And we're already halfway through the Top 100 Greatest Wrestlers RE-RANKED Countdown with Part 5 as we take a look on who ranked from 59 to 50!
Featuring an evil millionaire (that is not Vince McMahon) and the greatest "Superstar" in all of wrestling!
*Wrestling Skills/Abilities - This is a huge part of the judging here, of course it's just common sense really. A wrestler must do his job well at wrestling in his appropriate/preferred style or role. Whether as a technician,brawler,highflyer,etc.
*Accolades/Accomplishments - The more prestige championship belts they have won, the better! We're also taking a look on other accomplishments such as yearly awards from PWI,inductions in Hall of Fames,and the like.
*Charisma - Whether as a babyface or a heel, the wrestler should be able to get the crowd riled up and get them to watch in the match. I included "mic skills" under this category.
*Drawing Ability - One of the biggest jobs of a pro wrestler is filling up the seats and have as much as eyeballs to watch your show on TV. Selling out arenas & PPV's,drawing thousands of people to tune in, it's all part of the judging!
*Longevity - As long as a wrestler had a career for over at least 10 years will be included here.
*Overall Impact - These includes their legacy in the business and impact as a whole to their countries or even to the entire world! Becoming a "household name" if you will.
Also please take note that I'm solely judging them as WRESTLERS and not as members of our society. Hope that is well and clear.
Another thing I wanna point is that this list is 100% MY OWN OPINION, I know a lot of you will disagree with the rankings but hey, we all got our own opinions on who's who should be in a certain spot so if you like, then tell me in the comments below about your own thoughts & opinions!
"Superstar" Billy Graham
Birthday: June 7,1943
Weight: 275 lbs
Before Hulk Hogan and Ric Flair became big stars in the wrestling scene, there was first "Superstar" Billy Graham who revolutionized everything in pro wrestling!
After finishing up his career as a bodybuilder (even working with Arnold Schwarzenegger) Billy Graham decided to go to pro wrestling in 1970 and was trained by Stu Hart.
He wrestled in Stampede and a few territories in the NWA before coming to AWA in 1972 where he got his moniker "Superstar" and feuded with some big names like Verne Gagne,The Crusher,Wahoo McDaniel,and Ken Patera.
In 1975 he made his WWWF debut by teaming up with Spiros Arion, beating the team of WWWF Champion Bruno Sammartino and Dominic DeNucci, at this point Graham was being managed by The Grand Wizard. He also feuded with Ivan Putski, with both of them having bodybuilding backgrounds.
He wrestled for a bit in the Texas and Florida territories as well, eventually feuding with Dusty Rhodes (one of his greatest rivals ever) where he beat The Dream for the NWA Florida Heavyweight Title. Graham also challenged Harley Race for the NWA World Heavyweight Championship but was unsuccessful in capturing it.
His return to the WWWF in 1977 saw him with bigger success as he defeated Bruno Sammartino's second reign as WWWF Champion on April 30,1977 in Baltimore,Maryland. Graham defended the title in the US,Japan,and Mexico beating names like Bruno,Dusty,Jack Brisco,Pedro Morales,Mil Mascaras,Strong Kobayashi,and Riki Choshu.
He also fought NWA Champion Harley Race at the Orange Bowl stadium in a title vs title unification match which ended in a 1 hour time limit draw! After 296 days of reign with the belt, Graham dropped it to Bob Backlund in February 20,1978 which marked Backlund's long reign as WWWF Champion.
Graham would continue his feud with Dusty afterwards which culminated in a Texas Bullrope match. The two had a lot of exciting,memorable,and sometimes bloody matches together! Dusty even said that his matches with Graham were some of the most memorable things in his entire career.
In the early 80's he portrayed a "karate" gimmick which didn't last long, he challenged Backlund for the title again which he unsuccessfully won. In my opinion, this gimmick was just bad. Graham left the WWWF again in 1983 and wrestled for AWA and NWA, most notable highlight of this run was his feud with Jimmy Valiant.
His third and final run with the WWF was when he returned in 1986 this time as a fan favorite and wrestled until in 1988 but at this point Graham was already way past his prime and injuries he suffered through the years took a toll in his body. His final match took place in November 7,1987 defeating Butch Reed at the age of 44, he would have a short stint as a commentator afterwards.
He was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame 2004 and is now currently signed in a legends deal since 2015. "Superstar" Billy Graham's legacy is one of a kind, he inspired so many wrestlers like Hulk Hogan,Scott Steiner,Triple H,Jesse Ventura,and Austin Idol thanks to his physique and charisma added with good in-ring skills, he definitely was made to become a big star in pro wrestling!
"Superstar" Billy Graham set the bar for future wrestlers, he's a trail blazer and paved the way on what the ideal "look" of a professional wrestler. Many may imitate him, but they'll never duplicate him!
Fun Fact: He popularized the usage of the word "brother" in promos which would later be used by so many other wrestlers most notably Hulk Hogan. Hogan really owes Graham big time his career!
Birthday: December 5,1958
Weight: 228 lbs
Outside the ring, Tom Billington is not let's say the "nicest" person in the world but in the ring as Dynamite Kid he is one of the most excellent technicians to ever wear a pair of wrestling boots!
Dynamite's early career was wrestling for Joint Promotions in the UK under promoter Max Crabtree (brother of Big Daddy) where he won the British Lightweight Championship in 1977 and the British Welterweight Championship in 1978.
He would move to Canada in '78 and began wrestling in Stampede and had feuds with Bruce & Bret Hart,Junkyard Dog,and Jake Roberts. Despite their differences, Bret still cities Dynamite as "the best pound for pound wrestler that ever lived" which means a lot coming from The Hitman!
Dynamite has won numerous titles in his run on Stampede most notably becoming a 4x Stampede Mid-Heavyweight Champion and 5x Stampede British Commonwealth Mid-Heavyweight Champion.
In the early 80's he also started touring Japan and when he started competing for NJPW in the early 80's he began his legendary feud with Tiger Mask. Those two men had some of the greatest cruiserweight matches of all time and feuded for the Junior Heavyweight Title. These two really set the bar for the cruiserweights of today.
Dynamite would eventually become the WWF Junior Heavyweight Champion defeating his cousin Davey Boy in a tournament on Japan. Speaking of the WWF, in 1984 Dynamite along with Davey Boy made their debut in the promotion together as "The British Bulldogs."
The Bulldogs would go on to become one of the greatest tag-teams in WWE's history, they won the World Tag-Team Championships from Brutus Beefcake & Greg Valentine in WrestleMania 2 with Capt. Lou Albano & Ozzy Osbourne by their side! The Bulldogs also had great feuds with other tag-teams such as Hart Foundation,Sheik & Volkoff,Muraco & Orton,and many more.
Dynamite's last match in WWF was in Survivor Series 1988 where The Bulldogs participated in a traditional 10 Tag-Team Traditional Survivor Series Match. He would continue to find decent success in Stampede and Japan afterwards.
His final match of his career took place in October 10,1996 for Michinoku Pro in a 6 Man Tag billed as "Legends of High-Flying" where he,Dos Caras,and Kuniaki Kobayashi defeated the team of Mil Mascaras,Tiger Mask,and Great Sasuke. If you will watch the match, Dynamite is obviously way past his prime already, he drastically loss a tremendous amount of weight and the years of injuries & drug abuse took a toll in his body.
Like I said earlier, not many people are fond of Dynamite Kid's antics but I judge the wrestlers in this countdown just as wrestlers and not human beings. He is one of the most influential and possibly greatest British wrestler ever and no one can take that from him!
Fun Fact: As a young man he first trained in boxing before pro wrestling.
Weight: 220 lbs
When people often think the best wrestler in the NWA history Ric Flair usually comes to mind first but Barry Windham I think isn't way too far off from that recognition!
Son of the legendary Blackjack Mulligan, Barry Windham has been destined for greatness in pro wrestling since the day he was born and I think he managed to pull it off and dare I say, had a bigger career than his dad!
In the early 80's after being trained by his father and multi time World Champion: Harley Race, Windham made his debut at the age of 19 beating veteran J.J. Dillon! He was a popular babyface especially among the ladies at the time thanks to his looks, the wrestling talent is just the icing on the cake if you will!
He formed a tag-team with his brother-in-law: Mike Rotunda as the "US Express" managed by Capt. Lou Albano. They went to the WWF in 1984 and were one of the most successful tag-teams at the time, beating Dick Murdoch & Adrian Adonis for the WWF World Tag-Team Titles in 1985! They would lose the belt to Sheik & Volkoff at the first ever WrestleMania, and gain it back months later from the Dream Team.
In 1986 The US Express departed the WWF and wrestled back in the territories, the same year Windham embarked on a singles career and was immediately pushed to the top as he won the NWA Florida Heavyweight Championship 6 times and even had matches for the NWA World Title against Ric Flair, who would be one of his biggest rivals ever!
Windham continued to wrestle in 1986 and onwards for Jim Crockett Promotions, later on to be re-branded as WCW. He went back to being a tag-team competitor for a while and had success again with Ronnie Garvin where they held the NWA US Tag-Team Championships and even had a feud with The Midnight Express & Jim Cornette. Windham also had multiple World Title match ups with Ric Flair during this time period, lots are considered "classics!"
1988 would be the biggest year in Windham's career though in my opinion. He won the NWA World Tag-Team Championships with Lex Luger from Anderson & Blanchard but a few weeks later, Windham would betray Luger and become the new member of The Four Horsemen! Windham is one of the most memorable members of said stable and had a great heel run with his former enemies turned allies. He became the NWA US Heavyweight Champion under The Horsemen and had a dominant reign.
He defeated guys like Dusty Rhodes,Sting,Nikita Koloff,and Bam Bam Bigelow to successfully defend the title! He held the title for 9 months before dropping it to Lex Luger in Chi-Town Rumble 1989. Speaking of 1989 after his contract expired in WCW, he had a very brief stint in WWF as "Widowmaker" but did not last long. He would go back to WCW just a few months later for personal reasons.
Windham would return to WCW in the early 90's and re-allied himself with The Horsemen this time with Flair,Arn,Sid,and managed by Ole Anderson. In Halloween Havoc 1990 a controversial match took place where Sid Vicious defeated NWA World Champion Sting, but it turns out it was actually Windham dressed up as Sting! Then we advance a year later in 1991 where a double turn took place when Windham challenged Lex Luger for the vacant WCW World Heavyweight Championship in a steel cage match.
Thanks to his cheating tactics and alligning with heel manager Harley Race, Luger defeated Windham officially turning Barry a babyface while Luger as a heel. This, plus with the fans clearly on Windham's side the whole time just made him clearly a babyface again! From 1991 and onwards he had a successful career both in singles and tag-team competition. He won the WCW World Tag-Team Titles with Dustin Rhodes and the WCW Television Championship.
But his biggest accolade was beating The Great Muta at SuperBrawl III (February 1993) for the NWA World Heavyweight Championship which he held for 147 days, before dropping it to Ric Flair in July 1993. During their re-match for the NWA World Title, Windham was injured and was out of action for two years, in 1996 he made his return to the WWF and wrestled there until in 1998 under new gimmicks like "The Stalker" and 1/2 of "The New Blackjacks" but nothing came out of these before returning to WCW one last time.
On his final run with WCW he became a Tag-Team Champion with Curt Hennig and was also a part of the stable "West Texas Rednecks." By the end of 1999, he competed for WWC where he won the Tag-Team Title with his brother Kendall and Ted DiBiase's promotion: WXO Wrestling.
From 2000's and beyond Windham has been competing in and out of the ring for different indies. After a 5 year hiatus in wrestling, his final match took place in February 26,2010 in American Combat Wrestling where he and Jesse Neal defeated the team of Sinn Bodhi and Kennedy Kendrick. He was inducted into the WWE HOF in 2012 as a part of The Four Horsemen.
Barry Windham had it all: the looks,the wrestling talent,charisma,and certainly the bloodline. He may not be the biggest household name there is in wrestling but he is still a universally respected legend and overall one of the greatest of all time!
Fun Fact: Hulk Hogan's theme of "Real American' was originally used by The U.S. Express.
"Million Dollar Man" Ted DiBiase
From: Palm Beach,Florida
Weight: 260 lbs
Every sport has a "jack of all trades" if you will, an athlete that can do a lot of things required in putting on a great performance and Ted DiBiase is one of the all time best at doing that in pro wrestling!
DiBiase is clearly born to be a wrestler. Both of his parents were involved in pro wrestling as his father "Iron" Mike DiBiase headlined many territories during his heyday until he suffered a heart attack in the ring when Ted was only 15. His mother Helen was a valet and sometimes an occasional wrestler as well.
When Ted DiBiase himself decided to be a pro wrestler, he went to train with The Funks. He started working for The Funks' territory in Amarillo,Texas where he began as a referee but would later transition into wrestling as well. His first ever match was losing against to Danny Hodge.
His first stint in the WWF was in 1979 when he was just simply used mainly as a mid-carder at best. He won the short lived WWF North American Heavyweight Title and he would lose it later on to Pat Patterson whom he unified with the South American Championship to form what we now know as the Intercontinental Championship! During this time DiBiase also faced off Hulk Hogan in The Hulkster's first ever match in MSG.
After his first short run with the WWF, DiBiase went back wrestling for the NWA and Mid-South where he was able to achieve multiple Heavyweight Championships in different territories. While wrestling for the territories, he also competed in AJPW the most notable part of his run here was forming a tag-team with Stan Hansen where they won the PWF Tag-Team Championships and would also win the 1985 World's Strongest Tag Determination League tournament.
In 1987 he returned to the WWF and this time as the man we know him well today: The Million Dollar Man! The Million Dollar Man quickly became one of the top heels of the company not only because of his in-ring work but the man just oozes charisma! As The Million Dollar Man, DiBiase was involved in a lot of "highlight moments" in WWE History.
He created The Million Dollar Championship a title he held twice, and years later his son: Ted Jr. would resurrect the belt and held it too. His partnership with Virgil is memorable, also who could forget when he promised a kid $100 if he can dribble a basketball 10 times and on the 9th turn he kicked the ball? One of the greatest heel moments ever!
One of the biggest moments of his career though was "winning" the WWF World Heavyweight Championship when Andre beat Hogan for the belt and DiBiase bought the belt from Andre. This wasn't considered an official reign though both officially and kayfabe and DiBiase was quickly stripped off the belt, would've been actually nice to see a DiBiase World Title reign.
In the early 90's DiBiase went to tag-team competition as he formed "Money Inc." with IRS. They won the World Tag-Team Championships three times and have faced a lot of great tag-teams such as The Road Warriors,The Steiners,Natural Disasters,and Nasty Boys just to name a few. DiBiase would later embark back on a singles run but it would be his last, his final WWF match took place in SummerSlam 1993 where he loss to Razor Ramon.
He would return to AJPW after leaving WWF and have a couple more matches there mainly with Stan Hansen before quietly retiring because of injuries. He would return to WWF though in 1994 and stayed there until 1996 this time as a manager and leader of the stable: Million Dollar Corporation, one of the best heel stables of all time in my opinion. Some of the notable members of said stable were Sycho Sid,King Kong Bundy,123 Kid,Bam Bam Bigelow,even The Fake Undertaker,and The Ringmaster who would later be known as "Stone Cold" Steve Austin!
DiBiase then went to WCW in 1996 and was one of the earliest members of the nWo. He stayed in the company until his contract expired in 1999 and in 2004 decided to retire in actively participating in wrestling as a whole but to this day still makes occasional appearances on different indy shows all over the world and even in the WWE. Speaking of the WWE, he was inducted into the company's HOF in 2010 by his sons.
Ted DiBiase is one of (if not the) best heels ever that step foot in the squared circle. He also has the most iconic laugh in all of wrestling, though Tony Atlas might disagree!
Fun Fact: Him and Howard Lipkint ran a short lived promotion called "WXO Wrestling" what does the WXO stand for? Nothing! Yeah...
Birthday: December 12,1966
Weight: 185 lbs
Yoshihiro Asai or better known to many as Ultimo Dragon is not only one of the most decorated wrestlers in history but also an innovator and generally one of the greats ever in both Puroresu and Lucha Libre!
Dragon was trained by Gran Hamada, the man who paved the way for Cruiserweights in Japan (who just barely missed this countdown!) Anyway he started out in NJPW first but later on moved to Mexico and where the "Ultimo Dragon" persona was born!
While in Mexico, he was able to become the UWA World Middleweight Champion 5 times among other belts including in CMLL and AAA. Dragon was also able to return in NJPW for a bit where he held the IWGP Junior Heavyweight title twice.
We fast forward a bit in 1996 which is in my opinion the best year for Ultimo Dragon. In October 11 he won the J-Crown from The Great Sasuke, the J-Crown is composed of 8 different Cruiserweight/Lightweight Championship belts from different promotions around the world, but he was also the reigning champion of the NWA World Middleweight and WCW Cruiserweight titles so all in all he held 10 championship belts at once!
From December 1996 to January 1997 he was actively defending all 10 championships, a record that still stands to this day and will likely never be broken by anyone!
More fans knew of his work when he competed at WCW from '96 to '98. As I mentioned earlier, he became the WCW Cruiserweight Champion and also he held the WCW World Television Championship, both titles he held twice. Dragon had many memorable matches in WCW against the likes of Rey Mysterio,Eddie Guerrero,Dean Malenko,and Steven Regal just to name a few.
His career abruptly ended in 1998 after suffering an injury that required surgery which took him some time off from actively competing and began training wrestlers instead in "Toryumon Japan" later to be renamed as Dragon Gate. After a few years of hiatus Dragon went back competing in the ring in 2002 for various Japanese and Mexican promotions while also in talks with the WWE.
In 2003 he finally signed with the WWE hoping to fulfill two of his dreams and that is wrestling at the Madison Square Garden and WrestleMania, well he was able to achieve both of them but probably not the way he wanted especially the one at Mania which we will talk about later.
Dragon was brought in and immediately feuded with Rey Mysterio. The WWE thought he would have the same impact as Mysterio but that didn't really happen, Dragon tried to capture the US and Cruiserweight titles but failed. He never really had a memorable moment in WWE besides the one at WrestleMania where he the infamous "slip" happened as he was making his entrance, you just gotta feel bad for the man.
He only wrestled with the WWE for a year until he went back to Japan and Mexico to wrestle. To this day, almost at 50 years old Ultimo Dragon still wrestles as a freelancer for different promotions around the world. He still hasn't lost his touch too as he is still able to put on good matches and showcase his amazing high flying skills!
Despite his mainly forgetable run in the WWE, Ultimo Dragon is still a legend and an innovator that continues to inspire many wrestlers today. He made a name for himself not only in his home country of Japan but even in Mexico where he is one of the most famous Luchadors of his time!
Fun Fact: He is the final student of the late great, one and only Bruce Lee!
From: Culebra,Puerto Rico
Weight: 240 lbs
Pedro Morales is not only a great wrestler and a legend but a pioneer for all Latino wrestlers of today. Thanks to his success on his time with the WWWF, more Latino wrestlers became notable when they made their way to the US wrestling scene.
At the age of 17, Morales already laced up a pair of boots to compete in the squared circle. After wrestling in home: Puerto Rico for a bit, Morales started competing at different territories all over North America. He would often have matches with fellow Puerto Rican: Gypsy Joe and he would also have multiple matches with Hardboiled Haggerty, whom was his first major rival.
Morales also had good tag-team runs in his early career with the likes of Pepper Gonzalez and Gory Guerrero. He would make his way to the WWWF and was a top midcard babyface at first, often teaming up with another Puerto Rican legend: Miguel Perez Sr. Together they've fought notable heel tag-teams at the time such as The Fabulous Kangaroos,The Tolos Brothers,and The Graham Brothers.
In 1965 however he would join World Wrestling Associates (WWA) and had quite a successful career there as well, becoming 2x WWA World Champion and also a 6x WWA Los Angeles World Tag-Team Champion. He would later wrestle for Mid-Pacific Promotions in the late 60's until 1970 where he won a plethora of other championships but it wasn't until in November 1970 when Morales returned in WWWF where he had the most success with!
When Bruno Sammartino decided to take a break in wrestling, Vince Sr. thought that the one who will replace Bruno as the face of the company is Pedro Morales but before he could do that, since babyface vs babyface matches are far from the norm back then Bruno would first drop the belt to Ivan Koloff before dropping it to Morales just 21 days later. Koloff would essentially act as a "transition champion" to what would lead into a lengthy reign for Morales.
As WWWF World Champion, Morales had a lot of successful title defenses over notable heels during his 1027 days reign including the likes of Freddie Blassie,Blackjack Mulligan,Jimmy Valiant,Baron Mikel Scicluna,Prof. Toru Tanaka,The Spoiler,and Stan Stasiak.
Well speaking of Stan Stasiak, he was the one who ended Pedro Morales' long reign as WWWF World Champion but just 9 days later Stasiak would drop the belt back to a returning Bruno Sammartino! After his World Title reign, Morales continued to wrestle for the WWWF two more years before returning back to the territories. He wrestled in different territories and countries such as Florida,San Francisco,Puerto Rico,Japan,and Canada for 6 years before coming back once again in WWF in 1980.
During the early 80's Morales would embark on another great title reign but this time as the WWF Intercontinental Champion! In April 21,1980 he defeated Ken Patera for said title after his 231 day reign. He would hold onto the belt for almost a year before dropping it to Don Muraco, he would gain the belt back later in 1983 and would have a much longer and successful title reign when he held the belt for 425 days before being defeated by Tito Santana!
He would wrestle for the WWF for 7 years in his final run and even got to face the likes of Randy Savage,Bret Hart,and Honky Tonk Man in his later years. His last singles match was getting defeated by Paul Orndorff and his final match was in a Legends Battle Royale which was won by Lou Thesz.
For four decades Pedro Morales has competed in the ring, he may not be the "flashiest" wrestler there is like a "Superstar" Billy Graham or Ric Flair but he is still one of the most popular babyfaces during the heyday of the WWWF and is considered as an inspiration by many Latino wrestlers for paving the way for them in this business. He was inducted into the WWE HOF in 1995 but did not attend, making him the only living inductee to never attend a WWE Hall of Fame.
These days, Morales isn't that too active in participating in wrestling events anymore other than conventions and signings where he get to meet his fans. He is not a fan of the "modern" style of wrestling with it's eccentric and over the top gimmicks, but he admits that this is good in terms of economic ways.
His greatest legacy in wrestling though is being the first ever "Triple Crown Champion" in the WWE's history as he held the World,Intercontinental,and World Tag-Team Championships of the company. If you don't know who Pedro Morales is, then you should brush up on your wrestling knowledge as this man is a legit old school legend!
Fun Fact: Pedro Morales is the first and only Puerto Rican so far to ever become WWE World Champion! It's safe to say that Primo & Epico aren't gonna held said title anytime soon...
Death: February 1,2010
Weight: 234 lbs
From one great World Champion to another, with all due respect to Gerry Brisco but I think we can all agree that Jack Brisco was the better half of The Brisco Brothers!
As an Oklahoma native, Brisco first in football for the University of Oklahoma but would later transition in amateur wrestling and become the first Native American to become NCAA Wrestling National Champion. It wasn't until in 1965 when he was trained by Leroy McGuirk to become a pro wrestler along with his brother!
Brisco first wrestled in NWA Tri-States winning local heavyweight titles there such as the Oklahoma & Arkansas Heavyweight Championships. It wasn't until in 1969 when he wrestled for Championship Wrestling from Florida where he and Gerald started a feud with The Funks! The two older brothers were the one who mainly feuded though as both Jack & Dory had multiple classic matches together.
He was scheduled to defeat Dory for the NWA World Title to end the feud but was changed and it was Harley Race who won the belt from Dory, but just weeks later Brisco defeated Race which started his long reign as NWA World Champion. During that reign he would beat notable heels and have successful title defenses against the likes of Johnny Valentine,Abdullah the Butcher,The Sheik,Jos LeDuc,and Gene Kiniski.
Brisco even defeated legendary names like Lou Thesz,Dusty Rhodes,Wahoo McDaniels,and Jumbo Tsuruta for the title. On February 12,1974 exactly at his 500th day as World Champion, Giant Baba defeated Jack Brisco in a sold out show in Kagoshima,Japan in an AJPW-NWA collaboration event! But just a week later Baba would drop the belt back to Brisco and started off another lengthy title reign this time for 366 days dropping the belt to rival: Terry Funk.
After his reign as the NWA World Champion, The Brisco Brothers and The Funks would continue their feud that lasted for several years! From the late 70's until the mid 80's Jack Brisco wrestled mainly for Florida,Georgia,and Puerto Rican territories, gaining championships both singles and tag-teams in the process.
He would spend his final years in the ring wrestling for the WWF (he wrestled for the company before in the early 70's but not in a consistent basis.) His last high profile match was losing a World Tag-Team Championship match with Gerald Brisco against Adrian Adonis & Dick Murdoch. His final match was in 1985 where the team of Roddy Piper & Cowboy Bob defeated him and his brother.
Jack Brisco decided to retire in wrestling after a good 3 decade career. He was inducted into the Pro Wrestling HOF in 2005 and WWE HOF in 2008 before sadly passing away in 2010. Brisco was always citied as one of the best wrestlers of the 70's and of all time, even Ric Flair has stated this himself. Don Leo Jonathan said that Jack Brisco was the best World Champion of the 20th century!
A great wrestler and a great man.
Fun Fact: While him and his brother Gerald were one of the most popular tag-teams of all time, his first tag title with was actually with Haystacks Calhoun when they won the NWA US Tag-Team Championships.
Birthday: April 24,1922
Death: December 6,2000
From: Nuevo Leon,Mexico
Weight: 169 lbs
El Santo wouldn't probably be as popular as he was if it wasn't for his legendary rivalry with Blue Demon! In my opinion, they had the greatest rivalry in Lucha Libre history!
Demon was trained by Mexican wrestler: Rolando Vera. During his early matches in Texas, he wrestled without a mask. But when he returned to Mexico, he started out his new gimmick known as The Blue Demon.
At first Demon wrestled as a heel and had a successful tag-team run with Black Shadow, together they were known as "Los Hermanos Shadow" (The Shadow Brothers.) The team became the first ever CMLL's Mexican National Tag-Team Champions. When Shadow was defeated and unmasked by El Santo, Demon turned babyface and his legendary feud with Santo began!
The two had many sold out matches all over Mexico, Demon won some of their matches most notably in 1953 when he defeated Santo for the NWA World Welterweight Championship and held onto it for 1,651 days! He would win the belt again in 1975 this time beating Mano Negra.
Demon & Santo also feuded for CMLL's Mexican National Welterweight Championship, a title which he won 3 times! Besides El Santo, Blue Demon also had a storied feud with another legendary luchador: El Rayo de Jalisco. They would feud for over 3 decades, which ended in a mask vs mask match which saw Demon taking the victory!
After 41 years competing in the ring, Blue Demon finally retired in 1989. His last match was in a tag-team match with his son: Blue Demon Jr. whom he trained and had a great career of his own becoming NWA World Champion! In his whole career, Blue Demon was never unmasked and wore his match till the end when he passed away in December 16,2000.
Fun Fact: Just like a lot of other popular Luchadors, Blue Demon has starred in 8 different movies in Mexico, one of them was with his rival: El Santo!
The Original Sheik
Birthday: June 9,1924
Death: January 18,2003
Weight: 242 lbs
We've seen and heard a lot of stories about wrestlers "living their gimmicks" but no one else did it better than most wrestlers and that is Ed Farhat or better known as The Original Sheik!
He first started off his career in 1949 as "The Sheik of Araby" ironically after serving in the US Army! One of the biggest matches of Sheik's career though was one where he didn't even wrestle and that was against Lou Thesz for the NWA World Title!
Thesz had a reputation for "embarassing gimmicks" so Sheik bailed out of the ring and hid under a bus, this caused so much publicity and got Farhat's gimmick more popular. Later on he would wrestle in the WWWF and was a frequent challenger to Bruno's WWWF Championship. He also teamed up with the likes of Bull Curry & Dick the Bruiser often facing the team of Antonino Rocca & Miguel Perez.
The Sheik's greatest rivalry was against Bobo Brazil that lasted for several years! They would usually wrestle each other in Sheik's territory of Detroit and have mainly feuded for the NWA United States Championship, oftenly selling out Cobo Hall. They also sold out arenas in different territories such as Memphis,Tennessee,and Los Angeles.
He also had a feud with "Classy" Freddie Blassie, some of their most notable matches together were cage matches in the Grand Olympic Auditorium in Los Angeles. Sheik also had a successful career in the Toronto territory where he was undefeated for 127 matches in the Maple Leafs Garden. Some of the notable names he had defeated were Lou Thesz,Bruno Sammartino,Gene Kiniski,Chief Jay Strongbow,Tiger Jeet Singh,and Andre the Giant.
It was actually Andre whom ended said streak during Andre's first North American tour in 1974. Sheik would continue to headline shows in Toronto until the business started to wine down there. He would later move to Japan, most notably for his run in AJPW where he formed a team with another hardcore legend: Abdullah the Butcher where the two feuded with The Funks. Sheik & Abdullah though, also had a feud of their own in AJPW.
The Sheik would continue to wrestle until in the 90's. He had multiple death matches in FMW with the most well known being the "fire deathmatch" where him and Sabu competed against Onita & Tarzan Goto in what was basically a match where the ring ropes were replaced with flaming barbed wires! Sheik suffered third degree burns during this match and was sent onto a coma for some time, HOLY SHIT indeed!
In 1994 he had one match in ECW where him and Pat Tanaka defeated the team of Kevin Sullivan & Taz! The Sheik had his final match in Japan and retired in 1998 after a long career in pro wrestling!
While he had a great career I think most people remember for who The Sheik was and that is being the pioneer for the hardcore style of wrestling. Whether it's blowing fireballs,stabbing opponents with his pencil,or swinging his sword around The Sheik definitely paved the way for a whole generation of wrestlers to come from the likes of Atsushi Onita to his nephew: Sabu and some modern hardcore stars like Sick Nick Mondo and Zandig.
Like I said earlier, The Sheik was also one of the best at "living the gimmick." He would never speak on camera other than shouting a few words, his managers over the years: Abdullah Farouk aka The Grand Wizard and Eddie Creatchman were the ones doing the talk for him. Also whether in public or at home, Sheik would never break character in fact Sabu himself mentioned that when Bobo Brazil comes to visit them, Sheik would never be in the same room as Bobo! The only time he probably broke character on-camera was on his retirement ceremony.
After retiring The Sheik started training. His two most successful students went on to become World Champions and that is his nephew: Sabu and Rob Van Dam. Sheik passed away in 2003 and was posthumously inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2007.
Fun Fact: The Sheik has appeared on 5 different wrestling games including both Legends of Wrestling 1 and 2 as well as ECW Hardcore Revolution.
Ed "Strangler" Lewis
Birthday: June 30,1891
Death: August 8,1966
Weight: 265 lbs
Time to get old school once again and this time we got Ed "Strangler" Lewis who was not just a great wrestler, but one of the most important figures in all of wrestling!
Why I said this because Ed Lewis was a part of the "Gold Dust Trio" (no I'm not talking about Dustin Rhodes!) But the trio of Lewis,Toots Mondt,and Billy Sandow which revolutionized the way pro wrestling is today by essentially creating what is looked at as a "promotion" these days.
They had a traveling road show which was basically the precursor of "tour shows" these days,developed undercards as well instead of what was just a one match show back then,and also they created one of the most important things in wrestling these days: feuds and storylines. I guess you can say wrestling became a "work" thanks to the trio.
During his prime Lewis was the best wrestler of his era and one of the few men that nobody wants to mess with! He was a 6x World Champion, having captured the original World Heavyweight Championship four times! He was also a 2x AWA World Champion (Paul Bower's AWA, not Verne's.)
Lewis' biggest rival of his career both in and out of the ring was Joe Stecher (4x World Champion) both men had classic matches, most notably one of the longest matches in the history of pro wrestling which lasted for over 5 and a half hours, and you know what the finish was? A freaking draw!!!
What I also mean by Stecher being Lewis' rival outside of the ring because Stecher created a promotion of his own, basically being a competition to the trio's promotion. So yes before the Monday Night Wars, the first ever promotion rivalry was between the Gold Dust Trio and Joe Stecher.
Things got more heated up between Lewis & Stecher when Stecher paid Stanislaus Zbyszko (a main stay at the Trio's promotion) to shoot on Wayne Munn, a former football player turned pro wrestler whom the Trio is building up to be the next big thing in wrestling (going as far as making him World Champion.)
So Munn & Zbyszko were set for a World Title match which Munn is scheduled to win but Zbyszko flipped the script, shoot on Munn, and humiliated him taking the World Title in the process and bringing it to Joe Stecher's promotion! This could very well be the first ever screwjob in wrestling history!
Lewis & Stecher would make amends in the end, the rivalry culminated in 1928 when Lewis ended Joe Stecher's 997 day reign as the World Heavyweight Champion! In 1934 Lewis successfully defended his World Title against Jim Londos in a sold out crowd, drawing $96,302 at Wrigley Field which was a record until it was broken in the 50's.
Besides the World Championships, Lewis also held other titles such as the American Heavyweight Championship,NWA Florida Heavyweight Championship,and NYSAC World Heavyweight Championship. But he wasn't just a wrestler & promoter but also an innovator and mentor!
Lewis was best known for his holds and submissions, most notably being the inventor of the "sleeper hold." He was also the mentor of Lou Thesz & Verne Gagne, both men have mentioned that they city Ed Lewis as the greatest wrestler of all time which means a lot coming from two men who can be candidates for being the "GOAT" themselves!
After a long career in the ring, Ed "Strangler" Lewis finally laced up the boots in 1948 at the age of 57. He would later act as a managerfor his good friend and student: Lou Thesz during Thesz's World Title reign. Lewis passed away on August 1966 at at the age of 75.
He was inducted into multiple Hall of Fames including the George Tragos/Lou Thesz HOF,Professional Wrestling HOF in Amsterdam,PWI HOF,and the WWE HOF as a Legacy Award recipient.
Ed "Strangler" Lewis was and always will be an integral part of wrestling history. Thanks to his contributions, the wrestling world has changed for the better.
Fun Fact: He decided to go with the nickname "The Strangler" as a tribute to Evan "Strangler" Lewis who was a popular wrestler in the 1890's.
If you missed the previous countdowns then click the links below:
69 to 60
79 to 70
89 to 80
100 to 90
Thanks For Reading.