World Heavyweight Champion… of Lists

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I thought I would create a blog of something a little more different.

I… am a fan of professional wrestling.  Yes, I know.  You believe that wrestling is fake and isn’t a real sport.  It’s a bunch of real athletes in the world of entertainment and believe it or not, people do get hurt.

I’ve been watching wrestling all of my life.  Being born in 1990, I witnessed the “Monday Night Wars”, which showcased two promotions airing their premiere show at the same time, live on Monday nights.  WCW and WWE (then WWF) did this from 1995 until 2001 when WCW went out of business.  It wasn’t until later on in my life that I had become a fan of older wrestling.  Later in my life as in whenever I had the chance of going to Movie Gallery (better than Blockbuster) and getting the VHS tapes (so archaic).  Back then, the best promotion was the NWA (predecessor to WCW).  You had the best matches not tied to gimmicks and had the best people on the mic.

My knowledge is quite huge of wrestling, that is if you’re not including independent promotions and foreign companies like in the UK or Japan.  Below is a list on my favorite World Heavyweight Champions.

1.)  Ric Flair.
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16-time World Heavyweight Champion.  The number is really in the twenties but a lot of the promotions do not recognize some of the title changes because it was of no real importance.  Mainly to please the local hero.  The “Nature Boy” had a career spanning four decades, showing the world that he can still go against people half his age.  Slick Ric (in his prime) was giving 60-minute matches more often than anyone else.  He was the hardest working wrestler and his promos back him up.  He talked a good game because he was able to live up to his word.  One of really a handful of men that had the ability to have the fans emotionally involved through wrestling and promos.  I met him and got his autograph in 2015.  Best. Day. Ever!  Woooo!

2.)  Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat
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The Dragon had to be the hardest worker after Flair.  Steamboat was poetry in motion.  His maneuvers in the ring was so fluid and his character was refreshing.  Never once did he become a heel in the business.  He didn’t need to.  He was so beloved and I believed that he was his character.  I think he was and still as wholesome as he seems on TV.  His legendary matches with Randy Savage and Ric Flair was so great that it still makes it hard for today’s product to live up to.  He also groomed a future icon of the business, Steve Austin.  Austin and Steamboat had great matches as well.  Steamboat was so good, he did not need to be behind a microphone.  His actions got the message across.  He was a major inspiration for many future wrestlers.

3.)  “The American Dream” Dusty Rhodes
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Dusty had to be the best person to ever hold a microphone.  Even better than Flair.  A lot of the time, Dream would really make the crowd listen to what he had to say.  Listen to his Hard Times speech!  Heck, go to YouTube and listen to any of his promos!  They’re fantastic!  You just don’t see that anymore.  Later on, he would take on the role of booking promotions like WCW and was behind some of the biggest moments in the company’s history.  He would go to WWE during his final years in their developmental brand and help new wrestlers with their character and definitely with their promo work.  A lot of the people in wrestling now credits their job on the Dream.  He died in 2015.

4.)  The Undertaker
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The Deadman has to be one of the best wrestlers ever.  He’s been World Champion seven times, but it’s not necessarily the number of championships that defines the wrestler.  He’s done everything in the business.  ‘Taker has been in the WWE for 26 years now and hasn’t retired yet.  He was an innovator for a number of specialty matches and gave tons of 5-star quality fights.  He’s evolved his character and also his style of fighting that it’s impossible to say that he’s become stale and boring.  Changing so much and keeping the interest alive is a testament to his work ethic and ability.

5.)  “Stone Cold” Steve Austin
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Stone Cold has to be one of the most iconic names in the business.  He’s one of those people recognized from a non-wrestling fan.  If you mention wresting, he comes up most of the time.  What he did in the late 1990s was something completely fresh and new to professional wrestling when he feuded with the owner of WWF, Vince McMahon.  Probably every working man’s fantasy of beating the life out of the boss.  He wasn’t technical in the ring.  He was a brawler and it was convincing enough for you to believe he was really a “tough S.O.B”.  He retired in 2003 due to an injury where be broke his neck years before.  He occasionally pops up on TV and when he does, the roof explodes.  Nobody can do that without having that natural ability to connect with the fans.

So, that’s my top five.  Disagree?  Let me know!!!

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