So much of the sport of pro wrestling is built upon perception and aesthetics. Wrestlers must choose characters and then live and learn in these personas, becoming forever associated with them - but likewise, wrestlers are also associated with their physical characteristics.
That often means that there's pressure for stars to look as good as possible, especially considering that most of them don't wear a whole lot in the ring. Still, it would be an oversimplification to say that everybody tries to be big and muscular - Yokozuna, for instance, played the role of a sumo wrestler due to his massive girth, while Rey Mysterio's diminutive stature allowed him to portray the ultimate underdog when he wrestled heavyweights.
Despite all that, there's no rule that says wrestlers have to finish the same way they started. Over the course of the years, tons of stars have gained or lost weight, often affecting what they were able to do in the ring. Typically, these changes have been rather tame, but some wrestlers have undergone such 180-degree switches that they almost look like different people. The results have often changed the trajectories of their careers.
Who are wrestling's most noticeable shape-shifters? Let's peer into the hall of mirrors...
Scott Fried is a Slammy Award-winning* writer living and working in New York City. He has been following/writing about professional wrestling for many years and is a graduate of Lance Storm's Storm Wrestling Academy. Follow him on Twitter at https://twitter.com/scottfried.
*Best Crowd of the Year, 2013