These Three Superstars Prove a Wrestling Background is Not Crucial to Success

The idea of a wrestling dynasty is one deeply ingrained into the WWE’s most ardent fans. Undeniably, dynasties such as the Hart Foundation, and the generations of Guerreros, Flairs and Anoa’is, have made professional wrestling the sports entertainment phenomenon it is today.

Admittedly, the likes of Kurt Angle and Dolph Ziggler are living evidence of the sort of advantage that only a pre-WWE wrestling background can provide. However, a lot of WWE legends past and present did not have the luxury of a wrestling origin. While many fans are already aware of the history behind such wrestlers, the way they have utilized their skills to improve the profile of the WWE.

The Undertaker – Basketball

A WWE Hall of Fame entrant, Mark William Callaway always wanted to be a basketball player growing up. A man of learning, the giant who would eventually become known as The Undertaker studied sports management at Texas Wesleyan University in Fort Worth, and represented the college Basketball side in the 1985/86 season. Save for an attire-based gimmick, there is nothing particularly concrete that can translate from the basketball court to the ring. Nonetheless, it is clear that The Undertaker, who played as a towering center for the Rams, had the taste for (appropriately) being the center of attention whenever possible.


The impact on WWE: His gloomy, death-themed, yet no less dramatic entrances were a great foil to the rowdier ones of his Golden Era counterparts, such as Hulk Hogan. In time, his differential persona would prove crucial to the WWE’s success.


Mark Henry – Weightlifting

WWE’s ‘World’s Strongest Man’, Mark Henry was an established name in powerlifting/weightlifting before he joined WWE. He was placed tenth overall in the super-heavyweight division at the 1992 Olympics. He then went on to win gold, silver and bronze in the 1995 Pan-Am Games. Despite being beset by injuries at various points in his career, Henry has had a 20-plus-year tenure with the WWE, having initially been signed on a $10 million ten-year deal. Despite now nearing the end of his days in active competition, the Texan stands among the favorites at +15000 to win the 2018 Royal Rumble, and could prove a prudent selection for a risk-free bet.


The impact on WWE: Although a character built on brute power and strength was always going to be his obvious WWE persona, his prowess within the federation undoubtedly inspired others that were all power at the cost of acrobatic athleticism.


Batista – Pro bodybuilding

Batista is well-known as one of the youngest superstars to rise to stardom in the WWE. However, before he became a successful WWE superstar, Batista had a difficult life. He was born in a relatively poor family and raised in poverty. To make ends meet, he initially worked as a bouncer before switching to a career in bodybuilding. He is notable for once stating that bodybuilding changed his life for the better, and to say it paid dividends would be an extreme understatement. A winner of WWE silverware, his debut came during the early days of the Raw Aggression era, and (as the name of the era suggests) Batista was able to translate his real-world experiences into the squared circle.



The impact on WWE: Though the expansion of the roster and allocations to Raw and Smackdown were always inevitable events, Batista’s arrival illustrated the importance of ensuring that both brands had a fair share of fiery all-rounders that could evolve the good work of the Attitude Era in a constructive way.


  1. Aeon Mathix says:

    youngest superstars? wasnt batista like..mid thirties when he started?

  2. Greg says:

    Why are you promoting gambling?