Awesome Pictures Of WWE Superstars When They Were In High School
On 20th December 2016
In the world of wrestling entertainment, spontaneous, candid moments are few and far between. Oftentimes, the only look you get into a wrestler’s personality is the image he or she portrays in the ring. The over-the-top characters, scripted storylines, and the no-holds-barred matches are always intense and exciting. However, it makes you wonder what these entertainers are like outside of the ring, and how they achieved superstardom. Where did they come from, and how did their wrestling dreams take root? What drove them to pursue the lives of professional wrestlers?
Well, a good place to start if you want to get a fresh perspective on some of your favorite wrestlers is to take a look at their high school photographs. It’s hard to imagine that these larger-than-life characters were once regular people, just like us. They went through the same awkward grade school phases, along with dated hairstyles and wardrobe choices that render them almost unrecognizable.
Nonetheless, these photos offer a humanizing, humbling look at some of the men who ascended to the highest of heights in the wrestling business. Yes, Brock Lesnar once wore glasses. Yes, The Rock once sported a pencil-thin mustache, and yes, Bill Goldberg once had a full head of hair.
Don’t believe me? Have a look for yourself. Here are 15 shocking high school photos of wrestling legends.
15. MICHAEL “THE MIZ” MIZANIN
Michael Gregory Mizanin, also known by his ring name "The Miz" certainly lived up to his self-confessed geek image in this high school photo. Mizanin attended Normandy High School in Cleveland, Ohio in the 1990s, where he captained the cross country and basketball teams.
Mizanin also served as the editor of the Normandy High School yearbook, so it's strange why he didn't prefer to switch out or retake this picture.
Mizanin later shed his "geek" image in college, pledging to Theta Chi Fraternity at Miami University, and pursuing a brief reality television career in the early 2000s. He got his first big break in the wrestling business when he appeared on the fourth season of WWE's Tough Enough in 2004. Mizanin made it to the final round but lost to Daniel Puder.
However, Mizanin still signed with the promotion the following year, and has gone on to win four WWE tag team titles and one WWE championship.
14. CM PUNK
CM Punk is a true renaissance man in the world of wrestling. He prefers to be called a "mixed martial artist" now that he is in the UFC, but he is best known for his tenure in WWE. Punk was a three-time WWE World Heavyweight Champion, and two-time WWE Champion before moving on to MMA in 2014.
CM Punk was born Phillip Jack Brooks in 1978. He set up his own wrestling federation, known as the Lunatic Wrestling Federation, in the 1990s with his brother, Mike. He also attended Lockport Township High School in Lockport, Illinois, where he maintained a straight-edge lifestyle as a contrast to his father's alcoholism.
Punk incorporated his straight-edge lifestyle into his in-ring persona, and forged successful runs in both ECW and WWE.
Unfortunately, his foray into MMA hasn't gone as swimmingly. Punk lost his first UFC bout via first round submission to Mickey Gall in September 2016.
13. MACHO MAN RANDY SAVAGE
The late Randy Savage won 29 titles over his 32-year career in the wrestling business. "Macho Man" won four WCW Heavyweight Championships and two WWE Heavyweight Championships. He made the switch to WCW in the 1990s and stayed with the brand through the latter stages of his career.
Savage was born Randy Poffo in Columbus, Ohio in 1952. His father, Angelo, was a well-known wrestler in his own right. Poffo moved to Downer's Grove, Illinois after middle school, where he attended Downer's Grove North High School in the 1960s.
Poffo's clean-cut, buttoned-up portrait pictured above stands in sharp contrast to the ferocious, trash talking persona he would trademark years later during his professional wrestling career. He ditched the fancy suit for colorful, unique costumes that made him stand out as one of the titans of wrestling lore.
12. LUKE HARPER
I know what you're thinking. Where is Harper's epic beard? I did a double take as well. Luke Harper, born Jonathan Huber in 1979, looks fairly unrecognizable in his high school portrait. Huber grew up in Rochester, New York, where he eventually made his wrestling debut for Roc City Wrestling (RCW) in 2002.
Huber ascended through several wrestling promotions, including Ring of Honor and Jersey All-Pro Wrestling, before signing with WWE in 2012. He joined villainous Smackdown! wrestling stable, The Wyatt Family, and adopted the ring name "Luke Harper". The family famously feuded with the likes of Kane, John Cena, Randy Orton, and The Undertaker.
In late 2014, Harper captured his first title in WWE. He held the Intercontinental Championship belt for a mere 27 days.
Harper suffered a knee injury in early 2016 but returned to the ring seven months later to help Bray Wyatt defeat Randy Orton at the No Mercy pay-per-view.