wrestling / Columns

Top 7 Iconic Wrestling Tattoos

February 21, 2020 | Posted by Steve Cook
Bam Bam Bigelow

We get requests sometimes at [email protected] Some are good, some are great, and some are timely as well. Our buddy IMissMarkingOut sent one in that definitely qualifies as at least two out of the three:

I am requesting a Top 7 of best/most iconic pro wrestling tattoos!

With Bill Goldberg returning to WWE recently, it only makes sense to take a look back at some of pro wrestling’s most iconic/notable tattoos. Since I don’t have any tattoos of my own and my art criticism is probably even more faulty than my wrestling criticism, I’ll save “best” for others to discuss. Some folks like Rey Mysterio, Dave Batista & others have some really cool stuff going on, and more power to them. Today, we’re looking at the ones that stood out the most over the years.

These are the 7 most magnificently iconic wrestling tattoos.

7. Undertaker’s “Sara” tattoo

Let’s be clear, Undertaker has way too many tattoos for one to really stand out among the pack. There is one that people seem to remember more than others, one that Undertaker actually had to have removed…

Ah yes, the Sara tattoo. When Undertaker returned under the American Badass persona, one of the things people noticed was a new tattoo on the front of his neck. I imagine getting a tattoo there has to be pretty painful, but that was Undertaker’s way of honoring his new wife at the time. We would see Sara later on during the WCW Invasion when DDP decided that stalking Undertaker’s wife was a good way to make his debut in the WWF. Undertaker later had the tatoo removed when they got divorced, which was only kind of awkward because it wasn’t like anybody was going to ask him about it.

6. John “Earthquake” Tenta’s LSU Tigers tattoo

John Tenta was a collegiate wrestler & football player at Louisiana State University. His love of LSU & being a tiger led him to having a tiger tattooed on his left bicep. This led to problems later on when Tenta decided he wanted to be a sumo wrestler in Japan. Over there, tattoos were associated with gangsters, and public display was actually forbidden by the law. Tenta had to cover the tattoo with tape while participating in sumo, which was a minor inconvenience compared to what he went through in WCW.

Notice the change in tattoo? After becoming The Shark, it was suggested that Tenta alter his tattoo to depict a shark instead of a tiger. Great idea, except for the fact that the gimmick was killed off not long after Tenta got the work done. Hopefully WCW covered the charges on that one.

5. Lita’s Shoulder tattoo

There weren’t a lot of women running around with visible tattoos back in the late 1990s. Sure, you had your Luna Vachons to play the scary heels, but for the most part, wrestling tended to push non-tatted up types as sex symbols. Sunny, Sable, folks like that. Then Lita came along, and she had this really cool tattoo on her shoulder. I didn’t know what it was, but I was intrigued. It seems like such a small thing now because tattoos are more prevalent in women’s wrestling, but back in 2000 it was a pretty big deal and really helped Lita stand out from the pack.

4. CM Punk’s Pepsi tattoo

Punk, like pretty much every wrestler of his era, has gained a large number of tats over the years and they’ve combined into a pretty cool design. His sraight edge & drug free tattoos have gotten attention, but what’s the one he’s most known for? A Pepsi logo! Young Punk was reading about one of his favorite singers getting a Coca Cola tattoo, and decided that since he liked Pepsi better he would get a Pepsi tattoo. Once he got to WWE there was no chance they were going to merchandise that stuff, but during his indy run most of his move names had the word “Pepsi” in it.

3. The Rock’s Brahma Bull tattoo

Towards the end of his wrestling days, Rock got a pretty badass tat on his left arm that told his life story or some such thing. We’re here to talk about the Brahma Bull, which became a nickname for Rocky and integral to some of his merchandising. I don’t think there was much of an explanation for it other than Rock’s horoscope sign is Taurus, but it caught on like everything else Rock tried to get over back in the day.

2. Goldberg’s tribal ink

OK, so Goldberg’s shoulder tribal tattoo was kind of indicative of the period where everybody was getting lame tribal tattoos for no real reason. There’s an old belief in pro wrestling that comes to mind when I think of Goldberg’s tattoo. Wrestlers back in the day would tell you that the best wrestler was the one that made the most money. Goldberg’s tattoo became part of his marketing & merchandising, so it’s pretty well certain that Goldberg’s tattoo has made more money for its wearer than any other tattoo in the history of wrestling.

It even inspired youngsters.

1. Bam Bam Bigelow’s flaming skull

Bam Bam has been overlooked & underrated since he disappeared from the national wrestling scene in the early 2000s & passed away in 2007. Heck, he was overlooked & underrated before then. For whatever reason, he never really got a foothold in the WWF or WCW for a long enough period of time to be one of the top guys. He had the ability. He had the size. Most importantly…

HE HAD A TATTOO ON HIS SKULL!

You know a good way to stand out from a crowd? Have a tattoo that takes up the entire area on your skull where hair should be. If people remember one thing about Bam Bam Bigelow, it’s probably his tatted skull.

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