30 Greatest Technical Wrestlers of All Time
The most well-known wrestler ever is Hulk Hogan, and he gained his fame through charisma and bulk. The guy was huge and yet not a scientific wrestler by any means. With the Hulkster, power trumped everything—until he got old.
The wrestlers here are generally not large, but they made their way through the game by showing an interest and aptitude for the sport behind pro wrestling. Wrestling was probably the first-ever sport thanks to Cain and Abel, so there is a great history of man perfecting wrestling technique.
The 30 greatest technical wrestlers ever put time in the gym, not just to bulk up but to refine their game, and here we recognize them.
P.S.: I did not include Asian wrestlers because they would probably take over the list, and I do not know enough of them to judge fairly.
Chris Jericho would argue he is No. 1 on this list. He surely did know many moves and knew how to execute them, but he wasted most of his time running, cheating and bragging, for no reason.
He only weighed 220 pounds, but with his arsenal of wrestling knowledge he should've and could've capitalized even more than he already has.
29 Macho Man
Randy savage was one of the most successful wrestlers, but like Jericho he wasted a lot of time doing wacky things that downplayed his actual skills.
Savage was extremely fast and powerful and he knew multitudes of moves. He should have utilized them more. He won anyway but it would have been fun to see Savago stay technical for entire matches.
28 Bobby Lashley
It is rare to see a kid like this explode onto the scene with not only charisma, power and grace but the knowledge of tons of moves, which he uses. By the end of his career he should be way higher on the list.
Yes, MVP. No, I do not like him, but I know he can wrestle. MVP is another wasting his potential as a great technical wrestler by constantly hamming it up. Part of it is due to the fact that he was used as a mid-carder by design. MVP was so good that he made himself into something bigger. He is a great wrestler.
Finlay is hort in stature but not in skills which he refined across the ocean. His unorthodox style comes in handy in the States.
He was one of the taller wrestlers who could fight any which way. He could take it to the top rope, he could brawl, and he could execute moves only smaller guys usually handle.
DDP was an annoying wrestler to watch but he was probably way more annoying to actually fight, which I would never do, so I should just shut up now.
24 Jake Roberts
The Snake was another tall wrestler who really showed that to last in the pro wrestling game it wasn't all about muscle or charisma. Jake was rather deadpan in interviews and was built like a basketball player with no vertical leap.
Roberts indeed carved a niche for himself in the ring by simply being a technician. He won few titles but was always a feared opponent - or was it his python Damian that everyone was so scared of?
23 Ronnie Garvin
Garvin was a shorter wrestler who was stocky but not musclebound. He lived up to the name Rugged Ronnie because he could hit and take hits. He was a brawler in many ways but he was also a true wrestler and in pinches against other tough guys like Greg Valentine he would bust the moves out and he embarassed the heck out of many wrestlers in his career.
22 Arn Anderson
One of the heftier guys on the list is Arn Anderson. He could certainly mix it in a brawl but the big guy was no slouch in technical expertise.
He probably knew and used 1000's of moves in his career and yet he was never a household name except for those families who truly know the game, like the Andersons.
RVD is peculiar because he was small but overcame with amazing wrestling skills. Yeah he could fly but he wrestled many matches where his technical skills were on display. He was not a quitter and when you get a little guy who isn't a quitter and who knows so many moves, he is hard to beat, and he always was.
20 Ken Shamrock
This methodical fighter has fought in many forums including pro wrestling. His fighting background before pro wrestling define him as one of pro wrestling's technical best. Scary thing about Shamrock is he mixed his skills with size.
19 Rick Steiner
The Dog Faced Gremlin's career was overshadowed by his younger, bigger brother Big Poppa Pump (Scott) but Rick, unlike Scott, never lost his skills. They were both amateur wrestlers but Rick was smaller at 5'9" and so he won through his skills and not his power. He knew every move but couldn't execute them all.
Yes Dustin Rhodes has been relegated to joke status by the WWE but truly he is one of the best technical wrestlers ever, especially for a tall guy. Every single, and I mean every single time I watch Goldust I am disappointed that his total wrestling skills are not displayed. He has been robbed of showing his overall skills for some unknown reason.
17 Matt Hardy
This guy and his brother grew up wrestling together and they formed one of the greatest pro wrestling styles and set of skills ever.
16 Chavo Guerrero Jr.
Like many Hispanic wrestlers Chavo can truly wrestle. In Mexico the wrestlers are smaller yet more technically proficient. In Mexico, when you fight, it is about skills not size, because most people are not giant.
15 Ted DiBiase
DiBiase wasn't built up physically but his skills in every other aspect of wrestling took him really far. His skills were wide varied as he could brawl, take it to the air, take it to the mat and do everything in-between. He was truly a world class wrestler.
14 Dean Malenko
Malenko studied the art and sport of wrestling his entire life and when he stepped into the ring it was always obvious. He was only 5'9" (so am I) but I'd hate to wrestle Malenko. I would probably be tapped out quickly, so, probably, would you.
13 Jeff Hardy
See picture - Must I really explain Jeff's skills? They are astronomic and original, yet have you noticed he spent most of his career getting beat up?
12 Chris Benoit
I hate glorifying this a$%hole, yet he is one of the best technical wrestlers ever. But taking it out on his woman and child and then himslef is despicable. He shoulda just done himslef in.
X-Pac is one of the best technical wrestlers ever. He may have been forced to play thuggish roles but when it came down to it, the 1,2,3 Kid was almost always atop the heap at being able to execute moves others could only dream of.
10 Bob Backlund
Starting off the top 10 is none other than the old school legend Bob Backlund. He was also a small guy who could simply wrestle in any style, but when it came to a test of actual technical moves Backlund was superior.
9 Owen Hart
How did he get so good? Well, his dad Stu Hart knew alot, and if you grew up with Bret Hart as a brother you would NEED to know lots of moves.
8 Eddie Guerrero
When you grow up in El Paso or Juarez, you learn that fights tend to get technical. It's not about power really, it's about intelligence and guts and skills. Eddie had all of these and he was also really powerful but maybe only 5'8".
7 Shawn Michaels
HBK could do it all and in his long career he did do it all - His only knock is that maybe he jumped off the top rope a little too much. But it was fun.
6 Rey Mysterio Jr.
The little man is 5'5" but one of the most technically adept wrestlers of all time. Was it by necessity? Of course it was. He was 5'5" in a sport full of giants. Awesome fighter.
5 Lou Thesz
Lou Thesz is an icon for true wrestling skills and in my opinion only four technical wrestlers ever could have beaten the legend at the game he helped create into a worldwide spectacle. Could he beat the Big Show? No chance.
4 Ric Flair
He was only 6' and 240 pounds, so how in the heck did he dominate and rule for so long in so many places? Truly I believe it was his superior technical skills mixed with an amazing personality, flash and cheating. His cheating never was necessary really because when it came down to mixing it up with Flair, he would find a way to beat you and it is because he knows the game like no other.
3 Curt Hennig
He was an AWA world champ before he ever became the man known as Mr. Perfect. If you paid attention beyond his conceited personality, you would realize you had just witnessed one of the most smooth and cunning and technically superior wrestlers of all time. I was in awe every time I saw him fight.
2 Kurt Angle
This isn't a popularity contest. Angle is hated but recognized for what is totally obvious. He is one of the greatest true wrestlers in pro wrestling history, and can be only topped by one man in the technical department......
1 Bret Hart
The Hitman was known for his excellence of execution and watching him fight was like watching Bruce Lee do Karate or Mohammad Ali box or Gretzky play hockey or Ruth play baseball or Jordan play...wait.....no one was THAT good.
Hart isn't quite the Michael Jordan of wrestling but he may be the Michael Jordan of technical pro wrestling..he was a perfect 10 of a wrestler, now only if he had been 6'5" like MJ he would have never been beat.