Thursday, September 8, 2011
Top 5 Favorite Wrestlers
Let me be clear--I primarily watched wrestling in the late 90s when the WCW/WWF feud was in full force. This list necessarily leaves off the best wrestlers of today because I have seen 3 matches in the last 5 years. But I think most wrestling fans will remember these guys.
5: Bill Goldberg - When Goldberg came on the scene, they made a big deal about his undefeated streak--as though such a thing matters in a scripted "sport." Regardless, Goldberg completely captivated my attention. He'd enter the ring through a cloud of smoke, inhaling and visibly exhaling as he stood for a moment before running to the ring. What I remember about him most was that his trapezoids were enormous, and his bald head and goatee made him look ferocious. The spear, normally a lame and poorly-executed move, was a thing of beauty when he did it. A lot of people said he was a "Stone Cold" Steve Austin clone (even Stone Cold himself on Stern's radio show), but it wasn't true--they were very different personalities and very different fighters. Goldberg was the better of the two for pure excitement.
4: Bret "The Hitman" Hart - He just seemed cool--a guy who could get away with wearing hot pink because he was just so good at kicking ass. His sharpshooter was a good finishing move, and he was a great technical wrestler. Also, the (real) drama with him and Vince McMahon outside the ring was interesting. Who can forget a late-eighties Bret Hart coming to the ring and giving his (then) cool wraparound shades to a young fan before each match.
3: Diamond Dallas Page - I swear DDP was drunk for most of his career. He'd stumble into the arena in jeans, flash his "diamondcutter" sign, sprint to the ring, then fall into a corner, hammered. He'd wrestle for a bit then ultimately perform the diamnondcutter, one of the best finishing moves ever. He got a bit lame as he got more popular, swapping the jeans for shiny blue pants, but he was still part of the best match I've ever seen, earning this high ranking.
2: The Rock - The Rock had it all--he was a good wrestler, he looked like a good wrestler, and he could talk like a movie star (which he became). He is the coolest guy ever to wrestle. Ever. How cool is the Rock? He's so cool that if he jumped the shark, Happy Days would still be on t.v. He kicked ass.
1: Rowdy Roddy Piper - Piper made his living less through his wrestling and more through his mic skills. As the host of Piper's Pit, he revolutionized the way wrestlers are interviewed. He was really funny and sarcastic at a time when guys like Hulk Hogan were telling kids to eat vitamins and say prayers. He was years ahead of his time. Finally, he was the star of the cult sci-fi classic They Live--how can it get any better.
Who are your favorites? Anyone on this list make you want to choke slam me? By the way, props to Macho Man, RIP.