To celebrate the holiday, here at MWC I will be ranking down the 10 Greatest Canadian Wrestlers of all time!
Just like in the Top 100 List and the Top 20 Women's Wrestlers, I'm gonna be taking a look at their in-ring skills,accolades,mic skills,charisma,and overall impact in the business!
As always I would just like to remind you all that this list is just 100% MY OPINION.
Without further ado, let's get on with the list!
Maurice "Mad Dog" Vachon
Hailing from Montreal, Mad Dog and his brother Paul went onto the wrestling scene the same time. He gained the nickname "Mad Dog" due to his crazy antics in the ring. He was hardcore before hardcore was even famous as they say!
Mad Dog was probably remembered best for his legendary run with the AWA! That's where he gained most of his success as he became a 5x AWA World Champion and 2x AWA Tag-Team Champion.
He had a long and great rivalry against another legend: Verne Gagne. They've feuded many times for the AWA World Title and headlined multiple events together!
On July 14,1973 Mad Dog headlined an event for Grand Prix Wrestling in a match against Killer Kowalski. It drew over 30,000+ people which is the largest wrestling crowd in Quebec history.
For the most part of his career, Mad Dog was a feared heel but during his final years as a wrestler he became a babyface and even formed a tag-team with his former rival: Verne Gagne! Speaking of tag-teams, Mad Dog also gained success in the tag-team division as he and his brother Paul "Butcher" Vachon gained success all over the world and held multiple Tag-Team Titles!
There was even a point in time where all the Vachons (Maurice,Paul,and their sister Vivian) dominated a lot of wrestling territories! After a long 4 decade career, Mad Dog decided to retire.
He was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2010. Sadly he passed away in November 2013 at the age of 84.
While he played a menacing Russian villain in the bulk of his career, Koloff is indeed Canadian! He had a 4 decade career in pro wrestling, winning multiple singles and tag-team championships.
Most fans probably know Ivan Koloff for being the one to end Bruno Sammartino's 8 year reign as WWWF Champion. It was so unexpected that the crowd were in utter silent when Koloff won the title! Of course he was only a transition champion, as he would lose the belt weeks later to Pedro Morales.
He was also the leader of the stable called "The Russians" along with his kayfabe nephew: Nikita Koloff and Krusher Krushev (aka Demolition Smash.) The Russians' most notable feud was against Dusty Rhodes & The Road Warriors.
Like I said earlier, Koloff didn't only had a successful singles run but also as a tag-team. He won the NWA World Tag-Team Championships 5 times, each one with different partners! Nikita,Krusher Krushev,Ray Stevens,Don Kernodle,and Manny Fernandez.
He had a successful career both in the US and Canada, wrestling for all the top promotions in those countries. He retired in 1994 but went out of retirement for a few matches in 2005 and 2009.
Ivan Koloff definitely paved the way for a lot of the Anti-American gimmicks that we've seen through the years, he lives and mastered gimmick. A true wrestling legend in my book.
After retiring from football, Gene Kiniski decided to become a pro wrestler and trained with The Funks. In his first year he was already a massive draw and a lot of promoters and fellow wrestlers were impressed by him, including Lou Thesz to whom he had a long rivalry with for the NWA World Title!
Kiniski's best run was in the 60's where he won a plethora of titles in different promotions, most notably the NWA and AWA World Championships! In fact Kiniski has one of the longest NWA World Title reigns of 1,131 Days.
During his run as the NWA World Champion, Kiniski was a hated villain. He successfully defended his title against the likes of Bobo Brazil,Johnny Valentine,Pat O'Connor,Dick the Bruiser,and Abdullah the Butcher just to name a few.
After a long 3 year reign, Kiniski finally loss the title to Dory Funk Jr. He also had a successful tag-team run with multiple partners like Fritz von Erich,Hard Boiled Haggerty,Killer Kowalski,Lord James Blears,and Mr. Saito.
Kiniski spent a 6 decade run with the wrestling business, his final match occurred in 1992. After retiring in wrestling, he became a promoter and was inducted into multiple wrestling Hall of Fames.
In April 14,2010 at the age of 81 Gene Kiniski passed away after losing in a battle against cancer.
Stu Hart was a successful amateur wrestler before turning into pro, winning multiple medals in various competitions.
He became a pro wrestler while also still serving in the army. He was trained by Toots Mondt, Stu was a notable tough guy and was well known for wrestling grizzly bears and tigers during his early career!
In 1948 Stu decided to become a promoter and thus "Stampede Wrestling" was born which was the most successful wrestling promotion in all of Canada. A lot of the legends and Hall of Famers that we know today started their careers in Stampede before joining the "big leagues" like WWF and WCW.
Out of all his accomplishments though Stu was best known as a trainer. He has trained dozens of wrestlers in the Hart Dungeon, most of them becoming big stars in the business! Here is a full list of all the wrestlers he has trained.
He hung up his boots in 1973 but still remained active by making appearances in various wrestling events, sometimes even managing his own sons.
Stu Hart is like the El Santo of Canada. He was widely respected all over the country. Unfortunately he passed away on October 3,2003 after suffering numerous diseases at the age of 88. He might be gone, but truly never forgotten.
Owen could've easily been in the Top 3 in this list if it wasn't for his sudden passing. A lot of people even say that he is a better wrestler than his brother Bret!
After being trained by his father, Owen got his first major roles when he joined in the WWF. At first he wasn't really a big star yet but as the years went by he went from being a tag-team partner with Koko B. Ware to becoming one of the top superstars of the company!
The most memorable feud he had for me is his rivalry against his brother Bret, which won the PWI Feud of the Year in 1994. Both men just delivered great matches and it could easily be the best sibling feud in wrestling ever, take note Bella Twins.
Owen was a 2x Intercontinental Champion,4x World Tag-Team Champion,and 1x European Champion during his whole run with the WWF. He would have been a great World Champion too! Owen also won titles for Stampede,NJPW,and USWA.
Great wrestler,has the mic skills and charisma. Sad that he was gone too soon. He will forever be missed!
Abdullah the Butcher
"Earthquake" John Tenta
The Missing Link
The Rabid Wolverine found success in three of the major promotions in America at the time: WWE,WCW,and ECW winning multiple championships there most notably the WCW World Title and WWE Intercontinental Title! Benoit also found success internationally, he had great careers in CMLL (Mexico) and NJPW (Japan.)
He was also a part on some of the greatest matches in wrestling history. Him and Kurt Angle always delivered 5-Star Matches that any technical wrestling fan would drool over! He also had terrific matches against his own friends: Eddie,Y2J,and Dean Malenko.
The only bad thing about his whole wrestling career is his lack of mic skills. Other than that Benoit was a phenomenal wrestler but sadly most people just remember him for that one incident which is a shame.
Edge is one of my all time favorite wrestlers! Even though I hate his guts a lot back then (because he is such a great heel) I still admired his great in-ring skills and boy what a great talker he is as well!
Edge was trained by the legendary: Sweet Daddy Siki. He first started out in the wrestling business as a nobody but then everything changed when he came to the WWF as a part of "The Brood" with his good friends Christian & Gangrel. That's where Edge really got his first big spot, him and Christian dominated the tag-team division of the Attitude Era!
He is a 12x World Tag-Team Champion in the WWE, winning 7 of those with Christian. I think everybody knows about their innovative TLC Matches against The Dudleys and Hardy Boyz! If you haven't seen any of those yet, then I highly recommend it!
After his whole tag-team run he still found success as a singles wrestler, becoming one of the top wrestlers of the WWE during 2007 until his retirement. Becoming World Champion multiple times and having great matches and feuds with the likes of John Cena,Randy Orton,Matt Hardy,Kane,and many more. He is also the winner of Royal Rumble 2010.
In 2011 however Edge announced his retirement in the ring after suffering years of neck injury. It was one of the saddest moments in wrestling. Just a year later he was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame. He still appears on WWE programming these days and even hosts his own show with Christian on the WWE Network!
"Rowdy" Roddy Piper
Yes indeed, while Roddy Piper portrayed a Scottish man for his whole career he was in fact from Saskatoon,Canada! In my opinion, Piper is still the best talker in pro wrestling ever, there is no one else that can top him!
He was also very great in the ring and can tell a great story that a lot of wrestlers these days seem to forget. His rivalry with Hulk Hogan is what made the WWF become the biggest wrestling company of all time!
Piper also only won 2 titles in his whole career with the WWE (the IC and World Tag-Team Titles) but he was still one of the most memorable wrestlers ever from the company. Yes being the World Champion is great but it just goes to show you that you can get over even without winning it, Roddy Piper is a great example of that.
Also who can forget about the Piper's Pit segments? It is often imitated but never duplicated. Roddy Piper is the king of talk shows in wrestling, nobody can even come close.
He had a long career that spanned for 4 decades, he had successful careers and won titles in various promotions not only in the WWE but also in WCW,NWA,PNW,GCW,and Mid-Atlantic.
Piper also found success in other forms of media besides wrestling. Everybody knows about his movie "They Live" and was also part of other movies and cartoons. He was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2005, which for me is still the best Hall of Fame Class.
Sadly the man we all loved and respected passed away in July 31 of last year, just a month after Dusty's passing. But like all other legends of our business, they may be gone but will never be forgotten.
Chris Jericho is a respected veteran in the wrestling business. The man has been wrestling for over 25 years now and he still performs great, sometimes even better than some younger talents we have today!
If we're talking about accolades, Y2J has gotten it all! He is a 6x World Champion and a record 9x WWE Intercontinental Champion! He also multiple other titles not only in the WWE but also in WCW,ECW,NWA,CRMW,and Japan.
Y2J is also often being noted as one of the greatest technical wrestlers of all time and that's certainly undeniable. He can wrestle with literally anyone and make them look good, and boy is he one of the best in the mic the history of pro wrestling has ever seen?
He started out as a nobody named "Corazon De Leon" and now as a household name, Chris Jericho is truly The Best in the World at What He Does! And if you don't agree with that, then you're a Stupid Idiot!
While I may not agree to a lot of his opinions about the business and wrestlers these days, I still respect Bret's body of work and his contributions for the business. For me he has always been the best technical wrestler that ever stepped foot in the ring.
After being trained by father: Stu and wrestling for his promotion Stampede, Bret joined the WWF as a tag-team competitor with his brother-in-law Jim "The Anvil" Neidhart. The Hart Foundation are one of the best tag-teams in wrestling and they've won the World Tag-Team Titles twice.
When Bret and Anvil went there own ways we all knew who became a much bigger star. The Hitman became the face of the WWF when Hulk Hogan started to leave and went to WCW. He gained massive popularity and was admired by fans both kids and adults! He had a legendary feud with Shawn Michaels which is always one of the best rivalries ever.
Some people say that he didn't have the greatest mic skills and yeah that may be true but that was when he was a babyface. Bret as a heel was real good in the mic!
Bret suffered an injury on WCW on a match against Goldberg which pre-maturely ended his career. He made a short comeback in 2010 where he won the WWE U.S. Title and even had a feud with Mr. McMahon.
A 7x World Champion, one of the greatest WWE World Champions of all time and a 2x Intercontinental Champion. He isn't one of my favorites but I sure damn know that Bret is truly one of the best there is!
Think I missed anybody else? Disagree with any of the rankings? Feel free to leave your own thoughts & opinions in the comments below.
Thanks for reading.