Professional wrestling has long been one of danger, and nothing highlights that danger more than the high fliers of the ring. Those wrestlers that climb the top rope and fly through the air with the greatest of ease have long been the highlight of any wrestling card. Many wrestlers of every era of professional wrestling have learned to perform these acrobatics with such style and grace that they can never be forgotten. Who were the greatest high fliers of all time? What made them the greatest? This is the focus of this article.
Jimmy Snuka -- This Samoan wrestler was the one that put high fliers on the large stage with his antics in the early days of the WWF. His splash from the top rope was one of the most devastating moves in wrestling, and his attempt from the top of a steel cage will long be one of the greatest moves in professional wrestling history. One particular memory of Snuka that stands out in my mind was a television match early in his career. He was wrestling a nobody and was still relatively new to the WWF. The opponent he was wrestling rolled over a time to two and ended up completely across the ring from the turnbuckle Snuka had climbed. Snuka wound up and literally cleared the entire distance of the ring from corner to corner to nail his frog splash perfectly. The distance he covered was astounding.
Rey Mysterio Jr.-- Rey Rey is certainly one of the most incredible acrobats to ever lace up the boots. An undersized wrestler, he uses his acrobatic skills to score his pinfalls, and a will to win not seen amongst many. The classic battles between him and Billy Kidman in the old WCW were classics that would take you from one extreme to the other. Mysterio is without a doubt one of the best ever.
The Great Muta -- Muta was an old favorite from the days of NWA wrestling and others. He was famous for his green mist he would blow into people's faces but what stood out to me was the speed and ferocity of his aerial moves. He would fly through the air faster than anyone I have ever seen. In particular, his dropkick off the top rope was devastating.
Bam Bam Bigelow -- Many would wonder why Bam Bam is on this list, but I simply must include him. For a man his size, he had uncanny agility and grace, and could fly with the best of them. Not a stranger to the top rope, his moves were often that much more devastating coming from a man over 300 pounds. Imagine that flying through the air at you!
Randy Savage --Randy Savage is on this list for one major reason. His flying elbow drop off the top rope was and is one of the most devastating moves in wrestling history. Having witnessed this move up close, from the front row, I can tell you that the impact is unreal. Fake or not, this move has to hurt his opponent.
Mick Foley -- Foley, though completely without an agile bone in his body, makes this list because of his willingness to use his body as a projectile.....from anywhere. This guy would dive out of the stadium lights if he could get away with it. Some of the most historic moments in WWF history begin with , "And Foley dives off the.." He is a high flier, though he looks really bad doing it.
Scott Steiner -- The Frankensteiner is without a doubt one of the coolest, most copied, and amazing maneuvers around, and Scott Steiner did it better than anyone. Blessed with uncanny agility, the pre-Poppa Pump Steiner was always a favorite to watch in the ring.
Ricky Steamboat -- Blessed with a fluid and high flying style, Steamboat has excited fans all over the world. A raw combination of speed, power, agility, and flair, "The Dragon" is a favorite of wrestling fans anytime he steps into the ring. His flying body press and chop off the top rope are iconic moments in wrestling history.
Mil Mascaras -- To me, every conversation about high flying wrestlers begins and ends with Mascaras. Many of this generation never got to see this innovative wrestler but in my youth, he was the best there was. The "man of a thousand masks" was simply the greatest wrestler of that day. Certainly he was the innovator of today's wrestling styles, and was before his time. In a time when wrestlers brawled and bit, Mil Mascaras was doing the same moves that we see from Mysterio today. He sold out every card he wrestled on, and for good reason. If you can find any old footage, and want to see a master at work, watch Mascaras at work. He was one of a kind.
Certainly this list is not all inclusive, and leaves out many that could be added to this list. These are just the wrestlers that were the best in my estimation. High Fliers will always be the most exciting matches on any wrestling card, and will always be debated as to who was the best.