"I am the reaper of wayward souls, I am the world heavyweight champion and this, this is the holy grail of everyone who steps foot in this ring. And that is why it was so important that I possess it, because every wayward soul would stray from crossing the path of The Undertaker! But now, consumed by the lust of fortune and fame, the recognition that this championship brings will lead them down a road which they will sorry they ever embarked. Because that road ends in my yard. For them it will be a graveyard."
--The Undertaker, Friday Night Smackdown
Is he out to win championships
? Does he live to entertain the fans
? Is it all about the money
? No, all he cares about is destruction, preferably the destruction of other living things. His shadow stretches far, his footsteps fall hard, he strikes swiftly, his Battle Cry
being the only warning, if you're lucky
. He's as strong as he is fast, as tough as he is agile, he's savage and is likely from Parts Unknown
. He's a monster!
Some monsters are too dumb to understand anything other than fighting. Some are reasonably intelligent if a little disturbed, criminally psychotic by most standards but you can get away with a lot in wrestling world. Some turn out to not be that bad, simply mislead by a depraved manager but these are bad for the reigning champion, as the manager can give them a focus they would otherwise lack. A monster's strength and fury can be fueled by external forces like medicine that had unintended side effects on him. Some claim to have super natural powers, some claim to beasts that only take the guise of a man.
What all monsters have in common is incredible endurance. They may be huge but being big isn't enough. They maybe crazy or vicious and but that still isn't enough. Many have power contested only by the The Giant
or the World's Strongest Man
along with the agility of high fliers but to be a monster he must also be insanely tough. Some will teeter but not fall. Others will always get back up. The worst seemingly Feel No Pain
at all: move them, bruise them, cut open their bodies but it will do little to slow them down.
One thing that makes a monster different from The Giant
is movement. Monsters are tough but not as unmovable as giants and are more likely to chase down fleeing foes than giants. Wrestlers will often be given giant gimmicks to emphasize their appearance while distracting viewers from their lack of talent. Monsters may lack in some areas of Wrestling Psychology
but the gimmick is usually given so a wrestler can spend more time showcasing their impressive offensive moves and less time selling
. Wild Samoan
is a subtrope. For a broader take see Our Monsters Are Different
- Big Van Vader, as said by Zach Arnold
"He revolutionized what people thought of a monster heavyweight wrestler. He elevated the standards of what it meant to be an agile giant who could make fans believe that he could destroy everyone."
Anime And Manga
- Bill Goldberg, who steamed rolled through the entire roster during his WCW reign and became the biggest face in the company. His monster status became most obvious when he no sold a flurry of offense from the similarly undefeated Glacier. It took a taser to keep him down.
- The Undertaker, but less so during his biker gimmick. Being a soul stealing, zombie gravedigger it came with the territory. Besides the standard monster endurance he could also control electricity and instantly move through darkness.
- Kane, being the little brother of the Undertaker. He was less known for winning titles than for torturing the rest of the roster.
- The Monster Abyss, being equal parts an expy of Mankind and Kane. His time spent not playing this role is considered something of a Dork Age.
- Psycho Sid was nominally billed as one, though many fans thought he fell short. He was pretty convincing against smaller guys like Shawn Michaels if nothing else.
- Jon Heidenreich, a violent poem reading barbarian who could not accept the fact he lost to the Undertaker. Famously kidnapped and suggestively punished Michael Cole. Became best friends with Booker T after the latter bashed him upside the head with a chair, Heidenreich thought they were friends anyway.
- The Legion of Doom's primary members, Road Warriors Hawk and Animal, a monster tag team. Heidenreich was also briefly in the Legion of Doom.
- Festus the "Corn Fed Colossus" was usually subdued, only becoming this trope when he heard the sound of a bell. It was revealed his family were using drugs to keep him sedate but Jesse discovered that bells made him come alive for some reason and decided to sick him on the WWE.
- Batista used to be this trope, especially in OVW where he was "The Leviathan, Demon Of The Deep, Right Hand Of The Devil Himself!". It pretty much came to and end once he was allowed to hold a microphone for over a minute. He remained a tough competitor but lost the invincibility and the mystique.
- Brock Lesnar, the next big thing. Smackdown had a nice amount of cruiser weight wrestlers to feed him and he was faster than most of them too. He also out muscled the those in his weight class and was pretty much booked to be an invincible heartless bastard helped by the fact he broke Hardcore Holly's neck, and the fact he finished a match when his own was broken!
- Hitting moonsaults while weighing around 91KG at 1.70 meters was impressive enough but Bull Nakano sometimes completely no sold back suplexes just to drive in how futile her opponent's effort was.
- Amazing Kong/Awesome Kong/Karma has been booked as a giant style wrestler but she can play this role she as well. Best seen in TNA where she started as immovable giant but became better known for never staying down, her all around skill and for her evil manager.
- Her "mentor/rival" Aja Kong is a similar case, who not unlike the Undertaker, played a monster that claimed to worse than the devil yet was a face for long portions of her career. She was even built up as a monster in the WWF where she practically won the Survivor Series by herself.
- To address complaints fans had over Samoa Joe's booking TNA tried to turn him into one of these. Given the trope's nature this only lead to more complaints.
- The Boogeyman was more so this trope in Ohio Valley Wrestling where he appeared out of nowhere when the heels spoke his name and briefly no sold whatever they tried before beating them around the arena. Not so much in WWE but he would still only briefly gyrate when struck with anything less than a mallet or a Signature Move and would just keep coming. He broke clocks over his head, carried around a heart and force fed the wrestlers he defeated worms he regurgitated after swallowing them. Face.
- Unlike similar monster gimmicks, The Boogeyman did not have any powers. He was just an actor for a canceled UPN show who got Lost in Character, though he was billed from "The Bottomless Pit"
- Speaking of Kharma, the original Awesome Kong was one half of a tag team. The Colossal Kongs are most famous for their odd dress and for being called the worst tag team of 1993 by The Wrestling Observer but they were convincing monsters. Pretty much all their matches were Squash Matches that were over in under four minutes.
- Already something of an Invincible Hero, WCW tried to turn the Ultimate Warrior into one of these. He had many squash matches but the run is mostly remembered for an infamous mirror scene.
- Papa Shango, who would often drop the wrestling and simply use a Voodoo curse to defeat his opponents, not that he couldn't get it done in the ring.
- Big Bad Mama of GLOW had voodoo powers too, but she used her's for mind control. Eventually, someone turned her voodoo around on her, so she resorted to squashing wrestlers the old fashion way. She even got to use the gimmick on an episode of Married... with Children.
- Matilda The Hun was a more mundane example, being a large indomitable athlete with Evil Foreigner overtones. Both of them feuded with Mount Fiji, the only one who could undermine Mama's voodoo powers and Hun's claims of master race superiority.
- Evil dead, JCW's wrestling zombie. A little less intact than the Undertaker, his outer layer of flesh is gone. He feels no pain, knows no fear and has to be restrained by a pair of Monster Clowns when he's not in matches.
- There was an attempt to get world judo champion and STO innovator Naoya Ogawa some monster cred by squashing smaller wrestlers then taking on and fighting evenly with Bill Goldberg.
- President Ramu, lovingly nicknamed by fans as "La hija del Undertaker", was an eight year old girl whose strength was boosted to superhuman levels after she was possessed by a demon.
- Mordecai, a zealous Christian out to prove strength in the faith of God to all the sinners of the world, was one of the many monster characters WWE introduced with the failed long term plan of feuding with The Undertaker. For whatever reason they later repackaged him as Kevin Thorn, a wrestling vampire out to feed on the blood of ECW.
- Kevin Thorn was a "legit" ECW monster after they ran weeks worth of parodies such as shambling zombies for Sandman to beat with his cane. Fans suspect he was there to meet the science fiction requirement, back when SyFy was still called Sci fi.
- Monster Bono of HUSTLE, born when The Great Muta's green mist got on the crotch of Yinling The Erotic Terrorist. The Man Child was one of the too dumb to know better examples as his daddy didn't love him and he accidentally Killed Off his mother.
- After Hulk Hogan's No Holds Barred movie someone got the bright idea to bring his opponent Zeus from the movie into the wrestling world and give him the same monster gimmick. He completely no sold everything unless his opponents went for his eyes, which not only hurt but apparently made him vulnerable to other things.
- Apocalypse in UPW, who was basically a stand in for the WWE's Kane. In HUSTLE he was the Himalayan Bigfoot and could take a whole lot of punishment without flinching because of his Delayed Reactions but moved really slow. Bigfoot would move a lot faster though if someone poured ice cubes on him.
- Generalissimo Takada, leader of the Monster Army in HUSTLE, could shoot wrestlers with freaking laser beams and also could heal wrestlers back from injury. He had a weakness which proved fatal though when King Riki sent one his lasers back at him.
- Because HUSTLE loved this trope they later brought Takada back as a cyborg called The Esperanza.
- One Piece has Jesus Burgess, a Top Heavy ogre of a man who claims to be a wrestling champion and instigates fights with whoever he can to prove it. He is strong enough to rip a hotel from the ground and toss it at his enemies.
- Since All Myths Are True in Marvel's Fantasy Kitchen Sink, wrestling leagues often employed real monsters. Most of these were from the group known as the Deviants, who were too ugly to live unexposed in regular society.
Live Action TV
- Parodied in Nacho Libre. The local monster team is made of two hairy, horned, beast men who squeal like pigs...and are only three feet tall...and pull of some of the most impressive offensive maneuvers in the whole film.
- The Golden Boy from Night Man was given this kind of gimmick and he secretly hated it because Kayfabe meant people thought he was a monster in real life.
- Kenny vs. Spenny: In the episode "Who's the Best Pro Wrestler," Spenny becomes "The Nice Guy", and Kenny becomes "Yarp Yarp," an uncontrollable monster from an experiment gone wrong.
- Vampire: The Masquerade had the Extreme Wrestling Confederation, run by a subsidiary of Pentex, in which compete vampires, shape shifters and other supernaturals. First mentioned in the Children Of The Night source book, along with the Nosferatu Luchador El Diablo Verde.
- Amazon in the NES Pro Wrestling game is a masked wrestler who plays a half man half plant mutant and bites people
- "Monster" is one of the reversal templates one can choose for their CAW in the WWE Day Of Reckoning games. It and UNDERTAKER are the most elaborate of the "big man" choices and Undertaker's an example of this trope anyway.
- On one episode of Kim Possible Executive Promoter of GWA (Global Wrestling Association), Jackie Oakes uses an Upgrade Artifact to turn himself into a giant jackal man and attacks the wrestlers booked in the main event without anyone batting an eye because they think it's All Part of the Show. It actually was planned to be part of the show but Jackie turned it into a shoot.
- The What's New, Scooby-Doo? episode "Wrestle Maniacs" had the gang come up against a monstrous wrestler known only as the Titanic Twist, so named because he was given a forbidden wrestling move of the same name that caused both of his arms to be on one side of his body.
- Parodied in the Justice Friends episode, "Rasslor". Rasslor (an alien, so literally a "monster") is a seemingly undefeatable foe, and intends to destroy the Earth unless someone can defeat him in the wrestling ring - although in the ring itself he displays over-the-top politeness as he handily defeats each foe. OH YEAHHHHH!