12 Greatest Ever Fictional Wrestlers

Just because they never existed doesn't mean they weren't great.

the wrestler mickey rourke
Fox Searchlight Pictures

Professional wrestling is already half-fictional. You can debate what the fraction is, I guess, but you get the idea; a significant portion of our favorite pseudosport is a fiction, and the same can be said of its performers. That's why the idea of a fictional pro wrestler is so fascinating: it's an actor, usually a wrestler himself, playing the part of a second performer playing a different role. It has the potential to be endlessly recursive, but it's always fun to watch.

The following grapplers may not be real, but maybe they should be.

13. The Shrieking Sheik - The Simpsons

the wrestler mickey rourke
20th Century Fox.com

This one is really just a throwaway gag, but it's really a sublime one. It's prime-era Simpsons, first of all, and it's also related to a strange Bret Hart cameo. They never revealed where Springfield is, but I guess it's relatively close to Calgary, Alberta, Canada, because the Hitman has come to town looking to buy Mr. Burns' mansion. At first, he's put off by the house's "old man stink", and my inner Heenan wants to point out that's he'd surely be used to that growing up with Stu.

What sells Bret on the house is that fact that another wrestler, the Shrieking Sheik, lives in the neighborhood, and this revelation is punctuated by the sound of the Sheik ululating in the distance. You have no idea how much improved my life would be if the Shrieking Sheik actually showed up at some point. The show's been on the air for 45 years and they've had spotlight episodes for goddamn Duffman, why can't they give me twenty-two minutes of some shrill Sabu pastiche teaching Homer to value his marriage?


Long-time fan (scholar?) of professional wrestling, kaiju films and comparative mythology. Aspiring two-fisted adventurer.