At Extreme Rules, Brock Lesnar absolutely stole the show, bringing an element of realism to his match with John Cena that many WWE fans had never seen before. Mixing legitimate amateur wrestling and mixed martial arts moves with the theatrics of traditional pro wrestling, Lesnar showed how easily you can blur the lines between real and fake.
But Lesnar wasn't doing anything new—this was hardly reinventing the wheel. Japanese stars started this revolution in the 1980s, making their matches progressively more and more realistic. The suplexes had more amplitude. The submission holds actually worked in a competitive environment. The kicks landed a little harder. Then harder still. By the mid-1990s, they were coming at full force.
Eventually, the young guns of this shoot-style revolution took the logical leap into mixed martial arts. Before they left, the very best of them had mastered this new style of wrestling. They moved so smoothly, integrating real moves into their dramatic storytelling, that it was honestly hard to separate what was real and what was fiction.
Of these revolutionaries, these men were the best—the greatest shoot-style workers of all time.