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Taker is among that first tier of all time WWE wrestlers, there is no doubt about it. If I had to rank the most significant guys in the modern history it would be:   Andre The Giant Hulk Hogan "Rowdy"

Katie Vick could not be reached for comment.

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...and I'd put you in a room where the door was labelled NOPE

Andre handed the torch to Hulk Hogan. Andre was considered unbeatable before that match and was an icon for the sport. He put the WWF on the map.

 

Wrestlers called Andre "The Boss" because he was the man.

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Don't sleep on Andre. That guy had banked so much goodwill in the 70s that even half a decade after his body had completely broken down and he could barely move, his heel turn sent the WWF into the next level. Arguably, Andre was more instrumental than Hogan in making Wrestlemania III what it was (Hogan had already been the face of the company for years after all). He was certainly less replaceable. He's also another guy who was so over with the crowd that he never needed a belt in order to pack a venue.

 

Andre's one of those guys whose heyday was just before our time. My memories of him were of a fat guy leaning on the ropes half the time. But there was a time when he could move pretty well and you can see why people would crap their pants if this guy did get mean.

 

Basically, anybody whose prime was before the Hulkamania era is hard to put in perspective. I think that's why we're all ignoring the old wrestlers back when no territorial company was dominant and wrestlers couldn't achieve mainstream popularity because most of the country would have no reason to have ever heard of them.

 

As for Randy Savage, dude was both timeless and before his time. You could transplant Macho Man in his prime (even keep his gimmick intact) into any era as either a heel or a face and he'd be a top guy. He could pull a good match from pretty much anyone and was easily the best worker of the main eventers from that era. And, of course, that voice and charisma are so distinct that it was bound to catch the fan's attention.

 

It's almost a shame that he didn't come along during a modern era when I think he might have been appreciated even more as the complete package. If I were trying to decide who is the best overall wrestler, he'd be in a legit fight with Kurt Angle.

 

Personally, I'll still take Undertaker's accomplishments over them, but it's not crazy talk to put them up in that category. Both Andre and Macho Man could easily be put on a Top 10 list.

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Part of what hurt Macho's longevity was the fact that he was a smaller guy. Solid smaller wrestlers like Macho, Dibiase, Henning, etc. eventually get jobbed out by Vince.

 

This is a problem that Taker never had. Vince always wanted him looking strong, and rightfully so because he was a huge draw.

 

Having said that I could've dealt with a few more years of Macho being a top guy in the WWF. Sadly their model has always been to use smaller heel workers to get over the larger than like types (witha few exceptions).

 

I've heard that one of the reasons that Macho walked is because they wouldn't grant his wish to have one last run with Shawn Michaels, which would've been awesome. fuck you, Vince.

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Andre came along at a time that really suited his character. Vince Sr knew that he was better off as a special attraction so he used him sparingly. During the time he wasn't working WWF shows Vince let him go to other territories. This made the other promoters happy, of course, while at the same time keeping Andre fresh whenever he would come back.

 

You could never do that today, and this is a big reason why so many long term guys are so stale. Big Show is a good example. Not that he was ever on Andre's level, but whatever aura he had as a giant was dead years ago partially because of overexposure.

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Part of what hurt Macho's longevity was the fact that he was a smaller guy. Solid smaller wrestlers like Macho, Dibiase, Henning, etc. eventually get jobbed out by Vince.

 

That's what I meant by him being ahead of his time. Especially in the WWF as size counted extra at the time.

 

And yet his charisma was high enough that Vince put the belt on him at the height of Hulkamania and let him partner with Hogan for a storyline that took well over a year to completely tell and will likely go down as the Hogan's greatest feud. He was a modern wrestler that was so good at all aspects, that he basically forced the WWF to let him shine while the Hennigs, DiBiases, and Pipers in the company fell just a bit short. Even Flair, with all his history and the chance at a dream match with Hogan, got yanked from the Wrestlemania main event in favor of Sid.

 

Little thought experiment. Rewind to the beginning of the Ruthless Aggression era just when they had the Raw/Smackdown roster split. Within like a month, the WWE adds Cena, Lesnar, Orton, and Batista (plus Shelton Benjamin who got lost in the influx) into their lineup. All homegrown too, how nuts is that? Wish I could have seen Ohio Valley Wrestling circa 2001.

 

Anyway, pretend that a 25-year-old Randy Savage joins at the same time. I figure one of two things would happen. He'd either take Cena's place as the top dog of the company, and would probably rise there faster than Cena took, or Triple H would have passed the baton of the company's top long-term heel over to him. Either way, I think he would have been even bigger than he was in the 80s.

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I agree that Macho would've gotten over in any era. On top of being a great worker, great talker, and great character he was also equally effective as either a heel or face.

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Macho's time was also shortened because he slept with Stephanie(allegedly). His run with Elizabeth and George the Animal Steele(RIP) was classic wrestling arc back in the 80s. The Super Powers angle was that of comic book storytelling. You felt bad when Macho was getting pummeled, and you jumped up and down screaming when Elizabeth came out with Hogan to save the day.

 

And do you even look at a Slim Jim in a convenient store and not think "Need a Little Excitement?!?"

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Having said that I could've dealt with a few more years of Macho being a top guy in the WWF. Sadly their model has always been to use smaller heel workers to get over the larger than like types (witha few exceptions).

 

For what it's worth, he had a pretty long run, but success in the WWF just came relatively late in career. He was WWF Champion until just a month before his 40th birthday after he won it from Flair at Wrestlemania VIII. By that point, he arguably had stolen "Match of the Night" from 5 of the last 6 Wrestlemanias.

 

There was a reason he was bouncing in and out of the announcer's table in those days. He was legit trying to find a place in the company outside of actual wrestling.

 

 

 

I've heard that one of the reasons that Macho walked is because they wouldn't grant his wish to have one last run with Shawn Michaels, which would've been awesome. **** you, Vince.

 

Check out UK Rampage 1992. They had a match for the WWF Championship on a UK-only PPV just a couple weeks after he won it off of Flair.

 

Makes sense since Michaels was managed by Sherri at the time. Michaels, brand new to the singles division, gets a rub for putting on a solid match with the champ and they have the Elizabeth/Sherri subplot. Too bad they didn't do more with that.

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Andre came along at a time that really suited his character. Vince Sr knew that he was better off as a special attraction so he used him sparingly. During the time he wasn't working WWF shows Vince let him go to other territories. This made the other promoters happy, of course, while at the same time keeping Andre fresh whenever he would come back.

 

You could never do that today, and this is a big reason why so many long term guys are so stale. Big Show is a good example. Not that he was ever on Andre's level, but whatever aura he had as a giant was dead years ago partially because of overexposure.

Actually, this is how a ton of the bigger names do it. They do a year in WWE, then go off to ROH or TNA for a while, hit Japan, take a vacation, come back for another run.

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I don't dispute Macho or Andre as legends in the slightest, but neither of them helped carry the WWF/E for two decades through multiple eras and changes to the product.

 

Andre lasted a solid 18 years in the (W)WWF and was a cornerstone in its transition from a territorial company to a national brand. Close enough I think.

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I think it's safe to put Taker over Andre and Mach. Taker was basically the Andre of our era, only with a better character and better matches. I know Andre was much better in the ring before his body started to break down, but he was more of an awesome presence than he was a great wrestler.

 

As for Mach, while I prefer watching his matches, I think Taker deserves the nod here.

 

As for the territories vs today, while I do like the fact that there are other places guys can go it's nothing like the old days. Back then there were at least 10 places a guy could go, each with different styles. Today you see too many guys staying with the WWE because they can't make the same money anywhere else.

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Taker is among that first tier of all time WWE wrestlers, there is no doubt about it. If I had to rank the most significant guys in the modern history it would be:

 

Andre The Giant

Hulk Hogan

"Rowdy" Roddy Piper

Randy "Macho Man" Savage

Brett Hart

The Undertaker

Shawn Michaels

"Stone Cold" Steve Austin

The Rock

Triple H

Mick Foley

Jon Cena

 

I'm not saying those are the best or personal favorites but I think those are the guys.

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As far as "significance" goes, Foley's legendary bumps, being the face of the (temporarily at least) mainstreaming of hardcore wrestling, and probably most important, humanizing himself and indirectly selling wrestling as an artform that can be appreciated, probably has the edge on Angle in that particular category.

 

Angle's definitely better overall though.

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I think the idea of being better overall is hard to say really. I love Kurt Angle and as a personal favorite he'd be above most guys on that list I made. However a wrestlers only job really is to get over, no matter how they do it.

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However a wrestlers only job really is to get over, no matter how they do it.

 

Huh? Angle was ridiculously over. What's more, he was ridiculously over and he remained an effective heel despite it, something Austin and Rock couldn't accomplish because the fans kept cheering them. Fans loved him and they loved booing him. "You suck" is one of the best and most satisfying fan chants ever.

 

Angle was a top guy in the WWE pretty much from the day he stepped into the ring despite showing up as a green rookie during what was the company's most stacked lineup. He raced to the top of the company even faster than Guerrero, Benoit, and Jericho, all of whom debuted around the same time with more seasoning and industry credibility. Less than a year after his debut (and two years since he signed his first developmental contract) he'd revived European Title as something worth holding, participated in the feud of the year with Triple H, and won the WWF Title and was given a fairly extended (for the era) and successful run as champ in the middle of an era where it felt like Rock/Austin/Triple H would exchange the title between each other forever.

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It's really hard to rank wrestlers. You've got your list of favorites, then you've got you list of the all time greats. I begrudgingly put Hogan on top of all time greats, as much as I can't stand him, because I've never seen anyone more over than he was for so long. For whatever reason people ate his act up like no tomorrow.

 

On my list of favorite wrestlers, though, he doesn't think he even cracks the top 1000.

 

Anyway my top 10 favs (not limiting this to just WWF):

 

Perfect

Flair

Austin

Steamboat

Jake

Rude

Road Warriors

Angle

Midnight Express

Arn Anderson

 

Top 10 in terms of greatness/accomplishments:

 

Hogan

Flair

Thesz

Austin

Lewis

Rock

Race

Brisco

Taker

Savage

 

Sorry, but I can't just limit this to WWF guys. Doing so is a disservice to the greats that came before WWE was the only show in town.

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Angle was actually the guy that made me realize as a not-child wrestling fan just how good they could be when things were right. I HATED him when I first back back into things in the early 2000s. I hated him HARD-- him and Eddie Guererro both. Then suddenly I realized one day I was SUPPOSED to hate them and it dawned on me how good they were at their jobs.

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