WARNING: The following post may contain spoilers to the Netflix Documentary series “Tiger King” (2020, dir. Eric Goode, Rebecca Chaiklin)
Professional wrestling is a human rodeo, full of colorful characters. It’s all three rings of Barnum & Bailey’s Circus, combined into one. Recently, Netflix released a documentary about the heir apparent to PT Barnum’s exploitative carny throne, Joe Exotic, aka Tiger King.
Joe Exotic (aka Joe Maldonado-Passage, aka Joe Schreibvogel) is a gay, polyamorous big cat breeder, a former Oklahoma gubernatorial candidate, 2016 presidential candidate, a singer/songwriter, a provocateur, a carny, and yes, even a professional wrestler. He is currently in federal prison on 19 charges of animal abuse, and one charge of plotting a “murder for hire.”
He is, above all things, a character.
Outfitted in the sparkliest sequined shirts, covered in piercings, tattoos, and proudly wearing a two-tone blonde-and-black mullet, Joe Exotic ran the Greater Wynnewood Exotic Animal Park, until 2018 when he was indicted for attempting to hire someone to kill his arch-nemesis in the world of Big Cats, animal rights advocate Carole Baskin, as well as the discovery of improperly euthanized tigers on his property.
Joe’s story has captivated the nation, and especially some wrestlers. Independent Wrestler Matthew Justice called for Exotic’s release, tweeting “Free Joe Exotic!”
Free Joe Exotic!
— 𝖒𝖆𝖙𝖙𝖍𝖊𝖜 𝖏𝖚𝖘𝖙𝖎𝖈𝖊 (@ThrashJustice) March 22, 2020
NWA Television Champion Zicky Dice posited that Exotic might be his father.
I am pretty sure “The Tiger King” Joe Exotic is my dad.
— “OUTLANDISH” Zicky Dice (@ZickyDice) March 21, 2020
Wrestlers clearly relate to this strange man and his even stranger life. With Exotic in federal custody, and unable to appear at wrestling events. Here are 10 Wrestlers that could take up Exotic’s mantle.
Author’s Note: I’m not including The Undertaker. YES, I have seen the video of him & Michelle McCool. Yes, I’ve seen the picture of him with Bhagvan Antle (who is a whole other kind of crazy, but that’s an entirely different article.)
Continued on NEXT PAGE—–>