Recently UGO listed their choices for The Greatest Professional Wrestlers of All Time. Using just their list, here is my top ten:
- Hulk Hogan – Without a doubt one of the worst “wrestlers” to make the list, but also without a doubt one of the most popular of all time. Hogan at the top of his game could sell out any arena no matter who he was wrestling. Everyone knew who Hulk Hogan was and he was one of the first wrestlers to successfully move into movies.
- Ric Flair – The “jet-flying, limo-riding, kiss-stealing, dirtiest player in the game.” Flair wrestled for so long, for so many organizations and always at the top of the card that he became a fan favorite despite his bad guy image.
- “Stone Cold” Steve Austin – came in and changed the face of wrestling at a time when it was fading. Austin had “tried” other personas with limited success, but his no-nonsense, take no guff from the boss attitude struck a chord with fans. Austin has made the transition to movies.
- Bruno Sammartino – one of the most popular wrestlers of all time. Because of his popularity, Bruno held the title for over ten years in two runs [something unheard of in the last few decades] and at one time held the record [perhaps still does?] for selling out Madison Square Garden.
- Dusty Rhodes – After a run in the midwest as part of a “bad guy” tag team, Dusty came south and became a literal Superstar.
- Mick Foley – has had more wrestling personas than most, but it’s Mick Foley the fans love. His “hell in the cell” match with the Undertaker made him a legend.
- The Undertaker – Biker or Spawn of Hell? “It doesn’t matter!” said in the best Rock voice. The fans love him.
- The Rock – had the Rock stuck with wrestling he’d be higher on the list. Actually I’m glad he didn’t since I dig most of his movies.
- Andre the Giant – a living legend. Fans came to see Andre. It didn’t matter who or how many wrestlers he was wrestling.
- Superstar Billy Graham – Paved the way for Hulk Hogan and all the musclebound, roided wrestlers of the 80’s and on…
UGO’s list is very limited. Where was Dick the Bruiser [my personal choice for #1], Mil Mascaras, Blackjack Mulligan, Wilbur Snyder, and so many others. And yes. Andy, I did see Moose Cholak wrestle many times, but he wouldn’t have made my top 50. Sorry Moose.