“Arn Anderson is the last in the long line of what I like to call ‘real men.’” – Larry Zbysko, every week Arn Anderson wrestled.
Today’s “heels” such as HHH, Big Show, Batista, JBL, etc… they just don’t have the integrity that heels used to have.
Where is the vintage Terry Funk with his branding iron and leather chaps?
Those days are gone. What this business needs is a cold-hearted, old-fashioned, ugly, boisterous, loudmouth “real man.”
So while the rest of America is fascinated with Queer Eye for the Straight Guy, American Idol, and The Bachelor, we’re going to honor that rare, dying species: men with an ounce of testosterone.
We now present the top 10 “manliest” wrestlers who ever lived.
10. “Loverboy” Dennis Condrey
-Straight up redneck. Dirty teeth, beer gut, hairy, moustache, beard, and makes all kinds of grammatical errors. You can smell the beer on his breath through the TV screen. You won’t catch this guy watching Ellen anytime soon.
-Feuded with pretty boys, never talked much, and worked his ass off to deliver great matches.
-This guy could pass for a plumber, gas station owner, truck driver, coal miner, construction worker, electrician, or any other manly profession that requires working with your hands. You don’t find too many guys like this anymore.
-Those pink tights. The Midnight Express were awesome, but they had a thing for pink. Pink is for girls.
-That “Loverboy” tag he uses. Real men aren’t loverboys. Real men hate love.
-That scarf. Scarves are for runway models, yuppie preppies, and skiers. Real men don’t wear scarves.
9. “Ravishing” Rick Rude
-Knows how to beat ass. Punched out his share of rowdy fans. Once gave a black eye to WCW’s famed fat-ass rapper, PN News.
-Gets all the chicks. Women like him not because he has pretty boy good looks, but because they think he’s ruggedly handsome. There’s a difference.
-Has that scruffy voice and Tom Selleck-look. He’ll fix your car by day, steal your wife at night, and then kick your ass the next morning.
Smiles too much. Yes, it’s a cocky smile, but real men don’t smile unless they’ve just killed their dinner with their bare hands.
-Skinny legs. Rude had the perfect upper body, but his legs were scrawny. Real men do squats until they pass out.
-Too much sex appeal. Women loved his ripped abs and that’s kind of cool, but real men don’t do sit-ups and could care less about their looks.
8. “Dr. Death” Steve Williams
-Just one look at him and you know he can pummel you to death. Looks like a serial killer from America’s Most Wanted.
-For years had the rep of being the strongest and toughest wrestler in the business. No one knew if it was really true, but no one dared trying to find out.
-Played football in his spare time, but spent most of his college days beating up frat boys and drinking cases of beer. Got into wrestling and drew good money in many places, churning out tons of great matches.
Got knocked out by Bart Gunn in WWF’s ill-fated “Brawl for All” series. The myth was destroyed, and legions of hardcore Mid-South fans were let down immensely. Okay, well those people who watched Mid-South probably don’t watch wrestling today, but you know what I mean. Boy oh boy did Gunn ever embarrass Jim Ross.
-Owns a small business. Real men don’t own businesses, they chop wood and hunt in the wild. Not only does he run a business, but he sells ice cream, which is a kiddie dessert. Gee Doc, does it come with a girlie little cherry on top, too? Caveman never ate no stinking ice cream.
-Lost to Alexey Ignashov in 20 seconds on a Pride show. If this continues, he risks being taken off this list.
-Wrestled long past his prime. Real men quit while they’re on top, or just fade away into the sunset with their gunnysack. Doc kept wrestling in a dying promotion, not able to live up to his legendary rep. I’d love for All Japan be like it was in 1993, but it ain’t happening.
7. Arn Anderson
-Any longtime wrestling fan loves Arn. As a babyface, he never, ever, ever got booed.
-Even when he was 26, he looked 40. Real men always look 40, even since childhood. I don’t think Arn was ever a baby. No one ever gave birth to him. He just rode in from the sunset on his horse, holding up 4 fingers.
-Can talk circles around anyone. Listen to Arn’s interviews and you’ll learn a thing or two. Amazing vocabulary… one that he learned on the street (the rest of the nerds actually read books to learn that stuff).
-Double tough. Kicked Sid Vicious’ ass.
-Looks like he never lifted a weight, and still looks tough. Lex Luger lived in the gym, and still wasn’t tough. Arn never needed to lift weights.
-Got beaten up by Sid Vicious. In Arn’s defense, he beat up Sid, too. Still, he would’ve died had it not been for 2 Cold Scorpio saving his life. Real men don’t get saved, they save themselves.
-Cries. Actually, Arn doesn’t cry that much, but his speeches used to make Ric Flair cry. Real men don’t cry, nor do they make others cry (unless it’s out of pain).
-Too humble. Arn is unselfish and did too many jobs in order to keep a good job that he felt he didn’t deserve. He could’ve at least refused to put so many people over, or at least been a little more unprofessional at times. A real man wouldn’t have let himself get pissed on by Steve Austin or submitted to Erik Watts’ STF.
6. Stan “The Lariat” Hansen
-Chews tobacco. Men do that.
-Ugly sonofabitch. Think this guy ever dressed up well or kissed ass to get a job? Please, the only reason he’d ever touch a tie is to hang someone with it.
-A real cowboy. This is the guy in the Old West who rode into the bar on his horse, shot his pistol into the chandelier, and raised some serious alcohol-fueled Hell.
-He’s nearsighted, and doesn’t give a crap. Never wears contacts in the ring. He can’t see you, and he couldn’t care less. He’ll just aim and punch. If he misses, so what. If he potatoes you hard, so what. What are you gonna do about it?
-The only wrestler man enough to team up with Bruiser Brody. Enough said.
Not too much I can think of here. You could say he hung on too long, and while he isn’t what he once was, he couldn’t care less. Not caring about anything is manly.
5. “Dr. D” David Shultz
-Knocked out 20/20’s John Stossel on prime time network television. He deserves a medal of honor for that. Wrestling fans hate snooty news guys who thumb their noses down at wrestling. So what did Shultz do? Knocked Stossel on his ass and deafened him in one ear for life. Hallelujah.
-Nearly thrashed Mr. T. I give T his due for helping wrestling get loads of attention. In fact, you could argue that without T, WrestleMania would’ve flopped and there would be no WWE today. Still, there is something so totally cool about Shultz threatening to beat T’s ass.
-Excellent bounty hunter. Talk about a manly profession, this guy found real criminals and brought them to justice. John Walsh would be proud.
-Can’t spell, read, or speak coherently. That’s the mark of a real nutcase.
-Got fired by Vince McMahon. Real men don’t get fired, they quit at their leisure. At least he never came back (not that Vince would’ve taken him anyway).
-He ratted out Hulk Hogan on several TV shows during the 1992 scandals. Real men don’t rat out other men, but since it’s Hulk Hogan, I guess it’s okay.
4. “Mr. Wonderful” Paul Orndorff
-Beat up Tony Atlas. I’m no fan of Atlas, but you have to admit he was a really tough guy. And Orndorff cleaned his clock. On that day, he solidified his reputation.
-Beat up Vader. Vader had this guy by almost 200 pounds, and Orndorff still had him begging for mercy. I’m still shocked by this story. I dare any of these young kids today to knock out Vader.
-Hunts. Not only hunts, but he doesn’t even need a gun.
-Still looks rock solid even with one functioning arm. Only a real man takes an arm with no nerves and makes it look beefy. Chemical help or not, that’s impressive.
-Passed out from a pinched nerve on a live WCW PPV. We’re glad he was okay, but Jesus, was that embarrassing or what?
3. Ole Anderson
-The toughest of all the ’70s bullies. I don’t think he ever wore bell bottoms and danced to disco. He probably waited outside the club and pounded on all the groovesters until their limbs fell off.
-When he wore suits during some of those Horsemen skits, it looked out of place. Real men look out of place in suits. He wore grease-stained white t-shirts and beat up jeans with holes. And he wore them proudly.
-Drew a ton of money. No heel turn will ever garner as much heat as when he betrayed Dusty Rhodes at the Omni. It was so believable, so real, and so Southern.
-An original Horseman. That’s going on his tombstone. Only 4 men can ever claim to be an original Horseman, and perhaps there is no greater honor in life.
-Sucks as a booker. Ole knew how to make Ole work, but couldn’t book others to save his life.
-Made a complete fool of himself on Wrestling Observer Live, arguing with Dave Meltzer. What an ass.
2. “Stone Cold” Steve Austin
-Hero to all beer drinkers, race car fans, longshoremen, warehouse workers, plumbers, and truck drivers nationwide. No one ever, ever, ever questioned whether or not Austin was a tough guy.
-Never did anything nice for anybody. Handshakes, hugs, kisses, smiles, and tears aren’t even in this guy’s vocabulary. In fact, not much of anything is in this guy’s vocabulary.
-Got to beat up his boss. Yes, it was part of the storyline. But Austin was so hot as a drawing card in 1998 that he could’ve done anything he wanted.
-Broke his neck. Real men come back from debilitating injuries and keep on ticking.
-Broke someone else’s neck (Chono’s). And never showed much remorse for it.
-Made balding look cool. I’ve noticed tons of guys with the “Austin look” in my hometown ever since ‘98. Coincidence? Highly unlikely.
-Hunts. Drinks. Swears. Lots of people do that, but nobody does it like Austin.
-Excellent performer. Always busted his ass, even when he didn’t have to.
-Terrible husband. There ain’t a real man I’ve ever seen who was a devoted husband and father (well, besides Brody). Been divorced 3 times, has kids he never sees, and will probably do it again. You just can’t get more vile and disgusting than that. God that is so cool.
-Despite being wealthy, studly, and having the ability to date anyone he wanted, he chose an older, screaming banshee with possibly the most annoying voice on the planet to be his 3rd wife. Real men suck at marriage, and that is to his credit. But still… Debra?
-Got slapped by his ex-girlfriend on their first date. Granted, Austin embellished that story on the radio, but there’s no excuse for it. What is a real man doing on a first date anyway? Austin is a star celebrity with loads of cash; he doesn’t need to date.
-Has done too many cutesy media appearances to plug his book. Enough already. Real men don’t write books, they have books written about them. I don’t remember Ole Anderson ever going on Regis & Kelly. Come on now.
-Came back to WWE. A real man would’ve left, and never come back.
1. Bruiser Brody
-If you could travel back in time and meet cavemen, they’d look just like Brody. This hombre is all man. Just look at him.
-The best brawler ever. These backyard morons don’t have a clue. They break their mommies’ light bulbs over each other’s heads, and think they’re cool. Brody ate light bulbs for breakfast, raccoons for lunch, and wild bear for dinner. He didn’t need no stinking mommy to raise him; he raised HIMSELF.
-Not only played college football, but played football in Texas. Can you imagine the insanely crazy parties and fights that went on off the field of a Texan college football game in the 60s? Bad, bad things.
-Never had a good run with modern WWF or NWA/WCW. He could’ve, but refused to sell out and job to anyone. Made very good money on his OWN terms, on the indie scene and all over the world. Legendary figure worldwide, to this day.
-Too many shoot fights to mention. You know how many people would’ve loved to kick Lex Luger’s ass? Brody didn’t, but he threatened to, and could have easily if he wanted to. And he didn’t care. Luger was scared shitless and ran for the hills. Well, no one ever accused Lex of being stupid.
-Never shaved or cut his hair. Neither did caveman. And caveman is the ultimate in manliness.
-Probably reeked of B.O. The more a man smells like dirt and grime, the more he should be respected.
-Commanded respect. Brody did it all. He drew money, drew heat, influenced countless wanna-be’s, won titles, traveled the world, and best of all, worked his ass off and had tons of excellent matches.
-He was the real deal. Lived the gimmick and fans genuinely feared him. Actually, he was a loving husband and father, but the fact that so few people knew that is a testament to his manliness.
-Refused to job. When Shawn Michaels or HHH do that, it’s whining. When Brody does it, it’s rebellious and cool. Brody rules.
-No way, man. Brody paid the ultimate price, and there is nothing wimpy this man ever did. Brody was the real deal; a true man’s man. There will never be another. Everyone else who tries to be him is just a pathetic imitation. Rest in peace, caveman. None of us could ever be your equal.
Honorable Mention (These men were manly, but didn’t crack our top 10. All deserve mention here):
-Bruno Sammartino (not a good enough worker, and just a little too sane)
-Terry “Bam Bam” Gordy (heavy partier and a loose canyon, but didn’t crack the top 10)
-Terry Funk (might have made it if he retired 15 years ago)
-“Mad Dog” Buzz Sawyer (another nutcase, but not as successful as the others)
-Road Warrior Hawk (maybe in his day, but was too much of a shell of his former self at the end of his career)
-Larry “The Axe” Hennig (a real man, no doubt; just missing that something special to beat the others)
-“Cowboy” Bill Watts (too corporate, and can never be forgiven for his horrendous WCW run as VP; plus Erik was annoying)
-Dick Murdoch (more of a redneck than a man; definitely a greasy t-shirt type, but not a top-10 caliber guy)
-The Crusher (legendary notoriety; might have made it if more were known about him)
-Harley Race (a solid #11 rank, but lost his aura after retirement; a tough hombre, great worker, with tattoos, a belly, and gruffy beard and moustache; very slow and methodical, but his 90s WCW run kind of ruined it for me)