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WWE History Vol. 21: The Craziest Characters 

The Berserker didn't give anyone the Viking Experience during his run with the WWE.
The Berserker didn't give anyone the Viking Experience during his run with the WWE.
Christopher Scott Wagoner
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Professional wrestling, it has been said, is a sport where men who don't wear pants fight for a belt.

From its roots as part of the carnival side shows, to its brief period of sports legitimacy, to the modern era, pro wrestling and sports entertainment have always represented the more colorful and extreme sides of contemporary culture.

During the Cold War era, for example, the pro wrestling industry was rife with 'Russian' characters like Ivan Koloff -- usually, as in Ivan's case, played by someone who was not, in fact, from the Soviet Union or even the same continent. This was because wrestling reflects the times in which it exists.

So pro wrestling has never been a place for subtlety or nuance. What you see is pretty much what you get.

But what if what you see is so bizarre, strange, or fantastical that you can't quite comprehend what's before your very eyes? Here are some of the craziest, zaniest, and most indescribable characters in WWE history.


#1 George "The Animal" Steele

George The Animal Steel was a man of few words, but legendary status.
George The Animal Steel was a man of few words, but legendary status.

Real Name: William James Myers

Years Active: 1968-88, with some sporadic appearances until his death in 2017.

Major Titles Held: NWA World Tag Team Championships (with Frankie Laine), GWA World Champion, WWE Hall of Fame class of 1995

Finisher: Flying Hammerlock submission

Originally, the man who would become the Animal wrestled under a mask as The Student, and relied upon brute strength to defeat his foes.

As he gained more experience, his character evolved into the kayfabe nephew of journeyman wrestler Ray Steele. Eventually he would eclipse his namesake and go on to greater successes.

George the Animal Steele, despite being a 'wild man,' gave typical promos in an articulate manner, but Vince McMahon told him he was making too much sense for 'The Animal' gimmick. Steele grew angry, and conducted a promo consisting of animalistic grunts and growls. To his surprise, the promo went over huge and became his typical style.

Steele was perhaps more famous for his propensity for eating the turnbuckle pad as much as anything. While he never won many titles, he was always a fan favorite and a major draw, and many wrestling fans have fond memories of his time in the WWE.

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#2 The Gobbledygooker

The Gobbledygooker at Survivor Series 1990
The Gobbledygooker at Survivor Series 1990

Real Name: Hector Guerrero

Years Active: 1990, 2001

Major Titles held: None

Finisher: unknown, presumably none

For a character that debuted in 1988 but didn't actually wrestle in a match until WrestleMania XVII, and has only appeared in short skits exclusively on the internet, the Gobbledygooker has a legacy which resounds throughout the ages.

This is perhaps a kind of infamy, as the Gobbledygooker is mostly known for being a huge let down to WWE fans. During the lead up to Survivor Series 1990, the WWE began to show a giant egg at their live events and television tapings. WWE announcers asserted that the egg would be hatching at Survivor Series, and speculated that it would reveal something spectacular and wonderful.

This was in the days before the internet, so fans were speculating like wild. Could it be a new, famous wrestler making their WWE debut? Or perhaps the return of an old favorite to the WWE?

But on Survivor Series, the egg hatched to reveal a man in a gaudy turkey suit. Fans were seriously let down, not only by the big reveal, but by the extremely long ten minute dance off between Mean Gene Okerlund and the Gobbledygooker.

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#3 The Berserker

Here comes the Berserker!
Here comes the Berserker!

Real Name: John Nord

Years Active: 1984-1998

Major Titles Held: None

Finisher: Ostensibly a shoulder tackle, but usually Berserker just dumped his opponents over the top rope and won by count out, while holding out his hand and hissing "HUSS HUSS HUSS."

John Nord seemed to have the perfect attributes to be a pro wrestler. Massive size at 6' 8"? Check. Well over three hundred pounds? Check. Professional athletic background? Check again.

But while Nord looked like a beast, he was never the most agile of big men. It could be said that his grace did NOT belie his bulk. Also, from a scientific or technical wrestling point of view, the Berserker gets a D+ on his best day. And let's talk about mic skills, or rather his lack thereof. There's a reason they shoved a viking helmet on this guy's head and had him chant HUSS.

That being said, it's hard to imagine the WWE of the early 1990s without the zany presence of the Berserker. He essentially became a jobber to the stars, defeating enhancement talent with ease but never getting the win over bigger name talent.

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#4 Gangrel

Gangrel
Gangrel

Real Name: David William Heath

Years Active: 1987-present

Major Titles Held: AWF World Junior Heavyweight Champion, IPWA Tag Team Champion

Finisher: The Impaler (lifting DDT)

The man who would become the vampire wrestler Gangrel was born David Heath. He was trained for the ring by the legendary Boris Malenko (brother of man of one thousand holds Dean Malenko).

Heath had good fundamentals, and was quite athletic, but it wasn't until he was paired with Luna Vachon -- who he later married -- and became the Vampire Warrior that his career took off. He spent some time in various indie and international federations before signing with the WWE in 1998.

WWE changed his name to Gangrel from the Vampire Warrior, and they never came out and said Heath was one of the living dead. The blood he would spit from a chalice before each match was referred to by announcers as a 'mysterious red fluid.' Yeah, right!

Gangrel would form the Brood, which is mostly known for launching the careers of Edge and Christian. He hasn't wrestled full time in many years, and spends most of his energy on his training school.

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#5 Santino Marella

Santino Marella and his deadly COBRA
Santino Marella and his deadly COBRA

Real Name: Anthony Carelli

Years Active: 2003-2016 (with the occasional appearance since)

Major Titles Held: WWE intercontinental championship, WWE World Tag Team Championship, WWE United States Championship

Finisher: The Cobra

When Santino Marella first made his debut in WWE, he was a crowd plant when Raw emanated from Italy. He won his debut match against Umaga, capturing the Intercontinental Championship in his first ever try.

For a time WWE tried to push Marella as a plucky underdog, but over time he morphed into more of a comedy character. Santino Marella took a page from Mick Foley's book during his later years as Mankind; Slip a sock puppet onto your hand and make the best of things.

Marella ironically proved far more popular as a goofy comedy act who still managed to capture title wins. He was released from the WWE, and has mostly retired from in ring competition though he does work as a trainer.

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There you have it; five of the craziest characters in WWE history. What's your favorite zany, wacky persona? Please comment and let us know, and as always thanks for reading!

Edited by Nishant Jayaram
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