Professional wrestlers are often known for their famous taunting skills or theatrical fighting moves. Yet many of these athletes have a hidden, softer side - making their heroic deeds some of the most compelling wrestling-related stories out there.
From famous 1980s wrestler Bam Bam rescuing children from a fire, to 1990s wrestling star Mr. Perfect untangling his friend from barbed wire and saving his life, these pros were champions inside the ring and out.
If you thought you knew everything about pro wrestlers, think again. Enjoy these heartwarming stories - and don't forget to grab some tissues.
Scott "Bam Bam" Bigelow was a larger-than-life figure in the wrestling world throughout the 1980s and '90s. While he was known for the flame tattoo covering his bald head, the symbolism of that tattoo would hold a much larger meaning after a fateful night in 2000.
Bigelow was arriving home from a wrestling trip when he noticed a fire just down the road from his house. After hearing screams, he began bursting through the house's doors - even running through a wall to get to the victims. In his own words:
When I finally made it upstairs, I grabbed the three kids and came back through the same fire, and now I was on fire.
While he saved the children's lives, he didn't walk away unscathed. Bigelow ended up burning 40% of his body, and was hospitalized for two months. When asked of his personal sacrifice, he said, "I did what anybody would have tried to do."
Curt "Mr. Perfect" Hennig flew onto the wrestling scene in the early 1980s and become a fixture there throughout the '90s. While known for being one of the hardest-working wrestlers in the business, Hennig is also revered for a heroic act in the middle of an Iowa field.
He was out deer hunting with his friend Wade Boggs, a baseball legend and Hall of Famer. As Boggs tried to climb over a fence, his leg got tangled in barbed wire. He found himself upside down, unable to get out, with a massive gash across his leg. Hennig freed Boggs and carried him nearly a mile to their truck, then drove to the hospital. Boggs considers Hennig to be his "guardian angel," stating, "I would have bled to death on that barbed wire if he wasn't there."
While Hennig succumbed to a drug overdose in 2003, his old friend Boggs was the person chosen to induct Hennig posthumously into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2007.
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Perry Saturn Was Shot Twice While Saving A Woman Who Was Being Assaulted
Perry "Perry Saturn" Satullo was well-known in the ring throughout his time in the spotlight in the 1990s. While his wrestling was starting to slow down in the early 2000s, an event in 2004 put a sudden halt on his career and left a lasting impression for the rest of his life.
While driving with his girlfriend in Atlanta, Satullo witnessed two men sexually assaulting a woman. A retired Army Ranger, he jumped into action. As Satullo fought the attackers, he was shot twice: once in the shoulder, and once in the neck.
The pain from the injuries was so intense that he started using drugs to mitigate the pain. This led to a meth addiction and years of drug abuse that ultimately led to Satullo being homeless for several years. While he hasn't been very public since the incident, he did announce in 2010 that he was sober and had gotten married.
Andre the Giant is legendary for his wrestling and acting careers alike. There are countless stories of Andre being an incredibly kind, generous man. One of the sweetest stories came from his The Princess Bride costar, Mandy Patinkin.
Patinkin said that after the last day of filming, Andre stayed behind and took photos for hours with anyone who wanted one - not turning a single person away. As Patinkin recalled:
The movie was over, the final shot was made, and we stayed around for two, three, four, five hours while every person, every grown-up and their family came by, waited in line like children at Disney Land to stand with Andre and have their photograph taken. And he took his photograph with every single person that asked. And it was a lesson of a lifetime for me.
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Davey Boy Smith, Jr. Saved A Woman Hanging From The Side Of A Bridge
Harry Smith, whose ring name is Davey Boy Smith, Jr., has made a name for himself in wrestling after coming out of the shadows of his father, the famous "British Bulldog" Davey Boy Smith.
In 2017, however, he made global headlines for his courageous act of saving a woman's life. Smith was driving by a bridge in Calgary, Canada, when he noticed someone hanging off the side. Hopping out, he approached the woman, but she threatened to jump if he got any closer. Smith recalled:
I decided to grab a hold of her and not take any chances. She started to slide and want to go more as I grabbed a hold [of] her.
Smith was able to pull the woman up and restrain her, even as she told him she had a gun.
I told her "miss, [you’re] not going to move unless I want you to, I’m an expert grappler and [you’re] not going to shoot me. We will get you help; life is a precious thing and I’m here to help you."
Smith held the woman down until police arrived, after which she was transported to a hospital.
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Chris Mordetzky, whose ring name is Chris Masters, started making a name for himself throughout the 2000s. However, much of the general public learned of him after his heroic feat in 2013.
After receiving a call from his mother's friend, Masters rushed to his mother's house to find that her deranged neighbor had taken her hostage. He had barricaded the door, and threatened to burn the place down if anyone tried to come in.
Police quickly became involved, and as they were negotiating, smoke started pouring out of the house. Masters knew his mother was in her bedroom, but the police were unable to break the window due to a 10-foot tree in front of it. So, the 6-foot 4-inch, 265-pound man pulled the tree out of the ground with his bare hands and smashed the window with it.
After the incident, Masters said:
You're not really reasonable, especially when it comes to your mom. It was probably the longest hour of my life. The main thing is I got my mom out safe.