Whether it's big cats, ferocious dogs, birds, bulls, or bees, the wrestling world is rife with animal-based gimmicks. From Japan to Mexico to WWE to the American independents, no wrestling company is complete without a few characters straight out of the animal kingdom. Get ready for some of the best (and worst) animal-based gimmicks in wrestling history!*For clarification, in order to meet the criteria here, the gimmick itself must be animal-based, meaning they must actually wrestle with the spirit of the animal, feign actually being an animal, or have actual animals as major part of their gimmick. Simply having an animal-related name or nickname (a la Hawk & Animal, or "The Rattlesnake", or "The Rabid Wolverine" isn't enough to qualify).
Perhaps the most well-known animal-based wrestling gimmick of all time is Jake "the Snake" Roberts. Never seen at ringside without a deadly python, his opponents were never prepared when Jake would surprise them with his patented DDT.
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With his oddly-colored tongue and his ability to tear apart turnbuckles with his teeth, George Steele epitomized his "Animal" nickname.
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When you heard the dog barks at the top of his theme song, you knew the Junkyard Dog was on his way to the ring. Adorned with a metal chain, his signature headbutts while on all fours showed that JYD encapsulated the essence of his canine-based gimmick.