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Wrestling Monster
"I FEAR NO MAN AND I FEEL NO PAIN! IT'S TIME! IT'S TIME! IT'S VADER TIME!"

"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 for which they will be sorry they ever embarked. Because that road ends in my yard. For them it will be a graveyard."
The Undertaker, Friday Night Smackdown, October 9, 2009.

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 outside of the wrestling world. Some turn out to not be that bad, simply misled 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 supernatural powers, some claim to be beasts that only take the guise of men.

What all monsters have in common is incredible endurance. They may be huge, but being big isn't enough. They may be crazy or vicious, 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. After all, reducing his selling is the easiest way to convince the audience this guy is abnormal.

The biggest thing that makes a monster different from The Giant is movement. Monsters are tough, but being unmovable is not nearly as important to their psychology as for giants. Monsters are also 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 or charisma, but the gimmick is usually given so a wrestler can spend more time showcasing their offensive moves without having to slow down too much to sell. The Wild Samoan is a subtrope.

The term "monster heel" is often used to describe this kind of wrestler, however, since monster gimmicks are usually given to talented athletes it is not unknown for them to take face role. Depending on how abnormal the gimmick is supposed to be the face examples may overlap with Monster Knight.

Examples

    Professional Wrestling 
  • Bruiser Brody made a career of being a monster heel, and was one of the most feared men in the ring back in the day — so much so, in fact, that he was killed for it.
  • Big Van Vader, in the early-to-mid 90's was, according to Mick Foley, "The greatest monster in the business", and Mick said he saw rookie wrestlers on several occasions actually quit WCW instead of work a match with Vader. Part of it was that Vader had a tendency to get carried away in the ring and was a notoriously "stiff" performer. In the words of 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."
  • Goldberg, who steamrolled 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, and Kevin Nash's newly acquired superpowers as head booker, 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. Doomsday (his USWA gimmick) was a prototype of this character. In more recent days, it's been shown that Kane is extremely intelligent and fully aware of his monstrous nature, and has even served as the voice of reason at some points; he warned AJ Lee off of starting a relationship with him by explaining that his psychosis makes him "not exactly boyfriend material", and is currently serving as the (relative) Straight Man in a team with Daniel Bryan.
  • TNA's 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.
  • John Tenta during his heel run as Earthquake was this, with his finishing move being a running sitdown splash called the "Earthquake Splash", which he would often do over and over after the match had ended, usually resulting in his unfortunate opponent having to be carried out on a stretcher. He famously had a feud with Hulk Hogan himself in which he put Hogan out of commission for a while with the move after a sneak-attack during "The Brother Love Show", with Hogan subsequently recovering and defeating him in a series of matches across the country.
  • 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, The 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 that 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 WWE.
  • Batista used to be this trope, especially in OVW where he was "The Leviathan, The Demon Of The Deep, Guardian Of The Gates Of Hell, Right Hand Of The Devil Himself!". It pretty much came to an 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 cruiserweight wrestlers to feed him and he was faster than most of them too. He also out-muscled 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/Kharma has been booked as a giant style wrestler, but she can play this role as well. Best seen in TNA where she started as an immovable giant but became better known for never staying down, her all around skill and her evil manager.
  • Her "mentor/rival" Aja Kong is a similar case, who (not unlike the Undertaker) played a monster that claimed to be 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 led 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 swallowed and regurgitated worms to be force-fed to the wrestlers he defeated. 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 Newsletter, but they were convincing monsters. Pretty much all their matches were Squash Matches that were over in under four minutes. That is, until WCW Clash of the Champions XXIV, August 18, 1993, when they found themselves facing Badass Normal Ric Flair and Lightning Bruiser Sting. More specifically, Sting, who slammed both 400 lbs.+ guys in succession with ease and hit Awesome with a Stinger (leaping to opponent in the corner) Splash and a top rope splash for the win in about 2:14.
  • 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 hers 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. May she rest in peace. Matilda The Hun was a more mundane example, being a large indomitable athlete with Foreign Wrestling Heel 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 corpse. 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 having him squashing smaller wrestlers and then fight evenly with 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.
  • Missy Sampson, Aka Big Van Missy, WSU's riff on Vader.
  • Mordecai, a zealous Christian-in-all-but-name 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. Unfortunately, Kevin Fertig (the man who played him) had stage fright issues, and had to go back to developmental. He later got called back up and repackaged 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 the 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.
    • Gangrel and Rio Storm are two more wrestling vampires and they are known for teaming up on occasion. Rio Storm is the more monstrous of the two. HUSTLE had a flying vampire tag team.
  • 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 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.
  • Because HUSTLE loved this trope, Generalissimo Takada introduced a superpowered cyborg based on him called The Esperanza, who could even shoot wrestlers with Frickin' Laser Beams. He was so powerful that not even the legendary Great Muta could defeat him.
  • 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 he lost his daddy to The Esperanza and he accidentally Killed Off his mother.
  • CHIKARA of course has a few, such as the mute swamp monster.
  • The Dungeon of Doom had several: Kamala, the Shark (John Tenta), Meng (whose Red Baron was "The Monster", though that came only after the group had disbanded), Loch Ness, and, most importantly, the centerpiece the Giant (Paul "The Big Show" Wight).

Anime And Manga
  • 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.

Comics
  • 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.
  • "The Other" in Super Pro K.O., a bizarre, massive creature who seems to have tentacles coming out of his head. It doesn't talk, it has very unclear motivations for everything it does, and it's pretty much an even more mysterious, creepy, and threatening version of the Undertaker.

Film
  • 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.
  • El Mascarado from the slasher film Wrestlemaniac.
  • In the first Spider-Man movie, Bonesaw McGraw embodied this during his brief moment on screen. He was kicking the crap out of an entire gauntlet of wrestlers to the point where one had to be carried out on a stretcher. Even though Peter was a superhuman, he was still nervous when he got into the ring. Of course, his demeanor changed once he realized he could beat Bonesaw.
  • Monster Brawl is a most literal example, featuring a wrestling tournament for monsters.

Live Action TV
  • 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.

Tabletop Game
  • Vampire: The Masquerade had the Extreme Wrestling Confederation, run by a subsidiary of Pentex, in which vampires, shapeshifters and other supernaturals compete. First mentioned in the Children of the Night source book, along with the Nosferatu luchador El Diablo Verde.
    • It's worth noting that WWE took the name "Gangrel" and the whole idea of the Brood, his team with Edge and Christian, from this game. Any CDs that included his music or any releases/publications that included Gangrel always included a mention in the liner notes/credits that Gangrel was a trademark of White Wolf, Inc.

Video Games
  • In Pro Wrestling, the Amazon is a masked wrestler who plays a Half-Human Hybrid 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.
  • Ring of Destruction: Slam Masters II brings us Wraith, a hulking brute in a cloak who attacks by producing snakes from his sleeves and hood.

Western Animation
Wrestling FamilyTropeNamers/Professional WrestlingWild Samoan
VaderImageSource/OtherWWE
Gorgeous GeorgeVillainsHeel Face Mole

alternative title(s): Monster Heel; Monster Face
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