Jump in the Ring and See if You Can Identify These ’80s Wrestling Legends!

By: Beth Hendricks

7 Min Quiz

Image: WWE

About This Quiz

Long before "Can you smell what The Rock is cooking?!" there was "Whatcha gonna do when Hulkamania runs wild on you?" And that's not the only difference between modern wrestling and what many call the "Golden Age" of wrestling. Oh, there are flashy nicknames, scary props (we're looking at you, Jake Roberts) and signature moves. The personalities were big, and the stardom, if possible, was even bigger.

Who could forget the flying elbow drop administered by Randy Savage from the ropes, or the imposing figure cut by the 7 feet, 6 inches tall Andre the Giant? What about the epic entrances by The Undertaker, some of which involved torch-bearing druids, fiendish figures and even a coffin? The showmanship was off the chart, and wrestling fans (like you!) ate it up. 

Do you have the wrestling prowess to pair the '80s superstars with their names? Which wrestler was known for sporting a kilt? Whose nickname was "The Hitman"? Can you identify the wrestler known by a single word — Wooo? Trace these clues, peek at the photos, and time-travel back to the 1980s to identify these ring entertainers. Ready? Step into the ring! Wooooooo!

When we think of this guy, we wonder: How many shirts did he actually rip? Who are we thinking about?

One of Hulk Hogan's signature moves was ripping through the shirt he was wearing, and Hulkamaniacs ate it up. Hulk Hogan was undoubtedly one of the biggest names in the wrestling world in the 1980s.

Advertisement

In his wrestling days, he was a "Macho Man." Later, he told us all to "Snap into a Slim Jim." Who was he?

Randy Savage may have passed away in 2011, but his bigger-than-life persona is hard to forget. Savage was the "Macho Man" during his wrestling days, with a famous catch phrase: "Oooh, yeah!"

Advertisement

This wrestler's entrance involved a sprint to the ring and shaking the ropes violently. Who are we talking about?

Don't tell anybody, but The Ultimate Warrior was our favorites as a child of the 1980s. His intense entrance to the ring, which involved a sprint in and a shaking off the rings, may only have been topped by his recognizable face paint.

Advertisement

He played Fezzik in "The Princess Bride," but he was also a giant in the ring. What was his name?

André the Giant cut an imposing figure at 7 feet, 4 inches tall, a trait attributed to gigantism, a condition that means above-average growth. It also made him the perfect candidate for the role of the giant, Fezzik, in the cult classic, "The Princess Bride."

Advertisement

Which of these wrestlers went by the nickname "The Hitman"?

Bret Hart was also not too proud to refer to himself as "The Best There Is, the Best There Was, and the Best There Ever Will Be." Hart played up his "Hart" last name, too, wrestling frequently in pink-themed costumes.

Advertisement

Curt Hennig wrestled under many names, but his most famous was which of these?

Curt Hennig was a force to be reckoned with in the 1980's wrestling scene, portraying himself as Mr. Perfect. As Mr. Perfect, Hennig played the role of an egomaniac who could do everything, well, perfectly.

Advertisement

Most wrestling fans would call this superstar "Rowdy." Who was he?

"Rowdy" Roddy Piper relied heavily on a kilt and bagpipe music during his entrance as part of his Scottish persona, but surprise! Roddy Piper was actually from Saskatchewan, Canada.

Advertisement

Woooooo! That's all we need to say. Who is linked to this one-word exclamation?

Ric Flair seems to have surged in popularity since his days in the ring, appearing on television shows and in rap lyrics by famous artists. Flair's signature phrase is said to have been inspired by the song, "Great Balls of Fire."

Advertisement

This guy would finish an opponent with his signature move — the Cobra Clutch. Who was it?

Sgt. Slaughter's signature finishing move was known as the Cobra Clutch, a type of cross-arm chokehold. In the 1980s, Slaughter also recorded an album, upon which he included — you guessed it — a song named "The Cobra Clutch."

Advertisement

As if his first ring name wasn't interesting enough, promoters added "The Dragon" to his moniker. Can you guess who it was?

Ricky Steamboat, born Richard Blood, was given the Steamboat name because of a resemblance to a Hawaiian wrestler with the same last name. "The Dragon" was added in the mid-1980s, drawing upon Blood's Asian heritage.

Advertisement

His character wore overalls and claimed to be from Mud Lick, Kentucky. Do you know who we're talking about?

Perhaps perpetuating the "hillbilly" stereotype a BIT more than necessary, James Morris found himself playing the role of "Hillbilly Jim" in the ring, complete with overalls and Kentucky roots.

Advertisement

Only one guy could pull off an entrance that involved climbing out of a coffin. Who was it?

In one of the creepier moments in wrestling, The Undertaker made his appearance in a coffin — not because he was dead, but just because he could. We always enjoyed Paul Bearer being by his side as well.

Advertisement

Depending on how old you are, you may remember this guy as a governor or as a governor AND wrestling star. Who are we talking about?

Believe it or not, before Jesse Ventura got into politics, he was an '80s wrestling icon who went by the nickname, "The Body." By the time the late 1990s rolled around, however, Ventura was using his celebrity to win the nomination to be Minnesota's 38th governor.

Advertisement

Wrestling fans of the '80s knew him as "Heartbreak Kid" or "Mr. Wrestlemania," but what was his ring name?

It must be tough juggling all those names! Born Michael Shawn Hickenbottom, the wrestler who went by the nicknames "Mr. Wrestlemania" and "Heartbreak Kid" used Shawn Michaels as his "official" wrestling moniker.

Advertisement

This guy came into the ring carrying a 2x4. Who is this wrestling icon?

"Hacksaw" Jim Duggan always had a 2x4 on hand, just in case he needed to swat somebody with it. Duggan was also well-known for firing up wrestling crowds with the "U-S-A!" cheer while displaying his own patriotism.

Advertisement

He was the "Russian Nightmare" who wasn't really from Russia. Details, schmetails. Who was he?

Nelson Scott Simpson (yes, that was really his given name) assumed the persona of Nikita Koloff in the wrestling world. Taking it a step further, promoters called Koloff the "Russian Nightmare." He was born in — get this — Minnesota.

Advertisement

Rather "Ravishing," wasn't he? Whose nickname included the stunning adjective?

"Ravishing" Rick Rude mostly went by his real name. We say mostly because he was born Richard Rood — same-sounding last name, so, close enough? Rude's persona was meant to be arrogant and boorish.

Advertisement

Throughout his three-decade career, this wrestler has feuded with Rick Flair, Hulk Hogan and A.J. Styles. Who is this legend?

If you're a fan of modern wrestling, you may be surprised to learn that Sting's history dates back to the late 1980s. Sting still operates under a "Legends" contract with World Wrestling Entertainment.

Advertisement

He was "The American Dream," dating back to the mid-1970s. Who was this ordinary working man wrestler?

Dusty Rhodes prided himself on his representation as the common working man, even attaching that persona to his nickname, "The American Dream." During his feud with Ric Flair, he famously said of him, "No respect, no honor."

Advertisement

Anytime a python entered the ring, you knew you were watching which of these wrestling legends?

True to his nickname, Jake "The Snake" Roberts didn't shy away from introducing snakes into the ring. In fact, he was noted for regularly showing up with a python draped around his neck. Eek!

Advertisement

This wrestler earned his nickname for giving an opponent a shave. What was his name?

First known as Brutus Beefcake, the nickname "The Barber" was added to his title after giving Adrian Adonis a haircut. From that point on, Beefcake embraced his barber role, entering the ring with garden shears. (We'll pass on that kind of haircut!)

Advertisement

He was "The Narcissist," "The Total Package" and "The All-American," but you might know him better by which name?

Lex Luger's wrestling career began in the mid-1980s and has continued through the late 2000s, earning him spots in numerous wrestling halls of fame. Luger also played, for a time, in the NFL with the Green Bay Packers.

Advertisement

Some wrestlers focused on the brawn; this guy was proud to be "The Brain." Who was it?

Bobby "The Brain" Heenan competed in the World Wrestling Federation (now known as the WWE) and World Championship Wrestling during his career. His "Brain" nickname was born in the late 1960s.

Advertisement

The WWF Intercontinental Championship belongs to this wrestler for more than a year before he fell at SummerSlam. What was his name?

The Honky Tonk Man had the "ultimate" loss (get it?) to The Ultimate Warrior during SummerSlam in 1998, where he lost his intercontinental title after holding it for more than 60 weeks.

Advertisement

Another "Russian" wrestler, this athlete went by the name "The Russian Bear." Spoiler alert: He wasn't Russian either. Who was it?

The sports world wasn't immune from the political unrest between the U.S. and Russia in the 1980s, capitalizing with villainous wrestlers with Russian backstories. Ivan Koloff, known as "The Russian Bear," was born in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.

Advertisement

The 1980s were full of iconic single wrestlers, but this tandem spawned three distinct versions dating back to 1980. What was its name?

It all started with The Midnight Express, made up of Dennis Condrey, Randy Rose and Norvell Austin. Since then, there have been two new iterations with new members: The Original Midnight Express and The New Midnight Express.

Advertisement

He claimed the title of "first and only Iranian world champion in WWE history." Who was he?

Iranian wrestler Hossein Khosrow Ali Vaziri, who competed under the nickname "The Iron Sheik," was known for his fiery temperament and filthy language. He remains the only Iranian world champion in WWE's history.

Advertisement

Best known for his giant flame tattoo across his head, this wrestler clocked in at 6 feet, 4 inches tall and nearly 400 pounds. Can you guess his name?

Scott Charles Bigelow was an imposing figure in his own right, with a giant flame tattoo across his bald head and a body that tipped the scales at nearly 400 pounds. His ring name was Bam Bam Bigelow.

Advertisement

So "Superfly," y'all! Who was the wrestler with this nickname?

Born James Wiley Smith, Jimmy "Superfly Snuka" was renowned for introducing a more acrobatic style of wrestling into the wrestling world. Snuka once jumped from the top of a steel cage during a match at Madison Square Garden.

Advertisement

"Another One Bites the Dust" was this wrestler's entrance song of choice, accompanied by some unusual jewelry. Who are we talking about?

What would a junkyard dog be without a collar? That was the unusual jewelry worn by the wrestler whose given name was Sylvester Ritter. Ritter often went by, simply, JYD and wore trunks with the word "Thump" on them.

Advertisement

We have to lay down "The Hammer" on this one. Who was known as "The Hammer"?

Greg "The Hammer" Valentine comes from a wrestling lineage, the son of Johnny Valentine, who himself enjoyed a three-decades-long wrestling career. "The Hammer" earned more than 40 titles during his career.

Advertisement

This guy's loss to The Iron Sheik may have been the best thing that ever happened to Hulk Hogan. Who was it?

Bob Backlund's title loss to The Iron Sheik helped propel Hulk Hogan to superstardom. Why? Because it allowed Hogan to capture the WWF title, and an entire world became smitten with Hulkamania.

Advertisement

It's hard to tell which was more popular, this wrestler's bird or his bird-like dancing before matches. Who are we talking about?

Koko B. Ware was a quirky star of the 1980s, arriving to matches with a macaw in tow and demonstrating his unusual dance moves before taking on his opponents. He often also went by "Birdman" because, well, you know.

Advertisement

Now a commentator for Monday Night Raw, this former wrestler was known as "The King." (Maybe he still is.) What is his name?

Jerry Lawler now has a reputation as an outspoken commentator for RAW, but in his professional wrestling days, Lawler was "The King." The nickname is appropriate for a man who held more championship titles than any other wrestler before him.

Advertisement

He teamed with Ivan Putski to win the World Tag Team Championship just as the 1980s wrestling scene sprang to life. Who was it?

Tito Santana enjoyed a well-respected single wrestling career, as well as successful tag-team outings. His partnership with Ivan Putski gave him the World Tag Team Championship in 1979.

Advertisement

Known as "The Million Dollar Man," this wrestler used to wear a suit covered in dollar signs. Can you guess who he is?

Ted DiBiase was "The Million Dollar Man," and portrayed a flashy lifestyle to keep up with the persona. Rumor has it that the character was based on what wrestling guru Vince McMahon would be like as a wrestler.

Advertisement

This England-born wrestler rightfully earned the nickname "British Bulldog." Do you know his real name?

Davey Boy Smith, who really WAS born David Smith in Lancashire, England, fought under the nickname, "The British Bulldog." Smith even found himself in the ring going head-to-head with his brother-in-law and fellow wrestler, Bret Hart.

Advertisement

"The Student" became "The Animal" in the pro wrestling world. What was his ring name?

When George Steele first began wrestling, he preserved his anonymity by wearing a mask and going by the nickname, "The Student." Later, he would embrace his wrestling list, operating under the name George "The Animal" Steele.

Advertisement

He formed a tag team with the iconic Dusty Rhodes, a duo known as the Texas Outlaws. Who was this second-generation wrestler?

He didn't come with a flashy nickname or any gimmicks, but Dick Murdoch was a star nonetheless. He enjoyed a successful solo career and was also well-known for his tag-team duties with "The American Dream," Dusty Rhodes.

Advertisement

At first he was "Handsome," but later rebranded himself as "The King." (No offense, Jerry Lawler.) Who was it?

When his career was just getting off the ground, he was known as "Handsome" Harley Race. He later changed his persona to "The King." One thing Harley Race wasn't short on was bravado.

Advertisement

Explore More Quizzes

About HowStuffWorks Play

How much do you know about dinosaurs? What is an octane rating? And how do you use a proper noun? Lucky for you, HowStuffWorks Play is here to help. Our award-winning website offers reliable, easy-to-understand explanations about how the world works. From fun quizzes that bring joy to your day, to compelling photography and fascinating lists, HowStuffWorks Play offers something for everyone. Sometimes we explain how stuff works, other times, we ask you, but we’re always exploring in the name of fun! Because learning is fun, so stick with us!