The 100 Greatest Professional Wrestlers of All Time

Sunday, August 12, 2012

I'm considering two factors when putting this together (1) workrate (2) everything else.

For me, as I've mentioned at greater length on more than one occasion, workrate is by far my most important consideration when evaluating a wrestler - I want to see athleticism or crispness or brutality or some combination thereof.  Famous guys staring at each other regardless of crowd reaction is not as interesting to me as a high angle suplex.  

But the list can't just be workrate, otherwise Katsuhiko Nakajima would rank ahead of Bruno Sammartino.

So the other category is everything else, some combination of titles earned or importance or overall recognition.  My ballot for Meltzer's Wrestler of the Year Award is essentially this idea; my calculation rates workrate as solidly more important than would most, but some combination of actual in ring ability + other stuff is that award.  

In the rankings, I offer some alternatives for each spot, probably through the first 25, maybe 50 - people who are similar, for some reason, but who didn't make this cut.  

Is it a good list?  Eh.  Absent metrics I don't know how useful it is - but I hadn't done it before, so there you go.  With that...

100 - Rob Van Dam - not here are Shane Douglas, the Sheik, 2 Cold Scorpio

99. Red Bastien - neither of the Kangaroos, none of the Grahams made this list

98. Shinsuke Nakamura - Goto isn't here, neither is Kojima, Makabe or Shiozaki

97.     Maurice Vachon - here instead of rival Dick the Bruiser and future brawlers like Mark Lewin and Raven

96. The Destroyer - here for historical importance for launch of Japanese boom, not here is a figure of significance in lucha history - Canek.

95. Don Leo Jonathan - not here are Bad News Allen, Owen Hart and Edge and Christian

94. Riki Choshu - not here is a Japanese pioneer like Atsushi Onita.

93. Carlos Colon - here instead of Miguel Perez or Dusty Rhodes

92. Abdullah the Butcher - here instead of John Tolos or Masato Tanaka

91. Ultimo Dragon - who didn't make the list?  There's no one from Mich Pro or Dragon's Gate.

90. Kensuke Sasaki - no Steiners or Road Warriors, no Chono, no Tenzan

89. Jimmy Snuka - high flyers not here - Jeff Hardy, Prince Devitt

88. John Pesek - Pat Patterson, Ted DiBiase, Minoru Suzuki, none of them are here

87. Dean Malenko - here for the workrate; not here - Osamu Nishimura, Curt Hennig

86. Samoa Joe - not here, Austin Aries, Low Ki, Chris Daniels, Nigel McGuinness

85. Bill Longson - Frank Sexton isn't on this list

84. The Crusher - Larry Hennig didn't make the list

83. Orville Brown - Neither George Hackenschmidt or Bronko Nagurski made the list.

82. Danny McShain - Takayama didn't make this list, neither did Terry Gordy

81. Ray Stevens - Not on the list: Jose Lothario, Angelo Poffo, Bill Miller, Ernie Ladd

80. Freddie Blassie - Dick Murdoch and Adrian Adonis, not on the list

79. Steven Regal - not here, Robbie Brookside, Bill Dundee, Bobby Eaton, Fit Finlay

78. CM Punk - not here, Steve Corino, Chris Hero

77. AJ Styles - no Jeff Jarrett

76. Jun Akiyama - not here, Taue. Dr. Death, Sugiura, Kea

75. Gorgeous George 

74. John Cena

73. Andre the Giant

72. Giant Baba

71. Antonio Inoki

70. Bob Backlund

69. Ricky Morton

68. Sting

67. Triple H

66. Sabu

65. Dory Funk, Jr.

64. Bobo Brazil

63. Antonino Rocca

62. Eduoard Carpentier

61. Yvon Robert

60. Pat O'Connor

59. Yuji Nagata

58. Shinya Hashimoto

57. Genichiro Tenryu

56. Buddy Rogers

55. Killer Kowalski

54. Billy Watson

53. Chris Jericho

52. Hiroshi Tanahashi

51. The Undertaker

And here's the Top 50 Greatest Wrestlers of all Time:

50. Jerry Lawler

49. Verne Gagne

48. Roddy Piper

47. Bruiser Brody

46. Danny Hodge

45. Billy Robinson

44. Naomichi Marufuji

43. Tiger Mask

42. Tatsumi Fujinami

41. El Hijo del Santo

40. Mick Foley

39. Johnny Valentine

38. Blue Demon

37. The Great Muta

36. Bryan Danielson

35. The Dynamite Kid

34. Kenta

33. Mil Mascaras

32. Jack Brisco

31. Nick Bockwinkel

30. Stan Hansen

29. Vader

28. The Rock

27. Frank Gotch

26. Joe Stecher

25. Gene Kiniski

24. Harley Race

23. Strangler Lewis

22. Hulk Hogan

21. Rikidozan

20. El Santo

19. Eddy Guerrero

18. Ricky Steamboat

17. Randy Savage

16. Terry Funk

15. Steve Austin

14. Jim Londos

13. Shawn Michaels

12. Kurt Angle

11. Toshiaki Kawada

And now - the Ten Greatest Wrestlers of all Time....

10. Jumbo Tsuruta

9. Bruno Sammartino

8. Rey Mysterio

7. Bret Hart

6. Jushin Thunder Liger

5. Chris Benoit

4. Lou Thesz

3. Ric Flair

2. Mitsuharu Misawa

1. Kenta Kobashi


Anonymous said...

I guess murder doesn't play a very big part of "everything else".

Jim said...

Nope. Snuka and Gagne can stay.

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