There have been many arguments between fans of the WWE about the authenticity of the fights – if they are real or just well scripted. But either way, these fans are entertained to the fullest each time these famous WWE wrestlers mount the ring.
The WWE is an American entertainment company which was initially founded as Capitol Wrestling Corporation Limited on January 7, 1952, by Jess McMahon and Toots Mondt. Its ownership changed 38 years later on February 21, 1980, to Linda McMahon and Vince McMahon. The new owners brought in a new idea for the show, which turned it into pure entertainment and not actual legitimate company combat. This time, fights were scripted and very well choreographed. The new owners also brought in a change in the show’s name and called it “Titan Sport, Inc”.
It has since changed in subsequent years also, from Titans Sport, Inc. to World Wrestling Federation, Inc. to World Wrestling Federation Entertainment, Inc. and to its current trading name, World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc.
The WWE has featured big-named performers like Hulk Hogan, its first major superstar who turned out to be one of the greatest wrestlers on the show, and also modern-day superstar like John Cena. It is the likes of these prominent WWE superstars that we will be looking at today. These famous WWE wrestlers have captured our hearts with their performances and even though some are fully retired, we just cannot forget how well they captured our hearts.
Famous WWE Wrestlers Who Captured Our Hearts
Not many would be familiar with the name Terry Gene Bollea, but when referred to as Hulk Hogan, millions of WWE fans would rise to cheer him. The retired American wrestler and actor was born on August 11, 1953, in Augusta, Georgia, United States. His father, Pietro Peter Bollea was a construction foreman while his mother, Ruth Bollea was a dance teacher and homemaker.
Growing up, his family moved to Port Tampa, Florida when he was a year old. He played baseball in the Little League Baseball. He was a good pitcher and his performance attracted quite a number of scouts, he wanted to go pro but suffered a career-ending injury which stalled his chances of playing professional baseball.
After he graduated from high school, Hulk Hogan attended the University of South Florida. He spent half his time there studying and the other half doing music gigs, playing the fretless guitar for several rock bands in Florida. When he couldn’t handle both music and school, he decided to drop out of the university and focus on his music. In 1976, he formed a rock band with two other musicians, which they named Ruckus. During one of their performances at a bar which regularly accommodated wrestling stars, the Brisco brothers were in attendance and they were impressed by Hogan’s body stature, which led them to approach him and ask that he venture into wrestling. Hogan said yes and soon began training with Hiring Matsuda.
He joined the WWE in 1979 when it was still known as WWF. It was Terry Funk who introduced Hogan to Vincent McMahon who in turn was impressed with Hogan’s physical stature and hired him straight away. He fought his first WWF match on November 17, 1979, against Harry Valdez who he defeated. After his debut in the WWF, he went on to make a name for himself and is widely regarded by many as the greatest wrestler ever in the history of the WWE. He was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2005 and is currently married to Jennifer McDaniel since 2010. Hogan has two kids, Brooke Hogan and Nick Hogan.
He was born as Bret Sergeant Hart but is widely known in the wrestling world as Bret “The Hitman” Hart and is largely regarded as one of the greatest professional wrestlers of all time. This is also evidenced by the fact that he was a fans favorite during his time in the ring. The Hitman as he was referred as, was born on July 2, 1957, in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. He worked his way up through the ranks to become one of the best known Canadian-American retired professional wrestler, actor, and writer.
The former WWE superstar was born into a wrestling family; his father, Stu Hart was a wrestling promoter who trained former wrestlers like Billy Graham. His mother’s name is Helen Hart and Bret was the eighth of 11 children born into the family. Like Bret, his siblings also ventured in wrestling. His late brother Owen Hart also wrestled in the WWF and on a number of occasions, they faced off against each other in the ring and at other times, they fought together as a tag team.
He attended Ernest Manning High School and was the school’s best amateur wrestler. He went on to study filmmaking at Royal College and was part of the college’s wrestling team. He impressed his coaches and his father and soon began training with his father’s Stampede Wrestling Promotion with the aim of becoming a professional wrestler. In 1976, he began officiating wrestling matches and did so well that in 1978, when one of the intended wrestlers was not available to perform, Stu asked Bret to take the spot and he accepted it. From that day, Bret became a regular contender. He partnered with his brother Keith and together they won the Stampede International Tag Team Championship on four occasions.
He was recruited by the WWF in August 1984. During the course of his career in the WWF and WCW, he won five WWF World Heavyweight Championships and two WCW World Heavyweight Championship as well as the 1994 Royal Rumble. He is the first man to win both WWF and WCW Triple Crown Championship and the only wrestler ever to have won King of the Ring on two occasions. For all of his hard and impressive work, Bret was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2006.
He is married to Stephanie Washington, after having been divorced twice from Julie Smadu and Cinzia Rota. Hart has four kids.
Stone Cold Steve Austin
WWE legend, Stone Cold Steve Austin is a former American professional wrestler, actor, producer, and television personality. He was born in Austin, Texas, on December 18, 1974, as Steven James Anderson. Steve Austin weighs 114kg and is 1.88m tall. His parents, James Anderson and Beverly Harrison got divorced when Austin was barely a year old. His mother got custody of him and they relocated to Victoria, Texas. When Austin was four, his mother married Ken Williams. He then adopted the surname of his stepfather and was then known as Steven James Williams. He grew up with his siblings Scott, Kevin, Jeff and Jennifer attending Edna High School in Edna, Texas and playing football for his high school team after which he got a full scholarship to study and play football at the University of North Texas.
Austin signed with WWF in 1995, thanks to Kevin Nash and Jim Ross who helped convince Vince McMahon to hire him. Austin’s debut in the WWF came early in the following year on an episode of Raw and his manager, Ted DiBiase handed him the Million Dollar Championship. His debut match then came on January 15, 1996, on an episode of Raw, where he defeated Matt Hardy. During the course of his successful career with America’s top wrestling company WWE, he was a six-time WWF Champion, an Intercontinental Champion twice and a four-time WWF Tag Team Champion.
He also held two WCW United States Heavyweight Championship, two WCW World Television Championships, one WCW World Tag Team Championship, and an NWA World Tag Team Championship. He holds the record for the highest number of Royal Rumble wins, winning the Pay Per View event on three occasions, in 1997, 1998 and 2001. He also won the 1996 King of the Ring.
Steve Austin has been married four times and has not been lucky on three of these four occasions. He married his high school sweetheart Kathryn Burrhus in 1990, his second marriage was to Jeanie Clarke and the pair were married from 1992 to 1999. He then married female wrestler, Debra Marshall in 2000, they divorced in 2003. Austin is currently in his fourth and longest marriage with Kristin Feres since 2009. His children include Stephanie, Cassidy, and Jade.
McMahon, the owner of WWE along with some other top individuals in the industry, named Austin the biggest superstar in the history of WWE and also acknowledged that his fame surpasses that of Hulk Hogan.
Mark William Calaway, popularly known as “The Undertaker” is an American professional wrestler and actor. He was born in Houston, Texas, on March 24, 1965, and is considered as one of the most famous WWE wrestlers, with a billed height of about 6ft. 10in and weighing 309Ib. He is the youngest of the five kids born to Frank Compton Calaway and Betty Catherine Truly. His four brothers are Paul, Timothy, David, and Michaels. Calaway was a member of Waltrip High School football and basketball teams. He graduated from Waltrip High School in 1983 and began attending Texas Wesleyan University, studying sports management and also joined the university basketball team. In his sophomore year, he dropped out of school so he could focus more on sports. He wanted to play professional basketball in Europe but eventually settled for his obvious choice of career, as a wrestler.
Prior to joining the WWE, he wrestled in WCCW, CWA, and WCW. He joined the WWF in 1990, as Kane the Undertaker. He made his official WWF debut at the 1990 Survival Series as the partner of Ted DiBiase’s Million Dollar Team. After the Pay Per View event, he was then referred to as The Undertaker. His alias character is a Macabre character who had links to the supernatural.
The Undertaker is well known for his 21 straight victories at WrestleMania, which was referred to as “The Streak”. He lost the streak when he lost to Brock Lesnar at WrestleMania XXX in 2014. The defeat of The Undertaker at WrestleMania XXX was tagged as “the most shocking result in WWE history”.
Between the era of WWF and WWE, he held 15 Championships, four WWE/WWF Championships, three World Heavyweight Championships, six WWF World Tag Team Championships, one WWF Hardcore Championship, and one WCW Tag Team Championship. He has the highest Pay Per View victories, a record of 101 victories.
He is married to Michelle McCool, they got married in 2010. He has also been in two previously failed marriages, with Jodi Lynn and Sara Frank. He has four kids.
Michael Shawn Hickenbottom is a retired professional wrestler, actor and television presenter. He is recognized by a huge number of WWE fans as not just one of the famous WWE wrestlers, but also as the greatest wrestler in the history of the wrestling entertainment company. He was born and raised in a military home along with his three other siblings. He attended Randolph High School and was captain of his high school football team. He went on to attend Southwest Texas State University but later dropped out so he could pursue a career as a professional wrestler.
He joined the WWF in 1987 as a member of a two-man team called the Midnight Rockers. Two weeks after he and Marty Jannetty got signed into WWF, they got fired. They later re-signed into the WWF in 1988. They did eventually split up in 1991, and Shawn Michaels adopted the nickname “HeartBreak Kid”. Also considered as one of the famous WWE wrestlers of our time, Michaels has several individual and tag team championships. He is the co-founder of D-Generation X, which had original members, Triple H, Chyna and Rick Rude.
He retired in 1998 but continued to play non-wrestling roles until 2000. In 2002, he returned from his retirement and continued to wrestle occasionally until he was ceremoniously retired in 2010. He then began a career as a trainer in 2016 and returned in 2018 for a single match.
He won four World Championships, three WWF Championships, and one WWE World Heavyweight Championship. He also won two Royal Rumbles and is the first superstar to win a Royal Rumble as the number one entrant. He was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2011.
His first marriage was to Theresa Wood, and it lasted from 1988 to 1994. Five years after the marriage hit the rocks, he got remarried to Rebecca Curci. The couple has two kids together, a son, Cameron Made and a daughter, Cheyenne.