Greatest Wrestler Ever Project – Top 100 Baseline Test

greatest wrestler ever

It’s time to update the Greatest Wrestler Ever project.

When writing my introduction piece for my plans to determine my “100 Greatest” of all time, I promised a follow up around Christmas time. Well I’m a little late on that, but screw it, my Christmas tree is still up so I’m saying it’s okay.

The goal of this piece is essentially to conduct a baseline test (to coin a phrase du jour). I want to establish my starting point after roughly 24 years of wrestling fandom, and then see exactly where my next 12 months of reassessment and research takes me. So with that in mind, here’s a couple of points that I want to preface the list with.

  • As you’ll see from the list, it skews strongly in certain areas. For anyone unfamiliar with my tastes and wrestling watching history, I would say that I’m most familiar with 2000s Japan, WWE post-Hulkamania, WCW and modern US Indies. I would say 90s Japan also but there is admittedly a few holes I need to fill there.
  • My exposure is weakest when it comes to Lucha Libre, Joshi, 80s territorial wrestling, 80s Japan and the World Of Sport era European scene. I have certainly dipped my toe in all of those pools and would have pretty solid opinions on many of their biggest stars but there’s A LOT more I can watch and I will focus a lot of my 2015 viewing on filling those gaps. There are more than a few candidates who I think will have a very good shot at finishing high on my list when the year is done.
  • There are a few modern wrestlers who will undoubtedly climb the ranks with another good year in the books. Guys in their prime (Okada is a perfect example) will almost assuredly add to their candidacy over the next 12 months. Heck Okada added to his candidacy in a big way during the two weeks between me initially drafting this list and writing this right now.
  • And yes, before I get lynche, I don’t think Ric Flair is as great as most do but top 20 shouldn’t be considered a slap in the face to The Nature Boy. I think he was one hell of a performer but as it stands right now, I think there have been 16 guys better.

So with all that out of the way *drumroll* here’s my list!!!

  1. Kenta Kobashi
  2. Bryan Danielson
  3. Toshiaki Kawada
  4. Mitsuharu Misawa
  5. Shawn Michaels
  6. Jun Akiyama
  7. Masaaki Mochizuki
  8. Rey Mysterio
  9. Jushin “Thunder” Liger
  10. Steve Austin
  11. Bret Hart
  12. Terry Funk
  13. Hiroshi Tanahashi
  14. Genichiro Tenryu
  15. CIMA
  16. El Generico
  17. Ric Flair
  18. Randy Savage
  19. Dick Togo
  20. Stan Hansen
  21. Big Van Vader
  22. KENTA
  23. Daisuke Sekimoto
  24. AJ Styles
  25. Minoru Tanaka
  26. Masato Tanaka
  27. Koji Kanemoto
  28. Hiroshi Hase
  29. Eddy Guerrero
  30. Dustin Rhodes
  31. Tomohiro Ishii
  32. Yuji Nagata
  33. Minoru Suzuki
  34. Gran Hamada
  35. Shingo Takagi
  36. Mick Foley
  37. Chris Hero
  38. Keiji Muto
  39. Steve Regal
  40. Arn Anderson
  41. Jumbo Tsuruta
  42. Shinya Hashimoto
  43. Tatsumi Fujinami
  44. Cesaro
  45. Susumu Yokosuka
  46. Kota Ibushi
  47. Virus
  48. Shinjiro Ohtani
  49. Chris Benoit
  50. Masato Yoshino
  51. Prince Devitt
  52. Kensuke Sasaki
  53. Dr. Wagner Jr.
  54. Kurt Angle
  55. Satoshi Kojima
  56. CM Punk
  57. Ted Dibiase
  58. Negro Casas
  59. Naomichi Marufuji
  60. Ricky Steamboat
  61. Shinsuke Nakamura
  62. Kazuchika Okada
  63. Sean Waltman
  64. Seth Rollins
  65. Owen Hart
  66. Yoshihiro Takayama
  67. Chris Jericho
  68. Takashi Sugiura
  69. Ryo Saito
  70. Akira Tozawa
  71. Kevin Steen
  72. Hirooki Goto
  73. Mr. Perfect
  74. Sting
  75. Samoa Joe
  76. PAC
  77. Alex Shelley
  78. Ultimo Dragon
  79. Danny Kroffat
  80. Low Ki
  81. Steve Williams
  82. Kaz Hayashi
  83. L.A. Park
  84. YAMATO
  85. Akira Taue
  86. Austin Aries
  87. Gary Albright
  88. Katsuyori Shibata
  89. Edge
  90. TAKA Michinoku
  91. The Undertaker
  92. Yoshihiro Tajiri
  93. Brian Pillman
  94. Barry Windham
  95. Go Shiozaki
  96. The Rock
  97. Satoru Sayama
  98. Masanobu Fuchi
  99. Dean Malenko
  100. Ricochet

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One Comment

  1. Hey, just as a heads up lots of your guys on this list are yet to be nominated, you probably should get going on that and make threads for them or whatever. To save you a small bit of time I think the guys missing are: Go Shiozaki, Gary Albright, YAMATO, Kaz Hayashi, Alex Shelley, PAC, Ryo Saito, Naomichi Marufuji, Satoshi Kojima, Masato Yoshino, Susumu Yokosuka, Minoru Tanaka, CIMA.

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