Top Ten Wrestling Performers of All Time
Yes, we all know that “Stone Cold” Steve Austin and Hulk Hogan will go down as two of the most popular Wrestlers of all time, and when it comes to legends who could forget names like Bob Backlund and Bruno Sammartino? These are some of the all time top names in the business. But if popularity were based on pure “in ring” talent, would these names still be the biggest?
Maybe in some cases, but for the purpose of this list I’d like to look at ten of the most consistent in-ring wrestling performers of all time. These are guys that can have a great match with almost anybody and help to even elevate the entire sport to new levels.
Unfortunately, all of these wrestlers are from the last twenty years because frankly their abilities have helped to “raise the bar” and thus “heighten the standards”. So without further pontification here is my list of “the best of the best” in “in ring performers” in no particular order.
10). Bret “The Hitman” Hart – What more can you say about the “best there is, the best there was, and the best they ever will be”. Bret has been having great matches for the majority of his career and has to be included in any list showcasing the best technical wrestlers of all time.
9). Chris Jericho – Sadly not pushed far enough in the WCW, Jericho finally got a crack at the spotlight in the WWE where he provided without a doubt his talent in the ring. Jericho has performed masterfully in many long great matches with other talented stars and in my humble opinion has never been “out-wrestled”.
8). Chris Benoit (RIP) – I was impressed with Benoit just as much the first time I saw him wrestle in the WCW as I was all throughout his career. Benoit brought intensity to the ring unlike no other, and really proved that training in Stu Hart’s basement creates wrestling machines.
7). Rey Misterio, Jr. – Without a doubt one the greatest high flyers of all time, Rey Misterio is one of the best little men to make it in the business. Watching Ray in the ring sometimes is like watching Spiderman leap and fly from turnbuckle to mat.
6). Kurt Angle – What more can you say about Angle. Simply one of the most talented wrestling performers of all time and like Ray Misterio can wrestle wrestlers of any size and have great matches. Whether he has a match with Rey Misterio, Jr or the Big Show.
5). Shawn Michaels – Known as the “Show Stopper” and “Mr. Wrestlemania” you’d be hard pressed to disagree with that after watching him in action. Shawn has had some of the greatest Wrestlemania matches of all time and can make a mediocre wrestler look great. One of the best of all time.
4). Ric “The Nature Boy” Flair – From his patented strut, to his cry of “Whoa!”, to his slow build up in the match to put on his finishing hold – “The figure four leg lock”..Everything about Flair reeks his flamboyant persona. Flair has proven to be in the top of his game throughout his entire career and will go down as one of, if not “THE” best of all time!
3). The Undertaker (RIP) – When you watch an Undertaker match, you know that you’re in for a good show. The taker, or “dead man” has proven his worth to the wrestling community for decades. When it comes to agile big men, non other can come close to his athleticism in the ring. Who could forget the first time that they have seen him go “old school” live.
2). Bob Backlund – The “Golden Boy” of the WWE, Bob Backlund lead the wrestling industry in the early 80’s before the gimmicks and persona era’s. His “presence” was created mostly through his in-ring performances and technical skills. However, later in his career, Backlund proved that he could “ham it up” with the best of them with his “Mr. Backlund” persona…playing a mentally deranged wrestler unable to let of the memory of losing his world championship from his manager throwing the towel in on his match.
1). Bruno Sammartino – As far as wrestling legends go, who can forget the legendary Bruno Sammartino. If you overlook the last thirty years of wrestling, and simply think of the golden age of professional wrestling — then this is the name that will come to mind for most fans.