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WRESTLING COLUMNS

My Favourite Wrestler
January 18, 2005 by Ashley Daniels


With each and every passing day, we are all aging. In an attempt to hold on to our youth many of us reflect back to our childhood memories. Much of my childhood memories in some shape, form or fashion involve wrestling. Whether it be staying up late Friday, Saturday and in some cases early Monday mornings and watching my favourite wrestlers do battle, or the countless hours I spent on my N64 playing wrestling games such as Warzone, WCW Mayhem and WWF No Mercy. (One of my personal favourites) However I think one of my fondest childhood memories has to be the arguments my friends and I had over why our favourite wrestler was the best. (Arguments we had include Austin/Rock, Hogan/Flair and Kane/Undertaker) So in an attempt to hang on to my youth, I have comprised a top ten list of my personal favourite wrestlers of all time.

10. HHH- Before I explain why Triple H is on my list, let me make it clear that I do not condone Triple H as far as his ego and backstage power goes, however I have to hand it to Triple H he is one hell of a wrestler, this is evident in his matches with The Rock, Steve Austin, Kurt Angle and Shawn Michaels. Every time he steps in the ring he displays great in ring psychology and displays a true love/passion for the business. This is evident in Survivor Series 2002.

09. The Rock- Most people who grew up watching wrestling as a child has a special wrestler they mark out for, a wrestler who sends Goosebumps up their spine every time their music hits or every time they step in to the ring. With me it was no different and you guessed it, the wrestler I used to mark out for was The Rock. He was a great wrestler and someone I could look up to. I still to this day enjoy watching his matches with HHH at Backlash 2000 or his matches with Kurt Angle. He would be a lot further on my list of favourite wrestlers if it was not for the fact that he left and decided to become a Hollywood actor, however I am not a hater and I am very happy that The Rock is doing very well. Although I still await the day he becomes an active wrestler again, if it ever happens.

08. Terry Funk- This man is a genius when it comes to professional wrestling. He can wrestler a technical masterpiece, become hardcore or even use aerial moves. He also has an ability to make people believe that what he is doing is for real whether it is in the ring or displaying a passionate hatred for his opponent. I'm still trying to work out whether he and Jerry the King Lawler have a strong hatred for each other or if it's just a work.

07. Randy Savage- The eighties is considered the golden era as far as wrestling is concerned, however in my opinion no ones star shone brighter in the 1980's then The Macho Man. He proved to be a formidable Intercontinental Champion, had one of the greatest matches in the history of wrestling with Ricky The Dragon Steamboat and went through a gruelling tournament to become WWE Champion. Nuf said.

06. Kurt Angle- Kurt Angle is perhaps pound for pound the best wrestler to step into a wrestling ring and even though the Kurt Angle invitational has not showed off his in ring skills, his past matches has. Examples include; Kurt Angle vs Brock at Summerslam 2003, Kurt Angle vs John Cena at No Mercy 2003 and Kurt Angle vs Eddie Guerrero at Wrsetlemania XX. Kurt Angle's arsenal is a mixture of suplexes and submissions, which are sure to wear down his opponents, plus a comical personality which makes him a favourite amongst fans.

05. Eddie Guerrero- The reason Eddie Guerrero is one of my favourite wrestlers is because of his accomplishments. Not professionally, but personally. He was able to win his fight with his demons and shake off the reputation of a mid-card wrestler, to become one of the top wrestlers on the Smackdown brand. His phenomenal in ring ability does not hurt matters either.

04. Ric Flair- There is no question about it, Ric Flair is the man. He can talk the talk, he looks and carries himself like a champion and above all else he can put on a great wrestling match with just about anybody. He is a multiple time NWA/WCW champion and former two time WWE champion, going through 29 other men (alright 28, seeing as Ted Dibiase was eliminated before he came to the ring) to win his first WWE Championship. Even at the age of 54, he can still put on the best wrestling matches; this is evident in his cage match with Randy Orton at Taboo Tuesday.

03. Shelton Benjamin- Many people believe that Randy Orton is the next big star in the WWE; however I feel Shelton Benjamin has proven he is the next big star. As J.R puts it Shelton is 'as good a pure athlete to ever grace a WWE ring' Thus far his career has resembled Bret Hart's. Proving himself as a great tag team wrestler, winning the Intercontinental Championship and I would not be surprised if there is a run with the World Heavyweight Championship is round the corner. Either way I believe we have a future World Champion in the making.

02. Bret Hart- This man is truly 'The best there is, the best there was and the best there ever will be' he is the best in ring technician I have ever seen and his matches are second to none. I often find myself referring back to King of The Ring 1993 when he defeated Razor Ramon, had a classic match with Mr. Perfect and proved his toughness in the finals against Bam Bam to win the King of the Ring.

01. Chris Benoit- This is my all time favourite wrestler. I first remember watching Chris Benoit in WCW and he instantly stood out in my mind. I remember watching his matches with Dean Malenko, Jeff Jerret as well as his classic match with Bret Hart. My wish was at that time was that Benoit would make his way to WWE and surprisingly my wish came true, seeing as he, Eddie Guerrero, Perry Saturn and Dean Malenko made their way into the WWE. This gave Benoit a greater opportunity to prove himself and boy did he ever. Engaging in classic matches with The Rock, Kurt Angle and Chris Jericho. (Benoit vs Jericho this Monday on Raw) Benoit went on to win the Intercontinental Championship and Tag team Championship, however something had been missing from Benoit's list of accomplishments The World Heavyweight Championship, although all that changed March 14th 2004 when Chris Benoit finally won the big one. This was the proudest time I ever felt to be a wrestling fan.

So there you have. They are my favourite wrestlers and now I am interested in hearing who are your top ten favourite wrestlers are whether they are wrestlers from the old school era or wrestlers of the 21st centaury you can even send in a list of your favourite tag teams. Hope you enjoyed the column written by yours truly.

by Ashley Daniels ..


Kyle Meilleur wrote:
Pretty good list, although any list that doesn't have either Jericho or 'Taker (if not both, then at least one) has some fundamental flaws in it, and the less said about The Rock and Bret Hart the better. (I know, I know...I'm probably the only person in the world who hates Bret Hart). So, without further ado, here's MY top ten list:

10: Shawn Michaels- Although he used to be an ass, he's changed his perspective and now has a Christian view instead of his fomer asshole view. He's also got some of the most impressive career highlights ever, and his ability to get a croud going is scond to none.

9: Hulk Hogan- True, I may not be the biggest fan of the guy, but he helped make wrestling big. Without him, we probaly wouldn't even have a WWE today. One of the most important figures in wrestling history.

8: Ted DiBiase- One of the greatest technical wrestlers ever, one of the greatest gimmicks ever, and a true legend in the sport. Not putting him on this list would be an insult, not only to him, but to wrestling.

7: Kane- While not having the most...impressive...career highlights, he has shown himself as one of the WWE's leading wrestlers, ever since his debut via Hell In A Cell:Undertaker vs. Shawn Michaels. Ever since then, his abilities have grown, and he has shown himslef truly worthy of a World Heavyweight Championship run (even if it hasn't come yet, the WWE should realize the rising star abd huge fan favourite right under their nose.) And c'mon: after that HORRENDOUS Lita/Kane"baby storylne, he deserves something for putting up with that crap.

6: Eddie Guerrero- Truly one of the most deserving wrstlers to hold the WWE title, his dedication to the business and his real-life triumphs over drugs/alchohol make, combined wth his incredible in-ring abilities, make him one of the greatest in the business.

5: Kurt Angle- The only ever Olympic Gold Medalist-turned WWE wrestler. Multi-time WWE champion. Greatest technical wrestler of all time. Enough said.

4: Chris Benoit- Great dedication and technical wrestling abilities, culminating with his World Heavywieght Championhip win at Wrestlemania XX. He deserves a spot on this list.

3: Ric Flair- What even needs to be said here" The Nature Boy is a sixteen-time World Champion, and is still a tremendous wrestler. True legend.

2: Chris Jericho- Without a doubt, he has the best mic skills in the business. But, unlike The Rock, he has more than enough westling skills to back it up. The first ever Undisputed Champion can get a crowd totally fired up with the mic, then wrestle circles around his opponent. The best is yet to come out of this one.

1: The Undertaker- The Phenom is the single most dominating WWE wrestler alive today (unless you count Triple H's push as dominating). Undefeated at Wrestlemania, willing to work with younger westlers (even undeserving ones like Heidenreich), and a true fan favorite. He has changed his character over the years to stay popular with the fans, and has been part of some of the greatest matches in history (i.e. Hell In A Cell vs. HBK). He is truly the greatest wreslter alive tody. -Rhey
Chris Parcella wrote:
It is very hard to name a top 10 of all time for me because my tastes change but having to think about it here is my top 10 of all time this week. You won't see guys like The Rock, Bret Hart, Steve Austin, Hulk Hogan, Randy Savage or Ric Flair on this list. The first the guys bore me to death and are either whiney or completley 1-dimensional (in my opinion). The Rock and Steve Austin were one trick ponies who you could close your eyes and tell someone what the match was about everytime. I hate to say that because they ahve done great things and Austin has a special place in my wrestling life which i will touch on later. As far as Hogan, Savage, and Flair they are 3 of the biggest names in wrestling and are on a different unrankable tier than anyone else. Ok onto my list:

10. Austin Aries: I haven't seen him much but because of what he did on December 26, 2004 he gets the award of being one of my favorites. He beat that no talent named Samoa Joe. God bless Austin Aries. Aries 12:26 says Joe ain't the champ no more.

09. Chris Sabin: As the Boston Chapter of the Sabinites President I am proud to put Chris on the list. He always puts on a hell of a match hurt or not. He is one of the main reasons that the X-Division title is so successful. And on a personal note, he is one of the most fan friendly wrestlers I have ever talked to.

08. C.M. Punk no explaination needed the next Raven and future NWA:TNA Champion

07. Curt "Mr. Perfect" Hennig: The greatest Intercontinental champion ever as well as the best wrestler to never be world champion. Summerslam 90 against Bret Hart is one of the best matches i have ever seen. The World of professional wrestling was delt a gigantic blow when Curt was taken from us. Curt is a Hall of Famer gaurenteed i just wish we would get to see him walk across the stage to get his plaque in April.

(6, 5, &4)Kurt Angle-Triple H-Shawn Michales: A three way tie for the three most gifted people to hold the WWF and I mean F title. Every time I hear one of these guys is on the card I am excited to watch the match. I have seen Triple H carry Scott Steiner in a Royal Rumble, Shawn Michales battle through a severe back injury, and Kurt Angle wrestle the best one on one match I have ever seen live at Royal Rumble ' 03.

03.Charlie Haas: Quote me on this Charlie Haas is THE MOST UNDERUSED wrestler that the WWF/E has ever had. Forget about the misuse of Raven(i'll get to him) forget the misuse of Rob Van Damn. Haas was in a great tag team with Shelton Benjamin and they split them and put Charlie into curtain jerker hell.

02.Raven: The greatest mind in wrestlings history. He beats out Jake Roberts as the best mind by a small margin but he's the best. Every interview or promo I hear Raven do sucks me right in. He gives me goose bumps when I hear an interview and gets me literally nervous for one of his matches. He should be champion of NWA:TNA and should have won the WCW World Title during his time there.

01. "The Fallen Angel" Christopher Daniels: How could an indy guy be on the top of someone's list of favorite wrestler" It's easy he has a certain energy ang psycology about him that if you ever have seen him live you can feel. Daniels is a remarkable talent that I would pay to see again any day of the week.

As invited to do so I will list my favorite tag teams but with no explainations because it will take too long if you don't like it I'll defend this list and my other list if you wanna argue it.

10.La Resistance 09.WGTT 08.Steiner Brothers 07.Outsiders 06.New Age Outlaws 05.Triple X 04.Impact Players 03.Jindrak and O'Haire 02.Hollywood Blondes 01.Demolition
Justin Hipple wrote:
10. Raven - A modern day Jake Roberts (minus the drug addiction & arrests) he is putting the psychology back into wrestling. His intelligence make listening to & watching his promos a joy.
9. The Undertaker - Just for his sheer ring presence. No one commands awe & respect in quite the same way. Even during his biker years his promos made people take notice.
8. AJ Styles - What else can be said about a guy the is called "phenominal"" This guy is peotry in the ring. Inovative & exciting, he is truly the next evolution in this business.
7. Sting - A long time favorite of mine. HIs matches with Flair early in his career were classics. When he reinvented himself as "The Crow" he added a needed depth to the character. Even with his appearances few & far between he still has the crowd behind him.
6. Triple H - Even with all the bad press this guy gets, he still is a favortie of mine. The guy came up from a curtain jerker in WCW to the top star in the business today. So what if he's married to the boss's daughter. His star was on the rise before they got together & he continues to make not only himself lokk good in the ring but he can make whoever his opponent is look good too (see his matches with Goldberg & Hogan.)
5. The Rock - A true master of the mic. Not many can "electrify" the crowd like "The Great One". Another who makes few appearances now due to his movie commitments, but when he does it's something special.
4. Bret Hart - "The best there is, the best there was, & the best there ever will be" need I say more"
3. Mick Foley - You gotta love a guy that was always willing to put his physical health on the line for the fans. He loved this business like few could ever. He put his heart & soul into his matches. And for that he will live in our memories forever.
2. Shawn Michaels - HBK is another that would sacrifise himself to please the fans & make sure they have memories of his match. Even after a 4 year "retirement" he came back & showed that he can still perform with the best of them. Let's hope his career lasts for a long time to come.
1. Steve Austin - He was an "everyman". A blue collar redneck that did what we all wanted: he stuck it to the boss. Not only that but if he said he was going to do something; he did it. No goal was unacheived by "The Rattlesnake". King of the Ring in 96, 3 Royal Rumble victories (97, 98, & 2001), 6 WWF World Titles, 2 WWF I-C Titles, 4 WWF Tag Team Titles, NWA Tag Team Title, WCW US Title, 2 NWA\WCW TV Titles. No one has sold more merchandise, sold out more arenas worldwide, and entertained more fans....not even "The Immortal" Hulk Hogan.... I wouldn't be surprised if Austin doesn't top a lot of lists.
Philip Urquart wrote:
10. Rob Van Dam - The man is amazing, check out his early ECW stuff, can take a huge amount of punishment. Unfortunately not that great with the mic. Apparently there are problems in the locker room though because he's to stiff.

9. The Dudleys - (Bubba and D'von) Don't know if I can have two people as one choice but im going to anyway because this is my list.! I can't put my finger on exactly what it is with these guys, I just know I get excited whenever I know they're teaming up. Lets just forget the whole reverend D'von incident though.

8. Hulk Hogan - As much as you may not like the guy or think that he should have stopped long ago there's no denying what this guy did for the business. And tell me you didn't get excited when he came out on the 4th July, to the real American music, if that didn't give you a huge smile then you're either heartless or 10 years old. And even though it now looks crap, how cool is the "hulking up".

7. Kurt Angle - Great athlete, pound for pound one of the best ever. Good on the mic and very funny to boot. Just something about him grates on me though.

6. Chris Benoit - Up there with angle for technical ability, just held back by mic skills and like of height, which is s**t when consider just how good he is. The series of matches he had with angle a while back (where he ended up pulling angles medals out his tights) remains, in my opinion, some of the technically best ever.

5. Undertaker (original) - Forgetting the whole "American badass" period, which I personally hated, you still have to respect the man. For a man of his size to be able to move as quickly as he does (or should I say did") is unbelievable. My only worry is that if he carries on much longer he'll become a shadow of his former self.

4. The Rock - Ditto to what Ashley Daniels says. Couldn't put it any better so I won't bother

3. Mick Foley - Whatever he calls himself, be it Dude Love, Mankind, Cactus Jack, the man is an absolute lunatic!!! And that's why I rate him so highly, I mean come on, just look at him, he does not look like a wrestler in any way, just an average joe, and that's why people love him so much, he could be your neighbour or a guy sat next to you on the train, its just obvious that he loves the business with a passion and people warm to him because of that. Absolute legend.

2. Shawn Michaels - What can you say, "The showstopper" sums it up about right. Nothing is ever boring when HBK is involved, he's one of the best heavyweight champions of all time but built like a cruiserweight, quite happy to mix it up with guys a lot bigger like HHH, Taker, Goldberg. For proof of greatness check out the first ladder match with Razor Ramon, or the pop he got when he first returned to raw as part of the nWo.

1. "Stone Cold" Steve Austin - In my opinion the single most charismatic man to ever lace boots and step in a ring. Hes simply the greatest ever. Dispite the rumours of what went on backstage the fans still love him. Other guys love working with and he seemed to really enjoy doing what he did. No matter how many times you hear it that shattering glass still sends tingles down my spine.
Brad Dykens wrote:
OKAY PEOPLE THIS ISN'T AN EXCUSE TO POST EVERYBODYS TOP TENS, THIS FEEDBACK SECTION IS FOR YOU TO SEND BRIEF COMMENTS. THANK YOU.
John Skender wrote:
Great article. If you really want to know where Chris got his style from, you should look back to the greatest wrestler who ever stepped into a ring.....the Dynamite Kid. In my opinion, (and I'm sure Chris's) looking back at the early tapes of dynamite from 80 - 85, most will agree that Chris is almost as good as the Kid...almost.
Rodneymullens04 wrote:
These top ten lists that you have compiled could not be any worse if you tried. Firstly you don't mention a single wrestler that is not from the wwe. Hate to break it to you but Yuji Nagata is a thousand better than any wrestler you named with the exception of benoit. My top ten list goes like this 1.Yuji Nagata 2.Antonio Ionki 3. Toshaki Kawada 4.Jumbo Tsurta 5.Genchiro Tenryu 6.Bret Hart 7.Chris Benoit 8.William Regal 9.Ultimo Dragon 10.Akira Taue
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