As a newbie to the board I'd like to start by asking this question.
Lets say someone asked to you to judge all wrestlers to find the best one , based on talent, skill, charisma, external and internal conduct, whom would you pick? My pick would be Ric Flair, seeing that he agreed to do some of the dumbest angles in pro wrasslin' history (Black Scorpion, Mental Case etc)and he is still regarded as one of the greatest wrestlers. What I admire most is that he never refused to put over anyone nor did he take creative decisions to pull down some rising star.
Well, he did refuse to put Lex Luger over from 1988 through 1991. Not saying that Luger deserved to go over but the fact remains Flair was still uncooperative. So to use your criteria, my pick would be Rick Steamboat. By the way, welcome to the board! I've been here about a month and found everyone is pretty friendly/openminded. Those few that aren't usually get dealt with by a certain recapping dictator around here.
I'd say Hogan. I'm sorry, but to me the greatest wrestler is the guy who does the most for the sport, draws the most money, garners the most attention, and things of the like. He is wrestling and was the biggest international star ever. People will say Inoki is bigger in Japan than Hogan ever was in the US, and that is true. Inoki is revered in Japan, like Ali is here. Hogan never attained that status in one country but when you factor in the world-wide recognition, Hogan blows Inoki away. I could walk down the street in Toronto or in Albany or and not find a single person who knows who Antonio Inoki is, but many will know the name Hulk Hogan.
I still argue that Steve Austin, despite his fame, was never as well known as Hogan. Did he become a household name? Absolutely. Did he draw more money than Hogan? Absolutely? Does that make him a bigger star? No. And even that 'drawing more money' thing needs to be analyzed a bit. Austin had three times the opportunities to 'draw more money' than Hogan did. He had eight more annual PPV's to draw more money, three or four more TV shows a week, and a far more highly refined marketing procedure. Take a look at merchendise for example. Do you think in 1984 ten wrestlers had merchendise? Everyone got a rubber wrestler and that was it. Hogan was one of the first and only guys to have his own T-shirt, and was the first wrestler to have a t-shirt you could walk down any street and see people wearing. He basically was the catalyst for those Austin 3:16 shirts. Everything Austin did, Hogan did first and with no one to blaze the trail for him.
Hogan V.S. Andre was drawing ratings that put even the 'golden age' of Austin's prime to shame. Saturday Night's Main Event, as a once monthly replacement for the then-(and again now)stale Satuday Night Live, drew ratings in the high 9's and low 10's literally for years. The last SNME before WM 3, which aired on March 14, 1987, drew an 11.6 rating. The Hogan/Andre rematch in 1988 drew at least an audience of ten million people. Keep in mind in these days, they'd run three house shows a night, with the tag-champs headlining one show, the IC champ headlining another, and Hogan and whoever he was against (whether or not he was the champ or was against the champ) headlining a third. All Hogan house shows would sell out, and the other two would always come close (particularly the IC ones with Honky Tonk on top) and they'd do this 2 or 3 days a week. Even in 1998 at the height of Austin mania, there's no way business was ever that good. When the WWE was saying business was better than ever in 1999 and 2000, they are comparing ratings (two shows drawing 5's and weekend shows each drawing 1'2 or 2's technically means "more ratings" in a corporate loophole sense) PPV's (more people buy 12 throughout a whole year than bought four throughout in the 80's) and merchendise (which was nowhere near as common or refined in the 80's as it is now). Those were all loopholes. Business was never better than in 1987. Granted, ppv quality matches were only seen once a month in those days, on SNME, as apposed to every week these days, so I suppose there are informational loopholes on both ends of the spectrum. Hogan was getting worked into jokes on Cheers. Cheers. That was the number one show on television at the time, and Hogan was famous enough they could use his name as a celebrity reference to set up jokes. Did people on Seinfeld make Stone Cold jokes? Not that I heard.
Lastly, I watch Hogan with people. Friends and strangers alike. And when he comes on the screen doing some of the least athletic shit anyone's doing, people get a look in their eyes that is just unbelievable. I don't what it is, but love for this man just pours out of people. If anyone ever had "it" Hogan did. And still does.
Who pissed in your cornflakes? Oh, wait. It was me. My apologies.
hmm, Interesting point, but what about when Hogan went to WCW? The backstage power he had is legendary AND the fact that he was a factor in the demise of Steamboat, Austin (in WCW) etc by bringing in his personal friends like the Honkytonk man. Maybe in Austin's case, going to the WWf was a boon, but what about the rest? This was plainly unprofessional behaviour.
I still stand by Ric Flair. I don't know much about Steamboat so I cant really comment on that.
Originally posted by Hogan's My DadTake a look at merchendise for example. Do you think in 1984 ten wrestlers had merchendise? Everyone got a rubber wrestler and that was it. Hogan was one of the first and only guys to have his own T-shirt, and was the first wrestler to have a t-shirt you could walk down any street and see people wearing. He basically was the catalyst for those Austin 3:16 shirts.
In this example though, Austin is more impressive. In the '80s, it was Hogan or bust. A tremendous show of his popularity, of course, but what options were there, really? It wasn't like one could easily go out and find a Junk Yard Dog T-Shirt, even if you wanted one.
Now, in the late '90s, Austin 3:16 T-Shirts were everywhere. The reason this is more impressive is because he had so much competition. If you wanted you could have a DX T-Shirt, or nWo, or Rock, or Taker, or Foley. Even the mid-carders had T-Shirts. So for Austin's stuff to climb over all that other crap and be #1, is more impressive to me.
Hogan was he's own competition, he was a monopoly in wrestling merchandise, whereas Vince really had to push to market Austin's stuff.
Since everyone else is doing it (ok, not EVERYONE, but...)
Vikings (0-4) - Bye weeks are boring (round 2) Badgers (5-1) - Congrats to Penn State. Time to rethink our defense. Twins (1-1) - The team looked like hell. Hopefully we can steal one in Cali. Buffy 7.3 earns a 8.04 Out of 10 for being the funny, but throwing out enough plot contrivances to last us the whole damn season. Anya however = Hillarious.
I agree with Hogan being a bigger star than Austin (especially in terms of shelf life, as Hogan was the biggest star in wrestling from like the early 80s until Austin stole the torch he never passed in 1998) but if Hogan was doing weekly TV and monthly PPVs, he would've burned out much, much quicker. Austin also lost a year at the peak of his starpower. Austin also took the company from its lowest point in history to its highest point in history. Hogan also played a part in the steroid trials and death of WCW, which isn't cool. As for the 11.6, I'm pretty sure Austin topped that with his match against the Undertaker in June 99. Austin also headlined the biggest money show in wrestling history in Mania 17. (Then Hogan came right back the next year and did the second biggest.) They're both all-time stars. Hogan is almost certainly the biggest star in wrestling history -- well, Rikidozan, but I know next to nothing about him and we might as well stick to N.A. And when WWF said 99 and 2000 were the most profitable years in company history, I think they were talking about the total amount of money they grossed.
The only thing I'll point out is that also at the height of the WWE's 90's popularity they were still broadcasting on cable with another pro wrestling show on at the same time on another network, instead of being on a major network unopposed. Who knows what say Austin vs. Rock might have drawn had it been broadcast over NBC at the peak of their popularity?
Let Cincy have Jauron: Green Bay34, Chicago 21 Bears go to 2-3 (bye week, thank God)
Also, the Rock, despite only just over two years as a full-time headliner, main evented the four biggest PPVs (the last four WrestleManias) in history and became a bigger star mainstream than Hogan was. I'm not making a claim for him as the greatest wrestler of all-time, I'm just adding some more context to the Hogan vs. Austin.
Ric Flair, followed pretty closely by Shawn Michaels (Angle is the best wrestler at this moment, but we need to be talking about him ten years down the line to give him the "Greatest wrestler ever" award).
"Oh would you stop being all stealthy and just get in the truck"- Tom Servo
Good point, Torchslasher. Though people certainly will talk about Kurt 10 years from now, especially if there's no WWE by then. So, if you want veterans, I still pick Flair, and a guy who somehow got left out--Bret Hart
Austin was the bigger star, as was Hogan and Rock, but when you're talking about the greatest wrestlers, you're talking Eddy Guerrero and Kurt Angle. Benoit I would definitely put as a close third, but he lacks the charisma and that certain "it" to get the crowd to give a damn about his matches....I'm sorry, I love Benoit to death, but it is no surprise to me why he hasn't gotten the push to the main event. Casual fans seem to just never care about him...and I fear one day he'll have to drink Taker's tobacco juice and eat his own hair just to get over =(. ANYWAY, it's neck and neck for who has the total package...Angle vs. Eddie. I'd give the slight edge to Angle because he has the olympic background, and can cut original, hilarious promos all the time. Eddy is the most by-god gifted athlete I may have ever seen, and his charisma and dirty tactics are just top of the charts, but he does lack that originality when it comes to promos and character. Angle gets my vote - in 10 years he's a legend, without a doubt.
I have to go Ric Flair here. The combination of in-ring ability, pure charisma, mic skills, star power, and actual success is just unmatched. I mean, I know the actual success has a lot to do with the promoter and not the guy, but I still have a hard time calling a guy who's never really had a memorable world title run the best ever. I think Angle really could give Flair a run for his money, but he'd have to put up a couple of really memorable title runs (I liked his first one, but I still have to say he hasn't one yet) and he has to sustain the pace he's been on so far for another 6-7 years before he can match Flair.
Columbus Blue Jackets: Ignite The Night (yeah, the motto sucks, but the team might not!) Blue Jackets Ticket: $17 Blue Jackets Hat: $19 Blue Jackets Program: $2 Seeing Rick Nash score his first NHL goal in his first NHL game: priceless. Ways to run those damn MasterCard commercials into the ground: endless.
Ric Flair certainly is probably the best all-around wrestler of all time, but I think someone got left out.
What about the man who headlined one of the greatest matches of all time and changed the course of wrestling history forever with his victory over the seemingly-invincible world champion?
What about the guy who destroyed just about everyone that ever faced him and made a name for himself simply from the pure energy he generated from the crowd? After all, the crowd is the #1 factor in determining who's great and who isn't in this business.
What about the man who used wrestling to transcend our world and establish an alternate reality where he faces much bigger foes, and much greater challenges than we can ever face here on Earth in our daily lives?