WWE's Top 15 Technical Wrestlers (Revised)
Every list or ranking system comes with criticism, not everyone is going to agree with your thoughts or opinion.
In my last article, I highlighted some of the “Greatest Technical Wrestlers” in WWE history.
Every time you create a ranking list, you most certainly have to prepare yourself for unhappy readers as one or some of their favorites may have not made the list.
In my last article, many readers questioned why a few other deserving performers did not make my list.
Before I decided to publish my ranking list, I decided on which one of my list I should use as I created three versions.
I went with the list that would draw a debate.
I wanted to shake things up, I did not want to follow other list patterns as it would make the list somewhat predictable.
But I create articles for fans to enjoy and share their thoughts. So I revised my list and added some key technical wrestlers and subtracted others.
Hope you enjoy.
There are many styles that can create an exciting match.
You have high flyers, you have your flashy wrestlers and you have dominating forces.
The list goes on and on, but a personal favorite of mine is the technical wrestlers.
Technical wrestlers are so entertaining to watch. Every match that they’re in, they show passion and they give their all no matter what.
A lot of great technical wrestlers have crafted and honed their skills over years of training and traveling.
These guys always look to get better and always look to be at their best every time they step in the “squared circle.”
This is why technical wrestlers make sports entertainment great!
But one question still remains: Who is the greatest technical wrestler of all time in the WWE?
- BROCK LESNAR
- SHELTON BENJAMIN
- TRIPLE H
- WILLIAM REGAL
- KEN SHAMROCK
- ARN ANDERSON
Now there are many other names that could be mentioned, sorry if I missed a few...
Boring? How can fans say Daniel Bryan is boring?
OK, OK yes, Bryan is not too flashy and not much of an attention grabber but at the end of the day, Daniel Bryan is one of the best technicians in the industry today.
A lot of fans that are new to Daniel Bryan's presence see them, “American Dragon” as boring but maybe they should take a second look.
Although Bryan is still somewhat fresh to the WWE Universe, don’t call him a rookie.
Yes, WWE is the “big leagues” but Daniel Bryan (like many other great technicians) has traveled all around the world crafting and honing his skills.
Bryan is one of the best submission specialists in the WWE and pro wrestling industry as a whole.
Daniel Bryan sharpens his skills by training in MMA at UFC legend Randy Couture’s Xtreme Couture gym.
Now after Bryan has won this year’s SmackDown Money in the Bank briefcase, he has been in somewhat of a rut by losing a string of matches.
But if you’re a fan of the American Dragon, don’t give up hope just yet.
This is possibly just a building process to later on re-elevate this incredible talent, to shed his “boring” persona.
Yes I know, Bryan still has a lot to prove in the WWE still, but you can't argue the fact that he is one of the best if not the best performers of today!
King of Harts
The self-proclaimed “King of Harts” was an extraordinary talent whose life was cut way too short.
Owen Hart was one of those talents that could make the worst wrestler look exceptional.
Owen knew how to control the match and knew when to shake things up at the right moments.
And to think wrestling was not his first career choice.
That would have been a big setback, as Owen produced some of the greatest matches in the WWE.
Owen had wrestling in his blood though, and it was what he knew best from high school to being a pro. He always looked to have a great match.
Growing up as a Hart helped as well, as he had Bret Hart as his older brother to push him.
Owen is another great performer who never won the big one in the WWE but he performed like a winner in every single match.
Million Dollar Man
Ted DiBiase Sr. is one of the most, “despised villains” in WWE history but he was also known as one of the greatest in-ring technicians.
Ted Dibiase was “The Million Dollar Man,” but his in-ring performances were just simply priceless.
He could sell maneuvers very well, making every move believable.
DiBiase was very strategic and calculated; he played his “villainous” role very well. As being one of WWE’s most “despised villains,” DiBiase knew how to get a reaction from the crowd.
Not too many performers can do that, this is what made “The Million Dollar Man” a great pro wrestling technician.
Ted DiBiase Sr. is now retired and no longer performs but now we can look forward to a bright future from his son Ted DiBiase Jr.
The Man of 1,000 Holds
Although Dean Malenko did not have much success in the WWE, he still was a force in the ring.
Malenko was a true student of the wrestling world, especially since he was born into a wrestling family.
Malenko had a cold and calculating demeanor; you never really saw this man smile—no wonder why one of his nicknames was "The Iceman."
When he stepped in the ring he meant business, and if you were not serious or did not respect his skill and craft, you would be punished.
Malenko was also known as “The Man of 1,000 Holds," which was not just a nickname, as he could submit you in various ways.
Dean Malenko is one of the best technicians to ever grace the ring; this is why he went from student of the game to teacher.
Eddie Guerrero had wrestling running wild through his veins; both sides of his family were deep into the wrestling business.
Guerrero was born to be a major star in the pro wrestling world as he was brought up under the wings of his father Gory Guerrero.
Guerrero had many demons to battle as he dealt with struggles and addiction.
This did not stop Guerrero from working hard and becoming one of the greatest wrestlers in WWE history.
Guerrero is another performer whose career ended too early due to a heart attack.
Just like Benoit, Eddie Guerrero had the emotion factor.
It was like Guerrero grabbed your full attention and took you into a trance when he performed.
From training in his parents' backyard in El Paso, Texas, to winning the WWE Championship against Brock Lesnar, Guerrero always knew that hard work would pay off.
Guerrero is a talent that can never be duplicated or matched.
Latino Heat was one of my favorite wrestlers. R.I.P.
Before Dolph Ziggler started to claim perfection, there was Mr. Perfect.
Curt Henning aka Mr. Perfect was truly “perfection” when he stepped in the ring.
His cockiness, aggression and technique created classic matches with almost anyone he stepped in the ring with.
Let’s just put it this way: Curt Henning had swagger way before the word became overly popular.
His matches were exceptional. You appreciated Henning’s technique as he looked to capitalize on every maneuver.
To think that this incredible talent never held the two major titles in the WWE and WCW is just crazy.
Although he never won the big one in the WWE, we can still look back and appreciate his work, as it was "perfection."
We also have Michael McGillicutty to look forward to (Henning's son).
WWE Is Jericho
The “Ayatollah of Rock and Rolla," Chris Jericho has it all from charisma, microphone skills and best of all, incredible in-ring skills.
No wonder he was the first undisputed champion in the WWE.
Jericho was another talent that did not just craft his skills in one organization; Jericho traveled all over the world to perfect his skills.
This is why Jericho is a fan favorite; he gives his all with his microphone skills and his in-ring ability.
Jericho always looks to reinvent himself upon his return to the WWE ring.
Jericho is a top-notch performer, who I hope to see in the “squared circle” very soon.
The Show Stopper
How many five-star matches can a performer have?
I guess when you’re Shawn Michaels, as many as he wants.
Michaels is one of those wrestlers that can make you feel like you’re watching a movie.
Michaels leaves it all out in the ring till there is nothing left.
His in-ring technique is so graceful and so on point, other performers study, watch and hope to one day produce a high-quality match like HBK.
HBK has more five-star matches in his library than just the two classic WrestleMania matches with the Undertaker.
If Shawn wanted to, he probably could go for hours in a grueling match, then go run mile.
Okay, I got carried away there!
Michaels is a true artist that paints a beautiful picture when he performs. His incredible aerial attacks add to his stylistic arsenal.
When other pro wrestlers stepped in the ring with the WWE, they looked to perform at a high level, as it should be a honor to wrestle the great HBK.
It is sad to see the way Chris Benoit’s career had ended.
Although Chris Benoit’s life had a sad, dark ending, he left behind an incredible legacy with his skill, devotion and dedication to pro wrestling.
In New Japan Pro Wrestling, Chris Benoit crafted his aggressive, rough-and-tough wrestling style while portraying The Pegasus Kid.
He would have historic matches with acts Justin Liger, Shinjiro Otani, Black Tiger and El Samurai.
Like many other technical wrestlers, Benoit wanted to learn every aspect of the game of pro wrestling to craft his skills.
Good thing he did, because every time Benoit entered the ring, he did not disappoint.
Although Benoit won major gold in WCW, it was not until he entered the WWE where he would truly shine.
It was like Benoit had new life and was more aggressive and determined to be a top star.
What made Benoit’s matches even greater is that he showed true emotion.
Still do not agree with what he did on his last day on earth, but I do appreciate his craft.
Tito Santana is one of the greatest mid-card talents in WWE history.
Santana has cemented his legacy in the WWE with great matches and achievements; he has had two Intercontinental title runs, two tag team title runs and won the 1989 King of the Ring tournament.
The former tight end of West Texas A&M University football program turned his attention to pro wrestling after his football career did not turn out as expected.
Good thing he did decide to switch professions, we (the fans) can think him for putting forth incredible matches.
Fans just loved Tito Santana, this is probably why you never seen the guy turn heel.
There is a reason why Santana was a key favorite in the WWE: because he treated wrestling as a science and capitalized on every move.
His move set was exceptional and one of the best, Santana’s arm-drag and diving clothesline where just a couple of key maneuvers he had mastered and something you did not want to experience.
You think Tito Santana would have been more of a staple in the main event picture but as superstars like Shawn Michaels hit the scene it was time for Santana to take a step back.
Tito Santana was a crafty, agile wrestling technician whose skill should never be forgotten!
The Nature Boy
Ric Flair has basically done it all in the world of pro wrestling.
The Nature Boy created classic matches before I was born and looks to continue that trend.
The 16-time world heavyweight champion added style to technical wrestling; from his strut to charisma, Ric Flair was gold.
Flair knew how to build up a mega feud and he knew how to deliver in the ring for an epic and climactic battle.
Flair has been a top draw/star in every organization he has wrestled for, as he knew how to produce quality matches and promos.
Nature Boy put on classic matches with performers like Randy Savage and Ricky "The Dragon” Steamboat.
Say what you want about Flair, but at the end of the day, you have to applaud the incredible matches he has left behind along the years.
How many retired WWE Hall of Fame performers do you know that has not wrestled a match in years, but return to have a five star performance at WrestleMania XXV (25) against Chris Jericho?
Not too many, but Ricky the “Dragon” Steamboat is one to do so.
Who knew that the “Dragon” still had the skills to perform at a high quality level?
We (the fans) were excited and grateful of the performance that was displayed that night at WrestleMania.
But it shouldn’t of have been that big of a shocker as Ricky the “Dragon” Steamboat is no stranger to 5-star performances and matches.
Some fans don’t see Steamboat as much of a “technical” wrestler, but in my opinion he is.
The “Dragon” was very crafty and swift.
Steamboat was a master of the diving cross-body and knew how to put on classic performances.
Ricky the “Dragon” Steamboat is “technical” and one of the best!
After having an accomplished amateur wrestling career at North Dakota State University, Bob Backlund went on to have an incredible 30-year career in pro wrestling.
Bob Backlund is arguably the greatest champions in WWE history.
Backlund had a very unique style. He was technical and flashy at the same time. Some fans saw this style as goofy, but it was very entertaining and grabbed fans' attention.
He was a natural face that every fan could love; this is why his career lasted so long.
Although Backlund has a kind demeanor, don’t take it as a weakness as you could end up in the cross-face chicken-wing.
Backlund will go down in history as one of WWE’s greatest champions and one of the greatest technical wrestlers in the pro wrestling world.
Olympic Gold Medalist
The Olympic gold medalist Kurt Angle will go down in wrestling history as one of the greatest performers ever to strap up the boots.
Kurt Angle is a master at mat technique; the guy won a gold medal, of course.
If there was one bad awful match Angle had, I don’t know about it!
When have you ever witnessed a boring Angle match?
Angle is very serious about his skill and performance during matches.
Say what you want about the guy, but at the end of the day, he has pure talent running through his veins.
Although he no longer wrestles in the WWE, it does not mean he is no longer performing at a high level.
On Impact Wrestling, Kurt Angle continues to push to have 5-star matches.
Maybe one day we will see Angle in the WWE, which is very doubtful but hey one has to wish.
But as of right now, Angle is busy training for the 2012 Olympics and is expanding his successful Angle Food brand and performing for TNA Impact Wrestling.
The Best There Is, the Best There Was and the Best There Ever Will Be
The Best There Is, The Best There Was And The Best There Ever Will Be.
Bret Hart’s statement may have seemed cocky, but fans didn’t care because at the end of the day, he backed it up.
Hart has stated that he joined the wrestling team "for the sole reason that my dad expected me to... no one asked me to." (Via Wikipedia.com)
With an amateur wrestling background and true passion for the game, it’s no wonder he is one of the greatest to perform in the ring.
Bret Hart’s confidence and heart (no pun intended) helped him push himself to the next level.
His skill was untouchable and you knew you were going to always receive a 5-star match with A + effort no matter who the opponent was.
Hart was the master of the iconic sharpshooter maneuver and if you so happened to be caught in this punishing submission, it was highly likely this would be the end of the match.
The now defunct family Hart Dungeon may take credit for the well rounded skill set Hart had honed and mastered.
Not only was he an incredible talent in the ring, but he could also connect with the crowd with his confident microphone skills.
Bret Hart was pure gold and I don’t think we will ever witness another talent like him.
WWE's Greatest Technical Wrestler
As one half of the British Bulldogs, the Dynamite Kid was truly an expert at wrestling technique.
Not only was he a great tag partner but an awesome singles competitor as well.
Dynamite Kid and fellow foe, Tiger Mask, used to have wrestling clinics in the ring.
He was so good at his technique that it did not look practiced one bit but came simply natural.
Dynamite Kid could finish competitors in so many ways, it was basically pick your poison; would you like a diving head-butt, a devastating kneeling belly to belly pile-driver or the super-plex (the innovator of the move)?
It is crazy to think that he is now disabled in a wheel chair.
This is why we should give praise to performers like Dynamite Kid. Dynamite Kid and others give their all every single match and put their bodies on the line to turn risk of health into rewards.
Dynamite Kid was an awesome talent and his skill and craft will always be cherished and applauded.
After watching match after match and studying each competitors skill, I came to the decision that, in my opinion, Dynamite Kid is the "Greatest Technician" in WWE History!
When you watch Dynamite Kid and study his performances, every match just seemed effortless.
You can tell pro wrestling was a true art to him and a true passion that he took very seriously.
These are the performers who are the true back-bones of the wrestling industry.
This is why Dynamite Kid is my pick for "Greatest Technical Wrestler" in WWE history.