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The Greatest Champion of All Time


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:xyx

 

Draven Cage has just made an excellent point about he thinks Hogan is the greatest "champion" of all time, and he cemented that status with his battle against The Rock.

 

My question is "Who is the Greatest Champion" not wrestler.

 

For me it should be obvious by now...........Taker. :worship

 

For me he just had Champion written all over him and I think Vince saw that too.

 

Flair would be second and Hogan third and there is a three way tie for fourth with me anyway H3/Rock/Austin because each of them gave their all for the fans, yes even H3, remember the Streetfight with Cactus and the hole he had in his calf, mmmmmm nasty. Fifth and finally wouold be mick Foley himself, because no man gave more of "himself" than Mick.

 

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Champion (The Wonder Horse) :D

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For me the Greatest Champions of all time (Whether we're talking WWE or not) will always be Rock, Austin, Flair and Hogan. Reasonably boring choices I know but its honestly how I see it.

 

If you were to put a gun to my head and say my favourite of all time I'd have to say Austin... Just my personal opinion.

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I think in relevance to the question id have to say HHH, especially with the recent angles, no matter what you say about backstage influence and politics, in front of that curtain HHH is unbeatable, hes stayed at the top longer than anyone in the past X years, and you have to look back to the Hogans and Flairs to see people more decorated and pushed more by their respective companies.

 

But what swings the game for me is the fact that hes doin what hogan an flair did, but hes doin it in 2004, wrestlings changed alot, fans want title changes, new stars, twists in plots, we have a lot shorter attention spans and alot less starry eyes than we did 15 years ago

 

just my 2 cents

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I would have to go with Hogan. IMO no-one, in his prime, could touch Hogan for building a crowd and making them mark out. Austin and Rock tie for second place with me. With HBK/Benoit/Bret Hart coming in third. Bret and Benoit for giving the title credibilty that it sometimes lacked. Bret in particular has had a rough ride by some people regarding his reigns, ok No.4 was used more to advance the story between him and Austin. Just think if they hadn't done that it would have been Taker and Bret instead of one of his best, heated matches against Austin. HBK, I think was a credible champ. HHH weas good in the begining, but has lost it recently. Bradshaw, IMO, is one of the best heel champions in a long time. Not since Flair in his prime has so many wanted one man to lose a title, and been frustrated when he sneaked out with another win. That is the mark of a good champ, his programmes with Eddie, Booker and Taker have led him to the Four-way at Armageddon, which has been built up over almost 6 months.

 

Just my opinion folks.

 

p.s. Am I the only one who preffered it when Austin was chasing the belt?

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Gotta go with the crowd here: the greatest champion has to be Hogan. He presided over wrestlings 'golden age' in terms of popularity, and even today he's still probably got the most household-name value out of anyone to ever hold a title belt in America.
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Hulk Hogan is the greatest World Champion of all time.

 

Firstly, he was HUGELY over. He was the biggest star of all time and a huge huge draw. He did what a champion is supposed to do, he carried the entire promotion on his back alone and made it the most sucessful promotion in the entire World.

 

Flair, Austin, Rock, Taker, HHH, Bret Hart etc didnt do that, none of them did. Flair never carried the NWA to great heights, Austin, Rock, Taker and HHH all had an awesome supporting cast (basically each other) to carry the load, none of them did it alone, and when Taker, HHH and Bret Hart have had to be the lone star, the company cant draw money and is in a down period.

 

Hogan was the greatest champion ever, without a doubt. Even when his stock started falling in the WWF, he went to WCW and that company expeirenced a boom, and then another huge boom when he was brought into the nWo.

 

Hogan = The Greatest Champ EVER.

 

As for Taker, he never really drew as champion, and I dont really think a gimmick wrestler needs a title or should have it. Thats just my opinion though. I always prefer Taker away from the title, just doing his own thing. He doesnt need the belt.

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I think the Hulkster was a great champ in the Eighties, but I'm not convinced he would have been as good holding the WWF attitude era title. Maybe it's a case of who was the greatest world champ of there time. Stone Cold and the Rock were red hot in the late nineties and early 20's. At this moment in time I think HHH is a very good champion. To say HHH is not as good of a champ than Hogan would be unfair, just as unfair is comparing Hulks most recent WWE title run to his eighties hey-day.
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Without a doubt - Stone Cold Steve Austin.

 

With Rock, Taker and Triple H next in the list.

 

Also someone earlier saying Taker is a gimmick wrestler and doesnt need the belt, well all wrestlers are gimmick wrestlers - Austin, Rock, Hogan, Bull Buchanan are all gimmick wrestlers. It's there gimmicks that get them over. How exiting would Austin vs Rock be with no gimmicks, it would be 2 guys who no one cared about wrestling each other.

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For me, I'm going for Ric Flair. I can see why many go with Hogan, but for me, half of his success is down to Vince McMahon, the way Hogan was booked. The overcoming the odds against the huge villain (Andre, Bundy etc), the whole 1980's mentality of super muscle bound physique, or being betrayed by the friend (Savage, Orndorff). There was some fantastic booking going on there, and Vince and co, really tapped into the culture of the times, in terms of people needing a hero they could look up to and the actual persona of that hero.

 

Of course Hogan was immensly charismatic and could have the crowd eating out the palm of his hand, but again got to give up half of that to the booking crew then, for doing such a good job in terms of angles, persona's, interviews and presentation. And also while Hogan was the figurehead, there ain't no way, he carried the promotion on his back, and I'm sure there are a zillion wrestlers who'd argue about Hogan being the be all and end all.

 

Without Andre, Savage, Orndorff, Vince, Bossman, Akeem, Dibiase, Piper etc, Hogan would have been nothing. It's great to have the ability and persona Hogan has, but for every great hero, you need a great villain, and Hogan got them. Of course not in terms of wrestling ability, but it goes with the times. America, cold war, and then Iraq. Odds needed to be overcome, and that was embodied in wrestling with Hogan.

 

Without Hogan, WWF would have never got to where it did, undoubtedly. But the same can be said that without all those opponents, tapping into the exact sentiments of the world and culture at the time, plus without Vince and the booking crew's brilliant ideas, the WWF wouldn't have gotten where it did either.

 

Thus I picked Flair because simply, he was the guy, everyone had to beat to become champ. To be the man, you've got to beat the man. Flair like Hogan could deliver a great interview, and was by far a better wrestler than Hogan. In terms of crowd control, no one can ever touch an 80's Hogan, but Flair had the heel market dominated.

 

His matches and defences against the likes of Steamboat, Kerry Von Erich, Sting, Terry Funk, Luger were all legendary, and heck he even got a 3 star match out of El Gigante!!

 

Flair elevated people to that next level, and had the crowd really wanting him to lose, and truly believeing in guys like Sting, who had previously never even been thought of as a contender. To me, that's what a champion was all about.

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Without a doubt - Stone Cold Steve Austin.

 

With Rock, Taker and Triple H next in the list.

 

Also someone earlier saying Taker is a gimmick wrestler and doesnt need the belt, well all wrestlers are gimmick wrestlers - Austin, Rock, Hogan, Bull Buchanan are all gimmick wrestlers. It's there gimmicks that get them over. How exiting would Austin vs Rock be with no gimmicks, it would be 2 guys who no one cared about wrestling each other.

#

 

They are all their characters, IMO, but not necesarily gimmicks. The Rock, Steve Austin, Hulk Hogan, HHH, HBK, Bret etc are all characters, but they are reletively normal guys. None of them really do anything out of the ordinary and act human (Hogans Hulking Up being the biggest gimmicky thing any of them do).

 

I'd class guys like Taker, Doink, Kamala, Honky, Akeem, Bossman etc as gimmick wrestlers as they are all gimmicks. Taker is supposed to be an Undertaker, Doink is a clown, Bossman is a copper etc. Austin, Rock, Hogan are all pretty much supposed to be just normal people like Flair, HHH, Orton and them lot.

 

Thats my opinion on what makes you a gimmick wrestler rather than a character.

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And also while Hogan was the figurehead, there ain't no way, he carried the promotion on his back, and I'm sure there are a zillion wrestlers who'd argue about Hogan being the be all and end all.

 

Without Andre, Savage, Orndorff, Vince, Bossman, Akeem, Dibiase, Piper etc, Hogan would have been nothing.

 

I totally disagree. Hogan got over in a time where it was Studd, Bundy, Andre, JYD, Shiek, Volkoff, Piper etc. NONE of them were huge stars barring Piper and Andre, and even those two were no backup to Hogan like Rock, HHH, Taker, Kane, Hart, Vince himself etc were to Austin.

 

Hogan CARRIED the WWF to great heights it had never before seen. True, after about 1987 or so, Hogan didnt need to carry the load as they were established and there were other stars like Savage, Warrior, Hennig, Rude, Demolition etc who were starting to get over big time, but from 1984 - 1987, Hogan carried the company and if it wasnt for him, their wouldnt have been any of those other guys on such a prominent National and International stage, and there would have been no PPV's like WM and SummerSlam, cos no fan would have paid to see anybody else to that extent at that time like they did pay to see Hogan.

 

So, to say Hogan would have been nothing without all those guys you mentioned (especially when Hogan was already over MASSIVE from the AWA and none of the other people were even involved until after Hogans popularity exploded) is a falisy. Hogan would have been huge no matter who he faced, hell his feuds with the likes of Volkoff, Studd, Kamala etc all drew big ratings and good money, who else could draw feuding with Nikolai Volkoff?!

 

I do agree that awesome booking and great exposure helped Hulk Hogan hugely become what he was, but like I already said, Hogan was already becoming a massive star in the AWA, and thats why Vince poached him and promised him the WWF title etc, he KNEW that Hogan was gonna be a big star with or without Vince, he jumped on the Hogan bandwagon at just the right time and they were a perfect combination.

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A quick mention for Samoa Joe in giving the ROH title some respectability and prestige. It's nowhere near world title status, but IMO he does a damn fine job.

 

Taz, Shane Douglas, Raven, Justin Credible, Corino, Sandman and, of course Mike Awesome also deserve a little mention for making the ECW title the hottest title in wrestling for a period. I just wish Rhyno had a chance to run with it and Van Dam had a chance at all. The Ecw title was at one point so hot that Mike Awesome defended it as a WCW competitor, pre-Invasion, against WWE star Taz(z) in ECW. That takes some beating in the modern age, I tell thee.

 

All the above mentioned, while in no way comparable to Hogan, Flair, Austin etc, deserve praise for raising the level of their respective belts.

 

All hail the little guy, no offence to Taz.

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2 guys stand out for me - Flair and Hogan. Hogan gets it for me ( as much as it sticks in my craw ) because he carried WWF through the 80's, tried to pass the torch and retook it when the Warrior dropped the ball.

 

Special mention for HBK ( and I'm surprised no-one has mentioned him ). I loved his reigns whether heel or face.

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Yeah I have to admit that for all the crap WWF matches he made me endure as a fan and the horrid backstage politics that he carried out I still believe that without Hogan wrestling would never have reached half the people who enjoy it today...

 

Plus he wasn't that bad a worker, check out his japanese stuff.

 

But as far as being the man as a champ, the carrier on the mic and in-ring and also being unselfish in his losses, well I have to give it to Flair as well. Without him the JCP/NWA/WCW would have caved in far quicker. Flair until 1992 was the man.

 

Shawn and Bret did add prestige to the title and did have great matches but the fact was compared to the drawing power of Hogan/Rock/Austin and the greatness of Flair then they fall behind. Why is Flair ahead of Bret? He was just as good in his prime and drew alot more money.

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I think ure missing the point beltmark. Of course Hogan was gonna be a star, but it's not as single handed as u make out. I wasn't talking about guys like Savage, Andre specifically, but all of them as opponents.

 

Of course Hogan was a huge star and the focus of the company, but he needs opponents, believable opponents, to get the public thinking, can Hogan overcome the massive odds again of being betrayed by his best friends, or beating a guy twice his size who's never supposedly lost?

 

I don't think putting Hogan against anyone would draw money, just cause his Hogan. It may draw a bit, but never to the same lengths as against feuds against such as Orndorff and Andre, or Bundy. It doesn't matter that they weren't huge stars, that isn't the point, but they were integral to Hogan's success. As I said, the 1980's a very changing America, and the embodiment of the American hero. Heck look at Rambo 2, where they send in Rambo to save the whole of America. Hogan was like that, the guy we could all got behind and believe in to overcome the odds and beat the evil.

 

So to say Hogan would have still had as much as success even without that as silly. Would we cheer and paid to see Hogan against anyone, if we knew he'd win, and they were no match for him. If you look at it, Hogan was "technically" the underdog, and the idea was of him overcoming the odds to get to victory. So I'd say Hogan was obviously the most important guy on the roster, but just as much credit has to go to the heels, and the writing crew, for making him so successful. Was a team effort.

 

I'm sure if he'd have stayed in AWA, he'd have been a star, but I'd place any money on him not being as big a star, as he'd have been with Vinnie Mac.

 

And also Nikolia Volkoff was a terrible example. Cold war conflict, American hero against the evil communist Russian, of course it would draw. Doesn't matter who played the gimmick, it's just the point of the feud. Same applies with Kamala, Bundy etc, all talentless goons, but all bigger and more imposing than Hogan, and in an era where the larger the better, people could truly think, how is Hogan ever gonna beat a man weighing 450 pounds? He can't slam him, the other guy his stronger and larger etc etc. Again got to remember the times.

 

I'm sure Hogan would have been huge, but it was no way singlehanded, and he didn't totally on his own carry the company.

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AWESOME post Jung, I loved reading it and totally see your point that you are making and I do agree on all counts.

 

I do, still, think Hogan carried the company on his shoulders, soley due to being the face of the WWF. When you saw WWF posters, toys, bed sheets, lunch boxes, posters, games, pyjamas etc from 1984 - 1991/92, its was predominantly Hulk Hogans face who was on them.

 

He was the man that the whole company was built around, especially until 1988 when they really started pulling in other stars who started to really get over big time. If Hogan went down, the whole company would go down, if Hogan was on a huge wave, the whole company rode that wave with him, this is why I believe Hulk Hogan carried the load during his first WWF run, and his supporting cast was just that, a group of supporting extras who did their part but couldnt sell the show themselves.

 

A simpler example of what I'm saying is this. The WWF from 1984 - 1991 was like The Terminator with Arnold, a great show with a leading star. If you took Arnold out of that movie, it would have just been a movie with a bunch of supporting actors that nobody really cared much about and no star, so it wouldnt have sold as many tickets and made as much money. Same thing if you took Hulk Hogan away from the WWF from 1984 - 1991, you would have had a bunch of Indians and no Chiefs, you know, no face of the company, no public figure head to carry the load and shoulder the burden.

 

Thats kinda what I'm trying to say.

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To use an example many are going to hate, take NJPW...

 

Inoki played the japanese version of the Hogan gimmick and was huge, then Fujinami and Choshu had a great rivialry as well as credible opponents in the likes of Vader and then trying to topple Inoki.

 

Then in the ninties Hashimoto, Chono, Muto, Fujinami and later Sasaki where all fighting over the gold, all credible men and wrestlers to have as champion... The matches drew due to expectation and unpredicatable outcomes...

 

Now who is there? The three muskateers ain't quite ready and Tenzan and Nagata are all thats left apart from Sasaki to hold the gold. But its all been done before and Inoki with his obsessions with MMA blew the business wide open leaving the wrestlers and title and company on a less solid and credible footing then before...

 

Exactly like the WWE now... Except it was the attitude era that destroyed most of kaybface not MMA in the US.

 

Which is why Inoki, Fujinami (not Choshu cos he ruined it with later actions), Hash and Muto will be remembered as great champs. The right stories, talent and matches in the right atmosphere...

 

In the US? Hogan, Flair, HBK, Hart, Austin, HHH pre quad, Rock and maybe Taker are like that and now at the end of the tale we have the Eddies, Angles and Jerichos and Benoits. Better workers then most but plauged by the seen it all before factor, the poor drawing state of the market and politics....

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Oh yeah I totally agree with you, Hogan was the figurehead, and without him, its probable they wouldn't be where they were. He was always gonna be the Arnie of the Terminator hehe. All my point is, just having Arnie ain't gonna seel something, you need a decent supporting task, decent storyline, and most of all that big force of evil to overcome.

 

Thus for Hogan to go on a huge wave, he'd need that big evil to overcome, so we'd buy it. We all loved Hogan, but you have to go on the ride, and that ride was to see can everyone's favourite overcome his next seemingly impossible adventure. Hogan of course carried a lot of the load, but the writing, and the heel character who he had to face were incredibly important to their success all round.

 

He was the face of WWE, but to maintain him as that, he's got to prove he's the man, and there's only one way of doing that. So heck can call the writers and the big heel characters, the silent helper of Hogan's success. Of course he was on all the merch, but we bought it, because he'd been the first guy to beat Andre, he got betrayed by Savage but overcame it, he managed to beat Bundy a huge fat guy in a cage. And essentially, they were so important to shaping the whole thing.

 

Hopefully we can agree now lol

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