I don’t think I’d say “influtential”. Whether you think it’s a good thing or not, the massive stars of the past don’t seem to have that much influence on the wrestlers of today in my opinion.
Jon Moxley and Adam Page would like a word.
I dont know about that. I feel like you can’t watch any wrestling show without seeing some type of homage to Eddie, which for the record is awesome as he is definitely deserving of it.
I’d say that Austin directly influenced the way that WWF / WWE produced television, and still does. Prior to Austin’s reign, at least in the 90’s, the reliance on promo heavy TV was not a thing. For years upon years, Raw and Smackdown opened with 20+ minute talking segments. Prior to Austin, this was not a thing in that company.
Bell to bell, his best days were well behind him by his ascent to the main event picture due to injuries… But post neck injuries his impact on the main event style shaped WWE for many years. As well as beyond.
And again, he is no doubt the most important figure in WWE’s history in the last 30 years, arguably ever.
I’m not stating he is the greatest ever - but importance and impact on the North American scene is very hard to dispute, and as a result, he could qualify.
No Austin in his position removes great matches with Bret, Rock, DX, Taker, Angle, Benoit, Foley, Jericho, and others. Those rivalries impacted a generation of fans who would become workers.
And I don’t think anyone can argue that nobody ever had as hot a run, and financially successful run as Austin did from 1996/97-2002/03. Even with injuries and extended periods while he was off TV, the guy was always the biggest star in the company, regardless of what he was doing.
I’m talking about the mega stars like Hogan, Austin, Rock, Cena.
Eddie, Angle, Mysterio, HBK etc. definitely have a big influence as the focus is more on being good in the ring nowadays.
Ok, so a couple days in and the voting stands at:
Ric Flair - 4
Shawn Michaels - 2
Steve Austin - 2
Chris Jericho - 2
Kurt Angle - 1
Hulk Hogan - 1
RVD - 1
Bret Hart - 1
Eddie Guerrero - 1
Hogan tied with RVD
2020 keeps throwing surprises at me.
I would not say the greatest wrestler of all time, but I will say that Chris Benoit is a great wrestler in his time.
Let’s put aside his heinous crimes: the guy is good at what he does. I never saw a slow match that I see when others wrestle when I watch him.
I hated to see his demotion in 2004 until his death in 2007. During his demotion, I will say that it’s not his fault that he was thrusted in that position. People crap on him for having terrible mic skills, but it’s not that either. He had excellent mic skills, but WWE just wanted to mould him into a “sports entertainer.” They want him to be funny when he is not to be used for that purpose. His mic work in WCW was good because they knew well enough to not put him in a comedy sketch, though they did hold him down.
Like Guerrero, Benoit can work face and heel styles, and, yes, he can work heel styles, like his work in the Horsemen and maybe as Shane McMahon’s protege. But he doesn’t do well as a cheating heel, like the match against Jericho in Summerslam 2000. He can either be a champ face or a rabid heel, and nothing else, not a comedy act as shown in his angle with Orlando Jordan or as a cowardly heel in Summerslam 2000.
If I offended anyone by posting this, I am sorry, it’s just that I still think Benoit is still underrated in his contributions in the business. If you want to rip a new asshole on me, I understand, and will welcome it.
Love this thread, for me Ric Flair is the pick but I’m not the most educated voter.
I’d love to hear anyone with thoughts on the pre WWF legends like Bruno Sanmartino, Lou Thesz and Billy Graham.
Also pretty surprising that Andre the Giant has not been mentioned.
Lastly, what about Sting?
I would say Sting is up there.
Like AJ Styles, Sting was the last person you expect stick to the organisation who helped him to the bitter end.
While I wouldn’t put Sting up there with Benoit, I would say that, well, success is success; it’s up there no matter the form it takes.
No need to apologize, while I can’t speak for anyone but myself, I have zero issue with what you are saying. Regardless of the disgusting things Benoit did in 2007, he was an amazing wrestler and in the ring he was one of the best of all time. His mic skills weren’t as bad as some would say they were, but I also would never use the word “excellent” to describe them.
With that said, I dont understand why you are bringing him up if he is not your pick. Your post would make more sense if you chose him.
Well, I was wavering and being humble at the same time.
You see, I was going to pick Bret Hart, because like Benoit, Bret also works quickly, though not as Chris Benoit. If Benoit didn’t exist, Hart would be my ultimate pick.
You said pick one, so I picked one person. Benoit moves faster than Hart, though I can see a fluidic match with Bret.
I know you’ll crab on me for this, but I think Bret is the better wrestler than Owen because I hate slow and methodical styles. Don’t get me wrong, Owen is very talented, but I enjoy watching Bret much more,
I don’t want to step on anyone’s toes, so I’ll stop here.
You’re saying nothing offensive. The morality of what Benoit did and accurately assessing his in ring abilities are two different things.
Plenty of wrestlers have done shitty things, granted Benoits are at the top of the list but If your vote is Benoit, vote Benoit.
Also, I agree with your Bret/Owen take, I loved Owen, but Brets my #2 of all time under Shawn.
I think Steve Austin got about 3…
edit Ok, I did miss one Austin vote, where did you see a 3rd?
I think Yuji Nagata does deserve a mention.
I like his explosive style,(loved!) his eyes rolling to the back of his head, and even a forty-ish age, he can still work.
Wonder why he’s still just fighting at mid card level in New Japan.
Which McMahon are you referring to?
Can you confirm, is your vote Benoit?
OK, yes; it’s one of the greatest, if not the greatest.
Ok, I will count your vote as Benoit.