We here at Extra Mustard aim to bring you some cutting edge wrestling journalism. We interviewed Kevin Owens before his first John Cena match, we’ve recounted an oral history of a pro wrestling trip to North Korea, we’ve even had Kurt Angle speak candidly about his relationship with WWE.
But all of that pales in comparison with what we’re delivering today. With much pride, we present to you the undisputed rankings of all the wrestler names on the main roster.
That’s right, we’re not ranking the wrestlers themselves, just their names. We’re trying to look at this completely objectively, which means that even steadfast mid-carders like Titus O’Neil have a chance to claim the number one spot. By “main roster” we’re talking about anyone that isn’t wrestling exclusively (or mostly exclusively) in NXT, and who’s wrestled at least once over the course of the last year. That excludes people like Emma, Eva Marie, and The Rock. Also we’re talking about wrestlers, not managers or glorified managers, so apologies to Paul Heyman, Lana, and J&J Security. Got that? Okay. Let’s start our journey from worst to best.
66 - Konnor
This was bad when The Ascension were ass-kickers in NXT. Now it’s just laughably awful.
65 - Viktor
LOL. This is only salvageable if you add “Count” to the front end.
64 - Cameron
Maybe I’d feel differently about this if I watched Total Divas or something, but Cameron feels like the most anonymous name on the roster to me.
63 - Damien Sandow
I have no idea how someone was allowed on WWE television with a five-syllable, marble-mouthed name. I mean at least Michael McGillicutty was nerfed to Curtis Axel.
62 - Tamina
I don’t have anything to say about Tamina.
61 - Naomi
I’ll never understand WWE’s fixation on giving their women singular names. Naomi is a good worker and a heelish, resentful weirdo with lightup shoes. Why just “Naomi?” It’s such a nothing name.
60 - Tyson Kidd
I sorta think part of the reason Tyson Kidd was constantly typecasted as a vanilla midget is because he has the most vanilla midget-sounding name in all of WWE. Tyson Kidd? This dude trained in the Hart Dungeon and you’re going to call him Tyson?
59 - Jack Swagger
Okay I’m sorta cheating here. Jack Swagger could be a cool name for a wrestler. Maybe a little on the nose, but yeah, JACK SWAGGER. I wanna party with Jack Swagger. Unfortunately WWE gave the name to the person on their roster with literally the least amount of swagger imaginable. I’ve met cats with more charisma than Jack Swagger. I know I said that these rankings are removed from the reputations of the wrestlers that have them, but I need to make an exception here.
58 - Darren Young
Darren Young does not sound like a wrestler. Darren Young sounds like the millions of ordinary men you’ve met and forgotten over the course of your life.
57 - Mark Henry
Again. This is just a dude. The World’s Strongest Man should not have two first names.
56 - Rosa Mendes
She’s a Latina! Guys! Get it?
55 - Neville
This is the part where I’m supposed to smark out with “IT WAS BETTER WHEN IT WAS ADRIAN NEVILLE!” But nah, I don’t think that was much better either.
54 - R-Truth
This is what happens when Vince McMahon has to come up with a “rap” name.
53 - Summer Rae
No reason it has to be this low. It’s just kinda whatever, but the lack of a “y” on Rae annoys me. It’s so heelish!
52 - Diego
I feel the same way I do about Los Matadores as I do about the name “Diego.” I’ll go back to forgetting everything about them shortly.
51 - Fernando
Oh, guess not. NOW I’ll forget everything about them.
50 - Erick Rowan
I understand adding that backwoods “k” to the name, but man, “Erick” is such a soft name. Want to make him 1000 percent more scary? Just call him Rowan.
49 - Luke Harper
The same thing! I’m scared of a big beardy weirdo named Harper, not so much Luke.
48 - Paige
I love Paige, but her moniker has always left something to be desired. Remember, this is a woman whose actual name is Saraya-Jade.
47 - Natalya
Would be so much better if she was billed as NATTIE NEIDHART or something like that. I guess we don’t need to worry because it doesn’t look like she’s getting on TV again anytime soon.
46 - Sin Cara
Sin Cara sounds like the name of a Sonic the Hedgehog villain to me. I’ve never been down.
45 - Kofi Kingston
Leave it to WWE to work “Kingston” into the name of their fake Jamaican.
44 - Stardust
I understand that it had to match with Goldust, but man. You’re not going to convince me that Stardust isn’t a lame name for a wrestler. Obviously it works a lot better with a day-glo Cody Rhodes doing everything in his power to get it over, but still.
43 - Brie Bella
Points for the double-B synergy, but “Brie” is probably the least intimidating name in all of wrestling.
42 - Daniel Bryan
This guy wrestled on the indies as the AMERICAN DRAGON. Oh man that’s awesome! But when he got to WWE they saw him at like, 5”9 or whatever, and realized they couldn’t sell that as a dragon. So instead they gave him two first names and had him to lose to Sheamus.
Bryan succeeded, because Bryan is awesome, but his name did him no favors.
41 - Charlotte
Why not bill her as “Charlotte Flair?” WHY? It could be so much cooler!
40 - Curtis Axel
Okay not great, but I do have a thing for wrestlers that sound like Final Fantasy characters.
39 - Layla
I’ve always kinda liked Layla. She’s been in the company forever and has had some genuinely memorable moments. Her name isn’t great, but I think it conjures warm vibes for a lot of WWE fans.
38 - King Barrett
It feels weird to even rank this, because in about six months King Barrett will be back to Wade Barrett or (please) Bad News Barrett. King Barrett is okay, though it’s probably my third favorite version of the name.
37 - Nikki Bella
More gravitas than her sister’s name, mostly because “Nikki” exudes a certain hossy aggression. Big ups to all the truthers out there who know that Nikki Bella is secretly a top-five worker in the diva’s division.
36 - Bo Dallas
Bo Dallas is not a great wrestler name. But it is the most indie-sounding name on the WWE main roster. I suppose that counts for something?
35 - Kevin Owens
A totally reasonable, unexciting moniker. It’s a real shame Owens didn’t get to keep Steen.
33/34 - Jimmy/Jey Uso
I’m sorry, they don’t get their own entries. The Usos are fine. “OOOH-SO” is fun for nine year olds. That’s the idea, right?
32 - Xavier Woods
Hard to quantify, really. There’s nothing wrong with a wrestler being named Xavier Woods, but I’ve never been in love with it either. Woods is doing some of the best work of his career right now, so maybe the brand will grow over the next few years.
31 - Zack Ryder
Kinda the same thing as Xavier, except we’ll never, ever, ever get to see if “Zach Ryder” will grow on us.
30 - Sheamus
I like the idea of Vince McMahon yelling “WE’LL CALL HIM WILLIAM WALLACE,” and someone being forced to say “no, Vince, that’s… that’s Scotland. This guy is Irish.” I have no doubt in my mind that Sheamus was the first Irish-sounding name he could think of. That’s fine, but I’m bugged they decided to add an “h.” Just be authentic! “Seamus” even looks cooler!
29 - Titus O’Neil
Titus O’Neil’s role on the show right now is to be a big guy who gets a hot tag and destroys everyone in the ring. He’s really good at that, and the name totally works. My only thing? Drop the O’Neil. “TITUS” is so much better.
28 - Dolph Ziggler
The verbiage of “Dolph Ziggler” is about as ugly and oversaturated as the performer himself, so I guess it fits pretty well. Still, I can’t help but think the only reason Dolph has never gotten a big push is because his name is the most un-chantable thing on the roster.
27 - Cesaro
This isn’t bad, but we are talking about a dude’s whose birth name is Claudio Castagnoli which is incomprehensibly cooler. Claudio Castagnoli! That’s a bond villain! Cesaro is a masseuse.
26 - Big E
He’s a big guy who can kill you with his muscles. I have no qualms with Big E.
25 - Seth Rollins
I’m guessing the idea here was to take the whiniest name possible (“Seth,”) and combine it with something that screams virility (“Rollins,”) in order to create a character that’s just capable enough to succeed and just wimpy enough to hate. Well done!
24 - The Miz
I’m sure for some people The Miz would be at the very bottom of this list, but I don’t know, I’ve always kinda liked the moniker. Yeah it’s got roots in the Real World, but it does a good job of summing up the self-obsessed C-list pomp the character is all about.
23 - El Torito
Again, you can’t really mess with this. The character is a literal miniature bull. There weren’t many other options.
22 - Goldust
I’m not sure why the weird pervert character got a name like “Goldust,” but in the decades since its developed a certain amount of gravitas. I’m a fan.
21 - Kalisto
The most luchador-sounding name in all of WWE. At least it’s a good one!
20 - Rusev
Not quite as good as, say, Nikolai Volkoff, but still a pretty great name for an evil red menace.
19 - John Cena
It’s hard to remove John Cena the name from John Cena the man. It’s not often a soft-C is associated with multi-decade domination, but I think objectively this is a pretty good name for a wrestler. An all-American, white meat, West Newbury, Massachusetts-hailing, fake-underdog, babyface named John. I can buy that, a lot of people have.
18 - Fandango
If you can muster the cruelty to give a wrestler a dancing gimmick, going with “Fandango” is probably the least you could do. The name Fandango is roughly 30 percent why this character got over a couple years ago.
17 - Heath Slater
Heath Slater is supposed to be the human version of a Cancun trip, and, well, yes. They nailed it perfectly.
16 - Becky Lynch
The good version of the Sheamus line of thinking.
15 - Big Show
Underrated name. Yes the last couple years of Big Show monotony has nurtured some hatred towards this once-great (and still pretty good) performer, but Big Show is still a great brand. It also has the dubious honor of being the easiest WWE name to fit into garbage blues-rock ever.
14 - Adam Rose
Adam Rose is a better name for a drugged-out britpop superstar than Aldous Snow, who was already the super-obvious inspiration for the Rose character. He’s whiffed since getting called up from NXT, but the foundation is solid!
13 - Dean Ambrose
Dean Ambrose was probably going to be an icon for 15-year old tumblrinas anyway, but his name certainly didn’t hurt. “Dean” is just such an easy name to sigh.
12 - Brock Lesnar
It’s crazy to think Brock Lesnar is a birthname right? It’s like his parents knew they were introducing a terrifying monster into the world. Enhanced by Paul Heyman’s pronunciation, but still pretty great on its own.
11 - Ryback
THE RYBACK. What an excellent name for an unreasonable ass-kicker. He sounds like a Marvel villain, which is exactly the point.
10 - Alicia Fox
Cool, sexy, and just kinda fun to say. Much love to Alicia Fox, let’s hope her syntax doesn’t go to waste.
9 - The Undertaker
This is obviously a great name for a wrestler, but I think that has a lot to do with the years and years of excellence we’ve seen from Mark Callaway. If The Undertaker gimmick was given to, say, Adam Rose, this would be the goofiest name in all of wrestling. “They called their undead cowboy guy “The Undertaker? That’s so dumb!” We should be thankful it worked out the way it did.
8 - Randy Orton
I like to imagine Randall Orton wandering into OVW years ago and getting looked up and down by the higher ups.
“Randall Orton, hmm, what if we went with Randy instead?”
“Okay we’ve got a star.”
7 - Triple H
A good wrestling name is something you can mutate into endless spin-offs. TRIPS, HUNTER, or probably my favorite, HAITCH. Triple H is an institution at this point, but don’t let that rob you of the basic phonetic pleasures of his name.
6 - Roman Reigns
Obviously it helps that Leati Anoa’i looks like the lead singer of some gnarly Samoan alt-rock band, but man does “Roman Reigns” have an impact. ROMAN REIGNS. It even rules on a typographic level. Long live the Roman Empire.
5 - Chris Jericho
I don’t know why Chris Jericho is such a great name, but I do know that it’s cool and it’s memorable in a way you wouldn’t expect. My mom probably knows the name Chris Jericho, even though he’s slightly more famous than, like, Edge.
4 - Sasha Banks
My darkhorse top five pick. This might have something to do with my hopeless devotion, but I do feel that “Sasha Banks” has the oomph of an all-timer. Banks on it.
3 - Kane
Much more effective when Kane was a horrible masked pyromancer, but let’s not forget just how awesome (and ‘90s) that name is. KANE. Kane. You were scared of Kane, and you should’ve been.
2 - Bray Wyatt
When I was first getting back into wrestling the first thing I connected with was the Wyatt Family. A very simple, specific gimmick (gross culty bayou thugs,) centered around a preaching antichrist figure who can somehow look scary doing a preschool crabwalk. Bray Wyatt’s name can give you chills, and it’s a shame he’s not terrorizing the entire roster right now.
1 - Sting
An undisputed legend, but beyond that, I can’t think of a name I want to love/fear/root for more than Sting. Even in the TNA years, it’s never lost its power.