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
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.