by Paulie Walnuts
The 30 Greatest Wrestlers of All-Time…In My Opinion
The Final List D: 5 through 1
Here it is, folks – the moment we’ve all been waiting for.
Thanks for tuning in and checking out this list here on MRS. We really appreciate the support – even if you only have a minute to take a look.
So who are the five best wrestlers ever, according to Walnuts?
5. Bret Hart
Nickname: "The Excellence of Execution"
Accomplishments: 5-time WWF Champion, 2-time WCW World Heavyweight Champion, 2-time WWF Intercontinental Champion, 4-time WCW United States Heavyweight Champion, 2-time WWF Tag Team Champion, WCW World Tag Team Champion, 1991 and 1993 King of the Ring, 1994 Royal Rumble winner, 2006 WWE Hall of Fame
This may very well be my favorite wrestler ever. I was a Chris Benoit fan, but…well, anyways. Bret Hart’s slogan is, “the best there is, the best there was, and the best there ever will be.” Years ago, this may have been more of a tool to rile up the crowd than anything. But as time passed and the accomplishments stacked up, it became the truth, for many. What an incredibly talented technical wrestler from an established family.
Accomplishments: 6-time WCW World Heavyweight Champion, 2-time NWA World Heavyweight Champion, 3-time TNA World Heavyweight Champion, 2-time WCW International World Heavyweight Champion, 2-time United States Heavyweight Champion, NWA World Television Champion, 3-time WCW World Tag Team Champion, TNA World Tag Team Champion
This one wrestler carried WCW on his back for years and years. Even WWE fans, who seemed to hate everyone from their rival company, loved Sting. I always admired him for never crossing over to the WWE, even after WCW when defunct. He is simply one of the most recognizable figures in the sport’s history, and the ultimate face.
3. Hulk Hogan/Hollywood Hogan
Nickname: "The Immortal"
Accomplishments: 6-time WWF/E Champion, 6-time WCW World Heavyweight Champion, WWE World Tag Team Champion, 1990 and 1991 Royal Rumble Winner, 2005 WWE Hall of Fame
Personally, I always liked him more as Hollywood. He performed better as a heel than as a face. But whether we’re talking about Hulk or Hollywood, we know we’re referring to the most iconic wrestler in the history of the sport. He is part of the reason Ted Turner and Vince McMahon became millionaires. His move set is terrible, and most of his matches are predictable and anticlimactic, but his status and popularity easily put him in the top five.
2. Ric Flair
Nickname: "The Nature Boy"
Accomplishments: 8-time WCW World Heavyweight Champion, 7-time NWA World Heavyweight Champion, 2-time WWF Champion, 2-time WCW International Heavyweight Champion, 6-time NWA/WCW United States Heavyweight Champion, WWF Intercontinental Champion, 3-time NWA World Tag Team Champion, 3-time WWE Tag Team Champion, 1992 Royal Rumble Winner, 2008 WWE Hall of Fame
Easily the most boisterous and flamboyant character in my lifetime, Ric performed at a high level even as his body began to show clear signs of age. His once impressive figure eventually began to break down and sag in many places, but Ric still knew how to put on a show. He was a fan’s wrestler and loved entertaining people. His backchop was deadly, but he was also hilarious. His patented strut and “Whoo” put fans on their feet and kept them there. There may not be a more impressive figure in wrestling history, simply because of his endurance and longevity. He is the Nolan Ryan of professional wrestling. I wept during his retirement ceremony.
1. The Undertaker
Accomplishments: 4-time WWF Champion, 3-time WWE World Heavyweight Champion, 6-time WWE Tag Team Champion, WCW Tag Team Champion, WWF Hardcore Champion, 2007 Royal Rumble winner
‘Taker is easily the most frightening and mysterious wrestler in history. When we consider him for this list, we need not look further than his unparalleled success at Wrestlemania. To this day, he remains undefeated with a mind-boggling 19-0 record. We can compare this to a football team being 19-0 in the Super Bowl. In other words, it’s stupid to even think about because it seems impossible.
The Undertaker has always been the one constant in WWE. We saw Hogan’s rise and fall, but ‘Taker was still there. We saw The Rock’s rise and fall, but again, ‘Taker hung around. We saw Steve Austin’s rise to fame and success, but even after he faded away, ‘Taker’s place in wrestling remained strong.
The lowest point in his career came when the writers for WWE decided to change his character to the American Bad Ass. This made him a gimmicky character (as if he already weren’t) and fans loved him because he was a symbol of strength and success during the 9/11 era. However, personally, I always saw this as a sort of rape of a great character, and a ploy by Vince McMahon to profit off the 9/11 tragedy. Thankfully for all of us, he eventually became “evil” again, and a hybrid of the old ‘Taker came to the forefront again.
WWE is one of the most successful companies in the entertainment business. It has had many recognizable stars, some of them on this list of thirty. But only one man (besides Vince McMahon) has remained the face of the franchise for the last 20+ years, and that’s why he’s number one in my book.