Sunday, July 24, 2011

My Favorite Wrestlers Ever: #10 through #6

Last multiple entry until we get into the top 5!

Photo Credit:
10. Dusty Rhodes

My fandom for De Amewican Dweem has come later in life. When I watched as a child, during his heyday, he was at the height of his WWF run, wearing polka dots and being irrelevant. But his commentary in WCW was just sublime. Then as I'd go back and discover him, his warm, homespun promos about the working man and hard times, I grew to mark for him even more.

Plus, the guy is an icon for all us who are overweight. He was fat as hell, and yet he was still, arguably, the most popular wrestler in the world at one point. There was also the Bionic Elbow, which is one of the most iconic strikes ever.

Photo Credit:
9. "Macho Man" Randy Savage

Oooooh yeah, dig it, the Macho Man Randy Savage was an icon in my childhood. If Hogan was #1, Savage was #1a. I've said it several times, but while Hogan was the guy who got me into wrestling, Savage, with his tearful reunion with Miss Elizabeth, was the thing that kept me a wrestling fan for the rest of my life. Everything about him was just entrancing, mainly because he was so easy to imitate.

He also kept his legacy intact for the most part by staying away. When the sirens kept calling guys like Hogan, Flair, Funk and the rest back to the well, Savage kept quiet and kept at home. That's why his death resonated so much. There was so much of his mystique left around him. He never shed it in front of us like so many others are doing right now, and that's what made his passing extra sad.

Photo Credit:
8. Eddie Guerrero

Eddie G was one of the most fun-loving and emotive wrestlers in history. Every time he came out, it just felt like a good time was on the horizon. Every smile on his face, every pop to his feet... it was great. He had a lot of demons, and they were all out in the open, which made it all the more powerful when he would overcome them and succeed. His title reign, beating Brock Lesnar and then holding the WWE Championship through WrestleMania that year, was probably one of the most special in my memory.

Well, we always thought his problems were behind him. Then, he died, so suddenly. It magnified all those good feelings, encasing them for eternity. That being said, I'm pretty sure Eddie would still be here even if he were alive. Such a special performer.

Photo Credit:
7. Bryan Danielson/Daniel Bryan

Michael Cole called him a nerd when he first debuted on NXT. In his character's mind, Cole thought he was doing Daniel Bryan a disservice. But then, a funny thing happened. It got him over. Why? Because Bryan, like a lot of wrestling fans, was a big nerd. It resonated with us, with me especially. BECAUSE I'M A NERD GET IT? HYUCK HYUCK.

It doesn't hurt that he may be the most gifted pure wrestler in history. That comes as not so much a shock to you, given how much I enjoy the in-ring part of the equation. I've seen so many matches of his, and you know how many parts I was disappointed in? Zero. And the best part is that it's just getting started. He'll be in a title match at WrestleMania this year, and I don't even need to know his opponent to know it'll be a damn good match worthy of its billing on the card.

Photo Credit:
6. Bret "The Hitman" Hart

When Hogan jumped to WCW, I stayed with the WWF. Why? Because of the Hitman. He just exuded cool. He was so workmanlike in the ring, a general, and outside, he seemed so slick, the greasy hair, the sunglasses... hell, he wore pink. The man wore pink at a time when only women wore the color. You had to be a real man to be able to wear that color, and he was a real man.

He had a lot shit heaped on him in the last fifteen years. Yet, even though he looks like hell on the exterior, he still exudes that cool. I think it's also in the way that the other wrestlers talk about him, how Colt Cabana and Evan Bourne just marked out when talking about him on the Art of Wrestling podcast. He is the best there is, the best there was and the best there ever will be.

No comments:

Post a Comment