Who is the best Wrestler of all times?

01:00, Apr 10 2014
Hulk Hogan
OUTSTANDING BUT THE BEST? Hulk Hogan with a fan

The tragic death of the Ultimate Warrior has reignited the debate about the greatest wrestlers of all time.

There's no doubting the Warrior's impact on fans and on the wrestling business, but if you if you look at ring technique he's not even in the top 100.

Wrestling is much more complicated than that and any list has to take in multiple factors, including popularity, status with other wrestlers and longevity.

As another legend is farewelled, here are the top 11 wrestlers of all time, not in any order - it was impossible to leave any one of these talented grapplers out.

The Ultimate Warrior
Born plain old James Hellwig, the Ultimate Warrior lived the character both in and out of the ring. But his long-term split with the WWE means he was barely seen on our screens for more than a decade.
But the recent thawing of relationship with Vince McMahon, owner of the WWE, brought the Warrior (his official name now) back into the fold and he was inducted into the hall of fame at the weekend.
He died just hours after appearing live on RAW, the WWE's weekly Monday night show, in which he shook the ropes and snorted and snarled as the Warrior for a final time.
His greatest moment remains the Wrestlemania XI victory over Hulk Hogan, to be crowned the first holder of both the heavyweight championship and intercontinental belts at the same time.

Hulk Hogan
Hogan's in-ring ability is notoriously bad. It was always severely limited and apart from the customary leg drop it's like watching your grandparents wrestling.
But Hulk was the biggest face (good guy) on the planet. His character spoke to kids, and his "Real American" theme could get thousands on their feet and sing along.
Hogan's longevity in the business and ability to still cut a brilliant promo - his ability on the microphone can never be ignored - means he's a dead-set legend.
He's now back in the WWE after a run in rival TNA, and still as popular as ever.
If you want to see classic Hogan in action, then look no further than the very first Wrestlemania when he partnered with Mr T to take on Rowdy Roddy Piper and Paul Orndorff.

Sting has never wrestled in the WWE and was always loyal to the now defunct WCW.
He later moved to TNA but rumours of a one-off match, possibly at Wrestlemania XXXI, to coincide with induction into the hall of fame remain.
Sting was the WCW's Hulk Hogan or Ultimate Warrior - the good guy who was popular with everyone.
He may not be as famous as either of those, but his legacy is still beyond doubt.


Macho Man Randy Savage
Randy Savage is another wrestler that died too soon - he had a heart attack while driving in 2011.
But the Macho Man is still widely regarded as one of the best of all time - one of the few whose in-ring ability was able to match his ability on the microphone.
He held the WWE title twice, and memorably married his manager Miss Elizabeth (who also died way too young) at Summerslam in 1991.
His greatest moment was probably at Wrestlemania IV where, with the help of Hulk Hogan, he pinned Million Dollar Man Ted Dibiase to take the WWE title for the first time.

Ric Flair (Woooo!)
Nature Boy Ric Flair is probably the best heel (bad guy) that ever existed. There was no face paint, no gimmick.
He was a good looking guy with blonde hair and an attitude that could get everyone worked up.
He's best known for his work in WCW and NWA, but also had successful runs in the WWE. His membership of the legendary Four Horsemen and winning world titles 21 times in his career means he may be the greatest ever.
There's no single match which sums up Flair's career - watch any and you'll hear his "woooo" catchphrase as well as see his legendary in-ring strut.

The Rock
When Dwayne Johnson first appeared in the WWE as Rocky Maivia, named after his father Rocky Johnson and grandfather High Chief Peter Maivia, few imagined he would become the biggest name in wrestling history.
But his ability on the microphone is second to none (still, his appearance at Wrestlemania XXX alongside Hogan and Stone Cold Steve Austin showed it) and his catch phrases, ability and Rock Bottom finisher captivated.
He may be better known for his acting career in mainstream movies now, but when the Rock lifted his eyebrow and shouted "if you smell what the Rock is cooking" then there was no-one better.

Stone Cold Steve Austin
The Texas Rattlesnake should never have been as popular as he was. He was supposed to be a heel - someone the fans hated. But wrestling changed in the 1990s and kayfabe (pretending it's all real) died.
Fans started cheering for who they liked and didn't buy into the bad guy that Vince McMahon wanted to push - this even ended with ultimate face Bret "Hitman" Hart having to turn heel to combat it.
Turning up to the ring in his pick-up truck, chugging beers in the corner and a one-fingered salute were all Stone Cold staples. And he could work in the ring too.
Unfortunately a broken neck, courtesy of a botched move by the tragic Owen Hart, put a halt on his ability and he was never the same again.
But he's still one of the most popular wrestlers ever and rightly deserves his legend tag.

Andre the Giant
Known almost as much these days for his role in the movie "Princess Bride" Frenchman Andre was truly one of the first of the pro-wrestling monsters.
His title reign after victory over the Hulk was his greatest achievement, although seeing the Hulkster pick him up to body slam the 240-kilogram, 2.224-metre monster is an oft-replayed iconic wrestling moment.
Andre also died too young, but is still loved within the wrestling community. The WWE just created the Andre the Giant Battle Royale to run at every Wrestlemania in his memory.

The Undertaker
Just a few days ago the Undertaker's legendary Wrestlemania streak came to an end against Brock Lesnar in New Orleans.
Until that loss the Deadman had won 21 straight matches at wrestling's biggest event - a feat that no-one saw ending.
And with the Taker's body slowly giving and wrestling appearances few and far between, it was a sad sight to see one of the true greats walk out of a ring for, presumably, the last time.
In his heyday he was virtually untouchable. For a tall man his manouverability was legendary, particularly his ability to walk across the top rope.
And his Tombstone piledriver finishing moves remains one of the greatest of all time.
Watch any of the Undertaker's feud with "brother' Kane to see how impressive he could be.

Shawn Michaels
The moment Shawn Michaels unleashed Sweet Chin Music on tag team partner Marty Jannety and put him through the window of Brutus "The Barber" Beefcake's Barbershop window, unleashed a singles competitor that won every title in the WWE.
Sexy Boy Michaels was a brilliant in-ring wrestler and had tons of skills on the microphone. He was equally at home as a face and a heel and wrestled as both many times.
He participated in some of the greatest matches of all time, including the stunning ladder match against Razor Ramon at Wrestlemania X. 
His part in the kliq, the group that destroyed kayfabe when the good guys and bad guys all appeared together in the ring high-fiving each other, and Degeneration X - the second-best stable in the business after the Four Horsemen - seals his status. 
He's one of the few wrestlers that if he were still competing today would be as equally successful as he was in his prime.

Mick Foley
No wrestling great list is complete without the man who put more on the line than just about anyone else in the history of the business.
He lost most of an ear in Germany, wrestled with barbed wire ropes in Japan and was badly burned when C4 explosive went off prematurely in the ring.
But his two legendary falls - the first when the Undertaker pushed him off the top of the cage and on to the announcers' table, and the second when he went crashing through the cell roof and on to the ring floor at Hell in a Cell are two of the greatest moments of all time.
The second, an accident, ended up with Foley peeing blood for days and with a piece of a tooth sticking out of his nose, courtesy of a chair that fell on top of him.
He was brutal as Cactus Jack or Mankind, his ability on the microphone was a big part of his success, but he's also one of the nicest people around.
The King of Hardcore wrote his own autobiographies and now raises lots of money for charity. If you wanted someone to take a bump, then Foley was the man.