Thursday, 18 May 2017

AFB's Top 13 Favourite Wrestlers in American Professional Wrestling


While ill I watched a lot of YouTube, and it left me in the mood to write a bunch of indulgent top 10s – which lead me to dust this off. I did a bunch of work on a Top 30 Wrestlers list as one of last year’s 30th Birthday Top 30s but it never got finished, no real reason, it just didn’t. But I looked about the messy teenager’s bedroom that is my documents folder and had enough material and enough inclination to turn it into a top 13 and so I did but… it still felt a little too indulgent so I’ve decided to recommend four matches of each entry on the list, that way if reading some bald bloke you’ve never met enthusing doesn’t float your boat you’ll still have 52 wrestling matches to look up on DailyMotion.
Anyway criteria was simple: the wrestler had to have had a career in America but didn’t have to be American (Canadians are coming). The reasons for this? Simply I know very little about Mexican or Japanese Wrestling so I felt if I was excluding them I should also exclude British Wrestlers too. Backstage bullshit and out-of-the-ring behaviour isn’t being taken into account when it comes to numbering, I’ll bring some of it up but it wasn’t used to judge the wrestlers for this list, I’m just referring to it for some other bullshit reason, probably attempts at humour or because it’s relevant to something other than the numbering. Wrestling for the WWF/E wasn’t a necessity but as so many American Pro Wrestlers do over their careers it shouldn’t be surprising that all but one on this list have done just that.  So anyway, ready for some barely clothed sweaty mean and poor and vague reasoning why I like them? Great!  Then are you sitting comfortably? Then I’ll begin like a thorn in your eye: 

13. Bayley / Becky Lynch
Who? Two femael wrestlers who came up through and out of WWF's NXT division (and show) together 
Why? So why are they tied? Well for the really silly reason that I figured out that I like them equal, I like them both for the same set of reasons: they’re great wrestlers, they’re attractive and I want to hang out with them, can you imagine going shopping with Bayley? It would be immense, I imagine she’d just run from store to store and buy an armful of awesome t-shirts, funky stationary and soft toys and I Lynch is just cool, I think it was Paige who asked what her purpose was as WWE Diva? My answer: to be the really undeniably likable one you want to chat with before and after you see them beat the piss out someone. The difference really is that (and sorry to both girls in advance) I find Lynch more attractive (and more… my sort of person) while I think Bayley is a better wrestler, to me those things even them out (shallow I know).
Sasha Banks vs Bayley - NXT Takeover: Brooklyn (WWE NXT)
Charlotte vs Bayley vs Sasha Banks vs Becky Lynch – NXT Takeover: Rival (WWENXT)
Alexa Bliss vs Becky Lynch – TLC 2016 (WWE)1
Asuka vs Bayley – NXT Takeover: Dallas (WWE NXT)1

12. Kirk Angel Kurt Angle
Who? Won gold for American in Freestyle Wrestling at the 1996 then joined WWF during the tail-end of their Attitude Era period, became one of the vaulted Smackdown Six before leaving for TNA because they don't care about their employee's, um, person demons. 
Why? There are three reasons, well, four why I like Kurt Angle so much 1) he’s a fucking fantastic wrestler (he’s won gold medals, did you know?), the praise ‘he was even good in TNA’ seems a little unfair sometimes but he was even good in TNA. 2) he is hilarious, an Olympic Wrestler becoming a comedy genius is some Digimon level shit - I’d like to point out again (it’s fitting really) that this man is an Olympic Gold Medallist, he could have come into Pro Wrestling and insisted on being the new Hulk Hogan and no one could have faulted him for it, instead he spent a decade playing a buffoon of incredible size and was magnificent at it, the only wrestling…thing I can think of that’s as funny as Kurt Angle is Commissioner Foley, that’s high praise. 3) He is the most wrestler looking wrestler you can get without long hair. Speaking of that, 4) he has the best haircut:
Me, showing off Best Haircut
Oh and Adam Blampied Plumpy would come to my house and read poetry until I bled from the eyeballs if I didn’t put him on the list, no I don’t know Adam Blampied Plumpy nor does he know about this blog, but I know that he’s always watching, waiting, ready.
Kurt Angle vs Shane McMahon – King of the Ring 2001 (WWF)
Kurt Angle vs Chris Benoit – Royal Rumble 2002 (WWF)
The Undertaker vs Kurt Angle – No Way Out 2006 (WWE)
Kurt Angle vs Jeff Jarrett – Against All Odds 2011 (TNA)

11. Owen Hart
Who? Younger brother of Bret Hart and trained by their father, Owen also wrestled in the WWF as the Blue Blazer, which sadly lead to his demise in-ring - live on Pay-per-view. Also two-time Slammy winner. 
Why? Kevin Mann of the Attitude Era Podcast made a good point about Owen Hart one time (Owen is one of his many, many favourite wrestlers of all time) that Bret’s little brother didn’t have one thing you had to see (‘you must see his enziguri’ etc) but instead he did everything really well, that is exactly why I like Owen Hart, even more than his brother he was a guarantee that if you saw his name on the card you’d at least get one decent match, Owen was just such constant quality. His character was also such a strange, unhinged little fucker wasn’t it? Odd but undeniably likable (in real life he was a practical joker and a lovely family man), the Slammies thing is still funny (really, I watched The Best of In Your House DVD this morning which features the tag team match against ‘Team America’ recommended below and it’s not even mentioned, but just seeing him come out with them for no good reason made me laugh).
Owen Hart vs the 1-2-3 Kid – King of the Ring 1994 (WWF)
Bret Hart vs Owen Hart – Wrestlemania X (WWF)
The New Hart Foundation vs. ‘Team America’ – In Your House: Canadian Stampede (WWF)2
The British Bulldog vs Owen Hart – 3rd March 1997 Raw (WWF)

 
10. Rick Flair
Who? Oftentimes champion for WWF competition like the AWA, Jim Crockett Promotions and WCW, but had two stints in WWF, one due to a row with WCW and the latter due to WCW being bought by Vince McMahon. 
Why? If you look up ‘wrestler’ in the dictionary, it has a picture of Rick Flair. He’s the quintessential American professional wrestler, and he’s really REALLY good at it, until his actual, proper, no really this time, in-ring retirement in 2012 he had been wrestling for forty years and he was superb the whole time, Flair was annoyingly good at wrestling and if you wish to make the argument that he’s the best in-ring wrestler on this list I won’t stop you because no matter who else is on this list, you’re probably right. And yet he’s relegated to kicking off the top 10, a man this good with hair this nice and with more charisma than my entire town will ever have, how dare I? Well I could bring up his misuse in WCW in later years or that TNA run after his retirement as hurting him a little but I’d be lying, even a misused Rick Flair buried in the desert is still better than 99.9% of other wrestlers, honestly the reason is I just like 9 other wresters more. It’s that vague and yet simple, I, personally, prefer 9 other people. I feel guilty about it, but I do, sorry Rick, you’re always be The Man.  
Rick Flair vs Ricky Steamboat – Chi-Town Rumble 1989 (Jim Crocket Promotions)
Rick Flair vs Macho Man Randy Savage - WrestleMania VIII (WWF)
Rick Flair vs Hulk Hogan – Bash at the Beach 1994 (WCW)
Shawn Michaels vs Rick Flair – Wrestlemania 24 (WWE)

9. Daffney
Who? female wrestler who debuted as the girlfriend of David Flair, Rick Flair's useless son, but became a fine wrestler bedecked in her Goth/Rock style, know for screaming and the fact that she never worked for the WWF/E
Why? The Scream Queen is my perfect woman and a superb wrestler I’m very sad she’s had to retire, that is all, matches:
Daffney vs Raisha Saeed – 21st May 2009 TNA Impact (TNA)
Daffney vs Awesome Kong –31st December 2009 TNA Impact (TNA)
Daffney vs Tara – 18th February 2010 TNA Impact (TNA)
Daffney vs Taylor Wilde – 25th June 2010 TNA Xplosion (TNA)
Honestly these are just the first four videos in my wrestling matches folder, all Daffney matches are worth watching because they have Daffney in them.

 
8.  Macho Man Randy Savage
Who? A major star for the WWF in the late 80's and early 90's behind only Hulk Hogan and pretty-much a household name, left to work at WCW when Vince McMahon wouldn't let him wrestle in the WWF and wanted to keep him on commentary. His brother was The Genius. 
Why? Oooh yeah!
Sorry it’s an impulse.
Randy Savage is better than Hulk Hogan, live with it. He was a better wrestler with a cooler (edgier?) character and is far less ridiculous, and given that we’re talking about a man who spent most of his high profile years coming to the ring in sequins and headbands consider how ridiculous that makes Hogan. Away from childishly comparing him to his arch-rival Macho Man’s just awesome, heel, face or commentator, hell even in WCW, he was awesome. You could go so far to as that his character boiled down to ‘awesome’ and the fact that he had the wrestling chops to go with it just made it even better. He’s a little lower than some would think he should be but that’s because I can’t overlook that he was a major factor in WCW becoming stale and headlined with rubbish matches, he simply stayed as an in ring competitor too long and it slightly soured me on him, sure this doesn’t tarnish his amazing WWF career but this isn’t a list of best WWF wrestlers (thought it may as well be), still he rocked the nWo black and white look, but again this was the man who made sequins and headbands manly. So why is he above Rick Flair and Kurt Angle, or say Terry Funk or Edge, who never had this problem? Meh, straight up personal preference for the Macho Man character, I just like him more - oh and he genuinely was a childhood hero of mine too despite being a possibly insane heel half the time and possibly insane all the time, that helps, nostalgia for the win oh and he was in the Mega Powers story-line, one of the best story-lines in wrestling ever.
Macho Man Randy Savage vs Ricky Steamboat – Wrestlemania III (WWF)
Macho Man Randy Savage vs Hulk Hogan – Wrestlemania VI (WWF)
Macho Man Randy Savage vs The Ultimate Warrior – Wrestlemania VII (WWF)
Macho Man Randy Savage vs. Diamond Dallas Page - Halloween Havoc 1997 (WCW)

 
7. Bret ‘The Hitman’ Hart
Who? Canadian wrestler trained by his father, part of the legendary Hart Family, older brother to Owen Hart, brother-in-law to Jim Neidhart and The British Bulldog and uncle of Natalya. Was one of WWF's main tag-teams in the 1980's boom period and one of  the men who carried the company during the mid-90's 'New Generation' period. Famously 'screwed' on live Tv and beaten 'for real' by Shawn Michaels in the infamous Montreal Screwjob. 
Why? I have to do this: the 7th best there is, the 7th best there was, the 7th best there ever will be - ok I’m satiated. I can’t believe Bret fucking Hart is only number 7, I feel dirty. After Macho Man fell from prominence, Bret Hart took over as my ‘wrestling hero’ during childhood, he’s one of the best technical wrestlers of all time, he’s the only man who can pull off hot pink (sorry Owen, but then Owen looked odd in everything, it was part of his charm), he was in one of the best tag teams ever, his whole character was the decent, serious, quietly cool bloke who knew he could kick your arse – I wanted to be Bret Hart and you know what, I still do, he got good matches out of a mounty, a pirate and Yokozuna for fuck’s sake. So why only number 7? I don’t know, I honestly think it’s his time in WCW, now I know about it, and have seen a lot of it, and it’s so uninspiring. While it didn’t put me off Hart (I don’t think anything below sexual assaults on animals could do that) it adds this negative tail to an otherwise awesome shark, am I making sense? Probably not, have some matches:    
Demolition vs the Hart Foundation – SummerSlam 1990 (WWF)
Bret Hart vs The British Bulldog – SummerSlam 1992 (WWF)
Bret Hart vs Owen Hart – SummerSlam 1994 (WWF)
Bret Hart vs Shawn Michaels – Survivor Series 1997 (WWF)3

6. Shawn Michaels
Who? Notoriously difficult behind-the-scenes both alone and as past of his 'lock room gang' The Kliq, Michaels was part of The Rockers tag team during the boom period of the 1980s and the other man relied upon to carry the company during the New Generation alongside Bret Hart, who he had a genuine beer with (the feeling was mutual), spent a period of the late '90s and early 2000s retired as an in-ring competitor due to back injuries and lots and lots of drugs. 
Why? It pains me to put Michaels above the Hitman, I was fully intending to have the two be a tie but I couldn’t shake the feeling that someway, for some reason, Shawn Michaels should be above his old real life rival and much nicer human being Bret Hart. Eventually I figured out why, in 2002 Michaels came back and was as good as ever, having a blistering run that has helped make the Ruthless Aggression era accessible to me. Poor Hart never got that luxury, having to forcibly retire after a middling run in WCW and then suffering a stroke. Sure Hart did return to the WWF but it wasn’t a patch on Michaels’ second run (sadly), so you end up with two blokes I grew up with and like for the exact same reason – nostalgia, awesome tag team run, awesome singles run, being fucking brilliant in-ring, being cool as anyone should be allowed to be, but with Michaels then giving us this extra, awesome thing as well. Sorry Bret.
Shawn Michaels vs Marty Janetty – Royal Rumble 1993 (WWF)
Stone Cold Steve Austin vs Shawn Michaels – King of the Ring 1997 (WWF)
Shawn Michaels vs Undertaker – In Your House: Badd Blood (WWF)
Shawn Michaels vs Triple H – SummerSlam 2002 (WWE)

 
5. Paige
Who? Female wrestler who came up through NXT around the same time as Becky Lynch and Bayley, though she joined the main roster (so appearing on WWE programming) a little earlier. Scarily pale.
Why? I’m not going to talk about it. This was hard for me to admit, not too hard, it’s only a top list about wrestlers, but still hard for me to admit that while I may fancy Daffney slightly more, and while I often say she’s my favourite female wrestler…I just like watching Paige matches more. Paige is awesome: she’s gorgeous, she has great fashion sense, she’s a great wrestler and she has a viciousness to what she does that many other superb women wrestlers of today (notably Charlotte and Bayley, why do so many female wrestles just have one name? is McMahon obsessed with Cher or something? Actually that sounds completely plausible now I’ve said it) just slightly lack, there’s a real feeling that she means the hurt she’s (supposedly) laying on anyone else in the ring, but that’s mostly true for Daffney too, so why Paige above her? Well I honestly think half of it is because Paige has spent most of her career so far either working with people I like (Bayley, Charlotte, Natalya, AJ Lee) or punching people I really don’t like in the head (the Bella Twins, Sasha Banks), now that’s not really on Paige per-say and is likely to change now we live in a post-Paige sex tape world (still not talking about it) but no matter what she does next she’ll always have spent five more years than Daffney working with people I care about a lot more, and doing it viciously. The other half is just that inexplicably knowledge that you prefer something to something else but have absolutely no way of wording why, I’m sorry Daffney L.
Paige vs Natalya – 4th December 2013 (WWE NXT)
Paige vs AJ Lee – July 20th 2014 Battleground (WWE)
Paige vs Charlotte – 23rds November 2015 RAW (WWE)
Paige vs Becky Lynch – 11th November 2015 Raw (WWE)4

 
4. Sting
Who? very much the face of WWF's main rival WCW as he never once went to work for Vince McMahon's House of Sweaty Lads while WCW was active, in fact he only worked for them for a very short before injuries forced him retire, after spending a decade or more in their next rival, TNA. 
Why? I ended up watching a lot of WCW when I was a kid, roughly between 1991 and 1993, when Sting was the top man funnily enough, I had some videos and some taped shows and saw the actual show sometimes on TV. Honestly I never really noticed the difference, wrestlers flipped back and forth (hell Rick Flair and the Steiners went to WWF at one point in the early 90s) and I wasn’t the most attentive or deductive child. Why do I like Sting so much? Well as a kid when he was Surfer Sting it was because he looked cool and had enjoyable matches (I didn’t understand the concept of in-ring work then, but Sting was good), as a teenager when he was Crow Sting it was because he looked cool and had a presence to him that made up for some of his, um, stupidity and as an adult looking at his whole career now he’s sadly retired? Its cos he looks cool ok? I’m that shallow! I honestly don’t know why exactly Sting’s always been one of my favourites, I know some of the why but not all of it, he’s just always done it for me (not like that, he looks way too much like Kevin Bacon), sorry about that, oh well at least I’ve made sure you’ll never unsee his Kevin Baconness so there was some point to this, have some matches:
Sting vs Rick Flair – Starrcade ’89 (WCW)
Sting vs Big Van Vader – Starrcade ’92 (WCW)
Sting vs Kurt Angle – Bound For Glory 2007 (TNA)    
Seth Rollins vs Sting – Night of Champions 2015 (WWE)

 
3. Mick Foley
Who? The Smark's favourite, a chubby, bearded gentleman known for participating in very dangerous matches, he wrestled at WCW first as Cactus Jack then in ECW and in Japan under that name before become the WWF's masked Mankind, and then switching between Mankind, Cactus Jack and corporate hippy Dude Love. after injuries racked up he became on-screen commissioner, and did a little bit of work for TNA. notable for starting the whole 'wrestler autobiography' craze by putting out his popular book Have a Nice Day: A Tale of Blood and Sweatsocks. 
Why? After being chokeslammed through the Hell in the Cell roof signs started popping up in the crowd reading ‘Foley is God’, but you want to know a secret? Foley was always god, it just took the WWF fans a while to notice. When he came into WCW and battered Sting, Vader and the Nasty Boys he was the shit, when he went to ECW and battered Sabu and (intentionally or otherwise) Mikey Whipwreck he was the shit, when he came to the WCW as Mankind and battered the Undertaker he was the shit, and his ‘Faces of Foley’ gimmick (which saw Foley switch between the creepy masked Mankind, corporate hippy Dude Love and crazy wild man Cactus Jack, sometimes multiple times in one show) is one of the best gimmicks a wrestler ever had oh and his books are, you guessed it, the shit, even as a stand-up comic he’s pretty damn good. While deserving praise for his ability to absorb massive punishment, making even the most throwaway Raw match a holy shit moment, Foley can also brawl and wrestle to a damn good standard and really the only thing keeping him from being number 2 is that I’m not a fan of the blood-and-guts-barb-wire-death-match-c4-explosive-blood-sport style matches and Foley did a whole bunch of them, especially in ECW and Japan, that’s it.
Cactus Jack vs Sting – Beach Blast ’92 (WCW)
Mankind vs Shawn Michaels – In Your House: Mind Games (WWF)
Mick Foley vs Terry Funk – Raw 4th May 1998 (WWF)
The Undertaker vs Mankind – King of the Ring 1998 (WWF)

2. Stone Cold Steve Austin
Who? the highest grossing WWF champion of all time (meaning he sold more tickets and merchandise while champion than anyone else), Austin had been a b-list villain in WCW before becoming a beloved anti-hero in the WWF 
Why? At the time I loathed the Attitude Era, there was a bunch of kids in my form at school who were mad on wrestling during this period and I’d listen to them enthuse (not to be me, they never talked to me unless to mock me, or because they wanted something drawn) so I tried out an episode of Raw and though I enjoyed the freaks Mankind and Kane and was delighted to see Undertaker still around what I mostly saw was two bullies and a redneck, and I couldn’t understand why I’d cheer for the people who picked on me at school.  I semi-kept up with it during most of senior school, tuning into Raw or the odd free airing of a pay-per-view only to have my initial thoughts confirmed. I’ve softened on the era thanks to the brilliant Attitude Era Podcast and at some point I got it, I got why Stone Cold Steve Austin was cool and once I got it, he went up and up in my opinions until he’s here at number 2 so now I’m here to tell that Stone Cold has: the coolest entrance music, the coolest finisher, was part of the best feud in wrestling history (Austin vs McMahon). Austin is also good at everything wrestling requires: he’s a good wrestler, he’s a good brawler, he’s a good talker, and he’s had the fortune to be in some great stories and feuds (and the WCW invasion but it’s mitigated a little by the fact that Austin always looks perfectly suited and perfectly awesome when leading a group of people into battle), he really was the Ringmaster. “But that’s true of just about everyone on your list so far dwitefry, and a whole bunch of others” you crow, rightfully but annoyingly “why is Steve Austin higher?” the answer is all of that, plus the Stone Cold character being so good - I buy him completely as a working class don’t-give-a-fuck hard bastard, plus he has a presence that few others can match (Kane for instance, could at times, but Stone Cold had it all the time), plus he has the best haircut, plus unlike many he turned up in WWF, was awesome, then stopped wrestling (injuries), no dragging along after the fact, no questionable run in TNA, just a great time prior in WCW as Stunning Steve Austin (I implore you to check this era out too, but be warned, Steve Austin with hair is off-putting) and a nice little stint in ECW for his whole mainstream wrestling career.
The Hollywood Blondes vs Shane Douglas & Ricky Steamboat – 30th January 1993 WCW Worldwide (WCW)
Stone Cold Steve Austin vs Hunter Hearst Helmsley – In Your House: Buried Alive (WWF)
Bret Hart vs Stone Cold Steve Austin – Wrestlemania 13 (WWF)
Stone Cold Steve Austin vs Kurt Angle – Unforgiven 2001 (WWF)

Runners up: oh god there’s so many, OK, in no particular order: Finn Baylor, Charlotte, The Big Bossman, Christina Von Eerie, Jake the Snake, Booker T, The Honky Tonk Man, Edge, Brock Lesnar, Terry Funk, Vader, Beth Phoenix, Diamond Dallas Paige, William Regal, The Iron Sheik, Bray Wyatt, The Road Warriors, The Junkyard Dog, The Franchise Shane Douglas, The British Bulldog, Dusty Rhodes, Natalya, Eddie Guerrero, The Million Dollar Man, Raven, Andre the Giant, Bruno Sammartino and Lyta, at least.  

1. The Undertaker
Who? The gimmick that should never had worked, a wrestling undead wild west-era undertaker played a massive ginger Texan who instead became an industry legend and one of the most respected men in the business behind the scenes.  Notable for a long running winning streak at Wrestlemania known as, yeah, The Streak. 
Why? He’s been my favourite since I was five years old and it’s never changed, from beating Hulk Hogan to chloroforming Giant Gonzales to throwing Mankind through Hell in a Cell to trying to embalm a still living Steve Austin to The Streak to his awesome run of 2000s Wrestlemania matches to his retirement moment at Wrestlemania this year Undertaker has always elicited the same response from me: ‘fuck, yeah’, I even like the time he fought the fake Undertaker, the match was shit but the visual was great, kind of like that time there was two Doinks, only in a shittier match (and that match was against Crush). There are better wrestlers yes but none of them appeal to my tastes more than The Phenom, not even Daffney. We’ve been through the whole ‘I have a natural and pathological fascination with horror, death, gothic and dead things’ thing right? So a wrestling undead undertaker played to a ‘t’ by a huge terrifying man with terrifying eyes for over 25 years exists, can you see why he’s number one? And you know what the best thing about having the Undertaker as your favourite wrestler today is? Rather than, say, having him be your favourite in 2000? The new millennium has just given him one great match after another, so while for a long time had been cool for the majority of his career (American Badass phase notwithstanding but during that time he feuded with Kurt Angle and Brock Lesnar so there was definite upsides) now I can say that he was good for the majority of his career or at the very least in good matches those years, the mid-90s can go fuck ‘emselves. You could of course argue that many of those matches were with already superb wrestlers like Kurt Angle, Edge, Rick Flair, Shawn Michaels, Triple H and even Brock Lesnar and you’re right, Undertaker does need ‘the right opponent’ (by that I mean someone who’s good) but ‘Taker has his own strengths (as his Batista matches alone prove) and he’s an undead wrestling undertaker - I have a natural and pathological fascination with horror, death, gothic and dead things remember?    
The Undertaker vs Mankind – In Your House: Buried Alive (WWF)
The Undertake vs Brock Lesnar – No Mercy 2002 (WWE)
The Undertaker vs Edge – Wrestlemania 24 (WWE)
The Undertaker vs Shawn Michaels – Wrestlemania 25 (WWE)

There you go, but before I go though (segue!) I do want to specifically bring up some names that are missing from the list and the runners up and why they’re not here. The first is AJ Styles, Ricky Steamboat and Daniel Bryant, the three are/were phenomenal in-ring wrestlers but I just don’t have any personal attachment to them, maybe one day I will (hell it took a decade or more to get an attachment to Steve Austin) but at the moment I don’t. Next is CM Punk, another great wrestler but, and I can’t quite figure out why but he just bugs me, maybe it’s because he looks like Steve Carrell (don’t lie to yourself, he does) and I hate Steve Carrell, but there’s something about him that annoys me just a little bit. Triple H is not missing because he’s a burying bastard who fucked his way to power and continual success or because he cheated on Chyna (though I do resent him for that one) or any other backstage stuff you probably think kept him off because I wasn’t taking backstage stuff into account; he’s missing because since he dropped the Connecticut Blueblood gimmick I’ve felt that he has no real character that I can describe beyond ‘a bit of a dick, maybe?’, I don’t mean that he’s complicated or layered I mean he’s lacking, I just don’t care about Triple H the character, at all, either positively or negatively. John Cena is also missing for reasons other than what you’d think, he’s not anywhere near this list because I find him fucking obnoxious, not as a person (I’m sure he’s lovely) or as a wrestler (he’s very good) but visually: his face, his mannerisms, his bloody silly ‘you can’t see me’ thing (yes we can Cena, you’re a huge muscle man dressed like a tube of Fruit Pastilles), his overabundance of sweat bands, everything about him –to look at- is just right to really annoy me. Finally The Rock, I loathe The Rock, in his heyday he was a bully and presented it such that being a bully was cool, he has always had the Cena Annoying Visual thing going on with his face, god his face pisses me off, and his mannerisms and personality just wind me up, not in the good heel heat kind of way, in the Kim Kardashian ‘I don’t want to watch you’ way (I still don’t know why Kim Kardashian is famous…), and one of the kids at school used to bully me using The Rock’s mannerisms because he though the Rock was the best thing ever, also his tattoos are boring. So I mean to cast no aspersions on the talent of these men and no offense is meant by leaving them off, except to The Rock, The Rock can fucking do one (I hear Dwayne Johnson’s a decent enough bloke though, pity most of his films are cack).

1 I absolutely picked these two because they’re against new(ish) women’s wrestlers who I really like, Asuka’s just great in every way possible and I’m really enjoying Alexa Bliss’s ‘Wrestling Suicide Squad Harley Quinn’ character, sure it’s unoriginal but so’s Bray Wyatt and Razor Ramon and they’re class, although not quite so on the nose I grant you.
2 The New Hart Foundation were Bret Hart, Owen Hart, Davey Boy Smith, Jim Neidhart and Brian Pillman, the unofficially named Team America were Stone Cold Steve Austin, The Legion of Doom, Ken Shamrock and Goldust because they’re totally the people you want representing your country, and although it was a 10-man tag match the match really belonged to Owen, watch and see why.
3 yes I am recommending this match, it’s not the best match Bret Hart ever had true but like it or not the Montreal Screwjob looms so large in his career I genuinely do recommend you see it so you know what the fuck everyone’s going on about, and it’s Hart & Michaels so it doesn’t suck even before they ring the fuckin' bell.
4 again I totally chose these because I like all the opponents, I’m sad that Charlotte didn’t make the cut (I think she was number 17 or something) and Paige vs Becky Lynch is like my dream match. 

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