Top 5: Super-Heroes Who Moonlight As Wrestlers (or Vice-Versa)

Hurricane Helms5. Hurricane Helms

Shane Helms is a longtime comics fan, and makes his living in the world of professional wrestling. Once he made his way to the WWE, they saw his Green Lantern shoulder tattoo and put him on the path to reinventing himself as a super-hero — thus became Hurricane Helms. At first conceived as a short term gimmick, it’s gone on to be Helms’ mantle for the past 12 years. It’s been so popular to earn Helms not one but two sidekicks, and even a vehicle — the HurriCycle.

Spider-Man4. Spider-Man

What better way to make some cash off your newly found superpowers than becoming a pro wrestler? That’s what Peter Parker thought when he first learned of his unique powers. Parker’s short-lived career was immortalized in Sam Raimi’s first Spider-Man flick (with Parker facing off against a real wrestler, Randy “Macho Man” Savage) and was even the subject of a stand-alone issue of Spider-Man’s Tangled Web by Brian Azzarello and pro wrestler Raven. Although Spider-Man’s career was short-lived, if the Rock can get back into the wrestling ring after years away then why not our favorite webcrawler?

Sting3. Sting

Ah, the 90s. The fad for grim and gritty extended far past comics and into the world of professional wrestling. Long-time good guy wrestler Sting with his multi-colored face paint and surfer-dude gimmick took a page out of James O’Barr’s The Crow and changed his character to be a brooding enforcer in the shadows with black and white face paint. In his first appearances under this new gimmick in 1996 he even copied the Crow’s exact face paint, but quickly changed it into something different to avoid a looming lawsuit.

Tiger Mask MANGA2. Tiger Mask

Tiger Mask is one of the most famous wrestlers in his native Japan, and unbeknownst to most he’s a licensed character. Back in the early 80s, New Japan Pro Wrestling picked up on the success of a popular wrestling themed manga by Ikki Kajiwara and Naoki Tsuji featuring a villainous pro wrestler in a tiger mask and licensed its use in their own ring. NJPW chose a young wrestler named Satoru Sayama for the role, and Tiger Mask became one of Japan’s top wrestlers — and a respected cruiserweight in the U.S. After ohlding titles in NJPW, WWE (then WWF) and NWA and feuding with the likes of Bret Hart, Sayama left the role and was followed by a string of other wrestlers who took up the title and the mask over the years.

Thing21. The Thing

In the 1980s the Thing broke away from the Fantastic Four and took some time for himself, traveling to other planets, meeting new people and working as professional wrestlers. While other comic heroes might have only done a single match or a run-in in the pro wrestling world, the Thing spent a good amount of time there — even bringing in other heroes like Astro Boy, the Eternals’ Ikaris and even the Marvel also-ran D-Man. Although he’s given up his rasslin’ ways these days, Current WWE wrestler CM Punk carries on the spirit by yelling the catchphrase “It’s clobbering time!” when he comes to the ring.


  1. Cool list idea. I love wrasslin and obviously comics. Shane Helms actually shops at the same comic shop as me.

  2. Hell yes Tiger Mask! Try and see if you can track down the anime made for him, it’s quite amazing. His manga is such a great basis for a pro wrestling comic story that I’m surprised that the WWE has had such trouble in that department.

    I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the great Jushin “Thunder” Liger, since he wasn’t the first space-age superhero wrestler, he’s definitely one of the most flamboyant and talented. AND HIS THEME IS THE MOST BOSS THING EVER:

  3. The Tiger Mask-Dynamite Kid matches in Japan were 20 years ahead of their time and hold up as classics now.

  4. Astro Boy? Thee Astro Boy? Or some Marvel Universe character named Astro Boy?

  5. STING!!!!!