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Pro-Wrestling and Mental Disorders

posted Oct 2, 2017, 6:35 PM by Wrestling Scout
Professional wrestling has a complex history of flirting with physical anomalies as a means of attracting fans.  The ticket-paying public just loved to see giants, midgets and bizarre characters of all sorts battling in a ring.  In more recent times, people have grown to better understand the wide spectrum of mental disorders.

While elements of psychopathy, sociopathy, narcissism and even schizophrenia have all played into the personalities of numerous pro-wrestlers.  These traits could play out in two general ways.                                                Mighty Igor at the park        

Image result for mankind boilerThe first was as a dangerous violent character who was unpredictable and willing to go to extreme lengths to bloody up and defeat opponents.  These "mad men" played into a long-running trope of the unhinged character who not right in the head.

Mick Foley's Mankind character was a convincing heel
before he turned into a top babyface in the WWF

The second was that of a simple-minded, kind-hearted type who 
Image result for norman the lunatic
often used their strength and sometimes savant-like skills to best heels in the ring.  It was not uncommon for these fan favorites to 
act childlike and might even have a stuffed animal or invisible friend that they 
interacted with at times.

Norman the Lunatic (Mike Shaw) started 
as a heel but became the babyface in WCW

"Madman from the Sudan" Abdullah the Butcher
"The Lunatic Fringe" Dean Ambrose