Wrestling is perhaps the oldest form of combat. Cave paintings found in France made 15 thousand years ago has depicted people wrestling for sport. During the Middle Ages wrestling was one of the most popular sports in Japan and France and wrestlers had patronage from Royal families. Today although wrestling has changed from how it used to be but is still a popular sport. Here is a list of top 10 greatest wrestlers of all time:
Top 10 Greatest Wrestlers of All Time
10. Bruno Sammartino
Bruno Leopoldo Francesco Sammartino is a retired professional wrestler. For over 11 years he had held the WWWF (World) Heavyweight Championship. In the 1960s and 198s, he reigned in the world of wrestling. Like the typical wrestlers from his era, his wrestling style is mat-oriented. Sammartino originally came from Italy and knew no English when he arrived in America.
His made him a target to bullies which prompted him into becoming physically strong. He began building himself, and from then started his journey towards becoming the one of the greatest wrestlers ever. He was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2013.
9. Bret Hart
Bret Hart is a retired professional wrestler. His nick name is “Hit Man” and he hails from a family of wrestlers. Hart is a second-generation wrestler himself. Regarded as one of the greatest pro wrestlers of all time, in the 90s, Hart is attributed for revolutionising the wrestling industry and bringing in more athletic spirit to the ring. He made his in-ring debut in 1978 for the World Championship Wrestling (WCW); then he went on to participate in the “Montreal Screwjob”. Later he served as the general manager of Raw.
In a career spanning for five decades between 1970s to the 2010s, Hart was a seven-time world champion, two-time WWF Intercontinental Champion, five-time WCW United States Champion and a three time world tag team champion.
8. Buddy Rogers
Herman Gustav Rohde Jr. was a professional wrestler who was popular by his ring name “Buddy Rogers”. During the start of the television era he gained the status of a very popular celebrity. He ended up inspiring wrestlers’ generations after him. Rogers worked at a shipyard and became a police officer. But one day he got a big break in wrestling and never looked back. His great physique and incredible personality made him an instant hit with the crowd. Notably he has won two world champions.
7. Hulk Hogan
Terry Gene Bollea is known by his ring name Hulk Hogan. He is a professional wrestler who made his name in the 1980s and 1990s in WWE and in WCW (World Championship Wrestling). Today he is the World Championship Wrestling in the world. Hogan is a six-time WCW World Heavyweight Champion, six-time WWE World Heavyweight Champion and a twelve-time world champion. He won the Royal Rumbles consecutively two times, becoming the first wrestler to do so.
6. The Undertaker
Wrestler Mark William Calaway is popular by the ring name the “Undertaker”. He debuted in the World Class Championship Wrestling (WCCW) in 1984. From 1989 to 1990, Calaway wrestled as “Mean” Mark Callous in World Championship Wrestling (WCW). The Undertaker is known for his 21 straight victories at WWE’s leading pay-per-view(PPV).
He is an eight-time world champion, four times WWE Champion, three times World Heavyweight Championship, and one time USWA Unified World Heavyweight Championship. Among fans he is considered as one of the best professional wrestlers of all time.
Steve Borden, Sr. is popular by his ring name Sting. He is known for being part of the Total Nonstop Action Wrestling (TNA). Sting has a 14-year career with the World Championship Wrestling (WCW). He has won the WCW World Heavyweight Championship six times, the NWA World Heavyweight Championship once and the WCW International World Heavyweight Championship on two occasions. Sting has in total participated in 25 championships and won the award of the “Most Popular Wrestler of the Year” four times.
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4. Randy Savage
Randy Mario Poffo is a retired professional wrestler who is best known by his ring name “Macho Man” Randy Savage. Considered as one of the greatest pro wrestlers, Savage has had a wrestling career spanning for over 32 years during which altogether he has won 20 championships.
He is two times winner of WWF Championship, four times winner of WCW World Heavyweight Championship, He won the WWF Intercontinental Champion once, the WWF King of the Ring once and the WCW World War 3 once. In 2015, Randy Savage was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame.
3. Shawn Michaels
Michael Shawn Hickenbottom is a retired professional wrestler. From 1989 to 2010, Michaels headlined major pay-per-view events. He wrestled for both WWE and American Wrestling Association (AWA). He is a former World Heavyweight Champion, four-time world champion, three-time WWF Champion, two-time Royal Rumble winner.
He was also WWE’s first Grand Slam Champion. He was trained by José Lothario and in his debut match he left a marking impression especially on Terry Taylor. Besides being a professional wrestler he was also a television presenter. From 1998 to 2000 he was involved in non-wrestling feats for the World Wrestling Federation (WWF). Shawn Michaels has retired and returned to the ring a number of times. He was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2011.
2. Stone Cold Steve Austin
Steve Austin known by his ring name “Stone Cold” is a former professional wrestler who enjoyed popularity in the late 1990s in WWE. He was the “poster boy” of the WWE business in the 1990s and 2000s. The period is also called Attitude Era. Austin is a two-time WWF Intercontinental Champion, six-time WWF Champion, and a four-time WWF Tag Team Champion.
He has also won the King of the Ring three times and the Royal Rumbles once. For a long time in his career, Austin has wrestled in pay-per-view events for the WWF. He was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2009.
1. Ric Flair
Richard Morgan “Ric” Fliehr is a former professional wrestler. His ring name is Ric Flair and is nicknamed “The Nature Boy.” He had a professional career spanning over 40 years in which he has been decorated several times. He has been a 16-time world champion.
He is the first ever wrestler to be inducted in the WWE Hall of Fame twice. Throughout his career, Flair majorly played as pay-per-view attraction. Today Flair is regarded as the greatest professional wrestler of all time and currently makes appearances under the WWE contract.