Mythological Creatures in Pro-Wrestling!

As many of you know, I’m a lifelong wrestling fan. I’m also a wrestling fan with strange tastes. Most of my friends prefer wrestlers with slick attitudes and crisp moves, but I always preferred the MONSTERS.

In the decades I’ve spent watching wrestling, I’ve seen my share of them, from One Man Gang to Kamala to The Undertaker. So long as the particular wrestlers were very big and somewhat scary, I was on their side. Didn’t matter if they couldn’t move, or if their punches looked bad, or if their promos sounded like cab drivers trying to insult old ladies with G-rated language. I LOVED them. They were like B movies come to life in a wrestling ring.

Several of those wrestlers had something else in common: They were based on actual legendary creatures. Yes, there really were wrestler versions of the Yeti and the Loch Ness Monster!

Collected below are six such grapplers. Let’s see how they compare to the beasts that inspired ‘em!

(Note: I’m sticking strictly to mythological and legendary creatures. That means I’m not including wrestlers who were meant to represent real animals, nor am I including wrestlers meant to mimic specific fictional characters. Basically, to be included here, the wrestler’s inspiration needed to be covered on Unsolved Mysteries.)


The Yeti!

THE CREATURE: Also known as the Abominable Snowman, the Yeti is basically a wintry version of Bigfoot. Reports peg the creature as a hulking, ape-like monster that towers over men and stalks its prey all over the Himalayas. Save for the blue skin, Blizzard from Primal Rage is a good representation of what the Yeti is supposed to look like.

THE WRESTLER: Oh, brother. Debuting in 1995 as part of the Dungeon of Doom, WCW’s Yeti stood more than seven feet tall and looked just a bit like a mummy. (Well, no, I’m understating things. He looked EXACTLY like a mummy, and NOTHING like a Yeti. The only “Yeti” thing about him was that he debuted on live television by breaking out of a ten foot phony ice cube. For real.)

After helping his monstrous friends beat up Hulk Hogan, somebody at WCW realized that a guy covered in ill-fitting bandages probably wouldn’t survive a match without pulling back the curtain too far. Thus, when it was time for the Yeti to actually wrestle, he randomly sported a ninja costume instead. (The throwaway explanation provided by the announcers was that he “thawed out.”)

WCW’s Yeti did not last long, and is largely considered one of the most hilarious offenses in wrestling history. I don’t care. It was a giant guy covered in paper towels who looked like a mummy but was called “Yeti.” I don’t see how sane, rational people wouldn’t love that.


The Minotaur!

THE CREATURE: Rooted in Greek mythology, the Minotaur had a muscular human body topped with a giant bull head. Banished to a labyrinth to keep him from eating people, Minotaur was the son of a goddess and a bull.

THE WRESTLER: Arriving in the World Wrestling Federation in 1995, Mantaur was one of the company’s biggest and yet most harmless misfires. (Biggest because DUH, it was a wrestling minotaur. Most harmless because, hey, nobody was expecting big things from a wrestling minotaur.)

Portrayed by Mike Halac, Mantaur was a 400 pound giant who walked to the ring with a giant bull mask on. Fortunately for Halac, he wasn’t asked to actually wrestle in that outfit. Instead, before each match, he’d simply remove the bull mask to reveal a round face decorated with stripes of black paint. Of course, shattering the illusion didn’t stop Mantaur from acting like a bull, or more accurately a bull from a rodeo-themed Looney Tunes short.

The best thing about Mantaur was his entrance music, which sounded like a moose trying to take a shit while riding a train.


The Loch Ness Monster!

THE CREATURE: Said to lurk the Scottish lake that gave it its name, “Nessie” is a fan favorite among cryptid enthusiasts. Now pretty much universally known to be bogus, the idea was that a relic colony of plesiosaurs somehow survived long enough to be caught on film. Despite the long list of sincere attempts to prove Nessie’s existence, most of the more recent expeditions carry the air of a lark.

THE WRESTLER: Loch Ness was another member of WCW’s Dungeon of Doom, but at least in this case, he wasn’t meant to literally be the creature he was named for. In fact, wrestler Martin Luane — more famously known for his “Giant Haystacks” character — had used the Loch Ness name many years before arriving in WCW. (If I recall correctly, it was none other than Bret Hart who originally gave him the gimmick, back in his Stampede Wrestling days!)

By the time he appeared in WCW, Loch Ness was long in the tooth but no smaller in stature. Just shy of seven feet tall, he had a billed weight of over 600 pounds! Even with the acknowledgement that wrestling companies commonly exaggerate their charges’ physical attributes, this was one huge dude.

Sadly, Loch Ness’s run in WCW never seemed to click. His feud with Hulk Hogan didn’t amount to much, and Loch Ness’s one truly notable moment was “passing the torch” to The Giant. (…who’d later become The Big Show, who still wrestles today!)

I doubt that many fans were hoping for a more prolific run, but I sure was. I always loved these big monsters, and a giant loon in a mechanic’s outfit was absolutely my speed. The fact that he was named after one of my favorite cryptids just made things all the sweeter!



THE CREATURES: Dragons have too rich of a history for me to catalog here, but you know what they are. Big giant flying lizards that spit fire. The biggest budget drains on Game of Thrones.

THE WRESTLER: You’ve probably heard of Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat, an absolute legend and inarguably one of the best wrestlers ever. In my childhood circles, I dare say that he was even more popular than Hulk Hogan!

At that point, the “Dragon” thing was purely a nickname, with Steamboat acting as the WWF’s answer to Bruce Lee. Unfortunately, when Steamboat returned the WWF in 1991, it was taken three steps further and two too far. Then known simply as “The Dragon,” the Steamboat name was only occasionally mentioned, and the poor guy now had to actually act like a dragon.

He’d come to the ring dressed like one, and even had to breathe fire as part of his entrance. These theatrics could be construed as an attempt to give a “regular” guy more pizazz, but some fans theorize that the whole thing was his punishment for leaving the WWF in the first place.

Though he was still quite popular under this guise, even the me-of-1991 recognized these new accoutrements as an albatross. Steamboat again left the company that same year, and few count his run as a fire-breathing literal dragon as a career highlight.



THE CREATURES: They come out at night to drink our blood. They dress well and usually have great haircuts. Sometimes, they turn into bats. They have pointy fangs and can live forever. They are vampires.

THE WRESTLER: David Heath had experience playing a wrestling vampire even before the WWF rechristened him as “Gangrel” in 1998. If they were gonna do it, he was the best choice.

The WWF seemed oddly intent to never outright call Gangrel a vampire, but yeah, he was. The guy had fangs, wore the Seinfeld puffy shirt, and started his matches by drinking from a chalice of blood. Definitely a vampire.

The gimmick sounds hokey, but for a while it was pretty cool. In 1998, the WWF was firmly entrenched in its “Attitude Era,” where every line could be crossed. Had Gangrel debuted just a few years earlier, the presentation might’ve been more lamely “hinty.” Instead, he got an absolutely badass entrance, where he figuratively rose from the grave, accompanied by the hippest vampire music ever.

(Oh, and he sometimes got to bathe his opponents in blood, which would magically rain down from the ceiling. Fans didn’t latch onto Gangrel with too much gusto, but everyone loved those stupid bloodbaths.)



THE CREATURE: From Irish folklore, leprechauns are tricky elves who hide pots of gold at the ends of rainbows. They can also grant wishes.

THE WRESTLER: If you’re a wrestling fan, you probably expected this to be about Hornswoggle, who once served at Fit Finlay’s leprechaun “mascot.” I’ll grant that he’s the more famous wrestling leprechaun, but I gotta be me, and I’m going with Braun.

From WCW, Braun the Leprechaun was another member of the Dungeon of Doom, albeit only for a brief stint. DeWayne Bruce portrayed him, but only after spending a fair chunk of time under the guise of Sergeant Buddy Lee Parker… leaving fans to wonder how a gruff military dude became a goddamned leprechaun.

In any case, I enjoyed the character. Braun the Leprechaun was super aggressive, acting less like a leprechaun and more like a ticked-off asylum escapee who just happened to dress like one. It wasn’t a gimmick that would take someone to the world title, but hey, not all of them can be.

Thanks for reading about a bunch of old wrestlers wearing Halloween costumes!