WWE Best of Best, Part 3: The 10 Greatest Powerhouses
In an effort to rank all the best wrestlers in their own style, it's time to come up with probably the most predictable list. But, as for any Top 10, the issue is more about the order than about who makes the list.
They are the bodyslam and other power moves masters. To build their legacy, many of them achieved to lift the biggest wrestlers ever to slam them.
They are also those who impressed the most with their huge impact moves and they often became WWE's "Top faces."
Those 10 mountains of muscles are the greatest powerhouses in WWE and probably in pro-wrestling history.
10- Lex Luger
Also known as The Total Package, he was mostly a WCW product, but he was a top draw during his short run with WWE from 1993 to 1995.
In 1993, the WWE needed a top powerhouse after Hulk Hogan left. Following a huge re-packaging Luger came back on the 4th of July to become the next great American hero.
He body slammed the 600-pound Yokozuna at a special event, held on the USS Intrepid aircraft carrier.
The fans quickly forgot his heel debut as The Narcissist and, in no time, the "Luger-Mania" ran over the country in the "Lex-Express" Touring bus.
He had the American flag designed on everything surrounding him, from his trunks to his bus.
After his memorable body slam on Yokozuna, they faced each other at Summerslam for the WWF Championship. Luger overpowered the behemoth to win the match by count-out, but he failed to grab the Title.
With his popular patriotic gimmick, The Total Package continued to overpower the competition for the next months.
He never touched gold and his greatest achievements were a win at the 1993 Survivor Series main event then he became the 1994 Royal Rumble co-winner.
He also headlined Wrestlemania X but he was disqualified during the WWF Championship match against Yokozuna.
After some success in the tag team division, with The British Bulldog as partner, Luger left for WCW, probably bitter about his limited success with WWE.
Most of his accomplishments, including his unreal 173-0 streak, were during his WCW days.
However, he had a short and memorable run with WWE in 2003-04. He won the World Heavyweight Championship and he defeated many of the biggest names at this time.
The Rock, Chris Jericho, Triple H and Brock Lesnar all went down. He also squashed many other mid- and low-card contenders such as Matt Hardy.
Among all those who use the spear as a regular move, Goldberg's one is probably the most powerful and spectacular.
His Jackhammer was also one of the greatest power moves ever.
From 2002 to 2010, Batista was one of the top draws in WWE. He will be remembered for his outstanding intensity in the ring and his power moves.
He was not very agile and many said he could not wrestle because he had almost no technical skills.
But he had an outstanding charisma and he could turn with ease from a fan favorite to a heel character.
At 6'6" and 290 pounds, he was a huge mass of muscles who could keep down anyone, from The Undertaker to Triple H, with his devastating powerbomb.
He is a six-time WWE World Champion and he won the Tag Team Title four times. He also won the 2005 Royal Rumble.
7- Davey Boy Smith
He was one of the WWF most popular wrestler during his runs with the company. In fact, he was one of the greatest wrestlers to have never won the World Title.
He started in the tag team division with Dynamite Kid and they formed one of the greatest tandems of all times, The British Bulldogs.
In 1986, they captured the gold and held it for 294 days, but the team left in 1988 under odd circumstances.
Smith came back from 1990 to 1992, in singles competition as The British Bulldog.
He won the Intercontinental Title against Bret Hart in a classic match at Summerslam 1992 but he was released a few months later because he imported human growth hormone.
Once again, in 1994, he was back with WWF, but he was no longer destined for singles success despite his popularity.
Two years later, he turned heel and teamed up with Owen Hart to hold the Tag Team Championship for 245 days.
He was also a two-time European and Hardcore Champion. But the strongman would never win any major title.
He will be mostly remembered as a powerhouse, with his famous running powerslam and his hanging vertical suplex.
But, in addition to his power moves, he had very decent technical skills and he could also perform some aerial maneuvers such as a dropkick or a diving crossbody from the turnbuckle.
6- The Ultimate Warrior
In September 1989 The Ultimate Warrior became one of the rare wrestlers to have body slammed Andre The Giant. He was then in the middle of his second reign as the Intercontinental Champion.
He was once seen as Hulk Hogan's successor and, at one point, he was the most popular wrestler in WWF.
But his lack of professional ethic and his odd relationship with Vince McMahon stopped his rise to super-stardom after his huge win against Hogan at Wrestlemania VI for the WWF Championship.
Following that "Champion vs. Champion" match, The Ultimate Warrior became the first to hold both WWF and Intercontinental Titles at the same time.
He was certainly the most intense wrestler to have ever stepped in a WWE ring.
Every time his music was heard, the crowds went crazy and everyone in the arenas got on their feet to see him running to the ring and shaking the ropes like a possessed creature.
He only had power moves in his arsenal and he was one of the worst technical wrestlers ever, but the fans loved him and he had an undeniable charisma.
His style had no finesse but he could make a gorilla press drop followed by a running splash looking amazing and all powerful.
5- Brock Lesnar
The current UFC Heavyweight Champion once was "The Next Big Thing" in WWE. From 2002 to 2004, he was indeed the greatest wrestler with the company and maybe on the planet.
In less than three years, he accomplished more than most wrestlers can even dream.
He won the WWE Championship three times and he was the 2003 Royal Rumble winner.
He also won the 2002 King Of The Ring tournament when it was still prestigious and meant something big in a career.
In addition, he won various other awards, including the Pro Wrestling Illustrated Best Wrestler, Feud and Match of the Year Awards in 2003.
Only very few 6'3" and 265 pounds mountains of muscles have the Shooting Star Press as one of their signature moves. Brock Lesnar was one of them and he possessed an impressive moveset for a wrestler his size.
One of his most memorable moment was on an episode of Smackdown in 2003. He superplexed the massive 500 pounds Big Show from the top rope and, under the impact, the four corners of the ring collapsed.
He was one of the greatest monster heel in WWE modern history. He defeated all of the best, including The Undertaker, Kurt Angle and The Rock.
Lesnar's impact is still felt in 2010 and he is constantly used as a comparison measure for today's uprising superstars.
4- "Superstar" Billy Graham
The Hall-of-Famer who became famous in the '70s was an inspiration for the next WWF generations.
Many of the greatest wrestlers ever, including Hulk Hogan, Stone Cold, Ric Flair and Triple H, were inspired by him for to forge their characters.
With his flamboyant gimmick, combined with his powerhouse in-ring style and his bodybuilder's physique, he was the prototype who established the future WWF standards.
Since then, Vince McMahon always looked for wrestlers with bodybuilder's physique to become the top faces.
His nickname is used by today's wrestlers as a tribute for his legacy and they are now known as Superstars.
Graham was one of the greatest heels of all time and his 296-day reign as WWF Champion was the longest ever for a villain.
He was the first heel not used as a transitional champion and, despite he was a rule-breaker, he managed to gain an amazing fans base.
He was an actual bodybuilder and he participated in many strong men competitions, including one for the "World Strongest Man" in 1980.
Throughout his whole career, he always displayed his strength to generate even more heat.
3- Bruno Sammartino
He is one of the greatest World Champion in WWE history, but too often forgotten. Before to become the Champion he was, he made his mark as a dangerous and super strong man in the '60s.
In 1961, Sammartino's opponent, named Chick Garibaldi, died in the ring after he slammed him. It instantly put the first milestone on the road of his storied career and a legend was born.
It was later revealed that Garibaldi passed away due to a heart attack but it didn't affect Sammartino's legendary status.
An other legendary moment contributed to build his legacy; he was the only man to ever have lifted and slammed the iconic 640-pounds Haystacks Calhoun.
No one will ever come close to his total of 4,040 days as the reigning WWF Champion. In comparison, Hulk Hogan reigned a total of 2,184 days as the World Champion and Triple H, 1,155 days.
Hopefully, one day he will accept to be inducted in the WWE Hall Of Fame because he is currently the most deserving wrestler for such an honor.
2- John Cena
Like him or not, "The Champ Is Here!" He is comfortably installed in second position.
The nine-time World Champion is the current top face of WWE and he is the biggest star of the last decade in, I would dare to say, all pro-wrestling.
Like it or not, he will be with WWE until he he decides to retire. We can say anything we want about him, but he is the poster boy, the real chosen one.
He is the wrestler who shines the most in the mainstream media nowadays. In addition to his charisma, he can cut very effective promos.
We could discuss hours about his in-ring skills, but no one can deny he's a legend in the making; his legacy already filled many pages of the WWE history book.
He built his reputation with moments like when he picked up Big Show on his shoulders for a mega Attitude Adjustment slam.
He also proved countless times he could hold his own against multiple opponents and even dominate in such occasions.
In 20-30 years, John Cena will be remembered as the greatest Superman of the early 2000s and there is nothing that can be done against that.
1- Hulk Hogan
He is first because of his impact on the world of pro-wrestling. With Vince McMahon, he revolutionized the whole industry and he was a major factor who contributed to make what WWE is today.
Hogan literally put pro-wrestling on the map in the '80s. It's hard to say if he was McMahon's puppet or the contrary, but they both created the golden age of wrestling with Wrestlemania and with Andre The Giant.
When the Hulkster slammed Andre at Wrestlemania III, the world of wrestling was deeply changed forever.
The impact of the most important slam ever will always be felt in WWE. Since then, Vince McMahon took control of the pro-wrestling universe and his company became almost a monopoly.
Even when Hogan left for the competitor he contributed to make the WWE better. Without the NWO and the serious competition coming from WCW, the glorified Attitude Era might have never happened.
Hulkamania will be heard about in hundreds years and as long as pro-wrestling exists. He was the ultimate powerhouse and John Cena's Superman gimmick is nothing compared to Hulk Hogan in the '80s and early '90s.
If you have missed the first two parts of the series, I invite you to take a look: