In my life, I’ve been a fan of many things. Chief amongst my interest have been superhero comics; fashion; and the world that combines both of those things, Professional Wrestling. I’ve never apologized for my love of wrestling. I find the soap opera and athletic aspects of it very fascinating and I also enjoy the backstage politics fun to follow. Today, I’m here to talk about something we don’t talk enough about when it comes to professional wrestling; the outfits. Specifically the wrestlers’ entrance outfits. I’ve always been captivated with how each made a statement about what each character respresented. Every outfit, from Undertaker’s long duster and black hat to Bret Hart’s skull adorned leather jacket and neon pink shades evokes an emotion. With Wrestlemania upon us this weekend, I’ve decided to list my favorite wrestlers’ entrance outfits.
One rule for this list. Every wrestler on this list has to be a participant in one of the WWE’s events this weekend. Those two events are NXT New York and Wrestlemania proper. This means you won’t be seeing non active members like The Rock, Steve Austin or Shawn Michaels on this list. One more thing, women wrestlers will also be featured. For the first time ever, 3 women wrestlers will be headlining this year’s Wrestlemania and there are many more women blazing trails in the squared circle as of late. There’s no way we’re leaving the ladies off of this list. With all that said, let’s start.
1. Charlotte Flair: Charlotte is the real life daughter of one Ric Flair but her athleticism is easily far superior to her father’s. Shedid manage to keep the parts of her father’s character that we’re the most entertaining though. This includes the “wooooos” and of course the beautiful robes her father made famous.
2. Finn Balor: While Finn Balor’s usual entrance gear of tights, leather jacket and abs is just fine, he really takes it up a notch when entering an arena as his alter ego, The Demon (don’t ask). The demon represents Finn digging into a part of himself that can operate past the limits he regularly operates on and his smoke filled entrance and war paint serves to get into his competitors’ heads. An instant classic transformation.
3. Asuka: Asuka is known as the Empress of Tomorrow to WWE fans and has lived up to the moniker during her tenure. She was the undefeated NXT women’s champion (no one was ready for her). She subsequently relinquished that belt because she got tired of beating up all of those ladies and moved on to the main roster where she went on to be the winner of the first all women’s Royal Rumble match. She also manages to do it all in style by coming to the ring in a series of intricate robes punctuated by her collection of kabuki style masks.
4. The Usos: This one is kind of a cheat but who cares?! The Usos are the definition of glowing up. At the start of their tenure, The Usos were presented as the embodiment of their Samoan heritage for a new generation. They wore bright colors and their high flying in ring style was crowd pleasing for younger wrestling fans. A couple of years ago, they decided it was time for a change. They turned heel (the bad guys) and updated their entrance music to a more in your face trap beat. They even mastered going back and forth in their promos just like the great rap acts of the 90’s. Best of all, they ditched the neon duds and started wearing all black to the ring with crisp Nike Air Force Ones. The Usos are now streetstyle gods and Smackdown Tag Team Champions.
5. Velveteen Dream: It occurs to me now that I have to explain the Velveteen Dream to people…uh…he’s kind of like Prince but he wrestles…Velveteen Dream spent most of last year stealing the show at every NXT event. His ability in the ring is equaled, if not surpassed by his ability to get in his opponents’ heads with his choice of ring gear. Whether it’s putting their likenesses on his tights a la Jake the Snake Roberts or dressing up like a black Hollywood Hogan, the fans are always entertained and he’s always the center of attention.
6. The New Day: If I told you that Vince Mcmahon had decided to put 3 black wrestlers into a faction that started out as wrestling church choir directors, you probably would not believe me, but it’s true! If I also told you that those three wrestlers (Kofi Kingston; Big-E and Xavier Woods) turned that awful gimmick into one of the most popular tag-teams in the company, you also would not believe me, but that is also true. They did through excellent in ring performances, a cereal call Booty-O’s, and a copious amount of pancakes (I’m serious). The bow on top of the entire package has to be their complimentary ring gear which is full of easter eggs for long time fans of the groups antics. The New Day are the answer to that old trivia question “What if The Fabulous Freebirds were three black guys that love pancakes?”
7. Ricochet: If you have not seen Ricochet wrestle, you’ve been living incorrectly until this point. The man is a human pinball machine. His nickname, “The One and Only” is absolutely perfect befitting a man that moves as if he’s a Streetfigher character in the ring.While his entrance attire is usually nothing more than a t-shirt or hoodie on NXT or Monday Night Raw, he usually ups the ante for special events with special capes that make him look like superhero he is.
8. Aleister Black: Could not talk about Ricochet and not include his current tag team partner. The striking man from Amsterdam came to the WWE ready made to reach the top and has already been the NXT champion. His aura reminds me more of the feeling The Undertaker brought to his entrance. Black sports a black vest with spikes as he rises from the floor like a vampire and his signature music gets you ready to watch someone get roundhouse kicked in the face!
9. The War Raiders: The best way to describe the War Raiders is to say that they are the most athletic vikings you’ve ever seen. Calling the curent NXT Champions intense is an understatement. Their ring gear reflects that. They’re a great call back to The Road Warriors’ entrance gear and they’re also somehow pushing the envelope forward with the aesthetic.
10. Last but not least is a woman that needs no introduction, Ronda Rousey.”The Baddest Woman on the Planet” has been a revelation in the WWE. She currently has a stranglehold on the Raw Women’s championship and will be headlining Wrestlemania along with Charlotte Flair and Becky Lynch. Her entrance gear harkens back to her hero Rowdy Piper. She often comes out with the signature leather jacket; t-shirt; and kilt combination. The entire presentation along with her signature scowl is the perfect prelude to an armbar.
There has never been a better time to be a wrestling fan!