In his 1999 autobiography Have A Nice Day, pro wrestler Mick Foley — who’s famous for regularly pulling a sweaty, smiley-faced sock out of his tights and ramming it down his opponents’ throats — told lively stories of dumb pranks he’d play in the ring. In a series of non-televised, late 1990s wrestling shows, Foley and his close pal Al Snow were locked in a tag-team feud with Hardcore and Crash Holly, who were pissed that their opponents were goofing around on the job. To break the ice backstage, Foley decided to let the Hollys in on a secret: Snow wasn’t wearing anything under his wrestling singlet. Just a few hours later, Hardcore Holly muscled up Snow into a vertical suplex and deliberately pulled his lycra to the left, letting Snow’s junk flop out for a solid 10 seconds, much to the surprise of the crowd.
It’s an incident known as the “penis suplex,” and it’s not the only dick slip in wrestling history. At Starrcade 1986, a flustered referee had to pop Nikita “Russian Nightmare” Koloff’s junk back inside his singlet after it slipped out, again during a vertical suplex. In 2009, Rory Fargo’s shiny, gold trunks came apart at the crotch, leaving him desperately trying to cover his crack and sack while he finished up his match. In the only existing videos of the match — which are censored — the crowd can be heard giggling.
Wardrobe malfunctions like these, however, are surprisingly rare. Wrestling companies — both pro and indie — are a visual smorgasbord of skimpy lycra and skin-tight bodysuits, yet these pros somehow manage to keep their dicks tucked firmly in place, out of sight and out of mind. How?
Twenty-nine-year-old pro wrestler Charles Crowley has “always been a [long] tights guy,” ever since he started competing professionally back in 2018. His gimmick is that of a gloriously unhinged, carnival-style ringmaster (which he plans to showcase in a crowdfunded feature film), a get-up that lends itself well to the long, pinstriped tights he wears. There’s another reason behind his gear choice though, and it’s got nothing to do with dick slips. “I would love to wear trunks one day, but I have slender legs no matter how hard I work on them,” he tells me. “I want to get them nice and thicc before I debut the trunks.”
When it comes to pro tips, Crowley recommends Speedos under the tights to “help keep it all in!” A few other pro wrestlers seemingly opt for this technique, too. The super-tight nylon compresses your junk and keeps it nice and snug; it’s kind of like wearing tucking underwear to squish down your dick and create a smooth line, no VPL (visible panty line) in sight.
Crowley says he picked up this tip the hard way, namely through a few almost wardrobe malfunctions. “I used to have tights that were getting old and super thin,” he says. “You could see everything. I may as well not have been wearing anything underneath. When I realized, I figured it was time to bring in the Speedos to wear underneath.” When it comes to his dick slipping out of his pants though, he’s not too worried. “If a dick slip happens, you’ve just got to let it happen,” he jokes.
Shrugging off wardrobe malfunctions might fly on the indies, but pro-wrestling behemoth WWE has been gradually shifting to a more PG, family-friendly approach over the last two decades. Shows are taped from multiple camera angles, so in the rare occurrence of a dick slip, offending scenes can be subtly edited out before they wind up on streaming services.
This hasn’t always been the case, though. Especially in the Attitude Era of the late 1990s and early aughts, plenty of guys wore thongs to keep their dicks in place. Sleazy lothario Val Venis was stripped down to a little black number in an embarrassing pantsing moment, whereas Billy Gunn — known as Mr. Ass, a cheeky flirt with a tendency to moon his opponents — went through a short-lived phase of wearing mesh trunks with a thong underneath. In a Hardcore Evening Gown match, Al Snow — who sometimes went commando because he “hated the lines [of underwear] showing through” his gear — stripped wrestler Droz down to a skimpy thong at the match’s close. Some of these moves are choreographed, but others are almost certainly accidental — hence the panicked rush for these guys to pull their trunks back up.
Nobody knows pro wrestlers’ underwear choices better than the extremely horny subreddit r/WrestleWithThePackage. While the mods didn’t reply to my request for comment, a quick scroll through the sub shows that some wrestlers wear jockstraps or compression shorts, others go commando and some follow Crowley’s lead — sticking to black, Speedo-like briefs underneath their trunks to spare their dignity.
Crowley doesn’t think it’s a big deal, though — wardrobe malfunctions happen in every sport, and athletes are more than used to shrugging off the embarrassment. “It’s not like it’s some crazy abhorrent thing to see,“ he says casually. “If anything, in adult crowds, people should laugh or embrace it if they can see anything. Plenty of us have dicks, you know? You’re gonna see the occasional male camel-toe.”