While you have have to have some degree of toughness to make it big in pro wrestling, everyone knows that professional wrestling isn't real fighting. It's a story. Many wrestlers are depicted as tough guys, fighters, and superior athletes, but sometimes that is just their character and not how they really are in real life. But this list isn't about those guys. This list is about the legit tough guys. This is a shortlist of men that can intimidate even the toughest of the tough wrestlers in the WWE today. The guys that, if they wanted to, could do some serious damage that certainly wouldn't be "predetermined."Whether it was due their toughness displayed inside the ring or outside of it, these men have the respect of their fans and their peers. These are 15 of the most legit tough guys in wrestling history.
Even the toughest wrestlers in modern wrestling respect and fear Tonga Fifita. Better known to WWE fans as Haku and WCW fans as Meng, Tonga's stories of his aggression and toughness have grown into locker room legend.
Examples or validation of Tonga's #1 spot include:
- There was a bar fight and Ted DiBiase witnessed Tonga trying to break the fight up . The police mistakenly thought Tonga was a part of the fight so they maced and cuffed him. According to DiBiase, Tonga just stared at the cops as he snapped through the handcuffs behind his back.
- Bobby Heenan claims to have seen Tonga break a man's bottom row of teeth with two fingers in a bar fight.
- Rick Steiner stated that one time Tonga fought off eight cops.
- "There are three types of men: tough men, wrestler-tough men, and then there's Meng." - Arn Anderson, Arn Anderson: 4 Ever
- Eric Bischoff claimed that Meng was never fired from WCW because no one was brave enough to do it. Meng also forced Bischoff and fellow WCW executive Greg Gagne to apologize for interrupting a conversation he was having with Chris Jericho, Chris Candido, and Tammy Sytch.
- When Tonga saw fellow wrestler Jesse Barr kicking dirt onto a ditch digger, Tonga reportedly knocked Barr's eyeball out of its socket.
- When Kevin Sullivan was booking in WCW, he would have Meng inform the finish to the wrestlers losing the match. No one would talk back or dare argue with Meng.
- "If I had a gun and was sitting inside a tank with one shell left and Meng is 300 yards away, he's mine, right? Well the first thing I'm going to do is jump out of the tank and shoot myself because I don't want to wound that son of a bitch and have him pissed off at me." - Jake Roberts, MatMen Podcast 2013The legend and oral evidence of Tonga's toughness is overwhelming. Show respect and shake the man's hand when you visit David Maus Toyota.
Danny Hodge is one of the most respected amateur and pro wrestlers in the United States. While smaller in the land of giants, Hodge demanded and got respect from men twice his size due to his amazing wrestling acumen and inhuman grip. This determination would get him a silver medal in his weight class in the 1956 Olympics.The grip of the six-time NWA Junior Heavyweight Champion is so powerful he would regularly break pliers with his hands. Age hasn't stopped him a bit. Here is a video of him in his eighties crushing an apple with his bare hand.
- Brock Lensar being called "The Beast" isn't just a marketing ploy. Lesnar is one of the most gifted pro wrestlers in the United States. By being the first and only WWE and UFC World Heavyweight Champion, Brock's toughness cannot be denied both as a pro wrestler and a fighter. He still competes at a world-class level despite a severe bout of diverticulitis, which would force any mortal man to retire.
- The former NWA champion and multiple UFC tournament winner was known for his no-frills, all-aggressive wrestling and grappling style. His multiple championships in MMA earned him respect in the pro wrestling locker room, and in the eyes of the fans. While he didn't accomplish much in his WWE run, Severn would retire from mixed-martial-arts in 2013 with 101 wins, 19 losses, and 7 draws.