Friday, March 26, 2010

My Top 10 Wrestlers (updated, 2010)
A week into this blog, I posted a list of my 10 favorite wrestlers of all time. That was around six years ago.

Then I started taking myself seriously.

Well, no one reads this anymore, so what the hell? Here is an updated list.

1. Ric Flair: I wish he'd retire and go back to WWE and do work for Linda McMahon's campaign or something. It beats seeing him in TNA. I know Ric needs the money now, but I can't help but think that he will eventually regret going to TNA. Still, the best promo ever, and one of the best workers, if not the best. I'm not sure fans now really get how great he was. I didn't until I started watching the DVDs and the old matches. I still probably don't get it like those who grew up in the Mid-Atlantic days do.

2. The Rock: Rock was the last wrestler I remember really cheering for, even when he was a heel in 1998. Duane Johnson is a successful actor now. Some seem to resent that he doesn't wrestle anymore. Having seen the mortality rate of wrestlers jump in the last 15 years, I'm glad he's out of the business. Hollywood is screwed up in its own ways, but it seems like a safe haven compared to the wrestling industry.

3. Midnight Express (Bobby Eaton/Stan Lane): Put them with Jim Cornette, and you have a combination that is the best of what wrestling can be. If you haven't seen the Midnights vs. Southern Boys from 1990... well, as bad as the documentary is, get Rise and Fall of WCW. I know Dennis Condrey is just as associated with the Midnights, but I prefer the Stan Lane version.

4. Ted Dibiase: Somewhat lost in the Million Dollar Man character is that Dibiase was a superstar before even coming to the WWF in 1987. If you see some of his matches from Mid-South, you see a guy who was a bump machine, with a charisma that made him work as a heel or a face. He enters the WWE Hall of Fame this weekend. As silly as I think that HOF is at times, I'm glad he's getting recognition. I just fear WWE will act like he didn't have a career before it branded him.

5. Randy Savage: Blackballed from WWE for something that has to be really, really bad (think of how many people Vince has brought back), Macho Man is probably one of the five biggest names of the modern era. He never had to re-invent himself, because his character was so unique, and his personality was so strong. Few can claim such things.

6. Curt Hennig: The death of Curt Hennig is second only to Owen Hart's for me in terms of sadness (Eddy's is close; Chris Benoit's is a different thing altogether) Hennig was one of the few heels I really was a fan of when I was 11. I just thought he was so cool.

7. Sting: The biggest modern star never to work in WWF. Here's the interesting thing about Sting. He was never much of a promo in WCW. He even had a character that didn't talk for more than a year. But then he goes to TNA, and starts cutting the best promos of his career. At one point last year, I'd put him up there among the top five interviews in the business. He's one of the few guys who I think has actually improved his legacy in TNA.

8. Kurt Angle: Should have been 100 times bigger than he was in WWF. An Olympic gold medal winner who could work and talk, he was saddled with a comedic character for his first two years in the big time. I think certain people saw him as a threat. They should have, because he was better than them and is probably one of the top 20 ever.

9. Hulk Hogan: Huge fan of his until 1999, when I realized that his presence was helping to kill WCW. I'm glad he got a farewell run in 2002. Sadly, that was eight years ago. Hogan is in TNA, and I am pretty sure he'll regret that move soon enough. Still, he's perhaps the biggest wrestling star America has ever had. Steve Austin was more popular and may have drawn more, but his run was shorter. Rock is another contender, but his run also was relatively short. Hogan's been a star for almost 30 years.

10. Vader: An amazing worker for a big man, Vader was a monster in WCW. He went over Sting in 1992, and was a star from then on here. More of a personal favorite for me, because his run in WCW was so different than most heel pushes I'd seen to that point.



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