Q&A Friday #78: The Top 10 Pro-Wrestling Champions Of All-Time

Question: “As a fellow long time pro-wrestling fan, I would like to hear your opinion as to who you feel is/was the greatest World’s Champion of all time. What, in your estimation, set that grappler apart from their contemporaries: technical skill, ring artistry, excellence at giving interviews (a good “talker”), an original gimmick?

Conversely, who do you rank as the single most overrated, hyped-up job-boy-who-got-lucky?” — Good_Ol_Boy

Answer: 10) The “single most overrated, hyped-up job-boy-who-got-lucky” is HHH by about 10 miles. He hasn’t been interesting since his initial D-Generation X days but he still manages to stay on top because he married the boss’s daughter.

9) Bob Backlund would be the 2nd least impressive fellow out of that group, but he was still a lot more talented than HHH.

8) Sting: He has talent, but less of it than the other people remaining on the list. Plus, he was never any good at being a heel.

7) Kurt Angle: Angle is the only guy on this list who has a chance to move up before his career is over. He has enormous talent and a great persona.

6) Brett Hart: Great in the ring talent, but I thought he was over rated on the mike.

5) Shawn Michaels: He’s similar in some respects to Hart. He’s a small guy who’s great in the ring, but I think Michaels is better on the mike and has had a longer, more productive career.

4) The Rock probably had more personality than anyone else on the list and he was solid in the ring, but his career was cut short when he got into the movie business. That might be bad news for wrestling fans, but it’s good news for him.

3) Hulk Hogan: Hogan is despised by a lot of hard core wrestling fans because he’s so limited and got such a push over more talented wrestlers later in his career, but he was white hot for a long, long time. He basically put pro-wrestling on the map in the eighties and even if he was cheesy and didn’t have a lot of range, he could play a heel or a face. He also deserves credit for coming back and helping to make the NwO a sensation late in his career.

2) “Stone Cold” Steve Austin: Austin was incredibly popular and was largely responsible for making the WWE into a juggernaut capable of putting ECW and WCW in the ground. He was a little limited near the end of his career, because of injuries, but he could put on a show and rev up a crowd like nobody else in the business.

1) Ric Flair: He never crossed over like Hogan, but he was a big star who carried whole promotions on his back, before anyone even knew who Hogan was. Moreover, unlike Hogan, in his day, Flair was a pretty good wrestler. The fact that he’s still wrestling, even though he’s almost 60 tells you how good his mike skills are and how much respect the audience that grew up watching him wrestle, has for him.

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