Your Top 10 Wrestlers of the Decade
As the decade comes to a close, it's time to reflect on the last ten years and really ask ourselves who made the biggest impact and did the most with the opportunities that were given to them.
I really think this was a strong decade as a whole as far as talent goes. It should be interesting to see what you guys come up with.
10. Rob Van Dam
RVD, who was always beloved on the indy scene came to the WWE in 2001, and made an impact on the company as one of the most popular wrestlers. Not only was he extremely popular, but he backed it up with how good a wrestler he was. RVD won his share of championships, and had good to excellent matches during his run. RVD won the WWE Championship and the ECW Championship simultaneously. He also was a 6 time Intercontinental Champion, and a 3 time Tag Team Champion.
9. Chris Benoit
Despite what happened, he was one of the best overall wrestlers of the decade, and he always gave 100% every night he went out there. He was never afraid to put someone over either. He was a workhorse. It's a shame we lost such a talented performer due to a number of internal and external factors. Benoit had a lot of accomplishments as well. World Heavyweight Champion, WCW Champion, 4 time Intercontinental Champion, 4 time Tag Team Champion, 3 time United States Champion, Royal Rumble winner.
8. Shawn Michaels
What he lacks in championship reigns (One World Title reign, one tag title reign), he makes up for in quality matches. When he came back, he had a legendary feud with HHH which was filled with quality matches. From 2004-2009, he had match of the year candidates, including two last year (Flair, Jericho). His feuds are usually very well done. When Shawn Michaels shows up, you're going to be blown away by what he does. He's also very selfless. If he had a few more title reigns, he'd undoubtedly be #1 as far as I was concerned.
Christian has quietly been one of the top wrestlers of this decade. He's been extremely popular from the start to the end. Like Michaels, he's a workhorse, and he's put on nothing but excellent matches this year. I'd even say he's the wrestler of 2009 for all the work that he's put in. This decade, he was the NWA-TNA Champion twice, ECW Champion twice, has 9 WWE Tag Team Championships, a 3 time Intercontinental champion, and has won the European Championship, and a Hardcore Championship. Christian has worked his ass off on ECW to have excellent matches, and Sunday at TLC, he's going to blow the roof off of the arena vs. Shelton Benjamin.
6. Chris Jericho
Excellent on promos. One hell of an in-ring performer. Extremely good at generating heat. Chris Jericho, if he hadn't taken two years off, could have very well been #1 on this list. Despite having a sabbatical from the ring, Jericho is still one of the best of the decade. He beat The Rock and Stone Cold Steve Austin, the two biggest stars in the history of wrestling in one night to become the Undisputed WWE Champion. Throughout the decade, he won the WCW Championship twice, the World Championship Twice, was the Undisputed WWE Champion, had 8 Intercontinental Championship reigns, having the most Intercontinental Championship reigns of all time. He's also a four time Tag Team Champion. He also was a European and a Hardcore Champion, and is generally regarded as one of the best in the world.
5. AJ Styles
AJ has been the most polarizing wrestler in TNA. He's been there from the start, and is committed to TNA in trying to help make the company succeed. AJ can put on excellent matches with anyone, from Abyss, to Kurt Angle, to Christopher Daniels. He's also a team player, sticking it out when TNA was more interested in pushing the ex-WWE guys. He's innovative and exciting. He's also TNA's pioneer. He is the first Triple Crown and Grand Slam TNA Champion. He won the TNA Championship 4 times, the Tag Team Championship 5 times, the X-Division Championship 6 times, and the Legends Championship once.
4. John Cena
Cena's been the face of the WWE for awhile now. He is the closest thing they have to a mainstream crossover. He also works his ass off, and pulls out incredible matches when he wants to. He also can work with the best (Shawn Michaels) and worst (The Great Khali) of them, and put on matches that people want to see. Cena is more than "HURR FIVE MOVES OF DOOM", kids. Cena's been one of the top wrestlers in the company over the last few years. He's a 5 time WWE Champion, a 2 time World Heavyweight Champion, a 2 time Tag Team Champion, a 3 time United States Champion, and won the Royal Rumble in 2008.
In addition to being tremendous as a face and a heel, and as a result, one of the most charismatic wrestlers in the company, he's also a hell of a performer. He's quietly been one of the best of the decade, and like his good friend Christian, has been popular from the start to the end of the decade. Edge has had major success and major growth over the last 10 years. He's a 4 time WWE Champion, a 3 time World Heavyweight Champion, a 4 time Intercontinental Champion, a 13 time Tag Team Champion, a United States Champion, a King of the Ring winner, and has won Money in the Bank twice. He's also been involved with each Money in the Bank cash in as well.
2. Triple H
On the first Raw of the Millennium, HHH won the WWE Championship from The Big Show. From thereon out, he's been dominant. He's always been in the main event picture. He's come back from two serious injuries that anyone else would have to retire from. He's put on great matches year after year. He's got a great mind for the business and genuinely loves it. He's had many successes this decade as well. A 6 time WWE Champion, a 5 time World Champion. He won the Intercontinental Championship 3 times. He won the Tag Team Championship once. He's main evented a lot of Wrestlemanias. Only one person has been more successful than Triple H this decade, and that is...
1. Kurt Angle
Angle has consistently been at the top for awhile now, and he's been at the top for two major companies. He's had great matches with the best in the world, and is consistently mentioned when people talk about Match of the Year Candidates. He knows the wrestling business. He knows what goes into making a good match. He also knows talent when he sees it, and for the most part, he's not afraid to put somebody over. He went from being an Olympic Gold Medalist to being one of the greatest of all time.
In the WWE, his accomplishments were: 4 time WWE Champion, 1 time World Heavyweight Champion, 1 time WCW Champion, 1 time Intercontinental Champion, 1 time European Champion, 1 time Tag Team Champion, 1 time Hardcore Champion, and he was a King of the Ring Winner.
In TNA, his accomplishments were: 3 time TNA Champion, 1 time Tag Team Champion, 1 time X-Division Champion, 2 time King of the Mountain.
To me, Kurt has been, for the most part, very durable. Yes, he had his drug problems for awhile that he refused to go to rehab for, and he has sort of lost his mind, but he's still the best wrestler working today. He's been on top in the WWE and TNA, and to me, he's had a lot better matches than HHH has over the last ten years. That is why, to me, he ekes out HHH to be the best of the decade.
Not really using anyone who had a dominant career prior to the year 2000...well, maybe a few exceptions.
10. John Cena- Let's just get him out of the way now. Yeah, he's had a great run. Yeah, he works hard. Yeah, he's a good guy. Whatever. He stinks, I dislike him, but he has had success (even though he has never been accepted by the fans, and is still force feed down our throats).
9. Booker T- This may surprise some people, and I was never a huge fan, but he was solid. He held heavyweight gold on several occasions in both WWE and WCW (granted, they were in the toilet by that point). But you do have to give credit where credit is due...and he is still better than Cena.
8. Jeff Hardy- If he hadn't been suspended for drug problems, quit a few times, and wasn't on his way to prison, he might have been higher on the list. He was electrifying, a lot like Shawn Michaels. Good at hitting big spots and never letting them get boring. Too many big spots takes away fromt the excitement of them, but never for him. Had tons of potential, and pissed it away.
7. Brock Lesnar- This guy was an animal, a beast. He looked like Hogan and/or Warrio, but could wrestle. Would have been dominant for years and years had he not left for the NFL.
6. Edge- Overrated in my book, but still has had tons of success. Pretty good on the mic, even though he doesn't seem natural. Decent wrestler, puts on a hell of a show (always thought Christian was better, all around, just never got the break).
5. Randy Orton- Easily the best guy they have right now, and would be higher on this list, but has only been dominant a couple of years now. Great in the ring, on the mic, and can be downright evil. Best heel of the decade, but doesn't have much upside as a face, and that doesn't really. I think he is the next Ric Flair.
4. Steve Austin- His decade was the 90's, the end of the 90's really. He rebounded from nagging injuries in 01' and showed he could still do what he done so well from 96' through 99'. Actually, he had always done it well, wasn't noticed until 96.
3. Kurt Angle- Great wrestler, was hilarious in WWE on the mic. Kind of weird now, but still a damn good wrestler, one of the better in ring guys since Bret Hart. Too bad he left WWE.
2. The Rock- Only around for a few years this decade, but was the most popular guy they had, and could leave movies today, and STILL be the #1 guy in pro wrestling.
1. Triple H- Not the biggest fan of Hunter, but a great competitor, and no one can deny the thing he has done over the past ten years. What a decade, regardless of how he go it.
This is a tough one in a lot of ways. I'm not going to try and get all technical with it, this is for fun. I will give my top ten of the decade but in no particular order, and they are really just my favorites of the decade and I am not submitting them per say as being the best of the decade, I will leave that up to you.
1. Triple H, like you didn't see that coming.
2. Shawn Michaels, Or that one.
3. Brock Lesnar. Although he wasn't around for a long time he was probably the most successful guy in the least amount of time.
4. Kurt Angle. Company to company, title to title, this guy just wins, and is a master of the craft.
5. Chris Jericho. 1st undisputed champion for a reason, huge success since his comeback.
6. Randy Orton. More so over the last 5 years than the whole decade, he has been very successful, and is one of the best in the ring even though he doesn't seem that exciting at times.
7. Edge. 9 time world champion within the decade. Has had some of the most memorable matches and feuds.
8. John Cena. I hate this one, but need I say more. It's Fuckin' Cena!!!
9. Batista. Talk about making a lot of something, out of a lot of nothing! Batista is the real powerhouse of the WWE, and while people have their criticisms of him, he is one of the most successful talents of this decade.
10. The Undertaker. 18-0, enough said.
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