Top 10 Reasons To Watch Professional Wrestling
Top 10 Reasons To Watch Professional Wrestling
1. "The Enforcer" Arn Anderson
Pluses: Toughest son of a bitch in wrestling. Got in a real life brawl with Sid Vicious with a pair of scissors in a hotel and is rumored to have come to blows with Hulk Hogan recently in the locker room. A consistent performer and a great workrate. Not afraid to job. One of the few old-timers that has two equally effective finishers: the DDT and the spinebuster. Gives a great interview. Plus, I just love when he pulls his thumb across his throat after talking about his next opponent. See my Arn Anderson Tribute Page for more about Arn.
Minuses: Hasn't add a new move to his arsenal since Reagan was president. Also, could stand to have a few visits with Jenny Craig.
2. "The Crippler" Chris Benoit
Pluses: Absoultely humorless. Comes to the ring angry. He has an unbelievable workrate and, like a true Horseman, can sell a move with the best of them. Also, unlike others in the past, namely Brian Pillman and Erik Watts, he knows how lucky he is to be mentored by Arn Anderson. "Silent but violent."
Minuses: Bad teeth. Missing a tooth up top and he has vampire teeth on the bottom. My girlfriend thought he was really cute until he opened his mouth. Well, to be honest, she still thinks he is cute.
3. "The Nature Boy" Ric Flair
Pluses: "Whether you like it or you don't like it, it's the best thing going today!" Look up professional wrestler in the dictionary and you see his picture. When he goes up to the top rope, you just know he is coming down the hard way. When he used to blade, the juice would flow like a river and look great against his bleached hair (see photo). Whoo!! WAV File 1 WAV File 2 WAV File 3
Minuses: His figure four has been reversed more often than "Iron" Mike Sharpe's piledriver.
4. "Beautiful" Bobby Eaton
Pluses: One of the few American high-flyers in the business. Even though Bobby's been wrestling since 1976 (that's 21 years, folks), his Alabama Jammer is still one of the best top rope moves in the business. Incredible workrate. One of the few big names who really worked their way up from the bottom: He used to be a roadie that set up the ring for house shows. The only big name wrestler that still uses the eye gouge (most other wrestlers now use the less effective eye rake). Plus, legitimately, he is one of the absolute nicest guys you'd ever want to meet. And the best part is, compared to him, I'm a great looking guy. [Note: No wav files available as Bobby never talks.]
Minuses: No muscle tone. Skin color like a white crayon. Probably the ugliest man in wrestling. Not that I'm checking out the guys or anything but it actually kind of hurts to look at him.
5. Greg "The Hammer" Valentine
Pluses: He was the first heel I liked back in the early 1980s. And this is way before cheering the heels was chic. I learned the figure four leglock from watching him. He was a great WWF Intercontinental champion. And nobody, but nobody, hit the mat face first like The Hammer. He didn't even put his arm out. Just Splat!
Back in his days as Brutus Beefcake's partner, they were wrestling a TV taping match in Poughkeepsie, NY. I had made a big sign saying "The Hammer Rules" and glued a picture of him on it. I went down to the gates at ringside when he came out and held up the sign. He saw it, made the sign of "The Hammer" and looked at me and said "All right!". This was back in the days when the WWF heels weren't even supposed to acknowledge the fans cheering for them. It was a pretty cool thing for him to do.
Minuses: Being totally misused by WCW. They bring him in on occasion as a JTTS (Jobber To The Stars). Greg Valentine is Horseman material, especially given his previous relationship with Ric Flair.
6. "Diamond" Dallas Page
Pluses: No shame about making a fool of himself. When there was the angle of him being broke, it was priceless. The hidden camera filming him as a "Squegee Guy" at a traffic intersection was a scream. Plus, I really liked when the jobbers were wearing his tights because he had to sell them to make his car payment. WAV File 1
Minuses: Needs a few more tattoos.
7. Rey Misterio, Jr.
Pluses: The human highlight reel. His double top rope jump at Fall Brawl '96 was unbelievable. At 5' 3" and 140 lbs, Mugsy Bogues ain't got nothin' on him.
Minuses: Everytime I look at his ring attire, I think I'm looking at The Riddler.
8. Public Enemy
Pluses: Whenever you see Public Enemy, you know someone's going through a table. Of course, more often than not, it's one of the Public Enemy. WAV File 1
Minuses: Went to the Nasty Boy's "How To Be A Couple Of Fat Blobs Ashamed To Take Their Shirts Off" school.
9. Randy "Macho Man" Savage
Pluses: What better spokesman for your product (Slim Jims) than a guy with a speech impediment? There are only three sure things in this world: Death, taxes, and The Macho Man getting beaten within an inch of his life on Nitro. WAV File 1 WAV File 2 WAV File 3
Minuses: His brother is a better poet.
10. The nWo
Pluses: Probably the freshest angle to come along in wrestling in a long time. Allows Kevin Nash to realize his comic potential.
Minuses: In real life, the WCW guys would just gang up and pummel them. Oh wait, Jerry Saggs did!
Honorable Mention: Vince McMahon, Jr.
No, I'm not going to honor Vince for bringing wrestling into the mainstream in the 1980's. He has turned the WWF into an organization pandering to teenagers. What I do respect him for is the one time I met him. I ran into him outside a diner in Poughkeepsie, N.Y. some 12 years ago. Here was a guy worth millions and millions of dollars traveling with a bodyguard who stopped and took the time to talk to a couple of teenage fans. I had just come from the first live show I'd ever seen and we chatted about the matches that night and he seemed genuinely happy that I had a good time.
Maybe he's just a good salesman but losing a couple of teenage fans wouldn't have wiped out the WWF. He took the time out to talk to us because he was a good guy. As much as I don't like the direction the WWF has gone of late, I can't forget those five minutes I spent with him.
Honorable Mention: Don "Magnificent" Muraco
Don Muraco's mention here is due to his time in the WWF as a heel. Aside from being just a big, mean man, there are two things he did to get me hooked on professional wrestling.
The first is the time he was coming to the ring to do battle with some jobber. The Magnificent One was at his arrogant best. So confident, in fact, that he came to the ring eating a big submarine sandwich. The lack of respect he showed for his opponent drew incredible heat.
The second incident is the one that really got me hooked on live events. This is back in the days before wrestling was "family entertainment". Muraco was in the ring waiting for the match to start and a girl around the age of eight in the front row was standing and holding a sign deriding Muraco. He saw it, leaned over the ropes closest to her, put his finger over one nostril, and blew a big wet snot out of the other which landed right at her feet. After seeing that, I was hooked.