NOTE: **READ THIS SLIDE BEFORE READING THE OTHERS**
When trying to compile a list for the best technical pro wrestlers in WWE history, you have quite the variety of wrestlers. Now, I am going to be using WWE Superstars that have either retired or have been around a long period of time in WWE or were in the past.
So those like Daniel Bryan and CM Punk, while they will be on this list in the future, will not make the cut this time around. Neither will those who made short appearances in WWE like AJ Styles, Samoa Joe or Chris Daniels. Brock Lesnar will not make this list for similar reasons.
Therefore if anyone comes on this list and uses moronic excuses as to why any of those four should be on, the judging I did beforehand removed them from that.
The technical side of wrestling is not so much who can put on a ton of submissions. While submissions are a part of it, the best technical wrestlers were ones who could open up a move set and do anything they needed to do to win a match.
Guys like the men on this list would always take people to school when they would wrestle. They'd show off like no one else. And put on submissions, but also give us a variety of different moves and combinations. Some of which are still used today.
This is a top-10 list, but the order is just my preference on which belongs where. You can order the list in any way you choose. Or add your favorite in there if you like.
The list is controversial, but read why I put certain people on the list and not just see the pic of them and automatically judge the decision.
There are always some that do not make the cut, which is why we honorably mention them. Here is a list of people I left off the list that deserve some attention.
Davey Boy Smith
A lot of people may be wondering why Undertaker is on this list. But the reason simply is, he is the best wrestling big man in Wrestling history. Big Show had shown athleticism in WCW in the past, going off the top rope and doing drop kicks. But before "The Giant" did that in WCW, Undertaker did it in WWF.
Since then, Undertaker has had some of the most memorable matches in WWE History. Especially some of the one's in recent memory. No man over 6'10" has been as good in the ring and really, all around as Undertaker, for as long as he has been.
It's funny, early on we were given great matches by Taker but in his later career we saw some of his best work. Guess that "three months on, nine months off" schedule works for a guy.
The Deadman has had more leg surgeries than most have falls, but he keeps coming back and giving us the best matches we could ask from him. The one's with Shawn Michaels made all fans happy to be just that.
If there is a better big man in wrestling history, I'd like to know who that is because Taker takes the cake for me.
He is also highly technical in the ring. While more remembered for his gimmicks in WWE, he actually could go with anyone in WWE. He went toe to toe with Bret Hart, Ric Flair, and countless other technical guys and held his own. Which was shocking for man his size.
Even until today, you see Taker fly over the top rope and walk on them. Not to mention, he has added more moves to his set every year he has been in WWE. Whether it was a powerbomb, or submission hold, Undertaker simply kept evolving to keep up with everyone else and he has done that for over two decades now.
To me, he belongs on this top-10 list. One of the most unsung technical wrestlers ever, The Undertaker.
Sadly we lost "The Macho Man" Randy Savage last year, but we still have our memories of him. The man was known for the entertainment he would bring to the WWE crowds. No one was as electrifying in his day.
He could put on a match with anyone and would even work with younger talent just to help them get over a little. He didn't mind losing, he didn't mind being the butt of the joke in a storyline. He loved what he did and went out there and put on a show for everyone.
At WrestleMania 3, the card was highlighted for the Hogan/Andre match. It was the main event, and one that would be remembered forever. But the match that actually stole the show was not the main event, but the match a little before it.
Savage and Ricky Steamboat went all out and would give us one of the best pure wrestling matches we ever saw at the time. Even today, people call it one of the top five best WrestleMania matches ever. That says a lot, considering we're coming up on the 28th edition of the show.
Savage was always an entertainer and one we'll remember for that. But, you could not forget his wrestling ability. This is why to me, he's in the top 10 best technical wrestlers of all time.
A lot of people forget Edge when it comes to technical wrestlers, but he actually framed his entire move set into being more technical.
It's funny, Edge is more remembered for his Ladder matches and overall character, but he actually was one of the best wrestlers in the WWE when he was around. Very few could match up with him as far as overall ability. And it's not a wonder that he has 11 World Title reigns in WWE and has the most titles in WWE history with over 30.
If the WWE brass wanted someone to get over well and have a top rivalry while also being seen as a top talent wrestling wise, there was a few people WWE would use. One of them was Edge. Due to that, he became known for his wrestling talent with WWE.
But to fans, we all knew him as the crazy guy who gave us brilliant ladder matches.
At one point, Edge worked three Ladder matches and two Elimination Chamber matches while also working over 230 dates. And the days he did have off, were mostly used for promotional things. He then hurt his Achilles tendon, which kept him out around seven months. He got a major break from WWE which he needed.
Then he went on to wrestle full time with very little breaks until he had to retire. Edge loved this business of wrestling and it showed. He made Canadians proud, as he was able to keep the great technical wrestling involved in his character but also be one heck of a mic worker. Not to mention, he had one of the best characters in WWE history.
Truly, Edge was an all around performer and a man we all will miss
A lot of people were Curt Hennig fans in the '90s, and I was one of them. I remembered watching the man WWE called Mr. Perfect and thinking, there is no way he can do this stuff for real. Sure, he could do it on video, but live? Could be be perfect live?
He once flipped a pencil in the air on live TV and caught it...well....perfectly,
He would hit moves in the ring that some would call impossible, and he'd do it so crisp. Seriously, the man was almost perfect in the ring. Sadly that did not go to his home life, which ended up costing him in the early 2000s, as he passed away due to drug usage.
I for one will miss him, as he was one of my favorites to watch. I never saw a guy on TV who would hit moves better. He also could do a match with anyone, and very few can say that. One reason to love Hennig, he was simply the easiest to work with as a wrestler.
So, every match you saw with him was absolutely perfect.
Ricky "The Dragon" Steamboat is remembered for his time in numerous companies but he spent the bulk of his time with WWE and WCW. He never won a World Title in WWE, but did in WCW. However, if you ask me his best overall wrestling was in WWE.
His matches with Ric Flair are considered legendary to most. Flair was once asked what his favorite match was with Ricky. He said the one the two improvisational did for around an hour. He said that Ricky wanted an excellent match and back then, they didn't really write out a whole lot of what to do.
So, they went out there and put on a show.
Steamboat would be seen as a man who could do no wrong after his rivalries with Flair. Then add in his matches with Savage and countless others, and you have a man who deserves to be seen as a legend in this business.
He could go to the top and fly but also stick to the mat and wrestle you there. Really, I don't think anyone else could match up with what all Ricky could do during his prime. He was great at striking, could do submissions, could fly, and mat wrestle.
The great part about it is, he's still got it. Right now, he teaches WWE's future in FCW. Developmental people, you better listen to this man, he'll make you a millionaire one day. One of those developmental stars is his son Richie. Can you say thank God?
The returning Chris Jericho makes this list, mainly because he simply is one of the all time greats. I have always been a fan of his simply because he was one of the best all around talents in WWE. He could work a mic, entertain me, and he could also wrestle.
Jericho is probably one of the more polished wrestlers in the history of WWE. He worked all over the world. So, he knew wrestling in all styles and could work literally with any Superstar. He worked in Japan so he knew Japanese Strong Style. He worked in the UK, so he knew the UK Style, he had a stint Mexico so he knew Lucha. He worked in Canada so he knew Canadian technical. And he also worked in all sorts of America areas. He knew the northern and southern American style. Then he went to ECW and knew the hardcore.
I mean literally, there was no style he didn't know and no talent he could not work with. If he doesn't go down as the top 5 best all around performers in WWE history, it's more flawed than a plastic surgeons wedding.
I grew up watching Jericho in ECW, WCW, and WWE. If there is anyone I would model a wrestling career after, it's him.
Knowing that, I have seen a ton of matches with Jericho.
He worked some of his best matches ever with guys like Christian and Edge. But also killed it with Shawn Michaels on a number of occasions. Add in that he also worked with RVD and Jeff Hardy and made them look awesome.
Jericho makes everyone he wrestles THAT much better. You knew as a wrestler, if you faced off with Jericho, your match was the main event. No matter where it was on the card.
People are now having to pull their tongues back in their mouth and wipe the saliva coming from it because of his return, So many of us want to see him take on guys like Ziggler and Punk, as well as Daniel Bryan.
Why do we want this? Because we know Jericho will do good no matter what.
To me, that is the sign of a great technical wrestler. When a fan or promoter can know for a fact that a match is going to be 5 star before it even happens due to the fact that a guy is in it.
Jericho could easily top this list, but you'll see why he doesn't in a minute.
Really, when you come straight from the Olympics where you won with a "broken freakin neck", and then plan to jump in wrestling, some promoters laugh a bit but also take it into consideration. Thing was, because Angle was so good, WCW, ECW, and WWF wanted him.
He was one of the hottest free agents on the market and the winner ended up being WWF in the end. The gamble in taking an unknown like him, was that you didn't know how he would hold up because of his neck but also, could he actually translate to Pro-Wrestling which was scripted?
Angle proved that the gamble was worth it and quickly became a top name in WWE. He worked with every top guy from The Rock to Stone Cold. To Undertaker and Chris Jericho. He even worked with Brock Lesnar and helped groom him to become the well. "Next Big Thing". Lesnar's matches with Angle are still remembered today.
But the thing is, every big match Angle did in WWE, is still remembered today. Probably his best was with Shawn Michaels at Mania 21. It was one where we were going to see the two best WWE had to offer, go at it. Angle actually won the match.
Angle could do it all. He could talk on the mic, work a story and wrestle well.
Unlike Jericho, Angle was not world traveled in his pro-wrestling style. He was mainly amateur trained in the Greco-Roman style. As this is the style you'd see in most standard real wrestling matches. So Angle was mainly used to the American style.
But, he showed he could hang with literally any wrestler. And would have all star matches with people that some believed would never be considered great. Such as Christian, RVD, Cena, Jeff Hardy, and Lesnar.
If you wanna start a company, he really was the best person to center it around. Guess TNA knew that a little while back.
Some call him the measuring stick when it comes to actual Pro-Wrestling. There are very few who were as good technically, as Ric Flair. Most called him a man of very few flaws because he'd do anything to win, including fighting dirty.
The 16x World Champion was always a joy to watch for decades. Nowadays, he ruins his legacy every time he steps foot in a ring. But, in the 70s, 80s, 90s, and even in the early 2000s, Flair could go with just about anyone and come out looking better than the other guy.
He was big in the territory days, but also when cable became huge. Everyone loved Flair, he brought ratings and he brought money to territories. His matches with everyone were 5 star and no one could deny that Flair was one of the best ever.
The only knock on Flair was that he seemed more selfish than most and wanted to make himself look better than all others, this was mostly true in his younger days.
But the thing was, back then you had to be that way to get anywhere. This is why you see so many people who hate Flair because he would do things that made you question whether he was out there to help the company or help himself.
But either way, very few could do what he could in the ring. He wouldn't go the top rope and hurt you there, but he could. Flair stuck to mat wrestling and submissions. And to this day, there is really no one who could do pure mat wrestling better than Flair in his prime.
Bret Hart could literally, give a 5 star match any time. His worst day was some people's best day. His wrestling made him look like a Superhero to young kids and adults alike loved to watch him wrestle. I didn't realize when I was younger, how good Hart actually was.
A few years back I started watching old tapes and getting why people loved him so much. It seemed like every match was one that Hart would put everything he had into. He would take on Hogan, Michaels, Undertaker, Nash, Triple H, and it just didn't matter. They all would be good matches.
Most people remember Hart for being screwed over in Montreal at Survivor Series. A time in history that is now called, "The Montreal Screw Job". Look up the whole story, and you'll know why it's remembered.
When he went to WCW, his career took a turn for the worst. While Hart is really the only man who can ever say he never hurt a guy in the ring, he cannot say the same for those who hurt him. The stiff and some call worst trained wrestler ever, Goldberg, superkicked Hart and gave him a concussion.
Hart then retired soon after and would then have a stroke years later.
Hart came back to WWE last year after an 11 year absence.
Thing was, the fans were more happy than WWE seemingly. We missed Bret and wanted to see him on WWE TV a lot, and didn't care what WWE had to do to make it happen.
Hart was literally able to do everything you could ever want to see in a match. He'd go to the top rope when needed, mat wrestle, and submit people when need be. He was never the best mic worker, but made up for it by literally being able to out-wrestle anyone during his prime.
Some may ask, why would you put Bret #2 after saying such great things about him? Check #1 people.
Same may say Shawn Michaels was more of an entertainer not technical wrestler. To those people, you're oh so wrong. Who is the man who lived up to every bit of hype in every big match situation. Who would always make some of the best look better? Michaels.
WWE believed in Micheals so much that they allowed him to compete in their firsts of every big time match. He was in the first ever Ladder match, Ironman match, Elimination Chamber match, and Hell in a Cell match. The only memorable match he was not in the first of was The Royal Rumble match. Since then, just about every major new match WWE has brought in, was one Micheals competed in and even won.
Speaking of the Rumble, he won that a few times too. He was also in one of the more memorable stables in history known as D-Generation X.
His accomplishments speak nothing about his character. Which was one of the best in the company. He was really a Ric Flair type for his day. He was that Playboy all the girls wanted and all the men wanted to be. He knew how to break some hearts.
Due to the fact that WWE liked to use him a lot, he was used in a lot of big time matches and made them very memorable. Whether he took on Stone Cold, Bret Hart, John Cena, Kurt Angle, Chris Jericho, Triple H, Hogan, or The Undertaker, all matches he did in a big PPV or even smaller one's, where considered must see TV.
No one out performed Michaels and due to that, he could be considered the best ever.
But in that same breath, we also have to talk about his wrestling a bit if he's the best ever. He could fly with the best of them. He was innovative. He was a great striker, greatest sell artist ever, and he could mat wrestle you too. Plus, he added submissions to his move set when he had to.
Literally, it was impossible to not call every match he was in, terrific. I never knew how much I loved wrestling until I watched Shawn Michaels over 15 years ago. He is the reason I became a fan, because simply there is no one better. Not one.
He can out perform anyone. And it doesn't matter who he faces, whether it's Ric Flair, Angle, Hart, or what have you. The spotlight is always on how well Michaels did at the end of the night, even if he is not out there to make it about him.
This is why Michaels is the best technical wrestler in my opinion.
I appreciate you stopping by and reading this. Obviously lists like these are always controversial. Some may think some of these people are out of order or shouldn't be on at all. While others may agree with it entirely.
Really, it's always up for debate. Which is why I am throwing out a challenge to you.
Give me your top 10 best technical wrestlers ever, in order, and tell me why you think that.
Whoever does the best overall list, will get a shout out in my next article!