Over the years, WWE has had an insane amount of great talent on their roster. Some they have used incredibly well and have become staples in the wrestling industry and some, not so much. But this list encompasses my personal favorite WWE Superstars of all-time, and I am in no way claiming that the men on this list are the greatest WWE Superstars of all-time. These are guys that have stuck with me throughout my years of watching professional wrestling as the ones that I have found the most entertaining and enthralling (again, personal opinion). That being said, I feel like I have a great mix of past, present, and future WWE stars on this list that I absolutely adore, so let’s count ’em down!
10. Sami Zayn
So honestly, I never hopped on the Daniel Bryan bandwagon. Initially I was, but it took way too long for him to get a fair title opportunity, so I kinda backed off (and as soon as I do what does he do at Wrestlemania 30?) Regardless of what Daniel Bryan did, he brought the underdog character back from the dead and used it well. Sami Zayn, however, does it a little bit better I feel. He has the look of an underdog and the will to win inside him that I have seen in so many superstars before him, Bryan included. Sami Zayn has a bright future in this industry due to the fact that the kid has charisma and he has that ability for you to like him no matter who you are. He’s that guy who you just can’t be mad at and you can’t help but love. That, coupled with his in-ring ability and high-flying stunts is what makes me love him so much. I have no doubt in my mind that he will be a future strong champion in the WWE despite how they have been booking him since his call up from NXT. I’m hoping Sami Zayn can save his own career, as he is extremely exciting to watch.
9. Randy Orton
Ok, so maybe I’m playing favorites here due to the fact that Randy Orton and I come from the same hometown, but the guy has so much in-ring ability, charisma, and stamina it’s crazy. The evil ‘Viper’ and ‘Legend Killer’ characters that he has played over the years have made him arguably one of the greatest heels in history. Just watching him methodically decimate his opponents as if he is literally trying to destroy them physically and psychologically at the same time is incredible. Granted, just like Zayn, he’s been booked pretty poorly over the last couple of years to where a lot of people have lost faith in him. And, in fairness, he is beginning to reach near the end of his career. But in his prime, he showed that he was more than deserving to be in the business, despite many critics saying that he only earned his spot because of his father. His accolades as a grand-slam champion, 13-time world champion, multiple tag teams and stables, former money in the bank winner, and 2-time royal rumble winner speaks for themselves. Wherever he was in his prime, i was thoroughly entertained (even though I didn’t always like him, that’s the point of a great heel.)
8. Rob Van Dam
|Rob Van Dam|
Nobody has taken to the ring and has had quite the same attitude as Rob! Van! Dam!. RVD had a unique style in the ring, using his not-quite-cruiserweight status as an advantage and an opportunity to do awesome and compelling moves in the ring. Not to mention his ability to sell any big move like a true champ. I still remember when Orton planted him with that sick RKO that made RVD land on the top of his head, and that long string of drool that spilled out of RVD’s mouth was just icing on the cake. That is one of the images of wrestling that I can never get out of my mind. RVD has truly been everywhere and done everything (except maybe Japan) in the wrestling industry. Whether it was dominating the hardcore scene in ECW, or showing WWE how to reach that same level of hardcore, or just giving the audience a great show, RVD will always hold a special place in my heart for bringing that ‘cool dude’ that can fight like hell character to any organization he went to.
7. Stone Cold Steve Austin
|“Stone Cold” Steve Austin|
An undisputed staple of the attitude era, Stone Cold Steve Austin is undoubtedly the reason why so many people tuned in to watch Raw and Smackdown during that time, just to see what the texas rattlesnake was going to do on the show that week. Austin was so entertaining to watch, whether he was in the ring or cutting promos, he never disappointing to encapsulate what professional wrestling (or sports entertainment) was all about. He gave the fans exactly what they wanted every time, and it showed when he received arguable the biggest pop in WWE history when he came out to save WWE from the WCW invasion as ‘the old Stone Cold’. Watching this man work was unlike any other superstar ive ever seen, and was truly a treat to watch time and time again. Not to mention his many classic matches with the likes of Triple H, Bret Hart, and of course The Rock. He never failed to deliever on a big stage and when you take into consideration his many championship wins, King of the Ring win, and 3 Royal Rumble wins, it is easy to see why so many were on the Stone Cold bandwagon, and still are to this very day. He is definitely one of the most, if not the most, memorable superstar in the history of the WWE.
6. Rey Mysterio
Rey Mysterio was always a joy to watch when I was a kid. Watching a man that was smaller than everyone else on the roster get the win by doing things I could never even dream of doing was always a treat for me. His moves were always spectacular and the things that he could do in the ring always seemed to entrance me and leave me wanting more after the match was over. It’s a damn shame that his only two world title reigns were really junk, as he could have done the same kind of underdog thing that made Daniel Bryan so famous and ran with it. Regardless, wherever he went Rey Mysterio entertained everyone who would watch him, and he continues to do so to this day.
5. Triple H
Behold the king. The king of kings. There is only one. BUM BUM! BUM BUM! on your knees son! BOW DOWN TO THE- BOW DOWN TO THE KING! There are only two men in the history of professional wrestling who have made the king gimmick after winning the King of Ring work as well as it should. One of them, Stone Cold Steve Austin, who was mentioned previously on this list. And the other, none other than the King of Kings himself, Triple H. This man was the most dastardly heel in the business, but for years I fell in love with him because of his antics as a part of D-Generation X. Whatever HHH was doing, he was incredibly entertaining whether he was making you love him due to his childish antics, or hate him as an entitled and selfish prick. He did any job he was given well and while he didn’t always have the best gimmicks, he gave his all to them and did his best to bring them to life. All of this coupled with what he’s doing now for NXT and hopefully soon for the WWE makes him a vital part of the company and it definitely wouldn’t be the same without him.
4. Mick Foley
Have you ever seen the match between Triple H and Cactus Jack at Royal Rumbe 2000 for the WWE Championship? If not, go do it right now. This is the match that made me fall in love with Mick Foley, Triple H, and professional wrestling as a whole. Despite not having the physique of a traditional professional wrestler (especially by Vince McMahon’s standards), Mick Foley did anything he could to make himself stand out, and that included many chair shots to the face, thumbtacks stuck in his body, being thrown off a hell in a cell, and falling through a cell TWICE! This man is literally willing to put is body, soul, heart, and life on the line every time he steps between the ropes for the sake of entertainment. For god’s sake the man had half of his ear ripped off in the middle of the match by performing a hangman when the ring ropes were too tight. If there was ever a man to be respected for loving his craft so much, it should be Mick Foley. He just wants to create feel-good and amazing moments for the fans to enjoy and it was only fitting that his WWE Championship win helped turn the Monday Night Wars in the favor of the WWE.
This guy truly had it all. The looks, the charisma, the heart, the skills, everything. When I think of Edge, I think of one of the greatest performers in the history of the business, simply because he had ‘It.’ Nobody in the wrestling business can tell you what ‘It’ is, but Edge had ‘It’ in spades. He was a joy to watch in the ring, and an absolute joy to listen to. You would always wonder what incredible scheme he was going to cook up next, thus coining his persona as the ultimate opportunist. He had a way of just making you hate him, and that was his job done. All he needed to do was keep up what a villain would do, and he definitely did it. The Rated-R Superstar never disappointed whether on the mic or in the ring, and he truly was a treasure of his era. It is truly a damn shame that he had to retire as young as he did, but I’m glad that he was able to retire on the top of the mountain and with his legs still intact.
2. Jeff Hardy
The charismatic enigma shares many of the same traits as Mick Foley, as he will also but his body on the line for the sake of entertainment. Whether it is throwing himself off of ladders, scaffoldings, production trucks, or steel cages, Jeff Hardy never seems to disappoint or fail to outdo himself time after time. Jeff has always been the one to do whatever it takes to entertain the crowd, and he has done an extremely successful job and making the crowd watch him in awe as he goes for yet another death-defying stunt. He cares about what the fans think about him so much, that he will put is body on the line in every match he competes in. Jeff enthralled me through my youth and into my adult life, wondering how the hell he can still do what he does in such a graceful way. Jeff is the perfect risktaker and loves putting on a show for his fans, that is what makes him so special and so beloved by myself and many others.
Before I get into my #1 pick, I’d like to name some honorable mentions. These are guys that I also adore, but havent had quite an impact on my life as the others. Not to say that these guys aren’t great, but just not my top picks as people who I’ve attached myself to. I still absolutely adore every wrestler mentioned here, so I thought I’d bring them up:
1. Shawn Michaels
What can I say about Shawn Michaels that hasn’t already been said? Michaels is an extremely gifted athelete, a dedicated performer, and someone who was born to do what he does in the ring. Sure, his attitude wasn’t the best in the beginning, but like a true man he bucked up and changed for the better. Michaels was involved in so many marquee matches that I can barely keep track of them all. Opponents like Bret Hart, the Undertaker, Ric Flair, and probably the funniest – Hulk Hogan. Matches that you will remember for the rest of your life are some of Michaels’ best works. This man was born to do this and I am damn honored that I was around to watch him just after the prime of his career, and im extremely happy that we have the technology to watch all of his best matches again and again.
So those are my picks! Anyone you love that I didn’t mention? Anyone you hate that I did? Let me know in the comments below!