IWC: Here Is Who You Have Voted as the Best Wrestlers of All-Time
Welcome to the conclusion of part two of "Internet Wrestling Community (IWC) Votes."
IWC stands for Internet Wrestling Community.
The first part was entitled “Who Are Your Top 5 Favorite Wrestlers of All Time?”
The third part is “The Best and Worst of The Undertaker.”
The fourth and final part is “Favorite Mania Moments."
Part two focused on who you (the readers) thought are the top 10 wrestlers of all time.
And without further ado...here are the results!
No. 1 Shawn Michaels
HBK has once again stolen the show and nabbed first place on this list with 61 votes!
He started his career in the tag-team division where he formed The Rockers with Marty Jannetty. Together, they worked for various wrestling organizations from 1985-1988 until they were hired on a full-time basis in 1988 by the WWF.
By late 1991, however, there were issues going on backstage between Shawn Michaels and Jannetty that would eventually lead to them splitting' up on-screen in the famous “Barber Shop Segment.”
After the split, however, is when the legend that is “The Heartbreak Kid” started to take form.
Between 1992 and 1998, Shawn Michaels was one of the most talked-about wrestlers in the business, his love for himself enraged fans, but eventually they began to notice him for his athletic ability and how he would be able to put on a phenomenal show, no matter who he was facing or what kind of match he was in.
After retiring from in-ring competition in 1998 due to a broken back, HBK returned for a "one night only" match against Triple H at SummerSlam 2002, after the match ended HBK realized his back was better than previously thought and he realized he could still go at full pace and returned to the ring full time for another seven and a half years before retiring for good at WrestleMania 26...not bad for someone who missed more than four years!
In his 25-year career, he was a four-time World Champion, a three-time Intercontinental Champion, a six-time Tag Team Champion, a two-time Royal Rumble Winner (1995 & 1996) and the first ever “Grand Slam Champion."
In addition to those he’s also been awarded two “Five-Star” matches (vs. Razor Ramon at WrestleMania X and vs. Undertaker at Badd Blood).
With 11 "PWI Match of the Year Awards," HBK was entertaining to the very end. No one in wrestling history has caused so much controversy and at the same time been beloved by almost every fan.
In January 2011, he was named the first inductee for the WWE Hall of Fame class of 2011…maybe we’ll get treated to one more WrestleMania moment from Mr. WrestleMania himself!
Readers Thoughts on Shawn Michaels:
"Not only is he a master IN RING performer, he just puts so much into his wrestling. He literally puts his all, his heart and soul into what he does and it just makes his performance in the ring poetic. He's beautiful. I just feel emotionally attached to him and I still tear up knowing that he is gone. He is by far the greatest, no question." – Mariah Hewitt
"No doubt about it HBK is the best in ring performer ever." – Shaun Ryder
"Shawn Michaels Mr. Wrestlemania is hands down the best wrestler of all time he didn't fail in any area and could put on a great match with anyone. Thank you Shawn." – The Dunk
"His in ring performances would mesmerize fans and they would always want to see more. Wrestling was in Shawn's heart, in his blood. He never once missed a step, he executed every move perfectly and his matches where always nothing short of perfect. He would give you a show like you've never seen before, why, because he could." – George Rader
No. 2 The Undertaker
The moment the lights go out and the gong rings you know you're about to see a wrestler like no other.
Whether you refer to him as “The Phenom," “The American Badass," “The Deadman” or “The Prince of Darkness,” The Undertaker has been a staple of professional wrestling since his WWF debut during the 1990 Survivor Series and you, the IWC, have agreed by awarding him with 43 votes placing him in second place.
In the 20-plus years since his debut he has been one of the most dominate wrestlers who have ever stepped foot in a wrestling ring.
Although he hasn't won as many championships as some of the other legendary wrestlers, he has still accomplished one thing no one else ever has...the illustrious 18-0 record at WrestleMania.
For a man his size, people would assume he'd be more about power wrestling than athletic ability...but they'd be wrong!
The Undertaker is arguably the most athletic 6'11" wrestler in history. Having won three PWI (Match of the Year) awards, one with Mankind in 1998 and two with Shawn Michaels at WrestleManias 25 and 26 he certainly has proved that he can go with the best of them and hold his own.
Numerous gimmick matches have been invented to go along with his character, these include the Buried Alive Match, Casket Match, Hell in a Cell (which him and Shawn Michaels were awarded with a "five-star award" from Dave Meltzer for the inaugural match) and the Last Ride Match.
Throughout his career, he has been involved in some of the most important and popular storylines of wrestling history. His feuds with Shawn Michaels, Stone Cold Steve Austin, Vince McMahon, his brother Kane, Brock Lesnar and countless others have always kept fans tuned in to see what would happen from week to week.
The man playing The Undertaker, however, is the one who gets little recognition. Mark Calaway has not only entertained fans for decades and put his body through more pain than anyone should ever have go through, but it's what he does backstage that counts.
Mark Calaway/The Undertaker is the known locker room leader who the new kids look up to and seek advice from and who the smartasses and trouble makers avoid at all costs.
Reasons like this is why when he decides to finally retire off into the sunset, it will be on his terms and will most likely result in a Hall of Fame induction the following year for not only him, but hopefully his longtime manager Paul Bearer as well.
Readers Thoughts on The Undertaker:
"He aged better than any other performer. In his beginnings, he was a standard big man powerhouse, but evolved into greatest pure striker, good technician and still great powerhouse who is also more agile than much smaller competitors. In his mid-40s, he could still out-wrestle 90% of current roster." – Hellbilly
"The most intimidating man to ever set foot in the squared circle. A man who strikes fear into anyone that faces him. Also, let me point out that his WrestleMania streak will never be broken." – Ross Joswick
"Wrestles Like a Shawn Michaels but in a 7 ft, 300lb Frame." – Michael Malnicof
No. 3 The Rock
The people's champ is also the people's third best wrestler, The Rock received 42 votes from the IWC.
When The Rock's music hits you know you're about to be electrified.
His promos and matches are legendary. With him back in the WWE for at least the next month, hopefully some of the younger guys try to pull him aside and ask him for advice.
His response to John Cena on Monday was one of the most emotional promos in recent memory. It just proves that he is one of the best all time. Not many people would be able to be gone for seven years, come back and still win the fans over like this.
During his eight years as a professional wrestler, The Rock was a nine-time World Champion, five-time Tag Team Champion, the 2000 Royal Rumble winner and he also was awarded two PWI (Match of the Year) awards (1999 vs. Mankind and 2002 vs. Hulk Hogan).
Now that The Rock has returned to guest-host WrestleMania 27 maybe we’ll be treated to a few more legendary promos and moments…guess we’ll have to wait to find out…
Readers Thoughts on The Rock:
"The Rock is one of the best all round wrestlers the WWE has ever had. His mic skills were gold, his in-ring ability was unmatched, and his charisma was off the charts."– George Rader
"Greatest showman to set foot in the ring. Like Foley, he was no maestro, but he could make a simple elbow drop electrifying." – Hellbilly
"The most electrifying man in sports entertainment was arguably the most popular as well. With his superb mic skills, and iconic matches, The People's Champ was truly a legend." – RossJoswick
No. 4 Chris Jericho
The Jerichoholics have spoken and they have awarded Chris Jericho fourth place with 41 votes.
Although he may not be as big as some of the other main event stars, Jericho has accomplished more than most wrestlers ever will. He is a six-time World Champion, a nine-time Intercontinental Champion (most reigns ever), a six-time Tag Team Champion and a two-time "Wrestler of the Year."
Not only is Jericho a phenomenal wrestler (he is "The Man of 1004 Holds"), but he is one of the very best ever at well...talking! The Wrestling Observer Newsletter awarded him "Best on Interviews" for the 2000s.
During a promo or interview, not only could he get himself over but he could get his opponent over with only a few words. As a result, some of the most memorable promos in wrestling history include Chris Jericho.
He could take what was a lackluster storyline and make it compelling with his promos or facial expressions. Here’s a great example of Jericho’s skills.
After two years away from the ring, Jericho made his return in November 2007 and picked up right where he left off…running his mouth and backing up every word.
Although he was a heel for most of his second run with WWE, it was undoubtedly his best work and I’m curious as to what he could pull off if and when he returns…
He may be gone from wrestling right now, but he'll always be welcomed back by his legion of Jerichoholics.
Readers Thoughts on Chris Jericho:
"Simply put, he's the best in the world at what he does." - George Rader
"Not only the best in the ring, but the best ever on the mic." - Terri Sutton
"You could put him in the ring with anyone and have a good match. Put him with another good worker and you have a classic. He is The Best in the World at What He Does for a reason." - Hellbilly
No. 5 Bret Hart
Bret Hart placed 10th on the "favorites list," but on the "best list" he's climbed up to fifth place with 39 votes!
"The Excellence of Execution" is one of the most decorated and beloved wrestlers of all time.
During his 20-plus year career, no other wrestler was more loved and respected than Bret Hart. He had a no nonsense attitude, always defended the fans and did what he believed was right.
During his early years and towards the end of his career, Bret was a part of the "Hart Foundation" which started off as a tag team that consisted of him and his real life brother in-law Jim "The Anvil" Neidhart. They found moderate success together (winning the Tag Team Championships twice).
It was during his singles career, however, that Bret gained his greatest success.
Bret is an eight-time World Champion, the only five-time United States Champion, the winner of the 1994 Royal Rumble (shared with Lex Luger) and the only two-time King of the Ring winner (1991 & 1993).
He's also participated in two "Five-Star" matches (vs. Owen Hart at SummerSlam 1994 and vs. Steve Austin at WrestleMania 13). He's also won three "Match of the Year" awards (1992, 1996 & 1997) and the "Comeback of the Year" award in 1997. In 2006, he was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame by his on-screen rival Stone Cold Steve Austin.
He certainly has the accomplishments and reputation to back up his claim that he is "The Best There Is, The Best There Was and The Best There Ever Will Be."
Readers Thoughts on Bret "The Hitman" Hart:
"The Excellence of Execution, he lived up to that nickname every time he stepped into the ring." – George Rader
"From a storytelling and picture painting perspective, he IS the best. When I think of his in ring performances, I think of poetry in motion" – Windy City Cub
"The Best their was, Best their is and Best their ever will be the best technical wrestler of all time and who is loyal to his craft a true wrestler." – The Dunk
"Greatest technical wrestler in history, even Vinnie Mac described him as greatest technician and storyteller. He claims to never botch a move, that itself is a big thing in my opinion." – Hellbilly
No. 6 (Tie) Kurt Angle
Kurt Angle has tied for sixth place with 38 votes!
Kurt Angle is the first Olympic Gold Medalist turned professional wrestler. Up until his departure from WWE, Kurt was known as one of the most loyal and dedicated guys in the company.
In his eight years working for WWE, his character developed from a coward who would hide behind his gold medals to a wrestling machine that was not afraid of anyone or anything.
Not only is Angle considered one of the best technical wrestlers of all time, but he is also considered one of the best in-ring performers of all time. He's won two "Match of the Year" awards (vs. Brock Lesnar on SmackDown in 2003 & vs. Shawn Michaels at WrestleMania 21).
Angle is an 11-time world champion, the 2000 King of the Ring and was voted "Wrestler of the Decade" for the 2000s. His match with Brock Lesnar at WrestleMania XIX is considered one of the best of both their careers.
Readers Thoughts on Kurt Angle:
"The man who won a gold medal with a freakin broken neck is one of the best technical wrestlers of all time." – The Dunk
"The best technical wrestler to ever set foot in a wrestling ring. An Olympic Gold Medalist and truly one of the best wrestlers in history." – George Rader
No. 6 (Tie) Stone Cold Steve Austin
He is the face of the Attitude Era, a six-time World Champion, a two-time United States Champion, a six-time Tag Team Champion, a three-time Royal Rumble winner, the winner of the 1996 King of the Ring and has tied for sixth place with 38 votes from the IWC.
The "Texas Rattlesnake" took the WWE, then WWF, on his shoulders and helped Vince McMahon put Ted Turner out of business.
From 1997, until he took time off in November 1999, fans flocked to their TVs weekly to see what Stone Cold would do next and as a result he won PWI's "Most Popular Wrestler of the Year" in 1998, Wrestling Observer's "Best Box Office Draw" in 1998 and 1999 and “Feud of the Year” from 1997 to 1999.
No one can every question his durability or love for what he does, in 1997 during a match with Owen Hart, Stone Cold suffered a legitimate broken neck. He returned three months later at which point he took the company on his shoulders and helped Vince McMahon win the "Wars" until finally agreeing to get neck surgery in November of 1999.
After his return in September 2000, he never fully recreated what he had accomplished in the previous years but he still kept the fans on their toes until he retired from active competition after WrestleMania XIX in 2003.
Since then. he's made sporadic appearances including a stint as co-general manager and host of Monday Night Raw in 2010.
In 2009, he headlined the WWE Hall of Fame class and made an appearance the night after his induction to have a celebratory beer bash at WrestleMania 25.
Readers Thoughts on Stone Cold Steve Austin:
"This guy saved the company in the Monday Night Wars and is one of the best Icons of all time." – The Dunk
"Nobody was more mean and nasty than the Texas Rattlesnake. He started the attitude era, won countless titles, and gave the boss a run for his money." – Ross Joswick
"The Complete Package in Wrestling History and did most of it with a messed Up Neck+Knees!!" – Michael Malnicof
No. 8 Ric Flair
"The Dirtiest Player in the Game" earned himself the eighth spot with 30 votes.
Ric Flair could arguably be considered the best wrestler of all time.
He's a six-time PWI "Wrestler of the Year" (1981, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1989, 1992)
He's also won eight "Match of the Year" awards, four "Feud of the Year" awards and five "Most Charismatic" awards.
In his entire wrestling career, he's won 23 World Championships while wrestling for various promotions.
In addition to that he's also a three-time NWA Tag-Team Champion, three-time WWE World Tag-Team Champion, the 1992 Royal Rumble Winner and he was ranked No. 2 on the "PWI Years."
After his retirement match against Shawn Michaels at WrestleMania 24, no one ever expected for him to come back and wrestle but in less than two years he was working in TNA.
Some may say that it's insane that a 62-year-old man is still wrestling or that he should have honored his word and stayed retired but in the end, it's his body and his choice.
He's entertained generations of fans with his wild antics and dirt tactics. Although he may be a shell of his former self...we still have YouTube to remember him for the way he was!
Just remember...."To be the man...you've got to beat the man!"
Readers Thoughts on Ric Flair:
"WOOO! The Nature Boy has had a great, storied career in pro wrestling, and of course he's is a 16 time World Champion." – George Rader
"I never thought I would see the day where he was not #1. For the longest time there was nobody more versatile in wrestling style, and to this very day there is NOBODY better at “making” younger (and quite limited) talent then Ric Flair." – Windy City Cub
"Maybe the best worker ever? Many classic matches and promos over many years." – Colin Nuttall
No. 9 Chris Benoit
Say what you will about his personal life, but Chris Benoit was perhaps the greatest technical wrestler of all time.
Most of you have agreed and have voted him into ninth place with 26 votes.
In his 20-plus year career he was a two-time World Champion, a five-time United States Champion, a four-time Intercontinental Champion and the 2004 Royal Rumble winner (he's only the second man to enter in at number 30 and win).
He was also loved and respected by wrestling critics who awarded him several honors including a "five- star" award, "Best Technical Wrestler" five times, "Feud of the Year" in 2004 and "Wrestler of the Year" in 2004.
Since what he did to himself and his family in 2007 Vince McMahon has pretty much erased Benoit from the history books. What he did was tragic and unforgivable, but no one will ever know if it was him or a chemical imbalance in his brain as a result of steroids and head trauma over the years.
It's unfortunate that Vince erased him because Chris was one of the most gifted wrestlers of our generation, he may not have had the mic skills like some of the other champions but that never mattered to the viewers because we always tuned in to see him, no matter who he was facing. Although I do understand why Vince has tried to distance his company from Benoit, just hopefully when enough time has passed, we get a DVD set that shows some of the best moments of his life and career.
Hopefully they use some of the footage they used during the Chris Benoit Memorial.
Readers Thoughts on Chris Benoit:
"Not Matter how it Ended outside the ring, Inside he was one of the Greatests" – Michael Malnicof
"Angle vs. Benoit Rumble 2003 is the greatest match ever." – Jesus Leyva
No. 10 Triple H
Some people may call him overrated or say he slept his way to the top, but there's no denying his willingness to put his body on the line to entertain fans all over the world. The IWC has noticed put him in 10th place with 21 votes.
He was named both "Most Hated Wrestler" of the 2000s and the "Most Overrated Wrestler" of all time. He’s also a very good wrestler who’s capable of putting on great matches from time to time.
Don’t forget, before his pairing with Stephanie McMahon in late 1999 he was one of the top guys already (whether he would remain like that we’ll never know) but nonetheless he was making a name for himself and quite frankly…you can’t choose who you fall in love with!
As a 13-time World Champion, 2002 Royal Rumble Winner and the 1997 King of the Ring, Triple H (overrated or not) has his name in the history books as one of the "greatest" wrestlers of all time.
Aside from all of his championship accomplishments Triple H is also one of the founding members of one of the most controversial/popular groups of all time...D-Generation X, together with his real life best friend Shawn Michaels, they helped transition the WWF from the kid-friendly heel vs. face to a much racier adult-orientated product. He also co-founded Evolution with Ric Flair, that group helped catapult Randy Orton (seven-time World Champion) and Batista (six-time World Champion) to the main event picture.
Readers Thoughts on Triple H:
"Many believe he's overrated but he has had one of the greatest careers in all of wrestling regardless of how he did it." – George Rader
"The game has been one of the best powerhouses of all time and has to be in the top 10." – The Dunk
"Trained by a legend, This man stole the stoplight in the ring, with a mic, and in the minds of the men who faced him. It's good to be the king." – Ross Joswick
11. (Tie) Eddie Guerroro (21 Votes)
11. (Tie) Hulk Hogan (21 Votes)
13. Sting (11 Votes)
14. John Cena (10 Votes)
15. (Tie) CM Punk (9 Votes)
15. (Tie) Owen Hart (9 votes)
15. (Tie) Randy Savage (9 votes)
18. (Tie) AJ Styles (8 votes)
18. (Tie) Daniel Bryan (8votes)
18. (Tie) John Morrison (8 votes)
18. (Tie) Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat (8 votes)
21. (Tie) Edge (7 votes)
21. (Tie) Mick Foley (7 votes)
21. (Tie) Mr. Perfect (7 votes)
24. Randy Orton (6 votes)
25. Kane (5 votes)
26. Bruno Sammartino (4 votes)
27. (Tie) Christian (3 votes)
27. (Tie) Kofi Kingston (3 votes)
27. (Tie) Lou Thesz (3 votes)
27. (Tie) Mitsuharu Misawa (3 votes)
27. (Tie) Rob Van Dam (3 votes)
27. (Tie) William Regal (3 votes)
33. (Tie) Booker T (2 votes)
33. (Tie) Brooklyn Brawler (2 votes)
33. (Tie) Christopher Daniels (2 votes)
33. (Tie) Dean Malenko (2 votes)
33. (Tie) Dynamite Kid (2 votes)
33. (Tie) Harley Race (2 votes)
33. (Tie) Jeff Hardy (2 votes)
33. (Tie) Jimmy “Superfly” Snuka (2 votes)
33. (Tie) Samoa Joe (2 votes)
33. (Tie) Scott Hall (2 votes)
33. (Tie) Scott Steiner (2 votes)
43. Wrestlers with only 1 vote.
Alberto Del Rio
Andre The Giant
The Fabulous Moolah
The Great Khali
The Great Muta
Rey Mysterio, Jr
Ted Dibiase Sr.
About AJ Styles: "Yet again, AJ is the best wrestler of all time, you may call this a little brash, but his athleticism, combined with his pure talent makes him a guy that can go toe to toe with anyone and turn in an incredible match." – Daniel Moulton
About Kevin Nash & Scott Hall: "If there wasn't for these two, Sting, The Rock, Steve Austin and Triple h, would've never been such great legends! How? If they wouldn't have made the nWo Vince would've probably never been forced to create the great Attitude Era! And as we all know, the Attitude Era has made Austin, Rock, HHH the Superstars they are/were. And if it wasn't for the nWo we would've never seen the dark misterious Sting(which in my opinion is the breathest character ever). And Wrestling would've never been the most watched sport on TV." – Michael Rosales
About Hulk Hogan: "There is no one who has made a bigger impact throughout their career than Hogan, and I'm writing this has one of the biggest haters of Hogan." – Ryan Sz
About Lou Thesz: "Never saw him in his prime, but without him, wrestling would look different. Inventing German suplex, STF, Thesz press and first powerbomb is a big achievement itself." – Hellbilly
About Mick Foley: "He was no technical maestro, but he´s gone through more pain in ring than anyone else in history. In addition to hardcore spots, he mastered brawling like few others. It was only thing he could do in the ring, but he was damn entertaining doing it." – Hellbilly
About Mr. Perfect: "Perfect-Plex = Prettiest Suplex EVER!" – Michael Malnicof
About Own Hart: "Definitely the best wrestler to come out of that family in my mind" – Terri Sutton
About Sting: "Although never signing with WWE, this main eventer had a sensational career for many different promotions. His mystique and charisma are matched by only few." – Ross Joswick
About Vader: "Greatest Super-heavyweight EVER!! Enough said." – Jesus Leyva
"I know that Steiner and Malenko won't get a whole lot of love but in terms of in ring wrestling ability I believe they have to be included. Scott Steiner was a suplex machine both before and after bulking up and for its time the Frankensteiner was pretty impressive. Malenko also had the suplex thing going on but I was going more because he was the Man of 1000 holds." – Matthew Pegouskie