The Top Ten Wrestlers/Entertainers in my Lifetime

Something happened last night that was totally unplanned. On Twitter, Ed made a statement about The Million Dollar Man being inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame, which to say, is long overdue (I hate calling it WWE; it’ll always be WWF, in my opinion). After that, several people made statements about the greatness of Ted Dibiase, and it led to even more statements about old-school wrestling, who was the best wrestler of all-time, the best face, best heel, who had the best interviews, and even more. After over an hour of debates, arguing, shouting, and carrying on, the idea came to make this post.

Basically, this post is made up of my opinion of who the greatest wrestlers/entertainers of all-time are. Keep in mind that I am 27 years old, which means I am listing people that I can make an argument for, and stand behind it, because I actually saw them when they were great. They have to possess both qualities; for example, I have Bret Hart on this list, but he’s nowhere near the top, because his entertainment value was definitely the lowest of the ten on here, but he was arguably the best wrestler. Feel free to put your feet up, pop in a DVD, a videotape, and enjoy. There are sure to be rampant disagreements, which will make this even more fun.

10. Mr. Perfect - great wrestler, great entertainer, great manager, great commentator, great theme music, great interviews. He helped Bret Hart become the Hitman, via their match at Summerslam '91. He may be the greatest wrestler of all-time who was never the WWF Heavyweight Champion.

9. Sting - transformed himself from high-flyer in early days, into The Crow. Live as hell, even though he didn’t talk once he became The Crow; so-so interviews, but he was so crunk that it didn’t matter; had he gone to WWF, his legend would be even greater.

8. The Undertaker – when The Undertaker first came on the scene, he literally scared the hell out of me. I remember him giving Hogan the Tombstone on a steel chair at ’91 Survivor Series, and yelling at the screen, but not too loud, because I was still scared of him (by the way, The Undertaker is THE ONLY wrestler who should ever be allowed to do a Tombstone Piledriver). He’s probably the greatest big man I’ve ever seen wrestle, and can honestly go with anyone, whether they are giants like him (Kane, Diesel, Yokozuna, Giant Gonzalez), or smaller guys (HBK, Hitman). His Hell in the Cell match against Mankind in 1998 is one of the most brutal matches the WWF has ever had. The Undertaker v. Undertaker build-up, from Royal Rumble ‘94 to Summerslam, is some of the craziest stuff I’ve ever seen. He lost me when he went gothic, but won me back with the Deadman, Inc. thing (that was live as hell). I don’t know how anyone could ever disrespect this man’s greatness. He’s more than proven his gangsta, and is a certifiable legend in the game.

7. Bret Hart - probably best in-ring wrestler out of the ten; the more I think about it, he’s the Tim Duncan of professional wrestling. In the 90’s, you can make the case that he was the best wrestler of the decade. He was a monstrous tag-team partner, who became an even greater singles wrestler; made bums look good, good ones look great, and great ones look epic. His beatdown of Stone Cold at WM13 is legendary, but here’s why I can’t rank The Hitman higher. When he was in the ring with another great wrestler of near-equal skills (HBK and Flair), their entertainment value was so much higher than the Hitman’s, that it’s virtually impossible to ignore.

6. Stone Cold Steve Austin – Stone Cold is easily the crunkest wrestler of all-time. Before that, he was live in WCW, when he was half of The Hollywood Blondes, with Brian Pillman. For most wrestling fans though, we were all on some Stone Cold. He pretty much ran the WWF for a period of the 90s, and went up against the best the game had to offer. If it wasn’t for him getting dropped on his neck at Summerslam ’97, his career wouldn’t have been short-circuited.

5. The Rock – I’ll proudly say that The People’s Champ is my favorite combination of wrestler/entertainer of all-time, and as much as I love Savage, I got even more love for The Great One. When he did away with Rocky Maivia and became The Rock, I was immediately sold. He was off-the-chain when he was in the Nation of Domination, and got even better when he went all by himself. He was the best damn Intercontinental Champion there ever was (even though The Honky Tonk Man is the greatest Intercontinental Champion of all-time), and I still hate Chyna for ruining a match that was on pace to be as good as the second Shawn Michaels-Razor Ramon Ladder Match, with The Rock-HHH at Summerslam ‘98. He gave the greatest promos, made his opponents look like chumps, and raised the bar, in terms of straight entertainment value in the late-90’s to the early 00’s. This dude held the crowd in the palm of his hand. It’s pretty amazing stuff, when you go back and see what this man was pulling off. I could talk about The Rock all day, but I will stop here.

4. HBK – I know my boy Carlos will kill me for this, but in my opinion, HBK is right where he should be. Initially, I had him behind The Rock and Stone Cold, but the more I thought about it, I had to move him above the two of them, because, if nothing else, he’s still going strong right now. I can’t think of any glaring weaknesses he has. He is the showstopper, the Icon, the man who had this LIVE, LIVE, LIVE press conference, pre-WrestleMania XI.

His super-kick of Marty Jannetty through the Barbershop Window ranks as one of the biggest Benedict Arnold acts of all-time, yet it was beyond brilliant. He helped make Ladder Matches and Hell in the Cell matches off-the-chain (even though Mankind-Undertaker took it to another level). He was the first wrestler, if I remember correctly, to start the Royal Rumble at number one, and win that joint. Shawn Michaels was great, and still is great, no question.

3. Hulk Hogan – honestly, if you’re a responsible wrestling fan my age, you have to have Hogan in the top-three. You absolutely have to. The man was to wrestling in the ‘80s, as Jordan was to basketball in the ‘90s, in terms of sheer visibility. He headlined SEVEN WrestleManias in a row (from Wrestlemania III to Wrestlemania IX). Even when he wasn’t the main event, he found a way to make his way in the biggest match (helping Savage win WrestleMania IV, and stealing Yokozuna’s moment at WrestleMania IX), had memorable moments, matches, you name it. I don’t even like Hogan like that, but there’s no denying the man’s contribution to the game.

2. Macho Man Randy Savage – I promise I wanted to put Macho Man as the best wrestler/entertainer of all-time. Last night, I kept saying aloud “Macho Man is the greatest wrestler of all-time” over and over, and when it was time to write this post, I STILL put Macho Man number two. I’ll admit it; I just don’t have the guts to put him ahead of Flair. That would be irresponsible of me to do, but I’ll definitely put him above everyone else.

For anyone who disputes this, please look at what Savage was up against, in the mid-to-late 80’s. He had to deal with a phenomenon known as Hulkamania, and honestly, it wasn’t even fair. He won what is, to this day, the greatest tournament of all-time, the tournament for the vacant WWF Heavyweight Championship at WrestleMania IV. It’s bad enough he lost at WrestleMania V to Hogan, but then he was further insulted by having to lay down for The Ultimate Warrior in The Retirement Match at WrestleMania VII. On top of that, his WrestleMania III match with The Dragon was legendary! But even in defeat, you remember the Macho King (remember, he lost WrestleMania III, V, and VII).

He was the first one to have a true dime as his manager, with Miss Elizabeth, and after that, he made Scary Sherri live. He was a great hero, and an even better villain. The Macho King could do it all in the ring, and cut some of the greatest promos the wrestling business has ever seen. The man went on Arsenio Hall, and got his shine on, for God sake! Granted, other wrestlers did too, but that aint the point. If there’s one human being I’d literally lose my damn mind by seeing in person, it would be Randy Savage.

1. The Nature Boy Ric Flair – The Nature Boy is The G.O.A.T. Period.

Honorable Mention: Ravishing Rick Rude and The Million Dollar Man (there were better wrestlers, but they were definitely a couple of my favorites of the old days).

Who are your favorite wrestlers/entertainers of all-time??? Get at us!

Be easy.
-K. Masenda

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