The World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) has a massive fan following in India and around the world. The moves, the mike antics and every bit of action that the wrestler’s display make them entertainers in addition to action figures. There are several iconic stars who have made WWE a global brand. The actions of most of these wrestlers, be it their moves or their speech, have made them popular beyond belief. Recently, a list was released of the top 30 wrestlers of all time in the WWE. In this article, we will look at seven names that have redefined the sport for us in the modern era.
Yes, there have been wrestlers like Ultimate Warrior, Hulk Hogan, Ric Flair, Sting, Andre The Giant, Jimmy Superfly Snuka, Macho Man Randy Savage, Bret ‘The Hitman’ Hart and Rowdy Rowdy Piper. However, those were in an era when the WWE, which was known as the World Wrestling Federation, had not yet caught on in India. This list has members who have kept a lasting impression on the modern audience around the world.
Stone Cold Steve Austin
Admit it. The breaking of the glass, the beer drinking and the ability to be anti-establishment in style. That was Stone Cold Steve Austin for you. It was Austin that grabbed the attention of global audiences. His catchphrase, Austin 3:16 is a testament to his brilliance. Austin gained significant mainstream popularity as a brash, vulgar, beer-drinking antihero who routinely defied the establishment. His fights with WWE chairman Vince McMahon was legendary and TRPs used to shoot through the roof. Austin has been labelled Austin is as the greatest wrestling act of all time as well as for the most profitable and the most influential.
Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson
The lifting of the eyebrow. If you could smell what he was cooking, then it was electrifying. His rivalry with Stone Cold Steve Austin was legendary in every sense. He rose to prominence after developing a charismatic persona of a boastful, trash-talking wrestler named the Rock. He subsequently won his first WWF Championship in 1998 and helped usher the WWF into the “Attitude Era”, a boom period in the company’s business in the late 1990s and early 2000s which still holds professional wrestling records for television ratings. His rivalries with Austin, McMahon, Triple H made the WWE reach a summit of popularity never seen before. Now, he is a very successful Hollywood star.
Triple H (Paul Michael Levesque)
He is the King of Kings. He is the cerebral assassin. He is The Game. Walking in with a sledgehammer and armed with a finishing move called the Pedigree, Triple H was the poster boy for the WWE at the start of the 21st century. He is the 14-time world champion and he has won it all and beaten them all. Now, he is part of the WWE management and has had a successful career in meetings as in the ring.
Admit it. When the bell gonged, darkness set in and the funeral organ played, you were scared. When the Urn was stolen or attacked, you believed he was dead. But, he was the Dead man walking. The Undertaker had a legacy that transcended eras. His legendary Wrestlemania Streak of 21 will be unmatched. When the streak ended, the shock and sorrow was there for the millions to see. For sheer intimidation and mind games, there will never be another Undertaker.
He has beaten everyone. He ended the Undertaker’s legendary streak. He would lift 500 pounds and 400 pounds with absolute ease. He would break the ring. Hell, the fact that he was the first to break the Undertaker’s legendary streak makes Brock Lesnar one of the greatest. His list of career achievements is simply unbelievable. For power and audacity, there will never be another Brock Lesnar.
“I am just a sexy boy”. The Heart Break Kid Shawn Michaels or HBK was a rockstar in the WWE business. His partnership with Triple H to form the DX stable was one of the highlights in the Attitude Era of the WWE. Michaels ‘never say die’ attitude was spectacular and he had many epic fights with top superstars, especially The Undertaker.
“You can’t see me.” “My time is now”. ‘Hustle, Respect and Loyalty’. If there was one person who carried on the torch of the WWE after the exit of Austin and The Rock, it was John Cena. His style of wrestling polarized people. But, one cannot deny it. He was the top draw for many years. His 16 world titles, level with Ric Flair, is a testament to his commitment and longevity. Cena’s work ethics makes him stand out, but his nice-guy image is something that the WWE needed when it moved from the Attitude Era to the PG era
Notable mentions: Randy Orton, Kurt Angle, Mick Foley, Adam ‘Edge’ Copeland