lists wrestling

Paul's Top 10 Favorite Wrestlers of All-time

9:00:00 AMPaul

As much as we might not like to admit it, but professional wrestling was a huge part of Ian, and my self's childhood. I think what makes it more appealing, is that is was harshly forbidden in our house. The reason was still unknown as quoted "it's stupid" by both of our parents with no other reason for the wrestling ban. The spectacle began in 1987, where my earliest memories included Hulk Hogan, Ultimate Warrior, and the garish 90's personas they gave wrestlers back then.

Here is a list of my Top 10 wrestlers of all time:

10. Iron Sheik - This guy was more an 80's guy and a little before the time I watched wrestling often. I like this guy more for the fact that he is medically insane after his semi-retirement after wrestling. There exists several youtube videos that have him ranting and raving about Hulk Hogan, Ultimate Warrior, and B. Brian Blair (who all of the aforementioned have been challenged to real life fights by the Shiek himself) What makes it funny is that his line between reality and the fantastical world of wrestling has been shattered due to drug and alcohol abuse. He now wanders around in public still bragging about beating Bob Backlund back in 1980, in a intoxicated stupor. 

My Favorite Memory of the Iron Sheik: (it was so hard to pick just ONE)

9.  Abdullah the Butcher -  I accidentally saw an old match of his when I was younger, and it almost turned me off wrestling all together. This was the first wrestler that actually scared me when I was younger. He had this distant crazy look in his eyes, and straight up stabbed people with a fork during his matches. When the match was over he looked like he put his whole head in cherry pie filling, leaving the mat looking like a crime scene. Once I became a "smark" in the late 90's I realized that this guy was the guy who started doing this back in the 60's horrifying crowds all over the US. He jumped from promotion to promotion to not wear out the novelty of his character, as he stabbed his way into fame.  In the 90's he wrestled deathmatches in Japan, and for a man in his mid 50's that's hardcore. 

My favorite Abdullah the Butcher moment:

 8. Sabu - During my cynical "I know everything about wrestling" days, this guy both amazed me, and made me buy into his character. This man came to the ring without ever saying a word, with a mad look in his hair covered eye, and did stuff in the ring I never even imagined. He had zero, and in the most literal sense, zero regard for his safety. I've been lucky enough to see him wrestle a handful of times, and the mystique of his character is hard to ignore. He made you feel like a kid again when the lights would go out and he would just appear from no where, you just knew shit was about to go down. I admire his dedication to the sport, and never compromising his character for any company. Sabu is like no other wrestler I can think of, and was an easy choice for this list. 

My Favorite Sabu moment:

 7. Mr. Perfect - I loved this guy's gimmick. How can you compete with someone who is perfect. To this day I still do the "Mr. Perfect gum slap" which is the skillful slap of a wad of gum as its spit from your mouth. (no video demo available?!) He was an incredible wrestler, and I always wanted to fight the top tier guys but he never really did. His finisher "The Perfect Plex" was a thing of beauty. His arrogance, and his character was hilarious. His moves, and finisher was a work of art. His theme music still makes me smile. He was ... perfect.

My Favorite Mr. Perfect moment: (so easy to pick this one)

6. Hayabusa - A Japanese wrestling legend, who looks like straight from the pages of a manga. This guy is another one who did moves in the ring I have never seen in my life. Not only was he insanely innovative, but he wrestled in the dangerous FMW where he fought in landmine matches, exploding ring matches, barbed wire matches, scaffold matches, you name it he did it. I knew him from a few bootleg deathmatch tapes I bought at an ECW show, but I fell i love when I saw RVD & Sabu take on Hayabusa & Jinsei Shinzaki at Heatwave '98. It was the first 5 star match I think I have ever seen. To this day I can watch it and be amazed just as I was on the first day. 
My Favorite Hayabusa moment: 
 5. The Undertaker - He was my mainstay favorite for a decade plus. Yes, he jumped the shark in the 2000's with his lame gimmicks, but back in the 90's there was no one better. His entrance was straight out of a rock concert, his moves and mannerisms were all so into his character. They always had the most innovative matches for him the casket match, buried alive, inferno matches, and when he actually fought himself. I always thought he had the most creatively used characters in all of wrestling, from the unbeatable monster in 89 to the satanist taker in the early 00's (we will forget about the biker).  I almost lost my shit in 91 when he beat Hogan for the title when a not a clear "bad guy" beat the top good guy in the company for the championship.

My Favorite Undertaker memory:

4. Rob Van Dam - In my opinion, he is the most well rounded wrestler of all time. He does aerial, hardcore, technical, and innovative wrestling like no one else. The only thing that stopped him from being the best was himself, and his love of the weed. I remember when my Ian turned 16 he was nice enough to sign and message it for him. I've seen him live, and even for a house show in front of 100 people he would still dive head first onto concrete and put 100% into it no matter what.  The VanDaminator is one of the most impractical finishing moves you would think but he made it work every time. I also remember how much of a big deal when he debuted the VanTerminator on a PPV. He's always blown me away with his matches, and how he carries himself with no mic skills, charisma, and gimmick. 
My Favorite Rob Van Dam memory:

 3. Ultimate Warrior - This man was my first favorite wrestler, and one of my first early memories watching WWF with Ian. My most predominant memory was his fight with Papa Shango (a voodoo wrestler). Papa Shango stole his elbow pad and started hitting him with some wild voodoo magic. They had warrior vomit, bleed black stuff, and it scared the shit out of me thinking wrestling was indeed real. He was so over the top he seemed like a cartoon character, which I think what appealed to me.  His entrance to the ring was probably about 80% of his match, where he would sprint to the ring and thrash the ropes like he was seizing. I also seem to remember one of the first "good guys" to fight other "good guys" for championships. He was knocked down from a #2 spot due to his after wrestling taking it a bit too seriously. He changed his name to "Warrior"  in 2003, and said "queerin' don't make the world go round" during a lecture at a college. Saying stupid shit is funny, but not when you take yourself so seriously.
My favorite Ultimate Warrior memory:

2. "The Million Dollar Man" Ted DiBiase - I don't know what I liked the best about Ted. His theme music, his finisher, how he paid people to do humiliating things during ring promos, how he had his own belt that no one was allowed to touch, or the fact that he really wasn't a good wrestler at all but he made it all work.  There isn't too much else to say why he's #2 on the list. I loved his gimmick of being a man who can use money to solve all his problems, and when you crossed him it was usually someone else who administered the justice. My favorite memory of him is what sticks in my head to clearly, its like it happened yesterday.
My Favorite Ted DiBiase memory:
1. Ric Flair - If you have no idea why Ric Flair is #1. Please re-evaluate your life.

Favorite Ric Flair memory: 

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