Merry Christmas! Top Christians in Pro Wrestling History
It's that time of year again, Christmas is today (or yesterday depending when you read this article). Hard to believe it is Christmas given the barrage of merchandise commercials and people pretending to want to give. If you didn't catch my drift that was a joke.
America has lost its focus on the true meaning of Christmas, Christmas originally represents Jesus Christ's birthday although it is most likely he was not born on Dec. 25.
With my rant on Christmas aside, many wrestlers are actually devout Christians who show their faith in the ring. Here are some folks you may actually not expect to be Christians. Faces and heels alike profess their faith in Christ. Here is an honorable mention list of Christians not in the top 10. The top 10 is not necessarily based off wrestling hierarchy but possesses a legendary career and a Christian faith.
Note that each wrestler professes his or her Christian faith. That doesn't necessarily mean they are Christians.
Styles proves you can be a Christian and have some style. He has stated "God first and family second" as his mantra for life. AJ has used his faith to overcome hardships while growing up. The 2010 edition of the PWI rankings had him ranked the No. 1 wrestler in the world. Now if TNA can just figure that out.
Undertaker's wife is a Christian, believe it or not. She incorporates cross symbols in her in-ring attire and her finishing move (AJ Styles finishing move) is called the Faith Breaker.
The master of the 619 is a devout Catholic. Mysterio depicts his faith in the ring. He always does the Catholic cross before he wrestles. He has numerous tattoos about his faith, including a tattoo of the traditional cross on his chest. In his book Rey Mysterio: Behind the Mask, he writes about how his Catholic faith plays such a large role in his life.
Angle is Catholic.
Once a part of the Four Horsemen, on the surface he had it all. He had money, fame, fortune and the World Television Title from NWA. Before this apex in his life, he had gone through several ups and downs in his life.
He went through more ups and downs when he signed with WWF. During one of these incredible lows he gave his life to Christ in November 1989. He now runs a prison ministry. JBL once remarked how he “used God to make money.” Only Tully and God know whether that is the case.
Guerrero lied, cheated and stole his way to God when he became a born-again Christian in 2001.
Frankie Kazarian, Greg Valentine, Road Warriors (both Animal and Hawk), Nikita Koloff, Generation Me, Paul Bearer, "Superstar" Billy Graham, Rick Steiner and Rikishi.
Ted Dibiase, the Million Dollar Man, was everything a Christian should not be. He was manipulative, greedy and arrogant. His antics gave him tremendous heat in the ring. Whether he was a wrestler or a manager, you would never think he displayed traits of a Christian.
Ted DiBiase, the man outside of the ring, is everything a Christian should be. He is an ordained minister who even did a fake wedding between Goldust and Aksana on NXT. He founded the Heart of David ministry in 1999. He has also written a book, Everyone has a Price, to highlight his Christian faith along with his autobiography.
The Million Dollar Man was interviewed by Christian Living Magazine about his faith. “God had allowed me to climb to the top — my life was made into action figures; I wrestled in front of 80,000 people. Yet, I was still not satisfied. I was trying to fill this void in my life, like so many others have done in the entertainment world. But the thing that’s almost unbelievable about God is His grace and mercy. We fail all the time, but there’s no shame in failing—only in not getting up and keeping on.”
His son Ted Jr. is also a devout Christian who almost chose to be a minister rather than a wrestler.
Russo is arguably the most maligned man on this site. Especially when people don't realize it's not necessarily him calling the shots for TNA.
As a side note he is the only writer/booker on this list.
It is hard to imagine a man presiding over the Attitude Era is now a Christian. He has endured tragedies such as the death of Owen Hart and the death of WCW. He converted to Christianity in October 2003.
He even created an independent Christian-based wrestling promotion known as Ring of Glory for a while. He has said he feels remorse for the more obscene story lines from the Attitude Era. At TNA, he still writes story lines similar to the Attitude Era. However, Russo has always emphasized entertainment over wrestling.
Russo chronicles his faith in Forgiven: One Man's Journey from Self-Glorification to Sanctification.
Although not known as a wrestler, Russo's infamy has put him on this list. Russo is now the much-maligned head writer of TNA. Ironically, a good majority of Christians in TNA are heels. Go figure.
The best in the world at what he does is a Christian. In his book, The Lion's Tale, Jericho actually came up with the name Jericho from the Biblical story of the Israelites conquering and destroying Jericho.
Jericho's all time favorite verse is Philippians 4:13. "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."
Interview transcript can be seen here.
Larry Pfohl, also known as Lex Luger, went through many personal issues in his life. He got into a domestic dispute with his girlfriend at the time Elizabeth Hulette, or Miss Elizabeth, in 2003 during a domestic dispute. Two days later he got busted for DUI in Georgia.
The following month after the domestic dispute and Luger's subsequent arrest, Elizabeth died of an overdose. Later that day he was arrested for possessing controlled substances such as anabolic steroids, Oxycontin and other illegal drugs.
He converted to Christianity after feeling remorse for the death of Miss Elizabeth in 2003, his girlfriend at the time.
In a show called Praise the Lord (co-hosted by the next wrestler on this list) on Trinity Broadcasting Network, Luger declared he was a Christian. He admitted he became a Christian because of the fallout over the death of Miss Elizabeth. Luger now travels throughout the country to share his testimony about his faith.
The mysterious face-painted WCW and TNA performer known as Sting is a devout Christian. He converted to Christianity in August 1998 during his heyday in WCW.
Steve "Sting" Borden's foundation for his faith is 2nd Corinthians 5:17, "Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.”
Two books were written about Sting's career and his new-found faith in Christ. Chad Bonham wrote Wrestling With God (2001) and Sting and George King wrote Sting: Moment of Truth (2004).
Here is a movie about Sting's faith that came out in 2004.
Sting has hosted Trinity's Broadcasting Network's flagship show Praise the Lord.
Gregory Helms may not think Shawn Michaels is a Christian, calling his faith a "f****** work." Evidence points contrary to Helms' statement.
He attends Cornerstone Church in San Antonio, where he teaches a Bible class. Cross symbols typically adorned his in-ring attire during the latter stages of his career. Before each match he gets on his knees and says a quick prayer. He has also appeared on Trinity Broadcasting Network with Sting.
Here is Part Two of Shawn Michaels' speech. He thanks Jesus Christ for his successful career.
Yes, the master of backstage politics in WWE is a Christian. A man who has gone through many a personal issue gave his life to Christ at the age of 14. A man who buried more people than the Undertaker and Kane combined is a Christian.
In the context of a recent interview conducted while Hogan underwent an ugly divorce from former wife Linda, Hogan explains his Christian faith.
"[I've] leaned on my religion. I was saved when I was 14. I accepted Christ as my savior. He died on the cross and paid for my sins....I found some very good friends—Michael Beckwith with the Agape Church—told me about being positive and the power of positive thinking. I could have went the wrong way. I could have self-destructed, but I took the high road. [Rolling Stone] took half a sentence to sell magazines."
All of these wrestlers on this list have endured personal problems and tragedies in their lives. The great thing about Christianity is its redeeming quality. It does not matter what you have done or gone through in life. Jesus will still accept you regardless of personal flaws. Just ask all of Jesus' disciples. Read the Bible for more examples of followers of God who were hardly perfect.
If any "Christian" tells you that being a Christian is easy or you have to be perfect, tell them this: "Know your role and shut your mouth!"