FATP: 30 Most Entertaining WWE Superstars of All-Time
Happy Tuesday to ya! Happy Tuesday to ya! Happy Tuesdaaaayyyy! It’s FATP time again with yours truly and yes, I’m in a good mood! I dunno why, but I’m not complaining! Thanks to everyone who helped and got involved in last week’s column by Twitter, e-mail or on the site. It was a blast doing it, so I’ve done another list this week, which is about the most entertaining WWE Superstars of all-time.
Just like last week, I’ll get the rules out of the way first so that there’s no confusion. First of all, this is a list that I’ve come up with, helped by some friends, so they’re our choices. We’ve not missed anyone out or left someone in the dark. If they’re not here, they didn’t entertain us enough. These men were wrestlers who entertained us both by their in-ring work, promos and they brought a smile to our faces.
Another rule was that these men are NOT under full-time current WWE contracts, which means that the likes of John Cena, CM Punk, Rey Mysterio, Kane and Daniel Bryan WERE NOT considered for this list. Unlike last week, this list will be in order of who we generally thought was best. There are 30 names on here and I’ve rambled enough, so let’s get cracking!
30. Too Cool
Too Cool, or “2 Fools”, just scrape into this list at number 30. It’s easy to forget just how over they were as a tag-team in the Attitude Era. Scotty 2 Hotty and Grandmaster Sexay (GMS) came out, danced to the ring and just overall had fun. It was entertaining watching them wrestle, even with the Grandmaster’s shrieking on the outside! Added to that Jerry Lawler’s refusal to believe that GMS was “Jerry’s kid” and JR’s disbelief at what the hell was going on, I always enjoyed watching them. They played as much of a part of WWE’s success as anyone else in the tag division of the late 90’s.
29. Ron Simmons
Most of today’s audience know Ron Simmons as the black dude that wanders into a backstage skit and says “DAMN!”, but Simmons is a former World Champion. As good as he was in the APA; his singles run in the WWE was by and large forgettable, which is a shame. Mind you, working with the walking, talking sicknote Ahmed Johnson couldn’t have helped him. If his singles career had worked out better in WWE, big Ron would be higher on this list.
28. British Bulldog
The late, great Davey Boy Smith was one of my favourites growing up. I loved watching the Bulldog wrestle. He was part of that epic Intercontinental Title scene that involved Mr Perfect, Shawn Michaels and Bret Hart among others. While his promos were by and large forgettable (just like most promos of that age), Bulldog could entertain in the ring. His peak was probably in 1992, highlighted by his outstanding Intercontinental Title match with Bret Hart at Summerslam 92 in his home country. It’s a shame that he’s no longer with us. RIP Bulldog
On paper, Dustin Rhodes must have sh*t himself when he was presented with the Goldust character. A weird, androgynous, transvestite like character was enough to creep the sh*t out of me, never mind the guy playing him. In saying that, I don’t think anyone else could have pulled the gimmick off as well as Dustin. Following in your father’s footsteps must be tough enough for anyone, but when your old man is the “American Dream”, I can’t imagine how much pressure he was under to be a success in the wrestling business.
To me, I think Dustin took on the character because it was about as far away from his dad’s shadow as it could be. In my opinion, Goldust was one of the best things about the WWE pre-Attitude Era and if I was booking the show at the time, I’d have put the WWE Championship on him. Everyone hated that character because it was something completely off-the-wall. He ran with the ball and created one of the most unforgettable WWE superstars of all-time.
26. Jesse Ventura
It might surprise you all to know that I’m not old enough to remember what Jesse Ventura was like as a wrestler and because I’m lazy, I haven’t seen any of his matches! My first memory of Ventura was in the first wrestling PPV I ever watched, Wrestlemania 5. Ventura’s commentary that day, alongside Gorilla Monsoon at Trump Plaza, had me entertained just as much as some of the in-ring action. He was tremendous alongside any play-by-play commentator, whether it was Monsoon or McMahon.
Ventura did what a heel commentator was supposed to do: blindly support the heel and try to get them over. Even if the heel was cheating, “it’s not cheating if he doesn’t get caught McMahon!”. He’d bury the babyfaces, especially Hogan. I still laugh my ass off to this day when I watch Wrestlemania 5 and he calls Hogan “The Luster” and “The Pukester”. Genius! I’m gonna go out on a limb here and say that Jesse Ventura is the best colour commentator of ALL-TIME, so there’s no way I couldn’t put him in here!
25. The Dudley Boys
If you mention tag-team wrestling to anyone over the age of 18, they’ll instantly think of Edge & Christian, The Hardy Boys and the Dudleys. Three of the best tag-teams in wrestling history. I don’t care who you are, those teams are up there and they deserve to be. At a time when the WWE product was edgy, controversial and pretty violent, the Dudleys were at the top of their game. Already experienced, they came over to WWE and although Bubba was given that bullsh*t stammering gimmick, the Dudleys got over.
“D-VON!!! GET THE TABLES!!!” Whether it was putting their opponents through tables, or some of the women in the company at the time, like Stacy Keibler or Mae Young (who might or might not have been proactively looking for death!), Bubba & D-Von were as over as some of the singles wrestlers at the time and more often than not, they created unforgettable moments for all of us.
24. The Hardys
Matthew and Jeffrey: two high octane, fast-paced, crazy sons of bitches that would do literally anything to entertain the WWE universe. At a time when the top of the card was stacked with talent like The Undertaker, Kurt Angle, Triple H, Mick Foley, Steve Austin and The Rock, I reckon the mid-carders said to themselves: “OK, they might have paid to see Austin/Rock, but they’ll leave remembering us”. More often than not, that was true. Matt & Jeff were an incredible babyface tag-team to go up against the tweener duo of Edge & Christian and the heel Dudleys.
Their series of tag-team TLC matches will go down in history as some of the best-ever and it’s a miracle that only one of that group of 6 (Edge) has had to retire. Those young kids put themselves through hell to entertain us and to be fair, I lapped it up! The Hardys will NEVER be forgotten and their legacy puts them up there with the best teams to ever get inside the squared circle. They didn’t get a lot of promo time, but their in-ring work was more than enough to entertain us.
23. Ric Flair
This limousine ridin’, jet-flyin’, kiss-stealin’, wheelin’-dealin’, son-of-a-gun had to be on the list, but I can almost hear it now: “How the hell is a 16-time World Champion not even in the top 20?”
I’ll tell you why. As entertaining as Flair was, both promo-wise and in the ring, his best years (apart from a brief run in the WWF) were in the NWA and WCW. That’s where Flair was at his peak and he can’t be any higher up on the list than this. You want to talk about someone who can cut intense promos? Flair was the master. When you look back at some of them, he looks like he’s genuinely bat-sh*t crazy!
Then when it comes to in-ring work, I’d go as far as to say that Ric Flair is the last great heel we’ve ever had. I’m talking about someone who the crowd genuinely wants to see get his ass kicked. Flair as a heel was immense because he knew how to wind a crowd up with his promos and wrestling. Most heels nowadays are lucky to have one of those, never mind both and the Nature Boy would be higher on the list if we’d seen him in the WWF/E at his peak. Now that, would have been awesome!
22. Dusty Rhodes
AMERICAAAAAAN DREAAAAAAAMM!! Why do I love the American Dream? Is it down to his WWF/E theme music? Damn right! Who doesn’t pop when they hear the Dream’s music? Who doesn’t smile when they see the Dream busting out a move on the stage or walking down the ramp? If you’re telling me no, then you’re lying! Haha.. It’s not just that though. I’m gonna throw a pretty bizarre comparison out there, so get ready. I think that Daniel Bryan is this generation’s Dusty Rhodes. Hear me out.
No, Bryan doesn’t dance down to the ring or have iconic music like Dream’s BUT Rhodes (like Bryan) was someone who made his name in a different territory than the WWF/E and when he was signed, Vince McMahon tried to f**k with him by giving him a sh*t gimmick to show that he could make or break someone. What did Dream do? Despite being given polka-dot ring gear and a 50-year old ring valet/manager, he got over. Just like Daniel Bryan has after being shafted out of the World Title in 18 seconds.
The American Dream should be an inspiration for everyone who was told they’d never succeed. Does Dusty have the traditional look of a wrestler? F**k no, but Dream went in there, busted his ass night in and night out and got over with the crowd by being entertaining. His promo’s from the 70’s and 80’s still stand up against about 85% of promo’s today. A great entertainer, a great wrestler and a great talker, but because Dusty wasn’t in the WWF at his peak, he can’t be higher on the list (just like Flair).
21. Shane McMahon
If somebody asked me who the craziest son-of-a-bitch I’d ever seen was, I’d say Shane McMahon. Without question, Shane is one of the greatest entertainers of ANY generation. When you think that Shane’s never been trained as a wrestler, some of the bumps he’s taken have been insane! A lot of people say that the tag-team match with Austin/HHH vs Jericho/Benoit is the best match of 2001, but in my opinion, it was Shane vs Kurt Angle at that year’s King of the Ring.
Shane went in there and wrestled with a man at the peak of his physical condition and his career, and didn’t look out of place. Although you could tell that Shane wasn’t a trained wrestler. That was the great thing about him. He was funny on the mic, he could wrestle and most of all, he drew you into whatever he was doing.
One of the last great heels that the WWE has ever had was JBL. To be fair, when he won the WWE Championship from Eddie Guerrero, I thought: “What the f**k is going on here? JBL in the main-event is gonna be brutal!” I thought that because I hadn’t seen someone as outright physical and as stiff as JBL work as a World Champion before. He won me over though. I know that doesn’t really mean anything because I’m a just one wrestling fan, but JBL was a great heel.
He was able to get the crowd on his back with his promo’s and his physical style let the fans buy in to whatever babyface he was up against, whether it was John Cena or Eddie Guerrero. He’s what I call a great prick heel. He LOVED winding people up and thrived at a time when WWE were sorely lacking in great heels.
Later on in his career, JBL turned his hand to commentating and has been the closest thing we’ve seen to Jesse Ventura. I just hope that somehow, JBL can make a full-time return to the WWE behind the mic, because as a commentator, manager or GM, he still entertains us.
19. “Million Dollar Man” Ted DiBiase
MONEY MONEY MONEY MONEY MONEEEEEEEEEY! That’s one of my favourite WWF themes of all-time and it’s a shame that Ted DiBiase was never the WWF Champion. DiBiase could do it all. Whether it was in a tag-team, mid-card or main-eventing, he made you believe everything he did. He’s a natural talker and he deserved better than he got in the late 80’s/early 90’s. You go back and watch DiBiase at that time. More often than not, he’s the most over heel, which is no mean feat when you see the other stars on the roster.
One of the most sound, charismatic wrestlers that’s ever laced up a pair of boots was never a World Champion in the WWF, but the Great Khali has been. Figure that one out!!!
18. Hulk Hogan
Let me tell ya somethin’ brother, I was NEVER a huge Hulk Hogan fan. He did nothing for me. His music was cool but that was about it. Hogan bored me when the bell rang until the match was over. As I’ve gotten older, I can see why other people liked him. The good old All-American babyface. I could never buy it though. Hogan’s promo’s were just him generally rambling and saying “brother” a lot, and in the ring, he had the most limited move-set I’ve ever seen.
Apart from punching and kicking, pretty much all he had were the back rake of doom, the big boot and the leg-drop. Pretty ironic that the only one who’s ever been injured by a Hogan leg-drop is Hogan himself. That’s why he can barely walk nowadays! Anyway, I can’t deny that Hogan had charisma and X-factor, but I just wasn’t entertained by him at all.
17. Triple H
Mr McMahon-in-law, Hunter Hearst Helmsley is next on the list. Do I think he’d be as much of a star if he wasn’t married to Steph? Surprisingly, yes. You can’t deny that HHH is a ring general and is a great talker. The problem is that because he’s married to the boss’s daughter, he’ll never get the respect that he deserves for being a multi-time World Champion.
Does that mean I’m a huge fan of his? No, it doesn’t. I think that he’s incredibly insecure and he’s a little bit pissed off that he’s never been as much of a star as The Rock or Stone Cold Steve Austin. That’s why he puts himself at the top of the card in the most well produced feuds. He feels the need to remind everyone of who he is. We know who you are, we just don’t care as much as you think we should.
There are more entertaining superstars higher up the list than Hunter and I reckon his most entertaining work was when he was part of a group, whether it was DX, The Corporation or the McMahon-Helmsley Faction. On his own? Not so much. Sorry Hunter.
16. Vince McMahon
Vinnie Mac. The Godfather of Professional Wrestling. Without him, we wouldn’t be here on a website talking and reading about wrestling. McMahon’s vision and judgement can be called into question sometimes, but more often than not, he gets it right.
The best example? Probably capitalising on the controversy around the Montreal Screwjob in 1997 to become the biggest heel the business has ever seen. After watching what happened to Bret Hart, EVERYONE hated Vince McMahon and when he said “Bret screwed Bret”, that just topped it off! From there, he created the Mr McMahon character who had an OUTSTANDING feud with Stone Cold.
On the mic, I’ve lost count of the amount of “Asshole!” chants Vince gets, or how often people boo him out of the building. Just McMahon’s face pissed people off. Then when it comes to in the ring, clearly big Vinnie isn’t a great wrestler, but he’s a great storyteller. His movements in the ring, the way he looks and acts in the ring, his facial expressions all do what Vince physically can’t. Saying that, for a 60-odd year old man, he’s pretty ripped. I’d love to be in that shape now, never mind at his age!
Simply put, for everything that Stone Cold was responsible for, it wouldn’t have been as effective without Vince McMahon. You can’t deny that.
15. New Age Outlaws
OH YOU DIDN’T KNOW?!?! YOUR ASS BETTER CAAALLL SOMEBODDDYYY!! Again, epic theme music. I’ve probably said that about a dozen times already, but it’s true. The theme music of the Outlaws made them stand out at a time when WWE’s product was beginning to appeal to casual wrestling fans.
It’s also a prime example of how well tag-team wrestling can be done when you throw two stale singles stars together into tag-team action. The reason why the Outlaws are higher on this list than the other teams like the Hardys and Dudleys is because the Outlaws were able to switch between heel and babyface without it affecting the reactions they got from the crowd.
14. Mick Foley
Mrs Foley’s baby boy is one of the most entertaining superstars we’ve ever seen and probably the most unlikely superstar! Like Dusty Rhodes, Foley doesn’t look like a superstar but he’s able to connect with the audience. It’s strange when you consider that for the early part of his WWF run, Foley played the creepy, deranged Mankind character.
Foley got over in his feud with the Undertaker because people could see that Foley was, for lack of a better word, a freak. He could take an UNBELIEVABLE beating and still get up for more. He put his body on the line to entertain fans and I think that his bumps off the cell in 1998 showed the office that Foley was over with the crowd.
From then, Foley went from strength to strength, capturing the WWF title 3 times before the end of his career. Although he was a transitional champion, Foley has made me hate him, love him and laugh my ass off. Foley is a born entertainer and has the knack of being able to hold the crowd in the palm of his hand, so including him was a must for me.
13. Chris Jericho
Chris Jericho is one of those wrestlers who you don’t quite appreciate when he’s there, but when he’s gone, you notice the huge gap that he leaves. He’s an awesome all-round entertainer and he gives so much to the product.
Whether he’s being a smug, arrogant prick or being the funny, sarcastic babyface, Jericho has earned legions of fans by being versatile. He’s very under-rated, especially in terms of his mic work. Go back and listen to Jericho when he was on fire during the Invasion angle in 2001. He’s getting reactions that are just as loud as Austin, Rock and Angle.
Jericho is one of my favourite wrestlers of all-time. He can do it all. Babyface, heel, talker, wrestler, entertainer. Jericho can’t be pigeonholed. He’s the most prolific Intercontinental Champion of all-time, he’s a multi-time World and Tag-Team Champion and one of the most successful, entertaining wrestlers ever.
12. Rowdy Roddy Piper
He’s another man on this list who sometimes just gets pigeonholed as a great talker, but Piper was a great wrestler too. Hogan wouldn’t have been as successful as a babyface if he didn’t have a brilliant heel to work with and that’s where the likes of Roddy Piper stepped in.
Piper didn’t portray the “he’s a foreigner so he’s a heel” gimmick, he was a heel because he was a jackass in terms of the character he played. Go back and watch the first couple of WrestleMania’s. Who’s in the ring with the biggest stars? Piper. Because the bosses knew that Piper could draw so much heat, for himself and the babyface, that the crowd would eat it up.
It surprises me that he was never a World Champion, but in all honesty, it takes a gifted performer to be as over with the crowd as Piper was without the title. That’s how good an entertainer he was.
11. William Regal
It’s another wrestler from across the pond who ends up high on the list, but JUST misses out on the top 10. It’s a pretty big call, but I’d say that Regal is the most successful British wrestler to ever wrestle in America.
His unique style makes him stand out from the crowd and his sneering interactions with the crowd made everyone hate him. It’s not just his in-ring work that makes Regal stand out. His promos are excellent, whether he’s a heel or a babyface. He’s a born entertainer. Regal has come out with some funny sh*t on the mic and he’s been in some segments that have genuinely made me laugh out loud. When he was dancing with Brodus Clay, I swear I nearly wet myself. He’s able to laugh at himself and is probably the last “old-school” wrestler there is.
He might not be wrestling as much on TV these days, but he still has a lot to offer. A man of his experience who’s worked all over the world is invaluable. He can offer insights into things that most other active wrestlers can’t. Right now, Regal is acting as the colour commentator on NXT and his work is excellent. I think the time is right for the entertaining Englishman to grace our screens or Raw and Smackdown, so he can continue to entertain us for years to come.
Before I get started with the top 10 most entertaining wrestlers of all-time, I just want to chuck out a massive thanks to the lovely @muckymorris and @helenrobinson82, as well as the banter-ific @MrDavies2012 for helping me out with this bit. Basically, we all named our top 5’s and I counted up the votes. The next 10 men each had at least one vote, ensuring their place towards the top of the list. Only one man got a vote from all four of us and you’ll find out who that was in a bit! Without any further ado, let’s get to the top 10!
10. Eddie Guerrero
Eddie Guerrero could do it all. He could make you laugh, cry, love and hate him all at the same time. I’d be lying if I said that I always felt that way though. He really started to get my attention when he was teaming with Chavito and their skits would air where they conned people into letting them use their swimming pool, or when they’d cheat to win playing golf or stealing cars.
As good as Eddie was in the ring, those skits with Chavo let him show just what a funny, entertaining guy he was. Even during his matches he was funny. Like when the ref was down, he’d smack the chair off the mat, throw it at his opponent and fall to the mat, getting the win via DQ. It was so ridiculous, but genius at the same time!
I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve ever cried in my life and Eddie Guerrero’s responsible for two of them: when he won the WWE Title from Brock Lesnar in 2004 and then when news broke that he’d passed away in 2005. I remember when I heard about his death and I genuinely cried watching that entire Raw episode. It crushed me because it felt like I’d lost a friend. That’s the bond that Eddie had with his fans: we felt like family and we miss him, so we couldn’t have a top 10 without Eddie Guerrero. Viva la Raza!!!
9. The Undertaker
The top 10 continues with the Undertaker. He might be reduced to a part-time role these days, but he’s earned it! Everything the man has done in this business deserves one word: respect.
It’s no surprise that Undertaker’s matches got better as he got older, but there’s another reason for that too. WWF/E stopped putting him in matches with other big men. Two big men wrestling each other almost guarantees one thing: a massive clusterf**k. It suits a bigger man to work with a smaller wrestler because they can do most of the work. As Taker grew into the gimmick, his wrestling got better.
He might have been known as the Undertaker for the last 22 years, but he’s done something that few others have. He’s changed the gimmick up. There’s “old-school” Deadman, the sinister Ministry Deadman (“where to Stephanie?” still cracks me up to this day!), the American Bad-Ass, Big Evil and now he’s come full circle.
Are his promo skills outstanding? No, but they don’t have to be because the gimmick is legitimate and entertaining enough without it.
8. Bret Hitman Hart
Is Bret “The Best There Is, The Best There Was and The Best There Ever Will Be”? That’s open to debate, but he’s definitely someone who could entertain us in the ring. Bret never had the greatest promo skills, but in 1997, they were as good as they’ve ever been because you could feel the emotion behind it.
His in-ring work can’t be questioned. Whether he was working with Owen, Shawn Michaels, The Undertaker or Stone Cold Steve Austin, Bret Hart has put on some absolute clinics in the ring that any aspiring wrestler should watch. Simply put, Bret was a machine in the ring.
Do I think he’s the best ever? No, but he’s definitely one of the best. If Bret was a little more charismatic on the mic, he’d definitely be higher up the list.
7. Randy Savage
I’ll let you into a little secret. Savage was my favourite wrestler when I was growing up. I loved him. His ring attire, his entrance and how he made wrestling look easy. Randy Savage is the greatest example of how to be a complete wrestler. Promo skills, charisma, wrestling ability, personality, versatility: Savage had EVERYTHING.
Shawn Michaels might have taken the “Mr WrestleMania” moniker for himself, but for me, Savage was the ORIGINAL Mr WrestleMania. Look at his catalogue of matches if you don’t believe me. I wrote an article a few months ago where I made the same claim. I won’t repeat it, but you can check it out here.
Savage’s ability to have an excellent match with limited opponents like Hogan and Warrior, or mat technicians like DiBiase, Steamboat and Flair, made him one of the stand-out performers of not just his generation, but of all-time.
Savage once said that he was “too hot to handle and too cold to hold”. The truth is that if this list were based on wrestling ability alone, Savage would be streets ahead of everyone else here. The problem is that the 90’s and 00’s were chock-full of characters who were larger-than-life than Randy was.
6. Kurt Angle
The only Olympic gold-medallist in wrestling history just misses out on the top 5. Kurt Angle is an amazing wrestler, no doubt about it. When he debuted, I wondered whether he’d stick around or fade away because I didn’t think he had the charisma to be a successful WWF/E superstar. It just goes to show you how some people can surprise you.
Angle’s most entertaining year was 2001, especially during the Invasion storyline. Just listen to the reactions Angle gets. The crowd were SO into everything that Angle did. Promo’s, backstage, wrestling, it didn’t matter. The crowd ate Angle up. Milk-O-Mania anyone? Seriously, as good as Angle is in the ring, he’s very under-rated as an entertainer. Definitely one of the top ten of all-time.
The first guy in the top 5 is someone who’s only recently retired and he’s a huge loss. He’s the Rated R Superstar, Edge. Living proof that taking huge risks and bumps can shorten your career. As short as his WWE career was at the top, Edge’s body of work speaks for itself.
Tag-team glory? Check! Singles glory? He’s one of the best of all-time. I counted it the other day and he’s the most successful WWE wrestler of this generation. He’s the only man to have won every title/match in WWE History. King of the Ring, Royal Rumble, Money in the Bank and every male singles championship he was able to compete for. Edge’s style in the ring didn’t change whether he was a babyface or a heel, but for me, his most effective work was as a heel.
Then it comes down to promo skills. Again, Edge was really under-rated. He’s made me laugh and he’s made me want to see him get his ass kicked. For a while there, I thought his career was gonna be defined by the whole Matt Hardy thing because at one stage, Edge was getting “X-Pac heat” from the crowd. He fought through it and became a credible WWE main-eventer, as well as being one of the best entertainers EVER.
4. Stone Cold
Controversially, the Texas Redneck is fourth on this list. Nobody can doubt that without Austin, the WWF/E probably wouldn’t exist today. From his Austin 3:16 promo, to his feud with Vince, to singing with the Alliance, to being the Sherriff of Raw, Austin entertained us for the best part of 8 years.
A lot of people say that his heel run in 2001 wasn’t effective, but to me, Austin was hilarious! Fighting with Kurt Angle for hugs from Vince, turning his back on the WWF, dishing out Stunners left right and centre, being right at the front of all the amazing talent that the WWF/E had at their disposal meant that it had to be someone special who was the figurehead. Austin was that man.
He’s also the man who gave us a catchphrase that’s still ringing out on Raw almost every week. WHAT? WHAT? WHAT? WHAT? You get the point. Austin was the right man in the right place at the right time and there are only three wrestlers to have ever been more entertaining than Stone Cold.
3. Mr Perfect
A staple of the AWA and NWA in the 80’s was Curt Hennig, aka Mr Perfect. He came to the WWF in the late 80’s/early 90’s at a time when the WWF had a lot of good wrestlers on their roster. Bret Hart, Shawn Michaels, Ted DiBiase and Randy Savage to name just a few. Most of them were in tag-teams, so it surprised me when Perfect began to get a huge singles push.
Mr Perfect had something I’d never seen before. We got promo videos where he’d take on a different challenge every week and somehow, he’d do it. Whether it was a slam-dunk, a hole-in-one, hitting the bullseye or hitting a home run, Perfect did it all. That’s how to be entertaining. Do something different and get the audience to believe it. Make them invest in you.
Even when Perfect was injured, he was still better than 80% of the roster. His match at Summerslam 91, when he had a serious back injury, was still the best on the card by a LONG way. When he couldn’t wrestle, Perfect’s personality came in useful on commentary. Working with Vince McMahon allowed him to remain on TV and be entertaining without taking unnecessary risks. Perfect earned respect by being a great all-round performer and he’s up there as one of the best we’ve ever seen.
Coming in just short of the top spot is the HeartBreak Kid, Shawn Michaels. One of the best of all-time. Wrestler, Entertainer, Christian, part-time comedian. I’m gonna say something controversial here. If I was doing this list 10/12 years ago, I wouldn’t have put Michaels here. I didn’t see what all the hype was. Sure he was a good wrestler, but I didn’t think he was as good as everyone else did.
When he returned in 2002, Michaels made a believer out of me. Being out of the ring for that long and to come back and make the impact he did was just amazing and inspirational. Shawn had great matches and great feuds with lots of different wrestlers, like Shelton Benjamin, Chris Jericho, Randy Orton, John Cena, Kane, Edge and The Undertaker.
If you wanted to clone anyone to make the perfect babyface, 2002-10 Shawn Michaels is the only choice. Shawn’s ability, both in and out of the ring, to make you believe in everything he was doing, got you emotionally invested in him. That’s why Shawn gets brought back as often as he does, because people believe in him. If it wasn’t for the next man, Shawn would be the greatest entertainer of all-time.
Just before I name the man who was named in all four of our lists, making him the greatest entertainer in WWE history, let’s just recap who’s been in the top 10: Eddie Guerrero, The Undertaker, Bret Hart, Randy Savage, Kurt Angle, Edge, Stone Cold Steve Austin and Shawn Michaels. Like I said before, the number 1 choice is…..
1. The Rock
How can the most electrifying man in sports and entertainment not be right at the top of this list? The Rock is the biggest cross-over star that Vince McMahon has ever created. He’s the one wrestler who entertains me, whether he’s a full-time member of the roster or he dips in and out of the WWE for a few weeks at a time.
You know what makes The Rock stand out? Apart from his athleticism, his family heritage and his obvious personality? He does what every great babyface does: sells like an absolute demon. He makes you believe that he’s really hurt whenever his opponent lands a blow on him. It also looks like he’s having fun when he’s in front of a crowd. He looks natural, authentic, at ease. He has the crowd eating out of the palm of his hand, whatever role he’s playing.
The Rock might not have been the greatest wrestler of all-time, in fact, he’s not even close. From a pure entertainment standpoint, there’s nobody better than the Brahma Bull. Crowd reactions are everything and even now, nobody even comes close to matching Rocky.
Phew! The list is done. 30 names, one list and one clear, runaway winner. The Rock is the most entertaining superstar in WWE history. I couldn’t have done this on my own, so in terms of making the list, and especially coming up with the top 10, big thanks to the ever trusty @muckymorris, @helenrobinson82 and @MrDavies2012.
Now, onto the last piece of business for today and it concerns the Wrestling Throwback. I’m in the middle of getting a banner sorted for this feature, which you won’t find anywhere else except here at Wrestling Rambles. If you’ve never seen this before, basically I ask one of you (our loyal readers) to suggest a promo video or in-ring promo from WWE history that’s memorable and sticks out in your memory. Today’s choice comes from loyal reader @sportsmama32, who’s chosen the in-ring promo where DX (Triple H and Shawn Michaels) ripped the McMahons in 2006. Here’s the video! Enjoy!
Well, that’s just about enough from me this week. I’ve busted my ass writing this list over the last few days, researching it, coming up with names and getting input from the guys. I hope you enjoyed it! I won’t be doing another list column for a while, but if you’ve got any topics that you want me to cover in the next few weeks, tweet me @george_sltd, using the #FATP, and I’ll see what I can do!
Thanks again for sticking with me. I know this was a long column to read. It’s about 6,000 words so if you made it all the way to the end, give yourself a pat on the back! I’m off now to lie down in a dark room, so until next time, thanks for reading and have a great week!