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Wrestlers are some of the most physical performers in the world. They constantly put their well being on the line and are usually very tough. Some are even huge and ridiculously muscular. But most of them are gigantic geeks and nerds who love the same stuff we do. Below is a list of wrestlers who have openly admitted to their geekdom:

  • Former WWE wrestler Gregory "Hurricane" Helms' love of the Green Lantern is well-documented (not the least of which by the Green Lantern Corps logo tattooed on his shoulder), and his total fanboy obsession was actually his gimmick for a short time after entering WWE (before the character jumped completely off the deep-end and became a campy Superhero). His website also features a piece of art by himself, showing The Hurricane delivering his Finishing Move to Captain Marvel as Black Adam looks on approvingly.
  • A lot of WWE wrestlers are gamers. Cody Rhodes has the Triforce on his boots. He even admitted to playing Zelda every year. Specifically, he's admitted that every year he plays The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past from start to finish without saving or quitting. A recent match against Kota Ibushi even had him bust out a new finishing move he proudly called Din's Fire.
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    • He's also a huge comic book fan and has said his favorite characters are Archangel, Omega Red, Cyclops and the Inhumans. He has a cabinet of the Konami X-Men arcade game at his house, he once said he'd want Patriot from the Young Avengers as a member of Legacy, and that he'd want to wrestle Black Panther in a cage match. He also enjoyed the comparisons of him to Doctor Doom while masked.
    • It's also been told that he plays with action figures. He'll even let you play with him, but be warned: When he plays, he plays, and you better take it serious and be able to keep up with him.
    • Cody has taken to doing a bit of cosplay since leaving WWE. At Ring of Honor's Final Battle in 2018, he came out dressed as Big Boss/Venom Snake with his wife Brandi as the Boss. At Double or Nothing, his gear was inspired by Alucard from Castlevania.
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  • The Miz and John Morrison have talked about the new WWE games in detail with game sites like IGN.
  • Kofi Kingston told Nintendo Power that he wanted a pink hoodie. He compares his style to characters from Tekken and Street Fighter.
    • Did anyone else just envision him as Dee Jay?
      • He debuted a pair of Riddler trunks on Superstars (which he then went on to wear in the Royal Rumble, as well as the following Monday Night Raw), with the question marks all over, and his "Kofi-face" logo wearing the Riddler's hat and mask. He also mentioned in a WWE Magazine interview that the one pair of trunks he had made that he has never worn was a Red and Black Harley Quinn one.
  • Montel Vontavious Porter, better known as MVP, based one of his early finishers off of an Eddie Gordo move. It was named Malicious Intent.
  • Wrestler George "The Animal" Steele had a Bachelor of Science degree and a Master's degree from Michigan State University.
  • Dwayne Johnson is a big video game geek. So much so that his interview with Jon Stewart for The Daily Show, ostensibly to promote the then-new Doom movie, eventually became the two of them just talking about the games instead. During an interview about the movie, when the subject of the BFG came up, Johnson insisted on calling it the "Big Fucking Gun" rather than the "Bio-Force Gun" (the name used in the movie).
    • Also, while he was one of the biggest stars in wrestling history, once he left for the big lights of Hollywood, most people assumed that he never actually cared about wrestling and just saw it as a launching pad to stardom. Thanks to his Twitter account, it turns out that he's still very much a huge wrestling geek, and in addition to WWE he regularly watches both TNA and Ring of Honor. He's a big fan of Kevin Steen/Owens.
  • Mick Foley was an avid wrestling fan before getting his start professionally. Since semi-retiring he's gone on to become a novelist and voiced "The Boulder", an Affectionate Parody character of Dwayne Johnson's iconic persona, "The Rock" on Avatar: The Last Airbender.
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    • Foley is also notable for talking about things in his life that wrestlers might think dilutes their tough image. For instance he loves the music of Tori Amos to a near religious degree, loves Christmas and so regularly goes to Santa's Village (an all year round Christmas themed amusement park), not to mention that he always talks about events in his life other than wrestling in his books. Since his first book, his books have been just as much about his family life as they have about his career.
  • WWE's Chris Jericho is such a geek, he named his son Ash, sings for a metal band in a persona called Moongoose McQueen (named for Steve McQueen, of course), and has recorded with Dream Theater and Iron Maiden.
    • Rumor has it, he once met Rob Reiner and alienated him by geeking out about This Is Spın̈al Tap.
    • He also has a degree in journalism.
    • Jericho has also admitted to playing Dungeons and Dragons.
  • Former WWE star CM Punk is a big comic book fan and a bigger G.I. Joe fan, going so far as to have the Cobra logo tattooed on his arm.
    • Everytime he comes out to the ring he pauses, hears an imaginary watch ring, and screams "It's Clobberin' Time!"
    • Post-WWE, he was hired by Marvel to write comics for both Thor and Drax.
    • He's also busted out the lines "I find your lack of faith disturbing" and "I'm not locked in here with you, you're locked in here with me!" during recent promos.
    • In an interview, he was deliriously happy over the fact that his most recent WWE contract included a tour bus and driver, because it meant he would finally have time to play video games while on the road. He describes himself as a retrogamer, but is very eager to catch up to the modern day.
  • WWE's Kane has a bachelor's degree in English and is a very avid gamer and political blogger.
    • He has also written some short science fiction and horror, and knows more about economics than many econ professors.
    • As of 2018, he's now the mayor of Knox Country, Tennessee, under his real name Glen Jacobs.
  • TNA's Chris Sabin (real name Josh Harter) is a big gamer and took his wrestling name from Sabin in Final Fantasy VI. Considering that the MOTHERFUCKER SUPLEXED A TRAIN... Sabin (the wrestler) still plays video games to this day.
    • His former tag partner Alex Shelley falls into this as well. Mainly due to his extensive collection of wrestling tapes.
  • Former WWE wrestler Scott Levy - best known as Raven - is a member of MENSA and a huge comic book fan. While in ECW, he often wrestled wearing T-shirts of comics from DC's Vertigo Comics imprint (usually The Sandman). He has also been spotted wearing a Daredevil shirt on occasion, and [1] his picture on his WWE.com profile has him wearing a Doctor Strange shirt. He also co-wrote issue #14 of the Spider-Man limited series Spider-Man's Tangled Web
  • WWE's Hornswoggle is a big fan of The Muppet Show and it shows. He has tattoos of Animal, Statler and Waldorf, Beaker, and Sweetums, has all The Muppet Show seasons on DVD and has watched them three times and has paid 250 dollars for a rare Muppets Monopoly board game.
  • WWE wrestler John Cena has admitted to being an anime fan. His favorite anime movie? Fist of the North Star!note  He's also a Command & Conquer fan.
    • Cena is also a huge Star Wars fan, even ranking all of them (including prequels) amongst his favorite films. He even once cut a promo imitating Yoda's voice.
    • Adding on to that, Cena is also a fan of Transformers, as revealed in this video
    • Cena is also a video game fan. Earlier in his career it was common to see him wearing wristbands with 1-up mushrooms.
  • Former WWE SmackDown! color man Matt Striker betrays his anime geekdom with every nickname he bestows upon a wrestler. "Neon Genesis" Yoshi Tatsu, indeed. His commentary also has him proudly displaying his Comic Book geekery ("Avengers, Assemble!, this is Secret Wars!"), not to mention that his vast knowledge of professional wrestling history is starting to reach J.R.-level Continuity Porn. And now he's revealed that he named his cats after The Midnight Express. Yup, geek.
  • Independent wrestling promotion CHIKARA pretty much runs on this. Mike Quackenbush, their booker/head trainer/owner/wrestler/jack-of-all-trades is a diehard comic book and pop culture junkie and it shows. Much of the DVD covers are homages to famous comic book covers, their shows have titles that are references to They Might Be Giants, Talking Heads, Ben Folds Five, Blackadder, and everything in between, and the booking itself basically patterns itself after continuity-heavy TV shows along the lines of Lost (which Quackenbush is also, unsurprisingly, a huge fan of as well).
    • There was a Tag Team called The Super Smash Brothers, Player Uno and Player Dos. And they are, indeed, true geeks; they now have a Youtube channel called The Nerd Slam where they post videos of themselves playing video games with their friends. Uno also does videos where he previews upcoming indie games, as well as the occasional Let's Play.
    • They had a wrestler named Create-A-Wrestler, where the idea was that the fans would get to decide his gimmick for him. At Time Will Prove Everything, Crossbones questioned the logic of that idea.note 
  • A J Styles is a gamer and a fan of J. K. Rowling.
  • Samoa Joe based his finisher, the Muscle Buster, on the one used by Tekken character King (though the move was actually created as the Kinniku Buster. Then again, it was created for a manga character, so it keeps a nerdy origin).
  • SHIMMER wrestler Leva Bates' wrestling attires consist of numerous different cosplays from various movie and comic franchises. Cosplays she has used for her attire have included Chun-Li, Captain America, The Punisher, The Joker, Robin, Harley Quinn, Indiana Jones, Rocky, Freddy Krueger, Iron Man, Dora the Explorer, and Luigi.
  • LuFisto's main gimmick is being a Cosplay Otaku Girl, her Red Baron is "Super Hardcore Anime".
  • Rey Mysterio Jr. trots out the cosplay for pay-per-view events (usually WrestleMania, but occasionally other shows), having dressed as The Flash, Silver Surfer, Spider-Man, The Joker, a Na'vi from Avatar, as well as Captain America.
  • AJ Lee is a huge fan of video games, anime and comic books. She regularly tweets about her love of all of them, especially the X-Men (her favorite story is the Dark Phoenix Saga), she has a dog named after Kagome from InuYasha and in a promo video there were clearly visible action figures of Yuna and Meryl Silverburgh. This carries over into her wrestling persona; she describes herself as a "geek goddess", and in a Halloween costume battle royal, she dressed as Kitana and actually attempted a fan lift.
  • SHIMMER's resident banshee MsChif is the alter ego of one Rachael Collins, a sweet horror movie and Black Metal-loving microbiologist.
  • Japanese legend Mitsuharu Misawa was quite the gamer, being a noted fan of Final Fantasy, Super Robot Taisen, Fire Emblem, Super Mario Bros., and Metroid; when he passed away in 2009, the developers of Metroid: Other M even named a minor character after him as a tribute.
  • Big Show has said in an interview that when he goes home he "grabs an Ice Tea, goes to his room and plays Call of Duty, it's therapy for me.". He also has a tour bus with TV's and Xboxes hooked to them.
  • Bryan Danielson. Japanese wrestling fanboy, comic book nerd.
  • Zack Ryder seems to collect a number of action figures (a Peter Venkman figure makes at least one appearance in each episode of his YouTube webseries, along with one of Dolph Ziggler), and likes Star Wars so much so that he's made more than a few Star Wars references, and made out with someone dressed as Princess Leia. He's also dressed as Han Solo. Again, this has occurred in all of his webisodes )
  • Christopher Daniels is a massive comic book fan, gamer, cosplayed Magneto for ComicCon and was made a Doctor Who villain.
  • WWE Diva Nikki Bella has admitted to loving video games, listing Tony Hawk, Mortal Kombat and Donkey Kong as her favourites. Her sister Brie, not so much.
    • The two ended up dressing up as the Mario Bros. during a Halloween battle royale.
  • Beth Phoenix has been stated to be the most imposing diva in WWE history— against the likes of Kharma and Chyna, that's saying something. She is also a huge fan of video games, horror films and The Simpsons.
  • Seth Rollins of WWE's The Shield named two of his finishing moves the Avada Kedavra (superkick) and the Skywalker (Shiranui).
    • Rollins is also a huge fan of Game of Thrones, in which one of his Red Barons was the "Kingslayer" (named after Jamie Lannister) at Wrestlemania 33 and to the point where he also came out as the Night King at Wrestlemania 34.
    • His former teammate in Ring of Honor, Jimmy Jacobs, is obsessed with video games and The Muppets, and calls himself "The Zombie Princess". He calls one of his finishers The Contra Code.
  • Summer Rae, the gorgeous blonde statuesque stunner and dance partner of Fandango was a huge WWE fan long before getting signed. On her Twitter account she could be seen congratulating Kelly Kelly on winning the Divas' title and she also tweeted the following which solidifies her as a wrestling geek:
    "Man, after hearing the results of last nights #MITB I'm considering all the possibilities for tonight’s Raw!! I can’t wait!#WWE @WWE Universe."
  • Stevie Richards is a HUGE gamer. He even pitched the first perfect game in MLB 2K11.
  • Former WWE Diva Jacqueline grew up watching World Class Championship Wrestling, has a black belt in Taekwondo and loves Martial Arts Movies.
  • Former wrestler Kevin Sullivan is a huge history buff, and he recently did a shoot interview wherein he made several accurate references to different comic book superheroes.
  • NXT Diva Sasha Banks has a Sailor Moon themed Twitter background and calls her fans the "Sasha Scouts"note , frequently mentions her love of Mario Kart, owns a Ninja Turtle dress and is a fan of Superman. Aside from Sailor Moon, she has also mentioned being a fan of other anime, including Death Note, Monster, and School Rumble.
  • Devon Storm, aka WCW's Crowbar, claims to be the biggest Star Wars fan alive. His former ally Daffney Unger cited Harley Quinn as an inspiration for her original gimmick.
  • Funkadactyl and WWE Diva Naomi is a big fan of Japanese women's pro wrestling (aka joshi puroresu), specifically Manami Toyota.
  • Xavier Woods has being a huge anime, video game, cartoon and anime fan as part of his gimmick. He even challenged fans to a WWE2K14 match, and has name-dropped players in the competitive Street Fighter scene.
    • Woods also hosts a YouTube channel called UpUpDownDown under an older ring name of "Austin Creed", and invites a bunch of other nerd wrestlers to play with him as a video series.
    • This has taken on a life of its own as Xavier's stable with Big E. Langston and Kofi Kingston, The New Day, has all sorts of nerdy in-jokes going for it (such as coming out dressed in Saiyan armor at WrestleMania). They also seem to nod to the "Brony" fandom through their use of unicorn references (as Woods has been seen out of the ring wearing Brony merch).
  • On one episode of The Steve Austin Show Podcast, the eponymous Steve Austin (as in the beer drinkin', hell raisin', middle finger flippin' Stone Cold) and Vader (aka Big Van Vader, one of the baddest big men alive) discussed their love of Star Trek.
  • Batista has expressed interests in superhero stories, science fiction (to the extent where he collects memorabilia in addition to movies), and vintage lunchboxes. The first two motivated him to land acting gigs in such productions as Smallville and Guardians of the Galaxy. (He even admitted crying Tears of Joy after becoming a star of Guardians of the Galaxy.) He also read Shakespeare during his acting lessons, and admitted a desire afterwards to someday appear in a Shakespearean production.
  • Portia Perez is a big fan of Batman (and not so much of Eartha Kitt as Catwoman). Also likes The Muppets.
  • Velvet Sky can be seen in several photoshoots wearing comic book merch (and Leia's gold bikini) and her Twitter bio lists her as a hardcore gamer who plays Call of Duty among other things.
  • Hiroshi Tanahashi is a huge Kamen Rider fan. He even had ring gear inspired by Kamen Riders over the years, and his pose he does (besides his famous air guitar) is very similar to Kamen Rider Kabuto's "Walking Heaven's Path" pose. He later became a Promoted Fanboy appearing at Kamen Rider Heisei Generations: Dr. Pac-Man vs. Ex-Aid & Ghost with Legendary Riders as one of the villains of the film as Sōji Kuruse aka the Robol Bugster.
  • Thea Trinidad is a Gamer Chick and loves comic books. Her favorite comic book character is Harley Quinn as well.
  • Ronda Rousey once wore an OVER 9000 tank top to a match. In a Reddit AMA, she declared her love for Vegeta, and mentioned she used to moderate a Pokémon forum.
    • She's also huge fan of Mortal Kombat since childhood, and Sonya Blade was her first memory of an Action Girl, who she "admittedly kind of emulated in [her] own way" in her UFC and WWE careers. Now she's a Promoted Fanboy in Mortal Kombat 11 providing the voice of Sonya. At Elimination Chamber 2019, Rousey sported a ring gear based of Sonya's vest and leather pants outfit in MK9 combined with the military hat from MKX and MK11 as an special entrance gear.
  • Jushin Thunder Liger's entire gimmick is based around anime superhero tropes. Even his ring name comes from an 80s anime.
  • Kanako Urai, better known to indy fans as Kana and to NXT fans as Asuka, is a part-time video game journalist and used to work for Xbox magazine when she wrestled in Japan. Prior to her NXT run, her entrance theme was actually "The Sun Rises", the final boss theme from Ōkami!
  • Mr. 450 wears a headlight that looks suspiciously like a scouter from Dragon Ball as entrance attire, along with tanktops styled to resemble Saiyan Army/Freeza Force rit armor, and one of his nicknames is "The Saiyan Prince".
  • ACH calls his brain buster "Spirit Bomb" and has asked fans to give him their energy before attempting a warrior's way. His' tag team with Shin Shynron is called "Fusion Dance", he has a pair of tights with "Over 9000" on them and sometimes wears and orange top with a small white circle in the corner as entrance attire. It's safe to say he likes Dragon Ball too.
  • Similar to Xavier Woods, Kenny Omega is a big gamer too, particularly in the realm of fighting games. He also patterned much of his wrestling persona on anime and video game influences:
    • Final Fantasy: His ring name is based on recurring boss enemy Omega Weapon, his primary finisher is named the "One-Winged Angel" after Sephiroth's Leitmotif, and his current theme ("Devil's Sky) was heavily inspired by it as well.
    • Street Fighter: One of his current signature moves is called the V-Trigger, he shouts Alex's "You can't escape!" taunt during matches, he previously imitated the Hadouken gesture and modified it as a dual palm strike as a signature move, once performed Zangief's Ultimate Atomic Buster on a blow-up doll, copied Cody's Bad Stone throw with a crumpled paper ball, once paraphrased one of Bison's speeches from the movie, and he can play the game on a competitive level in addition to being a really good commentator. This came to a head at CEO 2016 as not only did Kenny participate in the Street Fighter V tournament but fellow gamer Xavier Woods dropped in as well (being a Florida local) and the two took to the main stage to do battle. As icing on the cake, he became a Promoted Fanboy when he portrayed Cody Travers in a live-action segment from the character's reveal trailer for Street Fighter V that pays homage to the opening of Final Fight (complete with Xavier Woods as the menacing voice on the phone).
    • Mega Man: His Twitter handle references Mega Man X, his previous entrance track was a remix of the first Wily Castle theme from Mega Man 2, two of his previous signature moves were named the "Dr. Wily Bomb" and "Flash Man's Time Stopper".
    • Resident Evil: His habit of wearing a black longcoat in addition to shades references series Big Bad Albert Wesker.
    • Hajime no Ippo: Not reflected in his moveset or gimmick, but he learned Japanese just to read Ippo raw and now speaks the language fluently.
    • Undertale and Deltarune: His entrance at Wrestle Kingdom 13 uses Hopes and Dreams, the True Final Boss music from Undertale as his theme and his gear is based of Kris from Deltarune.
  • KUSHIDA, the resident Junior Ace of New Japan, has a gimmick which essentially boils down to "the best junior heavyweight who just so happens to be a massive Back to the Future fanboy".
  • 205 Live's resident Gentleman, Jack Gallagher happens to be an avid gamer, regularly appearing on Up Up Down Down to play and once wrote for Giant Bomb his Top 10 Games of 2017. He even lists Persona 5 as his personal game of the year, while referring to the MC as Charlie Tunoku.
  • Cesaro and Sheamus have incorporated the Fusion Dance pose into their entrance routine.
  • Heidi Lovelace is a fan of horror movies, particularly the work of Rob Zombie. She sells T-Shirts that reference the Hardcore Punk band The Misfits, ECW and Scott Pilgrim.
  • Paige Turner, the wrestling librarian, has said that she grew up as a wrestling fan and that Chyna's workout tape inspired her to lose 30 pounds while in high school and that she is a fan of the The Pendragon Adventure and Percy Jackson and the Olympians novel series.
  • Hania The Howling Huntress is a Gamer Chick with her own channel on Twitch and has praised The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and Final Fantasy VII. While working as Saturyne in CHIKARA, she appeared on the July 18, 2012 edition of their YouTube series The Barber Shop, which asked different CHIKARA personalities to describe their version of a perfect date. Saturyne's involved "an episode of InuYasha, an episode of Monday Night Raw and then me kicking his butt in SmackDown Shut Your Mouth". She is a fan of Michael Jackson, Prince, Lionel Richie, Lenny Kravitz, Tupac Shakur, Wham and Al Pacino, and has said that Shawn Michaels is her favorite wrestler. When asked on Twitter if she could only watch three shows for the rest of her life, she said, "Rocko's Modern Life. Rocket Power. Hey Arnold!."
  • Jon Moxley (aka Dean Ambrose) is a big fan of cartoons and movies, and says that the inspiration for his promo video that released the moment his WWE contract was up was Venom's teaser trailer.
  • Johnny Gargano is a big fan of Marvel Comics, usually wearing ring gear inspired by characters at big events. He is also a huge Power Rangers fan. Meanwhile, his wife, Candice Lerae, is a huge fan of Disney, to the point where one of her finishing moves was called "Ms Lerae's Wild Ride." Since Lerae moved to Orlando after signing with NXT, the pair have gone to Walt Disney World many times. She has been billed from "Mr. Toad's Wild Ride".
  • Kairi Sane (formerly known as Kairi Hojo in STARDOM) loves pirates due to her past as a sailing champion in high school. This means she's a fan of One Piece and Pirates of the Caribbean. She also enjoys Naruto and Sailor Moon. Also, there are photos of Kairi wearing a Babymetal uniform. Yes, Kairi-Metal.
  • Aleister Black is a legitimate occultist (nothing wrong with that) but he still loves video games and comic books and is a huge fan of the band Ghost.
  • Brennan Williams was a former NFL player who gained notoriety for revealing he had an anime body pillow on Twitter. Years later, he would retire from football and begin a wrestling career where one of his finishers was the "Nico Nico Knee". He would also collaborate with the Best Friends Zaibatsu, where his resemblance to Woolie earned him the nickname "Better Woolie." His love of anime and manga is so great that he has been dubbed "Great Black Otaku."
  • Tyler Breeze is a frequent collaborator on Up Up Down Down before he started his own Twitch channel alongside Baron Corbin and Tye Dillinger called The Sweetz 100.
  • CHIKARA original UltraMantis Black has his own Heavy Metal band and his website sells T-shirts based on Black Flag's logo and the cover to The Smiths' Meat Is Murder. Originally known as UltraMantis, his name and image were based on UltraMan and Kamen Rider. In his promo at CHIKARA The Constant, one of the events of the "lost" Season 17, he said that he planned to go "from enslavement to obliteration," which is the title of an album by Napalm Death.
  • A lot of wrestlers are Juggalos, including Raven, Sabu, Rhyno, Rob Van Dam and Vampiro, as was the late Balls Mahoney, who was also a Metalhead.
  • In the CHIKARA Documentary CHIKARA: Wrestling Equality, Team Sea Stars (Ashley Vox and Delmi Exo) talked about growing up watching wrestling, Naruto and Sailor Moon.
  • The Proletariat Boar of Moldova has acknowledged that Bret Hart is his all-time favorite and his first inspiration to pursue a career in wrestling, and praised the ABC Family Made-for-TV Movie Life Size, and, in this post, he compares a move Bray Wyatt did at SummerSlam 2019 to The Hunger Games.
  • Minoru Suzuki's a big One Piece fan. He is friends with its author Eiichiro Oda and voiced the character Kazeno Minoru (who is based on himself) in the episode 336 of the anime. He is also a huge fan of the Final Fantasy series, as well as Chrono Trigger

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