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August 4, 2011

Top 10 favorite wrestlers of all time

I’ve often been asked who my all-time favorite wrestlers are, so I finally decided to really give it some thought and come up with my top 10.

In looking at my list, I think it’s apparent that I tend to gravitate to wrestlers with larger-than-life personas who can cut strong promos. It’s also clear that I have always favored the heels.

To reiterate, this is simply a list of my personal favorites. There are some on the list who I really marked out for when I was a child or a teenager, and others who I became fans of as an adult.

So, here’s my top 10, in descending order. Feel free to share your list.

10. LARRY ZBYSZKO

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If I could use just one word to describe Zbyszko from 1974 to 1979 it would be “boring.” As the young protégé of Bruno Sammartino in the WWWF, Zbyszko was the epitome of a bland, white-meat babyface. And then in 1980, he turned on his mentor and instantly became the coolest guy on the planet as far as I was concerned. Suddenly, Zbyszko had a swagger and a mean streak. He was cunning in the ring and sarcastic and condescending on the microphone. He was the ultimate disrespectful young punk rebelling against his elders. As a 13-year-old going through my own rebellious stage, I loved it. After he left the WWF, Zbyszko continued to be an entertaining heel for more than a decade in the NWA, WCW and AWA.


9. RIC FLAIR

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Having grown up in a traditional WWF city during the territorial days, I only knew Flair initially from photos and stories in wrestling magazines. Even with that limited exposure to him, however, I could tell that he was someone special. When my family got cable television in the early ’80s and I actually got to see “The Nature Boy” walk the walk and talk the talk, he became must-see TV for me before that term ever entered the lexicon. I finally saw Flair wrestle in person when Georgia Championship Wrestling came to Baltimore in 1984, and he lived up to the hype. Twenty-four years later, I shed a tear while sitting in The Citrus Bowl in Orlando, Fla., watching what I thought at the time was Flair’s final match. Unfortunately, it wasn’t, and seeing what Flair has become since joining TNA makes me sad. But for more than 30 years, Flair created countless wrestling memories for me that cannot be diminished.


8. DUSTY RHODES

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During my early years as a wrestling fan, it seemed as if every babyface was humble, honorable and clean-cut. In other words, they were boring. Rhodes, however, was as charismatic as any heel. “The American Dream” was cocky, had bleached-blond hair and used jive talk to cut the best promos I had ever seen. Whenever Rhodes would make an occasional appearance in the WWF in the ’70s and early ’80s, it was a big deal. Several years later, when it became fashionable to cheer for cool heels Ric Flair and the Four Horsemen during their epic battles with Rhodes in the NWA, I remained a steadfast Dusty supporter. Heck, I even loved him when he became a yellow polka dot-clad, dancing “common man” in the WWF in the late ’80s.


7. RANDY SAVAGE

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The first time I saw Savage in the WWF I knew that he was going to be a huge star. It wasn’t just the sparkly robes and the gravelly voice that made him stand out, it was his fantastic skills inside the ring. Nobody blended power, speed, agility and technical skills like the “Macho Man” in his prime. Having the lovely Miss Elizabeth as his manager added to his mystique, as no matter how badly he treated her, she remained loyal to him (until that rat Hulk Hogan, with lust in his eyes, lured her away). Savage was effective as both a heel and a babyface, but it was during his two heel runs in the WWF that I marked out for him the most. It’s a shame that he never got a run as a heel world champion in the WWF.


6. SUPERSTAR BILLY GRAHAM

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When Graham came to the WWWF in the mid-70s, I had never seen anyone like him. Most of world champion Bruno Sammartino’s challengers were either menacing tough guys with grizzled features, wild men or foreign heels, but Graham had a tan, sculpted physique, bleached-blond hair and colorful tie-dye tights. He also cut boastful, entertaining promos that were reminiscent of boxing great Muhammad Ali. Graham instantly became my favorite wrestler, and while most of the wrestling world was in mourning when he ended Sammartino’s second title reign in Baltimore, April 30, 1977 was one of the greatest days of 9-year-old Kevin Eck’s life. Consequently, Feb. 20, 1978 – when Graham dropped the title to the ultra-bland Bob Backlund – was one of the worst. I wasn’t a fan of Graham’s attempt to re-invent himself years later as a bald-headed karate master, and trying to turn back the clock and put on the tie-dye again didn’t really work either. But from 1975 to 1978, the Superstar, truly was the man of the hour, the man with the power, too sweet to be sour.


5. THE VALIANT BROTHERS

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When “Handsome” Jimmy and “Luscious” Johnny burst onto the WWWF scene in 1974, they became the first wrestlers that I was totally obsessed with. I had to have any wrestling magazine that had the cocky, bleached-blond “brothers” on the cover, and I even dressed up as Jimmy Valiant for Halloween (although no one in my neighborhood could figure out who I was supposed to be). Whenever I saw them wrestle in person, I would get goose bumps as the entire arena would be booing and hurling obscenities at them. The Valiants held the WWWF tag team title for a little over a year, a record that stood for 14 years. It was a sad day when they dropped the belts to the rather unimpressive duo of Dominic DeNucci and Victor Rivera. When the Valiant Brothers returned to the WWF a few years later with a third member – “Gentleman” Jerry – the magic was gone. I was never a big fan of Jimmy as the “Boogie Woogie Man” or Johnny as a WWF manager, either.


4. CHRIS JERICHO

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I took notice of Jericho when he was a member of WCW’s talented cruiserweight division around 1996 or 1997. He had an exciting in-ring style and a good look, but I remember thinking that it was a shame his inability to cut a decent promo was going to keep him from ever making it big in wrestling. After he turned heel, however, he became one of the company’s most entertaining characters, and I became a diehard Jericho-holic. Since jumping to WWE in 1999, Jericho has proved to be one of best all-around performers in the business and someone who is equally effective as a heel or a babyface. The guy who I once thought didn’t have the mic skills to be a player is now regarded as one of the very best talkers in the business. Jericho is a textbook example of talent winning out in the end.


3. RODDY PIPER

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I became a Piper fan before I ever saw him wrestle a match. In 1981, Piper was the heel color commentator alongside the legendary Gordon Solie on TBS’ Georgia Championship Wrestling, and Piper’s quick wit and acerbic comments were the best part of the show for me. What I loved about Piper – beyond the fact that he was wrestling’s most entertaining talker until The Rock came around many years later – was that he was a loud-mouth jerk who no one could shut up. The heat he generated was incredible. After the infamous incident in the WWF when Piper smashed Jimmy Snuka in the head with a coconut during a Piper’s Pit, I remember actually being fearful for my own safety because I was cheering enthusiastically for Piper when he wrestled the wildly popular “Superfly” in Baltimore and used every dirty trick in the book. Piper solidified his status as my all-time favorite heel when he battled Hulk Hogan and tried to take down the Rock and Wrestling Connection. Even though I always preferred the heels, I remained a huge mark for Piper when he became a babyface.


2. THE ROCK

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I like to think that I have a pretty good eye for spotting future superstars, but I have to admit that my first impressions of Rocky Maivia were not favorable. He was athletic and had a decent-enough look, but he seemed to be lacking the “it” factor. Of course, when he morphed into The Rock, he set a new standard for having “it.” In my nearly 40 years of watching wrestling, I haven’t seen anyone more charismatic or better at trash-talking than The Rock. You just can’t help but marvel at a guy who gets a bigger crowd reaction raising an eyebrow or dropping an elbow than someone performing a 450 Splash. Whether he’s a heel or a babyface, The Rock has always been the most electrifying man in sports entertainment. Having interviewed him several times both before and after he became a movie star, I’ve also become a fan of Dwayne Johnson for the way he has handled his success.


1. SHAWN MICHAELS

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After watching The Rockers – Michaels and Marty Jannetty – for a few years in the AWA and WWF in the late ’80s and early ’90s, it became apparent to me that Michaels was a singles star waiting to happen. He eventually got his opportunity, and it was around 1994 that I was convinced that he was the best all-around performer in the business. It was also at that time that Michaels became my favorite performer. Sixteen years later, when he finished his career with yet another show-stealing performance at WrestleMania, Michaels still was as good or better than any of his peers. As talented as he was athletically, “The Heartbreak Kid” also had charisma, the gift of gab and the uncanny ability to get a reaction from the crowd – whether he was trying to make them love him or hate him. It didn’t matter if he was a crotch-chopping degenerate or a God-fearing family man, Michaels was always The Showstopper whenever he appeared on the card.

Posted by Kevin Eck at 12:49 PM | | Comments (109)
        

Comments

Nice list. Loved the Dusty vs 4 Horsemen feud that went on for years. First card I went to saw Dusty vs JJ Dillon because "Dusty hurt Tully Blanchard's knee". The crowd was poppin' huge.

Here's my Top 10.

10. Batista
9.Randy Orton
8. Bret Hart
7. Dusty Rhodes
6. Edge
5. Randy Savage
4. Ric Flair/ Arn Anderson
3. The Rock
2. Triple H
1. Sting (Although I hate the new character)

Great list, Kevin. Thank you for sharing. It's always interested to read how certain wrestlers affected fans growing up.

However, I noticed that in Larry Zbyszko's entry, you mention that when he turned heel in 1989, you were a "13-year-old going through my own rebellious stage."

Yet in Superstar Graham.s entry, you state, "April 30, 1977 was one of the greatest days of 9-year-old Kevin Eck’s life."

So lil' Kevin was 9 in 1977, and 13 in 1989? Even if 1989 was a typo and you meant 1979, that would still mean you jumped from 9 to 13 in only two years.

Be warned, everyone: "Kevin Eck" is a pod person.

Zbyszko

RESPONSE FROM KE: It was a typo. 1980. Good catch.

Great list Kevin, here's my top 10 (in no order of preference), for many of these I marked out as a kid and I still mark out now watching the vintage footage:

1. Sting (Surfer gimmick and then the Crow)
2. Scott Hall (one of the business' most underrated workers in my opinion)
3. Bret Hart
4. Stone Cold Steve Austin
5. Roddy Piper (the best man on the microphone bar none)
6. The Road Warriors (No one can match the Road Warrior pop)
7. The Steiner Brothers
8. CM Punk(Ever since he burst onto the scene years ago, he just has something different and captivating about him. Best mic skills in the business at the moment).
9. Curt Hennig (The perfect wrestler)
10. Bobby Heenan(Not a wrestler I know, but by god what an entertainer. No one in the business has made me laugh more than Bobby).

Honorable mentions to RVD, Chris Jericho, Owen Hart (HOF 2012?!), Rick Rude, and The Undertaker

I'd have to go with

10. B.A. Billy Gunn
9. JBL
8. The Miz
7. The Rock
6. Torrie Wilson
5. CM Punk
4. Mr. Perfect
3. Owen Hart
2. Bret Hart
1. Arn Anderson

10. Stone Cold Steve Austin
9. Sting
8. Randy Orton
7. Kurt Angle
6. Christian
5. The Rock
4. HHH
3. Edge
2. Bret ' The Hitman' Hart
1. Chris Jericho

10. Sid Vicious
9. Flair
8. The Great Muta
7. (tie) Steiner Bros/Midnight Express (Lane era)
6. Steamboat
5. CM Punk
4.The Rock
3, Piper
2. "Gentleman" Chris Adams
1. Bret Hart

1. Undertaker
2. Scott Hall
3. Stone Cold
4. The Rock
5. Chris Jericho
6. Kurt Angle (surprised its his first mention)
7. Demolition (1st ever fav tag team)
8. Brutus Beefcake (my first ever fav wrestler)
9. Kevin Nash (nWo days)
10. CM Punk

Kevin,
that is a fabulous list. I also loved the heels as they were more interesting. I am only a couple of years older than you and back in the 70's when I'd watch Channel 20 in the morning and 45 in the afteroon, The Valiants and then Superstar were my absolute favorites. How you describe them was exactly how I felt about them.

My first match at age 16 was the Texas bullrope match at the Capital Center between Rhodes and Graham. Graham clobbered Gorilla Monsoon with the cowbell and got DQ'd, but I walked away from that card thinking "My God...this stuff is actually real". That's how good these guys were and how intense that rivalry was. I miss those days.

My own top 10 list would pretty much be the same as yours, though I would probably take out a couple and insert Hulk Hogan (the bad guy Hulk that 1st entered the WWWF in 1979), Sting (from 1997 because that was so captivating) and Stone Cold (because he whacked Vince in the head with a bed pan).

Thanks Kevin.

Whie my moniker shows my age group, short of Georgous George and Buddy Rogers, that era didn't have the "it factor. And even they didn't have it like the newer stars due to the change in TV exposure. While a huge fan or Rogers, leaving him off isn't as surprising as leaving out Stone Cold Steve Austin. What he did to create the "Tweener" to be a hero to the fans was unparalleled.

BTW, by leaving of the Hulkster, you get extra points.

I admire yourability to rank your favorites kevin. For me its hard to reconcile who i liked in th e past vs who i like now into one overall list but i'll give it a go....

1. Shawn Michaels
2. CM Punk
3. Steve Austin
4. Undertaker
5. Sting (Crow)
6. Christian
7. Chris Jericho
8. The Rock
9. Kurt Angle
10. AJ Styles

Here is mine -

1 - "The Living Legend" Bruno Sammartino
2 - "Nature Boy" Ric Flair
3 - Bret "Hitman" Hart
4 - "Macho Man" Randy Savage
5 - "Stone Cold" Steve Austin
6 - "Superstar" Billy Graham
7 - Hulk Hogan
8 - "Rowdy" Roddy Piper
9 - "Y2J" Chris Jericho
10 - "The Heartbreak Kid" Shawn Michaels
9 -

1. Shawn Michaels
2. Bob Backlund
3. Mil Masceras
4. Eddie Guererro
5. Tom Billington
6. Arn Anderson
7. Rey Mysterio
8. Roddy Piper
9. Dean Malenko
10. Brian Pillman

Nice one Fred. A man after my own heart. Arn Anderson all the way. His spine buster is still to this day my favorite move to watch.

10. Chris Adams
9. Kerry Von Erich
8.Sting
7.The Horseman
6. Roddy Piper
5.Rock
4.Stone Cold
3.Bret Hart
2.Brusier Brody
1.Jack Brisco

Funny how no one has said Hogan

10. John Cena
9. Ivan Putski
8. Jesse Ventura
7. Dusty Rhodes
6. Superstar Billy Graham
5. Chief Jay Strongbow
4. The Rock
3. Larry Zybsko
2. Freddie Blassie
1. Magnum TA

10.) Nailz
9.) Bastion Booger
8.) Mantaur
7.) T.L. Hooper
6.) S.D. Jones
5.) Barry Horowitz
4.) Salvatore Sincere
3.) Waylon Mercy
2.) Virgil
1.) AHMED JOHNSON

my top ten goes back a ways i lived in detroit during the sheiks days

10 bobo brazil
9 jake "the snake"
8 The Steiner Brothers
7 Arn Anderson (talk you to a show)
6 The Road Warriors
5 the 80's sting
4 RODDY PIPER
3 The Rock
2 DUSTY RHODES
1 whoooooooooooooooo! "nuff said"

I love lists like everyone else!

1. Savage
2. Sting
3. The Rock
4. Flair
5. Piper
6. HBK
7. DDP
8. Foley
9. Undertaker
10. I can't decide!

Were you a fan of Hogan during the 1980s at the height of Hulkamania?

RESPONSE FROM KE: I was a big Hogan fan from 1979-1984. By 1985 I had already become sick of him.

10-Kofi Kingston
9- Hawk from LOD
8-Ricky Steamboat
7- tie: Macho Man and Evan Bourne
6-Shawn Michaels
5-Christian
4-Edge
3-Jake Roberts
2-Tito Santana
1-Daniel Bryan (vegans rock)

10. Steve "Dr. Death" Williams- A very convincing tough guy.

9. Barry Windham- Loved the 4 Horseman version.

8. CM Punk- Quickly moving up the list.

7. Roddy Piper- Always stopped whatever I was doing when Hot Rod was on tv.

6. Arn Anderson- One of the best interview/in-ring men ever.

5. Bret Hart- Loved watching Bret work.

4. Curt Hennig- Curt's work in the AWA as a heel led to Mr. Perfect.

3. Steve Austin- I remember Stunning Steve Austin giving me the finger in Wichita, KS in 1991 because we were cheering him.

2. Randy Savage- Every match was OMG! Hopefully he will get his proper due in WWE HOF.

1. Rick Steamboat- Everything was so fluid. Seemed like he never had a bad match with anybody, big or small.

10. Jerry Lawler
9. Roddy Piper
8. Jake The Snake Roberts
7. The Iron Shiek
6. Macho Man Randy Savage
5. The Wild Samoans
4. Nature Boy Ric Flair
3. Jimmy Jam Garvin
2. Superfly Jimmy Snuka
1. Magnificent Muraco

Here are my 10 all-time favorite jobbers.

10. George South
9. Iron Mike Sharpe
8. Salavatore Bellermo
7. SD Jones
6. Rocky King
5. Barry Horowitz
4. Tony "Hurricane" Zane
3. Brad Armstrong
2. GILBERG
1. The Mulkey Brothers

There was always something great about being destroyed by the Midnight Express and being ridiculed by Jim Cornette

No top ten, but Ivan Putski was always my fav and must be mentioned here. Also, I loved the Freedbirds.

DO TAG TEAMS, KEV!

RESPONSE FROM KE: I did.
http://weblogs.baltimoresun.com/sports/wrestling/blog/2009/07/top_10_tag_teams.html

No King Kong Bundy?

"Five!"

1. Undertaker
2. Hogan
3. Austin
4. Rock
5. Flair
6. Greg "The Hammer" Valentine
7. Ric Rude
8. Savage
9. Sandman
10. Shane Douglas

1 'Superfly' Jimmy Snuka
2 Edge
3 Undertaker
4 'Stone Cold' Steve Austin
5 The Rock
6 Sting
7 Ricky 'The Dragon' Steamboat
8 'Macho Man' Randy Savage
9 The Wild Samoans
10 Junkyard Dog

You're obviously too young to have seen these guys, but two names from the 1950s who should be included are Haystacks Calhoun and Killer Kowalski

RESPONSE FROM KE: I saw both of them in the mid 1970s.

10. Sting

9. Jake "The Snake" Roberts

8. Kurt Angle

7. Ric Flair

6. CM Punk

5. HHH

4. Shawn Micheals

3. The Rock

2. "Macho Man" Randy Savage

1. Chris Jericho

I'll work on a list, but two names I haven't seen that would definitely make my list are Pedro Morales and Chief Jay Strongbow. This might make sense, given that I was introduced to WWF in about 1982. The only place we could watch it was on TV, with rabbit ears, at 11:30 p.m. Saturday nights. I would go to bed around 7 p.m. and my dad would wake me up and we'd watch it together. Long live the days before the VCR and DVR, when you had to be committed if you wanted to watch!

Road Warriors of early 80s Georgia Championship Wrestling.
Nikita Koloff
Magnum TA

Kevin,
Thanks for sharing your list. I grew up in Raleigh, so Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling was what I knew for the longest time. That of course meant I grew up with Flair and the Horsemen. For me, he epitomized professional wrestling - and in a large way still does, although he's tarnishing his image ever since heading to Orlando. His battles with Dusty, Magnum TA, Ricky Steamboat, and so many more are evidence of the magnificent career he's had. It even influenced me to use his entrance music from 2001: A space Odyssey to be played as the entrance music for when my wife and I made our debut at our wedding reception.
Flair will always be my favorite pro-wrestler.

10. The Undertaker
9 Kurt Angle
8 Edge
7 Triple H
6 The Dudley Boyz (Attitude Era)
5. Mick Foley
4. Stone Cold Steve Austin
3. Chris Jericho
2. Shawn Michaels
1. The Rock

Here is my list of favorite wrestlers (not my list of best wrestlers). I was born in ’87, so much of my pro-wrestling memories are from the late 90’s-today.

1. Kane: When I was younger I loved the mask and how scary Kane was. I remember watching him win the WWF title from Stone Cold at KOTR ’98 only to see him loose it the next night in my hometown on Raw.

2. Ultimate Warrior: My earliest memory of pro-wrestling is seeing Warrior puke from the effects of the Shango curse. I was the Ultimate Warrior for Halloween several times and I collected all of his action figures.

3. The Miz: I am from Cleveland and have greatly enjoyed watching the success of the Miz. I respect how far he has come in spite of everything thinking he never would succeed.

4. Mick Foley: My favorite match of all time was when Mick Foley won the title for the first time from the Rock. After the match, DX carried him around the ring on their shoulders. I have always felt that Mick Foley was sort of like, “one of us.” He wasn’t a roid-freak, he was just the Mickster. When he won the title and his “retirement” match with HHH at No Way Out ’98 put tears in my eyes.

5. Jericho: He has been the most consistenly entertaining wrestler in the past several years. In High School, I didn’t think it possible to be any cooler than Jericho. Who could forget what was, in my opinion, the greatest debut in pro-wrestling history. I remember his promo at the Smackdown before facing the Rock at the Royal Rumble. At the time it seemed like on the greatest promos I had ever seen and it even left the Rock speechless. If anyone can find this, I would greatly appreciate a link.

6. Christian: Even in the early 2000s, I remember wondering when WWE would pull the trigger and push Christian into the World title scene. Edge and Christian are my favorite tag team of all time. I think my childhood ended when I found out that they were not actually brothers. The last time I really marked out was when Edge fought Christian on Raw for the first time after his return to the WWE.

7. Randy Orton: While I am not a huge fan of his character right now, I loved his legend killer gimmick. I thought evolution was the last of the great stables in WWE. His feud with the Undertaker stands out of his most memorable in my eyes. I wrestled throughout school, and I always wore my Randy Orton Legends Killer shirt to psych myself up.

8. Kurt Angle: One of the greatest pro-wrestlers of all time. He could have a good match with anyone. Not only was he a great wrestler, he was also hilarious on the mic. Since I was also a amateur wrestler, it made Kurt Angle that much cooler.

9. HHH: Despite burying tons of talent, HHH is one of the greats. He has had so many 5 star matches with almost 3 generations of talent.

10. Val Venis: Maybe it was because I was in fifth grade and thought he innuendos were hilarious. I remember watching in horror as Kaientai tried to cut off the Big Valbowksi. When I bought the bone-crunching figure of Val Venis (which was very difficult to find), I was amazed that it even came with his trademark

1. Bruno Sammartino

2. Hulk Hogan

3. The Rock

4. Gorilla Monsoon

5. Haystacks Calhoun

6. Andy Kauffman

1. Sting
2. Stone Cold Steve Austin
3. Lance Storm
4. Ultimate Warrior
5. HBK
6. Jerry Lawler
7. The Southern Boys
8. The Rock
9. Foley
10. Jeff Jarrett

1. Ric Flair
2. Hulk Hogan(1980s)
3. Shawn Micheals
4. Bret Hart
6. Undertaker
7. Steve Austin
8. Sting
9. The Rock
10. Macho Man Randy Savage
I can not order these guys actually, and I WILL have Hogan because thats what I grew up on, but ten is cutting the list too short lol

10. Kurt Angle
9. Ricky Steamboat
8. Eddie Guerrero
7. Taker
6. Ric Flair
5. Bret Hart
4. The Rock
3. Davey Boy Smith
2. Steve Austin
1. HBK

With an honorable mention to:
Macho Man- If he wouldn't of crushed Steamboats throat on the guard rail, he'd made the top 10. What can I say, it made me mad when I was a kid.
Y2J- He needs to come back and save us again to be in the top 10.
Jake Roberts and Roddy Piper- Hung on every word these 2 would say.
Mr. Perfect- What can I say, to this day I'll still spit out my gum, smack it with my hand in mid-air and say "Absolutely perfect."

Ten performers by thought - not necessarily in order:

1. Bruno
2. Masked Executioners
3. Chief Jay Strongbow
4. Kane
5. Pedro Morales
6. Road Warriors
7. Bob Backlund
8. Andre
9. Brett Hart
10. Moondogs
and The Grand Wizard

Kevin, I followed the link to your favorite tag teams. I read the comments and was amazed by the number of people who chided you with "You forgot X! I can't believe you didn't include Y!" It was hilarious. I mean, you can only have 10 FAVORITES... it's not like you can fit 25 popular tag teams into the list. Same goes here.

10.Jimmy King
9. The Ayatollah
8. Rip
7. The Masked Maniac
6. The Disciplinarian
5. Tonga Tom
4. "Quick" Rick Roberts
3. Randy "The Ram" Robinson
2. Captain Insano
1. The Revolting Blob

Eck will send a Ring Posts Magnet to the first person who can tell him what movie/TV show these caracters came from and who played them.

Cool list...as for me...
10. Mr. Perfect
9.) Larry Zbyszko
8.) Taz (ECW days)
7.) Terry Funk
6.) Cactus Jack (ECW above all)
5.) Randy Savage
4.) Shawn Michaels
3.) Bobby Heenan (I even liked him when he wrestled. F%%%ing hilarious)
2.) The Road Warriors
1.) Rowdy Roddy Piper
"They Live" may be one of the greatest movies ever made---if you haven't seen it lately, watch it again.

Not a bad list, but definitely an East Coast bias. My list as a wrestling fan growing up in the Midwest:

1. The Crusher (great promos - my first face)
2. Larry Hennig/Harley R (awesome tag team)
3. Stone Cold Steve Austin
4. Mick Foley (as Cactus Jack and Mankind - I never liked Dude Love)
5. The Rock
6. Chris Jericho
7. The Freebirds (best tag time no matter what territory)
8. Dr. X ( Great heal. I hated him as a kid - especially his feud with The Crusher)
9. CM Punk
10. George "Scrap Iron" Kadasky - (lost every match in the AWA but what a heart. Also the best AWA referee)

Off the top of my head:

10. The British Bulldog - a great rep for my country
9. Chris Jericho - one of my fav. heels
8. Jeff Hardy - love to watch Jeff do his thing
7. Steve Austin - pure excitement
6. CM Punk - my fav. wrestler today
5. Kurt Angle- all round great. loved singing "you suck" along with his theme
4. The Ultimate Warrior - fantastic character, intruiging person today
3. The Rock - best promos ever
2. Edge - love edge, gives me goosebumps
1. Bret Hart - As i got more interested in the art of wrestling it was through Bret. + I've only ever been to one live event and that was Summerslam 92 and I thank Bret for his huge part in making that so special.

Great topic Kevin. I think you 'll get a big response on thistopic. Everfyone has their favorites. Here is mine. You'll notice 4 of the top 6 have something in common.

1. Ric Flair - Whooo
2. Bret Hart
3. Barry Windham
4. Andre - Bigger than life
5. Tully Blanchard
6. Arn Anderson
7. Chris Jericho
8. Roddy Piper - best heel I ever saw
9. The Rock
10, CM Punk - his feud with hardy, then Straight Edge, He was the reason I watched Smackdown for a year. The last month has been magic. I hope they keep him on the top tier on Raw.

My list combines who I liked when I was a kid and when I started watching wrestling again in 2002.

10. Edge.
9. Animal in LOD.
8. Randy Orton.
7. The Ultimate Warrior.
6. The British Bulldog, Davey Boy Smith.
5. Shawn Michaels.
4. Chris Jericho.
3. Bret Hart.
2. Christian.
1. Kurt Angle.

1. The Great Muta--his moveset was the best of all time, and his mist was incredible.
2. Arn Anderson--the most underrated, a great talker and master of the mat.
3. The Road Warriors --you already know...
4. Dusty Rhodes--Cleanest promos and the rivalry with the horsemen is still the greatest rivalry of all time.
5. Ric Flair--Whether you like it or you don't, he was the best.
6. Roddy Piper--He was so much better with Crocket than with WWF, and that's saying a lot.
7. Randy Savage--Simply amazing. Heel or face, I loved everything about him.
8. Shawn Michaels--WOW is what I thought in every match he was in.
9. The Rock--I was more of a fan of his promos than his matches. And he had some great matches.
10. Chris Jericho--Great talker, great wrestler, great at making people look better than what they were. Wanting to put people over is what made him phenominal.

I also gotta say that I love The Living Legend also. I, like you, prefer heels over the faces.

in no particular order but it's a top 11:

abdullah the butcher
bruiser brody
dusty rhodes
tully blanchard
'raging bull' manny fernandez
sting
ric flair
randy savage
the great muta
terry funk
ricky steamboat

I'm with you regarding the valiants. They were heat magnets at MSG. Chief jay Strongbow was my favorite face and always had the crowd behind him also..

I have to ask since i did not see him on a list. Chris Benoit, if his life had not ended the way it did, is he on anyone's top 10?

1. Chief Jay Strongbow
2. The Valiants
3. Bruno Sammartino
4. Ivan Putski
5. Strong Kobayashi
6. Rock
7. Jericho
8. RVD
9. CM Punk
10. Sting

This was friggin hard. So many good performers.

flair
Macho man
angle
Steamboat
Foley
The rock
Austin
Hogan
Hbk
Hitman

Honorable mention: Perfect, Scott Hall, Owen, bulldog, arn anderson

Kudos to anyone mentioning heenan

Food for thought: Would You Know Who be on anyone's list if not for the unspeakable acts in '07?

Hey Kevin,

Big fan of your work on this blog; thanks for doing it.

Who "just missed" the cut on your list? Was the order particularly challenging?

RESPONSE FROM KE: The order wasn't all that difficult. Some just misses include: Curt Hennig, Magnificent Muraco, Greg Valentine and Magnum T.A.

1 HBK
2 Rock
3 SCSA
4 Hogan (80's)
5 Jake the Snake
6 Macho
7 Flair
8 Undertaker
9 Hitman
10 Mr Perfect

1. Kerry Von Erich
2. Terry ‘Bam Bam’ Gordy
3. Rick Flair
4. Booker T
5. HBK
6. The Rock
7. Goldberg
8. Stone Cold Steve Austin
9. Sting
10. Bruiser Brody

1. Shawn Michaels
2. Ric Flair
3. Stone Cold Steve Austin
4. Macho Man Randy Savage
5. The Rock
6. Chris Jericho
7. The Undertaker
8. Edge
9. Kurt Angle
10. CM Punk

First time ever posting a comment, don't know if fireworks should go off or not. Anyway, just came through Hartsfield-Jackson Intl Airport this evening and was able to chum it up with Rowdy Roddy Piper. What a coincidence; he made just about everyone's list. Great conversation. He was there with his son Colt who's rising in the ranks of MMA. "Undefeated!" Piper boasted. Too bad, Eck, you don't allow photo uploads. Was able to get a pic with both Pipers tonight. Also, caught Dusty and Cena before WM in Tampa Airport a few months back. Dusty, very approachable like Piper. Cena, well, you know! (Still got pics with the two of them though. Ha!)

1 Rock
2 Brett Hart
3 Stone Cold
4 Undertaker
5 Mr Perfect
6 Macho Man
7 Randy Orton
8 Batista
9 Chris Benoit
10 Million Dollar Man

1. Arn Anderson
2. Chris Benoit (best in-ring performer ever, in my opinion)
3. Bret "Hitman" Hart (the best there ever was, etc.)
4. "Macho Man" Randy Savage (truly the total package)
5. "Stone Cold" Steve Austin (ditto)
6. CM Punk (what can I say? he brought me back)
7. Jake "The Snake" Roberts (crazy on the stick)
8. Kurt Angle (great as a face or a heel, unmatched technicality)
9. "Hot Stuff" Eddie Gilbert (seriously underrated)
10. Kevin Nash (NWO era)

1. Raven
2. CM Punk
3. Chris Jericho
4. Shawn Michaels
5. Bret the Hitman Hart
6. Mick Foley
7. Macho Man Randy Savage
8. Terry Funk
9. Jake the Snake Roberts
10. Edge

Booker T only made one list?!

King Booker has to be one of the greatest characters ever!?

I was seriously p**sed when he lost to HHH at WM19....but was jumping for joy when he FINALLY won a WWE World Title at the GAB in 2006.

If i could change the result of ONE match in WWE history, it would be that match at WM19.

I felt Booker was misused in WWE but he was always amusing and entertaining.

His return at RR11 was a great day!

As for a list in order: (WWE only, as only ever watched WWE)

1) Shawn Michaels 1992 - 1995
2) Booker T/King Booker
3) Stone Cold 2001 - 2002
4) Kurt Angle
5) CM Punk
6) Brock Lesnar
7) British Bulldog (UK fan)
8) Chris Jericho 2008 - 2010
9) JBL
10) Eddie Guerrero

this is my top 10

10:Chris Jericho
9:Triple H
8:AJ Styles
7:Chris Benoit
6:Sting
5:The Undertaker
4:Bret Hart
3:Ric Flair
2:Kurt Angle
1:Shawn Michaels

Honourable Mentions:Trish Stratus,CM Punk,Lita,Randy Savage

Here is my list.

When I was a kid, I was a big fan of Paul Jones. I remember when Greg the Hammer broke Wahoo leg on TV and Paul Jones came out to help.

My top ten:

10. Paul Jones
9. Vader
8. Brian Pillman (WCW days)
7. Vader
6. Steamboat/Sting/Steiner Brothers (WCW days again)
5. Stone Cold
4. Edge
3. The Rock
2. HBK
1. Cena ( I know I'm a mark)

I know I am kind of cheating with my 6 entry.

10 Brian Pillman
9 Tully Blanchard
8 Roddy Piper
7 The Rock
6 Rick Steamboat
5 Rick Rude
4 Don Muraco
3 Jimmy Snuka
2 Bret Hart
1 Ric Flair

1. Ric Flair
2. Shawn Michaels
3. DX (HHH,Chyna,NAO, X-Pac)
4. Superstar Billy Graham
5. Original Four Horsemen
6. Rick Steamboat
7. Roddy Piper
8. Chris Jericho
9. CM Punk
10.RVD

My top ten list would be:
10- Robert Roode- Besides being a nice guy in person, he is awesome on the mic and has great ring skills. Should be in the championship picture.

9- Ultimate Warrior/ Honky Tonk Man (tie). Two complete wack jobs outside of the ring. In the ring, Ultimate Warrior was entertaining to watch. Honky Tonk Man was just fun to watch period.

8- Chris Jericho. The first undisputed champion and one of the best on the mic.

7- CM Punk. Even before this "voice of the voiceless" persona, he has always been talented in the ring and on the mic.

6- Rob Van Dam. An ECW alumni who really took off during the WWF/WCW/ECW invasion era in 2001. Not as good as he used to be, but still good to watch.

5- Mick Foley. Any persona of his plus his disregard for his own body, he puts on a great show.

4- Edge. Sorry to see him retire after wrestlemania. He was awesome on the mic and great in the ring.

3- The Undertaker. The phenom is one of the greatest of all time. From the streak to some of the greatest matches of all time (examples: Jeff Hardy vs Undertaker ladder match 02, any buried alive match, ect.). Its just a shame he has not held more gold.

2- Kane. From when he came to the WWF as a monster. His first title run was brief but still a great match. Even the title defense was a great match. Just wish he had more gold than those few runs.

1- Stone Cold Steve Austin. The greatest of all time in my opinion. From his great matches with the Undertaker, Bret Hart, The Rock, and the awesome fued with Vince McMahon. He was awesome on the mic and had some awesome moments as well. (McMahon 3:16, the beverly hillbillies what chant from 02, ect.)

Great list, especially loved that you paid respects to the true legends, here's my list

10)Bret Hart-great in ring his mic skills held him back

9) Booker T-as a teenage blk kid it was good to see a familiar face

8)Undertaker-been at it as a long time and as a kid nothing was scarier

7) Curt Henning-AWA to WWF great in ring loved the charisma

6)Arn Anderson-the true glue that held the horsemen together

5)Macho Man Randy Savage-You hit this one on the head

4) Dusty Rhodes-again you nailed this one

3)Stone Cold Steve Austin-Both as a Hollywood Blonde and as Stone Cold the man was money on the mic

2)The Rock-I still mark out for him as a grown man

1)Ric Flair-No one wrestler influenced me more than the Nature Boy. From a Flair for the Gold through War Games etc, at his peak he was the best

1) Bruno
2) Hulk Hogan
3) Cena
4) Snuka
5) Capt. Lou
6) Piper
7) Heenan
8) Backlund
9) Kurt Angle
10) Miz

10. Christian
9. Miz
8. Mr. Perfect
7. Stone Cold
6. Brett Hart
5. Chris Jericho
4. Kurt Angle
3. Randy Savage
2. Mick Foley
1. The Rock

Great Topic, brought back some great memories. Here is mine:

10- Dick the Bruiser
9- Junk Yard Dog
8- Greg "The Hammer" Valentine
7- Sting
6- Paul "Mr. Wonderful" Orndorf
5- Hulkster
4- Steve Austin
3- Macho Man Savage
2- Road Warriors
1- Ric Flair

Other than the marvelous moments I get to spend regualrly with JJ (the 3-yr-old apple of his Grandpa's eyes), I have not spent so pleasant an hour as this past one. Thanks, everyone.

If I started @-ing each time I as inclined, I'd be sitting here till next week.

One thing stands out -- beyond the fact that my pal (Not So)DumbSmark can indeed show some verbal restraint when the spirit moves him -- is that, unless I overlooked something here, I really am the only "Vince mark" in our little neighborhood.

And y'all say you like the heels. Bah!!!

1. The Undertaker
2. The Rock
3. Stone Cold
4. Hulk Hogan
5. Ric Flair
6. Rey Mysterio
7. Roddy Piper
8. CM Punk
9. Harley Race
10. Bulldog Bob Brown

@Stick Stickly:
Nice choices!!!! You forgot the Brooklyn Brawler, Akeem, Aldo Montoya, and Doink the clown.

Not alot of people has mentioned John Cena. Wonder why?

Hulk Hogan ruins wrestling companies with his cronies and his ego. When is he going to kill TNA before he holds the TNA title?

My 10 favorites, counting down:
10. Rowdy Roddy Piper
9. Mr. Perfect
8. Chris Jericho
7. Kurt Angle
6. Randy "Macho Man" Savage
5. Eddie Guerrero
4. The Undertaker
3. Shawn Michaels
2. The Rock
1. Ric Flair

Hmmn...

I always loved Lex Luger (and still admire him for what he is going through today).

Dr Death
Jake Roberts,
Machoman
Chris Benoit (one of the best wrestlers I have ever watched)
Sting (early years)
Steiners
Scott Hall
and Curt Henning.

Thanks for your list.. (mine is better.. grins)

10. Chris Benoit
9. Rick Rude
8. Roddy Piper
7. Wahoo McDaniel
6. Arn Anderson
5. Greg Valentine
4. CM Punk
3. Dusty Rhodes
2. Jimmy Valiant (sorry, Boogi-Woogie was funny as hell when I was 9 years old)
1. Ric Flair

@ Andre the Midget

10. Oliver Platt - Ready to Rumble
9. Ernest Miller - The Wrestler
8. Hulk Hogan - No Holds Barred
7. Steve Williams - Learning the Ropes
6. Paul Levesque - The Drew Carey Show (alternatively, Kristen Davidson from Women of Wrestling)
5. Sam Fatu - Body Slam
4. Roddy Piper - Body Slam
3. Mickey Rourke - The Wrestler
2. Paul Wight - The Waterboy
1. Josh Mostel - Billy Madison

My top ten:
10: Dean Malenko
9. Eddie Guerrero
8. Ricky Steamboat
7. HHH
6. Chris Jericho
5. Chris Benoit
4. Steve Austin
3. Bret Hart
2. Shawn Michaels
1. Mick Foley

Best match - Jericho and Guerrero vs. Malenko and Benoit, WCW, pre-nWo days. Great, great match.

My Top 10. In No Special Order-

Ric Flair
Randy Orton
Roddy Piper
Dusty Rhodes
Randy Savage
Shawn Michaels
Stone Cold
Arn Anderson
Chris Jericho
Lex Luger

Were guys like The Undertaker and Bret "The Hitman" Hart being considered? By the way, I'm a sucker for babyfaces, just like you're a sucker for heels.

1. The Undertaker
2. John Cena
3. Edge
4. Bret "The Hitman" Hart
5. Rey Mysterio
6. Daniel Bryan
7. Chris Jericho
8. AJ Styles
9. Triple H
10. The Miz

Honorable mentions: Kurt Angle, Shawn Michaels, Jeff Hardy, "Stone Cold" Steve Austin, Randy Orton

The bottom half of my list is kind of interchangeable.

you can definately tell bythe lists her everone represents a different generation. Tom as far as why Beniot would not make anyones lists the main reason would be if you ever watched Dynamite Kid he is a an exact clone of him give or take a move or 2 but other than that same look same style much in the way that Superstar maybe on here but not 2 of his clone Hulk or the Body. Finaaly as always this is a hard list im already secong guessing some of the picks i left off and wondering why I couldn't find room for my honorable mentions such as Sting, Booker T,Bret Hart, Shawn Micheals, The Undertaker & the Rock.

1. Shawn Michaels
2. Stone Cold Steve Austin
3. Ric Flair
4. Randy Savage
5. The Undertaker
6. Kurt Angle
7. Chris Jericho
8. Bret Hart
9. Triple H
10. CM Punk


Hon. Mentions:

Cactus Jack, Curt Hennig, Kevin Nash (truly awful in the ring but entertaining as hell), Scott Hall, Taz, CM Punk!

Georgia Championship Wrestling on TBS was on around the time that we first got cable TV and I was hooked. Unfortunately WWE own those old tapes now so they probably will never see the light of day but at least they live on on youtube.
My list is heavily influenced by GCW which later became WCW.

10- Buzz Sawyer
9 -Punk
8- Baby Doll- ( greatest valet EVER sorry Liz )
7( masked) Superstar
6 Piper
5 Freebirds (Michael Hayes)
4 Rock
3-Austin
2 Sting
1- Flair

I cant believe that the Freebirds and the masked superstar didnt get much play on everyones lists. I guess I am that old.

While all these lists are great I feel there are quite a few fantastic performers who have been completly missed out so here is my top ten (I prefer underdogs as you will see):

10:The Miz (very talented, great on mic)
9:Kane (no matter what for a guy his size he is awesome would rather watch him than the undertaker)
8:Chris masters (has as much ability as Cena in the ring but never fully utilised)
7:Goldberg (just an absolute power house)
6:Batista (the best performer for a man of his size ive ever seen)
5: HBK (always brilliant but never made me woo as much as others)
4: Chris Jericho (greatest mic performer par none)
3:Matt Hardy (only when he was younger during his V1 days)
2:Shelton Benjamin (never has there been a more underrated performer in this industry)
1:Edge (brilliant since his debut to his retirement)

As others have said, I will really date myself with this list, with several from my childhood when my mom was the first one to the television to turn wrestling on...

10. Pat O'Connor
9. Bob Geigel
8. Chris Benoit
7. Danny Little Bear
6.Ric Flair
5. Edge
4. Bulldog Bob Brown
3. Eddie Guerrero
2. Handsome Harley Race
1. Undertaker

In no particular order:
1 - André le Géant!! ( well, i'm french as you can guess)
2 - Randy Savage
3 - Kurt Angle
4 - Ric Flair
5 - HBK
7 - Ricky Streamboat
8 - Jake the Snake
9 - Bret The Hitman
10 - Nick Bockwinkel

You're not looking bad for 40+, Eck!

@mikeshaw101

RESPONSE FROM KE: Thanks! BTW, I listened to some of that podcast. Pretty entertaining.

I love that we're talking favorites here rather than "best". For me, it was who entertained me the most. Sometimes I was entertained by the in-ring wrestling. Sometimes it was by the character himself. Sometimes it was by the sheer magnitude of their presence. I started watching wrestling in the 70s. I got to see great WWF wrestling, some NWA (Mid-Atlantic and Georgia) wrestling, and got to see World Class during its heyday on ESPN. With that in mind...

1) Ric Flair: in his prime, simply the best whether heel or face.
2/3) The Road Warriors: They redefined squash match and made me believe they could beat anyone.
4) Ricky Steamboat: The best technical wrestler I ever saw.
5) Chris Benoit: The second best technical wrestler I ever saw.
6) Jesse Ventura: A fantastic in-ring performer and the best commentator ever.
7) The Missing Link: The best "character" I ever saw. How could you not like him?
8) Nikita Koloff: The best ever at making me want to hate him; when he turned face against the 4 Horsemen it was gold.
9) Diamond Dallas Page: Something about him just made me watch whenever he was on the screen.
10) John Cena: my favorite current wrestler. I can't wait for the day when he uses his promo skills for evil instead of good.


10. Shawn Michaels

9. Undertaker

8. Dusty Rhodes

7. Barry Windham

6. Bruno Sammartino

5. Brett Hart

4. Bob Backlund

3. "Superfly" Jimmy Snuka

2. "Stone Cold" Steve Austin

1. The Rock

Tag Teams ( not in any particular order )

Midnight Express ( Beautiful Bobby and Dennis Condrey )

Barry Windham and Mike Rotundo

The Road Warriors

Tony Parisi and Louis Cerdan

Tony Garea and Rick Martel

Arn Anderson and Tully Blanchard

Tony Atlas and Rocky Johnson

The Valiant Brothers

Bobby Roode and James Storm

Harlem Heat

I'm just surprised you didn't list different eras (rockers, lost my smile, Dx, etc...) of HBK as your entire top 10!

I was born in 82 so pre-Hulkamania had no impact on me.

10. Mr. Perfect: I still remember him throwing the football, looking at the camera, then sprinting downfield to catch the ball. Plus, the perfect-plex is still an all time great finisher.

9: Santino Marella: Proves that not all wrestlers have to be dominating to get over.

8: The Rock: I can't say anything that hasn't already been said.

7: Vader: Great scary heel, especially when he used to come down to the ring with that weird helemet. And he will live on forever as the man getting splashed on by HBK in that clip from Summerslam.

5(tie): Bret Hart and HBK: They'll always be tied together in my mind. Both delivered great matches and it was interesting to me that they didn't care for each other in real life either.

4: Chris Jericho: He has 1004 holds!

3: The Miz: Most world champions arrive on the scene as new comers and you KNOW they're meant for something great. Some have to overcome certain obstacles and prove themselves. But Miz started further down than almost all. Perhaps because we saw it all play out on TV, from the wrestling fan on Real World to the geek on Tough Enough to the host of the Diva Search to Morrison's tag partner. We watched him grow and learn. And when he cashed in his briefcase on Orton, I literally jumped out of bed. Go back and watch it on youtube. When he's at the top of the ramp, those tears are some of the realest things you'll ever see.

2: Triple H: Great worker whos has been unfairly labeled as someone who got everything because of who he married. He was a hall of famer before he was with Stephanie, period. Perhaps least appreciated talent is the way he makes others look good in matches. I refer you to an attitude era match he had with Taka Michinoku on RAW. (Plus we have the same first and middle name)

1: Big Bossman: He was my favorite as a kid when was doing the blue-shirted cop gimmick, and he will never be moved from my top spot.

The Big Show
Sting
Ric Flair
Macho Man
Shawn Michaels
The Rock
Steve Austin
Chris Jericho
Wahoo McDaniel
Nikita Koloff
Goldberg

for some reason i guess my favorites never camthrough so i will give them again

1. Ric Flair
2. Scott Hall
3. Ricky steamboat
4. Road Warriors
5. Dusty Rhodes
6. Eddie Guerrero
7. Steve Austin (Stunning or stone Cold
8. Randy Savage
9. Curt Henning
10. Dean malenko

10 - Edge
9 - Faarooq
8 - Steve Austin
7 - Bad News Brown
6 - Chris Jericho
5 - Mankind
4 - Andre the Giant
3 - Jake Roberts
2 - Randy Orton
1 - The Rock

In no particular order...
Ivan "Polish Power!" Putski -- my favorite when I discovered wrestling.
Chris Benoit -- I feel terrible having him on my list, but when he and Eddie Guerrero and Kurt Angle were having matches against each other, there was nothing better. Everything you wanted -- story, in-ring psychology, moves, high spots, protecting each other, and the sense that they were beating the bejeezus out of each other.
Eddie Guerrero.
The Rock. I'm such a mark here, it's not funny... but take away the mic and the silly finishing moves, he'd still put on great big-event matches, and he could read the crowd like a book. When he carried Hogan through their Wrestlemania match and it was clear folks wanted to cheer Hogan, he knew what to do to turn the match into fave vs. face on the fly.
The Undertaker.
Shawn Michaels.
Brock Lesnar -- damn, was he scary.
CM Punk -- especially when he headed the SES -- he could do it for pure evil heel or for comedy.
Andre the Giant -- come on, how could he not be folks' favorite? Had a gut the size of Rhode Island, yet still manhandled folks!
MVP -- especially as a cocky heel.
Kurt Angle -- but I wish he'd retired a few years back, purely for health reasons.

Believe it or not, I missed most of the Hogan/Savage era and most of the Attitude era, so perhaps that's why some prominent names are missing. Chief Jay Strongbow, Bruno Sammartino, Greg Valentine, and Mick Foley narrowly missed the cut. Mick Foley and Trish Stratus are the ex-wrestlers I admire the most for their post-career work. Trish and Victoria/Tara would be my favorite women wrestlers. JR and JBL are my favorite announcers.

Having gotten my start watching the old AWA in the 1970's, my top ten in no particular order:

Mad Dog Vachon
Curt Hennig
Road Warriors
Bruiser Brody
Randy Savage
Jake Roberts
CM Punk
Chris Jericho
Edge
Eddie Guerrero

Honorable mentions to: The Rock, Shawn Michaels, Jerry Lynn, Sean Waltman, "Playboy" Pete Huge, Arik Cannon and Horace the Psychopath

1. Steve Austin
2. Kevin Steen
3. El Generico
4. Hulk Hogan
5. Edge
6. Chris Jericho
7. Santino Marella
8. Mick Foley
9. CM Punk
10. Sunny

Why not?

10. Sabu - Changed my entire perception of what wrestling could be. WWF was smothering us with Yokozuna, WCW was giving us Hulk Hogan and the Giant, Sabu was moonsaulting onto tables set up in the third row.

9. Melina - For my money, her heel gimmick is the most compelling female character wrestling has ever seen, and she has done things physically that I haven't seen anyone else do.

8. Sting - During his late-'80s/early-'90s feuds with The Four Horsemen, Big Van Vader, and the Dangerous Alliance, Sting had an incredible mix of power and agility. He lost me with The Crow gimmick.

7. Chris Benoit - What can be said?

6. Steiner Brothers - Still the gold standard for tag teams in my book.

5. Randy Savage - Possibly the most underrated all-around performer in history, (Macho) King of the old-school promo and a fantastic worker to boot.

4. The Great Muta - Introduced me to wrestling outside of the US, his combination of ability and mystique was fantastic.

3. Dean Malenko - Best in-ring performer in wrestling history, in my opinion. As someone who values wrestling more than sports entertainment, that's important.

2. Shawn Michaels - Best all-around performer in wrestling history.

1. Steve Austin - Became a fan when he was the WCW Television Champion and a member of the Dangerous Alliance. He lost me with the Hollywood Blonds, but Stone Cold is the greatest character the business has ever seen. Never had HBK's aerial ability, but was at least his equal in every other area. He was the top star of the best period in wrestling history, and for good reason.

1 Melissa Bellin
2 Torrie Wilson
3 Kimberly Page
4 Trish Stratus
5 Maryse Ouellet
6 Stacy Keibler
7 Gail Kim
8 Lisa Marie Varon
9 Jacqueline Moore
10 Velvet Sky

1. Hulk Hogan
2. Road Warriors
3. Jimmy Snuka
4. British Bulldogs
5. Kerry Von Erich
6. Rick Rude
7. Curt Henning
8. Ric Flair and Four Horsemen
9. Rick Martel
10. Freebirds

* Dusty, Nikita, Andre, Sting, NWO,Rock, Mr. Wonderful, Randy Savage, Vader, Ultimate Warrior

1. Randy Savage
2. Curt Hennig
3. Bret Hart
4. Steve Austin
5. Jake Roberts
6. Roddy Piper
7. Edge
8. Dynamite Kid
9. The Rock
10. Chris Jericho

Near misses: Jesse Ventura, Ricky Steamboat, Kevin Nash

My tragic top ten looks like this:
10- Lex Lugar. Poor lex. From the problem with Miss Elizabeth, to his health problems to his failed run as NWA champion. Plus why did they do that lex express anyways if they knew that he was not going to beat Yokozuna?

9- Magnum TA. I never saw him wrestle but everything I hear and have seen on dvds of him make me wish that he wrestled longer.

8- Scott Hall. I thought he was awesome as razor ramon but the poor guy could not conqour his demons.

7-Curt Henning/ Rick Rude. Both gone too soon.

6-Stone Cold Steve Austin. Could you imagine how great he would have been if he did not have the neck problem? Unfortunetly, he ended his career too early. I would have loved to see Stone COld vs Orton or Stone Cold vs Cena.

5-Macho Man Randy Savage. Madness is gone too soon.

4-Kanyon.

3- Eddie Guererro

2- Chris Beniot. I do not think about what he did outside the ring. I always thing about what he did inside the ring.

1- Owen Hart. I always hoped that he would win the big one like bret but never did. I never understood why Vince never utalized him to the best of his abilities. Now I just wish they would put him in the hall of fame.

I have only been watching Profesional Wrestling since the late 90s but here's my list of my top 10 favorite wrestlers:

10. Kurt Angle
9. CM Punk
8. Mick Foley
7. Goldberg
6. Sting
5. Triple H
4. The Rock
3. Stone Cold Steve Austin
2. Bret Hitman Hart
1. Shawn Michaels

From 10 to 1

10. Billy Jack - LOVED him in FCW
9. Mr. Perfect
8. Bret Hart
7. Sean Michaels
6. Mick Foley
5. Scott Steiner prior to Big Bubba Pump
4. Chris Jericho
3. Ric Flair
2. Road Warriors - Only in Georgia
1. Steve Austin - Loved him at the Power Plant - loved him wwf. the best.

10. Dean Malenko
9. Midnight Express w/ Jim Cornette
8. Nikita Koloff
7. The Great Muta
6. Kurt Henning
5. Arn Anderson
4. Sting
3. Shawn Michaels
2. Ric Flair
1. Macho Man Savage (Because he was the same both in and out of the ring)

10. Andre the Giant
9. Ravishing Rick Rude
8. Jake the Snake Roberts
7. Mick Foley
6. Randy Savage
5. Hulk Hogan
4. Triple H
3. Undertaker
2. CM Punk
1. Shawn Michaels

10). Masahiro Chono.
9). Barry Windham
8). Shawn Michaels
7). Arn anderson
6). "Macho Man" Randy Savage
5). The Rock
4). The Great Muta
3). The Midnight Express w/ Jim Cornette ("Beautiful" Bobby Eaton and "Sweet" Stan Lane version)
2. The Steiner Brothers
1. TIE: Sting and Ric Flair

Mine changes everyday but off the top of my head right now I'd go with

10. Triple H
9. Edge
8. Eddie Guerrero
7. Chris Benoit
6. Chris Jericho
5. Steve Austin
4. The Rock
3. Kurt Angle
2. HBK
1. Bret Hart

ask me tomorrow and there'd probably be 5 or 6 completely different guys

10-The Faboulous Freedbirds-my favorite tag team ever.
9-Sunny/Tammy Fytch-great diva
8-Nick Bockwinkle-great World Champion
7-Ric Flair-
6-Abdullah the Butcher
5-Madusa Miceli-showed women wrestlers could be strong and athletic
4-Jerry Lawler-especially great as a heel, still a good brawler who even at his age the WWE could use a lot more
3-Chris Jericho-is there a more entertaining guy on the microphone and very skilled
2-Stan Hansen-what an awesome heel.
1-Terry Funk

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About Kevin Eck
The Baltimore Sun's Kevin Eck blogs about professional wrestling.
E-mail Kevin.
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