Aggression is stimulation. You can either take it out on your ugliest enemies or your home furniture. Imagine the feeling of smacking your dastardly boss with a powerful clothesline or giving a modest piledriver to your pesky mother-in-law. It’s not advisable to do in real life since you’ll have to deal with the authorities, but you can always depend on professional wrestling to provide you your daily quota of aggression. Considered the male answer to soap opera, wrestling depicts mean muscular men who prefer to resolve their issues with their bad attitudes and nasty wrestling moves. You can probably relate to some of them, since they bear very distinct personalities. Chances are you may even be emulating some of them at this very moment. Among all of these muscular monsters of men, there are ten personalities that draw the loudest crowd reactions and who continue to place the sport on the entertainment map of the average sports fan. Let’s get the lowdown on each of those personalities as we start off with number 10.
10. The Dudley Boys
The Dudley boys performing the 3D
The Dudley Boys are the greatest tag team in wrestling history. Yes, there are tag teams that are more famous than the Dudleys, but Bubba Ray and Devon Dudley have 21 good reasons why they should be in this top 10 list. They have 21 tag team championship titles attached to their name and they have no current plans of stopping there. In every wrestling federation that they entered, they were always the team to beat in the tag-team scene. They are known for their rough tactics, such as using wooden tables to immobilize opponents then ending each match with their signature move, the 3D.
9. The Undertaker
The Undertaker getting ready to wrestle
No other wrestling superstar can match the intimidating presence of The Undertaker. He is considered by many as the best pure striker in the business. The Undertaker is characterized by his uncanny ability to strike fear in his opponents. Supposedly possessing supernatural powers, he destroyed most of his in-ring opponents using the most effective wrestling maneuver finisher of all time, The Tombstone Piledriver. He also sports an undefeated record of 15-0 in the World Wrestling Entertainment’s (WWE) most prestigious pay-per-view event, Wrestlemania.
8. Mick Foley
Mick Foley signing autographs for his fans
Mick Foley is one of the most controversial characters ever to walk into wrestling ring. His career can be subdivided into four significant chapters, and the surprising thing is that he had a different persona for each of those chapters. He was simply known as Mick Foley when he first wrestled in the Extreme Championship Wrestling (ECW) outfit. He then became the hardcore legend, Cactus Jack. After several years of torturing his opponents with his barbaric wrestling style in ECW, he moved to the WWE and became known as the deranged persona known as Mankind. He then battled The Undertaker, which led to an injury that sidelined him for a significant period of time. He made his formal return to wrestling as the dancing hippie known as Dude Love. When he was pushed for title contention, he reverted back to being Mick Foley, but this time he was afflicted with schizophrenia. From time to time, his other personalities intervened whenever he was in a tight spot. Now, he is semi-retired from professional wrestling and is currently a best selling author.
7. Bret Hart
Bret the Hitman Hart
Known as “The Excellence of Execution,” Bret “The Hitman” Hart is perhaps the best technical wrestler in history. His stellar career was marked by lengthy title reigns as he punished opponents with his lethal combination of moves before putting on his finisher, The Sharpshooter. As a kid, Hart was trained by his father, Stu Hart, in their training room called The Dungeon. This led to his proficiency at delivering a wide array of wrestling moves. He quickly won several amateur wrestling championships then continued his dominance in the World Wrestling Federation (WWF), where he stamped his name among the other legends of the business.
6. Ric Flair
The Nature Boy: Ric Flair
If counting world championships is the sole factor in determining the greatest wrestlers, no one would come close to “The Nature Boy” Ric Flair. Ric Flair holds the distinction of being the only wrestler to have won 16 World Championships. Flair won the world championship at least twice in every wrestling organization that he joined, despite playing a heel (bad guy) character. Staying true to his wrestling name, he displayed unmatched flair as he entered the ring with his dazzling robes and his signature strut. Now, he continues to be one of the hardest working wrestlers in the roster of the WWE at age 58.
5. Shawn Michaels
The Heartbreak kid Shawn Michaels in the ring
Shawn Michaels is an energetic wrestler equally loved by men and women. His boyish good looks earned him the moniker “The Heartbreak Kid.” Michaels was one of the pioneers of the high-flying wrestling style that paved the way for current superstars like Jeff Hardy and Edge. Normally, pretty faces are associated with harmless roles but Michaels has always been an exception. His career was marked with serious injuries because of his high-flying antics. But when he is healthy, he is just as good as any of the legends in the business. It is no secret that Michaels is one of the most talented wrestlers in history and is one of the few wrestlers who can make their opponents look good in the ring.
4. Triple H
The Game and his WWE championship belt
Ric Flair originally held the distinction of being the greatest villain in wrestling history. That was the case until the man named Hunter Hearst Helmsley emerged in the wrestling scene. From being a standard high-flyer, Helmsley bulked up and became a wrestling powerhouse. He eventually shortened his name to Triple H, which marked the start of his career as a cold and cunning wrestling villain. He brutalized his opponents with his exceptional microphone skills and his awesome finishing maneuver, The Pedigree. In cases where those factors aren’t enough, he brings his trusty sledgehammer to literally crush the competition. Recently, wrestling fans began to cheer for this villain because of his edgy attitude and wrestling style. This just goes to show that he truly belongs to the wrestling elite.
3. Hulk Hogan
Hulk Hogan tearing his clothes off in the ring
If you don’t recognize the name Hulk Hogan, you might have spent your life inside your grandmother’s basement or in a parallel universe. Hulk Hogan is the most recognizable name in wrestling. It comes as no surprise since he spent most of his career defining and revolutionizing the sport. As a wrestler, Hogan was known for his power and his charisma. He pounded opponents to submission using his great strength and his devastating leg drop. After every win, he treated his Hulkamaniacs (Hogan fans) to an unforgettable combination of movements and gyrations. This sparked a revolution as his charismatic antics paved the way for every other great superstar in wrestling. As a matter of fact, you can never call yourself a hardcore wrestling fan if you have never imitated the shirt ripping gyrations of the immortal Hulk Hogan.
2. The Rock
The most electrifying man in WWE, the Rock
Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson is simply the most charismatic individual ever to grace the WWE ring. Having the best microphone skills and some of the flashiest moves in wrestling history certainly doesn’t help the cause of his hapless opponents. The Rock was known for formulating dozens of catch phrases that every wrestling fan knows by heart. His usual spiels included phrases like “Do you smell what The Rock is cooking;” “I’ll shove it in your Roodie-poo candyass;” and “one-on-one with the great one.” The Rock made it a point to capture the fancy of the audience before his matches start, then reward them with moves like The Rock Bottom and “The most electrifying move in wrestling history,” The People’s Elbow. He is also one of the few wrestlers who beat both Steve Austin and Hulk Hogan. Talk about being the total wrestling package.
1. Stone Cold Steve Austin
The texas rattlesnake: Stoncold Steve Austin
Name all the other great wrestling superstars that you know and none of them will come close to the popularity and impact of Steve Austin. Austin single-handedly carried the WWE to the top of the wrestling industry at a time when its rival outfit, WCW, had most of the active legends in their roster. With names like Hulk Hogan, Bret Hart, The Macho Man and Sting, WCW came close to putting the WWE out of business as they dominated the ratings game. Austin emerged from out of nowhere with his bad attitude, exceptional microphone skills, his knack for drinking beer and his Grand Entrance
which is the sound of a breaking glass. Almost all wrestling fans were able to relate to his wrestling persona as he effectively portrayed the “Angry Southerner” image. He instantly outshined all the WCW legends put together and influenced millions of wrestling fans to switch back to watching the WWE. Austin then went on to become a dominant WWE champion and furthered his popularity as he went against WWE owner, Vince Mcmahon in perhaps the most famous storyline in WWE history. He portrayed the oppressed employee going against a tyrant boss as he managed to overcome the odds with his legendary Finishing Move
, the stone cold stunner. Now semi-retired, every wrestling fan is still geared up for even just a small appearance of this man in the wrestling ring. Not bad for a former truck driver.
Nowadays, it’s an open secret that professional wrestling is a fraud. One would think that this would dampen the heart of every true wrestling fan. Instead, the amount of fan support grows stronger than ever as the personalities of each wrestler become richer. Wrestling fans have come to love and appreciate the new breed of wrestlers currently holding the spotlight right now. Good as these young wrestlers are, they, themselves, have their own top ten lists of the greatest wrestlers that influenced their careers. That’s a fact coz Stone Cold sez so!