What happened to Hornswoggle? For almost a decade, Hornswoggle made himself known as the greatest “little person” wrestler of all time. In a land of the giants, somebody as small as the 4 foot superstar was not meant to succeed. In a company which once boasted Andre The Giant and Hulk Hogan, a four foot leprechaun who wasn’t even from Ireland had zero chance of lasting beyond his first few appearances with the company.
Yet, Hornswoggle persevered. He spent near enough ten years in the company in a variety of spots on the card – from comedy sidekick to champion, taking part in main event storylines and being revealed as one of the most hated general managers in wrestling history.
Even since his release in 2016, the door to the WWE has never been closed to Hornswoggle. He has reappeared for different special episodes and big Royal Rumble returns, so he is never too far away from making another appearances in the WWE – in fact, he’s probably hiding beneath the ring right now.
He Wrestled In His Backyard Before Training With Mr Kennedy
Hornswoggle was born Dylan Postl, and was born in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. Despite being born suffering from dwarfism, he never let his height get in the way of his dream of becoming a professional wrestler. Standing only 4 foot 5 at his peak, he wasn’t the typical wrestler-type that you usually see in the WWE.
Hoping to achieve his dream, he started his own backyard federation with his friends. Inspired by promotions like ECW, he and his friends wrestled each other in homemade rings in their back gardens, as many people did during this time. It wouldn’t be until later that he would be trained properly in pro-wrestling, when his backyard federation drew eyes from real independent promotions in the local area.
Among other wrestles, Dylan Post was scouted by All-Star Championship Wrestling to join the promotion and learn the basics of wrestling under their tutelage. Seeing this as his chance to break into real pro-wrestling, he jumped at the chance and immediately signed up with the company.
While there, he learned how to become a pro-wrestler from a future colleague of his. Then known as Ken Anderson, the future Mr Kennedy (Kennedy) headed the ACW school of wrestling and lead the class that Postl was a part of. The two became friends during this time, with the future Hornswoggle’s dedication to learning to wrestle the right way becoming something for them to bond over. Dylan Postl demanded to be taught wrestling the same way as everyone else, learning the cruiserweight style of wrestling that was popular at the time, rather than being pigeonholed as simply a “midget wrestle” (Hornswoggle confirmed in various interviews that he doesn’t mind using the word midget, dwarf or little person in regards to his height).
Hornswoggle Was Signed Because Of His Height
WWE were looking for a sidekick for Finlay in 2006 and sent the feelers out to various “midget wrestlers”. One of the was a 20 year old Dylan Postl, who was wrestling as Shortstack in various promotions accross Wisconsin.
When WWE were looking for a partner for the Northern Irish wrestler, who could portray a leprechaun (it was crucial that he be a leprechaun, apparently), Mr Kennedy, who had at the point already signed for the WWE, recommended that they look at Dylan Postl for the role. Speaking on a recent shoot interview, Hornswoggle said;
“They were looking for a guy like me to be Finlay’s sidekick-leprechaun-thing, and Ken [Anderson, AKA Mr Kennedy] put his name out there for me and he he said ‘this guy’s got a good head on his shoulders, he can bump around and he just has it. He can do whatever you ask of him’. They called me and i ignored it and they called me and i ignored it and then i listened to the voicemails and Tommy Dreamer, who was working in talent relations at the time in the office, he kept leaving me a message: “Hey we want to give you a contract. Can you please call us back?”.
“Because it was a black number i was like ‘oh this is a credit card’ you know, company calling because they want to be paid and I can’t pay them because I’m broke! It was just so finally I answered and he goes ‘we’ve been trying to get a hold of you all morning’. I said ‘Yeah I thought you were a debt collector, sorry.’ He goes ‘well we want to hire you’ and i was instantly like blown away. It was just one of the greatest days of my life”
He was signed originally under a six month contract to be the manager for Finlay. Given the name Little Bastard, he portrayed an angry, violent leprechaun who would hide underneath the ring, emerging to help Finlay during his time of need during matches. He spoke to Nola.com and revealed that he would spend hours underneath the ring waiting for Finlay’s match – he later revealed he would hide a PSP under the ring for something to do during this time.
“There were some overseas shows that were in outdoors venues where I’d have to go under there before doors (opened),” Postl said. “If Finley was in the main event, I might be under the ring for 4 1/2 hours, but you get used to it.”
He made his WWE debut on May 26, 2006 on an episode of Smackdown. fter Finlay’s victory over Paul Burchill, an extremely hyper, dirty, mysterious Postl in a leprechaun costume scurried out from under the ring and jumped on Burchill, laughing maniacally. Finlay then proceeded to repeatedly slam him onto Burchill. He would continue to attack his opponents after matches, before transitioning to coming out during matches to help Finlay.
This came to a head when he helped Finlay win his only ever championship in the WWE. He emerged from beneath the ring to throw Finlay his trusty shillelagh – an Irish club made of wood – to help him defeat Bobby Lashley for his United States Championship. His name would be changed to Hornswoggle soon after as having the name Bastard did not do too well for him from a marketing standpoint – especially for children.
He Beat The Odds To Become A WWE Champion
He began to wrestle in tag team matches with Finlay, graduating from manager to fully-fledged wrestler. He started to do more things in the ring, including at Wrestlemania 23. He fought with long-time friend and trainer Mr Kennedy during the Money in the Bank ladder match (that Kennedy would end up winning). Kennedy hit his finisher, the Green Bay Plunge, on Hornswoggle off a ladder after he tried to help Finlay win the match and was one of the most entertaining spots in the whole match.
This led to Kennedy eventually apologising to Finlay and the pair eventually forming a tag team. However, Hornswoggle would still team with Finlay, mainly in special tag team matches with “mini” versions of the wrestlers on the other side. The highlight of this was Finlay & Hornswoggle vs Boogeyman and “Little Boogeyman”, a nothing match that is remembered all these years later.
However, Hornswoggle’s crowning glory was something that was, in his words, “never meant to happen”. He defied the odds by winning the WWE Cruiserweight Championship. At the Great American Bash 2007, in classic Hornswoggle fashion. The match was a cruiserweight open, meaning any cruiserweights in the ring at the start of the bout were in the match. Just as the bell rang, Hornswoggle darted in and out the ring, hiding underneath but still technically a part of the match.
He pinned Jamie Noble a “Tadpole Splash”, which was his version of the frog splash that he’d been doing since his days on the indies. The other wrestlers and commentary team did not know he was part of the match so his win came as a huge shock. Despite this, he walked away from the event as a champion in WWE – something the young Dylan Postl could never have ever dreamed of.
He began a feud with Noble over the title, although it rarely made it to the ring. He set many traps backstage for his opponent, including a Looney-Tunes style tunnel painted on the wall and other Home Alone-Style traps set. While it sounds ridiculous, and was, it still made for thoroughly entertaining TV, albeit at the cost of the prestige of the Cruiserweight Championship.
Becoming Mr McMahon’s Son Pushed Him To The Main Event
The biggest storyline of his short career so far ended up being the “Vince McMahon Illegitimate Son” storyline. It was revealed in mid 2007 that Vince McMahon had a son from cheating on his wife years ago, and that the child of his was working for the WWE as he spoke. This came as a huge shock and was the start of what would have been one of the biggest storylines the business had ever seen.
The original plan was for Mr Kennedy to be revealed as the son of Vince McMahon. This was to be after McMahon was killed in a limousine explosion, which did happen on Monday Night Raw. His kinship towards the Chairman would have been revealed at Vince McMahon’s funeral, which was due to take place on the June 25, 2007 episode of Raw. Sadly, that weekend Chris Benoit killed himself and his family, which caused the Vince McMahon death angle to be cancelled.
Kennedy also suffered an injury, so his name was removed from contention when the storyline continued. Instead, a series of clues were given to narrow down who McMahon’s son is. An attorney revealed his son was blonde, held title gold and was not extreme, ruling out all but one WWE superstar – his son in law Triple H. He was the last man stood in the ring and given the fact Triple H was married to Vince’s daughter, a very awkward moment ensued.
Then, from under the ring emerged Hornswoggle, the new son of Vince McMahon. Over the next few weeks he was placed into various levels of danger by McMahon, in the name of tough love. This included a match against The Great Khali at Raw 15, which saw him being saved by Hulk Hogan in one of the most memorable moments of 2007.
Eventually, after weeks and weeks over the diminutive Hornswoggle being beaten down by the biggest and baddest WWE had to offer to earn the love from his father, something was revealed. After McMahon whipped Hornswoggle inside a steel cage with his belt, Finlay ran in to make the save. It was revealed that he was his real father. This set up a match between JBL and Finlay (for some reason) at Wrestlemania 24, but an end to this confusing storyline.
The pair were soon drafted to ECW, where they would wrestle mainly in tag team matches. Finlay would retire soon after and Hornswoggle would move out on his own, being drafted to Raw to join up with one of the companies greatest factions.
Hornswoggle Joined D-Generation X
In late 2009, Hornswoggle had been drafted to Raw. He began to wear various pieces of D-Generation X merchandise, attempting to join the group. The team, which featured Triple H and Shawn Michaels, had been around in WWE since the Attitude Era and was considered one of the greatest factions the company had ever seen.
The duo tried their hardest to try to stop Hornswoggle from joining the group. He kept following them to their matches, trying to force his way into the group. They even attacked Hornswoggle at one point, which led him to suing the group and taking them to “little people’s court” – one of the most embarrassing segments the WWE has done in the past 20 years, which is saying quite a lot. The court also took place underneath the ring, where Hornswoggle would wait during the match – a funny addition, to be fair.
Hornswoggle agreed to drop the charges, one one condition – that he was allowed to join D-Generation X. He became the official mascot of the duo, accompanying them to matches and helping them shamelessly sell as much merchandise as they possibly could. However, he was drafted back to Smackdown in 2010 and the team slowly disbanded, ending his run as the smallest member of DX in history.
WWELC Was One Of The Best WWE Matches Ever!
By 2014, his run in the WWE was coming to an end. With the leprechaun gimmick really running his cause, WWE didn’t know what to do with the popular superstar. Wanting to keep him on TV, they paired him with the team “Three Man Band”, the trio consisting of Heath Slater, Drew McIntyre and Jinder Mahal. He joined the “Band”, growing out his hair and dressing much more outrageously than ever before.
The group were primarily a comedy group, but did have one of the best WWE matches ever. In the build up to Extreme Rules 2014, the group began to feud with Los Matadors and their own little-person wrestler, El Torito. Torito portrayed a small red bull, who was proficient in the art of lucha libra. He bounced around the ring in an impressive manner and showed much more ability than many on the WWE roster.
A rivalry began to brew between Hornswoggle and El Torito. This led to a contract signing segment and various tiny brawls between the two, leading up to the legendary match called WEELC.
WEELC was a take on the TLC match, but the “wee” indicating that both men were small. The peak of comedy, I know, but everyone went all in on this match. Booking dwarf commentators and referees, Hornswoggle and El Torito put everything on the line in a hilarious yet brutal TLC match (that ended via pinfall), with all their various partners taking big bumps on the outside to the delight of the fans.
What Happened To Hornswoggle?
Hornswoggle was released by the WWE in 2016 after ten years with the company. This was after he spent nearly a year out the ring, after a disastrous match against El Torito in 2014. Dressed up as an alligator, he was now part of a team with Heath Slater and Titus O’Neil. Known as Slater Gator, they once again feuded with Los Matadors. Wrestling El Torito in a alligator costume, the pair embarrassed themselves in the ring, losing all the goodwill from the fans as the crowd chanted “boring” and “this is stupid”.
Both men wrestled in one more match later that week in a 16-man tag team match, but never again on TV. However, both of them being released in 2016. Hornswoggle had proved in his decade with the company that he could do whatever they asked of him, being at the top of the card and wrestling at the bottom. He is a legend in WWE and has proven his talent when he is called back for special appearances.
He appeared in the Greatest Royal Rumble as a surprise entrant in the match. He eliminated Dash Wilder (AEW’s Cash Wheeler) before being eliminated by Tony Nese in a short stint in the match. He also showed up in the next year’s Royal Rumble event. In the Women’s Royal Rumble match won by Becky Lynch, Hornswoggle appeared from beneath the ring to assist in the elimination of Zelina Vega, as well as chasing her around the ring during a hilarious moment in the match.
He now wrestles on the independent scene although is always free for a return to the WWE when called upon.
Hamish is a writer and podcaster and wrestling fan who is a key part of the Atletifo team.
After playing countless hours of WrestleMania X8 on the Gamecube, he discovered Rey Mysterio getting his head crushed by The Great Khali, and thus a love for professional wrestling was born.
He is also a Media Graduate, as well as writing for multiple sites about Premier League football and the culture of Wales – his home country.