One of Professional Wrestling’s greatest attractions is the high fliers. Watching Jimmy Snuka leap off the top rope and crush his lame duck opponent with his patented Superfly splash, or Rey Mysterio, Jr. performing a picture-perfect springboard hurricanrana perhaps best exemplifies the nobility of the industry's sometimes mystifying appeal.
It is the astonishment as well as the jubilation of seeing, witnessing, espying something we very well could not have thunk or foreseen, that former impossibility now rendered very much possible, that cross between our imagination and reality that is most exciting about these athletes.
Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat, Jushin “Thunder” Lyger and Mil Mascaras are just a few of these acrobats who have drawn our awe with their death-defying moves. And since we live in a society that is obsessed with ranking one over another, as if it truly proved something, it was only a matter of time before this confounding impulse swung toward them.
I have ranked the top five best high-flyers of all-time. The five that I have selected as the premiere daredevils of the squared circle were picked based on their supremacy in three crucial categories—innovation, influence and technique.
While this list is restricted to five, it does not diminish the accomplishments or proficiency exhibited by others that were ultimately left off of it for one reason or another.