Professional wrestling has always been a kind of grandiose theater. Their movements are huge, their personalities even bigger, and the costumes – well, the costumes are just spectacular. Across different eras there have been sweeping trends, from the feathered frills of the 80s, to the stripped down “everyman” look John Cena has made popular. The biggest parts of costumes have always been:
- The masks
- The tights
- The props
Think back on your childhood, and picture a WWE wrestler. Immediately your mind will create an image of one of them in full costume, walking out from backstage with their theme music blaring. It’s the bravado that sells in the world of sports entertainment, and there have been oh-so-many fantastic Superstars.
With that in mind, here are 16 of the most iconic costumes in professional wrestling history.
1. Big Boss Man – It’s not so much that Big Boss Man’s costume was extravagant or outlandish, but it’s amazing how well he could move in full police garb.
2. Goldust – Even though he’s gone through many different iterations, Goldust is still a weird, face painted, body-suit wearing, nightmare-inducing creep.
3. Road Warriors/Legion of Doom – This tag team is instantly recognizable because of their iconic shoulder pads. Others have attempted, but never mastered their look.
4. André the Giant – It’s not all about massive costumes. The massive icon made the single strapped tights a costume in its own right, one that other big men (like the Big Show) have used to great effect since.
5. Rey Mysterio – A throwback to the Mexican luchador costume, Mysterio’s hidden identity was a big story line during his heyday. His masks just aided his high-flying technique to make him a star.
6. Bret Hart – The color pink is almost exclusively linked to this legendary WWE Superstar, as he made it cool to wear in the ring. His futuristic shades were donned by kids across America who wanted to be as cool as the Hitman.
8. Sting – Speaking of demons, Sting may have the most iconic face paint in history. His slicked back hair and leather trench coat gave him an otherworldly persona.
9. Rowdy Roddy Piper – The Scotsman’s kilt and “Hotrod” t-shirt have become a classic Halloween costume after he made them famous in the ring. Throw a leather jacket on top and you have an iconic WWE look.
10. Mankind – Like Kane, the idea that you couldn’t see his whole face made him that much creepier. While Mick Foley’s acting ability has kept him in the spotlight so long, his run as Mankind put him in the record books for iconic costumes.
12. Ric Flair – You want feathers? We’ve got feathers. The Nature Boy was the epitome of the flamboyant 80s, wearing feathered robes to the ring every night.
13. Doink the Clown – Oh that is just so frightening. Paired with his mini-me Dink, Doink is in the memory of every kid who grew up watching wrestling in the 90s. This persona was even played by multiple wrestlers.
14. Macho Man Randy Savage – The king of Slim Jims, Macho Man was actually a minor league baseball player before becoming a huge Superstar in the WWE.
16. Ultimate Warrior – Everything that the WWE is and was embodied in the Ultimate Warrior. His face paint, tassels and bright colors made an impact on everyone who saw him, especially when paired with his mane of golden hair. If you think of wrestling, you think of him.