PTBN Greatest WWE Wrestler Ever Results: Honorable Mentions, Part Seven (149-125)

“The revolutionary force for over 50 years in sports entertainment” was a clever tag line used in the mid 90s before every WWF show. For most United States wrestling fans that are still alive, it is a way of life. Greater by the day is the lack of variance in the answer of what wrestling an individual grew up on. For better or worse, WWE has been the standard bearer. Throughout that rich history, performers ranging from Nature Boys to Undertakers have graced the squared circle. Foreign legends have had extended runs and some of the most iconic figures in pro wrestling history have been aces of the promotion reaching unequivocal mainstream pop culture heights in the world of wrestling.

With such a large history to play with, discovering the beauty of Bob Backlund’s charisma or the connection of Bruno Sammartino to the MSG crowd was a new development throughout this project similar to rewatching The Godfather and On the Waterfront to rediscover the genius of Marlon Brando. WWE may not have always been YOUR promotion but for the better part of 50 years, it was THE promotion in the United States and transformed the pro wrestling landscape. This project serves to praise the individuals that best helped shape the vision of Vince McMahon Sr. and Jr. Place to be Nation is proud to present to you a ranking of the Greatest WWE Wrestlers Ever.

– Chad Campbell

Note: Results of this list are based on 118 ballots received between May and December 2017. Voters were asked to submit their list of the 100 Greatest WWE Wrestlers of all time and consider only their WWWF/WWF/WWE career. Ties were broken based on 1) number of ballots a wrestler appeared on and 2) high vote. 

Every wrestler who received at least one vote will be recognized in the coming weeks. Please stay tuned to Place to Be Nation as we reveal all of the honorable mentions right through the cream of the crop. Read the other installments, both written and audio, of this project here.

149. Matt Borne
Total Points: 509
Total Ballots: 21
Average Rank: 76.8
High Vote: 38
Low Vote: 100
High Voter: David Carli

Key Matches & Moments: Was enhancement talent in 1985-86 and lost to Ricky Steamboat on the first WrestleMania; Returned to the company in 1992 and soon assumed the mantle of Doink the Clown, a maniacal wrestling clown; Feuded with Crush after attacking him with a prosthetic arm, leading to a match at WrestleMania IX; Faced Mr. Perfect in great qualifying matches for King of the Ring 1993 and after two time limit draws, Perfect defeated the clown; Had a good two-out-of-three falls match with Marty Jannetty on the 6/21/93 edition of Raw; Jerry Lawler hired Doink to wrestle Bret Hart at SummerSlam when Lawler feigned injury, Doink lost to Hart via DQ in a good match; Doink turned face in September 1993 and Borne was gone from WWF soon after with the babyface Doink character played by Ray Apollo

Staff Thoughts: Matt Borne played the Doink character as well as anyone could play an evil wrestling clown and deserves credit for getting the gimmick over when it could’ve bombed (and did as a face character when Borne was underneath the makeup). In addition to the character work, Doink had really good matches week in and week out, with his two-out-of-three falls match with Jannetty, KOTR qualifiers with Perfect and SummerSlam match with Bret standing out. Once he left, the Doink character fell flatter than a whoopee cushion with a hole in it.

From the Voters: “Tough because the longevity isn’t there, but that half-year or so of evil Doink is fantastic character work. Promos were so-so, but everything else was tremendous. Maybe a 90-100 type guy for me, but he’s on the bubble.” – Greg Phillips, June 1, 2017

“Evil Doink rules the school! Loved the combination of old school 70s heel work with the manical clown gimmick. Great matches with Bret, Perfect, Jannetty and Savage. Makes the cut!” – Martin Boulevard, November 15, 2017

148. Nikolai Volkoff
Total Points: 510
Total Ballots: 24
Average Rank: 79.8
High Vote: 41
Low Vote: 100
High Voter: Bret Hart

Key Matches & Moments: Began wrestling for WWWF in 1968 as Bepo Mongol winning the WWWF International Tag Team Titles with partner Geeto Mongol; Held the titles for a year before losing them to Luke Graham and Tarzan Tyler to unify the International and World Tag Team titles; Took on the Nikolai Volkoff gimmick and challenged Bruno Sammartino in a soldout MSG in 1974; Donned a mask as the third member of the Executioners, along with Big John Studd and Killer Kowalski; Returned to his Nikolai Volkoff gimmick and challenged Sammartino and Bob Backlund for the WWWF/WWF title between 1976-1980; Apparently moved to Russia prior to 1984 return and forming a tag team with the Iron Sheik; Known for singing the Russian national anthem before every match; Volkoff and Sheik, managed by “Classy” Freddie Blassie, won the WWF Tag Team Titles from the U.S. Express at the first WrestleMania before losing the titles back to the U.S. Express; Challenged Hulk Hogan at the second Saturday Night’s Main Event; Defeated Corporal Kirschner in a flag match at WrestleMania II; Feuded with Jim Duggan, including Duggan stopping Volkoff from singing prior to his match with The Killer Bees at WrestleMania III; Teamed with Boris Zuckoff to form the Bolsheviks in late 1987, losing to the Powers of Pain at the first SummerSlam and to the Hart Foundation in 19 seconds at WrestleMania VI; Turned babyface and feuded with Iraqi sympathizer Sgt. Slaughter, with his Alliance team defeating Slaughter’s Mercenaries team at Survivor Series 1990; Returned in 1994 as part of the Million Dollar Corporation, sometimes being referred to as “Nickel and Dime” Volkoff; Appeared in the Gimmick Battle Royal at WrestleMania X-7

Staff Thoughts: Most wrestling fans were probably introduced to Nikolai Volkoff during his tag team with the Iron Sheik and from his appearance on the Rock ‘N’ Wrestling cartoon, but Volkoff was challenging Bruno Sammartino in 1974 and won tag team gold as Bepo Mongol before that. That’s some longevity, if nothing else. He was a heat magnet singing the Russian national anthem in the team with Sheiky Baby, leading to Hacksaw Jim Duggan declaring he couldn’t sing it, because he was in the land of the free. Hacksaw should debate Scott Steiner sometime. In the ring, Volkoff was god awful, but who could ever forget that singing voice sweet as honey. “Soyuz nerushimy respublik svobodnykh, Splotila naveki velikaya Rus’!”

From the Voters: “One of my all time favorite gimmicks was when he’d ask the crowd “to please rise and respect his singing of the Soviet National Anthem”. Just pure, awesome heel heat. The crowd would be out of their minds, pelting the ring with garbage while he stood there, singing so seriously. Really liked his team with Sheik. They would make my top 100 WWF tag team list, but Volkoff isn’t making this 100.” – Tim Tetreault, June 2, 2017

“When I think of Nikolai, I think a lazy slug unwilling to sell anything or bump. And the Bolsheviks are one of the worst teams in WWF history. An absolute no for me.” – Brian Cullinane, June 1, 2017

147. Tully Blanchard
Total Points: 513
Total Ballots: 20
Average Rank: 75.4
High Vote: 33
Low Vote: 100
High Voter: John D’Amato

Key Matches & Moments: Teamed with Arn Anderson as The Brain Busters, managed by Bobby “The Brain” Heenan; Participated in the 1988 Survivor Series 10-man tag team elimination match, which started the feud with The Rockers; The January 23, 1989 match between the teams was listed as one of PWI’s 50 greatest matches; The teams also battled at the March 11 Saturday Night’s Main Event and their match from March 18 at the Boston Garden is well regarded as well; Faced Strike Force at WrestleMania V winning when Rick Martel walked out on Tito (Chico) Santana;  Won the WWF Tag Team Titles from Demolition on the July 1989 Saturday Night’s Main Event in a two-out-of-three falls match, ending their historic tag team reign; Defeated the Hart Foundation at SummerSlam 1989 before losing the titles back to Demolition in October; Lost a two-out-of-three falls match to The Rockers on Saturday Night’s Main Event before the team split

Staff Thoughts: Tully Blanchard’s run as one-half of the Brain Busters was only about a year in length, but they packed in an all-time great tag feud with The Rockers during that time. Any match between those two teams is wonderful. The Brain Busters were masters of cutting off the ring and isolating a body part and, in the WWF, ending things with their spike piledriver. The Brain Busters were also selected to end Demolition’s record-breaking tag title reign. Unfortunately, Tully failed a drug test holding him out of the Survivor Series 1989 tag match, but he had still a great, if brief WWF career. The guys talk about The Brain Busters in a FYC here. You probably know he was best work was elsewhere, but if not please seek out more of his work outside of the WWE Universe (™ Maggle Cole.)

From the Voters: “One strong year in WWF is really enough in my opinion to be considered among top 100 greatest of all time. The Rockers program is one of the best in WWF history. The Hart Foundation match is a strong PPV tag and the Demolition stuff which I have gone on record of hating cannot be denied as important. “ – Martin Boulevard, November 19, 2017 (To read more of Martin’s thoughts click here.)

146. Ernie Ladd
Total Points: 536
Total Ballots: 17
Average Rank: 69.5
High Vote: 40
Low Vote: 98
High Voter: Edwin Ortiz, Jr.

Key Matches & Moments: Ernie Ladd was a traveling attraction due to his size and power, leading to his nickname, “The Big Cat;” His run with the WWWF featured a feud with Andre the Giant, who Ladd called the Dummy or The Big Fat French Fry; Challenged Bruno Sammartino at Madison Square Garden; Also challenged Pedro Morales for his WWWF Championship; In 1978 challenged Bob Backlund for his WWF title

Staff Thoughts: It’s always challenging to gauge the impact of traveling attractions on the company, but there’s little doubt Ernie Ladd was one of the biggest attractions of his time (literally and figuratively). He packed them in the building everywhere he went, and was known as a really good promo, riling up the crowd by insulting his opponents. Ladd was a legit great athlete playing for the San Diego Chargers, Houston Oilers and Kansas City Chiefs in the American Football Conference (before the merger) and is in the Chargers Hall of Fame. He began wrestling part-time during the football offseason. He possessed extraordinary agility for a man his size and was known for his taped thumb, which he claimed was an old football injury and announcers claimed held a foreign object. Ladd was also known for walking out of the match and taking the intentional countout. The fact that he challenged Sammartino, Morales and Backlund shows The Big Cat’s ability to draw as a special attraction. Ladd was an announcer for the football player battle royal at WrestleMania 2 and the Big Event, but was a better wrestler and promo than announcer.

From the Voters: “The Big Cat. The very first African American booker in history. He was a monster and Andre the Giant was afraid to get in the ring with him because it would expose his real height. Ernie was a main event talent everywhere he went. In top 100 for me.” – Eric Boyd, May 30, 2017

“A pretty decent one-on-one match with Haystacks Calhoun. That’s a point in his favor.” – James Proffitt, August 2, 2017

145. Braun Strowman
Total Points: 556
Total Ballots: 23
Average Rank: 76.8
High Vote: 51
Low Vote: 100
High Voter: Kris Zellner

Key Matches & Moments: Joined the Wyatt Family in 2015 attacking Roman Reigns and Dean Ambrose; Appeared in tag matches with other members of the Wyatt Family at Night of Champions and TLC 2015; Eliminated five wrestlers in the 2016 Royal Rumble match for the WWE Championship before being eliminated by Brock Lesnar and returning to help the Wyatt Family eliminate Lesnar; Appeared at Wrestlemania 32 in the confrontation between the Wyatt Family and the Rock and John Cena; Split off from the Wyatt Family when he was drafted to Raw in 2016, and went on a run of squashing jobbers and lower-card guys; A member of Team Raw at Survivor Series 2016, he was counted out chasing James Ellsworth to the back; Feuded with Sami Zayn, failing to defeat him in the 10-minute time limit at Roadblock: End of the Line, before winning a Last Man Standing Match on the January 2, 2017 Raw; Eliminated seven wrestlers in the 2017 Royal Rumble match; Challenged Kevin Owens for the title on Raw but Roman Reigns interfered setting the table for a match at Fastlane; Strowman threw Reigns into the turnbuckle causing the ring to break at the Fastlane contract signing, before losing to Reigns at Fastlane taking his first pinfall loss; Eliminated half a dozen wrestlers in the Andre the Giant Battle Royal at WrestleMania 33; Continued feuding with Reigns, including an attack on the April 10 Raw that culminated in Strauman tipping over the ambulance Reigns was in; Superplexed the Big Show causing the ring to collapse on an episode of Raw in April, and throwing Kalisto off the stage when he was trapped in a dumpster; Defeated Reigns at Payback injuring his elbow in the process and undergoing surgery, returned to challenge Reigns to an ambulance match at Great Balls of Fire in July; Challenged for the WWE Universal Championship in a four-way match with Brock Lesnar, Reigns and Samoa Joe at SummerSlam in a chaotic brawl showcasing Strowman; Challenged Lesnar for the title at No Mercy, but was unsuccessful; Defeated Reigns in a cage match on Raw; Was one of two survivors when the Raw team defeated the SmackDown team at Survivor Series 2017, beating Triple H after the match; Teamed with The Miz and his team to face The Shield and Kurt Angle at TLC; Challenging Lesnar at Royal Rumble in a match also involving Kane

Staff Thoughts: Remember when fans were only interested in making fun of Braun Strowman’s name (Brown Snowman? Brawly Strongman?) and pointing out he looked like Ogre from Revenge of the Nerds? Yeah, those were simpler times. But seriously, Strowman’s improvement was a welcome surprise in the last year. His feud with Roman Reigns was awesome, with wild brawls and feats of strength establishing Strowman as a monster. The ambulance match at Great Balls of Fire was a nice brawl and his recovery from attempted vehicular homicide from Reigns was impressive. He stood out in the great four-way brawl at SummerSlam. Strowman was red-hot going into the match with Lesnar at No Mercy, and the WWE should’ve put the title on him and let him run with it, but they didn’t. His hot streak this year had voters debating if it was enough to make the list, but it wasn’t enough to overcome his cold run and lackluster matches with the Wyatt Family. He’s one to watch if PTBN revisits this list in later years.

From the Voters: “I’m curious what Braun would have to do in the rest of 2017 to make people’s lists. I think if he won the belt, he’d jump onto mine. Otherwise, his terrible run as a member of the Wyatt Family cancels out his current awesome run, so he’ll be on the outside looking in.” – Jeff Walker, July 2, 2017

“I really love him right now. Raw has suffered without him, which shocks me. But it may be too soon for me to include him. Never thought I’d consider putting Ogre from Revenge of the Nerds on a top wrestler list.” – Jason Sherman, May 28, 2017

144. Faarooq
Total Points: 56
Total Ballots: 25
Average Rank: 78.72
High Vote: 45
Low Vote: 94
High Voter: Blaise Perrone

Key Matches & Moments: Debuted in a baby blue gladiator outfit including strange penis-like hat; Kicked Ahmed Johnson in the kidney; Led sixty people to the ring at Royal Rumble 1997; Was part of the fun Chicago Street Fight at WrestleMania 13; Main evented King of the Ring 1997 against the Undertaker in a match; Came to his senses and fired Savio Vega from the Nation Of Domination; Argued for minutes with a referee after being cleanly eliminated from the 1997 Survivor Series; Was given a sweet portrait of the Rock in the buildup to WrestleMania XIV; Formed the Acolytes with Bradshaw, together they would win the WWF Tag Team Titles, dominate a number of Tag Team TURMOIL matches all while solving problems for anyone who had the cash; Brought DAMN into many households and schools, much to the chagrin of uptight parents and teachers everywhere; Distributed disgusting spinebusters to anyone he could get his hands on

Staff Thoughts: Faarooq was in the company a very long time with almost no great matches to his name. That’s not to say he wasn’t an excellent performer in many other ways it just never seemed to really all come together for the matches. The Nation Of Domination was a fun stable, and he looked great in that leather jacket. Once he was ousted he kind of floated around with little to do until he and Bradshaw found one another. The APA had a TON of memorable moments and sketches and will forever be one of the most fun teams of the Attitude era. His promos were fun especially if you enjoy the expression “GUESS WHAT??” His work in ring was oftentimes crisp and the dominator was a awesome finish. One might question how he ended up on his opponent’s shoulders every night screaming “OH NO PLEEEAAASE!” but one would be thinking too hard.

From the Voters: Had a solid run where at the least he always came off as being somewhat legit. Whether as a singles or in the APA, it meant something getting a victory over him. Good promo, and I have a soft spot for the Nation. Wrestling needs more Faarooqs. Possible back-ender.” – Adam Russell, July 9, 2017

“Never seen a great Ron Simmons singles match or tag match. That’s sad.” – Good Ol’ Will From Texas, May 29, 2017

143. Chief Jay Strongbow
Total Points: 575
Total Ballots: 14
Average Rank: 59.9
High Vote: 10
Low Vote: 100
High Voter: Grady Blount

Key Matches & Moments: With partner Sonny King won the WWWF World Tag Team Championship on May 22, 1972; Captured his second tag team title on December 7, 1976, this time with partner Billy White Wolf; Had an excellent feud with Greg Valentine beginning in 1979; With Jules Strongbow feuded with The Misters Fuji and Saito for the WWWF Tag Team Titles; Was drawn repeatedly on blackboards by Bret Hart throughout the late 80s and early 90s

Staff Thoughts: Jay Strongbow was a hugely over babyface and a staple of the promotion for most of the 1970s. There are accusations that he became (or always was) a lazy worker but it cannot be denied that he had an electric connection with the crowd and was a very memorable and colorful character in an era where that wasn’t the norm.

From the Voters: Given the spot he occupied in the 70s, I figured he would be a lock. After some research…not so much. I rated him on the scale, but I think he finished around 130.” – James Profitt, December 12, 2017

“Strongbow was the number 2 babyface for a super hot WWWF for most of the 70s, beloved and fondly remembered. Definitely became a typical lazy New York worker by the late 70s. Still, feud with Valentine in 79 is legit great. 82 run with Jules against Fuji and Saito is surprisingly good. 90-100 guy for me probably” – Kelly Nelson, May 28, 2017

142. Santino Marella
Total Points: 588
Total Ballots: 30
Average Rank: 81.4
High Vote: 34
Low Vote: 100
High Voter: Stacey O’Loughlin

Key Matches & Moments: The Milan Miracle is still considered one of the better debuts of all time; Had a relationship with both MyMaria and Beth Phoenix that generated comedy gold; Best use of a Honk-a-Meter in company, or I dare say, world history; Corpsed John Cena when he declared “You gotta big mouth John Chena!”; His team with Sheamus was an all time classic; Nearly won the 2011 Royal Rumble to a massive reaction; Nearly won the World Heavyweight title at the 2012 Elimination Chamber to an even more massive reaction; Was a fun US champion for most of 2012

Staff Thoughts: Easily the best comedy act in company history, and not half bad in the ring either. He has a TON of memorable moments and skits and was one of the most consistently entertaining guys on the roster for a solid six years. Perfect for opening matches and waking up crowds, Santino’s stuff could have been hokey at times but it almost always delivered. His speed walking to the ring was funny, his trombone… dance was sublime. A guy with his personality and creativity is sorely missed today on a roster full of uber-serious wrestlers. He understood his role and bought in, a lesser wrestler many have balked at the role, and what it created was pure magic at times. Why can’t he be one of the general managers??? Where is Jerry Stupid Lawler???

From the Voters: Great comedy worker. Always entertaining. Understood how to balance his comedy with seriousness in moments such as the 2011 Rumble finish & 2012 Elimination Chamber finish. Legitimately tremendous character in 07-08 WWE. His debut is one of the best WWE debuts in history. Most importantly, he understood his role & did everything he could with it. Sometimes his comedy, especially during the PG era, could be horrible. Santina storyline sucked for example. Doesn’t have high end, great matches to his name. Has a great shot of making my ballot. Bottom 10 probably.” – Devon Motivator Hales, June 2, 2017

“He’s on the bubble for me. He was insanely over for a while. When he was the final two of the 2012 elimination chamber, the crowd were fully behind him winning the title, to the point that a small title run wouldn’t have been the worst thing ever. Really effective worker” – David Clare, June 3, 2017

“In a company that has repeatedly shown they are TERRIBLE at comedy for about 15 years, to be able to get legit laughs from me is pretty remarkable, and Santino was able to do it.” – Jordan Duncan, June 3, 2017

141. Antonino Rocca
Total Points: 604
Total Ballots: 12
Average Rank: 51
High Vote: 6
Low Vote: 92
High Voter: Grady Blount

Key Matches & Moments: Antonino Rocca started wrestling in the New York City territory for Toots Mondt in 1949, in the territory that would become Capitol Wrestling Corporation (CWC) and eventually WWE; In 1963 CWC left the NWA, forming the World Wide Wrestling Federation and crowning Buddy Rogers it’s first champion, after listing he won the title over Rocca in the finals of a tournament in Rio de Janeiro, site of all fictitious tournaments; Rocca set the post-World War II record for wrestling attendance at the Madison Square Garden 49th-50th Street location against an unknown wrestler, while working for Kola Kwaraini and Jack Pfefer, during a time they had split off from their partnership with Vince McMahon, Sr.; Teamed with Bruno Sammartino around the same time before McMahon Sr. took back over the New York area; Provided commentary on WWF Championship Wrestling and All Star Wrestling from 1972-76

Staff Thoughts: So, by all accounts Antonino Rocca was one of the great draws in the New York City area, setting attendance records at the old MSG location. However, figuring out what was done under the CWC banner for McMahon or done elsewhere and what fell after 1963 to be eligible for this project was hazy at best and confusing as hell at worst. There is footage of Rocca matches out there, but it is a challenge to determine if any particular match would fall under the guidelines of this project. A playlist was shared on the Facebook page featuring a match with Rocca vs. Karl Von Hess featuring a mat-based gymnastic style.

From the Voters: “Drawing wise Rocca is all-time great. Revitalized NYC wrestling in 1949 after being dormant for eleven years. King of New York until early 60s. I’m not an expert on his work by any means.” – Kelly Nelson; May 28, 2017

“Top 25 guy for sure. He was the top guy in the territory prior to Bruno, and led the wrestling revival in the northeast US.” – Sean Fluharty, September 28, 2017

140. Killer Kowalski
Total Points: 638
Total Ballots: 14
Average Rank: 55.4
High Vote: 17
Low Vote: 91
High Voter: Sean Fluharty

Key Matches & Moments: Formed a tag team with Gorilla Monsoon, winning the United States Tag Team Championship from Skull Murphy and Brute Bernard before losing them to the Tolos Brothers; Teamed with Big John Studd as The Executioners and won the WWWF World Tag Team Championships but were stripped when a third Executioner (Nikolai Volkoff) interfered in a match to Chief Jay Strongbow and Billy White Wolf, the Executioners lost the match and never regained the title; Kowalski was one of Bruno Sammartino’s main rivals in the 1960s and 1970s challenging him for the title nearly 30 times, sometimes in Texas Death Matches and stretcher matches, and winning one by countout and battling Bruno to a draw in another; He also faced Buddy Rogers in two title matches in 1963; He also had numerous battles with Andre the Giant, Pedro Morales and with and against Gorilla Monsoon

Staff Thoughts: Killer Kowalski was 6’6,” which was an imposing height for the day and he presented a believable monster heel character. He battled Bruno Sammartino many times, with one of those matches included on the Bruno Sammartino collection on the WWE Network. He wrestled…let’s say a deliberate pace…at least by the mid-1970s where he has the most footage. One of the few wrestlers to have a pinfall win over Andre, though it did not occur in the WWWF, but photos from that match helped build Andre’s reputation because he towered over the more well known Kowalski. Opened a wrestling school and trained Triple H, Chyna, Big John Studd, Perry Saturn and others, which may make you like him or hate him more, depending on your view of those wrestlers.

From the Voters: “Absolutely on my list! The best heel in the company and perhaps the entire business for several years. His matches with Bruno stand out to me the most and what was also incredible was that he was a vegetarian. 6’6″ was a monster at the time and the fans legitimately feared the man. Top 100 guaranteed” – Eric Boyd, May 30, 2017

“He was like an actual zombie but slower.” – Parv, May 31, 2017

139. Arn Anderson
Total Points: 639
Total Ballots: 21
Average Rank: 70.6
High Vote: 32
Low Vote: 99
High Voter: John D’Amato

Key Matches & Moments: Teamed with Tully Blanchard as The Brain Busters, managed by Bobby “The Brain” Heenan; Participated in the 1988 Survivor Series 10-man tag team elimination match, which started the feud with The Rockers; The January 23, 1989 match between the teams was listed as one of PWI’s 50 greatest matches; The teams also battled at the March 11 Saturday Night’s Main Event and their match from March 18 at the Boston Garden is well regarded as well; Faced Strike Force at WrestleMania V winning when Rick Martel walked out on Tito (Chico) Santana;  Won the WWF Tag Team Titles from Demolition on the July 1989 Saturday Night’s Main Event in a two-out-of-three falls match, ending their historic tag team reign; Defeated the Hart Foundation at SummerSlam 1989 before losing the titles back to Demolition in October; Lost a two-out-of-three falls match to The Rockers on Saturday Night’s Main Event before the team split; Arn competed in the tag team elimination match at Survivor Series 1989; Interfered in the Ric Flair/Undertaker match at WrestleMania X8 hitting the spinebuster on Undertaker for a memorable near fall for Flair

Staff Thoughts: The Brain Busters had an all-time great year for WWF tag teams the year they were in the company. The feud with The Rockers produced some of the best tag team matches the company has ever seen. They defeated Demolition to end their historic reign, and were the opponents at WrestleMania V for the Strike Force split. Anderson’s great offense (spinebuster, DDT, etc.) and excellent timing and teamwork with Tully Blanchard helped make any Brain Busters match must see. Anderson also competed in the fun Survivor Series 1989 Tag Team elimination match and helped Ric Flair score a near-fall in his WrestleMania match vs. Undertaker in a moment that threatened the streak. Obviously, a lack of longevity hurts Arn, and he is much better known for his great work elsewhere.

From the Voters: “They brought southern tag team wrestling to the NE perfectly. They made an impact immediately, although it was only for a year. Considering others who have a bigger WWF resume, I don’t know.” – Jeffrey Thomas, May 30, 2017

“Probably a bubble guy for me. I know there isn’t a ton of meat on the bone here, but his year was solid and pretty influential. He has made marks on the company out of the ring as well.” – Matthew Richards, May 30, 2017

138. Mickie James
Total Points: 644
Total Ballots: 24
Average Rank: 74.2
High Vote: 35
Low Vote: 98
High Voter: Ash

Key Matches & Moments: Came into the company as Trish Stratus’s biggest fan, quickly morphing into James being obsessed with Trish and eventually a lesbian angle; Defeated Stratus for the WWE Women’s Championship at WrestleMania 22 in one of the best women’s matches in WrestleMania history; Feuded with Lita facing her in the finals of the Women’s Championship tournament after Trish retired; Won her second Women’s Championship from Lita at Survivor Series 2006 in Lita’s retirement match; Challenged Melina in the first Women’s Falls Count Anywhere match; Teamed with Kofi Kingston at SummerSlam 2008 losing a Winner Takes All match vs. Beth Phoenix and Santino Marella losing her Women’s Championship and Kingston’s IC title; Participated in WrestleMania XXV 25 Diva battle royal; Feuded with LayCool when the two bullied her and dubbed her “Piggy James,” but James got her revenge defeating McCool in 20 seconds at Royal Rumble 2010; Returned to the company in 2016 challenging Asuka for the NXT Women’s title at NXT Takeover Toronto in a very good match; Feuded with Becky Lynch and competed in the six-pack challenge for the SmackDown Women’s Championship at WrestleMania 33; Switched to Raw and challenged for Alexa Bliss’ Raw Women’s Championship at TLC 2017; Will compete in the first ever Women’s Royal Rumble match; James was a five-time Women’s Champion and a one-time Divas Champion

Staff Thoughts: Mickie James was one of the best workers in the women’s division in the era before the, ahem, “Women’s Revolution Thanks to Stephanie McMahon.” Her match with Trish Stratus at WreslteMania is finger-lickin’ good…OK, sorry for that. That match is legitimately excellent, one of the best WrestleMania women’s matches in history. She held the Women’s Division together after the retirement of Trish and Lita. Her return match against Asuka at NXT Takeover is great and one of the highlights of Asuka’s NXT title run.

From the Voters: “Mickie vs Trish stands out to me as the best women’s feud they have ever had (in terms of story and characters. They had better in ring ones since). Very interesting and entertaining. I think she is the best women’s wrestler they had until the Women’s Revolution. Light years better than Trish or Lita. Her comeback really cemented her spot. Great matches with Asuka and Alexa Bliss. Nutty Mickie was a lot fun, but once she settled into babyface Mickie, she has great energy and gives lots of effort. Definitely makes it.” – Martin Boulevard, November 19, 2017

“Pretty sure she will be on my list as her feud with Trish was really great , their match at Wrestlemania 22 was the best women’s match at WrestleMania until last year. She was definitely the most over babyface in the women’s division and at a time when nobody cared about the women and used it as a bathroom break people actually got invested in Mickie. Her match against Asuka at Takeover Toronto is one of my favorite matches Asuka has had in NXT.” – Trent Williams, June 2, 2017

137. Mike Rotundo
Total Points: 648
Total Ballots: 25
Average Rank: 75.1
High Vote: 29
Low Vote: 96
High Voter: Scott Herrin

Key Matches & Moments: Teamed with Barry Windham as the U.S. Express using Real American as their entrance music before Hulk Hogan; Won the Tag Team Championship from Dick Murdoch and Adrian Adonis before losing them to the Iron Sheik and Nikolai Volkoff at the first WrestleMania; Regained the Tag Titles from Sheik and Volkoff before losing them to the Dream Team; Teamed with Dan Spivey in a poor-man’s version of the U.S. Express; Returned in 1991 as wrestling tax collector Irwin R. Schyster; Defeated Greg Valentine at SummerSlam 1991 and feuded with Big Boss Man; Formed the Money, Inc. team with Ted DiBiase, defeating LOD on a house show before the team even debuted on TV; Lost to the Natural Disasters by countout at WrestleMania VIII retaining their titles, but eventually lost the belts to the Natural Disasters; Faced LOD at SummerSlam 1992; Regained the titles from the Natural Disasters causing the Nasty Boys to turn on Jimmy Hart; Faced the Mega-Maniacs team of Hulk Hogan and Brutus Beefcake at WrestleMania IX, winning by DQ in a reversed decision to retain their titles; Feuded with the Steiner Brothers in 1993 trading the Tag Team Titles; Feuded with Razor Ramon over the IC title and later Tatanka in 1994 before joining the Million Dollar Corporation; Feuded with the Undertaker, facing him in a losing effort at Royal Rumble 1995 before stealing the urn; Rotundo was a five-time tag team champion

Staff Thoughts: The U.S. Express was a fun babyface tag team that could’ve had some legs if they’d had a longer run. Money, Inc. was a major force in the tag division during some very dark days for the tag division. IRS was a memorable character and Rotundo did his best to make that work for a long time. He is a five-time tag champion and had a WrestleMania match against Hulk Hogan, both of which are significant achievements. Can’t remember a single match being exciting and his abdominal stretch based offense bored me to tears. One of the pioneers in wearing a tie in a match allowing himself to be choked with it regularly. 

From the Voters: “I mean, he was wrestling tax-man. Right off the bat, you know that’s going to be near impossible to pull off, but he pulled it off….for years. He made it all the way to a WrestleMania match with Hogan off a “wrestling tax man” gimmick. Huge props to Mike Rotundo. He took that thing further than would ever be even moderately reasonable to expect.” – James Proffitt, June 4, 2017

“Really liked Money Inc. but always bored me as a singles. Really can’t think of any singles matches during his IRS run that would even hit ***. I always found him to be a bit lazy in the ring despite being mechanically sound. Like it always seemed like he just kind of doing the bare minimum to get by.” – Wade Ferrari, June 1, 2017

136. Mr. Fuji
Total Points: 656
Total Ballots: 28
Average Rank: 77.6
High Vote: 44
Low Vote: 100
High Voter: Jason Fastkade

Key Matches & Moments: Teamed with Prof. Tanaka managed by the Grand Wizard winning the World Tag Team Titles from Sonny King and Chief Jay Strongbow; Defended the titles against then-WWWF Champion Pedro Morales and Bruno Sammartino; Fuji challenged Morales for the WWWF title; Fuji and Tanaka traded the Tag Team Titles with Tony Garea and Haystacks Callhoun, before losing the titles to Garea and new partner Dean Ho; Fuji and Tanaka returned to the WWF in 1977, taking “Classy” Freddie Blassie as their manager and defeating Garea and Larry Zbyzsko for their third Tag Team Titles; Fuji teamed with Mr. Saito in 1981 managed by Capt. Lou Albano and began feuding with Garea and Rick Martel winning the Tag Team titles in a very good match; Feuded with Chief Jay Strongbow and Jules Strongbow trading the titles back and forth; Fuji competed as singles competitor and teamed with Tiger Chung Lee before turning on him and feuding with Lee; Fuji was a five-time WWWF/WWF Tag Team champion; Became a manager following his in-ring career, managing Demolition to the Tag Team titles and Yokozuna to two WWF Championships; Star of Fuji Vice

Staff Thoughts: Mr. Fuji had some great tag team feuds and matches with both Tanaka and Saito, and many of his matches can be found in the Fuji collection on the WWE Network. The matches with Martel and Garea are excellent. He’s also known for wearing a tuxedo and bowler hat, carrying a cane (that often found it’s way into matches) and throwing salt in the eyes of his charges opponents as a manager. He guided Yokozuna and Demolition to gold, but peaked as a manager during his star turn in Fuji Vice.

From the Voters: “For anyone with WWE Network access, there is a blast of a tag-team match under the Fuji collection with he and Prof. Tanaka against Peter Maivia and Chief Jay Strongbow. I’ve laughed at least 3 times and I’m just now about 2/3 of the way through it.” – James Proffitt, August 2, 2017

“I was surprised by how much I enjoyed some of the 70s matches included in the memorial collection on the Network. He definitely has a good shot.” – Glenn Butler, June 2, 2017

135. Big John Studd
Total Points: 690
Total Ballots: 29
Average Rank: 77.2
High Vote: 13
Low Vote: 99
High Voter: Andrew Lacelle

Key Matches & Moments: Joined WWWF in 1972 under the name Chuck O’Connor facing Chief Jay Strongbow and Gorilla Monsoon before unsuccessfully challenging Pedro Morales for his title; Returned as Executioner #2 (the handsome one) where he won the tag titles with Executioner #1 (Killer Kowalski) before being stripped due to interference from the nefarious Executioner #3 (Nikolai Volkoff); Returned in 1982 under the Big John Studd name originally managed by “Classy” Freddie Blassie; Brought a stretcher to the ring and beat his opponent so badly they needed one; Feuded with Andre the Giant over the “Bodyslam Challenge” throughout 1983 with Andre slamming him several times, including once collapsing the ring; Challenged Hulk Hogan for the WWF Title while maintaining he was the True Giant in Wrestling and that he’d never been slammed (Hogan also successfully slammed Studd); Paired with Bobby “The Brain” Heenan in 1984 and joined with Ken Patera to “rape Andre of his dignity” by cutting his hair; Studd lost a Bodyslam Challenge match against Andre at the first WrestleMania; Began teaming with King Kong Bundy to face Andre and a variety of partners; Participated in the battle royal with football players at WrestleMania II; Continued teaming with Bundy in 1986 to challenge The Machines (Big, Super and Giant with guest appearances from Hulk and Piper); Retired for two years, returning in 1988 to feud with the Heenan Family; Won the first Royal Rumble in 1989; Was the special referee in the WrestleMania V matchup between Andre and Jake “The Snake” Roberts

Staff Thoughts: Forever tied to Andre the Giant and forever in his shadow, Studd provided a believable monster for Andre to conquer. With Ken Patera, he was part of the “raping of Andre’s dignity” haircut angle (FYI yelling that a stylist is raping you of you dignity WILL get you banned from Supercuts…so I’m told). The Bodyslam Challenge was a fine heel gimmick as Studd continued to deny ever being slammed. The team with Bundy was a good monster pairing and led to the fun Machines angle. If Studd had any good matches, I haven’t seen them nor heard of them, but he was one of the dastardly chums of Roddy Piper in the Rock ‘N’ Wrestling cartoon and had a sweet LJN figure.

From the Voters: “Hot angle with him and Patera trashing Andre, but that was all. Worked Hogan around the loop for the belt. Awful feud with Bundy against the Machines and his ’89 return is quite sad. I’ll pass.” – Jason Greenhouse, May 28, 2017

“Member of the Heenan Family, great tag team with King Kong Bundy, wrestled Andre at the first Wrestlemania and a heavyweight contender his entire WWE career. He would be very close to the top 100.” – Eric Boyd, May 28, 2017

134. George Steele
Total Points: 694
Total Ballots: 24
Average Rank: 72.1
High Vote: 17
Low Vote: 100
High Voter: Vince Male

Key Matches & Moments: Wrestled Bruno Sammartino to an hour-long draw at MSG in 1968 and challenged Bruno numerous other times throughout the late 1960s and early 1970s; Adopted a crazy heel character tearing turnbuckles apart with his teeth and grunting promos with nonsense like Duuh-dahh; Regularly challenged Pedro Morales and Bob Backlund for their WWF Titles; Turned babyface when his teammates Nikolai Volkoff and the Iron Sheik abandoned him on the first SNME, joining forces with Capt. Lou Albano, who helped him improve his speech during an electric shock therapy session (How Now Brown Cow); Developed a crush on Miss Elizabeth (as did most fans) in 1986 leading to a long feud with Randy Savage; Was in Ricky Steamboat’s corner during the WrestleMania III classic IC Title match vs. Savage; Began carrying a stuffed bear called “Mine” to the ring in 1988; Was entered in the battle royal at WrestleMania IV but never got in the ring; Returned in 1998 as part of the Oddities; Wrestled over 600 matches for the company

Staff Thoughts: I learned everything I know about wooing women from George Steele, leading to a permanent green tongue and several restraining orders. In all seriousness, he was a scary-ass heel in the late 1960s challenging Bruno Sammartino and becoming a beloved comedy goof in the mid 1980s. That checks the boxes for longevity and flexibility quite nicely. He was a key player in the Beauty and the Beast story with Macho Man and Miss Elizabeth and challenged Savage many, many, many times before appearing in the corner of Ricky Steamboat at WrestleMania III. That was the best match Steele had anything to do with, but you’re not really watching The Animal for workrate anyway. You MAY be watching his matches to learn the proper way to eat a turnbuckle or to compare back hair with future “Superstar” Albert.

From the Voters: “Well, he sure had the longevity aspect down. From the 60s on through the very early part of the 90s, even a short run in the Attitude Era with The Oddities. Workrate, he was horrible. However, he went from effective heel to lovable babyface almost overnight. I’m going to say YES and probably put him in the lower end of the list, between 90-100.” – Chris Jordan, May 30, 2017

“Like Volkoff, his early work is much better.. George Steele’s matches against Bruno and Pedro are great, especially that new one on the Network that I think is ’69 Philly but is labeled MSG ’75 or something. His stuff with Savage was entertaining for Steele, even if we think it was wasted on Savage. I wish we had more Pittsburgh stuff.” – Lee Wes, October 7, 2017

133. Fabulous Moolah
Total Points: 701
Total Ballots: 18
Average Rank: 62.1
High Vote: 13
Low Vote: 90
High Voter: El Groino

Key Matches & Moments: Began working for Capitol Wrestling Corporation, under Vince McMahon, Sr. in 1955; Won the vacant World Women’s Championship in a battle royal in 1956; Her first women’s championship reign lasted more than ten years; In 1972 became the first woman to wrestle at Madison Square Garden, which had previously banned women’s wrestling; Had an uninterrupted eight-year title reign ending in 1976; Bought the legal rights to the championship in the late 1970s and had another six-year title reign; In 1983 sold the rights to her women’s championship to Vince McMahon, Jr. and became the first WWF women’s champion; Lost the title to Wendi Richter (with Cyndi Lauper in her corner) at the Brawl to End it All, which was broadcast on MTV and a critical part of the Rock N’ Wrestling Connection; Donned a mask as the Spider Lady to win the belt back from Richter in the original screwjob; Held the title another two years before losing it to Sherri Martel; Captained a team in the  women’s match at the original Survivor Series in 1987; Appeared with Mae Young in numerous comedy roles primarily in the Attitude Era, including one final title reign in 1999

Staff Thoughts: Fabulous Moolah controlled women’s wrestling in the WWWF/WWF for decades for better or worse (and the stories of the worse are abundant). She most certainly has decades of championship reigns. She was a part of the Rock ‘N’ Wrestling Connection, with her battles against Wendi Richter when Richter was involved with Cyndi Lauper being a huge part of getting on MTV and exposing wrestling to many new fans in the 1980s. The Master of the Hair Pull Toss, “Schmoolah” was never known for her five-star classics. No one could match her for longevity though. As far as wrestling pimps (allegedly) we prefer the Godfather.

From the Voters: “I would have a lot of trouble putting her on my list, not only for the controversies, but because I actually kind of think she drug women’s wrestling down in America, particularly the F/E. I’ll probably be passing on her, though I understand the argument for her.” – Matthew Richards, May 30, 2017

“The longest reigning champion in wrestling history. 48 years I believe. She was the start of what Today is maybe the most entertaining aspect of the show.” – Eric Boyd, May 30, 2017

“She is a trash human being.” – JT Rozzero, January 23, 2017

132. Cody Rhodes
Total Points: 705
Total Ballots: 31
Average Rank: 78.3
High Vote: 38
Low Vote: 99
High Voter: TheBestThereNeverWillBe

Key Matches & Moments: Feuded with Randy Orton to defend the honor of his father The American Dream; Earned Bob Holly’s respect and formed a tag team winning the World Tag Team Championship; Turned on Holly at Night of Champions 2008 to join Ted DiBiase, Jr. as his partner and becoming a two-time tag team champion; Joined forces with Randy Orton and the two were sole survivors for their team at Survivor Series 2008, and DiBiase eventually joined them and formed The Legacy after jettisoning deadweight Sim Snuka and Manu; Was one of the final three in the 2009 Royal Rumble; Teaming with the Legacy against Orton’s rivals led to a feud with the reformed DX of Triple H and Shawn Michaels in a good series of matches at SummerSlam, Breaking Point and Hell in a Cell 2009; Rhodes and DiBiase turned on Orton leading to a triple-threat match at WrestleMania XXVI; Took on the “Dashing” gimmick and formed a team with Drew McIntrye winning the WWE Tag Team Titles; Broke his nose in a match with Rey Mysterio, causing him to wear a protective mask and the two wrestlers to have matches at WrestleMania XXVII and Extreme Rules 2011; Participated in the Money in the Bank match in 2011; Won the Intercontinental Title from Ezekiel Jackson; Feuded with Randy Orton and was one of two survivors at Survivor Series 2011, defeating Orton’s team; Eliminated six wrestlers in the 2012 Royal Rumble; Pinned Big Show in the Elimination Chamber setting up their feud where Rhodes lost his IC Title to Show at WrestleMania XXVIII after a 236 day reign; Formed the Rhodes Scholars tag team with Damien Sandow where they challenged Team Hell No in a series of matches for the Tag Team Titles, before Sandow turned on the now mustachioed Rhodes to win the Money in the Bank 2013 briefcase; Rhodes minus mustache defeated Sandow at SummerSlam 2013; Rhodes was put in a match for his job after opposing the Authority and losing the match getting fired as a result; Formed a team with his half-brother Goldust, defeating The Shield at Battleground 2013 in an excellent match to regain their jobs; Goldust and Cody would win the Tag Team Titles from The Shield and successfully defended them at Hell in a Cell and TlC 2013 in very good multi-team matches; After losing the titles and going on a losing streak Cody took on the Stardust persona, and he and Goldust again won the Tag Team titles after turning heel; Turned on Goldust and feuded with him before competing in the IC Title ladder match at WrestleMania 31; Teamed with Wade Barrett to challenge Neville and actor Stephen Amell at SummerSlam 2015; Competed in IC Title ladder match at WrestleMania 32; Rhodes was a three-time WWE Tag Team Champion, a three-time World Tag Team Champion and a two-time IC Champion

Staff Thoughts: The tag team run he had with Goldust in 2013 is fantastic, a hot angle with his brother and father involved, leading to great matches with The Shield and in multi-man matches at Hell in a Cell and TLC. The series of matches he and DiBiase had with DX was also good and most of the rest of the run was fine if unspectacular. He’s been a steady part of the mid-card through mustaches and protective masks. Through it all he’s just been Cody and Glenn Butler explains about the Cody line in this FYC podcast.

From the Voters: “Looking at it objectively, Cody rates well in every catagory. Promo, work rate, big moments, longevity. If he has any weakness it’s that he was much better as a heel than a face. I wonder where people have him after these many months.” – Michael DeDamos, December 22, 2017

“Cody is sneaky good. I crunched some Royal Rumble numbers last year and the algorithm I used had him surprisingly come out as a top 15 RR performer. He’s got midcard longevity, different gimmicks, strongish IC title work, he’s got the high-end tag work with Goldust, a brief run on top lackeying for Orton in the only I thought Orton actually connected as world champion. He’s on my shortlist of 130 guys. I think he’ll make the cut.” – James Derbyshire, May 31, 2017

131. Barry Darsow
Total Points: 732
Total Ballots: 28
Average Rank: 74.9
High Vote: 52
Low Vote: 99
High Voter: Andy Halleen

Key Matches & Moments: Replaced Randy Culley as Smash, teaming with Ax (Bill Eadie) as Demolition; With their face-paint and leather and studded ring gear and masks, Demolition was WWF’s answer to the Road Warriors; Won the WWF Tag Team titles from Strike Force at WrestleMania IV, which they held for 16-months, a record only surpassed by the New Day; Turned babyface and ended association with manager Mr. Fuji at Survivor Series 1988; Defeated the Powers of Pain and Mr. Fuji at WrestleMania V; Traded the Tag Team Titles with the Brain Busters losing them on the July 1989 edition of SNME; Lost the belts to the Colossal Connection before winning them back at WrestleMania VI becoming three-time champs in a match known for Andre the Giant turning babyface after the match; Crush joined Demolition and the team could defend the titles under Freebird rules; Lost the belts to the Hart Foundation at SummerSlam 1990; Feuded with LOD in 1991 before disbanding the team; Darsow took on the new gimmick of the Repo Man, looking and acting like The Riddler, feuding with Virgil and later the British Bulldog after Repo Man hung him over the top rope; Stole Randy Savage’s hat and was defeated by the Macho Man

Staff Thoughts: Good Ol’ Will’s favorite wrestler was one-half of Demolition, an important tag team in WWF history. Sure, they may have been Road Warrior rip offs, but their entrance music was cool and their ring gear made them look like monsters until you saw their ‘chiseled physiques.” Still Demolition had a record-breaking run, looked good squashing jobbers and had some decent matches with the really good teams of the era, like the Brain Busters and Strike Force. The guys talk about Demolition on this FYC podcast. Darsow was also the Repo Man, once stealing Randy Savage’s cowboy hat. Why he couldn’t have just gone to any carnival and won it at the ring toss like the rest of us is beyond me.

From the Voters: “I’m going to just put this out there: Isn’t he top 100 solely based on the rarely seen half mustache + facepaint combo?” – Ronnie Vod, May 29, 2017

“1/2 of the Longest Reigning WWE Tag Champs until New Day past it last year. And of course Repo Man. What more do I have to add?” – Greg Diener, May 28, 2017

130. Bray Wyatt
Total Points: 739
Total Ballots: 30
Average Rank: 76.4
High Vote: 32
Low Vote: 100
High Voter: Darren Hibbert

Key Matches & Moments: As Husky Harris he was part of the Nexus and later the New Nexus; Developed the Bray Wyatt character of a cult leader of the Wyatt Family (Luke Harper and Erick Rowan) in NXT;  Debuted on the main roster and defeated Kane at a Ring of Fire match at SummerSlam 2013; Feuded with Daniel Bryan and CM Punk, with the Wyatt Family defeating Bryan in a three-on-one handicap match at TLC 2013; Bryan briefly joined the Wyatt Family, before turning on them; Bray had his best singles match when he faced Bryan at Royal Rumble 2014 in a very good match; The Wyatt Family interfered in a match on Raw costing The Shield a spot in the Elimination Chamber, leading to a fantastic six-man match between the Wyatt Family and The Shield at Elimination Chamber; Cost John Cena in title matches at both the Royal Rumble and Elimination Chamber 2014 leading to their match at WrestleMania XXX, which Cena won; Continued Cena feud that also involved creepy children’s choirs, facing him in a steel cage match at Extreme Rules and a last man standing match at Payback; Set Harper and Rowan free disbanding the Wyatt Family; Feuded with Dean Ambrose in late 2014; Lasted 47 minutes and eliminated six wrestlers at the 2015 Royal Rumble; Challenged Undertaker to a match at WrestleMania 31 in a losing effort; Reformed the Wyatt Family with new member Braun Strowman and feuded with Roman Reigns and Dean Ambrose; Wyatt Family confronted The Rock at WrestleMania 32; In late 2016 Randy Orton joined the Wyatt Family and Bray and Orton won the SmackDown Tag Team titles at TLC 2016, though Orton and Harper (defending under Freebird rules) would lose the titles causing dissension in the Wyatt Family; Won the WWE Championship in the 2017 Elimination Chamber; Lost the title to Randy Orton at WrestleMania 33 in an awful match involving holograms of bugs; Faced Orton in a non-title House of Horrors match; Feuded with Finn Balor, before getting involved in a feud with “Woken” Matt Hardy

Staff Thoughts: The Eater of Worlds also knows his way around a plate of nachos, because despite all his spooky promos he’s just another guy. Tons of potential when he debuted as something different than the usual jacked-up bro character, but never realized that potential. A gifted talker, Bray showed promise before the promos got overly repetitive. He was involved in the fantastic six-man matches with The Shield and had a really good match vs. Daniel Bryan at the 2014 Royal Rumble (good thing they didn’t put Bryan in the Rumble match too, that would’ve been crazy). Has faced John Cena, Undertaker and Randy Orton, in addition to appearing in a segment with The Rock, at WrestleMania. The match against Orton at WrestleMania 33 is one of the all-time worst title matches at Mania, unless you are obsessed with worms and maggots and grubs. Their House of Horrors rematch continued the ridiculousness, and nothing he’s done since has helped him right the ship. The guys talked about Bray in this episode of the FYC podcast.

From the Voters: “Great character that debuted but then started losing every feud he was in which just makes his character a fraud and not to take seriously. Needs someone better than him in ring (Bryan, Cena, etc ( to have a great match with. Very low on the list.” – Dennis Nunez, May 29, 2017

“Most useless, pointless character in the last decade.Weird promo on some guy for no reason. Boring 3 match series. Win or lose repeat with next guy. No growth, no character development which usually doesn’t matter but this guy is literally all character.” – Aaron George, May 29, 2017

129. Road Dogg
Total Points: 746
Total Ballots: 35
Average Rank: 79.7
High Vote: 50
Low Vote: 98
High Voter: Brad Faulk

Key Matches & Moments: Served as “The Roadie” to “Double J” Jeff Jarrett and was the real voice behind “With My Baby Tonight,” which was supposed to start a feud between the two wrestlers; Returned as “The Real Double J” Jesse James feuding with The Honky Tonk Man and his protege Rockabilly Billy Gunn, before teaming with Gunn as the New Age Outlaws; Defeated LOD for the WWF Tag Team titles and continued feuding with LOD shaving part of Hawk’s signature reverse mohawk; Feuded with Chainsaw Charlie and Mankind leading to a dumpster match at WrestleMania XIV; Joined D-Generation-X; Participated in the Intercontinental Title four-way at WrestleMania XV after he surprisingly won the IC title after pursuing the Hardcore Title for some time; Teamed with and later feuded with X-Pac; Formed an alliance with K-Kwik, got rowdy, then left the company; Returned to win another Tag Team Championship with Gunn at Royal Rumble 2014; Teamed with Kane to face The Shield at WrestleMania XXX; Was a six-time Tag Team Champion, a Hardcore Champion and an IC Champion

Staff Thoughts: Oh you didn’t know? Your ass better caaaalll somebody. Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, children of all ages…The New Age Outlaws were one of the most popular acts of the Attitude Era, during one of the hottest times for the company. They were fresh and new and stood in stark contrast to the stale and old LOD, signalling a changing of the guard in the tag team division. He remained popular as part of DX and was in a number of Russo-riffic storylines, most notably having a good multi-man feud for the Hardcore Title before winning the IC title and being thrown into that match because Swervz Brah. Road Dogg had the gift of gab and his schtick was huge getting the NAO over. None of his singles or tag matches particularly stand out.

From the Voters: “Very good promo. I think he could be fun in tags & is one half of the most popular tag team of 1998 during a monster year of business. He got stale in the latter years of the Attitude Era though & couldn’t keep up with the change of expectations in workrate once guys like Jericho & the Radicalz came in.” – Devon Motivator Hales, June 2, 2017

“The name “New Age Outlaws” always bothered me. When I think New Age, I think Yanni, weird crystals, and meditation. I am going to take a look at Road Dogg. He has enough time with the company and was quite over for a period of time. Maybe he is underrated.” – Michael DeDamos, July 8, 2017

128. Becky Lynch
Total Points: 754
Total Ballots: 22
Average Rank: 66.727
High Vote: 19
Low Vote: 99
High Voter: Scott Herrin

Key Matches & Moments: One of the “Four Horsewomen of NXT”, competed in the four-way match for the NXT Women’s Championship at Takeover Rival; Challenged Sasha Banks for the Women’s Championship at NXT Takeover Unstoppable losing in an excellent match; Debuted on the main roster as part of the “women’s revolution” invented by Stephanie McMahon as part of PCB; Got the pin on Brie Bella to win a three-team elimination match at SummerSlam 2015 for her team; Challenged Charlotte for the Diva’s Championship at Royal Rumble 2016; Challenged for the new WWE Women’s Championship in a very good three-way match with Banks and Charlotte at WrestleMania 32; Drafted to SmackDown and won the inaugural SmackDown Women’s title at Backlash in a six-pack challenge; Was the last woman eliminated from the SmackDown team at Survivor Series 2016; Lost her championship to Alexa Bliss in a tables match at TLC 2016; Continued feuding with Bliss and battled her in a steel cage match on SmackDown; Competed in six-pack challenge for SmackDown Women’s Title at WrestleMania 33; Participated in the first women’s Money in the Bank match; Captained the SmackDown team that lost to the Raw team in the women’s match at Survivor Series 2017; Attacked by the debuting Riot Squad putting her out of action to film the Marine 6 (there are six of those damn movies???) before recently returning to SmackDown

Staff Thoughts: Becky Lynch had great matches against other great women’s wrestlers, generally in NXT with the other Horsewomen. The four-way with all the Horsewomen and the match at Takeover Unstoppable vs. Sasha Banks are excellent must-see matches. She lacks the high-end classics that Bayley and Sasha had and the high-profile position and multiple championships that Charlotte has and just feels like the fourth most important member of the group (and perhaps overshadowed by other women on the roster as well). The women’s three-way match at WrestleMania 32 was among the best women’s matches in WrestleMania history. Lynch has been a pillar of the SmackDown women’s division since moving over to the blue brand. Hear more about the Lasskicker on this FYC podcast.

From the Voters: “Definitely very good, but it’s interesting how she’s managed to be overshadowed in every major situation. She has the instant classic with Sasha Banks at Takeover, only for Sasha and Bayley to overshadow it at the next Takeovers. She debuts on the main roster and is instantly lower on the power rankings than Charlotte. She gets her own division built around her on SmackDown, only to be undercut by Alexa Bliss’ quick rise, and then the Naomi push, and then Charlotte gets traded over. Doesn’t necessarily count against her in a significant way, I just think it’s interesting.” – Glenn Butler, May 29, 2017

“Hands down the most dependable worker of the current era. She should still be the SDL champ. Remains popular despite not being the focus of the division anymore. I’d like to include her, but I can’t justify it.” – Adam Russell, July 14, 2017

127. Brutus Beefcake
Total Points: 757
Total Ballots: 33
Average Rank: 78.6
High Vote: 32
Low Vote: 100
High Voter: Andrew Lacelle

Key Matches & Moments: Had a match at the first WrestleMania against the lesser Sammartino; With Partner Greg Valentine formed the Dream Team and won the WWF Tag Team Titles; Had arguably the best match on the card at WrestleMania 2 when the Dream Team dropped the titles to The British Bulldogs; Turned face and then attended beauty school and became a barber; Spent the latter 1980s both strutting AND cutting his way through the midcard; Was brutalized by Ron Bass’ spurs in a CENSORED moment that surely scarred a generation; Invented the catchphrase “SCARY SHERRI” and went on to main event SummerSlam 1989 with Hulk Hogan; Assaulted the Genius and cut his hair WITHOUT CONSENT; Ended Mr. Perfect’s undefeated streak by defeating him at WrestleMania VI; Opened a Barber Shop that was eventually destroyed by a shaving cream laden Sid Justice; Formed the Mega Maniacs with Hulk Hogan but came up short in the bid to win the Tag Team Titles at WrestleMania IX

Staff Thoughts: While perhaps never the best in ring general, it’s hard to deny that Brutus Beefcake was one of the most iconic grapplers of the 1980s. He’s one of the few guys you could mention to a non wrestling fan that they would remember. His colorful outfits meshed perfectly with Jim Johnson losing his mind on the bass. Brother Bruti was OVER with a capital O, often receiving pops that rivaled the tops stars despite being amid-card bulwark. His promo skills were a bit hokey, and his character development rarely strayed beyond crazy wide-eyed guy with garden shears but it’s safe to say that Brutus Beefcake left an undeniable mark on the business. Long live Brutus the fucking Barber Beefcake!

From the Voters: Shear off the ugly ends of his WWF career with those oversized clippers and he had a decent middle. Did well enough in the Dream Team with Greg Valentine and then put it together as The Barber, having good matches against better workers like Ted DiBiase and Mr. Perfect. The less said about his first singles run and/or 1993 comeback the better. I think he just misses the list.” – Ben Morse, June 5, 2017

He had a 6 year run, and was always relevant during it. He worked his way up to the top of the mid-card for the last year of his run, and he earned it – he was super popular, a solid worker and a solid promo. He was Hogan’s friend, but that didn’t seem to really help his career until 1993. He shouldn’t be penalized for coming up alongside a more successful performer.” – James Profitt, July 20, 2017

126. Samoa Joe
Total Points: 779
Total Ballots: 28
Average Rank: 73.2
High Vote: 24
Low Vote: 98
High Voter: Bret Hart

Key Matches & Moments: Defeated Baron Corbin at NXT Takeover Brooklyn; Won the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic Tournament with Finn Balor with the final two matches taking place at NXT Takeover Respect; Turned heel and challenged Balor for the NXT title at NXT Takeover London; Defeated Sami Zayn in a two-out-of-three falls match to determine the #1 contender for the NXT title; Challenged Balor at NXT Takeover Dallas getting cut early in the match and failing to win the title; Won the NXT title from Balor at a live event and successfully defended the title against Balor at NXT Takeover The End; Lost the NXT title to Shinsuke Nakamura at NXT Takeover Brooklyn II; Defeated Nakamura for the NXT championship at NXT Takeover Toronto to become the first two-time NXT champion; Lost the title back to Nakamura in Japan and failed to win it back in a steel-cage match in Australia; Debuted on Raw attacking Seth Rollins and aligning himself with Triple H; At Extreme Rules 2017 Joe defeated Balor, Rollins, Roman Reigns and Bray Wyatt to become the #1 contender for Brock Lesnar’s Universal Championship; Challenged Lesnar for the title at Great Balls of Fire in a fun hard-hitting sprint; Again challenged Lesnar for the title in a really good four-way match at SummerSlam also involving Reigns and Braun Strowman; Was part of the winning Raw team at Survivor Series

Staff Thoughts: Samoa Joe had good, main event matches against both Finn Balor and Shinsuke Nakamura in NXT on Takeover cards that featured great matches on the undercard often overshadowing the title matches. His match with Lesnar at Great Balls of Fire was really good for as short as it was, but lacked time to become a classic (if either guy could have a long, classic match these days). The SummerSlam four way is a great, violent chaotic match. Joe’s been hampered by injuries on the main roster as well. We all know Joe’s earlier work and are left to wonder what could’ve been if he’d gotten to the WWE earlier in his career, but it wasn’t meant to be. Still, his solid NXT career and the Balls match and SummerSlam match indicate there could be more good stuff to come.

From the Voters: “He’s had a 2 year run now under the consideration criteria. By year’s end, he’ll be just 6 months short of Rick Rude’s tenure. He has a ton of great matches in NXT, had a memorable debut on Raw, has main evented a ppv and had one of the coolest sub-10 minute matches I’ve seen with Brock on Sunday. He’ll definitely qualify as one of the best 100 just based on his top-tier work in the last 2 years, and I’m looking forward to see what he’ll do in the next 5 months to improve his positioning.” – James Proffitt, July 13, 2017

“One of my all time favorites…great NXT run but his main roster tenure is too short for me to consider him. I hope his career lasts long enough that he’s a lock when we do this again in 10 years.” – Neil Trama, June 2, 2017

125. Finn Balor
Total Points: 871
Total Ballots: 33
Average Rank: 74.6
High Vote: 32
Low Vote: 100
High Voter: Henry Rivers

Key Matches & Moments: Teamed with Hideo Itami to feud with the Ascension defeating them at NXT Takeover R Evolution; Won a #1 contender tournament for the NXT title defeating Neville in the finals at NXT Takeover Rival; Defeated Tyler Breeze at NXT Takeover Unstoppable; Won the NXT Championship from Kevin Owens at Beast from the East in Japan; Retained the NXT title in a ladder match vs. Owens at NXT Takeover Brooklyn; Teamed with Samoa Joe to win the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic with the finals at NXT Takeover Respect; Retained the NXT Championship against Samoa Joe at both NXT Takeover London and NXT Takeover Dallas; Lost the NXT title to Joe at NXT Takeover The End, ending his record-setting reign at 292 days in a steel cage match that was his first loss at a Takeover event and his first loss as the demon persona; Drafted to Raw in 2016 draft; At SummerSlam 2016 defeated Seth Rollins to become the first Universal Champion as the Demon King; Was injured in the match so relinquished the title; Competed in a fatal-five way to determine the #1 contender for the Universal title, but lost that match; As the Demon King defeated Bray Wyatt at SummerSlam, leading to a “man v. man” match at No Mercy; Wyatt was ruled out of TLC due to illness giving us the much better Balor as the Demon King vs. A.J. Styles match; Was on the winning team at Survivor Series; Reformed the Balor Club with Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson

Staff Thoughts: As the Demon King, Finn Balor’s war paint and entrance stand out and fans love extending their arms with his theme music. When he just competes as Finn, he’s less exciting. He’s a good but not spectacular worker, and his run in NXT exemplified that, having good matches overshadowed by great matches lower on the card. That said, he was the face of NXT holding down the main event for quite a while. Finn seemed destined for greatness when he won the Universal Title shortly after debuting on Raw, but getting injured in the match forced him to give up the title and he hasn’t recovered since. Getting saddled feuding with Bray Wyatt did him no favors. But I’m sure once he wins the 2018 Royal Rumble match, as predicted by Scott Criscuolo, that will turn everything around for the Demon King.

From the Voters: “I like Balor pretty well and I think he gets their eventually, but I am guessing he misses my list right now just based on volume, time, and output. I expect him to have some instant classics in the next year or two as I think the cards are falling perfectly for him, but we will see.” – Matthew Richards, May 30, 2017

“Would have to have some big time moments and matches between now and the rest of the year for my consideration. Not impossible.” – Jeremy Ray, May 29, 2017

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