Professional wrestling has long been connected to the state of Minnesota, with the likes of Verne Gagne, Ric Flair, Curt Hennig, Jesse Ventura, Brock Lesnar, and The Road Warriors among those that are connected to the Minnesota wrestling scene. The Twins also have some wrestling history, as aspiring pro wrestler Kent Hrbek pulled off a perfect ankle pick on Ron Gant in the 1991 World Series. While the current Twins have not left us much to write about, we can at least compare them to some people in the world of “sports entertainment,” a world in which we can forget about the Twins shooting every victory into the sun after the bullpen comes in. Here are some Twins below, as pro wrestlers (alphabetical by last name).
WILLIANS ASTUDILLO: Rikishi
- “La Tortuga” has a lot of similarities to Rikishi. They both have flowing blonde hair, they are both nimble-footed big men, and they are both fan-favorite athletes. Their dance moves and overall agility have wowed the masses over the years. Here’s to Astudillo implementing a sunglasses-clad postgame dance to his future victories.
BYRON BUXTON: Mick Foley
- Buxton plays baseball with the same reckless abandon that made Mick Foley a wrestling legend. For better or for worse, Buxton will throw regard for his body completely out the window, looking to make the impossible happen. While their athletic traits are nowhere near comparable, Buxton’s flair for the dangerous resembles that of Mrs. Foley’s Baby Boy.
NELSON CRUZ: Hulk Hogan
- Also a lovable fan-favorite giant into his 40s, Cruz’s career is on a similar path as Hogan’s. Both Cruz and Hogan were embroiled in a steroid controversy early in their career, but with feats of strength and just being overall good guys, they were able to make fans forget about that sort of negativity. On top of that, just like Hogan, Cruz looks like he will be jumping ship to a new organization soon.
JOSH DONALDSON: Triple H
- Not afraid to tell an entire stadium of people to “Suck It,” Donaldson may be best aligned with Triple H. They both were at the top of the game due to their powerful exploits, but they are both also known for the minds they have for their sport. In 2021, Donaldson pulled what can only be described as a genius move. Upon realizing his entire pitching staff was subpar, Donaldson made a move to bring them closer to the rest of the league. Did he help his own pitchers? NOPE! He instead brought down the rest of league by exposing the foreign substance usage among pitchers, a move that the “Cerebral Assassin” would be proud of.
MAX KEPLER: Alex Wright
- Both Kepler and Wright entered their organizations as mysterious, precocious German imports with obvious talents. In a similar fashion to Wright, Kepler has been unable to quite crack through to the main stream, despite flashes of his talent. Here’s to hoping Max can become a main-event talent in the future.
MICHAEL PINEDA: Mr. Fuji
- For the younger crowd that may not be familiar with Mr. Fuji, he was the manager for the legendary Yokozuna and he was dressed like Oddjob. Like Pineda, he wasn’t in the spotlight very often, but when he was, he wasn’t afraid to use foreign substances in order to help his team win. (Side note: Yokozuna and Mr. Fuji both played Japanese characters, but Yokozuna is actually of Samoan descent, and Mr. Fuji was born in Hawaii. WRESTLING!)
JIM POHLAD: Ted DiBiase
- Pohlad is actually the antithesis to the “Million Dollar Man,” as his family’s constant pinching of pennies has led to many stars leaving or being shipped out of town. While DiBiase would proclaim “Everybody has a price!” in hopes of bribing people into helping his team, Pohlad lives by the mantra “Everybody has a price, but we ain’t paying it.” Dear Mr. Pohlad, please pay Byron Buxton and Jose Berrios.
CORY PROVUS/DAN GLADDEN: Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler
- Between the storytelling of good ol’ J.R. and the gregariousness of Jerry “The King”, no team better represents that duo than Provus and Dazzleman. While Dick Bremer’s experience in the booth may more closely represent that of J.R., the banter between the radio team makes them a fitting match. Plus, Provus seems like the more likely party to let out a “BAH GAWD, HE’S BROKEN IN HALF!” after batter is hit by a pitch.
MIGUEL SANO: Roman Reigns
- Both Reigns and Sano are large, hulking figures that have a supreme amount of talent, and have been force-fed to the fans with promise of leading their respective organizations. Neither have been able to connect with the fans for different reasons, and Sano has become almost unplayable, despite being billed as a franchise-saving player earlier in his career. While the WWE has to keep bringing back older wrestlers such as John Cena to keep Reigns in the limelight, Sano’s days with his organization might be numbered despite signing a contract extension that will pay Sano at least through 2022.
Please let me know who you would add or what I missed in the comments below!