Professional wrestling requires technical ability, acting talent and athleticism—the latter of which these 15 guys have more of than their locker-room counterparts.
There is a difference between in-ring skills and athleticism, though.
A performer can possess the best technical skills in the world, but doesn't necessarily have to be the best athlete per se. Likewise, one can be a supremely gifted athlete, but lack the technical ability to wrestle in skill-filled, awe-inspiring, back-and-forth matches on the level of CM Punk vs. Daniel Bryan.
Wrestling is a skill. Being athletic is entirely different.
Per EndzoneAthletics.com, "athleticism" is defined as the following:
The ability to use a variety of motor abilities (strength, power, speed, agility, coordination, stability, balance, etc.) to effectively and efficiently perform a wide variety of sporting actions.
It's the balance of many attributes at once that make up an athlete. Some—like Justin Gabriel—have speed, but what can he do with it outside of the ring? Others—like the Big Show—have monstrous strength due to their size, but what can they really do with it besides throw it around?
Look at the WWE roster. Who would you imagine has the best chance to thrive in a variety of other professional sports or even be an Olympian? Those are the men and women who should be considered the best overall athletes.
All in all, every member of the WWE is athletic.
Naturally, this should spark plenty of debate. Furthermore, it can be difficult to differentiate between who has athletic backgrounds and who is still athletic. I'll be the first to admit, history played a large role in distinguishing the athletes amongst each other.
So without further ado, here are the 15 most athletically talented superstars in the WWE.