And hello once again all you wrestling fanatics, and welcome to another countdown of Pounding 7’s. This week I give you the Top 7 technical wrestlers of all time. As always I have to read this particular disclaimer as I have been getting emails of how much you disagree with my opinion. Well that is perfect and I appreciate the feedback. However, these are my opinions and my opinions alone… SO BACK OFF!! Sorry, not very much caffeine this morning. Let’s get right to it.
Ethan wants to know about The Mountie’s Intercontinental Championship reign
When the Mountie beat Bret Hart for the IC title back in 1992, I have two questions. He was set to face off against Bret at Royal Rumble. Was he supposed to win it at the event? When was Piper inserted into the mix?
No, the plan was to have Bret defeat the Mountie at the Royal Rumble and he would continue to feud with him up until Wrestlemania. Bret had a massive fever, and really was not cleared to wrestle during a house show where he was set to defend his Intercontinental Championship against the Mountie, just a few days prior to Royal Rumble 92. Bret needed to take some time off to nurse some injuries and get back to 100%, so it was decided to take the title off of Bret, and take him out of the match at the Royal Rumble basically to nurse some nagging injuries and give him a few weeks off. Piper was inserted really because he was essentially in the right place at the right time. He was not involved in any major storyline. He was over with the fans, so it just made sense to put the title on him at that time. This set up a great match at Wrestlemania VIII, where Piper lost the title back to Bret.
This weeks heel turn takes us back to 1986, back when I was a wee little lad. Dangerous Danny Davis. Davis was a referee for the WWE for many years, but in 1986, Davis was involved in many questionable matches where he would cost wrestlers some matches with some unusual calls. He was the referee when Randy Savage defeated Tito Santana to become the Intercontinental Champion, when Savage hit Tito with a foreign object literally right in front of the referee. This was drawn up to a simple mistake by a referee, and nothing was done. However, in a match for the WWF World Tag Team Championship, the champions the British Bulldogs were defending against the Hart Foundation, when the Harts were double teaming the Bulldogs throughout the match, they hit their finisher, and Davis executes a really fast three count giving the Harts the tag team titles. Davis was suspended for life by WWF President Jack Tunney, but Davis would go on to join the Hart Foundation, managed by Jimmy Hart, and even scored the pinfall victory in a six man tag team match at Wrestlemania III, when the Hart Foundation and Davis defeated The Bulldogs and Santana, after the Dynamite Kid was hit with Jimmy Hart’s Megaphone. Davis would never have much success as a wrestler, and eventually went back to refereeing matches, where he finished his career.
Here are the top 7 most technical wrestlers of all time.
First of course we have to give some wrestlers an honorable mention.
Dynamite Kid- Although he never enjoyed a singles run in the WWF, Dynamite Kid is still worthy of a place amongst the best technical wrestlers the promotion ever had. He was so talented that even Bret the Hitman Hart once said that he was the best wrestler that he ever saw.
Bob Backlund- Bob Backlund was the last of the great old school wrestling champions. A man out of time, Backlund inherited a WWWF where his biggest fan and supporter was promoter Vince McMahon, Sr. Senior felt that the young, athletic and good looking Backlunds brand of clean cut, morally uncomplicated mat wrestling would wow the fans in the same way that Superstar Billy Grahams muscles, charisma and badass attitude had. Put simply, he was wrong. Backlund did do a credible job of holding the WWF title (they renamed it during his run), serving as World Wrestling Federation Champion for an impressive five-year stretch.
Owen Hart- Owen Hart started his wrestling career as the Blue Blazer, where his high energy and high flying talents were displayed, however, growing up in the mist of Stu Hart, and his brother Bret Hart, Owen Hart was one of the most gifted technical wrestlers that the WWE had ever seen. He was able to go toe to toe with his older brother on multiple occasions, and the proof in the pudding occured at Wrestlemania X, and again at Summerslam 94.
Chris Benoit- The Chris Benoit Saga will likely forever be linked to the horrible tragedy that occured in 2007, when he killed his wife and son, before taking his own life. Before all of this, Chris Benoit was easily one of the best technical wrestlers in his day, perhaps of all time. He held multiple championships over many years, and was the WWE Champion, when he defeated Triple H and Shawn Michaels and Wrestlemania XX. A former member of the Four Horsemen as well, Chris Benoit should go down in history for his many in ring accomplishments, but sadly, he will not.
AND HERE IS THE COUNTDOWN!
7.Eddie Guerrero- Eddie Guerrero had been very highly regarded as a wrestler, but not really a personality and the WCW of the 1990s was dominated, in large part, by ex-WWF names that were earning very good salaries and were reluctant to cut anyone else in on the action. However, the WWF gave Guerrero a chance to run with the ball and he took it, dominating the mid card first as European Champion and then as Intercontinental Champion. Following a high profile for drinking and substance abuse problems, Guerrero cleaned up his act and emerged lean, clean and sober, as the complete article the perfect wrestler, winning the WWE Championship from Brock Lesnar at No Way Out. Guerrero was so good in the ring, he could make anyone look good against him. He even made JBL look like a credible World Champion.
6.Dean Malenko- Dean Malenko was never a major WWF name, he never headlined a Pay Per View or house show and he was never allowed to ascend any higher than holding the WWF Light Heavyweight Championship and successfully defending it against the same four opponents, week after week, in the early 2000s. If ever there was a wrestler that deserved more than the company gave him, it was Dean Malenko. Although not at all charismatic, Malenko was a superb wrestler. Had creative chosen to accentuate his toughness and legitimacy and given him some feuds with credible mid card opponents such as Chris Jericho, Rob Van Dam and/or former stablemates Eddie Guerrero and Chris Benoit, he could have had a great run as Intercontinental Champ and thus accomplished the recognition his vast talents deserved.
5.Bret Hart- You cannot be known as the Excellence of Execution by many wrestling personalities, without having some technical wrestling ability. This comes true to form with Bret the Hitman Hart. His abilities in the ring are primarily due in part to his training in Stampede Wrestling, and in the dungeon of his father’s basement, where he learned the art of wrestling, and gained a wide variety of moves that could compete with anyone in the squared circle. Starting off as a tag team wrestler with Jim Neidhart, Bret Hart was destined to be great. He won his first singles championship in 1991, when he defeated Curt Hennig in an absolute classic match. Then just a year an a half later, Bret Hart was on top of the world as he forced Ric Flair to submit and won the WWE World Championship. A title that he would hold a total of 5 times in his career, among a host of other championships. Sadly his career came to an end a few years too early, as a superkick by Goldberg to the head, caused him to get a concussion that he would never physically recover from.
4.Curt Hennig- In his prime, there wasnt a better all round wrestler in the WWF than Curt Mr. Perfect Hennig. In a company that featured Shawn Michaels, Marty Jannetty, Bret Hart, Randy Savage, Ricky Steamboat and Ric Flair, that really is saying something. Put simply, Curt Hennig was, well, Perfect. Hennigs Perfectplex finisher was a genuine sight to behold, executed precisely time and time again. He may have played the role of the cocky, arrogant heel, but in real life he more than had the skills to back up his characters relentless boasting. In his glory days, Hennig was never sloppy, never found wanting by opponents and never appeared to be tired of wound down, even when racked with a painful illness during his classic Intercontinental Championship match with Bret Hart at the 1991 Summerslam .
3.Ricky Steamboat- Ricky the Dragon Steamboat has to be widely known for his technical ability. He has had classic matches with the likes of Randy Savage, Steve Austin, and of course the classic match up with Ric Flair. Steamboat has a move skill set that can put nearly anyone to shame. His deep arm drags are notorious to many around the world of wrestling. Steamboat won the Intercontinental Championship after defeating Randy Savage at Wrestlemania III, a match that to this day is still one of my all time favorites. Then just a couple years later, he had three of the most classic matches in early 1989 with Ric Flair, where he became the NWA World Heavyweight Champion for the first time in his career. He lost the championship to Flair at Wrestle War 89, in a match that nearly was on the same level of action as the Savage match up.
2. William Regal- William Regal is as tough as they come and twice as skilful between the ropes. He may have played a ponce on TV for much of his WWE tenure, but rest assured, Regal is a man that can hurt you in a thousand different ways. In addition to having an impressive submission finisher (The Regal Stretch) and having an arsenal of moves diverse enough to allow him to wrestle in practically any style he chooses, Regal has a mass variety of wrestling knowledge, able to mix it up with anybody you care to mention. He was even admonished for not putting Goldberg over in a squash match, making him look vulnerable because he felt Goldberg was not living up to the hype. It is the opinion of myself, that Regal should have been a World Heavyweight Champion at least once in his career.
1.Kurt Angle- Who better to top off this countdown with the only Olympic Gold Medalist in wrestling. Kurt Angle. Angle, who won an Olympic Gold medal at the 1996 Atlanta Games, also had a fantastic professional wrestling career, winning the WWE World Championship on three occasions, the Intercontinental Champion, and European Champion, all in his first year in the business. Angle still competes today, and is considering a return to the WWE, to finish up his Hall of Fame career with the company that gave him his first shot.
And that is all for this week. Did I leave anyone out? What is your list, leave a comment below and tell me what you think.
Tiny URL for this post: