Animal Motifs / Professional Wrestling

  • Countless wrestlers have "Dragon" in their names or nicknames. It's universally a sign of respect.
    • Dragón Rojo in 1970s CMLL. His son would later take up the mask after trying other gimmicks.
    • Ricky "The Dragon" Steamboat, one of the few non Japanese people to get the honor in Japan (All Japan Pro Wrestling)
    • Conversely AJPW's Kazuharu Sonoda was known as "Magic Dragon" in the Americas
    • Ultimo Dragon.
    • Super Dragon
    • Rie Tamada and GAMI, the tag team known as ReDragon in Aja Kong's ARSION.(and later, Kyle O'Reilly and Bobby Fish, reDRagon in Ring Of Honor)
    • Big Japan's Death Match Dragon, Ryuji Ito
    • "American Dragon" Bryan Danielson, one of the few non-Japanese to ever win that honor in Japan.
    • Dragon Kid and his nemesis Darkness Dragon
    • Dark Dragon, who fought the "King Of Monsters" Blue Dragon and later, Ultimo Dragon (came before Blue Dragon but sort of inherited his nemesis, sort of not as one of his Dark Dragons turned out to be long time foe Hajime Ohara)
    • There's Dragon Dragon.
    • Chilean Dragon Gustav EXE in Xplosion Nacional de Lucha Libre
    • The Chinese Dragon Yosuke (loves) Santa Maria(he's from Japan, but whatever)
    • Dragon Shynron in Chikara and Beyond. His Fusion Dance partner ACH has been compared to Bruce Leroy and thus called The Last Dragon sometimes.
    • Lady Dragon in IWRG
    • The Lucha Dragons, a tag team composed of Sin Cara and Kalisto.
  • Cats are popular, unsurprisingly
    • Big Cat Ernie Ladd, one of the more well known crossovers from American football to pro wrestling.
    • Masked Luchador Blue Panther and his many successors
    • Masked Luchador Bengala for white tigers.
    • El Pantera for black panthers and El Pantera Jr. for white panthers
    • In Japan and Japanese-influenced promotions, up-and-coming wrestlers are called "young lions." Ex Masahiro Chono, Satoshi Kojima, Hiroshi Tanahashi, Chris Hero, Ryusuke Taguchi
    • Puerto Rican legend of the AWA and All Japan Womens Pro Wrestling "La Tigresa" Irma Acevedo, as well as her more terrifying successor simply known as La Tigresa in WWC and IWA Puerto Rico (not to be confused with Mexican Tigresa del Norte).
    • Tiger Mask and his many successors such as Tiger Dream and Extreme Tiger as well as evil knockoffs, such as Black Tiger and Masked Tiger.
    • Jushin Thunder Liger, two cat motifs for the price of one.
    • Early on his career Chris Jericho had a number of lion-based names and nicknames, which fit well with his long blond hair. He hasn't gone by any of those names in years, even since before he cut his mane short...but his version of the springboard moonsault is still called the "Lionsault".
    • Tigre Universitario and Mini Tigre Universitario in IWRG
    • WCW Power Plant graduate Ernest "The Cat" Miller
    • The Queen Of Cats, masked luchadora La Felina.
    • The lion Ryukyu, Super Shisa
    • Cat Power obviously, as well as Croatian Panther in SHIMMER
    • Chikara wrestler Lince Dorado for house cats.
    • Kofi Kingston started being referred to as a "Wildcat" in WWE.
    • The late Eddie Guerrero donned the aforementioned Black Tiger Legacy Character in his career.
    • Stacy Carter wrestled as "Ms. Kitty" and later "The Kat".
    • Sable has a leopard screeching on her entrance theme.
  • Canines tend to be for tag teams and trios, due to being social animals
    • Bulldog Mallory back in the 1930s
    • Butcher Vachon and Mad Dog Vachon in the 1950s
    • Legendary CMLL luchador Perro Auagayo. Perro Auagayo Jr. would go on to found the Card-Carrying Villain stable Los Perros Del Mal, which would causes mischief in CMLL, splinter fed AAA and then start its very own promotion with its own "evil" title belts.
    • Junkyard Dog, who would later train Redd Dogg, who would later form the Dogg Pound with Shelton Benjamin.
    • The Moon Dogs, Max, Rex, Rover, Spot, Splat, Spike, King and Cujo(and Black Moondog, and Moondog Fifi, and their trainee Moonpuppy and...)
    • The British Bulldogs, Davey Boy Smith and Dynamite Kid. Had an actual bulldog (Matilda) which they bought to the ring with them.
    • The Marine Wolves, Akira Hokuto and Suzuka Minami in AJW
    • Shark Tsuchiya's Mad Dog Military in FMW
    • The Pitbulls of the Tri-State Wrestling Alliance and ECW
    • The nWo Wolfpac splinter faction in WCW.
    • The Havana Pitbulls Ricky Reyes and Rocky Romero, starting in Ultimate Pro Wrestling, who were in turn part of the Rottweiler stable.
    • Foxes for 21st Century Fox, obviously.
    • Bolo The Red Bull Dog of New Wrestling Generation, WWC and IWA Puerto Rico
    • Jesse Neal is known as "The Dog Of War", which is an old nickname for the USA Army soldiers, which he was.
    • Belgian and Netherlands promotions such as Free-Style Championship Wrestling have Amsterdam Bulldogs Vito Toscani and Wesley Croton.
    • The Ring of Honor tag team of Eddie Edwards and Davey Richards call themselves "The American Wolves," referencing their ferocity and team mentality. AR Fox (which might be enough to count on its own) formed the African American Wolves with ACH in Pro Wrestling Guerilla.
    • Raven Hiroka, Pricesa Blanca and Princesa Sugeith: Las Zorras of CMLL.
    • Mexican tag team Los Perros del Infierno, Perro Salvaje and Demonio Azteca out of Cuernavaca, Morelos.
    • The Shield are collectively known as "The Hounds of Justice" and dogs feature prominently on their gear.
    • Roman Reigns was referred to as "The Big Dog" in The Shield, which has carried over to his singles career.
    • "The Lone Wolf" Baron Corbin
  • Snakes are a natural, at least when one remembers wrestling is supposed to be a grappling sport.
    • African Wrestler(specifically, Democratic Republic Of Congo) Bob Elandon, also known as N'boa the snakeman in the 1950s.
    • Jake "The Snake" Roberts was named such for his serpentine movements, generally villainous nature and tendency to bring live snakes to the ring to frighten his opponent.
    • EMLL has had a couple luchadoras with a Medusa gimmick, which naturally came with a snake motif as well.
    • "Whatcha gonna do, brother, when Hulk Hogan wraps his 24 inch pythons around you?"
    • New Japan's Hiroyoshi Tenzan with his Anaconda Cross and Anaconda Vice, the latter of which would be made famous in the USA by CM "I'm Still A Snake!" Punk.(Tenzan is more associated with Bison and Buffalo in Japan though)
    • "Stone Cold" Steve Austin's nickname "The Rattlesnake" emphasized his untrustworthy temperament and habit of striking out at anyone, friend or foe, with little reason.
    • Sangre Azteca's gimmick is based on Coatlicue, which naturally brings a lot of snake imagery.
    • Green clad Belgium born wrestler Lucky Sabiti, The Krypton Pyton (though he mainly wrestles in Canadian northern Championship wrestling).
    • Randy Orton's later nickname "The Viper" refers both to the speed with which he can strike with his Finishing Move and his callous disregard for others.
    • Jack Swagger, Antonio Cesaro and Zeb Colter by way of the Gadsden flag as the Real Americans. "Don't tread on me."
    • Santino Marella's Finishing Move is called "The Cobra" and does it by placing a snake designed sock on his hand.
  • Bears
    • 1930s wrestler Chief Chewacki was nicknamed "Bearclaw"
    • 1960s-70s territorial tag team specialist Chief Little Bear
    • Ivan Koloff was known as "The Russian Bear"
    • Kamala had a bear motif before he started wrestling in face paint, and has actually wrestle bears!
    • Zenjo tag team specialist Grizzly Iwamoto
    • FMW mainstay Hideki Hosaka was known as "Darkside Panda"
    • Stiff "Griz" Jackson of Harley Race's World League Wrestling
    • The Mexican wrestler Pandita, whose gimmick has been borrowed by many, including Flying Kid Ichihara in FMW.
    • Zero 1 wrestler The Predator Sylvester Terkay is also known as "The Man Bear".
    • Alex Shelley has been nicknamed "Baby Bear"
    • The Big Show's merchandise took up a bear motif midway through his career
  • Fish
    • The Legendary Masked Luchador Fishman and his son, Black Fish.
    • John Tenta as the Shark of the Dungeon of Doom.
    • Sharkboy from WCW's Heartland Wrestling Association Farm league, originally known as El Piranha. He'd go on to inspire many successors, starting with Shark Girl.
    • Catfish for Namazu Man
    • Tiger Shark in Real Japan Pro Wrestling
    • Kimberly (Maddox) in World Xtreme Wrestling with her shark tattoos.
    • Sheamus would come to be known as "The Great White" in WWE.
  • Birds
    • Indio Yaqui was sometimes known as "Chief Lone Eagle" and his wife Bonita wore many feathers, though she might have had them for another reason.
    • Eagles for EMLL's El Nazi, obviously
    • Michael "P.S." Hayes, Terry "Bam Bam" Gordy, and Buddy "Jack" Roberts, The Fabulous Freebirds.
    • The Black Birds Brickhouse Brown and Iceman Parsons in WCCW, USWA and others in the 1980s. Los Black Birds (#s 1 and 2) of Luchu Libre Internacional(UWA), Jersey All Pro and IWRG later.
    • Tag team partner of Lioness Asuka(who can also go under cats) and later, Amazing Kong, Eagle Sawai.
    • When the Masked Luchador Rey Mysterio Jr. began his wrestling career he used the name "Colibri," which is Spanish for "hummingbird." It's fitting for someone so agile and small. Also, Huitzilopochtli (aka The Left-Handed Hummingbird Wizard) was the patron god of Tenochtitlan. Hijo De Rey Misterio has a bird themed mask too.
    • The American Eagles Tony Anthony and Danny Davis
    • Raven, quote it, nevermore
    • Thunderbird of Los Dioses del Trueno in AAA
    • The Fabulous Fire Bird Phoenix
    • El Blazer, sort of phoenix, mostly stoner.
    • The masked Scott seen in Three Count Wrestling(3CW), The Bird Of Prey Falcon
    • Cherry Bomb favors bird themed ring gear
    • Jack Evans and his Vulture Squad
    • Allysin Kay with her peacock feathers. Slightly more appropriately, Dalton Castle.
    • Infamously, Terry Taylor wrestled as the Red Rooster.
    • Another infamous one is the Turkey called The Gobbledy Gooker
    • Paige is dubbed as "The Enchanting/Mysterious Raven-Haired Lady". While it mainly refers to her features, ravens became her de-facto motif among Fanon, and she herself has acknowledged it.
    • After it's purchase and makeover by Anthem in 2017, Impact Wrestling has adopted Owls as one. They've even held a contest to name the "Anthem Owl".
  • Cows and bulls
    • Emil "Bull" Firpo back in the 1930s, along with Bull Montana
    • El Enmascarado Rojo in EMLL, later known as The Bull Miguel Torres
    • South African Wrestler Johann "Bull" Hefer
    • Dusty Rhodes was known as "Bull Of The Woods"
    • The Boss Of The World Bull Nakano
    • Big Bad Bull Pain in USWA and W*ING
    • Ed "The Bull" Gantner on Championship Wrestling From Florida
    • One of The Rock's many, many nicknames is "The Brahma Bull."
    • Former SHIN FMW and IWA Japan wrestler Keisuke Yamada turned Black Buffalo in Osaka Pro.
    • Bull Buchanan in Right To Censor
    • ARSION's cow Bullfight Sora, later joined by GAMI and Toshi Uematsu in Pro Wrestling WAVE
    • Moohammed, the terrorist cow
    • Bull Armor TAKUYA in Dramatic Dream Team, Dragon Gate, Osaka Pro and others.
    • Moscow The Communist Bovine of Chikara
    • Tito Santana, who has a matador gimmick.
    • The Los Matadores tag-team.
  • Spiders
    • Penny Mitchell, who briefly wrestled under a mask as The Spider Lady before her manager, The Fabulous Moolah, stole it.
    • Infamous WCW wrestler Arachnaman
    • Mariko Yoshida, after phasing out her high flying in Arsion but keeping the exotic submission holds of lucha libre, as well as adopting catch as catch can tactics, took up a spider web motif to drive it home.
    • Football player turned pro wrestler Nate Webb, for a different kind of "catch".
    • Tommy Saturday, otherwise known as The SpiderBaby
    • Lisa Marie Varon's Finishing Move in the WWE is called the Widow's Peak. Since she came to TNA, she has taken after Jake Roberts and started bringing a tarantula to the ring.
    • The Red, Blue and Yellow Devil Spiders of Fighting Opera HUSTLE.
    • AJ Lee has developed a black widow spider motif. Some of her shirts are even cut in such a way as to bring to mind a spider's web.
  • Scorpions
    • El 1970s pareja enmascarada Los Escorpiones
    • Another 70s team operating much further North than the former, Les Scorpiones Claude Johnson and Jerry Christy
    • Riki Choshu, innovator of the Sasori-gatame(scorpion hold)
    • Sting and his most infamous nemesis, The Black Scorpion Ric Flair
    • 2 Cold Scorpio(unless you know him as Flash Funk)
    • Dedicated EMLL mid carder Alacrán de Durango
    • Mercedes Martinez usually has scorpions on her tights
    • The Los Angeles based Scorpio Sky, especially when he still had his mask
    • Rey Escorpión of Rush's Los Ingobernables, and his brother Black Scorpió
  • Black Man of Los Tres Fantasticos had previously wrestled as Spider Man and La Gacela. The Spider Man gimmick in particular was taken up by many after he phased it out due to Fantasticos' runaway success, the Gacela gimmick had a much more dramatic end when the mask was taken by Super Dolphin in a wager match, and as such wasn't as widely adopted.
  • Big Van Vader used to be associated with bulls before he got his more famous gimmick associated with elephants.
  • Chris Benoit was known as the Rabid Wolverine, and had also wrestled as The Pegasus Kid.
  • Back in The '90s, The Undertaker has bats and crows associated with him.
  • Rhino/Rhyno is powerfully built and fights by charging at his opponents.
  • Black Rose is associated with Scorpions and has a fondness for coqui.
  • Caribbean (IWA Puerto Rico, Dominican Wrestling Entertainment, etc) wrestler La Morina has a recurring bunny theme in her ring gear.
  • Ants for The Colony, as well as their adversaries, The Swarm and Colony Extreme Force.
  • Sinn Bodhi has stuffed dog shin guards and teddy bear hip guards.
  • He may not like it, but the goat has become Daniel Bryan's motif.
  • Sheep for The Wyatt Family, especially Erick Rowan, who wears a sheep mask.
  • Solo Darling had feline allusions, then became a shark girl, then a squirrel.
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