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10 Wrestlers who overcame difficult childhoods to make it big

These wrestlers overcame difficult childhoods to follow their dreams and become household names.

The lunatic fringe had a tough childhood, growing up in the public housing system in his hometown of Cincinnati, Ohio (Courtesy WWE)

Poverty and difficult childhoods act as a powerful motivator. They either make you or they break you. Very few rise above poverty, but the history of wrestling is littered with such figures. Young boys and girls running away from home to get away from their troubles at home, who’ve eventually gone on to become household names in the wrestling world.

Like most sports, becoming a top wrestler takes years of hard work and dedication, which is especially difficult without a good support system. In this article, I look at wrestlers who overcame the odds they faced in childhood to follow their dreams and succeed.


10: Ric Flair

The Nature Boy was not always Styling and profiling (Courtesy WWE)

Ric Flair was stolen from a hospital when he was a baby. He spent his formative years at the notorious Tennessee Children’s Home Society. He has admitted in the past that life at the orphanage was very difficult. He has said that the turning point came when he was adopted by Kathleen and Richard Fleihr.

Flair still had problems as a child including stealing his parents’ car to go on drives and underage drinking which led to Flair being sent to a boarding school.

Flair’s stated on many occasions that without Verne Gagne’s influence on him, with Gagne introducing Flair to the world of pro wrestling and forcing him to stick to it, there wouldn’t be a Ric Flair.

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