OWW TOP-10 LISTS
OWW Top 10 Charismatic Wrestlers
by Bryan Davies
- "Nature Boy" Ric Flair:- I can just picture half of u guys looking at the screen with utter disbelief in your eyes !!! Ric Flair, how can he be better than stone cold & Rock!!?!! I though beg to differ. If any wrestler is there right now who has been on top of his game for past 3 decades than it has to be Ric Flair. He is the wrestler who carried NWA on his back for decades . He was the wrestler WWF wanted to bring in early 90's to make their company more credible. He was the person WCW looked back to when they were beaten to pulp by WWE in the "Monday night Wars". Just ask yourself , why does 50,000 fans can't curb the urge to yell out a WOOOOOO after his each slap to the opponents chest!!?!! Nature Boy is the true legend, he is the definition of the word legend. If ever a dictionary would be published by any wrestling company you would find this:-
LEGEND (adj.) :- RIC FLAIR....WOOOOOO!!!
If u ever have any doubt about Ric Flair's charisma , just get an old WCW tape where he comes back to party with the four horseman. Or his victory celebration after his Royal Rumble'92 victory. You would know what the legends are made of!!! His charisma in a match makes the other person look pure GOLD ( remember, he made sting through his matches & even sting admits to that). I can't remember any of his matches where he hasn't gone to his knees begging for mercy and then poking the other person in the eye in a sec , or him hitting a turnbuckle and flip flopping over and around it and then landing back on his feet. ( the move HBK & HHH "stole" from him) or his famous "couple of steps before falling" routine. One watches his matches in the eager anticipation of any of these to happen!!!....So Ric Flair is Numero Uno for me as the most charismatic wrestler EVER (not 70's,80's,90's). Hats Off to Ric Flair!!! WOOOOOOO
- "Stone Cold" Steve Austin:- The wrestler who made being BAD, good!!! ( does it make sense!!?!!) Also the wrestler whose charisma easily added 4-5 more years to his injury marred career ....( Can u even imagine neither wrestler they would keep investing in , knowing that he is in a pretty banged up state , even great wrestlers like , Benoit!!??!!) . As what has become a kind of trend, he was a talent left unrecognized by his former company WCW, and given by a chance by WWE to showcase his talent. Though not a great technical wrestler , his roughneck style was quite entertaining as well. Though he matches Rock popularity what makes him qualified for number 2 position above Rock was (again) his impact on wrestling. He made the middle finger salute and the f word so popular that they were commonplace among children barely 10 yrs old ( And that in India , gave grown ups heart attack!!!!). Plus he is one of the prime reason that WWE is still around as opposed to WCW. His feud with Vince McMahon has been unparalleled in recent times. Having two people as charismatic as stone cold & Vince McMahon in the same program against each other augurs nothing else!! So, all those who agree with me that Steve Austin deserves his place at number 2 GIVE ME A HELL OH YEAH!!!...
- Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson:- Do I even have to say anything for his inclusion in my top 10 list!!?!!! Who knew that a wrestler who was hated so much when he was good (FACE) would be adored so much more when he was bad (HEEL)!! Not me, not u, apparently nor did any other wrestling fan. But, Rock reached the popularity matched by barely few other wrestlers and Hollywood success matched by no other wrestler. Like Hogan, a wrestler with limited wrestling capabilities Rock had only his charisma to rely upon, and BY GOD it didn't let him down!!! Did it!?!! His programs w/Jericho, mankind, HHH, Kurt Angle, Hulk Hogan .....(the list goes on) are nothing short of classics!! His catchphrases caught on like wildfire ( f*ck, They even named one of their weekly show after his catchphrase, "Smackdown"!!!) Another wrestler whose charisma as opposed to wrestling capabilities brought him to the top of the pile. "Brahma Bull" at number 3.
- Hulk Hogan:- Call him whatever you might, but this wrestler kept himself on top for more than two decades , no thanks to his wrestling skills ( which were abysmally low) but 'coz of his charisma. He had the kind of charisma that would sell a TV to a blind man and a radio to a deaf one!!!! Selling his 6'8" well chiseled body was like a child's play for him. "Hulkamania" spread like wildfire in late 80's and I dare say it hasn't died yet!! I was never a fan of his wrestling abilities, but his promos would always leave me riveted to the screen. A man who played a key role in the "Monday Night Wars", was also the man who made the wrestling popular , I dare say that wrestling wouldn't have been same if it weren't for the Hulk Hogan and of course Vince McMahon . The reason he is being placed higher up in the order is where other wrestlers might have had more charisma than him, few actually made such an impact on wrestling, as Hogan did. So "WATCH YA GONNA DO, BROTHER....." if I put Hogan at number 4 on my list!!??!!
- Shawn Michaels:- In his own admission ," I was the attitude , before attitude was a catch phrase ". And I couldn't have said it better. Shawn Michaels in his younger days had a personality what Bret Hart refers to as "Prima Donna" personality in his documentary "Wrestling with the Shadows" (An awesome must see for any wrestling fan, btw) But, whatever might have been his attitude towards his fellow wrestlers backstage, his charisma is what brought him to number 5 on this list. Where many people thought he has reached his peak after his awesome matches against Razor Ramon & Bret Hart, it was just the tip of the iceberg. Shawn Michaels was single handedly responsible for ushering WWF into the "attitude " era with the formation of Degeneration X. A faction that carried WWE for months till stars like Stone Cold and Rock took over. And the reason behind the success was no one else but, the charismatic , witty and extremely popular "Heart Break Kid" Shawn Michaels. His matches never seem to be labored , it has always been a free flowing mixture of high flying and grappling that totally depicted his personality. His DX vignettes were an ode to his mic skills, which could keep the fans spell bound for hours if he wished. A true legend & THE "Sexy Boy" of wrestling Shawn Michaels is number 5 on this countdown.
- Eddie Guerrero:- How can one not think about Eddie Guerrero when one is talking about charismatic wrestlers!!! In Japan, ECW & WCW he proved to everyone he could wrestle like a champ, in WWE he showed he was no regular Jose w/a mic in his hands . Where he didn't get any decent push in WCW to showcase his skills, one could just make out there is something special in this person. WWE knew too, & Eddie proved them correct!!! His first run with WWE resulted in his on screen pairing with Chyna and provided him his first chance to prove himself as a charismatic wrestler. Latino Heat wooed the crowd like no other heel ever did!!! Though in his short time before his departure from WWE he managed to make a fan base , it would be nothing compared to his second run with WWE made the LYING AND CHEATING Eddie Guerrero the cynosure in everybody's eyes...be it the smarks or the marks. Finally a FACE who's wasn't dumb , but who took every chance to lie and cheat to win the match!!! It made such a refreshing change that WWE just couldn't keep him HEEL!! On the whole his personality so much matches his wrestling style that one can't imagine his matches to be boring , ever!! So that makes LATINO HEAT number 6 on my list.
- Mick Foley aka Cactus Jack aka Mankind aka Dude Love:- Mick Foley , the only wrestler who could have pulled off the triple avatar of his character. Rest would have fallen flat on their faces. Be it as Mankind, Cactus Jack or as Mick Foley himself his promos could make your blood chill and heart palpitate!!! One always knew that whatever he said he brought it to the table. The way he used to cut his promos, made him look like a real person suffering in pain , who wants to impart some to others as well. His interview as Mankind where he assaulted JR was as real as one could get it. At the end of that interview I was a staunch Mick Foley supporter 'coz he made the wrestling look FUCKING REAL!!! What made especially make Mick Foley better than the previous wrestlers was the way he would play his character in the ring. His style as Mankind was as different from Cactus Jack as it was from Dude Love and that made it even more so special!!!.. So look out ,"BANG BANG!!!", Cactus Jack, aka, Mick Foley at number 7.
- Chris Jericho:- The only reason why Chris Jericho was able to beat Kurt Angle for this number 8 spot was 'coz he was never stopped from doing what he did the best!!! His character, in WWF, has not changed much in past 6-7 years beside a little bit tweaking here and there. He is still the "Sexy Beast", that he was before. Right through his runs in WCW and ECW it was evident that this man had awesome mic skills. He knew then , & he knows now how to play the crowd. His feuds w/ Rey Mysterio, Dean Malenko in WCW and against Rock, Stone Cold etc are ample evidence to support it. What makes him a little bit more special is his way he plays his character in the ring. He would shout and curse at other wrestler so much, that some might even start thinking that they might have legit heat between them. If u are fortunate enough to get your hands on his Japan tapes & his matches w/Benoit and Ultimo Dragon there , you would be able to clearly hear him cursing at them, "Just Die, you MOTHERFUCKER!!!" . That's ,true. He's at number 8 on the list 'coz no one can imagine an episode of RAW without him featuring in him , because "RAW IS JERICHO"!!
- Kurt Angle:- If ever a wrestler who just wasn't ever able to loose his goofy tag , that his promos created for him. Though for the past few years his charismatic side has been a little bit subdued , but it has still shown brightly when he was put in some classic programs first w/Benoit , than Cena and then Brock Lesnar. He started out as this snobbish Olympic Gold Medal winner who considered him self much above everybody else. Any new wrestling fans is strongly advised to check out Kurt Angle's home video "It's True , It's True" , which came around that time , to understand what I am saying. Where promos as a kiss ass of Vince McMahon in 2001, his battle raps w/ Cena in 2003 and his backstage antics w/ Brock Lesnar are hilarious as hell, his ability to stir up the crowd commands one's respect as well. Some might say "YOU suck!!!YOU suck!!" to Kurt Angle , but he's at number 9 in my list, "OH IT'S TRUE, IT'S DAMN TRUE!!"
- "Macho Man" Randy Savage:- At the time when the then WWF was mainly churning out comic characters for their wrestlers, Macho Man was as real as it could be. Till now I don't know what was his gimmick, was he supposed to be a rock star?? Or a cowboy perhaps?? I might never know, but what I do know is when I was 10 yrs old this man almost changed my life with his promos!!! His deep voice, rumbling straight from the pit of his stomach, crying out "OHHHHH YEAH" with his finger twirling above his head, was the epitome of coolness to me!!! His each promo before the match just passed the electricity through the crowd !!! This wrestler and a legend in his own right has certainly earned his position at number 10.
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