And so, we begin with…
10. Stan Hansen
Stan Hansen was Stone Cold Steve Austin, before Steve Austin was Stone Cold, only a bit more uncouth. This wild-eyed, sloppy, Texas brawler was around before the hulking physiques became the norm. When most wrestlers looked more like the drunken uncle most families brace themselves for when they come visiting this time of year. And Hansen was no exception. Apparently his hard-hitting style was too much for the States so he traveled to Japan where it was more than welcomed. He threw a nasty clothesline dubbed The Lariat which JBL later renamed the Clothesline from Hell. But it was Stan’s mustache that helped him come to prominence. One of the rules of having a mustache is you have to be tough, because the mustache is already doing its share in helping you look the part, and Stan Hansen was one tough son of a bitch who deserved to be sporting a mustache.
9. Magnum T.A.
Definitely should’ve been coming out to the Magnum P.I. theme song before Joey Ryan. While never actually having seen Magnum in his prime, thanks to youtube I’ve been able to catch up and see why everyone was predicting this man to be the next breakout star of the NWA. And aside from his charisma and skills, he had that porn star ‘stache. And with it being the 80’s, it probably had to do a great deal with why he was over with the crowd. I mean, the guy’s name was Magnum, he had two initials after it, and had a mustache. If he had worn a Hawaiian shirt to the ring, everyone would’ve lost their shit and he would’ve easily become bigger than Hulk Hogan. Sadly his career was shortened due to a car accident, but luckily the mustache survived.
8. Joey Ryan
The former “Technical Wizard” found his stride when he incorporated a mustache onto his face and started coming out to the Magnum P.I. theme song. Soon after, Ryan developed a sleazy persona that was a perfect compliment to the ‘ol lady tickler and a star in the making was born. Adding “Who wants a mustache ride?” as a catchphrase only made him cooler. The guy built his whole gimmick around his mustache! If TNA is smart they will capitalize on this man’s mustache and, at the very least, make him a top contender to the X-Division Title. Or even lesser than that, the TV Title.
7. 80’s Scott Hall
He might be remembered as Razor Ramon, nWo Scott Hall, or drunken-mess Scott Hall, but mustachioed 80’s Scott Hall was something else entirely. Despite not having the greasy hair, or horrible Scarface accent, 80’s Scott Hall had one thing that stood out: his mustache. Making his rounds in the AWA and even tagging with a young pre-Mr. Perfect Curt Hennig, 80’s Scott Hall was like the Incredible Hulk to Tom Selleck’s Bruce Banner. Had he gone into porn instead of wrestling he might’ve been very successful based on the mustache alone. How the WWF was able to see past the mustache and envision a stereotypical Cuban is beyond me. Maybe in this case, the ‘stache was holding him back, which explains him taking to the Razor (smh) and shaving it off.
6. Ravishing Rick Rude
Looking like he had just stepped out of the Golden Age of Porn, Ravishing Rick Rude and his mustache were sexing the ladies long before Joey Ryan decided to bring sleazy back. There was nothing that necessarily stood out about the mustache. It was a very basic 80s mustache, and a trimmed one to boot, but on Rick Rude’s face it was damn near iconic. Without the ‘stache Rude would’ve just been another Rick The Model Martel. And despite the fact that Rick Martel’s still alive, he did have a shittier WWF/WCW career in comparison to Rude’s. I mean, would you rather be remembered for wrestling The Ultimate Warrior for the Intercontinental Title or Jake the Snake Roberts in a blindfold match?
5. Jake The Snake Roberts
Sure his crumb catcher was catching cocaine crumbs, but Jake the Snake Roberts had all the makings of a world champion, aside from the physique. Had he been wrestling today (in his prime – not as the born again Christian who wore a blouse to cover his fat) he would’ve held the belt twice by now. The mustache alone should’ve earned him an Intercontinental Title run. The ‘stache was definitely essential to the gimmick. Had he been Jake The Snake without a mustache he would’ve looked like some creepy pet shop owner in a green leotard. Guys nicknamed Snake tend to have some variation of facial hair, like the jailbird from The Simpsons, or Snake Plisken from Escape From New York. But Jake took it one step further, and for that we salute him.
4. Iron Sheik
There are certain mustache styles that compliment the wearer’s personality. Enter the Iron Sheik. I’m pretty sure the Sheik’s mustache naturally grew in that way and he did little to style it in that manner. In Silverlake or Brooklyn you might see many a hipster sporting this style of mustache, but they’re definitely wearing it wrong, aside from doing it ironically. You see, to truly sport a mustache style like the Iron Sheik, you have to be bat shit crazy. Like beat the shit out of people, pop boners while wrestling Hulk Hogan, and curse incoherently, bat shit crazy. Long ago this mustache was a go-to for old timey evil villains in top hats. The Iron Sheik was their successor. Enough said.
3. Big Bully Busick
Talk about an out of left field pick. There’s not much to say about Busick regarding his blink-and-you-missed-it stint in the WWF. Aside from the fact that he based his character on the bully dog Spike from the Looney Tunes‘ Spike and Chester cartoon. How his mustache never catapulted him to stardom I’ll never know. It could have been because Harvey Wippleman managed him, and having Wippleman manage you was the equivalent of getting the Friday night death slot on prime time TV. Despite being a throwback to old school bullies, Busick could also be considered ahead of his time given the numerous hipsters who currently employ the same type of mustache and on occasion the same hat. Then again, there’d be no place for Busick in the current WWE Universe thanks to their anti-bullying campaign.
2. Jesse Ventura
Not only should Jesse Ventura thank his mustache for his success in the world of professional wrestling, and in the entertainment industry, but I’m also pretty sure it’s the reason why he won the Minnesota gubernatorial election in 2007. Now, that’s he’s without the ‘stache he hosts hokey shows about conspiracies on truTV and is openly mocked and hilariously imitated by the talented comedian, James Adomian. Old school Jesse Ventura with mustache in tow would not have allowed that to happen.
1. Hulk Hogan
The soup strainer to end all soup strainers. With handlebars more iconic than those kiddie ones with the tassels on the end, Hulk Hogan made and then single-handedly destroyed a career sporting this bad boy for the past 30 s0me-odd years. So what if the Hulkster had a horseshoe mullet because half of his hair was missing, he more than made up for the lack of hair up top with the ‘stache. Mind you he came up in an era where there was all kinds of facial hair going on in professional wrestling. Not to mention the competition posed by Macho Man Randy Savage and the legion of wrestlers who sported full grown beards. But The Hulkster still stood out. Granted, he gave thanks to the vitamins, the prayers, and the 24-inch pythons, but it was the unsung hero, his mustache, that helped him overpower the Iron Sheik’s mustache (and apparent boner) that gave him his first World Title win. When minimalist artists consider drawing Hogan they will only focus on two things, his bandana and his mustache, kind of like they did for the VH1 Hogan Knows Best logo. And although he might not know how to bow out gracefully from the world of pro wrestling (then again, most aging wrestlers don’t), or how to raise a family, or the secret to a lasting loving relationship, if it’s one thing The Hulkster knows better (or best) than anybody else is how to grow an iconic mustache.