50 Of The Greatest Wrestling Superstars Of All Time

Published on 06/09/2020
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When it comes to the wrestling superstars, it’s not always so simple to rank 50 of the best wrestlers of all time. There’s always a lot of factors to consider when classifying such champions as there is a lot more to it than just skill and athletic ability. It would obviously be impossible to include every single wrestler out there, right? So we’ve decided to show you the most impressive prodigies from the industry. By this we mean, these are all the wrestlers that caused the biggest excitement and commotion both in and out of the ring. Take a look and see if your favorite made the cut.

Kane (1992-Present)

Initially, Kane was created to rival another legend known as The Undertaker. Kane is very well known for his famous moves called Tombstone Piledriver and Chokeslam. His storyline is very crazy which is what kept the character so essential. For those who clearly remember he once set fire to a WWE Hall of Famer. What’s even more amazing is that he is currently the Mayor of Knox County in Tennessee?

Kane (1992-Present)

Kane (1992-Present)

‘Ravishing’ Rick Rude (1982-1999)

Rude Awakening was “Ravishing” Rick’s distinctive move. This was so suitable because it fits exactly the way he navigated around the ring. We also can’t forget the time he smeared the face of Jake “The Snake” Robert’s wife to his tights! That was quality. Unfortunately, he died on April 20, 1999.

‘Ravishing’ Rick Rude (1982-1999)

‘Ravishing’ Rick Rude (1982-1999)

Jake “The Snake” Roberts (1974-2008)

Jake “The Snake” Roberts created the notorious DDT. He was also renowned for the soft tone he used, which was so different compared to the yelling of the other wrestlers. He may not have been the best or the fastest back in his day, but we couldn’t leave him off our list especially because of his pet snake and brutal behavior.

Jake “The Snake” Roberts (1974-2008)

Jake “The Snake” Roberts (1974-2008)

Brock Lesnar (2000-2007, 2012-Present)

Prior to Brock Lesnar joining the UFC octagon, he was actually the youngest champion in WWE. He was known for his determination and F5 finishing move. We should tread lightly when speaking about his matches against Big Show, Kurt Angle, and The Undertaker, as we consider them to be some of the best out there. Lesnar truly makes everything better!

Brock Lesnar (2000-2007, 2012-Present)

Brock Lesnar (2000-2007, 2012-Present)

Big Van Vader (1985-2018)

Big Van Vader was without a doubt a big, bizarre guy who unfortunately had his career suppressed by Vince McMahon and the way he handled his matches. Regardless if this was true or not he was definitely a terrific wrestler in WCW and in Japan. He dazzled fans with his “Vadersault” before he passed away in 2018. He was also chosen by the L.A. Rams during the 3rd round of the NFL Draft and made a guest appearance on Boy Meets World.

Big Van Vader (1985-2018)

Big Van Vader (1985-2018)

 

Rey Mysterio (1989-Present)

Its been three decades now and Rey Mysterio is still rocking the pro wrestling world. Prior to making his WWE debut, he was psyched to be the next big thing. His downtrodden story to get the WWE title at Wrestlemania is one for the history books. But he never disappoints and is always entertaining especially to watch on screen.

Rey Mysterio (1989-Present)

Rey Mysterio (1989-Present)

Million Dollar Man (1974-1999)

Ted Dibiase is possibly the only man who could have snatched the role of the Million Dollar Man. His laugh, his audacity, and his facial expressions just blurted out arrogance. But that’s why we love him! This specialized wrestler gave Hulk Hogan a run for his money… get it? He then went on to become a manager in WCW.

Million Dollar Man (1974-1999)

Million Dollar Man (1974-1999)

The Ultimate Warrior (1985-1998)

Okay, we know what you’re thinking, why is The Ultimate Warrior on this list. Before you make any more comments, take a look at how amazing his face is. Despite the fact that he was not the best wrestler and only had a few matches worth a rewatch, he was a huge hit for so many of the ‘90s kids. And we can’t forget that he did beat Hulk Hogan in Wrestlemania!

The Ultimate Warrior (1985-1998)

The Ultimate Warrior (1985-1998)

Chyna (1995-2011)

From time to time Chyn was actually called the “Ninth Wonder of the World”. She completely reestablished the female role within pro wrestling. She had a perfect physique and amazing strength. She joined the league as the bodyguard for Triple H and Shawn Michaels. Unfortunately, she died in 2016, her body was found lifeless in her California home. Rest in peace, Chyna!

Chyna (1995-2202)

Chyna (1995-2011)

Gorgeous George (1932-1962)

George “Gorgeous” Wagner had quite a flashy personality, to say the least. This allowed him to push pro wrestling into the domain of “sports entertainment” during the First Age of Wrestling. He was the one who initially attempted to make wrestling an authentic sport. His stingy moves and somewhat unethical ways turned him into a wrestler that fans really loved to hate!

Gorgeous George (1932-1962)

Gorgeous George (1932-1962)

The Sheik (1949-1995)

If the truth be told, over the years there have been many wrestlers that adopted this name. But it was actually this wealthy Syrian wrestler that set the stage for wrestling as we know it. He was notorious for the way he held his contenders in submission even after the referee counted down. He often used the ropes to get leverage, which is a strategy used by many wrestlers today.

The Sheik (1949-1995)

The Sheik (1949-1995)

Rob Van Dam (1990-Present)

With his excellent “Five Star Frog Splash” finishing move, it is difficult not to enjoy the entertainment of Rob Van Dam. He is a pleasure to watch thanks to his strong and impressive high martial arts skills and acrobatic moves. In previous years he had some matters that involved law enforcement and substance abuse, this stopped him from reaching his full potential.  Even though he had a chance to headline a WWE match.

Rob Van Dam (1990-Present)

Rob Van Dam (1990-Present)

Samoa Joe (1990-Present)

Samoa Joe has astoundingly brought home every single title imaginable, with the exception of the WWE Championship. Do not let his appearance make you believe otherwise because actually, he is one of the greatest strikers since Brock Lesnar! Currently, he is on the top of the NXT ranks, and he has a good shot of getting the WWE belt…so watch out!

Samoa Joe (1990-Present)

Samoa Joe (1990-Present)

Kevin Nash (1984-Present)

Kevin “Diesel” Nash aka Razor Ramon, which is what he was called in the WWE. He was first shown as a challenge to Scarface, but at the moment he is more well-known for moving to WCW and teaming up with Scott Hall to form NOW. Kevin Nash’s power within pro wrestling goes far beyond his time in the ring. Fun fact, but he also was part of the reason of how talent contracts were created.

Kevin Nash (1984-Present)

Kevin Nash (1984-Present)

Chris Jericho (1990-Present)

For all the wrestling fans out there, you all know how remarkable the finishing move, ‘The Walls of Jericho’ really is. It has been said to be one of the most iconic wrestling techniques in history. Toss him a microphone and Chris Jericho can entertain you just as well as he does inside the ring.  He eventually left ECW and WCW to join WWE. Naturally, he also made an excellent appearance there: Y2J!

Chris Jericho (1990-Present)

Chris Jericho (1990-Present)

Superstar Billy Graham (1969-Present)

Billy Graham is one of the legends who laid the foundation for jacked wrestling stars. Hulk Hogan and Triple H often acknowledge him as their true inspiration! Mr. “Superstar” is raised for being one of the first pro wrestlers to master interviews as well. Furthermore, his bodybuilding background set the bar high for pro wrestlers. However, he does sometimes make non-wrestling appearances in WWE.

Superstar Billy Graham (1969-Present)

Superstar Billy Graham (1969-Present)

Bill Goldberg (1996-2004, 2015-2017)

This explosive wrestler was actually a former NFL lineman. Bill Goldberg’s rough energy and appearance always got the crowd on their feet. His Jackhammer and Spear finishing moves were some very severe threats. Frequently some people were not the biggest fans of some of his wrestling, but he truly made up for it with his backstage character and massive personality.

Bill Goldberg (1996-2004, 2015-2017)

Bill Goldberg (1996-2004, 2015-2017)

The Great Khali (2000 – present)

Dalip Singh Rana or better known by his ring name – The Great Khali is an Indian native and currently a huge wrestling superstar. His wrestling career began in 2000 for All Pro Wrestling. It wasn’t until 2006 that he signed his contract with WWE. This is probably where most people know him from. Prior to his wrestling career, he was a police officer, powerlifter, and also won the Mr. Inida title in 1995.

Screenshot 7

The Great Khali (2000 – present)

Eva Marie (2013 – present)

Eva Marie is the ring name that the gorgeous red-head wrestler adopted as soon as she signed her WWE contract. So many of her fans were devasted after she decided to hang up her boots as she said her goodbyes to WWE. This came as a huge surprise to so many as it seemed like she had everything going for her.

Screenshot 8

Eva Marie (2013 – present)

Randy Orton (2001-Present)

Randy Orton was once the youngest World Heavyweight champion after beating Chris Benoit during the 2004 SummerSlam. He also is known as the “Legend Killer.” He’s managed to bring down several of the most iconic wrestlers! Be sure to watch some of his videos of his RKO finishing move on YouTube!

Randy Orton (2001-Present)

Randy Orton (2001-Present)

Bruiser Brody (1973-1988)

Bruiser Brody was wild, hairy, and a big mess. But this did not stop fans from loving him anyway. It was pretty obvious that he did not care about any of the wrestling techniques. He really didn’t care! This man would just rush into the ring, kick, punch, and throw some moves around until he won. Many people thought there was definitely something wrong with him…He supposedly stabbed Jose Gonzalez to death. Yikes.

Bruiser Brody (1973-1988)

Bruiser Brody (1973-1988)

Trish Stratus (2000-2010)

Trish stratus was the youngest person to join the WWE Hall of Fame. Charlotte Flair, Becky Lynch, and Carmella would not have been able to be inducted if it were not for Stratus and her groundbreaking methods. Countless people believed she was brought only because of her good looks. Luckily for her, she proved them all wrong.

Trish Stratus (2000-2010)

Trish Stratus (2000-2010)

CM Punk (1994-2014)

A lot of people recognition was given to CM Punk for making wrestling so awesome. His spontaneous Pipe Bomb impromptu speech with a mic will most likely go down in the history books as one of the most classical important moments in WWE. He had a dreadful attitude, but somehow that made fans love him even more. Keep your eyes open for his big return.

CM Punk (1994-2014)

CM Punk (1994-2014)

Bob Backlund (1973-2007)

Bob Backlund was acknowledged for carrying WWE on his back until the appearance of Hulk Hogan. He was an excellent wrestler and a delivery expert who held onto the WWE Championship title for four years. He also stuck around long enough to take the WWE Championship title back after crushing Bret Hart.

Bob Backlund (1973-2007)

Bob Backlund (1973-2007)

Mick Foley (1983-2012)

Who doesn’t like Mick Foley?. Fun fact for those who don’t know, he has 3 different personas: Mankind, Cactus Jack, and Dude Love. Every one of them was absolutely loved by the crowd! His high tolerance for pain captivated his fans even more, and his carefree attitude about his body was even more shocking He once fell 16 feet from the top of the steel cage through a table. Wow!

Mick Foley (1983-2012)

Mick Foley (1983-2012)

‘Mr. Perfect’ Curt Hennig (1980-2003)

Curt Hennig was nicknamed “Mr. Perfect,” which the perfect way to describe him. His sharp and strong wrestling technique was always difficult to find an error in his style. Although his wrestling career was full of injuries, he had a brave attitude that was a huge success among viewers. Unforrutnely, he was unable to reach his full potential because he died at the young age of 44.

‘Mr. Perfect’ Curt Hennig (1980-2003)

‘Mr. Perfect’ Curt Hennig (1980-2003)

Eddie Guerrero (1987-2005)

Eddie Guerrero started his career as a much smaller wrestler but as time passed on he got bigger and gained more attention. A few of his career highlights include his romance with Chyna and his dispute with his old friend, Rey Mysterio. Nevertheless it was difficult to not like him so much. Unfotunrtalru he passed away due to acute heart failure when he was just 38.

Eddie Guerrero (1987-2005)

Eddie Guerrero (1987-2005)

Edge (1992-2011)

Edge was a genuine entertainer. He had some conflict with Undertaker, Kurt Angle, Foley, and Cena. Which obviously then led to some of the best matches in the world of pro wrestling. He began his career as the odd half of a tag team duo with Christian prior to going solo. It was from this point that he became a real superstar.  In 2011, he was forced to retire earlier than expected because of neck problems.

Edge (1992-2011)

Edge (1992-2011)

Daniel Bryan (1999-2016, 2018-Present)

Daniel Bryan has a great ability to gain world-famous status. There are people who say that his Ring of Honor performance should allow him the opportunity to make a list like ours. For a short period of time, he went into retirement, but it seems as though the is back fo good! We are sure he will do great things.

Daniel Bryan (1999-2016, 2018-Present)

Daniel Bryan (1999-2016, 2018-Present)

‘The American Dream’ Dusty Rhodes (1967-2010)

Sensual may not exactly be the word you would use to describe Dusty “The American Dream” Rhodes. He was most famous for his taglines that often made the “everyday man” feel extremely uncomfortable. Along with other things, he definitely made fans captivated. His most famous competition is with rival Ric Flair.

‘The American Dream’ Dusty Rhodes (1967-2010)

‘The American Dream’ Dusty Rhodes (1967-2010)

Lou Thesz (1932-1990)

No questions asked Lous Thesz has an unmatched endurance that no other wrestler has within pro wrestling. He has been acknowledged for the creation of moves such as the STF, the Thesz Press, and the German Suplex. Steve “Stone Cold” Austin even mimicked the Thesz Press. Regardless, this older legend was the NWA Heavyweight Champion on 3 occasions that totaled 3,700 days! Modern-day wrestling won’t be the same without him, that’s for sure!

Lou Thesz (1932-1990)

Lou Thesz (1932-1990)

Terry Funk (1965-Present)

Terry Funk joins the likes of people like Lou Thesz. This wrestler now and again still enters the ring even though he is 75 years old. He just won’t quit! nearly every wrestler out there has come face to face with Funk at some point in the past. He is also responsible for assisting the ECW to get off the ground after it branched out from NWA during 1994.

Terry Funk (1965-Present)

Terry Funk (1965-Present)

Ricky ‘The Dragon’ Steamboat (1976-2005)

If you had to ask Ric Flair about the best wrestler he ever fought within the ring, he probably tells you that it was Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat. If the truth is told, Steamboat’s 3 long rounds in the ring with him are the best wrestling matches the world has ever witnessed. Although he didn’t have the best stage presence and charm, it was certainly worth seeing his high-flying moves.

Ricky ‘The Dragon’ Steamboat (1976-2005)

Ricky ‘The Dragon’ Steamboat (1976-2005)

Harley Race (1960-1991)

Harley Race, like Funk and Thesz, is frequently recognized for the way modern wrestling has evolved. His enthusiasm and courage helped place pro wrestling on the map when most people thought it was nothing more than just foolish entertainment. As a child, he was diagnosed with polio and was told that he would never walk again. But he proved so many people wrong! Following his retirement, he became Vader and Lex Luger’s manager in WCW.

Harley Race (1960-1991)

Harley Race (1960-1991)

Antonio Inoki (1960-2005)

Antonio Inoki’s finishing move known as the Back Brain Kick. No wrestler should ever turn their back on him! Between the ‘70s to the ‘90s, he challenged some of the best wrestlers such as Hulk Hogan, Andre the Giant, and Bruno Sammartino. He also got to challenge some champions from other styles like WBA icon Muhammad Ali. Besides this, Inoki helped develop New Japan Pro Wrestling or NJPW.

Antonio Inoki (1960-2005)

Antonio Inoki (1960-2005)

Buddy Rogers (1939-1969, 1978-1992)

Ric Flair was inspired by the original arrogant, wealthy,  and insulting wrestler by the name of Buddy Rogers. if the truth is told, the younger man took his “Nature Boy” persona and his figure-four leg lock. To date, there have only ever been three wrestlers who won both the WWE and NWA World Heavyweight Championship, and he is one of them! His repulsive move includes the well-known body slam and piledriver.

Buddy Rogers (1939-1969, 1978-1992)

Buddy Rogers (1939-1969, 1978-1992)

‘Rowdy’ Roddy Piper (1969-2011)

Roddy “Rowdy” Piper was a real bad boy that everybody loved to hate. The wrestling legend enjoyed every single minute of it! Along with Hulk Hogan, he headlines the first-ever Wrestlemania in the ‘80s. His manner and charm have encouraged a lot of wrestlers. Piper loved his job, and the world of wrestling would certainly be different if he had not been around. Unfortunately, he passed away in his sleep during the summer of 2015.

‘Rowdy’ Roddy Piper (1969-2011)

‘Rowdy’ Roddy Piper (1969-2011)

Triple H (1992-Present)

Hunter Hearst Helmsley aka Triple H, gave wrestling fans many impressive and thrilling WWE moments. He grabbed any opportunity that was presented to him. After Steve “Stone Cold” Austin and Shawn Michaels got injured, he assumed full responsibility when it came to competing against The Rock. It was because of this that they took over during the Attitude Era. His backstage and wrestling ability pushed him to become top of the pops in wrestling.

Triple H (1992-Present)

Triple H (1992-Present)

Sting (1985-2016)

I was only later in his career when Sting made the big move to WWE. Prior to that, he was a WCW pillar even after his colleagues already switched over. He competed against Cactus Jack, Jake Roberts, Rick Rude, Flair, and Vader to mold a path of his own. He thrived on his Crow rip-off alter ego and became a legend in his own right.

Sting (1985-2016)

Sting (1985-2016)

Andre the Giant (1966-1993)

Even if you’re not a wrestling fan, you would have defiantly heard about Andre the Giant. Frequently he has been called “The Eighth Wonder of the World,” he was unbeaten for 15 years! It was not until Wrestlemania III that he met his match when he fought against Hulk Hogan, who bodyslammed and leg dropped him into submission. But nevertheless, he played Fezzick in The Princess Bride. When he passed away in 1993, he was nothing short of tragic.

Andre the Giant (1966-1993)

Andre the Giant (1966-1993)

John Cena (1999-Present)

No matter your thoughts, there’s no question about it John Cena is one talented and diligent wrestler. For the previous decade, he has been the face of WWE. Besides being skilled in the ring, he is also very accomplished with the mic. It’s no surprise that 10 years later he still on top after giving people “Attitude Adjustment.”

John Cena (1999-Present)

John Cena (1999-Present)

‘Macho Man’ Randy Savage (1973-2005)

Randy “Macho Man” Savage had a hue personality because he needed to make up for his pretty small 5’10” stature. He had wiry hair that he always tucked behind his sunglasses and bandana. Definitely an iconic look, right? He could give any wrestler a run for their money in spite of his size. Unfortunately, his career was somewhat halted when he joined WCW. Nevertheless, we are certain that people will never forget the way he was “snapping into a slim jim.”

‘Macho Man’ Randy Savage (1973-2005)

‘Macho Man’ Randy Savage (1973-2005)

Bret ‘Hitman’ Hart (1978-2000)

Weve are pretty sure that Bret “The Hitman” Hart would have been a lot more successful if he did not peak during one of the most boring times in the world of pro wrestling. His impressive win against Ric Flair during the 1992 WWE Championship was a momentous moment in the industry. He was then responsible for carrying the torch that Hulk Hogan left behind after that. Unfprtiuantey, during 1999 he was pushed to retire earlier than expected when he suffered a concussion.

Bret ‘Hitman’ Hart (1978-2000)

Bret ‘Hitman’ Hart (1978-2000)

Bruno Sammartino (1959-1987)

With a powerful name like Bruno and a hairy chest, pro wrestling is the place to be. This legend had the trademark finishing move called the Bear Hug! Dubbed the first big star of WWE, he was the longest-reigning champ with a record of nearly 15 years. He was also the forerunner of John Cena and Hulk Hogan!

Bruno Sammartino (1959-1987)

Bruno Sammartino (1959-1987)

The Rock (1996-2004, 2011-2013)

We believe this extraordinary champion has no limits! He was really born to do anything! He always managed to entertain crowds with a mic and give us terrific showdowns against some of the best wrestlers we have ever seen. He had an underdog story but dazzled us all with the way he shifted from a broke ex-football player to a brilliant movie star! People consider that he probably wasn’t the best in the wrestling business, but his epic climactic buildups and eyebrow raises certainly made for tremendous entertainment.

The Rock (1996-2004, 2011-2013)

The Rock (1996-2004, 2011-2013)

‘The Heartbreak Kid’ Shawn Michaels (1984-2010)

Shawn Michaels was famous for taking the crowd “inside the ring” with him. Fans were able to experience everything that he did, whether it was a good encounter or one that was more painful. He definitely knew how to win the crowd over! Many presumed that his career was over because he encountered back injuries and was dealing with substance abuse, but the Heartbreak Kid came back with a vengeance and showed us some more show-stopping Wrestlemania matches!

‘The Heartbreak Kid’ Shawn Michaels (1984-2010)

‘The Heartbreak Kid’ Shawn Michaels (1984-2010)

The Undertaker (1984-Present)

So here’s something that you may not know, Undertaker was initially intended to be another villain that champion wrestlers were meant to hate and defeat all the time. But it actually turned out that he was created as a zombie character as a backbone for more than 4 decades! His competitions against Shawn Michaels, Mankind, and Triple H were simply incredible. Despite having a few physical limitations, he is still able to steal the spotlight at Wrestlemania.

The Undertaker (1984-Present)

The Undertaker (1984-Present)

‘Stone Cold’ Steve Austin (1989-2003)

Steve “Stone Cold” Austin is definitely a wrestling fact that no one can forget. He used to be one of the most underrated wrestlers when he was at WCW and even got fired. You definitely don’t want to mess with an angry Stone Cold. His Austin 3:16 promo did amazing ob for WWE as this bald wrestler went on to become the greatest star of the biggest moments in pro wrestling. He is acknowledged for launching the WWE into the spotlight!

‘Stone Cold’ Steve Austin (1989-2003)

‘Stone Cold’ Steve Austin (1989-2003)

Hulk Hogan (1977-2013)

There’s no denying that Hulk Hogan is the try Champion of Champions. He was the epitome of everything grand and brought down all the evil in the world of wrestling, and possibly thought of as the most famous wrestler in the world. Although he has not competed in 15 years, no one can ever forget the “Hulkster.” He will always be a massive legend, not only in the wrestling world.

Hulk Hogan (1977-2013)

Hulk Hogan (1977-2013)

Ric Flair (1972-2012)

Ric Flair has possibly won every single title there is to be won. For more than 40 years he has been a big part of the wrestling world. He gave audiences some of the best matches in wrestling history and even traveled to different regions to do so. Ric Flair is still so popular in this day and age. No one deserves the G.O.A.T. title more than him!

Ric Flair (1972-2012)

Ric Flair (1972-2012)

John “Bradshaw” Layfield

John “Bradshaw” Layfield is also known as JBL. He became popular as half of the Acolytes Protection Agency and was then a huge fan favorite as a result of his outrage and everyman persona. Apart from wrestling, JBL wrote a book on finance and reformed himself into a Wall Street professional. In actuality, he started looking down on the less wealthy, which then made him quite a dispised on-screen character.

John 'Bradshaw' Layfield

John ‘Bradshaw’ Layfield

Vince McMahon

Vince McMahon’s on-screen character is probably best known for his popular tagline, “You’re Fired!”.  But that’s not all, his WWE career was quite remarkable, especially his conclusions. They included the Pedigree that was actually taken from Triple H, People’s Elbow (adopted from The Rock), the running jumping guillotine leg drop (from Hulk Hogan), and the McStunner (inherited from Stone Cold Steve Austin).

Vince McMahon

Vince McMahon

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