WWE: Funkasaurus and the 25 Best Wrestling Nicknames of All Time
There are a lot of things that make a great wrestler, with in-ring ability, mic skills, charisma and psychology being chief among them. One aspect that is often overlooked, however, is a great nickname that the fans can identify with.
A wrestler could be absolutely terrible in most areas, but if they have a nickname that the fans can get behind then they have a fighting chance. Of course, it is often the success of the wrestler bearing the nickname that makes it famous rather than the other way around.
Professional wrestling has been popular for several decades, so there have been countless nicknames. Some were bad, some were good and a select few were extraordinary. This article is going to focus on that latter group as I aim to determine the best nicknames in wrestling history.
Each and every wrestling fan is going to have differing opinions on the effectiveness of certain nicknames, but here are my picks for the 25 best of all time.
I fancy myself a wrestling historian of sorts, but I can certainly appreciate some of the modern nicknames as well.
Perhaps the best nickname that is currently in use in the WWE is "The Funkasaurus," which is what Brodus Clay is affectionately known as.
Clay shocked a lot of people when he re-debuted with the Funkasaurus gimmick several months ago, but there is no doubt that he exemplifies the name. Clay's monstrous frame certainly draws comparisons to a prehistoric creature, but his ability to get down can't be forgotten, either.
The 8th Wonder of the World
One of the most important things when taking a nickname into account is determining whether or not it properly describes the wrestler who uses it.
Andre The Giant didn't really need a nickname, as his ring name said it all, but he was most definitely The Eighth Wonder of the World.
Billed at 7'4" and over 500 pounds, Andre was a larger-than-life figure in wrestling.
Whether he was a face or heel, he was always one of the biggest draws in the business. Andre was taken from us much too soon, but his legacy will always endure in part because of his fitting nickname.
The Bad Guy
There is something to be said for a simple yet effective nickname, and that is precisely what Scott Hall had when he wrestled as Razor Ramon in WWE.
Ramon debuted in the WWE as a heel and adopted the nickname of The Bad Guy, but his character was so slick and cool that the fans cheered him and he soon became face.
It may seem backwards for a guy nicknamed The Bad Guy to be a face, but it worked for Razor on so many levels. It is tragic what Hall's personal demons have ultimately reduced him to, but his fans will always remember him at the height of his career and as the original Bad Guy.
The Beast from the East
There have been a lot of underrated and underutilized wrestlers over the years, but perhaps none can measure up to Bam Bam Bigelow in that regard.
Not only did he have the menacing look needed to get over, as he weighed nearly 400 pounds and had flame tattoos adorning his bald dome, but he was probably one of the most deceptively athletic wrestlers ever, as he routinely executed a moonsault.
Hailing for Asbury Park, N.J., Bigelow referred to himself as The Beast from the East. Not only does the rhyming make it a great nickname, but beastly is probably the best adjective to describe Bam Bam. He is another guy who tragically died too young, but his contributions to the business won't soon be forgotten.
Ask any wrestling fan who the greatest manager of all time is and almost all of them are likely to say Bobby "The Brain" Heenan.
There have been a lot of managers who have excelled in one or two areas, but Heenan could do it all. He was a brilliant speaker, a master psychologist and a guy who was more than capable of mixing it up physically.
Heenan's superior intelligence was often on display while he was commentating, and that is why The Brain nickname was so fitting. Not only did The Brain work for his character, but Heenan has always been one of the most knowledgeable people in the business, so it makes sense in more ways than one.
The Cerebral Assassin
Triple H is a man of many nicknames, including The Game, but the one that I believe best describes him is The Cerebral Assassin.
Triple H may have entered the WWE as the snobbish Connecticut blueblood known as Hunter Hearst Helmsley, but his character transformed in a big way over the years until he became what he is today.
Love him or hate him, Triple H is one of the most accomplished superstars in WWE history, and The Cerebral Assassin moniker works for his character.
Face or heel, he has long been willing to do whatever it takes to win and often has a psychological edge over his opponents, so his nickname is quite meaningful.
The Dirtiest Player in the Game
Every wrestling fans knows Ric Flair as The Nature Boy, but I believe the nickname that best describes him is The Dirtiest Player in the Game.
Nature Boy was used by many wrestlers who came before Flair, but nobody other than him can stake claim to the title of Dirtiest Player in the Game.
Flair spent most of his career as a heel and as a member of the Four Horsemen, and even though he often cheated popular faces out of victories, the fans couldn't help but love him.
Flair never tried to hide the fact that he would bend or even break the rules to come out on top, so The Dirtiest Player in the Game is a nickname that he carried quite proudly.
The Doctor of Style
There have been a lot of great managers in wrestling history, but one that is often overlooked is Slick.
While his wrestlers didn't have a lot of success in terms of winning titles, Slick never ceased to be entertaining, as he delivered some of the smoothest and most electrifying promos of his time. Perhaps that is why he became known as The Doctor of Style.
Slick may not look too stylish to wrestling fans today, but he certainly had the right look in the 1980s. He even had what I still consider to be one of the best theme songs in wrestling history in the form of "Jive Soul Bro."
Slick even proved that he is still deserving of the Doctor of Style moniker, as he made a guest appearance as a minister on the 1,000th episode of RAW.
The Excellence of Execution
Bret Hart is widely regarded as one of the best technical wrestlers ever, so it is no surprise that he referred to himself as The Excellence of Execution.
Hart was best known as The Hitman and also liked to call himself The Best There Is, The Best There Was and The Best There Ever will be, but the Excellence of Execution nickname fit his character perfectly.
Hart was never about being flashy in the ring or on the mic, but he was very calculated and essentially perfect when it came to breaking down his opponents.
That may not sound like the most exciting gimmick, but Hart most definitely found a way to entertain the fans with it, as nobody has ever executed in the ring quite as excellently as The Hitman.
Beth Phoenix certainly isn't as iconic as many names on this list, but her nickname is one of the most fitting of the bunch.
Phoenix calls herself The Glamazon, and that is, quite simply, the perfect nickname for her.
The "glam" aspect of the nickname takes her stunning beauty into account, but she also has all the power and brute strength of an Amazon woman.
Phoenix is a three-time Women's Champion and one-time Divas Champion, and she is probably the best pure female wrestler the WWE has currently.
I'm not sure if her nickname has the staying power of some of the others on this list, but it is definitely a memorable one.
The Heartbreak Kid
Shawn Michaels is another guy with a multitude of nicknames, such as The Showstopper, The Main Event and Mr. WrestleMania, but The Heartbreak Kid is synonymous with Shawn Michaels.
That nickname worked most after he split with Marty Jannetty and went off on his own with Sherri Martel as his manager, but it has endured and is still very much relevant today.
It may seem odd to call a 47-year-old man a "kid," but it still works for Michaels. No matter how old he gets, I will always think of him as HBK, and I'm sure most of his fans feel the same way.
It may not be the best or most creative nickname of all time, but it is clearly one of the most identifiable.
Dean Malenko wasn't about frills or flashiness during his wrestling career, and the Iceman nickname certainly reflects that.
Malenko is probably one of the most technically sound wrestlers ever, and he was all business.
Malenko walked to the ring every night with a purpose and never stopped to pose for the fans. He appeared to have ice water running through his veins, so The Iceman was an apropos moniker.
I'm sure Malenko realized that he didn't have a ton of charisma, but that didn't prevent him from having a great career. He worked with what he had to offer, and he actually made it a very long way as The Iceman.
The Legend Killer
Randy Orton is currently beloved as cold-blooded face under The Viper persona, but this is far from the most entertaining gimmick of his career.
Orton was once a young, brash, cocky superstar who called himself The Legend Killer.
He preyed on wrestling legends such as The Undertaker, Ric Flair, Mick Foley and so many others, and more often than not he got the better of them.
There are few better ways to get heat with the crowd than to disrespect the legends, and Orton did that very well. The Legend Killer nickname is a thing of the past since he has moved on to a new chapter in his career, but I'm sure many fans wish it would make a return.
The Lethal Weapon
I'm sure many of today's wrestling fans have never even heard of Steve Blackman, but he was one of the supporting characters who truly made the Attitude Era great.
Blackman was a martial arts expert who competed mostly in the Hardcore Championship scene, and he created some of the most entertaining but forgotten moments in wrestling in the late-1990s.
Blackman was often referred to as The Lethal Weapon. Most probably think of a movie when they hear that, but it was truly the perfect name for Blackman. A gun or knife is normally considered to be a lethal weapon, but Blackman was such a dangerous fighter that all he needed were his legs and fists to incapacitate an opponent.
The Macho Man
It is definitely arguable, but when it comes to the most iconic nickname in wrestling history, my vote goes to Randy "Macho Man" Savage.
Not only did it fit his wild, outspoken personality, but it is a nickname that is known to pretty much everyone, even if they aren't a wrestling fan.
Macho Man doesn't really even have a ton of meaning behind it, but it's simply a perfect wrestling nickname.
The fact that Savage was one of the all-time great entertainers in the business obviously helps the nickname's cause, but there are many reasons to love it. Savage sadly passed away last year, but the Macho Man nickname will endure forever.
The Man of 1,004 Holds
I generally tried to stay away from nicknames with a short shelf life with regards to this list, but Chris Jericho's Man of 1,004 Holds moniker was too good to pass up.
Jericho began calling himself this while feuding with Dean Malenko in WCW, as Malenko was known as the Man of 1,000 Holds. It ultimately led to one of Jericho's finest moments as he read a list of moves on an episode of Nitro.
Truth be told, this is an entire slide dedicated to Jericho because he has had so many great nicknames over the years. Y2J, The Ayatollah of Rock 'n' Rolla and The Best in the World at What He Does are a few that immediately spring to mind.
Man of 1,004 Holds is my preference, but any of those nicknames could belong on this list.
Normally when wrestlers compare themselves to an animal it feels somewhat lame and forced, but Vader being known as The Mastodon just felt right.
Vader was an absolute monster of a man at 6'5" and 450 pounds, and he was an absolute wrecking machine during his time in WCW, WWE and Japan. He was animalistic in his approach, so The Mastodon was a great moniker.
The mastodon was a prehistoric relative to the elephant, and although I would never tell Vader to his face that he reminds me of an elephant, his pure bulk is certainly comparable.
Vader was always athletic for a man his size, so he did have that on mastodons, but the nickname described him well.
The Million Dollar Man
"The Million Dollar Man" Ted DiBiase is one of the greatest heels in WWE history, and although he never officially became WWE Champion, his legacy is forever entrenched.
DiBiase was given the Million Dollar Man gimmick when he joined the WWE in 1987, and it permeated into his real life, as he was made to live a life of luxury, including taking a limousine everywhere he went.
DiBiase's gimmick was essentially the result of his nickname and not the other way around, as is the case with most the nicknames on this list.
The Million Dollar Man remains one of the popular nicknames in wrestling history, though, and I'm sure many superstars wish they could have been given such an entertaining gimmick.
There is a saying that nobody is perfect, but "Mr. Perfect" Curt Hennig certainly would have disagreed with that statement.
When a wrestler is called Mr. Perfect, that is obviously a very difficult moniker to live up to, but in terms of his in-ring skills, promos and overall performance as a wrestler, Curt Hennig came as close to perfect as humanly possible.
Perhaps the best part of the Mr. Perfect gimmick was the promos that would show him executing incredible athletic feats like bowling a perfect game or throwing a football to himself.
Hennig never won the WWE Championship, and his imperfections in real life ultimately cut his life short, but I do believe that he was the personification of perfection in the wrestling business.
The Mouth of the South
Many call him annoying, but even more call "The Mouth of the South" Jimmy Hart great.
Hart is one of the most recognizable managers in wrestling history, and he certainly owes it to himself.
Hart is well known for his wild attire, but his signature megaphone earned him the nickname of Mouth of the South, as he would constantly yell into it throughout his clients' matches.
Prior to becoming a manager, Hart was a part of the band The Gentrys, so that explains his loud mouth. There were a lot of heels back in Hart's heyday who couldn't do the talking for themselves, but he was a huge part of getting them over and he definitely earned his nickname.
The People's Champion
Like most of the all-time greats in the wrestling business, The Rock has several nicknames that fans can identify with.
The Great One and The Brahma Bull are two of them, but The Rock's most enduring nickname is The People's Champ.
Rocky always has been and still is about entertaining the fans, and I believe that the People's Champ moniker accurately reflects that.
Even when The Rock was a heel, he maintained that nickname as a bit of a slap in the face to the fans, so he has gotten a lot of mileage out of it. Professional wrestling is about the fans, because if it weren't for them then the business couldn't survive, and that is something that The Rock obviously understood.
The Rated R Superstar
Edge is often glossed over when naming some of the greatest WWE superstars ever, but he is certainly a guy who is on the short list. He was solid in the ring and on the mic, but his overall persona is what made him special.
Edge is also one of the more controversial superstars that the WWE has ever seen, and the Rated R Superstar nickname is a reminder of that.
Edge was present during the Attitude Era, but he wasn't a huge part of it. Edge continued to bring the attitude after the era had come and gone, however, so he was very deserving of that moniker.
Many of the most outrageous moments in the company's history came courtesy of Edge, so his nickname is something that he earned.
Most would agree that Mark Henry has never been more entertaining over the course of his career than he was during his most recent run as a heel World Heavyweight Champion, but I and many other fans will always have a soft spot in our hearts for Sexual Chocolate.
The idea of an overweight Henry as a love machine was far-fetched, but it was definitely entertaining.
The WWE had many such gimmicks during the Attitude Era, such as Val Venis and The Godfather, but "Sexual Chocolate" Mark Henry was interesting, to say the least.
His most famous moment was fathering Mae Young's child, which actually ended up being a hand. Such was life during the Attitude Era.
The Texas Rattlesnake
Along with Hulk Hogan, "Stone Cold" Steve Austin is probably the most famous wrestler to ever step foot into a ring.
He almost single-handedly helped the WWE defeat WCW during the Monday Night Wars, and if it weren't for him, I'm not sure WWE would be in existence today.
In terms of his persona, though, Austin was considered a tweener, since he was cheered by the fans but would do things that most faces wouldn't.
That is why the Texas Rattlesnake nickname was so perfect. A snake should never be trusted, and Austin proved that time and time again.
Whether it was a face or heel, Austin was just as likely to Stone Cold Stunner one guy as the next. His loner attitude is part of what made him one of the most popular wrestlers ever, and his nickname represents that.
When talking about the most talented wrestlers ever, Barry Windham's name rarely comes up, but classic wrestling fans understand that it is an injustice.
There aren't many wrestlers who had the look, athleticism, charisma and natural talent that Windham did, and if not for injuries, we might be talking about him as one of the most accomplished wrestlers of all time.
When Windham joined the WWE in 1989, he was known as The Widowmaker. Windham didn't have a lot of success under that name, as his run with the company was short, but it was definitely a cool nickname that reflected Windham's no-nonsense attitude in the ring.
I feel like The Widowmaker is probably one of the best monikers that often goes unnoticed when discussing the best nicknames ever.