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Ranking the 25 Greatest Wrestlers of All Time

Will J BakerCorrespondent IIIJune 5, 2011

Ranking the 25 Greatest Wrestlers of All Time

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    What makes a great professional wrestler?

    What distinguishes the Hulk Hogans from the Great Khalis?

    It is clear that wrestling talent is not enough to cement your legacy or Shelton Benjamin would be one of the top WWE superstars.

    To be a successful professional wrestler, you have to possess the complete package of necessary talents to have a career that people will talk about years after.

    As this list has been attempted a thousand times before, I have decided to rank the best of all time in a slightly different fashion awarding each wrestler a mark out of 50.

    This mark out of 50 is divided into five marks out of 10 which comprise the five attributes necessary to being remembered as one of the greats.

    The five subcategories are as follows:

    Career: What a wrestler accomplished in their career is always the first point of reference and although professional wrestling is a work, championship accolades and main event matches need to be taken into account.

    Look: A pro wrestler needs to look impressive and to look the part otherwise the audience will not believe in the role that they are playing.

    In-ring ability: The ability to work a 5-star match should never be underestimated as it often has been by Vince McMahon and the WWE. Two examples in 2011 of a wrestler being pushed based on look rather than wrestling ability are Ezekiel Jackson and Mason Ryan.

    Mic Skills: Charisma is vitally important in the wrestling business and if you cannot add something to your feuds and storylines with words, then the chances are, you will not be elevated to super-stardom.

    Marketability: A top star needs to be able to draw the crowds and sell tickets. It is very difficult to market someone without a good look or charisma to burn so that is why these three are linked.

    Where the overall scores were tied, I made the decision based on personal opinion.

Honorable Mentions

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    I have decided not to include the likes of Lou Thesz, Buddy Rogers, Bruno Sammartino, Gorgeous George and Harley Race.

    This is because, although they were undoubtedly legends of the business that laid the groundwork for the popularity of wrestling today, they were from a different era where they valued different attributes in a wrestler.

    It had not become "entertainment" at that point and while George and Rogers were undoubtedly showmen of their time, toughness and believability were valued more than charisma.

    It is also unfair to compare these men as they performed in a time where wrestling did not have anywhere near the mainstream popularity and interest generated in the "Rock 'N Wrestling" era, or the "Attitude Era" or even the "PG era".

    I have also decided to stay away from wrestlers that made their name abroad such as Antonio Inoki or Tatsumi Fujinami as it is difficult to equivocate their respective talents.  

25. The Ultimate Warrior

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    Career: The Ultimate Warrior was given the ball to run with as Vince McMahon's big superstar after Hulk Hogan. He won the WWF title off Hogan in the main event at WrestleMania 6 and was the face of the company after "Hulkamania had died down.

    8/10

    Look: His impressive bodybuilder physique combined with the face-paint and the manic look in his eye were the main reasons that he became such a star.

    9/10

    In-ring: The Ultimate Warrior was famously short of wrestling talent and his limited moveset consisted mainly of clotheslines. He was able to make even the best workers in the business look horrible and you can count the good matches he had on the fingers of one hand.

    2/10

    Mic Skills: The Warrior tended to ramble and was often incoherent but it was the bizarre content of his promos made him so difficult to listen to.

    5/10

    Marketability: The Ultimate Warrior had a huge fanbase and was incredibly over considering his seeming lack of wrestling talent. He could draw tickets and he was the huge attraction that the company needed to ultimately replace Hulk Hogan.

    10/10

     

    Total: 34/50 

24. Chris Benoit

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    Career: Chris Benoit had a fairly successful career in WCW but was only elevated to main event status just as the company was about to fold. Nobody took much notice of Benoit at this point as it was during the height of Vince Russo's bad booking. In the WWF, Benoit was in a constant struggle to elevate himself to main event status and his World title victory at WrestleMania XX was about giving the fans an unforgettable moment rather than establishing a new main eventer.  

    7/10

    Look: Chris Benoit had a rugged look enhanced by steroids and, despite his small stature, it was not difficult to see him as a tough competitor in the ring.

    7/10

    In-ring: Chris Benoit was a technical wrestler of superb ability that played a huge role in the strength of the WCW undercard. He would often steal the show and his matches with Kurt Angle were brutally but superbly executed. Benoit was often compared to his hero, the Dynamite Kid, and that is as good a testament as any to his wrestling ability.

    9/10

    Mic Skills: Benoit's natural shyness and old school approach meant that he was nothing special with the mic. Although he spoke with a heated intensity, memorable Benoit promos are few and far between.

    6/10

    Marketability:  Despite his immense popularity with the hardcore wrestling fans, his lack of charisma meant that he did not stand out to the casual fan which was a large portion of the WWF audience during the "Attitude Era".

    6/10

     

    Total: 35/50 

23. Ricky Steamboat

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    Career: Steamboat was always more of a player with the NWA where he had several main event matches with the likes of Ric Flair that still stand up today. He was a one-time World Heavyweight Champion with the NWA but he never hit the main event heights with the WWF perhaps due to the prejudice that Vince McMahon had against athletes from rival companies. He is, however, remembered as one of the greatest Intercontinental Champions of all time.  

    7/10

    Look: In a land of bodybuilders and slow giants, Steamboat was perhaps held back by his smaller size and, for fans who believed it was all real, it would have been difficult to comprehend "the Dragon" competing physically with the likes of Hogan.

    6/10

    In-ring: There is no doubt that Steamboat was one of the all-time great workers and his matches in the NWA as well as his WrestleMania classic with Randy Savage will never be forgotten.

    9/10

    Mic Skills: Steamboat was unnatural and one-dimensional on the mic and this was a major stumbling block for him throughout his career

    6/10

    Marketability: Steamboat was incredibly popular and the fans would get behind him because of his incredible selling ability in the ring. He was adept at playing the role of the babyface in peril and the feuds that he was involved in almost always drew interest.

    7/10

     

    Total: 35/50


22. Eddie Guerrero

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    Career: Eddie Guerrero was a fixture in the WCW Cruiserweight division and eventually became a star in the main event scene on SmackDown. However, despite his one reign as WWE Champion, he was never able to compete with the top stars on Raw. 

    7/10

    Look: Eddie had the look of an athlete and his cheeky grin and natural ability to make people happy contributed to his popularity.

    7/10

    In-ring: Guerrero was first and foremost a wrestler and he came from a famous wrestling family that has produced countless superstars. The fact that he learned his craft at the knee of Mexico's greats made it inevitable that he would turn into a great worker that could have a good match with almost anyone.

    8/10

    Mic Skills: Eddie Guerrero exuded charisma and his numerous comedy skits never failed to make people laugh. But it was during his work as a heel that his mic skills started to become more of a strength.

    8/10

    Marketability: Guerrero was talented, popular and charismatic. The fans loved to cheer for him and he played an integral part in the initial success of SmackDown. He was an attraction throughout his WWE career.

    8/10

     

    Total: 38/50

21. Jake "the Snake" Roberts

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    Career: When Vince McMahon started to encroach on the other territories and purchase their talent, Jake Roberts went from a big fish in a small pond to just another wrestler on the growing WWF roster. But Roberts' talents soon shone through and he was able to establish himself as a star feuding with the likes of Savage, Steamboat, Rude and Andre. However, Roberts was never considered a main event talent and was used as the secondary baby-face to get the new heels ready for Hulk Hogan. 

    6/10

    Look: Roberts could be very convincing in portraying a "bona fide sicko" and his serpentine companion only added to his mystique.

    7/10

    In-ring: Roberts was considered by many to be one of the best workers in the company at that time and his finishing move, the DDT, would become one of the most popular moves of all time.

    8/10

    Mic Skills: Every diehard wrestling fan loves and remembers the intense believability of Stone Cold Steve Austin's promos, particularly "Austin 3:16." But in much the same way that Randy "Macho Man" Savage was The Rock before The Rock, Jake Roberts was an earlier incarnation of Stone Cold.

    10/10

    Marketability: His popularity as a babyface and the desire of the fans to see him beaten down when he was a heel made him a point of interest throughout his WWF career.

    7/10

     

    Total: 38/50


20. Mr. Perfect

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    Career: Mr. Perfect was the AWA World Champion and he had successful tenures with both WWF and the WCW but he was never able to win a world title or establish himself as a main eventer in either if the big two companies. 

    6/10

    Look: Curt Hennig lived the "Mr Perfect" gimmick and his chiseled physique and cocky smile perfectly represented the character he was supposed to be portraying. 

    8/10

    In-ring: Bret Hart described him as his greatest ever opponent and, according to almost anyone, Curt was a pleasure to work with because he was able to make his opponent look better than they were. Mr. Perfect has countless five star matches under his belt.

    10/10

    Mic Skills: Hennig managed to become one of the leading heels in the business when he was the Intercontinental Champion and this was largely due to his mic skills. The WWF had such faith in is talking ability that they gave him a place on the Primetime panel alongside Bobby Heenan.

    8/10

    Marketability: The steroid scandal may have held back Vince in the marketing of Perfect as he wanted to project a new image just as Hennig was coming into prominence.

    6/10

     

    Total: 38/50


19. Mick Foley

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    Career: Foley played a big part in the rise of hardcore wrestling and gimmick matches particularly Hell in a Cell. Although "Mankind" was a three time WWF Champion, Foley was always behind Austin, Rock and Triple H in terms of company position before his career was cut short by injury.

    7/10

    Look: His three different alter egos all had a unique look and personality but it was the "Mankind" gimmick that was arguably the most successful. His ragged clothing and neglected look contributed to his status as the underdog which made him so popular. 

    8/10

    In-ring: Foley was never an athlete and was more adept at dangerous spots with foreign objects but his storytelling ability in the ring made up for his questionable fitness.

    7/10

    Mic Skills: One of the most underrated promo men of all time, you only have to read Foley's books to see the thought and attention to detail that he paid his promos. The fact that they all came off with natural believability coupled with passion is a testament to Foley's intelligence and dedication.

    9/10

    Marketability: Foley was immensely popular and while behind the other superstars of the "Attitude Era" in marketability, Mick Foley "put asses in seats" as evidenced by his first title win where WCW revealed the result before it aired causing millions of fans to change the channel.

    8/10

     

    Total: 39/50


18. Ted DiBiase

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    Career: The Million Dollar Man was the top heel in the WWF in the late 1980's and had memorable feuds with most of the babyfaces in the company. Although he never won the "big one," he did headline WrestleMania IV with the "Macho Man". 

    7/10

    Look: DiBiase was perfect in his role as the arrogant and obnoxious millionaire and he could make you hate him with ease. He was well built and it was not hard to believe that he could physically dominate opponents.

    8/10

    In-ring: Like most of the heels at that time that had to work with Hogan, DiBiase had to be able to carry the one-dimensional in-ring style of the "Hulkster and he had many a good match throughout his career.

    8/10

    Mic Skills: The Million Dollar Man was an incredibly convincing character and DiBiase's smooth talking style and natural air of superiority helped him pull it off. 

    8/10

    Marketability: The signature laugh of DiBiase during his entrance, the habit of sticking notes in his opponents' mouths and the bodyguard character played by Virgil shows the attention to detail given to DiBiase's gimmick. This made him a much-hated heel and therefore he sold tickets.  

    8/10

     

    Total: 39/50


17. Dusty Rhodes

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    Career: Dusty Rhodes had a long and illustrious career with the NWA, WWF, WCW and eventually TNA and deserved his Hall of Fame induction. He was a multiple time World Champion and one of Ric Flair's greatest ever opponents. 

    8/10

    Look: Dusty did not have the look of a supreme athlete but it emphasized the fact that he was a "common man" which was one of the reasons that he was so adored. 

    7/10

    In-ring: Dusty Rhodes was a decent to good worker and worked an impressive amount of good matches during his career. 

    7/10

    Mic Skills: His "hard times" promo after coming back from injury will go down as one of the most heartfelt speeches in history.The way he reached out and appealed to the people and made it clear that he was going to win the World Heavyweight Championship for them inspirational.

    9/10

    Marketability: It was very clear why the "American Dream" received so much adoration from the fans as he was the polar opposite of his great rival, Ric Flair. While Flair represented the rich and famous superstar, Rhodes represented the down-to-earth working class citizen.  

    8/10

     

    Total: 39/50


16. Andre the Giant

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    Career: Andre the Giant was a megastar and enjoyed a long and successful wrestling career with the WWF. However, he was only given the title for a matter of minutes and always played second best to Hogan. 

    8/10

    Look: The Giant was awe-inspiring standing at 7'4" and weighing 540 pounds. It seemed all too likely that if he wanted to, he could have crushed anyone in the ring.

    10/10

    In-ring: Andre is known as one of the best big man wrestlers of all time but his size and his speed handicapped him in ever having a match that would be remembered as a five star clinic.

    6/10

    Mic Skills: Andre always preferred to do his talking in the ring and his intimidating presence meant that he got over despite the fact that his foreign accent sometimes made him hard to understand.

    5/10

    Marketability: Billed as the "Eighth Wonder of the World", Andre was a special attraction that fans were always willing to pay to see. His main event match with Hulk Hogan at WrestleMania III was a key reason why that pay-per-view broke the indoor attendance record for any sporting event.  

    10/10

     

    Total: 39/50



15. John Cena

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    Career: Cena is a 10-time WWE Champion and, whether you like him or not, he is the name and face of the company right now. He has headlined countless WrestleManias and been involved in many high-profile feuds including his current war with the Rock. 

    8/10

    Look: One of the reasons why Cena was initially pushed was the fact that he has good genetics and supreme strength. When he is able to slam giants like the Big Show, it hearkens back to the days of Hogan and Andre.

    8/10

    In-ring: While Cena has busted a gut to improve in the ring, he is still predictable and his explosive comebacks take away the realism of his matches. 

    6/10

    Mic Skills: Cena has charisma in abundance and, while he is often corny and immature, he always sound natural and his promos flow which is a skill that so many lack.

    9/10

    Marketability: Cena sells more merchandise than anyone else in the wrestling business today and he is the perfect hero for the child-friendly PG era.

    9/10

     

    Total: 40/50


14. Edge

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    Career: The Rated R Superstar has won more championships than anyone else in WWE history with 11 world title reigns and a record twelve tag title victories. He has been a main event star in the WWE for the majority of his career and his departure has left a big hole yet to be filled.  

    9/10

    Look: Edge has that "rock-star" look that translates well into the sleazy heel role that he played for much of his career. His sadistic nature added to his impressive size made him into a threatening character.

    8/10

    In-ring: Edge helped to revolutionize tag-team wrestling with the introduction of the TLC match but he was a sound technician who put on countless wrestling clinics.

    8/10

    Mic Skills: Edge was much better on the mic as a heel, as so many are, and his many promos during his feud with the Undertaker in particular will stand the test of time. Edge was surprisingly good at making the fans hate him.

    8/10

    Marketability: Despite the fact that he was venomously hated as a heel, this mark takes a hit due to his two recent runs as a babyface. He was involved in a horrible angle with Kane and he could never be marketed as a top babyface.

    7/10

     

    Total: 40/50


13. Kurt Angle

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    Career: Kurt Angle became the most successful star in the WWE from an Olympic, amateur background. He won six world championships with the WWE before playing a big part in the growth of the TNA product.  

    8/10

    Look: Angle was always extremely passionate and intense which tied into his Olympic background. His impressive build and athletic skills needed to compete in the Olympics helped give him the look of a pro wrestling champion.

    8/10

    In-ring: His amateur background meant that he was legitimately the best wrestler in the company. He made the transition from Olympic grappling to the softer style of the WWE perfectly and was able to steal the show at WrestleMania with Brock Lesnar and Shawn Michaels. 

    9/10

    Mic Skills: Kurt was a sportsman before he was an entertainer and although his promo skills got better and his charisma started to shine through; he will never be remembered as a great talker.

    7/10

    Marketability: Kurt Angle's credibility as an All-American hero was legitimized by his Olympic success and he has always been a draw either as an adored hero or an arrogant narcissist.

    8/10


12. Chris Jericho

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    Career: Chris Jericho was the first ever Undisputed Champion of the WWE and has had successful runs in Japan and Mexico. He was always popular as his babyface but it was his return run from 2007-10 as the top heel in the company that showed Jericho at his best. 

    8/10

    Look: Jericho's bizarre hairstyles and outlandish outfits over the years have been perfect for the "Ayatollah of Rock 'N Rollah". His arrogant side shone through with his last run with the company and the intellectual range of suits added something.

    7/10

    In-ring: Jericho is one of the few great workers left with the WWE and they sorely miss him at the moment as he was always capable of stealing the show with a great match. His matches with Rey Mysterio in 2009 and Evan Bourne in 2010 show that he can work with any style and could be a potential opponent for the struggling Sin Cara.

    8/10

    Mic Skills: Chris Jericho's mic skills are his trademark and while he was good at running his mouth as a cocky heel, or verbally outmaneuvering his opponents as a face, he proved exceptional on the mic as the "best in the world at what he does". 

    9/10

    Marketability: Jericho has been the top heel in the company but he has never quite managed to earn the position of top babyface. His successful feud with Shawn Michaels in 2008 highlighted pay-per-views all year and he has worked memorable programs with Rock, Austin and Triple H. 

    8/10

     

    Total: 40/50


11. Triple H

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    Career: Few could argue that Triple H has had a Hall of Fame career with 13 World title victories second only to his idol, Ric Flair. Along with Shawn Michaels, Helmsley helped implement the "Attitude Era" and he then went on to become one of the biggest stars of the period. He has headlined WrestleMania on countless occasions and became the WWE's second ever Grand Slam winner.

     9/10

    Look: Triple H has the look of a champion and his imposing physical presence was never more evident than after his long-awaited return at MSG where he appeared in the shape of his life to a massive pop. The "King of Kings" resembles an old Scottish warrior and his battle-hardened career enhances that dynamic.

     8/10

    In-ring: While Triple H will never be remembered as a sensational worker, he can always get the job done in the ring and produce a good to decent match. His bouts with Shawn Michaels, Austin, Rock, Undertaker and Randy Orton act as proof that the "Game" can be relied upon to step it up. 

    7/10

    Mic Skills: The Triple H character is an exaggerated version of who Paul Levesque is, and he can therefore express himself and make his points naturally. He has also made the seamless transition from comedy character with DX to monster heel during the McMahon-Helmsley era.  

     8/10

    Marketability: Triple H's longevity with the company and his long tenure as an established main eventer mean that he will always attract crowd interest. He was involved in some of the top storylines of the "Attitude Era" and his part in the success of the WWF at that time should not be underplayed.  

    8/10

     

    Total: 40/50


10. Sting

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    Career: Sting's long and winding career path has made him a multiple time World Champion in WCW and a big-time player in TNA where he is the current champion. He has never wrestled for the WWE but the buzz that was caused by his rumored dream match with the Undertaker at WrestleMania shows the high esteem he is held in by the wrestling world.

     9/10

    Look: Before he became the "Scorpion", Sting's gimmicks were hit and miss but his dark face-painted look has given him a mystique almost on a par with the Phenom.

     8/10

    In-ring: Sting's career has spanned almost three decades and no-one has ever had a bad word to say about his in-ring talents and his matches with WCW were some the best that company had to offer in the main event. 

    8/10

    Mic Skills: Sting's eerie promos have always interested fans but his mic work in TNA recently has left something to be desired.  

     7/10

    Marketability:  Sting was the main rival for the NWO and Hulk Hogan at the height of WCW's success and had a key role to play in one of the most successful angles of all time. TNA still have faith in him as the saviour of their struggling product

    8/10

     

    Total: 40/50


9. Bret "the Hitman" Hart

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    Career: The "Hitman" was a five-time WWF Champion and he was the biggest star in the company for most of the 1990's. Although he never drew the same money as Hogan, he did help preserve the WWF after the steroid scandal and he contributed to the wholesome image McMahon was trying to create. 

     8/10

    Look: Bret was never physically daunting but the trademark sunglasses and the pink and black attire added to the "Hitman" character.

     7/10

    In-ring: Bret Hart was the best worker in the business for years and is a constant feature when people list the greatest matches of all time. The highlights of his in-ring work include his Iron Man match with Shawn, his many matches with Curt Hennig and Randy Savage, his cage match with Owen and main event of SummerSlam where he carried the British Bulldog to one of the best matches in history. 

    10/10

    Mic Skills: Bret's weakness was always on the mic and although he worked hard to improve, he never came across as a natural. 

     7/10

    Marketability: Hart was immensely popular with his home fans in Canada but also around the world, as evidenced by the hero worship he received on the WWF's European tours. His sunglasses and his merchandise sold well and at one point, he received more fan mail than even Hogan.  

    8/10

     

    Total: 40/50


8. Shawn Michaels

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    Career: From revolutionizing the tag team division with the Rockers to revolutionizing the wrestling business with Degeneration-X, Shawn Michaels has done it all. He is a multiple-time World Champion but it was during his second run with the company that he really cemented himself as one of the greats. Even in his 40s, he could have a great match with a broomstick and he will go down as the greatest worker of all time. 

     10/10

    Look: The fact that he was considered too scrawny to ever be a main event player may have been a factor in why he was one of the lowest drawing champions in WWE history. The fans simply did not believe in him as the top wrestler in the company.

     6/10

    In-ring: He is the "Showstopper" and the 5-star matches that he had are too many to list. The fact that his last two matches with the Undertaker can stand up with the best matches of all time are a tribute to Shawn's workmanship even when he was physically past his prime.  

    10/10

    Mic Skills: Particularly later in his career, HBK cut some memorable promos and it was always evident that he had charisma and a natural ability to run his mouth. 

     8/10

    Marketability: Vince was never able to sell Shawn as the champion and it was only after he returned from his back injury that he became so respected and admired.  

    6/10

     

    Total: 40/50


7. "Rowdy" Roddy Piper

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    Career: Piper's never won the WWF title but he was the top heel in the company at one stage and he had a great run as the babyface Intercontinental Champion.

      8/10

    Look: Piper looked nothing special on the outside but it was the inner drive and natural passion that made him a star.

     7/10

    In-ring: Roddy Piper is considered one of the few men that were exceptional on the mic but were also extremely talented in the ring. 

    8/10

    Mic Skills: Piper's many classic promos, delivered in his familiar rasping tones, epitomize the reasons why he was given his own talks show segment and cement the fact that the Hot Rod will go down as one of the all-time greats! 

     10/10

    Marketability: Piper famously said that the only reason the fans loved the "Hulkster" so much was because they hated him so much. The top babyfaces have always needed the great heels and Piper was so over that his feuds with Hogan drew top money.  

    8/10

     

    Total: 41/50

6. The Rock

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    Career: The brevity of the Rock's career hinders him in this department as, while he was undoubtedly a big star, he was only a full-time wrestler for seven years and he struggled to get over in the early stages of his development as Rocky Maivia.

     7/10

    Look: The "Brahma Bull" was already well-muscled and looked ready for action. He had the look of a champion and the look of a star.

     8/10

    In-ring: The Rock was a third generation superstar and his wrestling training proved effective as the Rock was always able to tear the house down. 

    8/10

    Mic Skills: The "most electrifying man in sports entertainment" lit up the wrestling world with his many catchphrases, awesome charisma and quick wit. Arguably the greatest talker of all time. 

     10/10

    Marketability: The reaction on his return in 2011 was explosive and it is a testament to just how much this man is loved. People will always pay to see the Rock which is why he is being trusted in the main event of WrestleMania 28 despite not having wrestled for years. 

    9/10

    Total. 42/50

5. Randy "Macho Man" Savage

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    Career: Savage was one of the few main-eventers in the 1980's that combined charisma and personality with an intense in-ring style that produced many a five star match. He was a long-reigning WWF Champion and was voted by the WWE, the "greatest Intercontinental Champion of all time".

    8 /10

    Look: His colourful ring attire combined with his familiar rasping tones, his "oh yeah" catchphrase and flamboyant nature made him a memorable performer who was immeasurably popular with the fans.

     8/10

    In-ring: Savage helped to steal the show at WrestleMania III with a match that featured nineteen two-counts and perfect storytelling. The main event had a hard time following this display of athleticism and drama and it was the "Macho Man" at his best. 

    8/10

    Mic Skills: Every Savage promo was memorable and every Savage promo meant something to the feud he was involved in at the time. Randy has been described as the Rock before the Rock. 

     9/10

    Marketability: Savage’s legendary feuds with Hulk Hogan, Ric Flair and Jake “the Snake” Roberts will also never be forgotten by true wrestling fans. But by far the most memorable of these was with the only star that could boast higher popularity than Savage: Hulk Hogan. He became a pop culture icon and a huge main event draw.  

    9/10

     

    Total: 42/50


4. Ric Flair

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    Career: Ric Flair was the "Man" in professional wrestling with 16 World championship reigns and over 40 years of television exposure. Flair has been a main event draw with whichever company he has worked for.  

     10/10

    Look: Flair blonde hair and naturally arrogant look only helped the success of the "Nature Boy" character that was the rich and arrogant superstar that lived the high life and rubbed it in the faces of those less fortunate.

     8/10

    In-ring: According to Bret Hart, Flair was an outstanding technician but his matches had no psychology and he could not tell a story in the ring. There are still many classic Flair matches including his retirement match with HBK and his NWA matches with Steamboat, Funk and Harley Race. 

    8/10

    Mic Skills: No man did more to heighten the importance of the microphone than Ric Flair and he was a natural at delivering world-class promos. 

     10/10

    Marketability: Flair was never a pop culture icon in the same way as Hogan or Savage and he was never able to earn the top spot with the WWF or the WCW at the height of their success, because he was not well-known to the casual wrestling fan. 

    7/10

     

    Total: 43/50


3. Hulk Hogan

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    Career: "Hulkamania" was a real presence in the 1980s, as millions of children bought into the real-life superhero-like persona of the "Hulkster." He has drawn more money than anyone in the wrestling business and he is the biggest star this industry will ever know.

     10/10

    Look: His tanned 300 pound frame, his long golden hair and his huge arms made him into the perfect superhero for the fans and the ideal champion for McMahon.

     10/10

    In-ring: Hogan was let down by his limited in-ring skills and the champion was carried by most of the heels he worked with over the years. 

    5/10

    Mic Skills: Hogan's promos were never well thought-out but when he told the kids to "say their prayers, do their training and eat their vitamins", he was fulfilling his role as a role model. Hogan's charisma was off the charts and when he spoke, everyone listened.

     8/10

    Marketability: He was the ideal face for the newly branded "Rock 'N Wrestling" era that the WWF was broadcasting and he was also the ideal face for the fans to cheer. He was perfect at portraying the All-American hero that would do battle with the foreign villains such as the Iron Sheik or the anti-patriotic Sergeant Slaughter.

    10/10

     

    Total: 43/50


2. The Undertaker

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    Career: The Undertaker is the longest serving wrestler currently with the WWE and he has been one of the top-drawing talent for two decades. He is perhaps the only person that can claim to have been a star in the early '90s, a star in the "Attitude Era" and a star in the "PG era" 

     10/10

    Look: The "Dead Man" character is one of the most successful of all time and Mark Calloway's imposing presence and dark features are perfect for the role.

     10/10

    In-ring: The Undertaker is one of the quickest and most athletic big men of all time and his matches with Shawn Michaels and Bret Hart were works of art. 

    8/10

    Mic Skills: The Undertaker has never really been a speaking character and the Undertaker has never really had a chance to shine on the microphone. 

     6/10

    Marketability: The fan reaction when the gong hits is still unrivaled and "Taker" always has been and will remain a huge attraction. 

    10/10

     

    Total: 44/50


1. Stone Cold Steve Austin

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    Career: Stone Cold Steve Austin is arguably the most popular wrestler ever to lace up a pair of boots and his status as a first-ballot Hall of Famer is justified by his many World title reigns and his role in the eventual victory of the WWF in the Monday Night Wars.

     10/10

    Look: Steve Austin was perfect in the role of "Stone Cold", the beer-swilling redneck, because that was his own character turned up to eleven. He had a tough look and you believed him when he described himself as the "toughest S.O.B".

     8/10

    In-ring: Austin's hard-hitting style and intense but believable work in-ring work made for some great matches against Bret Hart and the Rock to name just two. 

    8/10

    Mic Skills: There were two separate promos that transformed the career of Steve Austin from Ted Dibiase's lackey to the most popular wrestler of all time. His promo in ECW after being fired by WCW put him on the pro wrestling map.

    The second and perhaps more famous of the two promos was where Austin coined one of the most successful catchphrases in wrestling history in terms of merchandise sales.Austin 3:16 was a catalyst in elevating him to main event status and eventually superstardom. He would excel on the mic for the rest of his career. 

    9/10

    Marketability: The only man that ever rivaled Hulk Hogan in terms of mainstream popularity, Steve  Austin was the face of the "Attitude Era" and drew the highest pay-per-view buy-rates and television ratings in wrestling history.  

    10/10

     

    Total: 45/50


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