The list keeps on trucking along! Check out the links below for the honorable mentions and wrestlers 100-71!
70. Booker T
In many ways, Booker T Huffman is one of the most iconic wrestlers of all time. While there were many wrestlers that came before him to break the color barrier, there was still a hint of black wrestlers being held down in the industry. Ron Simmons became the first black WCW Champion, but it was quite clear that wrestlers like Booker T were being held down in the company for the simple fact that they were black. One half of one of the greatest tag teams of all time, the Harlem Heat, Booker T was a stellar in ring competitor. He had charisma that rivaled that of The Rock and it was clear that the man was in for big things despite being held back due to the color of his skin. Booker T was the man who finally overcame that to become a five time WCW Champion and later a World Heavyweight Champion in the WWE.
While there is a Women’s Revolution in full swing in the recent years that has seen our first Hell in a Cell match for the Women’s Championship, two of the true pioneers of Women’s wrestling in the USA falls to two people: Trish Stratus, who is higher on the list, and the punk rock icon that is Lita.
While Lita’s punk rock edge fit a more niche demographic of WWE’s audience hence the reason why Stratus got more exposure, her in ring ability was second to no one. She was one of the first women to perform true high flying maneuvers such as moonsaults, take chair shots, and was one of the first women to truly get some color in the process. Lita was hardcore to her very bones and has paved the way for wrestlers like Bayley, Sasha Banks, Becky Lynch, and Charlotte to apply their trade on equal footing with their male counterparts.
68. Diamond Dallas Page
If there was ever a person who was the representation that following your dreams has no age, it is none other than Diamond Dallas Page. DDP, one of the few mainstay WCW talents to truly make her mark in the company, Page started his wrestling career well into his late 30’s and into his early 40’s. The man did not let his age play a factor as he became an absolute work horse in the ring and was one of the most athletically toned on the roster.
During the 90’s, DDP was one of the true WCW talents. He claimed multiple WCW Title wins and was perfect in either a heel or a face role. Nowadays, DDP has started an company known as DDP Yoga and has done amazing work saving the lives of former addicts and wrestlers battling personal demons. The man is an inspiration in every sense of the word.
67. Jeff Hardy
Jeff Hardy will always be known as the superstar that could have been a legend if drug problems had not haunted him his entire life. While not as technically gifted as his older brother Matt, Jeff Hardy was graced with more innate charisma than his brother as well as a daredevil attitude that made him a legend during the early 2000’s in WWE.
The Hardy Boyz will go down as one of the greatest tag team acts of all time, bringing high flying daredevil stunts to the sport. Jeff Hardy would later be the one to truly break through the glass ceiling, seeing him win the World Heavyweight Championship, WWE Championship, and multiple TNA Championships. If his drug problems had not hampered him so much during the height of his career, he certainly would be higher on this list. However, he still has earned the 68 spot.
66. Pat Patterson
The first Intercontinental Champion, Pat Patterson will be known for that and also for being one of Vince McMahon’s Stooges during the Attitude Era. No matter how you look at him, it cannot be denied that Patterson has certainly made his mark on the industry. The man has been a mainstay in WWE since the 60’s and has paved the way for work rate style wrestlers who were destined for the mid card greatness, but never pushed forward into the upper echelon of the main event scene.
65. Don Muraco
A product of the WWWF during its days as a territory in the northeast section of the United States, Don Muraco along with Pedro Morales represented the Hispanic heritage of the WWE. Being one of the longest reigning Intercontinental Champions of all time, Don Muraco dominated the mid card scene for the better part of a decade and was the first ever King of the Ring winner.
64. Stu Hart
Tragically, I do not know much about Stu Hart as I do others on this list. So I will detail what I know and that he is a pioneer. He is also responsible for most of the wrestlers in the 90’s and 2000’s training. In his basement, or Stu Hart’s Dungeon, the father of Bret and Owen Hart trained the wrestlers of the future. He was also huge during the territory times as well as in Smokey Mountain Wrestling.
For those of you who are not familiar with Lucha Libre, you will probably not be too familiar with Sexy Star. The powerhouse of a woman who has been making a name for herself on Lucha Underground is one of the greatest female wrestlers in the history of Mexico. She has recently retired, but her accomplishments along with other wrestlers such as Taya and the Apache wrestling family have been the precursor to the “Women’s Revolution” that we see today.
One of the best qualities of Sexy Star was the fact that, unlike other wrestlers who adapt a masculine tone to them, Sexy Star has remained a powerhouse of a wrestler who has 100% feminine motifs. It is refreshing to see that a woman does not have to adapt to some masculine ideals of wrestling in order to be accepted, kick massive amounts of ass, and be a pioneer of the sport.
62. Stan Hansen
There probably is not a man on this earth that represents the true “gaijin” character like Stan Hansen. A true product of the territory years of pro wrestling, Hansen was a beer guzzling, cowboy hat wearing redneck who always loved a good fight. He was one of the stiffist workers in the world and made a name for himself across the pacific in Japan. Bringing the unique American motif to foreign soil made him the living definition of “gaijin” or “foreigner” which was perfect for the blossoming Japanese puroresu scene.
61. Terry Funk
The trailblazer of all things hardcore! I’ll be honest, the fact that Terry Funk is still alive and kicking is nothing short of a modern miracle. This man has put himself through all kinds of hell in the name of hardcore wrestling and entertaining fans. This was back in the day when people loved to watch people blow up in barbwire and safety was a term that just didn’t get used. There are a lot of people to thank for the power of ECW in the 90’s. But you cannot make that list without putting Terry Funk’s name right at the top along with Paul Heyman and Shane Douglas.
Funk was tough as nails and along with Dory Funk, the two took the Funk name and made it into a wrestling legacy.