The Weekly Top Ten: The Greatest Crusierweights of All-Time
Bleacher Report Nation, it is Wednesday and time for another weekly top ten.
This week will feature the crusierweights of wrestling. The list contains guys from the WWE, WCW, ECW, Mexico, and New Japan Pro Wrestling.
I must come out and say that this list is the toughest I had to rank yet. You could make a case for any one in the top 10 and even guys in the 11 through 20 spots for being No. 1.
With any list, questions will form about why a person made the list and why another person did not. If you have any questions or feel I might have left some one out, let me know in the comment section.
If enough people agree with you, it might be comment's pick in my next slide.
With that out of the way, let the top 10 begin.
Just Missed the Cut: No. 11 Naomichi Marufuji
A rising legend in Japan, if I did this list again two years from now, chances are he makes it.
Naomichi had a nice match with Bryan Danielson for the ROH World Championship back in 2005, and he beat Danielson and Samoa Joe in a tag team match at a 2006 ROH event "Best In The World."
12. Kenta Kobayashi
13. Bryan Danielson
14. Billy Kidman
16. Kid Kash
17. Akira Taue
18. Gregory Helms
No. 10 Chavo Guerrero
You would be hard press to find a better technical wrestler in the WWE right now than Chavo Guerrero.
Chavo is an underrated talent who help carry the Cruiserweight division upon their return to television on WWE Smackdown. He has battled with the best from Rey Mysterio to Billy Kidman and Gregory Helms.
Chavo has also had runs with the WWE and ECW Championships, as well as tag team success with Eddie Guerrero.
No. 9 Jerry Lynn
Jerry Lynn has been in the wrestling game for over 20 years now, and he was a big part of the original launch of ECW.
If I told you all the titles, championships, and accomplishments of Jerry Lynn, I would fill up enough information to cover this entire slideshow.
To keep it simple Lynn has held over 33 different titles, ranging from WWE's Light Heavyweight Championship, to TNA's X Division title, to ECW Heavyweight title, to ROH World Heavyweight Championship.
Lynn has been all over the world and has done just about everything, including helping put the Cruiserweight division on the map.
No. 8 The Great Sasuke
Originally wrestling under the name Masa Michinoku, he gave the name to his student, Taka, and adapted the mask gimmick while touring in Mexico, wrestling under the name Great Sasuke ever since.
While he may be lesser known to folks state side, in Japan he is considered to be among one of the best light heavyweight to ever step foot in a ring.
There he has won numerous titles including eight in New Japan Pro Wrestling.
Sasuke is also a former Junior World Heavyweight Champion in Frontier Martial-Arts Wrestling and in 1994 he won both PWI's Best Flying Wrestler and Best Wrestling Maneuver.
No. 7 Brian Pillman
"Flying" Brian "The Loose Cannon" Pillman is known as the man that put the Cruiserweight division on the map in WCW.
A clean cut athlete from Ohio, Pillman debuted in 1986 with Stampede Wrestling. He went on to win rookie of the year in 1987.
It was in the NWA, which later became WCW, where Pillman's best work took place. He became the first ever Cruiserweight Champion, defeating Richard Moore in Chattanooga, TN in the fall of 1991.
Brian Pillman would go on to have another run with the title, feuding with another great light heavyweight, Jushin Liger.
He also stepped outside the division winning tag titles with Stunning Steve Austin when the two formed the tag team the Hollywood Blonds.
No. 6 Rey Mysterio
Master of the 619 and fan favorite, Mysterio roots date back to the Crusierweight division in WCW and his brief run in ECW, where he feuded with Psicosis.
Rey Mysterio has wore the Crusierweight title eight times, a WWE and WCW record. He has also worn the Intercontinental Championship and is a former World Champion in the WWE.
Mysterio is best known for his quick moveset and his fast paced matches. In the 90s there were few who could do it better than Mysterio.
The classic battles and run-ins he had with the Ultimo Dragon, helped create some of Rey's best matches and moments to date.
Rey Mysterio has taken his fair share of bumps and impacts, revolutionizing the way light heavyweights and Cruiserweights were perceived all around the world.
No. 5 Eddie Guerrero
Like most of the guys on this, Eddie Guerrero had to start from the ground up. He begin his career with AAA and eventually moved to New Japan Pro Wrestling, and later ECW.
Since those days Eddie built his career through hard work and dedication.
Along with Dean Malenko and Chris Benoit, Eddie headed to WCW where he begin he rise as one of the greatest Crusierweights of all time.
From there he feuded with names like Rey Mysterio, Ultimo Dragon, and Chris Jericho, continuing the line of great Crusierweight action in WCW.
His WWE career saw him, win the WWE Championship along with numerous tag team titles, putting him into a league in which few may ever achieve.
No. 4 Taka Michnoku
For those of you who never got to see Taka Michinoku in the days when he was not the WWE's main jobber, then it safe to say you missed one of the best in-ring technicians that the company has ever seen.
At one point in time wrestling hottest free agent, Taka signed with the WWE and won a tournament to crown the company's first Light Heavyweight Champion. He went undefeated in light heavyweight matches for nearly a whole year, until he dropped the title to IWC fan favorite Christian.
Taka was a true talent in the WWE, even making names like JBL, The Rock, and HHH take notice.
He even made Mick Foley say this now famous line, "If the WWF was all about who was the most talented, then Taka Michinoku would be the WWF Champion"
He came close to doing just that coming seconds away from beating HHH for the WWE Title on RAW is War on April 10th, 2000
He will forever be known as one of the best high fliers to step foot in a wrestling ring and one of the most wasted talents in WWE history.
Taka managed to rebound from his WWE days, going on to become a huge name in Japan and other parts of the world.
No. 3 Dean Malenko
"The Man of a 1000 Holds," Dean Malenko is without a doubt one of the top ten best technical wrestlers to ever step foot in a ring.
Being born in a wrestling family, Malenko was destined to wrestle and perform in the ring as a crusierweight. He started his wrestling career back in 1979, when most men on this list were just learing how to say the word headlock.
Known in ECW as "The Shooter", Dean Malenko won the ECW Television title and went on to become one of the top names to ever lace boots up for the promotion.
In WCW, he went on to win the Crusierweight Championship, as well as the United States Championship, feuding with the like of Jeff Jarrett, Chris Jericho, and Rey Mysterio.
In WWE, he captured Light Heavyweight title and feuded with Lita and The Hardys, before heading into retirement.
In all, Dean Malenko will forever be remembered as an all-time great, and as the man who brought technical sound wrestling to a division full of high fliers.
No. 2 Ultimo Dragon
Ultimo Dragon is one of the main reasons why I watched the WCW Crusierweight division as a child. For a time in the 90s, he was the division.
Starting in New Japan Pro Wrestling, Ultimo Dragon went on to gain fame by wrestling in Mexico, Japan, and here in the United States.
In WCW he feuded with the likes of William Regal, Dean Malenko, and Eddie Guerrero. He even had a legendary battle with Rey Mysterio at "World War Three PPV," in what may end up being one of the greatest Crusierweight Championship matches of all time.
In 1997 he switched to a part time schedule with WCW, and begin working in the Toryumon promotion. The promotion was soon filled with wrestlers who wanted to train with the Dragon.
In 2003 he won the Differ Cup, a tourney held every 2 years featuring the best light heavyweights of Japan.
In all Ultimo Dragon is a 2 time Crusierweight Champion, a former 2 time WCW World Television Champion, and has won UWA Middle Weight Championship on 5 occasions.
He will be best remembered as one of the finest Crusierweights to ever step foot in a wrestling ring.
No. 1 Jushin Liger
When making the list I said to myself, "I am forgetting some one." As soon as I checked out the Brian Pillman slide, Jushin Liger was in and zoomed ahead of some great wrestlers.
Starting his career in 1984, Liger has battled all over the world. He helped to put the Crusierweight division on the map due to his feud with Brian Pillman in WCW.
If you never seen Liger in action, then I suggest you do. He has faced the likes of Sabu, Samoa Joe, Ultimo Dragon, Chris Benoit, The Great Muta, The Great Sasuke, Eddie Guerrero, Dean Malenko, Owen Hart, and the list goes on and on.
He has also trained with Stu Hart in the now famous Hart Family Dungeon, and he has made appearances in TNA, ROH, and many independent promotions across the United States.
In terms of pure wrestling in the division, he is a cut above the rest. He started the trend of high fliers in the United States and is a legend in the business.
Jushin Liger has also won a record 11 New Japan IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship titles, which in Japan is the equivalent of winning 11 WWE World Championship titles.
No one has done it better then Liger has, and even at the age of 45, he shows no signs of passing the Crusierweight torch any time soon.
Great Matches in Crusierweight History:
Dean Malenko vs. Jushin Liger
Rey Mysterio vs. Ultimo Dragon WW3
Rey Mysterio vs Eddie Guerrero Ladder Match
Brian Pillman vs. Jushin Liger WCW Crusierweight Finals
The Great Muta vs. Jushin Liger