If We Give You the Real Name of an ’80s Wrestler, Can You Give Us Their Ring Name?


By: Amanda Monell

7 Min Quiz

Image: WWE

About This Quiz

For many of the kids raised in the 1980s, there were three things we held close to our hearts on a given Saturday morning. The first was breakfast, which (if we were lucky) consisted of a sugar-rich cereal and chocolate or strawberry milk. The second was our Saturday-morning ritual: a few hours of our favorite cartoons with no parental interference. The last thing was, after our dose of cartoons, in the early afternoon, we'd get to see the soap opera of wrestling unfold.

With the matches set as a backdrop, these men and ladies were often found in bitter rivalries revolving around friendships, love and at times revenge. There were two different camps in the 1980s: There were the faces, which is slang for wrestlers who often project a positive and heroic attitude (think of Hulk Hogan during the Hulkamania days). Then there were the heels, who would often threaten to steal belts, interfere with matches and were general menaces to the ring; Ric Flair back in the day was considered one of the greatest heels in the industry.

But at the end of the day, these performers had to do the same menial tasks as us, wearing more clothing (hopefully not made of spandex) than at their jobs. When it comes to signing credit-card receipts or grocery shopping, you're probably going to see a completely different name than their stage name. Do you think you know the birth names of these performers? Hop in the ring, and let's hope our questions don't piledrive you!

James Brian Hellwig was known for his brightly colored painted mask and even brighter costumes. What is his ring name?

Back in the 1980s, many wrestlers would stroll towards the ring, but the Ultimate Warrior charged the ring, setting the energy for the match. He was so quick that when he wrestled against Honky Tonk Man in 1988, he won the Intercontinental belt in around 30 seconds.


Even though Andres Rene Roussimoff had a nickname of "The Eighth Wonder of the World," he had a winning streak of 15 years! Who was he known as in the ring?

What made Andre the Giant so tall? As a child, Andre the Giant was affected by a rare disease called acromegaly. Though typically found in middle-aged adults, this disease is a hormonal disorder that results from the pituitary gland producing too much of the growth hormone.


Can you tell us who Richard Erwin Rood is known as in the ring?

When it comes to playing the game on all fronts, "Ravishing" Rick Rude was a master. Often wearing the faces of his opponents on his tights, he would get into his opponents' heads while mocking their flabby bodies and disrobing, showing off his physique and earning the love of the ladies at the events.


What was Hossein Khosrow Ali Vaziri's ring name?

Even though he was known for his rivalry with Sgt. Slaughter, The Iron Sheik had a match that would help drive wrestling into the mainstream during the 1980s. When he defended the WWE title that he'd earned a month prior, Hulk Hogan defeated him, giving Hogan his first belt of many.


This wrestler, known on the street as Jonathan Anthony Wisniski, was part of a dynasty. Who was he?

When you're part of a wrestling family, it's often hard to step out of the shadows of your predecessor to make a few strides of your own. Greg "The Hammer" Valentine took his famous father's (Johnny Valentine's) legacy and made it his own by winning both tag-team and individual titles.


Who was Ted DiBiase known as in the ring?

With his immense wealth, the Million Dollar Man would often stick wads of money into his fallen opposition's mouths. In addition to this, he created his own title (which was never recognized by the WWE) and purchased the contract for a wrestler called The Deadman, who later became The Undertaker.


Do you know who Lillian Ellison is in the ring?

Even though some of her male counterparts have been able to hold a title for more than a year, the Fabulous Moolah held the Women's Championship for 28 years! It was in 1984 when Wendy Richter ended Fabulous Moolah's reign in a bout that aired on MTV. Richter's Manager? Pop Princess Cyndi Lauper.


Do you know Sylvester Ritter's ring name?

Many wrestlers have had the opportunities to play other sports, and Junkyard Dog was no exception; in the late '70s, he was drafted by the Green Bay Packers. His ability to work on teams helped him land several tag-team belts.


When in the ring, William James Meyers was known for snacking on turnbuckles. Who was he?

Unlike his persona in the ring, George "The Animal" Steele was anything but a savage. When he wasn't in the ring, he was a teacher in his hometown of Madison Heights, where he would coach football.


What is Lawrence Wendell Pfohl's ring name?

With an amazing body and moves that would make the best technician green with envy, it was no surprise that Lex Luger earned the nickname "The Total Package." He then won the United States Championship three times with the last time being the most memorable; he held onto the title for over 500 days!


Who was Wayne Farris known as in the ring?

With his Elvis Presley-style jumpsuit and pompadour, it should have been no surprise that The Honky Tonk Man was going to make a big splash in the WWE. He did, but only after taking a break, which was when the character evolved to becoming the baddie we know and love today.


Do you know what Christopher Alan Pallies's ring name is?

When "Wrestlemania 2" debuted in 1986, King Kong Bundy wrestled against Hulk Hogan, and because Bundy's performance as a heel was so good, everyone had to root for Hogan, which helped create Hogan's face persona. Outside of the ring, the two remained friends until Bundy's death in 2019.


What was Curt Hennig's ring name?

After his Mr. Perfect days, Curt Hennig went by his given name in the ring, where he was a heel who would constantly flip0flop between WCW's Four Horsemen and the villainous NWO.


Along with Frankie the Parrot, James Ware would fly into the ring. Do you know his ring name?

Even though Koko B. Ware never possessed a belt, this Hall of Famer was an amazing singer. He performed "Piledriver," the title track of the second album that the WWE released in 1987.


Do you know who James Wiley Smith was in the ring?

If you've ever wondered how tough of a wrestler Jimmy "Superfly" Snuka was, check out a skit he did with Roddy Piper. It involved a coconut that both parties believed to be hollowed out; Piper hit Snuka in the head with it and caused a feud to ignite between the two.


Can you tell us who Michael Shawn Hickenbottom was in the ring?

Even though he became a part of the WWE family in the '90s as a solo act, Shawn Michaels got his start as part of a tag team called The Midnight Rockers. If you watch some of their footage, you'll notice that they have team moves, which wasn't seen often prior to their debut.


Can you tell us who John William Minton was also known as?

One of Big John Studd's main opponents was a fellow Goliath, Andre the Giant. In the first Wrestlemania, it was a clash of the titans where the two massive men competed in a $15,000 Bodyslam Challenge, which Andre won.


Who was Mike Jones in the ring?

Even though he was somewhat known in wrestling, Jones wouldn't become the fan-favorite that he was until 1987, when he became The Million Dollar Man's bodyguard, Virgil. His job was simple: soften the opposition so his boss could take the win.


Who is Roderick George Toombs also known as?

With his larger-than-life personality, Rowdy Roddy Piper was part of the reason why people tuned into wrestling week after week. As he was one of the most wicked villains in wrestling history, fans would go wild when his bagpipes started to play.


With 16 champion belts, there's no doubt that Richard Morgan Fliehr has become a legend. Who is he?

Ric Flair isn't the only Flair to win bling in the ring. His daughter, Charlotte, has paved the way for women's wrestling in the WWE: She has held eight belts, and when Flair found out, he was one proud papa, telling fans that she was "no longer Ric Flair's daughter," but he was "Charlotte Flair's dad."


Do you know who Brian Yandrisovitz is in the ring?

As part of The Nasty Boys, Brian Knobbs was known as one of the most hardcore teams in wrestling in the 1980s. One of their earliest rivalries was between The Midnight Rockers, which featured Shawn Michaels.


With his massive muscles, Scott Rechsteiner was best known for wrestling with his brother. Who was this wrestler?

When you think of tag teams in wrestling, the Steiner Brothers should make the list as one of the best. They are the only team to hold three belts from three different organizations (WWE, WCW and IWGP).


What was Tonga 'Uli'uli Fifita's ring name?

As a fierce competitor, King Tonga started his training at the age of 10 in Japan, where he learned how to sumo wrestle. These skills helped him transition into the pro-wrestling circuit, where he eventually changed his name to Haku.


Scott Charles Bigelow, known for his massive physique and head tattoos, is also known as who?

If you wanted to watch brutal wrestling, you would turn to ECW, the franchise that utilized broken bottles, razor wire and Singapore canes as only a few props that wrestlers could use on one another. And to be the champion, that's a whole new game, which was what Bam Bam Bigelow brought to the WWF in 1987.


Often armed with decorated hedge shears, this wrestler had a thing for collecting hair. Who was Edward Harrison Leslie in the ring?

Sometimes nicknames are born when you're in the ring, which is the case in the creation of Brutus Beefcake's nickname "The Barber." After Roddy Piper defeated Adrian Adonis in a Hair vs. Hair match during Wrestlemania III, Brutus helped Piper cut Adonis' hair, earning him that nickname that night.


Without his facepaint, we're betting you couldn't pick Steve Borden out of a line up as a pro wrestler. Who is he?

If you watched WCW back in the 1990s, you'd be familiar with a Sting who was darker with black and white face paint and black trenchcoat; however, in the 1980s, Sting was a surfer with bright blonde hair and gold tights.


As one of the patriotic wrestlers of the 1980s, this wrestler was known as a nasty drill sergeant. Who is Robert Rudolph Remus?

At the height of his career, Sgt. Slaughter had a unique decision to make. Should he stay with the WWE and wrestle or become part of the G.I. Joe Universe? It took maybe a millisecond for Slaughter to decide that he was going to hang with Joe, Duke and the other recruits.


Randy Poffo, the son of another wrestling figure, Angelo Poffo, was often escorted to the ring by the lovely Miss Elizabeth. Who is this wrestler?

When Macho Man Randy Savage first entered the ring in the 1970s, he was known as "The Spider" and had a costume similar to Spider-Man. In the 2002 movie "Spider-Man," Savage portrays Bone Saw McGraw, a wrestler who stands it the way of Peter Parker and $3000.


Even though he had a wrestler's name at birth, Richard Blood chose to add a little fire to his name. What is his ring name?

With his hard-working ethic and incredible physique, Ricky "The Dragon" Steamboat was not only beloved among the fans but his peers as well. It is that work ethic that brought him out of retirement in 2009, where he wowed the fans in a series of bouts with Chris Jericho.


Never without his pet Damian, Aurelian Jake Smith Jr. brought fear into the ring; what is his ring name?

In addition to his cunning and snakelike personality, Jake "The Snake" Roberts also inspired another trend in the 1990s. During a bout between Stone Cold Steve Austin and himself, Austin mocked Roberts's quoting of the Bible, creating his own verse "Austin 3:16." The rest is history.


A daughter of wrestling legend Aurelian "Grizzly" Smith, Robin Deinse Smith knew she could make her way in the ring. Who was she in the court?

When it came to the Smiths, Rockin' Robin wasn't the only one in the ring. Her half brother Aurelian Jake Smith Jr. was also a bit of a thing; he ruled the ring as Jake "The Snake" Roberts.


He was often accompanied by his dog Matilda. David Smith is also known as who?

When he returned to WWE in the 1990s alone after his partner suffered an injury, the British Bulldog was a double threat. He could hold his own in the ring, winning the European and Hardcore Championships and winning the World Tag Team Championship with Owen Hart.


Who did James Morris become when he entered the ring?

Hillbilly Jim had a sweet introduction into the WWE. As an admirer of Hulk Hogan's moves and heroic persona, Hillbilly Jim would often protect those he'd ally himself with a loyalty that few wrestlers display.


With his nightstick, Raymond W. Traylor Jr. would often bring justice to WWE rings. Who was he also known as?

After he debuted in the late 1980s, Big Boss Man was approached by The Million Dollar Man, who wanted to purchase his contract. Because he turned him down and stuck by his morals, Big Boss Man became beloved by fans.


This wrestler, also known as Sherri Schrull, managed Macho Man Randy Savage. Who is she?

Even before setting foot in the WWE ring, Sensational Sherri had three belts from the AWA. When she arrived at the WWE, her first fight was against her trainer, the Fabulous Moolah, who was defending the Women's Championship Belt.


Do you know who Josip Hrvoje Peruzović was in the ring?

As the evil Russian master villain, it would only be natural that Nikolai Volkoff and the Iron Sheik joined forces to further their nefarious agendas, and in the first Wrestlemania, they beat U.S. Express and won the World Tag Team Championship.


As one of the most notable faces in 1980s, Terry Gene Bollea brought a goodness into the ring which no one has been able to do since. What is this hero's ring name?

In the 1990s, when Hulk Hogan transitioned from the WWE to the now-defunct WCW, he flipped the script. Instead of playing a hero, he was a villain who recruited other baddies together to create the NWO. Why? He figured his fans were getting bored of his heroic persona.


Who is known Thomas Billington outside of the ring?

As part of The British Bulldogs, the Dynamite Kid had nothing but the stars to reach for; however, it wasn't in the cards. After leaving the WWE with his partner Davey Boy Smith, he suffered a back injury that ended his career.


A son of a plumber, Virgil Riley Runnels Jr. would often strut the ring in polka-dot tights. What's his ring name?

Because he had a less-than-stellar physique and wasn't much of a technician, Dusty Rhodes used his charisma to get people to their feet, and by being true to who he was and where he came from, he was given the nickname "The American Dream" and that made fans adore him.


As part of one of the most brutal tag teams in wrestling history, Joseph Michael Laurinaitis would be hard to recognize without his apocalyptic shoulder pads. Who was he known as?

Even before setting foot on the WWE stage, The Road Warriors were some of the most intimidating and successful tag teams in wrestling, with five different titles, excluding a WWE Hall of Fame Induction.


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