Pro Wrestling: The 12 Most Intimidating Wrestlers in History

Andrew J. KearneyCorrespondent IIJanuary 11, 2011

Pro Wrestling: The 12 Most Intimidating Wrestlers in History

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    Intimidation is a key factor in sports.  In this case though, for sports entertainment purposes, it's an enormous factor.

    Some of the big men in wrestling have made their careers off of being an intimidating figure, namely the man pictured above, who needs no introduction.  The Undertaker's very presence is frightening in many ways.  

    Throughout the history of professional wrestling, there have been many intimidating figures.  Not only from WWE but also WCW and ECW, the company that started out from a little South Philadelphia bingo hall. In and of itself, ECW was based on intimidation.  

    Many of the intimidating athletes you're about to see were big in stature, others not so much.  But they all had one thing in common.  They all made their opponents shake in their boots.  

    Here is a list of some of the most intimidating figures in the history of professional wrestling.   

12. Sabu

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    Go back and watch some video of the true early days of the Original ECW.  It was totally different from the WWECW, and so was Sabu.  

    At that time, Sabu was one of the best athletes in wrestling and was quite frightening.  He was absolutely insane.  

    Sabu would use super glue and masking tape on his wounds to make them heal faster.  This left battering scars all over his body.  To say that he had no regard for his body is an understatement.  

    Sabu was electric in the ring but seldom ever talked.  I doubt that he knew any English at all, to be honest.

    In addition to his aura, his eerie music and long hair made him a menacing character.  The Sabu character was very special to the early days of ECW.

    His feud with Taz was one for the ages.  Both of those men were pretty intimidating come to think of it.     

11. Vader

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    Vader was a force back in WCW and also became a WWE competitor later on.  Vader was a three-time WCW World Heavyweight Champion but never won any title in WWE.  He was rather a veteran who put over younger guys.

    At 6'5 and a little over 450 pounds, he was a mountain of a man.  Vader's in-ring abilities were overpowering on his opponents too.

    Vader's vicious attack on then WWE President Gorilla Monsoon turned him into an even bigger heel. Monsoon was very popular with the fans but Vader proved to be dominant and punished Monsoon.

    I still remember doing the "V" with my hands back when I was a kid, and I think I even had the Vader mask.  

10. The Sandman

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    Who else smokes a cigarette and drinks a pre-match beer in their entrance?  Only The Sandman does that, folks.  Not to mention that he came to the ring bloodied and with a Singapore cane in hand.

    His matches were secondary to the fans of the ECW Arena.  They knew that he would be bleeding far before he even hit the ring.  How isn't this intimidating?   

    The WWE had their run with Stone Cold Steve Austin without a doubt.  He was and always will be their hell-raiser.  But you can't tell me that that character was completely original.

    In this case, what I'm saying is that you can't ignore the Sandman's presence in the aura of Austin's character.  Somewhere along the line, WWE got this idea from ECW with The Sandman.  There's no other explanation.  

    The Sandman was the full embodiment of ECW and definitely put the "E" into Extreme.  His time in WWECW doesn't do his career justice whatsoever.  

9. Diesel

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    People forget just how impressive Diesel was.  He was more than just Shawn Michaels' personal bodyguard.  "Big Daddy Cool" was really trusted by WWE in his early days and held some gold to show for it.

    Within the first year of his being in WWE, Diesel won the Intercontinental, Tag Team and WWE Titles. This was a major push for Diesel, who would erupt into a big star and eventually head over to WCW for a lucrative contract.  

    Diesel and Michaels were co-dependent on one another.  Though their breakup was inevitable and their eventual WrestleMania 11 feud was memorable.  Michaels was accompanied by Jenny McCarthy.  Diesel walked with Pamela Anderson.   They were Good Friends, Better Enemies.  

    During their partnership, Diesel was the muscle and Michaels the finesse.  Nobody wanted to face Michaels to begin with in those days.  Having Diesel with him only made him a more undesirable opponent.  

8. Yokozuna

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    Yokozuna is the heaviest wrestler in WWE history.  He has to make this list without a doubt, right?  Any guy that can turn a sumo wrestling gig into a WWE Championship Title run is notable.  Yokozuna was even a decent athlete for his size.

    Yokozuna is a member of the large Samoan family.  This family also includes Rikishi, The Rock, The Wild Samoans, Jimmy "Superfly" Snuka and several other notables. 

    Had he cut some weight, he may have been able to have a longer career and life.  Yokozuna's large size held him back in WWE and was ultimately the reason for his departure.  

    He was one of the more dominant performers of the mid-1990s.  During that time, Yokozuna squashed everyone.  At least it seemed that way.  Intimidation was a major part of his game plan and he often used that en route to victory.  

7. Big Show

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    The Big Show is the largest athlete in the world today.  As you can see in the picture above, his entire fist is covers a good portion of Floyd Mayweather's head. 

    While he's not as dominant as he once was, he's still an exciting, scary presence on the blue brand.  He's won some gold in the WWE by being WWE Champion twice.  In addition to those achievements he held the WCW World Heavyweight Title and also the ECW Championship.   

    He's always been a great tag team wrestler too.  In particular, when he's paired with smaller guys (i.e. Miz, Chris Jericho, Sting, etc.)  He's held tag team gold in both WCW and WWE.  

    The Big Show has been anything but a gentle giant in his time with WWE.  He's always looking to attack and has to put fear in you if you're across the ring from him.  

6. Kane

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    Not the Kane from the past seven years, but the masked Kane from the late-1990s, early-2000s.  This was Kane at the high point of his career, even after his days as the evil dentist Isaac Yankem.  

    The Big Red Machine's debut in the Hell in a Cell Match at Badd Blood 1997 was memorable.  In that match between The Undertaker and Shawn Michaels he came out and attacked/dominated his brother The Undertaker.  

    Kane had some great feuds with his brother shortly thereafter.  He was the first wrestler to actually make 'Taker look human.  Their rivalry was scripted perfectly and gave the world some unforgettable matches. Even recently, with both aging tremendously, they had a feud over the World Heavyweight Title.

    Kane dominated Royal Rumble matches in the early days of his career.  He once eliminated 11 men in the 2001 Rumble.  He was on a tear before being eliminated by the winner, Stone Cold Steve Austin.  Austin was probably the greatest Rumble competitors ever.  

    Kane's masked character was very interesting.  He used to communicate through a machine and he was said to have no voice.  This only heightened the aura and intimidation of Kane.   

5. Taz

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    Taz was a fantastic character in and out of the ring.  His wrestling was extraordinary as the "Human Suplex Machine."   Away from the ring, Taz had many memorable promos that he cut in ECW.  

    From the rugged black towel draped over his head to his pump-up music, Taz was the total package.  In the ring, his talents were superior to just about anyone in the ECW in the late-1990s.

    At one point, Taz was one of the most feared wrestlers on the planet.  Perhaps his Brooklyn upbringing had something to do with that.  

    Since then we've known him as a color commentator.  But for those of us who remember him as a fighter, we recall his nastiness in the ring.  

4. King Kong Bundy

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    King Kong Bundy was the ultimate squashing machine in WWE.  He was definitely the biggest squasher in the 1980s despite Andre The Giant.  

    He ran through everyone in the WWE in those days except for Hulk Hogan, who defeated him at WrestleMania 2 in their epic Steel Cage Match.  

    Bundy proved of his squashing abilities by setting a WrestleMania record.  He had the shortest match in the history of the Big Event by defeating SD Jones in just nine seconds.

    The late, great Gorilla Monsoon referred to Bundy as a "condominium with legs" due to his immense size. At 6'5, 465 pounds, Bundy was definitely an imposing, menacing figure in stature.  

3. Andre The Giant

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    Andre The Giant was the WWE's ultimate big man in the 1980s.  He's the only man in WWE history to remain undefeated for 15 years.  That remarkable streak catapulted this giant into a household name.  

    Andre's rivalry with his good friend Hulk Hogan was memorable and culminated in a historic meeting at WrestleMania III.  It was there at the Pontiac Silverdome that Hogan slammed the giant and was the first man to bring him down and hence defeat him.  

    His larger-than-life size made him unstoppable for a decade and a half.  Later on, he would become WWE Champion, but his prime was behind him and injuries would continue to mount.  

    This fabulous Frenchman eventually died in 1993.  His death stunned the entire wrestling community, but they will never ever forget "the Eighth Wonder of the World."

2. Goldberg

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    "Gold-berg! Gold-berg! Gold-berg!"  You can still hear the chants.  His whole character was built upon intimidation.  Goldberg's music and entrance were only a part of it.  The fans erupting when he came out plus the security surrounding him made his entrance perfect.

    Then the pyro and his breathing smoke out of the nose.  The entrance was just perfect and intimidating in itself.  Then, you had to face the man that was Goldberg.  

    After his NFL career, Goldberg tried his hand at wrestling and was one of the best WCW Superstars ever. His incredible streak of 173 consecutive wins was legendary.  He would squash opponent after opponent en route to his eventual World Title.  

    Once the WCW let his streak end at the hands of "Big Sexy" Kevin Nash, they started to lose their momentum.  Goldberg put people in the seats and they had screwed up by letting him lose.  

    Especially when you consider that Nash booked the Starrcade 1998 PPV which saw him end the streak via cattle prod.

    Goldberg later became a member of the WWE.  Could he be returning for this year's WrestleMania in his hometown of Atlanta?  Only time will tell.  

1. The Undertaker

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    There are none more intimidating than The Undertaker.  The Deadman literally made an entire (totally unbelievable) gimmick believable.  He was supposed to be dead all along.  After all, he is The Undertaker. 

    You get chills when his music hits and the lights turn out.  Literally, you receive chills.  The longevity of The Undertaker is amazing.  His ability to be the "top guy" for two decades is historic.

    During this time, he's cemented an 18-0 undefeated streak at WrestleMania.  During this streak, he's put Hall of Famers to rest.

    His early day promos were among some of the very best ever.  They made an opponent fear him even more.  Everything about The Undertaker's entire being is intimidating.  It's the best character of all-time.  

    The Undertaker's had rivalries with every big time superstar in the WWE and now his time is winding down. He will one day roll his eyes deep into the back of his head, perhaps tip his cap and be gone.