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Your Top 10 Most Influential Wrestlers of all time...


Guest MastersGonads

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Guest MastersGonads

This isn't who was the best in ring, or who had the best gimmick, or won the most titles, but who was the most influential to pro wrestling and onwards intot he crossover to mainstream media..

 

for me it goes...

 

1. Huk Hogan

2. Stone Cold Steve Austin

3. The Rock

4. Andre The Giant

5. Ric Flair

6. Superstar Billy Graham

7. Lou Thesz

8. Shawn Michaels

9. Wendi Richter

10. Gorgeous George

 

Discuss!

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Guest Dave7g
What do you mean, really don't understand what qualifies to get you on this list? Is it who has done the most for mainstream crossover?
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Guest The Beltster

Hard to put an order on it, but Hulk Hogan, Ric Flair, Bruno Sammartino, Superstar Billy Graham, Eddie Graham, Andre, Dynamite Kid, Shawn Michaels, Gorgeous George etc have all been influential in how wrestling has been perceived over the years.

 

Austin was a massive draw but not overly influential. He isnt the reason alot of people are wrestling today ala Hogan, he doesnt have alot of people who have taken parts of his gimmick ala Billy Graham, he didnt draw a certain demographic ala Sammartino and so on.

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As Beltey said, "Superstar" Billy Graham was a massive influence on the business (all you need to do is look at Ventura, Hogan and Scott Steiner to see that) and Gorgeous George was the pioneer when it comes to someone having a wrestling character.
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Guest The Beltster
For a short while she was on par with Hogan in the pre-WM1 buildup when it came to main stream media crossover.
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Guest The Cork
Hogan, Stone Cold, The Rock, Randy Savage, Shawn Michaels, Andre The Giant, Ultimate Warrior, Ric Flair, Nash & Hall.
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So, rather than going back a long way, I'm going to limit myself to the 1970's onwards, simply because my knowledge is patchy before that. Also, I've made some selections which aren't how influential they were on the business as a whole, but on my enjoyment of the business. I don't mean just favorites, but things I think they contributed that are still seen today.

 

-Hogan (for obvious reasons)

 

-Flair (again, for obvious reasons)

 

-SCSA (was the first real everyman-type character in the mainstream that I know of. Not good, not bad, just ass kicking)

 

-The Rock (showed that good promo can still go a long, long way)

 

-Ricky Steamboat (showed that you can build a career as a babyface AND only win the big one once. He also helped pave the way for a less "bigman" style to become predominant.)

 

-The Wild Samoans (as much for their tag team exploits as for the lineage that's followed on from them and the training they've given others)

 

- Shawn Michaels (in single competition, the man excels in making his opponents look great while coming off as well as they do, which is a rare thing. Plus, people just seem to connect with him, somehow. Ladder matches. And the legacy of great backstabbings, ofc.)

 

- Undertaker (the only really outlandish, cartoony gimmick still going. Plus bringing, Hell in the Cell, Casket matches, buried alive matches etc into the mainstream.

 

- The entire WCW cruiserweight division (for making Nitro somewhat watchable, long, long after the shark had been jumped and bringing the high-flying style to the masses, for a little while, at least.)

 

- DDP (for repopularizing the "out of nowhere, from any direction, high impact finisher. Plus, the Diamond Cutter is a fracking ace name. And where would Orton be without it)

Edited by etz
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Guest MastersGonads
What do you mean, really don't understand what qualifies to get you on this list? Is it who has done the most for mainstream crossover?

 

Basically anyone you thought has had a major influence or impact on pro wrestling, whether this be like The Rock with his mainstream cross over, or Superstar Billy Graham, whose influence is felt today...or as Belty says with Wendi Richter, with her tie up with Lauper

 

For a short while she was on par with Hogan in the pre-WM1 buildup when it came to main stream media crossover.
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Guest Ciaran The King
For what he did for wrestling in 1999-2002 and then crossing over into mainstream media and entertainment it has to be the Rock. The Rock is the only one who has properly tried the acting route and found fame outside of WWE.
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Guest The Beltster
The Rock is the only one who has properly tried the acting route and found fame outside of WWE.
I wouldnt go that far. Roddy Piper, Hogan, Austin, Ventura and more recently John Cena among others have all gone the acting route and had some sort of success. Obviously the Rock was above and beyond the others but you cant say they didnt find fame outside of WWE.

 

Ventura governed the state of Minnesota!

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Have any of The Rocks films been as big/iconic as Running Man, Predator, The Princess Bride or Rocky 3?

 

OK, the wrestlers in said films werent the main characters. But they still had decent roles.

 

As main characters how have The Rocks films done compared to Hogans in terms of money?

 

 

 

All serious questions, no points being made.

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Guest The Beltster

I have no idea, the Rock's movies have made a shedload more money than Hogan's and they have been better received generally, although people dont seem to mention that most of the Rocks more recent films have been panned and have lost alot of money, he isnt the huge Hollywood megastar alot of his fans would like you to think he is, but he is way above Hogan.

 

But yeah, alot of those others guys have found success and I'd agree with you, they were involved in more iconic movies than anything the Rock has done.

 

Hogan, in full wrestling gear, eating popcorn in the cinema in Gremlins 2 > The Rock's entire movie career :lol

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I think most of them have already been stated to be honest. The likes of Billy Graham, Hogan, Andre etc have their huge reasons to be named.

 

Ironically, despite his high status, I've never personally (from memory) seen a wrestler in an interview talk about Flair as having much influence on their career.

 

Not saying people haven't said it, just I've never seen it being said.

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Guest The Beltster
Ironically, despite his high status, I've never personally (from memory) seen a wrestler in an interview talk about Flair as having much influence on their career.

 

Not saying people haven't said it, just I've never seen it being said.

Alot of guys put over Flair's workrate in an era where workrate really wasnt important. I think he had an influence on certain people, Shawn Michaels and HHH being two of the main ones.

 

I've never been a fan of Flair or his matches but he has had some influence on the business I'd say.

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Guest Ciaran The King
Wasn't the point of this thread to discuss who had been most influential in the mainstream media. Hogan and the other's have been in mediocre crappy films that really weren't that good and no one really cared about. Jesse Ventura as governor was a joke, because again no one took him seriously. The Rock is the only one who has succesfully crossed over and found fame and recognition for his acting.
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