10 Past And Present WWE Stars Who Are Legitimately Strong As Hell
With fairly recent heavyweight champions such as Daniel Bryan, CM Punk and The Miz completely out of WWE’s main event picture for differing reasons, it appears as though WWE chairman Vince McMahon’s inclination for big bulky wrestlers will again be brought into major relevance.
However, when it comes to grabbing the proverbial brass ring, a massive hoss doesn’t always translate into squared circle success-something the WWE and its fans know all too well. While the jury’s still out on a few of them, the fate of several other old school superstars has already been determined.
Currently serving as ⅓ of the tag team champion heel faction, The New Day, and the Florida deadlift record holder for his weight class (nearly 800 lbs.), it’s clear as day (no pun intended) that Big E. will be a force to be reckoned with for years to come. Word through the grapevine is that Vinny Mac initially preferred this former NXT and Intercontinental strap holder over Roman Reigns for the top spot at Wrestlemania 31.
However, it was supposedly CEO Triple H who ended up convincing him to use the latter. Below, watch his pecs make mincemeat out of 575 lbs!
With his singles push abruptly halted due to a crowded upper card, inaugural Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal winner Cesaro (alongside Tyson Kidd) is currently a key focal point of the newly upgraded tag team division. The swiss superstar’s in-ring skills and uber freakish strength (just ask The Great Khali) certainly make him one of the WWE’s strongest pound-for-pound workers.
This next man can be described in two words: Suplex City… Bitch! Okay well… technically that’s three. To Roman Reigns? More like ten German suplexes! Brock Lesnar is the holder of a slew of records-including the youngest WWE heavyweight champion of all-time (25) and only superstar to defeat The Undertaker at WrestleMania, to name a few.
Regardless, The Beast Incarnate still has a helluva lot of F5’s left in his tank to stay as the WWE’s top draw. Whether he remains a heel or proceeds with his planned face turn, there’s one thing that the WWE Universe can surely count on when he returns: Here comes the pain!
When Mark Henry wasn’t being written into embarrassing storylines-the birth of a hand and a sex addiction-he was being set up to squash opponents with his “World’s Strongest Man” power. Although Henry’s never quite been able to capture any true mainstream success, he has experienced both a World Heavyweight and ECW championship run.
Hysterically enough, Henry is also the only WWE superstar to ever make short work of a frying pan and steel rod in the history of its programming.
While Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson is undoubtedly “the most electrifying man in sports entertainment” to most wrestling marks, he’s also the epitome of big and strong. If there’s any skepticism whatsoever over that, all one has to do is look at the amount of asses he’s putting into the seats; even grossing 1.3 billion for the Hollywood box office in 2013.
The Great One was also involved in some of the WWE’s biggest programs during its Attitude Era. Check out The Rock in Beast Mode at a Budapest gym!
From a top eight Tough Enough finalist in 2005 to a current IC title holder, Ryback has had quite the unorthodox journey since first stepping foot inside the squared circle. During a 2010 live event as a then Skip Sheffield-packaged Nexus member, the “Feed Me More” superstar suffered a severely broken ankle that required him to go under the knife on three occasions.
Nearly a year-and-a-half later, he resurfaced and was eventually thrust into a major feud with John Cena. Get a load of him delivering the Shell Shocked to the 450-lb.-billed Big Show.
Hercules Hernandez seemed to have all the makings of a top star with his imposing bodybuilding figure-especially when he entered the ring with his gladiator getup. Unfortunately, the sole highlight of his four-year run in the WWF was a Saturday Night’s Main Event title match loss to The Hulkster in “86”.
On a positive note, Hercules did get to be accompanied by some of the WWF’s elite managers: Freddie Blassie, Harley Race and Bobby Heenan, amongst others. He did attempt to resurface in the WCW as the masked Super Invader at 1992’s Great American Bash, but it wound up being extremely short-lived.
Despite being inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2006, Tony Atlas’s struggle with drugs ultimately put a damper on what could’ve been a more promising career. The three-time Mr. USA did capture the tag belts with Rocky Johnson in “83”-but was also set for an Intercontinental title push, which never came to fruition due to his personal issues. The closest Atlas ever got to a singles title with the company was as Mark Henry’s manager in “08” (ECW heavyweight title). Here, he makes short work of a steel construction bar.
With a max bench of over 705 lbs., powerlifter Ted Arcidi’s fate as a WWF superstar seemed to be sealed. However, his only notable career moments came at the Wrestlemania II Battle Royal and as a member of Percival Pringle III aka Paul Bearer’s stable (w/Rick Rude, Cactus Jack Manson, The Dingo Warrior) in the Texas-based WCCW promotion.
Nevertheless, Arcidi’s very own moniker would come back to haunt him when he was ousted upon Ken Patera’s WWF return from prison; due to Vince Sr. not wanting two World’s Strongest Men on the roster.
Four-time U.S. Weightlifting championship victor Ken Patera, was clearly bred to be athletic-with his brother Jack having graced the NFL gridiron as both a player and coach. At the peak of his career, Patera concurrently held the WWWF Intercontinental title and the NWA titles.
Unfortunately, Patera was sentenced to two years in prison in 1984 for assaulting a police officer following a drive thru dispute. He soon returned to the WWF as a babyface, but began jobbing to midcard talent in 1988 after tearing his bicep tendon. Watch him drive a nail through a wooden board with his very own hand below!