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  #1  
Old 09-15-2016, 02:47 PM
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Default Make Your Case - Best Ever Wrestler

For a while now, I have been thinking of making a series of threads called "Make Your Case". The idea of the thread is that you name what you deem to be the best in that topic of discussion. The easiest one to begin with is the one in the thread title - the best wrestler to ever lace a pair of boots.

It is important to note that this isn't a thread about who is your favourite wrestler, although they might be the same person if you genuinely feel that way. Rather, this is a thread designed for you to state who deem to be the paradigm of what a wrestler should be. The criteria for such a decision rests with your own personal views.

So with that, I guess I'll start. I think the best wrestler to ever have wrestled a match is The Undertaker. I believe this to be the case for various reasons and in this thread, I'll try my best to outline why I feel this way.

First of all, his accomplishments inside of the WWE have been amongst the very best that the company has had to offer. He is a 7 time Heavyweight Champion, a 7 time Tag Team Champion, a Hardcore Champion, and a Royal Rumble winner in 2007. But perhaps the biggest accomplishment of all, is his amazing streak of 23-1 at various WrestleMania events throughout the years. When people think about The Undertaker, they don't always think about the Championships that he has held over his glittering career. Instead, they probably think about his WrestleMania streak that has spanned 25 years. The same streak that has included such wrestling personalities as Jimmy Snuka, Jake The Snake Roberts, King Kong Bundy, Triple H, Kane, and Shawn Michaels. As far as streaks in wrestling go, perhaps none are more impressive than that of The Undertaker's WrestleMania streak. He has continually come up against the very best that the WWE has had to offer and he has, on all but one occasion, risen to the challenge and bested them. The Streak is an unmissable and truly iconic piece of wrestling history.

But when talking about The Undertaker, pretty much everything is iconic. I remember being 4 years of age when I first watched The Undertaker take part in a wrestling match. He was so frightening and scary that it gave me nightmares for days. His entrance, as much as it has evolved during the years, is just another small piece of puzzle that is The Undertaker that can truly be called iconic. His look, gimmick and entrance have carved a niche in the WWE that they will forever look to replicate. With that being said, everyone in this thread knows that it will never be done. The Undertaker is a one in a billion. If Vince had taken that gimmick to someone else, chances are it wouldn't have worked out on such a grand scale and over the time that it has. It stands as a testament to just how good Mark Calaway actually is. He is truly a legend.

But if his gimmick, entrance and look are legendary, so much more can be said about his loyalty. A lot has already been said about how The Undertaker was one of the guys that Vince leaned on heavily during the Monday Night Wars and the business war with WCW. He came into the business, along with a few other notable names, that really turned the tide in the way of the WWE. Whilst WCW focussed on the past, the WWE created new stars and The Undertaker was one of them. And for the last 25 years, The Undertaker has been paying back that loyalty in him by continuing to perform longer than most can only hope for. But more than that, he has continued to perform at the top of the business for that long. His recent matches with Shawn Michaels and Triple H show that The Undertaker is a truly remarkable wrestler, coupled with a pretty remarkable human being.

The Undertaker is known for being the leader of the WWE locker room and that is a position that he earned both inside and outside of the ring. When I was compiling a list of matches that I felt shaped me as a wrestling fan, The Undertaker was one of the names that stood out the most. As I said, his matches with Shawn Michaels and Triple H at recent WrestleMania events will go down in history as some of his best. But there is so much more to The Undertaker's wrestling repertoire than the matches at WrestleMania. The Undertaker's career is laden with amazing matches and iconic moments that have shaped the wrestling business. Remember the buried alive match with Stone Cold? Remember the Hell in a Cell match against Mankind? My point is that The Undertaker has shown time and time again that he is a trailblazer for the WWE and for wrestling in general.

The Undertaker is the complete package, there is no doubt. But I firmly believe that he goes above and beyond the likes of Hogan, Austin and Sammartino, and should be called the very best that wrestling has had to offer.

How about you?
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  #2  
Old 09-15-2016, 03:25 PM
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My complete package is The "Macho Man" Randy Savage.

What is there that the Macho Man didn't have?

The build of a super athlete, the perfect wrestler look. Check.
One of the greatest in the ring performers. Check.
Unlimited charisma. Check.
Badass face and badass heel. Check.

What else does a wrestler need? In my book, the Macho Man is the complete package, as he combines build, a larger than life character, in ring performance and charisma, all of which at a top notch level.

A very close second would be HBK, but I think Savage beats HBK when it comes to mic skills and charisma.

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Old 09-15-2016, 03:26 PM
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First of all I want to say that I think this is a great idea and a great form of debate. Also, that was a really good opener and I'm pretty sure that everyone that comes in here with an idea, after reading your post, will start to have second guesses. That's actually the beauty of this thread, because wrestling has seen so many terrific personalities and athletes that to just showcase one is almost impossible.

I think The Undertaker, Ric Flair, Hulk Hogan, Shawn Michaels and The Rock will be the more obvious choices, but I'll say a different name that people usually look down, specially on being the best wrestler ever. His name is John Cena.

He hits all the same points that The Undertaker does. His loyalty is unquestionable, his respect for the business is legendary, since everyone that has ever worked with him tells you that he's usually the first wrestler in the arena and the last one to leave. That's commitment. He's even learning Mandarin just to give the brand more exposition. It's loyalty to the brand and to the business as a whole. He wants other wrestlers to step up, he wants to be controversial, he just has passion for what he does. I've seen the Batistas, I've seen the CM Punks, I've seen the Daniel Bryans and nobody, no matter how amazing they are have proven to be a better choice than John Cena to be the iconic figure of this generation.

It helps a lot that he is one of the most polished workers inside the ring ever. He has classics after classics on such a regular basis that people take him for granted. You go way back to Judgment Day '05, the I Quit Match against JBL for the WWE Championship... Arguably one of the best matches Bradshaw has ever had. And with more time and more seasoning that starts to be the rule against whomever he faces. Umaga, Edge, Batista, Randy Orton, CM Punk, Daniel Bryan, Brock Lesnar, Cesaro, Kevin Owens, Seth Rollins, AJ Styles. Even the Cena vs. Michaels has to be considered Top 5 of HBK's legendary career.

That's a whole lot of great names to be as their best opponent. He's also the epitome of big moments such as John Cena vs. The Rock, or the double AA to Big Show and Edge. It's so many that it's hard to define the one. For some, maybe it's bloody mess after JBL's match is the thing, maybe it's only the victory over Triple H, but that goes to show you how much of a perfect wrestler he is.

Aside from being a good worker, he's also one of the best talkers the business as seen. He's more generic in the way that he doesn't go over the top, his speech is always the same pretty much, but his delivery is always fantastic and once again, we've been used to it for so much time that we take it for granted. Anyway, welcome John Cena to the discussion of one of the best pro-wrestlers in the world - in my case, the best.
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  #4  
Old 09-15-2016, 03:58 PM
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IMO, the greatest wrestler of all time is: Ric Flair

It's easy to sit here and go over his list of achievements and tell you that everybody else fails in comparison. 16 time World Champion, founding member of the Four Horsemen, 2 time WWE HOFer, etc etc. That's easy to do, but that's not why he's the greatest.

Honestly, Flair was never the best at one particular thing. He was never the greatest worker. He was never the greatest talker (he was great, but not the greatest). He never had the best looking body. What he was though, was good at all things that encompass a professional wrestler. Though he wasn't the greatest, he could talk, he could work a hell of a match, he wasn't bad looking at all. He was honestly the complete package. He could do it all and he did do it all. Not only that, though, he made people that would've otherwise been B or C players, some of the biggest names in wrestling history. He instantly gave credit to the other members of the Horsemen just by association. He made Sting a top guy. Kept Dusty Rhodes a top guy. Brought Ricky Steamboat to the dance. Barry Windham, Magnum T.A., Lex Luger, etc all owe a huge portion of their success to Ric Flair and they're a hell of a lot more. Hell, even Macho Man and Hogan owe their initial success in WCW to Flair because he put each of them over several times when they first arrived.

More than all of that, though, he's probably the most influential professional wrestler of all time. Without Flair we wouldn't have had HBK, HHH, Orton, Batista, Jeff Jarrett, and so many others. Even Stone Cold says he once aspired to be just like Flair.

Look, a lot of people are probably going to come in here and say, "Such and such made more money so they're the best". Horse shit. I consider the best to be great in all areas of the business and nobody; not Hogan, Austin, the Rock, or anyone else encompasses that more than Flair. Did he make as much money as Hogan? No, but he did very very well. Well enough to keep a second rate company afloat for years. Was he as good in the ring as HBK? No, but he was damn close. He has some of the greatest matches of all time. Could he cut a promo better than the Rock? No, but he laid the groundwork for the Rock to follow.

As Flair always said, to be the man you've gotta beat the man. When it comes to who's the greatest of all time, Flair IS the man. Whether you like it or you don't like it. Learn to love it because it's the best going today. Diamonds are forever and so is Ric Flair. Wooooooooo!!!!
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  #5  
Old 09-15-2016, 04:54 PM
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As good as some of the men were from the previous Eras of Pro Wrestling the thing that makes me not want to throw names out is the time period at hand. The marketing, opportunity, and momentum a wrestler is given can entirely change our perspective as fans towards them. With bigger crowds and more pay and competition the talent thrives. In the modern day of internet and spoilers very few of them make it seem like it's more than just a big match.

So a lot of these things may be amazing in comparison today or even at the time, but the things surrounding it truly affect the product of a Pro-Wrestler and their matches. Their body is a brand and they use it to obtain their status whether it be their speaking, the decoration, or the movement. With all things considered as far as I can as just a fan I will throw out the name, AJ Styles.

TNA, WWE, WWF, WCW, NJPW, ROH, NWA, PWG, and CZW.

Safe worker? People criticize the Styles Clash, and say it is dangerous. Out of over 1000 matches in a career spanning over a decade he's injured few and most have claimed they were at fault.

Ability: Look up his age and the style he wrestles in and find me a comparison that is as fluid as he is and still doing wonderful. Anything from straight punching, to kick and punch combos, high-flying, and technical is under his belt and much more in his arsenal.

He was having beyond amazing matches with detailed storytelling with or without a build since 2005. He is the man in the ring, and his actions speak louder than any wrestlers words do today.

He does make some bad promo's that's true. He's never had a voice geared towards a person who should be talking often, but somehow he still gathers people rallying behind him and hating him as much as they can. Feel free to show me someone with a voice similar or maybe a little worse on the public speaking aspect and be sure they have at least half of his ability.

He connects with crowds all over the globe and doesn't seem to do so bad at making a name for himself with just his skill alone. He's worked with the worse and the best and it seems like he's still thriving at the peak of the mountain regardless of who won or loss. He's still here, and he's the current Smackdown Champion.

He has the ability to rebound and maintain momentum, and can and has worked with awful material given to him to pull out some of the best. Even with spoilers people still tune in and the match he gives is real. The storytelling sinks you in, and that is what makes Pro-Wrestling more than just some low brow entertainment. Whether you see it that way or not obviously people tune in and are lifetime fans, because of people like AJ Styles.

Sure people can reinvent themselves and some make gimmicks work for a long time changing perspective like The Undertaker, Triple H, or John Cena.

At some points of these peoples careers it was pretty apparent how great they were, but as an entire span some of these guys aren't as great as they are played out to be. From advertisement to bandwagon hate, and being a company favorite maybe they aren't that good. I mean I recall Undertaker having some good matches, years ago and he still seems to be around. Before that he even had long-span career lows.

John Cena is a star, and a great competitor. With all that has been given to him I honestly couldn't consider him above someone like Steve Austin and the gimmick he had or someone like Mick Foley.

Flair, Hart, Shawn have all been great at a point, but they've had some intense career lows that nearly made no sense. I'd feel ridiculous to even include flair in a discussion like this entire span wise. If we are just picking an era that is so unfair and even in his prime there were a few just as good.

Styles has everything people seem to latch onto to define their great or their favorite, and for what he lacks or doesn't he seems to shine through and thrive while that person dwells on the nostalgia or the past.

Overcoming bad booking? Well Decorated? Good at nearly every aspect of pure in ring ability? Connect with a global audience? Made a name for himself and much more? Can go from an entirely different atmosphere and fly across an ocean and wrestle an entirely different match? Well decorated? Good matches? Indy and WWE, and Casual fans? Bullet club Leader? Wrestled Greats? Flows beyond well for his age and seems to be peaking? Pointed out as great by people considered above his level? Able to not only rebound, but completely reinvent himself in a way that retains character qualities and stays fresh?

A main reason: In an Era of fake, he remains real. The accolades and the magical Promo that made the best he may not have or couldn't do, but somehow he still accomplishes more just because of who he is. The workhorse turned into a star. I can picture Styles almost anywhere and everywhere in Wrestling and I could say that for no one else. The facts, the fans, and accolades are there. As well as the performance.

The Legacy is there and he doesn't need people to cite him. He is the legacy.
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Old 09-17-2016, 05:09 AM
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The best I ever saw in the ring was Bret Hart. And really nobody came close to him. He may not have been the flashiest wrestler but ultimately the point of pro wrestling is to suspend your disbelief and feel like you are watching a real match. And nobody was better at that than Bret. He was only 6'1 240 but you genuinely thought he could beat a guy like Taker or Diesel because of the psychology he showed in the ring. He knew when to get heat and when to get sympathy for him.

Guys have come and gone and done a bunch of spots and flips but none of them grasped the meaning of professional wrestling like Bret did and the storytelling that he knew how to do. He truly was the best there is, best there was and best there ever will be in the ring.

But... with that said when you say best you have to define what it means? Ultimately as good as Bret was he didn't draw money like Bruno, Hogan, Flair, Austin or The Rock did. So if you're talking drawing money wise than it cant be Bret, it would have to be somebody like Bruno who sold out MSG more than anybody. Or somebody like Jim Londos who at one time was arguably the most famous athlete in the world.
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Old 09-17-2016, 07:34 AM
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I would say Ric Flair. I think it's easy to look at the accomplishments of many others Hogan, Taker, Michaels, HHH, etc... But the main thing that I think that puts him ahead of everyone was his ability to put over credible threats to his title. He did his fair share of winning but he also lost some high profile matches which was best for business. You look at guys like Hogan, Austin, HHH, etc.. that refused to do a job to put over an up and comer and that is selfish and stupid for the product. Wrestling needs to stay fresh and Flair kept every challenger relevant. He even made Ronnie Garvin look like a credible champ for goodness sakes. So for that reason and his ability to be perhaps the greatest heel of all time I would say Flair.
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Old 09-17-2016, 11:39 AM
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If you take into account all the intangibles that y'all have mentioned, the only person that I can think of is Undertaker. He made his presence felt from the moment he arrived. I won't get into his championships as that point has been made. But he's an agile big man that could have a match with just about anyone and make them look good. A ring general for sure and great charisma, even when he wasn't on the mic. Most of all he was respected by the entire locker room and execs. Hell, even Trips went to both Taker and Vince for their blessing to date Stephanie. Definitely my GOAT.
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Old 09-17-2016, 02:42 PM
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Damn near impossible to argue the point of The Undertaker Dave, but I'll try. If there is one man who shaped the business, who put wrestling on the map in the eyes of the WORLD and not just wrasslin fans it's none other than The Immortal Hulk Hogan.


We can debate championships, Hogan's had plenty of them over his career in multiple promotions. But his body slam of Andre the Giant sent shock waves around the planet that can never, EVER be duplicated again. The day after, Wrestle mania 3 and the Andre body slam was on every news station around. Nothing came close to that kind of exposure, brother!

I'll also be a life long Hulkamaniac at heart. He's made a few dumb decisions in his life that didn't pan out or made him look like a tool, but let's focus on Hulk Hogan, the wrestler for this thread.

Let's see Hulk Hogan has main evented Wrestle mania....

1, 2, 3, 5,6,7,8,9.....

....and countless WCW and TNA events plus his Icon vs Icon match that stole a Wrestlemania.

That's not too shabby for a power wrestler with a limited move set. What made everyone a Hulkamaniac was the character himself. It was the over the top interviews, the iconic entrance music and the big comeback at the end, when all seemed lost.

Hulk Hogan can also be credited with having the best heel turn in the history of wrestling. Hulk Hogan was starting to get old and stale in WCW, he was getting more boos than cheers and he vanished for awhile. His return ignited the fans as he was going to punish The Outsiders and help Macho Man Randy Savage.....

...instead, Hogan drops the leg on Savage and Hollywood Hulk Hogan and the N.W.O are born. It was genius move at the time and it's going to be hard to top. The only turn I could see getting shock and awe right now would be John Cena.

In closing, Whatcha gonna do brother?! When Hulkamania comes crashing down on you?!!!
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Old 09-19-2016, 08:59 AM
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Great thread. And tons of possibilities. Taker is hard to disagree with. He's had longevity beyond most, hardly anyone can match his aura. His gimmick is totally unique and he got better and better as the years went by.

That said, I'm gonna go a bit left field and go for Stone Cold Steve Austin and here's why...

To this day Austin 3.16 is still, in my opinion, was still the biggest game changer in modern day professional wrestling. Austin completely changed the blueprint with that speech and I remember it just like it was yesterday. This then led to one of the best feuds in history with Brett Hart (who I think is a candidate for this himself) which had one of the best payoffs you could have wished for.

Austin was totally believable, he protected kayfabe better than anyone. The average viewer genuinely believed he was a badass. He carried long moneymaking feuds with McMahon and The Rock and has several Wrestlemania memorable moments.

Austin totally revolutionised the company, but he also won all the gold. He's a six time World Champion, 2 time Intercontinental Champion, 4 time Tag Team Champion, King of the Ring winner (which he didn't use to further the KOTR gimmick but used it to elevate himself), and a 3 time Royal Rumble winner.

He was phenomenal in the mic, very talented in the ring and was bursting with attitude and charisma. As a kid watching Austin, he genuinely scared the shit out of me, especially in his early years. If it hadn't had been for injuries, Austin would have had even more longevity than he did.

Austin ticked all the boxes in every department for what you would expect from a main event wrestler, but he was completely unique in the way that he did it. You can't say that for many people.
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