It’s April 3, 2016 and in Dallas, Texas that means its time for Wrestlemania 32. This years main event will put Triple H against Roman Reigns, and also featured will be Shane McMahon vs the Undertaker in a Hell in a Cell. Wrestlemania is of a celebration of professional wrestling, and few things in the world fulfills a fans needs like a flying elbow drop. The match of the night will probably be Chris Jericho vs AJ Styles.
Pro wrestling has always been about the characters and that is what makes this stuff so interesting. Great characters make you dream an important question, what would happen in a fight between these two? These two men really know how to make there characters come to life, not only on the microphone but in the ring, it should be a hell of a match.
Chris Jericho is one of the greatest of all time but he will not be on this list. The criteria for the all-time best wrestlers is 3 things.
- Character- who is your character? why do i care? is this person a champion?
- In ring work- Do I believe you can win a fight? Can you use the fake fight top tell a story?
- Talking- When you talk, do i care?
Now that the criteria has been established, we can establish a time line for this list. This wrestling fan was born in 1990 and the viewpoint of this mega-fan is biased to more modern day wrestlers, then wrestlers who performed before June of 1990, with all that out of the way, here is the list.
10. Andre the Giant- Andre’s work in the ring was great considering his limitations. The Giant was a a sight to see at over 7’3 inches tall and weighing in at over 500lbs, Andre the Giant is responsible for one of the most iconic moments in the business, when Hulk Hogan slammed him at Wrestlemania 3. Watch
9. Bret Hart- The best there is, the best there was and the best there ever will be. Bret Hart from the famous Hart wrestling family was the first in the line of main stream stars today. After the 1993 steroid trial, that if Vince McMahon would have lost, there would be no Wrestlemania. After the trial McMahon was forced to use smaller, more athletic wrestlers like the Hitman. Hart could do it all, he really could make a punch look painful and being a smaller guy who fought bigger men meant he was always the underdog (which is why we love him). Even when McMahon, changed his product from wrestlers who told kids to say there prayers and take their vitamins, brother!, to guys who said suck it, beat up women, and drank beers, (which is what the fans wanted at the time), Bret Hart was still innovative. He continued to be a good guy and somehow made the fans, the bad guys or heels. Hart is currently fighting cancer, and has suffered from concussions and a stroke. So with his career behind him, Hart’s career will be remembered as one of the most successful. Watch
8. Bruno Sammartino- He is your mother and father’s favorite wrestler. Sammartino was professional wrestling for the 60s and 70s. He had a world title reign that lasted almost a decade. He was loved beyond reason, Sammartino was the ultimate nice guy of his era, and in the New York market, had record number of sellouts at Madison Square Garden. Sammartino took professional wrestling out of gyms and into arenas and stadiums. Sammartino was a trail blazer. Watch
7. Jerry “The King” Lawler- Memphis wresting USWA, Lawler was amazing on the mic in the ring, just watch. He was in Man on the Moon and that famous David Letterman segment, Jerry Lawler was very mainstream in the 80s. The best thing that can be said about Jerry Lawler is what Jim Cornette, a longtime wrestling fan, manager and promoter said about “The King” – “of all my favorite moments in professional wrestling, half of them are Jerry Lawler”. Watch
6. Undertaker- First, who wanted to see the streak end? The Undertaker is WWE’s greatest creation. The Deadman character was terrifying for children, but through the years the Undertaker has been one of the most important wrestlers to the fans in history. Inside the ring he was big and athletic, and his in ring story telling with legends like Shawn Michaels is why the Undertaker will remain in a special place in the hearts of wrestling fans. Watch
5. Lita- If you are a man, chances are you don’t understand why Lita is No. 5, on this list. For a majority of women who are wrestling fans, Lita is everything. Think of Lita as Babe Ruth, boxer Jack Johnson, Louis Armstrong, Steve Jobs, trailblazers who are way ahead of the curve. Her high flying ability made her popular with fans and gave credibility to women in wrestling. If your a parent and you’re a wrestling fan, and you have a daughter, would you want her to be like Lita? Think of another female wrestler you can say that about, don’t worry i’ll wait. Watch
4. Ric Flair- WOOOO, If you don’t know anything about wrestling the first name you should type into a search engine is Ric Flair. The Nature Boy, in the ring the best ever. Ask any wrestling fan over the age of 30 and they have a favorite Ric Flair match. No one worked harder then Ric Flair and no one talked better on the mic. Flair was the bad guy for the 80s entire generation to wrestling fans. No one could generate the type of anger and envy like Ric Flair. Watch
3. Hulk Hogan- its 2016 and right now no one want to talk about Hogan. However, for 10 years Hogan was the face of professional wrestling and his name the still synonymous with the profession. Hogan vs Savage, Andre, Rock, Goldberg, Ultimate Warrior, Undertaker, was money. Hogan in the ring left a lot to be desired, but if you think about it,Hogan in the ring could be considered the greatest ever. To get a better understanding of this, think of Hogan this way. What if a painter, painted one picture every single day, but it made more money every time the painter sold it. That is Hulk Hogan. Watch
2. Stone Cold Steve Austin- (No, i’m not trying to create a fake controversy, read the what is said about the Rock and take a deep breath). The Texas Rattlesnake had it all. His look became legend, people were barging into barber shops to get their head shaved bald. He had catchphrases, sold more merchandise than anyone, and in the ring Austin’s brawling styled captured fans. Austin was the ultimate fantasy, his feud with McMahon struck a real nerve, because a lot of people hated there boss, and Austin got to beat up his boss every single day. Austin by most people’s perspective is the biggest star to ever be in the business. And that’s the Bottom Line. Watch
1.The Rock. To put this short and sweet, think about how popular Stone Cold Steve Austin is. Austin worked for three companies, was a full time competitor for 12+ years and became the face of professional wrestling. The Rock accomplished all of that in 5 years with one company. The Rock is still popular and getting more poplar. The Great One is like a rocket ship that is still climbing higher. Rocky, Rocky Rocky!!! The Rock has also been the main attraction for 3 Wrestlemania’s in 3 different decades! (1999,2000,2001,2011,2012) Watch
Wrestlemania is available free with the WWE network subscription and $60 on Pay-Per View. Watch