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Who are the most influential Wrestlers of all-time?


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Hulk Hogan was the face of wrestling when Vince took over and made it a billion dollar industry. To this day the fans go crazy at the sight of the Rock. The undertaker has lasted decades in the business. I think Ric Flair has been influential as well.
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It depends on the criteria. Do they mean guys who influenced fans into coming to the shows, in which case it's just a popularity contest, or is it guys who influenced specific wrestlers styles? If we're talking about pioneering guys who changed wrestling and had a big influence on other wrestlers, as Belty said, you've got to put Billy Graham and Dynamite Kid in there, along with probably Buddy Rogers, Ric Flair, maybe a hardcore guy like Freddie Blassie. If we're talking about guys who just happened to capture a moment and sold a bunch of tickets, then it's the usual; Sammartino, Hogan, Flair, Austin, Rock.
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Hulk Hogan was the face of wrestling when Vince took over and made it a billion dollar industry. To this day the fans go crazy at the sight of the Rock. The undertaker has lasted decades in the business. I think Ric Flair has been influential as well.
Bro you'll never find a bigger Hulk Hogan mark than me, but this list is about influential wrestlers, not popular. Who has Hogan influenced? Who has pattered their style and gimmick after Hogan? Nobody! He made guys want to become wrestlers, no doubt, so if that counts as being influential, fair enough, but nobody wrestles like him specifically because they loved watching him as a kid.

 

Edge became a wrestler because of Hogan, but you dont see any Hogan influence on Edge matches or his look.

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Just so people are aware this is the list from the link:

 

#1 Hulk Hogan

 

Hogan had floated around from promotion to promotion by the time Vincent Kennedy McMahon brought him back for his second stint in the WWF. After taking over the company from his father, Vince decided to make Hogan the face of the WWF. Many "Hulkamaniacs", as Hogan's fans were called, would remember to "train hard, say their prayers, and take their vitamins". Hogan became the most recognizable face (or should I say 24 inch Pythons) in wrestling history, winning his first WWE World Title in 1984 and holding it until 1988. In all Hulk held the title a combined six times totaling 2,185 days, second only to the great Bruno Sammartino. This doesn't include his near 3 years as champion in WCW. He was the most requested celebrity of the 1980's for "Make-A-Wish Foundation". To this day, he is still the only profession wrestler to ever grace the cover of "Sports Illustrated". It's clear to any wrestling fan that Hulkamania helped build wrestling.

 

 

 

#2 "Stone Cold" Steve Austin

 

When Austin was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame, Vince McMahon called him the greatest superstar of all time. It's hard to argue with McMahon, during one of the toughest times for WWE, when Hulk Hogan and the WCW were winning ratings wars and Brett "The Hitman" Hart had just bolted to join Hogan, WWE had to do something. Enter the Attitude Era, where Austin reigned supreme. Austin was a 6-time WWE Champion, a Triple Crown Champion,1996's King of the Ring, as well as a 3-time Royal Rumble winner. His anti-establishment attitude, beer drinking, and feuds with Vince McMahon; including his famous beer bash scene, helped put WWE back on top of the wrestling world.

 

 

 

#3 Hunter Hearst Helmsley (Triple H)

 

Triple H , as he's commonly known, is currently the Executive Vice President of Talent and Live Events. He is married to Stephanie McMahon, daughter of WWE Chairman and CEO Vincent K McMahon. He made his WWE debut in 1995 and has been known as Hunter Hearst Helmsley and has had several variations on the character. His charisma with the microphone is nearly unparalleled. His most popular persona is when he teamed with Shawn Michaels and the New Age Outlaws forming D-Generation X (DX). The group was known for testing the limits, as Michaels and Helmsley made risqué promos-from which the catchphrase "Suck It" was born, using a "crotch chop" motion. Triple H, along with Steve Austin, were the faces of WWE during the "Attitude Era". Although making only occasional ring appearances these days, Triple H remains one of WWE's most popular entertainers.

 

 

 

 

 

#4 Undertaker

 

The Undertaker is currently the longest tenured wrestler in the WWE, and the last remaining superstar from the very first episode of raw. The "Dead Man" is a seven time World/WWE champion and six time WWE World Tag Team Champion. He has an unmatched record of 21-0 at WresteMania.

 

Made popular by his supernatural antics and teaming with the late Paul Bearer, Taker has been one of the most dominant forces in WWE for over two decades. He has been a part of some of the most memorable moments in WWE history, including a choke slam of Mankind through the cage at "Hell In The Cell". Fans have had a love-hate relationship with Undertaker over the years, but he's always been a ratings monster.

 

 

 

#5 John Cena

 

Arguably the most beloved and most despised entertainer currently on the WWE roster, Cena has helped lead a new generation of superstars. The 3-Time Slammy Award winning, "Superstar of the Year" has held the WWE Championship a record eleven times, as well as the World Championship twice. In one of his most memorable moments, Cena returned unannounced as the final participant of the Royal Rumble match, winning the match, and the traditional WrestleMania title shot, by eliminating Triple H.

 

Cena is well known for his commitment to the company as well as to the fans. He has been the most sought after celebrity for "Make-A-Wish Foundation", and regularly interacts with fans and our troops.

 

Known for his ability to joke and get the crowd involved, Cena is perhaps the most charismatic superstar in history.

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What I got out of the article is Influential, as in played the biggest role in popularizing and commercializing the industry. I grew up a Hogan fan, but when you look back at his career, he was one of the worst "wrestlers" I've ever seen. Yet few will argue that he played one of the biggest roles ever in popularizing the sport/entertainment. If we're talking influential stylistically, obviously his style is not copied.
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There's a direct Cena/Hogan comparison there as well, in terms that both men can\could work more than they show in the ring but both have a "style" that in essence meant a more limited moveset because it worked with the character they portrayed. The whole "Hulk up, point, fight back, legdrop" isn't any more clichéd than Cena's 5 moves of doom in reality.
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Influence to me comes from 2 different areas. One is the fan influence and that is hogan/Austin . Rock is no where near the influence of these too at all. In fact rock is less influential than at least 10 other guys that could be rattled off.

 

The other influence to me is the guys who are respected in the locker room and amongst the wrestlers themselves. This is where you put the undertaker and Bruno.

 

Another name not mentioned but I feel had a huge influence was dusty Rhodes in the 80s. Not just for being the best face to counter the horsemen but his influence behind the camera as well and backstage.

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Triple H "His charisma with the microphone is nearly unparalleled" :D

 

Also underneath the title it says "These WWE superstars changed wrestling forever", so I think that's probably the real gist of what they were going for, the main title just sounds better, if less accurate.

 

These lists are always no-brainers but I do usually wonder at the inclusion of Undertaker, I know he's great and all but he's always been a constant. chugging away underneath and giving some star power when it's needed, but never become a game changer as far as I know.As good as he is, I don't think the wrestling world would have been any different if there wasn't an Undertaker is what I'm saying.

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From what I've seen and read the most influential wrestling stars have to be from the 60's, 70's and 80's.

 

Guys like Sammartino, Graham, Rodgers, Race, Savage, Hogan and Flair in my opinion the most influential stars. They are what most pattern their repertoire on and tried to be like.

 

Going into the 90's you had Rock, Austin and maybe a few others but they were easily influenced from came before them.

Edited by Ciaran The King
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These lists are always no-brainers but I do usually wonder at the inclusion of Undertaker, I know he's great and all but he's always been a constant. chugging away underneath and giving some star power when it's needed, but never become a game changer as far as I know.As good as he is, I don't think the wrestling world would have been any different if there wasn't an Undertaker is what I'm saying.

 

I think the only real differences in an Undertaker-less world is that Glenn Jacobs never has the career that he has.

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I was going to say something about that, but my thinking was, in this alternate universe, the absence of a big 30 minute Streak match on the cards from the mid 00s onwards opens up a lot of space for other people and matches. You can replace a good match on a card with another good match, if that makes sense. You'd still have Wrestlemania and it would be much the same, just without this particular thread running through them.

 

Whereas with Kane, I mean he had some sh*tty gimmicks before that, and he himself was a pretty average big man at the time. If he doesn't become Kane, no way he lucks into something else that has the same endurance and resonance. Without Kane Glenn Jacobs is the Bastion Booger, is what I'm saying.

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