This list just keeps on coming doesn’t it? Listed below are the honorable mentions as well as 100-91. So we will keep this going with the wrestler ranked 90 and through 81 and next week it will be 80-71. Enjoy!
90. Finn Balor AKA Prince Devitt
WWE fans only know him as Finn Balor, a wrestler with a lot of promise who dominated NXT for the better part of a year and was the first Universal Champion after an injury sidelined him. What those who do not follow wrestling outside of WWE only have the vaguest knowledge of is the fact that Finn Balor or Prince Devitt is already one of the most legendary wrestlers of all time.
Devitt has wrestled over the world and everywhere he goes success follows him through his work in the ring, his work on the mic, and the magnetism that draws everyone to him. He was the founder of a group known as The Bullet Club, a New Japan Pro Wrestling stable that brought western style sensationalism to the typically hard hitting less storied world of Puroresu. The man has just started to come into his form and is already an absolute legend in the business. Unless injuries sideline the rest of his career, Finn Balor will be sky rocketing up this list soon enough.
89. Bob Backlund
Bob Backlund, during the height of his time with the championship, was the last great vestige of the bygone age. Bob Backlund won the championship in 1978 and would go on to hold the belt for 2135 days (though there is some debate on whether or not he was beat by Antonio Inoki). During that time, Vince McMahon was hard at work at creating a juggernaut. Seeing a vision for wrestling that was less smoke filled bingo halls and more a spectacle, Bob Backlund would lose the belt to the Iron Sheik who in turn would lose the belt to none other than Hulk Hogan, thus sparking Hulkamania.
Bob Backlund was the last of the old way of wrestling in WWE. The days of Toots Mondt, George Hackenschmidt, Bruno Sammartino, and Buddy Rogers were a thing of the past. No longer would beefy, muscular, and hairy men in mono colored tights be the norm, now was the time for the spectacle to begin. Bob Backlund though played his part well and represented the last of that era, a true old school wrestler through and through, Backlund has earned a spot on this list.
Some might find him rather low on this list, but similar to the Sandman, Goldberg earns a spot on this list for being iconic to the industry… Not exactly for his wrestling prowess or microphone skills that are taken into account when coming up with the Top 100 list. Coming to power during the mid 90’s, Goldberg not only became known for being one of WCW’s TRUE local grown talents, his “undefeated streak” became the story of legend. Week after week, Goldberg would squash jobbers and lower mid card talents with his spear and jackhammer finishing maneuver. He was the side show act that everyone had came to see. He was big, formidable, had a larger than life persona, and had the innate charisma to back it up.
Tragically, Goldberg was put into these squash matches to hide the fact that Goldberg himself, wasn’t very good at what he did. Any match that lasted longer than five minutes, cite his match with William “Steve” Regal, saw Goldberg highly unskilled. Even as he progressed and became a better wrestler, it could not be denied that Goldberg was mediocre when it came to in ring talent. However, Goldberg’s persona, undefeated streak, and the fact that he came to being at the waning period of WCW thus increasing their longevity makes Golderg one of the greatest wrestlers of all time.
87. El Texano, Jr.
The current AAA Mega Champion has been the golden boy for the company for the better part of the mid 2010’s. With an impressive physique, quick athletics, handsome features, and an impressive lineage, it would seem that El Texano Jr. is the complete package. He is now the longest reigning AA Mega Champion in history and is currently enjoying his second run with the belt after it was vacated by Alberto El Patron. Texano has been one of the wrestlers to truly revitalize AAA. Joining the likes of Fenix, Aero Star, Drago, Sexy Star, Taya, and so forth, Texano has been leading the charge for the next wave of lucha libre wrestlers and hispanic big men.
86. Jake Roberts
Jake Roberts is a wrestler that changed the game when he began to make a name for himself in the early 90’s. Coming to the ring with a snake and with promo work that was genuinely unsettling, Jake Roberts was one of the first person who brought a truly horrific persona to the ring. Mixed in with his hillbilly stringed hair, using legitimate animals in a match, and with excellent in ring work, Roberts became one of the all-time greats. Tragically, drug problems and reports of animal abuse put a black mark on Roberts career. But he is still one of the greats.
A non-wrestler named Sunny may have been the “original diva” in WWE. But when it came to wrestling and carrying a division that featured a Women’s Championship, one of the pioneers of the division was none other than Sable. It should be stressed that Sable wasn’t the best wrestler in the world. She was okay in the ring, but I refuse to be one of the naysayers who would say she was terrible. She was decent compared to the division and the fact that a woman her size could get people up for a Sable Bomb was damn well impressive.
While Sunny was loved for pure full-fledged spank material, which is what she is known for now, Sable became the substantially more over wife to former Golden Gloves winner Marc Mero. After her popularity boomed, WWE decided to build the division initially around her. This success would spark the need for women’s wrestling. While it was the Attitude Era and was ripe with chauvinism and some disgusting gimmick matches, Sable has still earned her place in the hallowed halls of history for being a pioneer to modern women’s wrestling in the USA.
84. Superstar Billy Graham
An obvious precursor to the existence of Hulkamania, Superstar Billy Graham was the prototype Hulkster. Billy Graham broke multiple barriers in WWE. The first of which being he was the first viable heel champion that was meant as more than just a transitional champion. While Ivan Koloff and Stan Stasiak were heels, their championship combined only lasted 30 days compared to Bruno Sammartino and Pedro Morales lasting well over a number of years. Billy Graham, on the other hand, was a heel who held the title close to 300 days before losing it to Bob Backlund.
Superstar Billy Graham was also one of the first wrestlers to step away from the norm which was mono colored speedo tights and hairy big man builds. Graham was well known for wearing tye dye tights which was certainly more on the gaudy side of things making him a true pioneer of his time.
83. Brian Pillman
Brian Pillman is truly a tragic case. The man is a true pioneer of his time who was MILES ahead of the rest of the industry. Brian Pillman was a small man with excellent in ring abilities and had a gimmick that was the precursor to the entire attitude era. Not only was he a part of a tag team with Stone Cold Steve Austin, he is also well known for the Pillman has a gun segment, orchestrating his release under the disguise of a storyline, and was the first WCW Cruiserweight Champion in history.
Tragically, heart disease would claim his life at the early age of 35. If given more time, who knows what could have happened or what else Pillman would have pioneered? But as of now, he has earned a spot amont the greats.
82. Jim Breaks
For those who might not be familiar with British pro wrestling, this name could potentially escape you. Jim Breaks is one of the earliest pioneers of British wrestling and was the inventor of a number of classic submission holds, most notable of which being the Jim Breaks Special. While not overly flashy or particularly memorable for any one wrestling promotion, Jim Breaks was one of the wrestlers that truly shaped the industry from the country as a whole.
While USA is more about glitz and technicality mixed in with a number of suplexes, Mexico is more about high flying, and Japan can take a more martial arts hard hitting inspired, British wrestling takes on a much more mat based catch as catch can style of wrestling. It comes complete with much more ground based submission holds and most resembles traditional wrestling that is seen in the Olympics. Jim Breaks is one of the men who created this style of wrestling and made it a mainstay for the British Isles that persists to this day with stars like Zack Sabre, Jr.
81. Rob Van Dam
Rob Van Dam was a late in ECW’s life coup from Paul Heyman. No matter who was booking him, RVD was going to be an absolute star. He had the relaxed charisma that drew attention to himself, the long hair, the built, the moves, and all points in between, Rob Van Dam was the total package. Quite frankly, all Paul Heyman had to do in the late days of ECW was send the man out there and watch him earn the company money.
Rob Van Dam, while having a successful career in WWE by most standards, could have been a megastar if it weren’t for the fact that politicking humbled him down the roster and into oblivion. Rob Van Dam made the mistake of wrestling for RAW during the height of Triple H’s “This is my show and I make the rules” stint and the only people who got belts were him and his friends, Booker T and Rob Van Dam were those left on the outside looking in. However, this did not stop RVD who would later go on to win the WWE Championship from John Cena at One Night Stand and make his mark as one of the most undervalued performers in WWE history.
Thank you for reading and please come back next week for 80-71.