Update: Hulk Hogan and the Top 10 Faces in Professional Wrestling History
A face in professional wrestling is simply a good guy. The guy who stands up to the heel (the bad guy) and overcomes the odds stacked against him.
Of course, these are the guys most fans root for, except if you're in this small group called the Internet Wrestling Community. This is basically a group of people who think they know more than Vince McMahon, Vince Russo and Eric Bischoff combined, although they don't. However, I digress.
This slideshow will rank the top 10 faces in the history of pro wrestling. The top 10 men that walked through the curtain and were cheered like few others. In fact, most of these guys never turned heel.
So sit back, relax, and I'm getting really cheesy at this point... Just start the thing!
Disclaimer: This is a list a the top faces, not superstars. Meaning, just because one guy is ahead of another doesn't mean he is the better wrestler than the other, but he portrayed a face better.
10. The Undertaker
When I first made this list, people were upset with me leaving out The Undertaker and "Stone Cold" Steve Austin. So, I decided to drop The Ultimate Warrior and include The Undertaker.
With his supernatural powers, The Undertaker has been atop WWE for quite some time now. He has had runs as a heel, but like many others, he's too popular to stay a face for long.
As far as Stone Cold goes, he has never really portrayed a face. He was more of an anti-hero than a face and always acted as a heel.
9. Bret Hart
Bret Hart is known for a couple of things: Wearing pink, being screwed and being one of the best technical wrestlers of all time.
Throughout his storybook career, Hart had many runs as a heel, but people loved him too much for him to be turned for long.
Many don't know that before his WWF debut, he was asked to start with a cowboy gimmick. However, Hart declined, saying "If you called yourself a cowboy, you'd better be one."
He instead requested to team with Jim Neidhart (his brother-in-law) and be managed by Jimmy Hart. Oh, and just to top things off, he wanted it to be called "The Hart Foundation."
Twenty-seven years later, Bret Hart looks like a genius for this. This goes to show you, if creative has nothing for you, come up with something yourself!
Now isn't that a great story?
8. John Cena
As the great Batista once put it "John Cena; the name and face of the WWE."
Well Dave, for the past several years, truer words have never been spoken.
Many reading this probably despise John Cena, because he is Mr. PG. But for those people, I advise you to go back and watch him in his rapping gimmick. Was that PG?
John Cena is a lock for the WWE Hall of Fame. He can play a great heel and a great face, but he just connects with the fans like few I've ever seen.
The only man on this list to never set foot inside a WWE ring, "The Icon" Sting, comes in at ten.
Sting is known for his face paint and almost supernatural gimmick. He feuded with The Four Horsemen, The NWO, Vampiro, Jeff Jarrett and Scott Steiner during his time with NWA and WCW. He, of course, left when WCW was purchased by the WWE.
At this point, many thought we'd never see Sting again. In fact, in many interviews he has stated that he believed he was retired at one point in time. Then, TNA came calling and Steve Borden accepted.
He debuted teaming with Jeff Jarrett to defeat A.J. Styles and Syxx Pac. Ironically, he'd soon take Jarrett's NWA Championship.
Sting would eventually feud with Abyss, James Mitchell, Christopher Daniels, Christian's Coalition, Kurt Angle and many others.
Basically, if they're a big name who has competed in NWA, WCW or WWE, he has probably headlined pay-per-views with them.
6. Shawn Michaels
Many will argue that Shawn Michaels was a better heel than he was a face. And I can see why. Nonetheless, I digress.
Michaels began as a tag team specialist alongside Marty Jannetty. He would eventually smash Jannetty's head through a window and move onto bigger and better things.
Those bigger and better things include being a three-time WWE Champion.
5. Bruno Sammartino
In two WWE Championship reigns, Sammartino held the WWE Championship for a combined total of 11 years. That's 4,040 days. Wow.
He was known as an Italian with a superior work ethic to just about everyone. He became an icon.
Unfortunately, he and Vince McMahon aren't on good terms. Because of that, he hasn't been put in the WWE Hall of Fame. That is a travesty.
4. Dusty Rhodes
"The American Dream" Dusty Rhodes. His gimmick was simply being a common, everyday American. I mean, how much simpler can it get?
He sold it very well, because he was just being himself. He had good in-ring skills, was superb on the microphone and above all else, was just really charismatic.
His son, Cody, is now building a legacy of his own in WWE.
3. Ricky Steamboat
Ricky "The Dragon" Steamboat benefited from a lot in WWE.
Shortly after his debut, he was dubbed with the nickname "Dragon" and changed his attire to fit this gimmick change.
As we now know, Steamboat would never look back. He was so popular amongst fans, he never had a legitimate heel turn.
He was best known for putting on five-star matches, including numerous matches with Ric Flair in 1989. Most recently, he showed he still had it by completing a feud (and some pretty good matches) with Chris Jericho.
2. The Rock
Words just cannot do this man justice. So I won't even try.
If you don't know who The Rock is... why are you reading this?
1. Hulk Hogan
Was there ever any doubt?
Hulk Hogan was John Cena before John Cena. Without him, we would not have pro wrestling today. Plain and simple.
He, like Cena, just knew how to connect with the fans. He had great mic skills and had just enough talent inside the ring.
No matter what your opinion of Hulk Hogan is, you must respect what the man has done for pro wrestling.
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