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5 wrestlers that were legitimately tough both in and out of the ring

Marc Madison
ANALYST
Top 5 / Top 10
14.55K   //    Timeless

Before Ravishing Rick Rude wrestled he showcased his toughness as a bouncer and someone never to mess with.
Before Ravishing Rick Rude wrestled, he showcased his toughness as a bouncer and someone never to mess with.

Wrestling often takes a receives deal of flack and many questions about its legitimacy. However, whether it is Mick Foley falling through the ceiling of a Hell in a Cell and having a tooth pushed through his lip into his nose or Kurt Angle winning an Olympic medal with a broken freakin' neck, these men and women have gone above and beyond the call of duty to show how tough they truly are.

Those listed below are those that have shown true strength and tenacity, either because they have suffered injuries and overcome them or caused such fear in their opposition that they would rather not go into the ring rather than run the risk up upsetting them during a match. Who are these men and women that have overcome injury or sustained injuries and near-death situations in order to be considered one of the toughest wrestlers in and out of the ring? Well, here are five wrestlers that were legitimately tough in and outside the ring.


#5 Harley Race

Race has battled the odds his entire career after sustaining a nearly fatal car accident.
Race has battled the odds his entire career after sustaining a nearly fatal car accident.

Many know of Race's time as the NWA champion, and when he was ‘The King' in WWE. What isn't as well-known about him, though, is his legitimate toughness, a toughness that was in fact so legitimate that Andre the Giant feared him. Race subjected his body to drinking and smoking for hours on end, only to compete in sixty-minute matches against the likes of RicFlair.

In 1961, Race and his wife Vivian were in a car accident only five weeks after their wedding, and she sadly passed away. Their car collided with a tractor trailer, and Race was told he'd never wrestle again as his arms and legs were so badly damaged that doctors didn't believe he would sufficiently recover. He not only proved them wrong but returned just a couple of years later and competed for another thirty years. The measure of a man's toughness isn't just who he could beat in a fight, but how he can overcome adversity and come out stronger afterward.

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Marc Madison
ANALYST
As a wrestling enthusiast for over 30 years, my fondness for professional wrestling explores the irrational in a rational way. I will explore the details inside and outside the ring and hopefully have a laugh with you in the process. I've had the fortune to interview wrestlers from Lucha Underground, TNA, Ring of Honor, GFW and former WWE talent as well. Host of the Pro Wrestling Post Podcast. Feel free to follow me on Twitter:
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