Curtain Jerker: Who Did You Believe as A True Wrestling Tough Guy?

85 Submitted by on Thu, 02 May 2013, 09:16

Justin’s piece on Haku got me to thinking…who did (or do) you believe to be a true tough guy in pro wrestling?  Comment away below!

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85 Responses to "Curtain Jerker: Who Did You Believe as A True Wrestling Tough Guy?"
  1. Joseph S. Hasan says:

    Kurt Angle, once he lost his hair and became less funny.

    Also helped that when he turned heel during Eddie’s title reign, Latino Heat actually looked scared of Kurt.

  2. Falcdango says:

    Steve Blackman. He was one of those guys who should have been pushed in spite of having no personality, just as a guy who could murder you in seconds with his bare hands. Jim Cornette said if he hadn’t been injured at the time of the Brawl for All, he’d have steamrolled it.

    • RD Reynolds says:

      Bob Holly seconds that emotion.

      • Falcdango says:

        I can see why. Everyone else in the tournament were used to just brawling, including Dan Severn who was a badass in his own right, yet there were no grapples due to the boxing gloves. Blackman was used to fistfighting, not grappling, so he’d have done well.

        Heres a video on youtube of Blackman tearing a phone book in half at his house.


  3. John says:

    Dr. Death Steve Williams just looked like he would happy stretching you apart to see if you’d break. Or maybe Leaping Lanny Poffo because come on you have to be tough to survive with the gimmicks he got stuck with.

    • Bastard1 says:

      And then Bart Gunn happened.

    • DustinDustin Nichols DuNicDustin NicholsholDustin NicholssDustDUstin says:

      Dr. Death was a legitimate badass no doubt about it. I would also add Sean O’Haire to the list.

      • Cajun Mark says:

        Just ask John Stossell if Dr. Death is a bad ass…I am sure those little birdies are still singing in his ear…

        • Lex Icon says:

          Actually, John Stossel was hit by Dr. D David Schultz, and he’s another who should be added to this list.

  4. Phil Melcher says:

    I remember in WCW when Hacksaw Jim Duggan broke a 2×4 over Meng’s (HAKU!) head. Besides Meng at that time was really built up to be a legit threat, Haku in the WWF was really nothing more than a boring jobber to me.

  5. Iron Mike Bacon says:

    Bad News Allen Coage… Heavyweight Judo champion plus he punked out Andre The Giant on a tour bus for using racial slurs.

  6. Skottie B says:

    Chris Jericho. He keeps coming back for more. I love him, but he’s just a gatekeeper to jobbers now. Coming back to that every year is tough. I think he “knows his role..”

  7. Ezenwa says:

    I always felt that that Finlay was one of the toughest guys in the business. Heck, he has a frame that emotes toughness on all levels. I remembered hearing that if people didn’t want to do what they were told, they would sic Finlay or Haku on them. Bad news to say the least. If not, I gotta give the toughness cred to Vader. Stiff, quick, hard-hitting, what more can be said? Although, I’m sure Stan Hansen will disagree. How’s that eye, Vader?

  8. Joe T says:

    When I was young, we all thought Bruiser Brody was the toughest, craziest and most dangerous man in wrestling. It played well with his freelancing as he was much to “Dangerous” to stay in one area. Seems odd now…he didn’t even have to act to nail that gimmick!

  9. Scott "The Man" Matias says:

    WHAT?! Nobodys brought up William Regal? He is a real mans man!

  10. Wrestlecrap's Janitor says:

    Abdullah the Butcher.

    Especially with that goddamn fork in his hand!

  11. Sharpe Puppy says:

    The Road Warriors
    The Steiners
    Rick Rude
    Hercules Hernandez

  12. Michael Stamp says:

    No love for Paul Orndorff beating the shit out of Vader in a pair of flip flops?

  13. Andy says:

    I would endorse everyone above and add Harley Race, Terry Funk and Mick Foley. Anyone that was literally blown up for the business is a pretty tough guy.

  14. BigPoppaNasty says:

    Just judging from what WWE has told me, I’d have to go with this list:
    John Cena
    Hulk Hogan
    Ultimate Warrior
    Triple H
    John Cena
    Vince McMahon
    Stone Cold Steve Austin
    Jeff Hardy
    John Cena
    and Triple H’s Quads

    As far as a guy that I think is tough with or without WWE’s booking, I’d say one guy that I’m stunned hasn’t been mentioned would be Brock Lesnar. I’d shit myself if I saw him approaching me.

  15. DownWithOPC says:

    Haku, Harley Race, New Jack.

  16. "The Big Cheese" Paul Kraft says:

    There’s an indy guy Randell “The Wrecker” Baer who’s a real monster. I heard he can rip phone books apart just by looking at them, and crush cinder blocks with his pinky fingers.

  17. Sir Cheese says:

    Masada – he’s known for being a legit tough guy and making dudes regret shooting on him.

    Also, the opposite of a tough guy would probably be Steelhorse Vachon. His antics became known as “Steelhorsing.” Google it if you don’t know about it already!

  18. Steve "Hard Rock" Diamond says:

    Tommy Dreamer….the beatings he took, and always kept coming back

  19. OmarGooding says:

    Corporal Kirchner

    Him and that bed of nails.

    He would have come up eventually. Lol.

  20. Sir Thomas says:

    There’s two kinds of tough as far as I’m concerned: the guy who can murder you by glaring at you kind of tough, and the guy you can drop a nuclear f###ing bomb on and he’ll still kick out at two kind of tough. For me, Brock Lesner is the ultimate type 1, and Tommy Dreamer is the ultimate type 2.

  21. Big wiggle says:

    I know this wont be a popular one but im a bit partial to say norman smiley is one tough son of a gun

  22. BigC Jilm says:

    Haku and Harley Race.

    Although, Undertaker seems like a guy who doesn’t mind getting hit a few times in order to hit you.

    • wrestlefan says:

      The actual wrestlers were surveyed once and they said the toughest current guys are Meng(Haku) and Shamrock. I live in Central Florida and I run into quite a few of the wrestlers that live in between there and Tampa, they all agree Meng is the guy you don’t mess with. I actually know Meng and worked with him in kids sports programs when his boys were younger. In person he is a teddy bear, but I saw him pick a guy up by the throat with one hand in a bar because the guy was drunk and kept poking Meng with a cue stick. (His wife was an absolute hoot to watch at their kids games, especially when she got so excited she started cursing in Samoan.)

  23. Rick Rude's Mullet says:

    Terry Funk, Mick Foley, Harley Race, Dynamite Kid, Bad News Allen, and Fit Finley. These guys were legit tough guys who you did not mess with.

  24. Jozzy Von Rokkenstein says:

    Jericho! Dude busted his arm and kept wrestling!!!

  25. Maverick Kent Barnes says:

    Jeff Harvey
    Bret Clarke
    Triple H
    The Powers of Pain

  26. ScottZee says:

    Archie Goldie, Killer Kawolski, Stu Hart. Stan Hanson, Great Muta

  27. Ed says:

    When I was a child, Paul E. had me convinced that Taz was the baddest dude to ever walk the face of the planet. My answer is Taz.

  28. Peter says:

    Bob Backlund vs. The Iron Sheik is one of those few times where a legit match between two wrestlers would’ve been just as good as a worked one.

  29. Biggles says:

    Les Kellet for having a bad pig bite on his hand and getting another wrestler stamp on it

  30. Thomas Moffatt says:

    Jerry Lawler and JBL – they sit next to Michael Cole every week and don’t throttle him

    Seriously – Harley Race, Finlay, Regal, Stan Hansen, Taz, and British legend Les Kellett

  31. AlexanAdru says:

    Haku, Harley Race, Finlay, Brody, Undertaker, Steiner brothers, Stan Hansen.

  32. James Mitchell says:

    Rick Rude.

  33. Stephen says:

    To Haku!

    That is all.

  34. smarker33 says:

    harlley race larry the axe wahoo

  35. Bastard1 says:

    Bob Freakin’ Holly. There’s more to being a “tough guy” than being able to take (and dish out) punishment (He wrestled a fuckin’ bear! Lost, but goddamn it, he did it!), and that’s grinning and bearing it when you get screwed by the fates at every turn. Oh, and guy broke his arm and finished the damn match. That’s passion right there, and that’s what makes you a true badass.

    Probably though, in a purer sense of the word… STEVE BLACKMAN. Blackman don’t give a fuck about nobody. He will fuck you up. Guy made even Ken Shamrock look every bit like the stereotypical Irish mook his name would indicate. The only reason he was released was that his powers were needed to save the world on a semi-weekly basis, which is a staunch more important than sports entertainment, and I salute him for it! The only reason he didn’t have charisma, per say, is because he thought it a waste of his ass-kicking time and effort.

  36. heavyhandedDOOM says:

    Scott Norton. Even before I had completely smartened up to the inner workings of the business, I KNEW he was legit.

  37. NimNimarxarx says:

    i think mick foley is the toughest one,i mean some of the bumps he took were just amazing!!!!
    but tough in a way that he will rip u apart in a real fight,well i guess no one can argue with brock lesnar

  38. TMS says:

    From my earliest days as a wrestling fan I always knew I never wanted to meet the Road Warriors, the Koloffs, any of the original 4 Horsemen (Ole, Arn, Flair, Blanchard), Cactus Jack, Vader, Hogan, Savage, Big John Studd, or King Kong Bundy in a dark alley. Actually I could go on and on with 20 years of wrestlers I believed were legit tough guys, even after the kayfabe was pulled from my eyes. Like someone mentioned above, there were the guys that look like they could break you in half without even breaking a sweat, and then there are the guys that keep coming like the Terminator after you’ve hit them with everything you’ve got.

  39. Luis Guerra says:

    Colin Delaney, X Pac, Ralphus, and “The Gigolo”Jimmy Del Ray look like legitimate bad asses.

  40. Peyote Th says:

    Mad Dog Vachon.

  41. Bone White says:

    Amhed Johnson – he would probably be asking how to get to the station or something but I wouldn’t understand and scarper – he was scary looking!!!

  42. Scott Hood says:

    Santino Marella. He was a genuine MMA fighter before he went to WWE.

    The last guy you’d expect to smash your head in. Well, apart from Joey Styles, of course.

  43. Walt says:

    Toshiaki Kawada- He took a beating in AJPW and dished it out too with his kicks.

    Kazuo Yamasaki- UWFi second banana to Takada, but more legit than Takada (though I still like Takada)

    Karl Gotch, Harley Race- Real wrestlers from when wrestling was more realistic than the bumpfests and spot monkeys that saturate the current landscape.

    Manabu Nakanishi- You know him from WCW as Kurasawa or something like that, but he’s a brute.

    Kensuke Sasaki- He was able to team up with the Road Warriors in Japan. He and Nakanishi were taught the “Road Warrior” workout.

    Nanae Takahashi- She’s a vet of the Joshi circuit and her matches with AJP Women’s wrestling were intense.

    Volk Han- RINGS fighter and master of Sambo. Piss on Brock Lesnar, Volk Han in his prime would’ve have taken Brock.

    Yuki Ishikawa- A student of Fujiwara who ran Battlarts, he is a just a gritty wrestler. Even though he lost a PRIDE FC fight to Rampage, he took it to Rampage on the mat pretty good.

    Osamu Nishimura- He was in NJPW but was diagnosed with cancer. He beat cancer, came back and wrestled first in NJPW, then MUGA and AJPW then the Japanese Indy scene, uses a catch-style, and recently won the Wrestling New Classic Title. Hands down he is my favorite wrestler.

    Tatsumi Fujinami- 6 time IWGP champ, student of Inoki and founder of MUGA and Dradition. This guy was another guy who makes pro wrestling believable.

  44. Ross says:

    Zack Gowen.

    No, but seriously, Haku.

  45. BigCon says:

    Bret Hart. He punched Vince McMahon. Who’s a millionaire. In the Face. Because he wasn’t happy.

  46. Thomas Moffatt says:

    ECW great Masato Tanaka has just come to mind…

  47. Kevin says:

    “Professor” Pak Song, Gary Hart’s Evil Judo Master…

    • JOE says:

      what about gary hart once cut up the missing link after he tried to attack hart
      DR DEATH

  48. Deathedge says:

    Why… the immortal Bart Gunn instantly comes into my mind…

  49. nickca says:

    The Ultimate Warrior. How many other wrestlers have the destrucity and foke he has? Plus, did you see what he did to Santa Claus?

  50. ReReallyrPeteGasWopie says:

    how did we miss:
    Ron Simmons
    Perry Saturn
    Ken Shamrock (although WWF killed him with those “i’m in the zoooone send out 6 refs to get belly to bellied/ankle locked).

  51. DaMoFo says:

    Based on what other wrestlers have said:
    Wahoo McDaniel
    Gene Anderson
    Harley Race
    Johnny Valentine
    Bad News Allen
    Dory Funk Jr.

    and of course, Jumpin Jeff Farmer from the ICW…”Yip”.

    Based on interviews I have heard, Vader was a bully that usually backed down when anyone stood up to him.

    • Walt says:

      Thumbs up for Wahoo and Dory.

      Vader was actually petrified when he had his first match with Takada in UWFi

  52. ReReallyrPeteGasWopie says:

    also, dean ambrose aka jon moxley is pretty hard.

  53. Lex Icon says:

    I would have to say that Dick Murdoch and Stan Hansen are two on the top of my list.

    The one who I think is deceptively a tough guy, though, would be Baron Von Raschke. His hands were like vises.

  54. Ira says:

    Gotta go with Stan Hansen or Jim Duggan. Hansen just looked the part, and c’mon, he wrestled with the chaw still in! And Duggan just seemed like he was a little…slow…and could possibly snap at any minute. Just start wailin’ on people with the 2×4…

  55. alaricrose says:

    Call me biased, but I’ve always viewed the guys with military backgrounds as typically being tougher than others. Men like Sgt. Slaughter (Marines), Perry Saturn (Army Ranger), Ken Anderson, The Iron Shiek (bodyguard to the last Shah of Iran), Bobby Lashley (Army), Jesse Ventura (Navy SEAL), and Verne Gagne (Marines).

    As for non-military, I’d say guys like Mick Foley and Terry Funk.

  56. nomangang says:

    Danny Hodge. Olympic silver medalist and his hands were like hydraulic presses thanks to being born with double tendons.

    • wrestlefan says:

      Danny Hodge, oh hell yeah. I forgot about him. Lou Thesz once said that Hodge and Karl Gotch were the only two guys that he wouldn’t want to face in a real shoot.

  57. twilite_rider says:

    Really? Nobody mentions Roddy Piper. Ricky the Dragon Steamboat. He didn’t have to say much but you knew when he looked at you, you were going down. Then there was the Nasty Boys. And Warlord. Together with Barbarian they made up the Powers of Pain and their manager was Mr. Fuji who himself was a tough guy back in the day. Nickolai Volkoff. And then you have to remember the original tough guy but who jobbed to everyone: Brooklyn Brawler, aka Jim Powers. And maybe I missed it too but Sabu and Sandman were really tough imo.

  58. Ric Flair's Forehead says:

    Former WCCW referee Harold T. Harris! And of course, “Pistol” Pez Whatley!


    When I was growing up, the guys who always seemed like legit badasses to me were:

    Stan Hansen
    Bruiser Brody
    Bad News Brown
    Mick Foley
    Terry Funk
    Harley Race
    Jos Leduc
    Haku/Meng (mostly by reputation)
    The Road Warriors
    The Steiners
    Dynamite Kid
    Bam Bam Bigelow

  59. Common says:

    Danny hodge,mad dog vachon, andre the giant, blackjack mulligan, harley race and earthquake.

  60. Tom Hastings says:

    Late to this but Brad Rheingens is not on this list anywhere???Mad Dog Vachon??? Judo Gene LaBell. True legitimate amateur athletes you could shoot all day long if need be. The Road Warriors are definitely not “tough guys” in any sense of the word. I love them and their matches but most of the real tough guys on this list could have stripped them naked. Oh and what a brother team called the Briscoes??

  61. mitch colburn says:

    Bam Bam Bigelow. Dude had tattoos on his freaking SCALP!!

  62. tom hastings says:

    couple of names older generation that should be on here…Dick Slater, Wahoo McDaniel, Mad Dog Vachon, Karl Gotch (wrestler from the 50’s/60’s/70’s) most famous for creating the Japanese wrestling dojos and helping to create strong style, Billy Robinson and Adrian Street (both came out of Wigan). Probably some more that I’m forgetting now.

  63. Read This- Not that says:

    Danny Hodge: Double-tendon strength, one of the best Amateur wrestlers in US history,Golden glove boxing champ, and a short pro career. How can anyone beat this man??!

    Earthquake:Champ in every Amateur wrestling level in his younger days, Sumo wrestler, football player, build like a masta don. Stu Hart had his money on him!!!

    Andre the Giant- for obvious reasons. Ric Flair narrated a story when Andre beat up Black Jack Mulligan and Dick Murdoch together to Steve Austin on his podcast- wow!!

    Haku- Everyone knows why!!!

    Shamrock- Obvious why!

    Mad Dog Vachon- mad man who reached the olympics in Amateur wrestling.

    Harley Race and Mulligan- tough southern bar brawlers.

  64. Wowzers says:

    Paul Orndorff because of said instance is legendary in my mind. He did it with one good arm.

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