Wrestling is simply a mode of theatrical performance of athletics, which is fundamentally based on catchy moves and skills of classical wrestling. It requires endurance, physical strength and a strong sense of willpower. Wrestling is not exactly a team sport like baseball, cricket and soccer. There is a wide range of styles which substantiate rules with both traditionally historical and modern styles. Formerly, wrestling was not a family entertainment, but in the 80’s Hulk Hogan, Bruno Sammartino made it more entertaining than any other traditional game that families could watch and feel the excitement of it. And here is a list of the Top 10 Greatest Wrestlers of All Time.
Top 10 Greatest Wrestlers of All Time
Mark William Calaway, better known by his ring name The Undertaker, is a professional wrestler and started his wrestling career with World Class Championship Wrestling in 1984. After appearing in WCW, he joined the World Wrestling Federation and had his on-camera debut match at Survivor Series in 1990. He had multiple identities in the wrestling industry, like Deadman, but after the Survivor Series in 1996, the nickname Deadman transformed to the Lord of Darkness. He also adapted the gimmick of a biker, commonly referred as The American Bad-Ass from May 2000 till the end of 2003 Survivor Series. He returned to get revenge on Kane with a gimmick of Return of The Deadman at Wrestle Mania XX. Undertaker is also connected with various specialty matches like the Casket, the Hell in a Cell, the Buried Alive, the Bodybag and the Last Ride. He will always be remembered for his entry music, passionate appearance, and hard fights over the decades.
2. John Cena
John Felix Anthony Cena is an American bodybuilder, rapper and professional wrestler signed to WWE for last nine years. Cena is one of the longest reigning WWE Champions of all time. He started training in California to become a professional wrestler in 1999 at Ultimate Pro Wrestling. He signed a developmental contract with the World Wrestling Federation in 2001. Being inspired by the speech of former WWE Chairman Vince McMahon, Cena made his television debut by accepting an open challenge of Kurt Angle on June 27, 2002. While executing a hip toss to Mr. Kennedy on 2007, Cena suffered from a legitimate torn pectoral muscle. But within a few months, he returned to the ring surprisingly as the final participant of the Royal Rumble match on 2008. He won the match on that occasion along with the Wrestle Mania title while eliminating Triple H. He also won the WWE World Heavyweight Championship against Kane in 2013. He is often considered as the Hulk Hogan of the 21st century.
3. Hulk Hogan
One of the most popular and most charismatic wrestlers of all time, Hulk Hogan is one of those who helped to make wrestling a sports-entertainment and family product, such that families could feel the excitement of wrestling while watching their favorite wrestlers. Before becoming the “Hulk” Hogan, he made his debut in 1978 as Sterling Golden. He is a 12-time World Champion, 6-time WWE World Heavyweight Champion and 6-time WCW World Heavyweight Champion. In 2009, Hogan signed a contract to join TNA on a full-time basis. Surprisingly Hulk Hogan returned back to WWE on February 21, 2014, to host the show WrestleMania XXX. After Bruno Sammartino and Bob Backlund, he is considered as the third longest combined reigning WWF Champion of all time.
4. Ric Flair
Richard Morgan, better known by his ring name Ric Flair, is considered as one of the greatest professional wrestlers with more than forty years of professional career in National Wrestling Alliance, World Championship Wrestling, the World Wrestling Federation and Total Non-stop Action Wrestling. He made his wrestling debut on December 10, 1972, against George Gadaski, which was ended as a ten minute draw in Rice Lake, Wisconsin. Gradually, he became the only man, who won the WWF Championship in a Royal Rumble match. In 1992, he became the first ever double inductee in the WWE Hall of Fame. Though he was a scholar medical student at Minnesota University, he was also the first WCW World Champion.
5. The Rock
Dwayne Douglas Johnson, also known by his ring name The Rock is a professional wrestler in the WWE. Johnson made his WWF debut as Rocky Maivia at Survivor Series in November 1996, during an eight-man elimination tag match, where he was the sole survivor. Rock won the seventh WWF Championship in a Triple Threat match against Kurt Angle and The Undertaker at Vengeance. He also won the WWF Intercontinental Championship in 1997. Teamed with Kane and The Undertaker, he won the WWF Championship for a fifth time at King of the Ring against Shane McMahon, Vince McMahon and Triple H. He also achieved the World Championship titles two times, WWF/E Championship eight times and WWF Tag Team Championship five times. While feuding with Stone Cold and John Cina, his popularity hit the highest point according to TRP. The Rock hinted a possible retirement from wrestling in August 2013. He is also considered as the richest wrestler of all time with a gross amount of $1.2 billion in 2013.
6. Triple H
Paul Michael Levesque, better known by ring name Triple H, is an American former bodybuilder, Professional wrestler, business executive, and actor. He began his professional career in International Wrestling Federation with the ring name Terra Ryzing in 1992. In 1994, he signed a contract with World Championship Wrestling, but within a few months, he moved to World Wrestling Federation in 1995 as Hunter Hearst Helmsley or Triple H. He won the Wrestle Mania X8, but, unfortunately, he lost this title to Hulk Hogan at Backlash. In his glorious career, he won World Heavyweight Championship five times, WWF European Championship two times and five times WWE intercontinental Championship. He also won Slammy Award for Best Hair in 1997. He won the eleventh world championship with his finishing move Pedigree. Triple H is also the Executive Vice President of the WWE and considered as the 4th richest wrestler of all time.
7. Stone Cold Steve Austin
Steven James Anderson, widely known as Stone Cold, is an American retired professional wrestler, actor and producer. Austin joined the WWF with the help of Jim Ross and Diesel, who convinced WWF’s owner to hire him in 1995. Gradually, he got the fame by winning WWF Championship six times, WWF Intercontinental Championship twice, five Triple Crown Championships and three Royal Rumbles. He got the Slammy Award for his Freedom of Speech. His career was shortened while suffering from a neck injury at Summer Slam 1997 and by being charged with domestic abuse in 2002. He was the man in the Attitude Era and gained mainstream popularity in the WWE in late 1990s as Stone Cold, a disrespectful beer drinking antihero. With a gross amount of $45 million, he is also considered as 2nd richest wrestler of all time.
8. Bruno Sammartino
Retired professional wrestler Bruno Sammartino worked at the WWF World Heavyweight Championship for more than 11 years. His first match was conducted on January 2, 1960 against Bull Curry. Defeating Buddy Rogers in just 48 seconds, he won the WWF Championship in May 1963. But on January 18, 1971, Sammartino lost the championship to Ivan Koloff. Sammartino regained eventually with the WWF Championship by defeating Stan Stasiak in 1973. While suffering from the broken neck and other ailments, Bruno declared his retirement in early 1977. Seven years later, Bruno made a reappearance to do a weightlifting exhibition at an Italian Festival in 1984. In his last match in WWF, Bruno defeated One Man Gang and King Kong Bundy at the same time. After his wrestling career, he started doing commentary on WWF Superstars of Wrestling. Recently Sammartino was inducted to the Hall of Fame of WWE by Arnold Schwarzenegger in 2013.
9. Bob Backlund
Bob Backlund is an American professional wrestler with a career spanning over 30 years. From the late 1960s to early 1970s, he was an accomplished amateur wrestler for the North Dakota State University. He debuted for the American Wrestling Association in 1973. After few months of his career there, he joined National Wrestling Alliance where he defeated Terry Funk for Western States Heavyweight Championship. In the middle of 1975, he won NWA Georgia Tag Team Championship with Jerry Brisoc. He signed World Wide Wrestling Federation in early 1977, where he worked for about 35 consecutive years. He won the WWF Championship twice. In his first match in WWF, he lost by countout against Billy Graham. Irrespective of his elimination in the 2000 Royal Rumble match, he is considered as the 2nd longest reigning WWF Champion of all time. He was inducted into the WWE Hall Of Fame by Maria Menounos on April 6, 2013.
10. Shawn Michaels
Michael Shawn Hickenbottom, better known by his ring name Shawn Michaels, is a retired American professional wrestler. He wrestled for the World Wrestling Federation from 1988 till his first retirement in 1998. His on-camera debut match for WWF was held on July 7, 1988. In his glorious and most successful career from 1984 to 2010, Shwan won world championship four times, WWF Championship twice with 1995 and 1996 Royal Rumbles. Shawn Michaels is the first Grand Slam Champion of WWF. He has won the PWI Match of the Year Award creating a record of eleven times. He was also a former World Heavyweight Champion of World Wrestling Federation. In 2011, he was also inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame. With a gross income of 17 million, he is considered as 8th richest wrestlers of all time.
Wrestling remains one of the most popular forms of entertainment in the world, despite many controversies that surround it. Many argue that the violence and the attitude of the wrestlers can have ill effects upon the young, impressionable minds. Sometimes, even the authenticity of the fights and the integrity of modern day wrestling is questioned. Yet, the true followers can never be deterred from following the matches, from loving their favorite wrestlers and collecting the trading cards. Wrestlers are, and will always be, special to those who like the rush and excitement of these games.
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