Wrestling

Rulon Gardner | Mormon Wrestlers

A wrestler from Wyoming, this famous Mormon wrestler was known as the ‘Mormon Farm Boy’ who went on to secure a gold medal in the 2000 Olympics in what was described as the biggest upset in the history of the sport. A miracle on the mat, Gardner quickly became a celebrity Mormon in his home-town for his feats on the world stage.

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Mark Schultz | Mormon Wrestlers

Inducted into the National Wrestling Hall of Fame, famous Mormon wrestler Mark Schultz was a gold medallist for the 1984 Olympics and enjoyed a career winning championships and coaching positions at various institutions such as Brigham Young University. He has been the world champion twice, making him one of the elite American wrestlers in history

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Jimmy Snuka | Mormon Wrestlers

A very famous Mormon pro-wrestler, Jimmy ‘Superfly’ Snuka pioneered the high flying element for professional wrestling that has since become a mainstay of the industry. His feud with Rowdy Roddy Piper is well-remembered, as is his stunt in jumping from the top of the cage during a Cage Match. The career of this celebrity Mormon wrestler took him through the WWF during his glory days to the ECW before settling in the AWA.

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Jason Ray | Mormon Wrestlers

A professional wrestler billed at 255lbs, famous Mormon wrestler Jason Ray was known for his notable feud with fellow famous Mormon wrestler Jimmy Snuka as well Johnny Grunge during his career. His athleticism was unusual for a man of his weight, and delighted fans with his spinning flips during the ‘Hokkaido-Sault’; a modified Moonsault that celebrity Mormon wrestler Ray would use as his finisher.

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Ernie Moore | Mormon Wrestlers

Known as ‘The Executioner’, Ernie Moore was a famous Mormon wrestler who was brought into the role because the promoter and booker was a man short. Donning the mask, Moore found that he revelled in playing the ‘heel’, a pro-wrestling term for the wrestler attempting to earn the ire of the crowd to enhance the atmosphere. He quickly took up wrestling and toured the country, terrifying people with his persona and unique mask.

Despite his in-ring persona, Moore was a gentle giant who would break up fights using his physique to placate people rather than injure them. He worked a variety of jobs, and was every inch the devout Mormon to his faith.

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Dustin Tillman | Mormon Wrestlers

Sent on a Mormon mission to Texas as a Mandarin speaker, Dustin Tillman was a famous Mormon wrestler who took his beliefs seriously and placed them in high priority. As a wrestler, he weighted in at 165 lbs and joined the Lions for a spell before retiring. His brother was tragically killed during combat duty in Afghanistan in 2004.

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Don Jonathan | Mormon Wrestlers

As professional wrestling began to move more toward entertainment than sports, it was pioneers such as famous Mormon wrestler Don Jonathan, nicknamed the Mormon Mauler, who helped to push the sport into greater spheres of popularity following it’s crash when a wrestler revealed that most of the fights were scripted, which had decimated attendances. Despite being over six feet tall, this celebrity Mormon wrestler was capable of great athletic feats, as well as slamming opponents who weighed close to or over 200lbs.

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Cael Sanderson | Mormon Wrestlers

A living legend, Cael Sanderson is the famous Mormon wrestler who went undefeated for his four year reign as NCAA Champion with a staggering record of 159-0 during his time competing. He then went on to secure a Gold Medal at the 2004 Olympics, with fellow famous Mormon wrestler Rulon Gardner only managing Bronze at that competition.

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Aaron Holker | Mormon Wrestlers

The former NCAA Wrestling Champion, Aaron Holker was a famous Mormon wrestler who took his first NCAA title at 141lbs, and at Brigham Young University he was their first All-American representing the institution since the late 80’s. By 1999, he weighed in at a lighter 133lbs and took the NCAA Championship for the last time.

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