It's WrestleMania weekend, and as much as it drives my wife nuts, I still order the annual pay-per-view and geek out for a night. I've been watching since 1985 and have seen a lot of characters come and go. I finally decided to come up with a list of my favourites. These aren't who the best of all time are, but rather my all-time faves. So with apologies to Tugboat and Outback Jack, here's my top 10.
10) Ron Simmons: his character Faarooq was pretty solid, but as simply Ron Simmons, the former CFL'er made history by becoming the first black heavyweight champ.
9) Kurt Angle: Ric Flair once called the Olympic gold medallist the A-Rod of the industry. Angle is way more likeable though.
8) Haku/Meng/King Tonga: To me, this guy was as tough as it got. You believed every move he delivered - probably because his opponent was covered in welts afterwards.
7) Rick Martel: His time with International Wrestling and the AWA makes Martel my token Canadian on the list.
6) Mr. Perfect/Curt Hennig: I would never condone littering, but every once in awhile, I still try and swat my gum away like Mr. Perfect did.
5) Arn Anderson: Was there a better nickname than The Enforcer? It fit him perfectly. He may have flown under the radar alongside Ric Flair and his longtime tag partner, Tully Blanchard, but Double-A was as tough as they came, and he was one of the most underrated on the microphone in my opinion.
4) Andre The Giant: He's the reason I started watching wrestling, so he has to be on the list. I think I nearly had a heart attack watching his match with Hulk Hogan with the two referees.
*3) Jake 'The Snake' Roberts: Before Stone Cold, there was The Snake. The original rebel, and the master of the DDT, he had a PhD in ring psychology.
2) Steve Austin: I remember thinking when he first broke into WCW, he was going to be the next Flair. He was even bigger. His work rate was underrated because of his mic skills, but he could roll with the best. Check out his feuds with Bret Hart and Steamboat for proof.
1) Ricky Steamboat: I remember Angle once explained to me how Eddie Guerrero had an incredible ability to connect emotionally with the fans. The Dragon did that for me. His feuds with Flair, Savage, Roberts, Muraco were all-timers. If he could cut a promo, he'd be in most people's top 5. He might still be. It was his only shortcoming, but the great still outweighed anything else.