There are so many beloved names in the history of professional wrestling. Names of those who dedicated their careers and lives for the business to entertain the fans and to expand the business and make it what it is today.
Five Wrestlers Who Fans Truly Appreciate:
1. “Rowdy” Roddy Piper: WWE Hall of Famer and 16-time World Champion Ric Flair considers Piper the most gifted entertainer in the history of professional wrestling. While he was certainly talented in the art of wrestling, fans remember him more for his in-ring skits and his unique skills on the microphone. Being considered one of the greatest villains in wrestling, he had a remarkable talent of getting the under the fans’ skin and drawing heat from the crowd, and being out of control. In other words, he was known for wreaking havoc and being out of control, but whether he was a good guy or bad guy, he was loved and admired by the fans. Piper always came into a show ready to entertain the fans. He even had his own in-ring talk show segment known as Piper’s Pit, which is considered the best in-ring talk show by WWE’s fanbase. Piper was involved in the main event of the very first Wrestlemania when he teamed up with “Mr. Wonderful” Paul Orndorff and took on Hulk Hogan and Mr. T in a losing effort. Piper won his first title in WWE in 1992 when he captured the Intercontinental Heavyweight title. Piper was inducted in the WWE Hall of Fame in 2005. Piper passed away on July 31st, 2015.
2. Bret “The Hitman” Hart: A two-time Intercontinental champion, two-time Tag Team champion, and five-time World Heavyweight champion, as well as the 1994 Royal Rumble winner, as well as the King of the Ring in 1991 and 1993. Considered one of best technical wrestlers in history, he had a reputation of putting on a show everytime he stepped into the ring. His feuds with Mr. Perfect, his late brother Owen Hart, Stone Cold Steve Austin, The British Bulldog, The Undertaker, and Shawn Michaels impacted his career and really brought him over with the fans. Hart considers his match against the British Bulldog at the 1992 Summerslam event at Wembley Stadium in London, England to be the greatest of his career. It’s also considered one of the greatest Summerslam main events ever. His match against Michaels at Wrestlemania XII is also well-remembered. His feud with Michaels is what he’s most known for and the feud is considered one of the greatest ever. After the events of the 1997 Survivor Series, Hart’s relationship with the WWE was shattered and seemed irreparable, however, the hatchet was eventually buried as Hart was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2006. Hart’s commitment and dedication to putting on a great show will forever be remembered. There’s a reason he’s known as “the best there is, the best there was, and the best there ever will be”.
3. Mick Foley: Otherwise known as “the Hardcore Legend“. In his career, Foley had three gimmicks; Dude Love, Cactus Jack, and Mankind, otherwise known as the three faces of Foley. His Mankind gimmick was the most preferred by the fans and by wrestling as Mankind, Foley got the best reactions, support, and love from the fans and reached the peak of his career, winning the WWE title three times and forming a popular tag team with The Rock, winning the Tag Titles three times. The night where he won his first title changed the course of WWE. Foley retired as an active competitor in 2000 but he stuck around as he was given an on-screen role of “Commissioner” where he was used as an authority figure. He did return to action and wrestled sporadically in from 2004 to 2007 In 2013, he was inducted into the Hall of Fame. On countless occasions, Foley put his career and even his life on the line just to entertain the fans and make a name for himself. From being thrown off a cage to having his ear ripped off, Foley did whatever it took to be adored by the audience.
4. Eddie Guerrero: A performer who was destined for greatness. After a decent first run in WWE (2000-2001), Guerrero was fired due to addiction problems. He returned in 2002 and it was there where his popularity truly began to rise, ultimately leading to him reaching the pinnacle of his career. His “Latino Heat” persona with the catchphrase of “I lie, I cheat, I steal” made him one of the most popular wrestlers ever. The fans were in love with it and he was more over with the fans than ever had been previously. He captured the WWE title in 2004 and continued on being one of the most beloved names in the business until his unexpected death in 2005. Shortly after his death, he was announced as an inductee for the Hall of Fame, class of 2006 and he was posthumously inducted.
5. Andre The Giant: Considered to be one of the biggest pioneers of the art of professional wrestling. According to Hulk Hogan, Andre “did sports entertainment before there was sports entertainment”. Being a 7’4″ and 540 pound Giant, he was known as “the Eighth Wonder of the World” and one was a one-time WWE champion and one-time Tag Team Champion. Early on in his career, his unique wrestling ability and agility really made a special attraction for the fans. He famously feuded with Hogan and their match at Wrestlemania III broke the indoor fan attendance record for any sports event. Although he suffered from gigantism, it didn’t affect his wrestling ability during his younger years and during his prime. However, as he aged, his gigantism worsened, slowing him down in the ring and dropping his pain tolerance level significantly. He passed away in 1993 and was inducted into the Hall of Fame that same year.
In the industry of professional wrestling, names come and go, but their legacies and accomplishments are forever remembered by the fans who appreciated what they did in the ring for their entertainment.