In Defense Of The Rock, A Brief History Of Wrestlers Dressing Like Total Dorks

Senior Writer
07.22.14 74 Comments
Last week, an old photo of Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson started making the rounds and it had us all howling with laughter. After all, there’s nothing funnier than old fashion styles rocked by famous people, because it’s just about the only thing we can make fun of them for, at least until they eventually get into trouble with the IRS or an ex leaks all of their sordid sex details in a tell-all book. But this photo was one of the funniest we’ve ever seen, because it is The Rock, and he’s supposed to be one of the biggest, toughest guys on the planet. Instead, here he is as a colossal dork…

It took some time, but eventually The Rock acknowledged the photo in a Tweet, referring to himself as a #BuffLesbian, which was both crude and ripped off from the thousands of other people who made the same or similar jokes. But sensitivity and creativity be damned, because here’s a guy who eats a trillion calories for breakfast, takes dumps the size of Buicks and is carving a slot for himself in action movie hero history wearing a turtleneck and fanny pack. Point and laugh at the dork, kids!

But as soon as I saw this hilarious photo of The Rock, I had two thoughts: 1) It was the 90s, man. I was wearing slap bracelets and Cavariccis back then. Hell, my favorite article of clothing for a whole year was my Christian Laettner Team USA basketball jersey. (Sue me, it was the cheapest.) 2) We’re talking about a former athlete and professional wrestler’s fashion sense. The Rock’s current style is everything we’d expect from a wealthy A-lister, and it’s remarkable considering his arms are the size of sycamores…

… so to see him in that old photo is naturally going to make us laugh. However, there were many men who came before The Rock who should be laughed at just as much, if not more.

Pro wrestlers have a long history of questionable style and fashion decisions, and I’m not talking about what they wear inside the ring. For some reason, wrestlers have always tried to dress like either rock or porn stars, and a lot of today’s new wrestlers were just plain, old goobers back in the day. Perhaps that’s why they’ve bulked up and started kicking ass, or maybe it was just the allure of that Superstar lifestyle. Either way, let he who hasn’t dressed like a total dweeb cast the first stone, starting with the man, the myth, the legend…

It’s kind of unfair to include a guy from the 1970s in this trip down memory lane, because everyone dressed like an asshole in that decade. But the fact that Ric Flair thought that this outfit looked so damn good should be talked about long after he leaves this world. Ironically, Flair’s over-the-top in-ring style was elite-level fashion. He should have just stuck to the robes wherever he went.

Speaking of wrestling gods who looked way better in whatever they were wearing in the ring, check out Mark Calaway: Creepy Yearbook Nerd.

Does that look like the face of a guy who would go on to marry Michelle McCool? Well, that’s not a fair question, because women in wrestling routinely make terrible decisions in their love lives. For example:

This photo is less about Chyna and more about HHH’s rad style. Not only is he rocking the tight polo – sunglasses on the collar, natch – but he has the fanny pack (AKA the wrestler’s purse) with a beeper clipped to it. Do you know how easily he could have lost that pager, allowing any random person to find it and discover how often X-Pac was sending him 823? At the same time, terrible fashion choices weren’t limited to HHH and Chyna. It was a group effort.

Fun fact: Just by looking at that photo, you contracted HPV. If I had the time, I’m pretty sure that I could write an extensive series of books based on Shawn Michaels’s fashion sense alone. Talk about a guy who honestly believed that he was a rock star god, both in and out of the ring, Michaels has run the gauntlet of fashion from the above shirtless vest look that I’m sure sent Skoal-toting ladies into frenzies to this Bobby Birkenstocks look that shouted, “I’ll need to borrow your brush in the morning.”

Of course, there was also the infamous Playgirl spread, but I have a feeling that Michaels has never been embarrassed of anything in his life.

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