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Top 7 Historical Figures That Could Have Been Wrestlers

March 16, 2020 | Posted by Steve Cook
Theodore Roosevelt

I’ve always been a fan of Jake “The Snake” Roberts. Going back to when I was a kid, there was just something about him that stood out from the pack. The snake helped, but I think it was his speaking ability that drew me in. Dude could spin a yarn.

Somehow, after several decades of drug abuse and general self-destruction, Jake’s come out on the other side and is once again contributing to pro wrestling. He still has the ability to make one think with his words. Take his recent speech during his first appearance on AEW Dynamite:

What stuck with me: Jake referring to Cody as “Caesar”. It got me thinking about other historical figures and how they might have fared in professional wrestling. Hence, this list of seven people I think would have done magnificently.

7. Khutulun

People want to tell me that Asuka’s winning streak upon entering WWE was impressive. It pales in comparison to that of the daughter of thirteenth century Central Asian ruler Kaidu. Khutulun was a tremendous warrior. She declared that any man that wanted to marry her had to defeat her in wrestling. She ended up collecting a herd of over ten thousand horses from men that failed to defeat her. Nobody ever did, so eventually she ended up picking somebody.

So the next time somebody wants to tell you that intergender wrestling is unbelievable, relate this little story to them.

6. Jim Thorpe

Thorpe is considered by many to be the greatest athlete of all time. He won Olympic gold medals in the pentathlon & decathlon. He played professional football, baseball & basketball. In college, he competed in all of these sports, lacrosse & ballroom dancing. Some say that he also excelled in wrestling, but I’ve seen no evidence of it and he certainly never competed professionally. Having more athletic ability than any man of his era, Thorpe would easily have been the best worker or shooter in pro wrestling.

Plus, he was a Native American & proud of it. It wouldn’t have taken long to figure out a gimmick for him.

5. George Washington

Washington was the one man that nobody wanted to mess with in the early days of America. He would just show up and be named President of this, General of that, whatever title people could give him at the moment. George had a pretty good build for his time period, standing 6’2 and weighing around 200 pounds. I have no doubt that not only would Washington have made a fantastic wrestler, he also would have been a staple behind the scenes as a promoter, booker or both.

4. Bette Davis

Pro wrestling is about more than just athletic ability. One needs to be able to act a part. If you want to get ahead, you need to be willing to play any kind of character, no matter how questionable. You need to be willing to be hated. Davis was always happy to play the heel on screen, and was willing to speak her mind and raise hell off screen. She would have had the guts to succeed in wrestling during any time period. Davis also stood out from a physical perspective from the rest of her peers.

3. Grigori Rasputin

Rasputin was a charismatic son of a gun. Came out of the depths of Siberia to become the top adviser to Tsar Nicholas II & his wife. Had quite the reputation with the ladies. His toughness was revealed when his enemies decided to assassinate him. Several attempts of poisoning didn’t work, and it took several gunshot blasts at close range to finally bring him down. That combination of grit & charisma should get one far in pro wrestling.

2. Theodore Roosevelt

Whenever we talk about who the toughest US President was, Teddy is always in the mix. He led the Roughriders during the Spanish American War. He survived an assassination attempt and finished his speech he was giving during it. He spoke softly while carrying a big stick, but when he spoke, people listened. 

Teddy was also great for merchandising purposes. People are still buying teddy bears today!

1. Jesus Christ

OK, so there are some varying accounts over this fella’s life. There are two schools of thought, both of which play well into Christ’s potential in pro wrestling. Either he actually came back from the dead, or he convinced a lot of people that he did. I’m not here to tell you what to believe. I’m just saying that either skill can be useful in this business.

Add in the fact that he was a great promo and every depiction I’ve seen of his life indicates that he was  in great shape, and Jesus seems like a no-brainer to main event a WrestleMania. He also had great hair from all accounts. Jesus ticks all the boxes of a “top guy”.

Anybody else remember when Chris Hyatte wrote that column about Jesus in wrestling? Good times. 

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Steve Cook