Chris Passarelli’s Favorite WWE Wrestlers
Let’s discuss which past and current WWE wrestlers are my personal favorite
I haven’t written about wrestling in a while, and I think it’s time I put my two cents in with RAW’s 25th anniversary coming up next week. Sports Entertainment is the topic of discussion tonight. This list of my favorite WWE wrestlers is exactly that, a list of my personal favorite stars of World Wrestling Entertainment.
There is no “Stone Cold” Steve Austin on this list (gimme a HELL YEAH). There is no Rock, there is no Undertaker, there definitely is no Hulk Hogan. As much as I did love some of those guys, there are endearing qualities about the following five (and two honorable mentions) that make them my favorites. Each of them has a very unique quality that keeps them close to my heart.
Let’s do it!
Razor Ramon- “The Bad Guy”, Razor was great, always oozing machismo, gliding to the ring with FANTASTIC hair. In all seriousness, Scott Hall is one of the greatest minds in wrestling, and if he kept his head on straight he would have been one of the top five wrestlers of all time. He is still a WWE Hall of Famer, and between Razor and the NWO he was part of two of the greatest gimmicks of all time. Long live The Bad Guy.
Mr. Perfect- In my opinion the best pure wrestler of all time, Mr. Perfect just misses the cut because I can’t have a 5b. Curt Hennig was by far the most under-utilized and under-appreciated star in WWF (now E, thanks panda’s) history. He was the best seller of them all, albeit quite the overseller, and his pure athleticism and in-ring skills were equally matched by his charisma & snarky smile.
And now, it’s time for the Main Event! The List:
5) Rick Rude- Another under-appreciated hand during the late 80’s and early 90’s was the late, great Rick Rude. Rude was a hell of a wrestler, but what gave him his claim to fame were his rock hard abs. Rude looked like he was carved from marble, and boy he sure loved to flaunt it. Every time he came out he would undress his robe & flaunt his body, then scold the crowd of overweight & ugly men to see “what a real man looks like”.
As much as you wanted to hate him, and boy did he gain some serious heat blowing kisses into the camera after each pin, you had to respect his brash ways. Whether it be his colorful tights with his opponents on the back of them, or his eye pokes, Rick Rude was the villain WWE and the fans needed. The fact that he was in the original DX as their lawyer/enforcer is also very underrated. That mustache was killer.
Winning the WWF Intercontinental Title from The Ultimate Warrior at WrestleMania V. Of course, him and infamous manager Bobby Heenan cheated their way to the title, having Rude fall on top of Warrior after Heenan tripped him. Rude had countless other great feuds throughout his WWF tenure, including a heated one with Jake “The Snake” Roberts. Rude was a legitimate tough guy, and was one of the best technical wrestlers of the time. He will forever be “simply ravishing”.
4) Ted DiBiase- HAHAHAHA. The Million Dollar Man always gets his way. Ted DiBiase was one of the greatest heels in WWF history. If you haven’t noticed, I’m a big fan of legitimate wrestling heels. DiBiase was a master in the ring, and his antics and vignettes made him extremely entertaining.
The best part of DiBiase’s game was his ability to use his money to buy whatever he wanted. He even went as far as to buy the WWE Championship from Andre the Giant. DiBiase will always be known as an extremely clever, mischievous character, with great wrestling & psychology skills to boot.
On an episode of WWE Superstars in 1987, DiBiase shocked the world when he stole $100 from a kid. The story goes that DiBiase was up to his usual tricks, promising money to any kid who bounced a basketball 15 times in a row. He let a poor, young kid get up on stage, in front of thousands of people, and dribble his heart out. 1,2,3,4…..13,14..oh no! DiBiase kicked the ball out of the kid’s hands and refused to pay him. This was one of those many moments where you loved to hate him.
3) Chris Jericho – ‘The Ayatollah of Rock ‘n’ Rolla’, Jericho is probably the most well-rounded WWE superstar in history, being a future Hall of Famer and the lead singer of a rock band. In addition, he is also an accomplished podcaster, Dancing with the Stars alumnus, and what seems like an overall great guy. Words like “assclown” are now in my vocabulary because of Chris Jericho.
The first time I started loving Chris Jericho was a vignette he actually did in WCW, where he pretended to protest his match with Dean Malenko. His off-beat humor and snarky nature is second to none, and you knew he came to play when his first promo was against the best speaker in WWE history, The Rock. He was a very good wrestler, and criminally underrated on the mic. In my opinion, people don’t give Jericho enough credit for being the speaker that he was.
Some of Jericho’s best work in the WWE has been in the past two years. His run with Kevin Owens as “best friends” and his “You Just Made The List” & “Stupid Idiot” catchphrases are a few samples, as Jericho has continued to re-invent himself every stage of his career.
Jericho won the first ever WWE Undisputed Champion, defeating The Rock, Stone Cold and Kurt Angle at the 2001 Vengeance PPV. Not only was it a testament to Jericho’s hard work and ability, but it was also a bridge between the past of WCW and the future of WWE. Those nine Intercontinental Titles reigns aren’t so bad either.
2) Randy Savage- Macho Madness was better than Hulkamania, plain & simple. Hulkamania was a man-made, WWE backed movement, and although Hulk Hogan was the most over superstar maybe of all time, he got every opportunity plus 15 more in the process. In the span of about eight years Hogan never lost a bout clean.
On the flip side, just like we saw with the “Yes Movement”, “Macho Man” Randy Savage and his Macho Madness crew were truly running wild. His charisma and charm were something to behold. Randy Savage flying through the air was breathtaking, landing an elbow perfectly on every opponent he defeated. When I grew up I wanted to be “Macho Man” Randy Savage. He was so popular, the wedding at Survivor Series 1988 between him and Miss Elizabeth was the main event.
The sad part about “Macho Man” was that he never could be the top guy with Hogan around. He was an infinitely better wrestler than Hulk, had just as much charisma and an underdog quality that was endearing. Even when he won his first championship, Hulk Hogan stole the spotlight by saving the day. Macho is one of the greatest wrestlers of all time, and fully deserved to get into the Hall of Fame last year.
You may think it would be one of his two WWF Championships, or his IC title run where it culminated in probably the greatest wrestling match of all time at WrestleMania III with Ricky Steamboat. However, the ultimate moment for Randy Savage was his reunion with Miss Elizabeth after his loss at WrestleMania VII to Ultimate Warrior. We laughed, we cried and we appreciated the romance between the two. It also showed what kind of man and wrestler “Macho Man” Randy Savage was. We miss you, Macho.
1) Roddy Piper- He was rowdy before rowdy was cool. He is by far my favorite wrestler of all time. Roddy Piper was the nastiest guy in the ring, and from what I’ve heard, one of the nicest out of the ring. He was taken from us too soon and his work in the WWE can never be duplicated, especially in this day and age. He was the Joker to Gotham’s Batman; The man you wanted to hate, but secretly loved.
Piper revolutionized the sport, using his quick wit and outlandish behavior to become a larger than life celebrity. Without Roddy Piper, there is no WrestleMania, there is no Hulkamania and there may not even be a WWE. Every good guy needs a villain, and Piper was the perfect man for it. According to his podcast, he had legitimate heat with Mr. T, and every word that came out of his pre-WrestleMania promos were truthful. Piper was a man’s man, winning two Golden Gloves boxing championships, and even getting stabbed in North Carolina during his earlier days. Imaging someone hating you enough to stab you, and you were a pro wrestler!
Piper’s Pit was the greatest segment in wrestling history. It was the basis for all other wrestling talk show segments, and Piper’s charisma was oozing through every time. He was the perfect heel, good worker and one hell of a character.
The moment Roddy Piper broke the glass over Captain Lou Albano’s head, The Rock n Roll Era of wrestling was born. Celebrities like Cyndi Lauper, Muhammed Ali and Mr. T all came into the fold right before WrestleMania. Piper’s legitimate heat with Mr. T ignited a spark that furthered the rivalry between Hulk Hogan and Piper. The result was a ruckus crowd at WrestleMania I, and as we like to say in show business, the rest was history.
Roddy Piper was one of the greatest entertainers in not only wrestling, but sports history. His reach went way beyond the boundaries of the squared circle, and he is sorely missed. You may think you had all the answers, but “Rowdy” Roddy Piper changed the questions. RIP.
Who are your favorite wrestlers? Don’t forget to sound off in the comments section below.