The WWE (formerly the WWF) has long been one of the world’s greatest sporting entertainment spectacles. With so many fantastic competitors over the last 30 or so years, we thought we’d run down our pick of the greatest wrestlers ever to step foot into the WWE ring.
Davey Boy Smith – The British Bulldog
Okay, so he probably wasn’t one of the greats of WWE and there are probably wrestlers much more deserving of being placed in the Top 10 but we thought we had to have somebody British in here. Born in Wigan, Davey Boy Smith went to America in the 1980s and entered the WWE (then WWF) in 1985.
During his time in the WWE, he held every championship apart from the WWF Championship belt and was a popular and dynamic competitor. Sadly, Davey Boy Smith died in 2002 from a heart attack, thought to have been brought on by past abuse of anabolic steroids.
Married into the McMahon family, this doesn’t take away from the fact that Triple H is an awesome competitor. Nothing short of a ringmaster, he’s been involved in some of WWE’s most exciting and important matches. A complete all-rounder of a wrestler, he truly deserves his place as one of the WWE greats.
Rowdy Roddy Piper
One of the most popular competitors in the 80s and 90s, Rowdy Roddy Piper was billed as coming from Glasgow but was actually from Canada, although he did have Scottish heritage. Popular with the crowds even though he often played a ‘baddie’, he often displayed his Scottish ‘rage’ and quick wit. Combining wrestling with an acting career in such films as Highlander, he eventually retired from wrestling in 2011.
An absolute beast of a man, Brock Lesnar is the real deal. Many people may mock professional wrestling but one wrestler you certainly wouldn’t want to mock is Brock Lesnar. Four-time WWE champion and a former UFC champion, Brock Lesnar is as tough as tough gets.
Lesnar joined the WWE after a successful college wrestling career and has beaten competitors as seasoned as The Rock and Kurt Angle. In UFC, he has beaten some of the Octagon’s greats, such as Frank Mir and Randy Couture. Still wrestling today, Brock Lesnar is one of the sport’s most awesome competitors ever.
Andre the Giant
Also known as the 8th Wonder of the World, Andre the Giant was one of the most recognizable wrestlers in the WWF during the 1980s. Billed as being 7’4” (although he was probably a little bit less than this) he was a giant man with a giant appetite to match, once consuming 41 litres of beer in just 6 hours.
A long running feud with Hulk Hogan is perhaps what he is best remembered for in wrestling, along with his star appearance in the film ‘The Princess Bride’. Andre the Giant sadly died in 1993 of heart failure.
Stone Cold Steve Austin
Stone Cold Steve Austin will quite rightly go down in WWE folklore as one of the bravest and most technically proficient wrestlers in WWE history. Cutting his teeth in WCCW and the USWA before joining the WCW as ‘Stunning’ Steve Austin, his wild and chaotic persona was an instant hit, which eventually led to him to joining the WWE. With too many memorable matches to mention, he fought all the greats of his era including the Undertaker, Mick Foley, Kane, Kurt Angle and The Rock.
The Ultimate Warrior
The Ultimate Warrior was one of the most distinctive wrestlers ever to grace the WWE. A two-time Intercontinental Champion and WWF Championship holder, he was the first ever wrestler to hold both titles concurrently, which occurred when he pinned Hulk Hogan at Wrestlemania VI. Born James Hellwig, he wrestled as Blade Runner Rock, Dingo Warrior and Justice before finally becoming best known as the Ultimate Warrior, which he eventually shortened to just Warrior when ending his career in the WCW.
Sadly, the Ultimate Warrior died in 2014 in Arizona, just days after being indicted into the WWE Hall of Fame. Rumours suggest that his heart attack may have been brought on by previous steroid abuse, although this has never been confirmed.
The Undertaker has been a steadfast figure in WWE for many years. Starting out as Mean Mark Calaway in WCW, he joined the WWE in 1990 and was an instant hit as The Undertaker. With a sheer terrifying presence that no other wrestler can match he is a chilling and technically brilliant wrestler whose opponents dread facing. Still in the WWE in 2015, it makes him the promotion’s longest serving wrestler.
The high flying, electrifying and eyebrow raising people’s champ! One of the greats of wrestling, he is one of the few wrestlers to have fully completed the switch to a successful acting career, appearing in multiple blockbusters such as The Scorpion King and Fast and Furious 6.
Born Dwayne Johnson, he is one of the most popular wrestlers ever to grace the WWE, and there’s a real buzz whenever he makes an appearance. With signature moves such as the People’s Elbow and the Rock Bottom, there really is no more exciting wrestler than The Rock.
Still, after all this time the most recognisable wrestler in wrestling history. The man who more than anyone else popularised wrestling during the 80s and 90s, he also became a huge hit in terms of merchandise, making him a millionaire many times over and at times it almost seemed Hulkamania was taking over the world.
More of a case of who he hasn’t wrestled than who he has, he has stood and fought everyone of note and more importantly beat them. He went to become just as big a hit in the WCW but 2014 saw him return to the WWE as host of Wrestlemania XXV. Truly the greatest ever wrestler to appear in the WWE.