Thursday, August 11, 2011

Your Favorite Wrestlers Ever: Jarret Aubry

Now that my own favorites list is out of the way, I posed the question to some of my colleagues in the fan/writer community. Who are your favorite five wrestlers?

Next up is a guy that I've been acquainted with for the last 12 years. He's a good egg, which is Canadian for "a decent fellow". Jarret Aubry is his name, and he's the webmaster at A1-Wrestling, a fine message board, community and collection of Internet degenerates like myself. He also is one of the voices of the A1 Podcast, which is a great listen. Here are his favorite wrestlers.

1a vs. 1b
Photo Credit:
5. AJ Styles - What's not to like about AJ Styles? A staple and cornerstone of TNA (now Impact) Wrestling in its infancy, Styles helped put the X-Division on the map with his speed, agility, and high-flying ability. One might argue that he isn't great on the mic, but he's shown on several occasions that when he delivers an intense and focused promo, you want to listen, and has been constantly improving on the mic over the years. I still mark out every time I see a Pele kick, and some of the high flying and more acrobatic moves he pulls off are so fun to watch, yet the guy can absolutely go on the mat as well; his series of matches with Christopher Daniels are stuffed with magic. While he's on the small side, Styles is the complete package in the ring and a guy I'd have no problem putting in the upper tier of any fed I'd be running.

4. Bret Hart - The best there is, the best there was, and the best there ever will be. A catch phrase that ended up not being too far from the truth. I always enjoyed watching Bret in the ring. His moniker of the "Excellence of Execution" was dead on; Hart moved around the ring and delivered his offense like a wrestling assassin. Measured, deliberate, and deadly, every move was calculated to deliver maximum impact and to set up, or get into position to set up the Sharpshooter. I really liked the way Hart sold as a face; he'd get beaten into within an inch of his life, and he'd really look like it. He really made you believe he was totally getting his ass kicked, and made you even feel for the guy. His ability in the ring is unquestioned, and has one of the best finishers of all time (even if he ripped it off of Sting).

3. "Macho Man" Randy Savage - Like I noted about Bret Hart above, I enjoyed Savage as a good guy. He was the best to me as the underdog fighting the greater odds or the bigger opponent, the guy that would do anything he had to in order to overcome those odds or get by the much bigger opponent. One of the first of his era to specialize coming off the top rope, Savage moved like a cat; the dude was just SO quick, so graceful in the ring. I always loved how he took a strike to the head (whether it was as simple as a punch to face, elbow to the head, or as nasty as a chair), he sold it like he'd been shot. Like Hart, he could make it look like he was getting beaten into within inches of a months-long hospital visit, and he really drew you into that and made you believe it. He brought us the awesome, graceful, yet devastating top rope elbow, and good guy or bad, his promos were *always* entertaining. One half of my favorite wrestling angle of all time, the Savage/Elizabeth/Hogan triangle. Definitely a one-of-a-kind.

1b. The Rock - Really, what has to be said about The Rock? The Rock has entertained and electrified like no other before him. His raw charisma, combined with that ability to draw in, use, and feed off the crowd is the stuff of legends. Rock has delivered more entertaining, hilarious, jaw-dropping, raucous, awesome promos than anyone else in the business, and as he would say, "without a shadow of a doubt", his in-ring work got better and better each and every time he stepped into the ring. His sharpshooter may have sucked, but near the end of his run, he was constantly adding more moves to his arsenal, constantly getting crisper, constantly improving, to the point that I believe if he'd hung around for another couple years in his prime, he would be one of the top candidates for greatest of all time. Yup, I said it.

1a. Hulk Hogan - Like The Rock, what do you say about Hulk Hogan that hasn't already been said? Put whatever backstage politics you believe aside, as a kid, Hogan was the first real star that I latched on to. To me as a kid, Hulk Hogan was a super hero come to life. He was this massive, muscular guy that wanted me to be the best I could be, that believed in me. He took on the biggest enemies, righted the biggest wrongs, and fought for the biggest causes. He was a super hero, but at the same time just a man, and that was endearing at that age. In-ring ability aside (as displayed in North America), Hogan is on a level with such a select few with the ability to work a crowd, and as such was always a great entertainer. Hogan was involved in most of the biggest moments in wrestling since his arrival; the first Wrestlemania, slamming Andre the Giant, really taking wrestling mainstream, the love triangle with Elizabeth and Randy Savage, which to me, was the greatest angle of all time. I really believed that stuff when I was kid. The training, the prayers, and the vitamins, and take 15 years of that and turn it all on its head when Hogan became Hollywood Hulk Hogan, turning heel and forming the nWo... it was shocking. So, for that era, those changing times, all those special moments, that nostalgia when it comes to pro wrestling, Hogan will always have a place in my wrestling heart.

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