deserved, watch out! This and this alone is why he makes the terrifying side of our list.
18 Pretends To Be Tough: Seth Rollins
You can kind of tell in the way he carries himself and how hard he has to press those bushy eyebrows of his together when he's trying to look angry that he's not that tough. Apparently it's all an act, as we can't see him really being all that upset and clenched up all the time. Besides, what's he got to be so angry about? He gets to spend all his free time with none other than the marvelous and gorgeous Becky Lynch!
17 Is Actually Terrifying: Bray Wyatt
Many would call him this generation's response to The Undertaker, and well, like his horrific characters on the air, Bray Wyatt has been known to be quite serious even back stage. That's not to say he isn't a nice guy. Hardly. But he tends to have that prison yard stare that can be quite effective at having people back off. Don't believe us... just take a look at some Paparazzi shots of the guy online.
16 Pretends To Be Tough: Charlotte Flair
A tremendous athlete. She's tough as nails and can hold her own against anyone, past and present. Like her famous father, Ric, she's very good at playing the part, but is a sweetheart backstage. She's got all it takes to be the best in the business and this trait helps her get there no doubt. This hardly makes her tough, though.
15 Is Actually Terrifying: Vampiro
He most definitely had a short run in the mainstream side of this business, but his run in WCW wasn't all that bad when looked at in retrospect, particularly his feud with Sting. Yes a few mistakes were made, but that story line sure had some potential. If you take a look at recent interviews behind the paint, you'll certainly be convinced of his toughness.
14 Pretends To Be Tough: Dolph Ziggler
If you take a look at some of his Social media blogs and posts, you'll see that this young man wrestles to "pay the bills." This means that he does other things that he loves with his free time, particularly comedy. That's right... this trouble-making heel actually makes people laugh in comedy clubs. He's a convincing heel, but in real life, he's nothing but a hilarious sweetheart.
13 Is Actually Terrifying: Gangrel
Back in the Attitude Era, no one came close to this guy. He played a vampire of all things, but unlike the other members of The Brood faction (Edge and Christian), this guy actually lived and breathed the character he played on screen. He was pretty unapproachable for autographs, but that was the beauty of wrestlers like him... keeping up appearances, even at Walmart.
12 Pretends To Be Tough: Sami Zayn
He too plays a very convincing heel. His promos are very stinging and reminiscent of CM Punk in his heyday, and they border on that fine line of not really knowing if he's serious or not, which is what makes wrestling so exciting to watch, especially when the promos are this great. Apparently, it's all an act, as he too is a very kind individual, and one that you can approach.
11 Is Actually Terrifying: ODB
You haven't seen this woman in WWE, but not to worry, as she just signed with AEW and that's a good thing. She's extremely aggressive in the ring, as her fans definitely saw in TNA. Tough, in shape, and ready for anything, there was nary a man that would want to mess with this woman (and for good reason we might add), and that goes for real life as well.
10 Pretends To Be Tough: Rusev
In the ring, perhaps no one is tougher or stronger. In his classic feuds and match ups with John Cena, this man sure was terrifying, but in real life, he seems to be quite the gentle giant. Now that's not to say that he isn't strong, because he is very strong, but some men put their strengths elsewhere to, like getting a date and finally marrying the likes of the beautiful Lana.
9 Is Actually Terrifying: The Boogeyman
They say you can convince a wrestler to do just about anything. However, we've never seen Triple H eating worms, and he eats, lives, and breathes this business. This man right here used to do just that, and on cue, every time out. It takes a certain type of individual to do that, and "tough" just doesn't hit the mark, but "terrifying" sure gets close enough for us.
8 Pretends To Be Tough: Natalya
First thing's first... this woman is probably the best female wrestler the WWE has ever seen. After all, she is a Hart. That said, she's also a sweetheart the likes of which wrestling fans have ever seen. Yes, she plays a convincing villain, but she has to work hard to seem so mean and terrible when she's a heel. She's convincing, yes, but deep down she's just playing.
7 Is Actually Terrifying: Killer Kowalski
Going way back into the annals of time here, take a look at the man standing next to the then baby-faced Hunter, and we don't mean baby face as in "good guy." We mean he looked so young! Well, the man beside him was Killer Kowalski and in his heyday, no one was tougher in that ring. He once ripped off the ear of a fellow wrestler just like that, and that's a true story! He was actually known as one of the most feared wrestlers of his time.
6 Pretends To Be Tough: Kane
Kane was definitely a terrifying character, but long before he put on the red mask, he started as a primary school teacher who wrestled on the weekends. Need we say more? He is now Mayor of Knox County Tennessee, and although you've got to be tough to win debates in politics, we doubt you've gotta be that terrifying up there at the podium, but then again we wonder...
5 Is Actually Terrifying: Ronda Rousey
We just have one simple request: Don't get her angry, whatever you do. Former Judo Champion, UFC Champion and trendsetter in the world of Mixed Martial Arts, (and that means both in the women's division and the men's,) she is definitely tough as nails and can take on any adversary, so watch out for this lioness, please.
4 Pretends To Be Tough: Kevin Owens
We're starting to see the many facets of this talented wrestler in recent story lines, and we rejoice, as it's great to see. We hope he goes even further, but his own social media posts and YouTube videos have shown us that the mean streak he shows on TV is a big act. He's great at getting it across, but he too is a really nice guy doing his best to convince us he's terrifying.
3 Is Actually Terrifying: Alicia Fox
Don't let that sweet and beautiful face fool you, folks. This woman has a switch and you don't want to be around when it goes from sweet to absolutely angry in a cold, quick second, as Travis Browne, Ronda Rousey's husband, found out a few years back backstage. A real -life argument was caught on tape between the two— a fight of which Travis had no chance of winning. The guy couldn't get a word in edgewise.
2 Pretends To Be Tough: The Demon (Character)
Of course we all know that The Demon (not to be confused with the original character of that name from WCW, played by Dale Torborg), is played by none other than Finn Balor. Now Finn Balor is a lot of things: an exceptional athlete, wrestler, and human being. But he sure isn't terrifying, that's for sure. This character that he plays from time to time sure is a great job on his part nonetheless.
1 Is Actually Terrifying: Shayna Baszler
Yet another lady of the ring that has had her time and paid her dues in the mixed martial arts realm of sports, Baszler definitely proved herself there, just as the aforementioned Ronda Rousey did. This young lady is proving to be quite the competitor in Sports Entertainment as well, and we sure wouldn't want to take the last protein bar off the Kraft Services table, particularly if this lady is reaching for it.
Sources: WWE.com, BleacherReport.com