Kayfabe was once extremely important for grapplers to abide to, with the belief portrayal of events inside the ring had to be backed up with how wrestlers acted outside of it too. Wrestlers staying in character every public appearance they made was sacred law back in the day and taken stringently seriously, from Arn Anderson writing his autobiography completely in kayfabe (even with the title ‘A Look Behind the Curtain’) to the Wild Samoans not breaking character even when getting arrested for possession of an unregistered firearm.
It’s been said kayfabe died at different points in wrestling, from The Kliq’s Curtain Call at Madison Square Garden to the American flag-waving Hacksaw Jim Duggan and the Iranian flag-waving Iron Sheik getting arrested together for drug possession. It’s also been said how kayfabe in the 21st century hasn’t died but rather evolved into shoot-style promos where wrestlers incorporate their own lives more into their onscreen personas and storylines, like the well-known Talking Smack scene with Miz and Daniel Bryan to CM Punk’s ‘Pipe Bomb’.
But traditional kayfabe is still practiced even to this day. Just look to Matt Hardy’s ‘Broken’ gimmick or Jon Moxley wearing an eyepatch for months after his eye spike angle in AEW.
Here we’ll look at 10 wrestlers who are living the gimmick and keeping kayfabe alive and well...