With Daniel Bryan being WWE’s hottest superstar and charging full steam ahead into his WWE Title match against John Cena at Summerslam next week with his epic beard attached and new “Respect The Beard” t-shirt to boot, now seems about as good a time as ever to highlight wrestling’s most notorious and glorious beards. I’ve been thinking about this one for a while now and it seems WWE beat me to the post(!), as they posted their own ‘Top 20 Beards’ feature! However, their list focused on a lot of old wrestlers; having grown up in the 90s, my beard focus will shift more towards wrestlers of the past two decades or so. So read on, tell me who I missed, and then check out WWE’s list if you’re so inclined – http://www.wwe.com/classics/classic-lists/bryan-20-beards
10) Randy Orton
He hears voices in his head, they come to him he understands, but are they telling him to keep the beard? A somewhat surprising entry at number 10, as Randy Orton perhaps isn’t the first name you’d associate with the beards of a wrestler, however – as JBL says – if you built a superstar from scratch, he’d look just like Orton (including the beard). While not the most outrageous or eye-catching beard, it does give Randy that edge we all know he has.
9) Curtis Axel
Perf-eee-ccc-t! Curtis Axel’s success is partly to do with being a Paul Heyman guy, though don’t give Heyman all the credit; it was also at the same time the son of Mr. Perfect, Michael Mcgillicutty, grew his beard and made his transition into Curtis Axel onto the main roster. Winning the Intercontinental Championship on Father’s Day, there hasn’t been anyone more perfect to wear the belt around his waist than his father Curt Hennig.
8) The Wyatt Family
All three members of The Wyatt family could’ve quite easily individually made their way onto the beard of fame, though considering they’re new to the WWE universe and they are a faction/family, it felt right to put them on here together. All three of the men’s beards probably means they’re going to be the ones stopped and searched at customs, though the people stopping them are just sheep. Follow the buzzards.
7) Mark Henry
Some men were just destined to don the beard, and Mark Henry is one of those guys. It’s injustice to the world and to his beard that he has yet to hold the WWE title, though whether he’s cutting an oscar worthy retirement speech in a pink suit or performing amazing feats of strength, such as pulling multiple eighteen-wheelers, he’s always rocking the beard. You know why? BECAUSE THAT’S WHAT HE DOES!
6) Damien Sandow
Silence! Although Sandow can’t swim, his beard is, without a doubt, the most well-groomed beard on the list. In fact, the intellectual saviour of the masses’ beard makes most other people’s facial hair look like mere peasant attempts. Before Sandow turned on Cody Rhodes at Money In The Bank, Team Rhode Scholars almost had a good thing going on with Cody’s moustache (lovestache) and Sandow’s beard, though unfortunately it wasn’t to be. I blame those Ignoramuses on the WWE creative team.
5) Chris Jericho
Now this picture is a nostalgic trip back in time. Back when his rock band Fozzy was starting and when he was the biggest and greatest heel in the business, Jericho’s long hair and sleezebag-like beard summed up his persona perfectly. It’s a very different look to the 2013 clean-shaven, short-haired baby-face Chris Jericho, though luckily for us he’s still just as every bit as good in the ring and on the mic. Come on, baby!
4) Macho Man Randy Savage
Past, present and future, nobody better. Ohhh yeah! The cream of the crop, the Macho Man Randy Savage! Unfortunately I was a little too young to see him during his days in WCW, though of course I’ve watched plenty of the lord and master of the ring’s matches and unforgettable promos online. It was during Macho Man’s nWo days that the beard was put to full effect (I believe), as he dyed it black to perfectly match the black colours of the nWo. R.I.P Macho Man.
3) Hulk Hogan
That’s right, brother, you wasn’t expecting the list to go on without the inclusion of Hogan was you, Jack? Blonde hair, blonde ‘stache, black beard – not many could pull it off, dude. Despite what you may think of Hogan, he really was – what I would consider – to be the epitome of cool during his nWo days. Undoubtedly one of the most popular and iconic wrestlers of all time, Hogan turned 60 recently, though we all know Hulkamania and his facial hair will live on forever.
2) CM Punk
Proving that bigger doesn’t always mean better, and showing real style over substance, CM Punk returned to his hometown of Chicago at Payback against Chris Jericho in June with a Wolverine-like beard. Punk has donned the facial hair in numerous different ways over his career, and luckily enough for him he has the prowess and star power to pull it off. His match with Brock Lesnar at Summerslam is being touted as ‘The Best vs The Beast’, but we all know it’s really Wolverine vs The Hulk. Snikt!
1) Daniel Bryan
Yes! Yes! Yes! Come on, was you really expecting somebody else to take the no. 1 spot? After having a beard for the best part of a year with his run as one half of the tag team champions in Team Hell No, it’s now that Bryan’s gone solo that the WWE have capitalised on the epic-ness of the beard and have let him go full wild with it. The beard is here, everybody, and it doesn’t look like it’ll be going away anytime soon. Daniel Bryan has raised the beard-bar from here on out, and it’s going to take a lot of time and manliness to beat it.