We now live in the era of social distancing.
Due to the ongoing global pandemic, we need to avoid any and all unnecessary human contact. Large crowds are discouraged. Leaving the house isn’t something done lightly. For some, it’s proven very difficult. For people like me, it’s something we’ve been trying to do all of our lives. You don’t need to tell us to avoid other people.
You don’t need to tell these wrestlers to avoid other people, either. They perfected the art of social distancing before it was even a thing.
Here are the best social distancing wrestlers.
5. Christopher Daniels
In the beginning, Ring of Honor legislated itself with a Code of Honor. They thought that all of their professional wrestlers would shake hands after a match. A nice idea. It went kaput after the main event of their very first show, where Christopher Daniels refused to shake hands with Low Ki & American Dragon after their match. This made the Fallen Angel the top heel for the first couple of years. He eventually decided to shake hands with Claudio Castagnoli after a match on ROH’s hundredth show, which blew up in his face when we found out that Claudio was loyal to his trainer Chris Hero & CZW. Dude should have kept his hand to himself!
4. J.J. Dillon
Jerry Jarrett & Jerry Lawler came up with a pretty unique idea for James Harris. Ol’ Sugar Bear was working the territories for awhile and had some potential, but he needed something a little extra to get to the next level. Jarrett & Lawler decided that Harris should be Kamala the Ugandan Giant, since Idi Amin was a topic of discussion at the time. Kamala was going to be a vicious headhunter that didn’t know the ways of modern man. He would need a mouthpiece. Jimmy Hart was the top manager in the promotion, but he had talked for everybody on the heel side of things. They wanted somebody different for Kamala.
Enter J.J. Dillon. Lawler & Jarrett were familiar with him from excursions outside their territory. Dillon agreed to cut the promos, and it ended up being a pretty big deal when he actually showed up in the Mid-South Coliseum. Kamala killed people with his boy Friday, who was masked and didn’t talk either. A new evil manager who had no intention of going to Memphis made it mean that much more when they eventually did.
3. The Anonymous Raw General Manager
What can get more heat than a manager that has no intention on ever appearing? An authority figure that doesn’t plan on ever appearing! After a parade of guest hosts & various legends oversaw the Raw brand, it was decided that the Raw GM would remain anonymous and e-mail their decrees to Michael Cole. This helped lead Cole to being the top heel on Raw, which was certainly a decision. It did cut back on GM-related angles, which was certainly welcomed by fans after years of GMs taking up inordinate amounts of television time.
Years later, it was revealed that Hornswoggle was the guy sending all those e-mails. We try to forget this part of the story for obvious reasons.
2. Gorgeous George
The original wrestling boom came when a new medium (television) needed programming. Wrestling promoters were smart enough to give it to them. One of the most popular/hated stars of the time was the “Human Orchid”. George had a valet that would spray Chanel No. 10 perfume all over the ringside area & the ring. Who knows what kind of diseases previous wrestlers on the show may have had? Whenever a referee (previously sprayed by George’s valet) checked George for weapons, George screamed “GET YOUR FILTHY HANDS OFF ME!”.
George Wagner was a good worker and could handle himself in a shoot if the need arose. Once he adopted the “Gorgeous George” persona, he became a household name. He never held any world championships, but the fans remembered him as much, if not more, as Lou Thesz or Verne Gagne or any other top star that held the NWA or AWA or whatever title multiple times. This is because he was a pretty boy that didn’t want people to touch him. Which is pretty smart when you think about it.
For years, Sting was a man of the people. There was nobody friendlier to fans, nobody more trusting of his fellow wrestlers than the Stinger. If you asked WCW wrestlers of the early to mid-90s how many hands were shook or people they interacted with per day, there’s no doubt Sting would have been at the top of the list. He was that guy willing to go anywhere and do anything to spread the message of WCW.
Then the New World Order pulled a stunt where a man dressed as Sting helped attack Lex Luger in a parking lot. For some reason, WCW wrestlers, announcers and even some of the fans bought into it. This offended Sting. After all he had done for WCW, and after he had been the only man to stick up for Luger & say that the Total Package was a good guy, this was how he was repaid. Sting responded by giving up his position as WCW’s glad-hander and retreated to the rafters. He spent most of the next eighteen months far away from any human contact. This only made him more popular.
Social distancing reinvigorated the Stinger’s career. It took him into the next era of pro wrestling. As fun as Surfer Sting was, whenever we see Sting re-appear in wrestling he has the signature look from when he was in the rafters. That’s what we remember him as. The man that we loved & admired, but didn’t want to get too close to. A famous Sting quote applies to this day and age…
“The only thing that’s for sure about Sting, is that nothing’s for sure.”