Top 5 Christian Wrestlers Of All Time
Wrestling is a very popular sport; there is the real, Olympic type of wrestling, and then there is the entertainment wrestling (think John Cena or The Rock). The two are vastly different from one another, but with some obvious overlap. In whichever branch we talk about, it’s sometimes difficult to think a Christian can be involved in the sport, at least for some people. After all, should a Christian participate in a sport where the point is to inflict pain in an opponent and get them to submit or get pinned? With entertainment wrestling, such a theory goes even further; should a Christian be involved in it when it promotes violence, sex, and often times cruel language? Regardless of your personal view, the fact is there have been Christians who were active participants in both branches of the sport. Here are the top 5 Christian wrestlers of all time.
5. Superstar Billy Graham
No, not that Billy Graham! Superstar Billy Graham was the ring name for Wayne Coleman. He was a former WWF superstar, even winning the World Heavyweight Championship. He was one of the “bad boys” of the ring, what the wrestling community calls a heel—one of the wrestlers whose ring personality is supposed to bring trouble, arrogance, and toughness. Wayne Coleman, however, was not following Christ while he wrestled. It wasn’t until he hit the proverbial rock bottom, after years of steroid use ravaged his body, that he rededicated his life to Christ.
4. Ted Dibiase
Another heel in the wrestling industry, Dibiase now realizes that his time as a professional wrestler hurt deeply, especially since he played the part of the heel. In fact, at one point in his career, he managed Stone Cold Steve Austin, a famous wrestler who started a blasphemous campaign called Austin 3:16, mocking the Bible verse, John 3:16. Today, Dibiase travels around the nation speaking to Youth Groups about Christ.
3. Sam Hazewinkel
Graduating from Pensacola Christian Academy with a 14-0 wrestling record, Sam Hazewinkel had always dreamed of making the Olympics. He comes from a family of wrestlers, but his lasting legacy is of making Christ known. As excited as he was about making the Olympics and being a professional wrestler, he realizes it is a way God is giving him a pedestal to talk about Christ. Obviously, given the High School he attended, such values were instilled in him at a young age.
2. Lex Luger
During his entertainment wrestling days, he was the talk of the town; he looked like a superstar, drove like a superstar, and received attention like a superstar. He got whatever he wanted, partied often, and continually racked in a lot of money. Like many other wrestlers who turned to Christ, Luger had a similar story; he started out on top of the world, but quickly lost everything he attained…and that’s where he met Christ. His testimony is a powerful one and he speaks about it often, making his story widely accessible. He’s appeared on the 700 Club, along with countless other shows, telling people that, even though he appeared to be the epitome of success, he was far from it until he met Christ!
1. Shawn Michaels
Shawn Michaels, also known as “The Heartbreak Kid,” was arguably one of the most popular wrestlers of his time. The Heartbreak Kid was definitely known as a troublemaker within the wrestling industry. As his career in wrestling took off, his personal life derailed quickly, mainly due to drug use. His life didn’t change until a woman named Rebecca came into his life—the woman he quickly married and had a child with. After realizing he was going to be a father, he understood his life had to change. So, when Rebecca mentioned they should go to church one weekend, he obliged—his life was never the same since.
Being a wrestler, especially an entertainment wrestler, can often bring about negative consequences. Just like so many other professional and popular sports, when you reach success, have a lot of fans, and make a lot of money, it’s then easy to feel invincible. You do what you want, get what you want, and don’t care about anybody else but yourself. The wrestlers mentioned above all faced similar situations; even though they were popular in their careers and made a lot of money, they still had a deep void in their lives. Even though the lone Olympic Wrestler, Sam Hazewinkel, may seem like an oddity on the list, it does show that everyone is in need of Christ. It is not just the drug abusers who need Christ—it’s you and me—it’s everyone.