Monday, March 16, 2015

The 15 Professional Wrestlers That I Enjoyed the Most

Look, I am not going to lie to you, since Pro Wrestling is fake, it is virtually impossible to rate wrestlers on any sort of meaningful scale.  Some people, for example, rate Hulk Hogan VERY low as a wrestler because he wasn't a good technical wrestler.  He was, of course, 6'6" and weighed 300+ pounds, and could slam a 500 pound man, but his overall ring repertoire was limited.

Other rate guys highly just for having good microphone skills, while other rate guys highly who could barely speak a lick (or used a manager to speak for them).  It is all subjective.  I will just give you my top 15:

Guys I just detest who I cannot put on the list -- Chris Jericho, Shawn Michaels, Chris Benoit -- just don't like any of them, never cared for them as personalities or in the ring.  Sorry.  You guys are out.
I also left off the Steiner Brothers and the Road Warriors -- greatest tag teams of all-time, but we will focus on singles wrestlers.

1  Ric Flair - the best.  Great in and out of the ring.  Could wrestle for 60+ minutes until 10PM, bleed all over hell, cut a promo in the morning and then wrestle again the next night.  Truly a great professional wrestler.

2  Curt Hennig -- Mr. Perfect.  As good of a technical wrestler as there ever will be.  The whole "Mr. Perfect" schitck is so ingrained in me that if I park my car well in the garage, I will say out loud, "Curt Hennig could not have done a better parking job."  RIP.

3  The Rock -- Hard to believe he was ever the horrid babyface character of Rocky Maivia.  Awesome legitimate athlete and just flat out hilarious.  "What in the holy hell was that?"

4  Sting -- for 4 years in the NWA before he blew out his knee, he was probably the number 1 greatest wrestler of all-time from both a wrestling and personality standpoint.  Similar to how some golf fans think of Tom Watson during his prime.

 5  Hulk Hogan -- The ultimate entertainer, huge man, extremely steroid pumped and powerful. 

6  Andre The Giant -- "No way, Andre is gonna be there!?!?"  Probably the greatest box office attraction in the world.   RIP. 
7  John Cena -- In a world where the straight out "babyface" is now frowned upon, Cena continues to pursue that position and hold up the WWE banner as the new Hulk Hogan.  Ridiculously strong for a man his size.

Bret Hart -- Excellence of execution.  My dream was always that he and Perfect would have 100 matches a year.  Not much of a mic skills guy.

9  Bill Goldberg -- the problem with pro wrestling is that you must have a competitive match for people to get their money's worth.  Goldberg's first 6 months in the WCW,  where he destroyed everyone in 45 seconds, were awesome.  Then he had to get competitive.  But that wasn't as good.  This is one where personal preference plays a huge role in his high ranking.
10  Roddy Piper  -- saw him in a "country whipping strap match" with Rick Rude in 1988.  Jesus, he would suffer for his sport.  Great heel.  Maybe the best ever.  Not a great pure wrestler.

11 The Undertaker -- unbelievably talented.  Great schtick.  Paul Bearer as your manager?  Awesome.

12 Jimmy Snuka -- The Superfly from the top rope or the top of anything is such an iconic move that he must be on the list.  When Piper cracked him in the head with a coconut, that was awesome TV.

13 Mick Foley/Cactus Jack -- when you saw him, you knew something unbelievably bizarre and twisted was about to occur.  Absolutely no regard for his body, or his mental or emotional well being.

14  Randy Savage -- great wrestler.  I didn't care for him as much as some people did.  But there is no denying his greatness, so he squeaks in.  RIP

15  Dusty Rhodes -- fat tub of goo, but an unbelievable personality, and he has to be on the list because his years worth of battles with Flair are legendary,


Anonymous said...

How do you not include the Ultimate Warrior on this list? I may stop following this blog because of this list's failure to recognize greatness.

Anonymous said...

How do you rate Frank DeFalco's skills? PAR

HM said...

Well, "The Thumper" would be on my list of worst fantasy football players (never scored). I guess you have to give him credit for wrestling into his late 40s and going so far as to create a wrestling organization where he could appoint himself champion.

His Nikolai Volkoff match is the thing of legend.

HM said...

The Ultimate Warrior is a personal preference. He had a huge fan base and a great entrance, but geez he was an awful technical wrestler and his mic skills consisted of basically saying his opponent's name first and then spouting nonsense about weird crap until they cut him off.