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Botchlog's Top 10 Favourite Wrestlers of All Time
I grew up with WWF only. No WCW was ever viewed on my television as a kid, or a youth. The only things I knew of WCW came from WCW vs NWO on the N64. To me, AKI Man was on the paid roster.
And now I know more about the guys and where they were and who they were etc, so I’m really trying to pick out the wrestlers from my childhood based on how I viewed them then, and weigh that up to the guys I’d pick now and how I feel about them presently. It’s damn hard, probably impossible, to do objectively, but the following is the top guys, in order, that shaped my view of wrestling as entertainment, art and drama.
Honourable Mentions: The APA, Essa Rios, Steve Blackman and Tajiri.
[EDIT: #8 swapped with #5 due to planning error]
10. Rowdy Roddy Piper
This is an odd one to start with, as it’s a recent addition (just this minute) that just knocked Tajiri off of the Top 10 line-up. The majority of the guys on this list are from the 2000 WWF roster, as that was the time I was at my peak viewing experience as a kid. It was the time I was playing all the games (a tradition I continued on even after I stopped watching and all the way up to this day) and it was at the point of the heightened excitement from the visual stimuli of watching dudes getting clotheslined, chairs getting swung and Crash Holly getting two shades of shit kicked out of him every week. And yet, Roddy. He is the dude I see now and think “Holy hell if I was born just a few years earlier I could have been watching this guy!” I’ve watched his matches, his feuds, his promos, his Pits, just to catch up on all the years of adulation, admiration, Scottish patriotism and seething hatred for his theme song that I am 100% positive I would have felt in powerful waves if I was typing this a 30 year old man, and not this nubile 22 year old I sit here now.
9. Booker T
Like I said, I knew fuck all about WCW. I knew one thing, though. Booker T was the coolest motherfucker in wrestling. The strength of my resolve when arguing with my WCW friend whilst defending my Federation was matched only by my jealousy that this douchebag got to watch Booker every week. When we pretended to be wrestlers, I would be T. I even remember doing the dance and singing the music and going “SUCKAAAAA” and everything. (Damn I was so white, must’ve been hilarious to see, up until the point my mate speared the little kid in the street so hard he left a giant 2 foot skidmark with the kids skull in the earth. Hahaaa… good times.)
Then the invasion happened, and I won every time from then on.
He holds three of my top favourite matches of all time, vs Michaels I & II and vsJeff Hardy on RAW in a ladder match. To Jeff’s credit, most of that is due to his part in the tale, but Taker is Taker so you’ll know why he’s here based on the legacy of the Michaels matches. I should note that Biker Taker is one of my least favourite characters in wrestling, and if I ever do a Top 10 Least Favourite Wrestlers, he’d probably be number 5 in that too. But despite hating him while he was the American Badass, I still love him for being a complete badass in his own right.
7. D-Lo Brown
I honstely don’t know why. Probably the music, maybe the finisher, but I like to think it was his swagger. That, and my affiliation with mid-carders at that age greatly reflected the early stages of counter-culture, anti-establishment non-conformity and D-Lo fit that well for me. Or maybe he was just my Booker T.
6. The Dudley Boys
These guys MADE the TLC tag-team feud era. There was no doubt in my mind then, there’s no doubt in my mind now. The power these guys exerted over the other teams was palpable, phenomenal. They had tables, and the knew how to absolutely destroy suckas, without a question. They didn’t need to talk, they didn’t need to flipedy flip, they could just rip people apart because they wanted to, and I loved that. I still do. Some of my favourite matches to rewatch are Dudley Boys matches, particularly PPVs were some poor tag are fed to them for the month. It didn’t even matter if they lost, they almost always won in the end, even if it was only to them and their like-minded fans. They were mental, and we wanted to be mental. Plus, Bubba is the greatest taker of bumps I’ve ever seen.
I can’t remember, but I believe I missed the Taker Hell in a Cell experience as it happened. I knew about it, lord knows the E have utilised that footage well since then like an old arthritic donkey in Blackpool, so I still had that admiration for the guy who lived from that fall. (Then Shane McMahon and Steve Blackman and Jeff Hardy did stuff from jumping from high places so his kind of fell to the wayside in my tiny child mind). But the thing I loved most about Mankind was that he was a chubby, chubby fellow. His fat ass in those grey sweat pants will always be the strongest memory of Mick Foley that I will retain, I reckon. This guy could wrestle in full street clothing, carrying a fat ass around, and be entertaining for full matches WITHOUT having to play up to the fatness like its a gimmick he grew himself with chips and chips (a little US/UK crossover joke there). I loved that, even when I was wee. Plus the fucker can cut a promo, and that music!
My favourite style of wrestling offence is Somoan Wrestling, with the drops and the heavy strikes and the giant men flying through the air like jumbo jets. It’s pure, physical visual feedback. The canvas would compress and bounce as the tiny man’s chest retracts under the (usually) jiggling mass that decided to land on top of it. It all feels so good to watch. Add a cool, natural personality, genuine likability and the ability to leap from cages, and you’ve got one of the smoothest wrestling personalities I’ve ever had the pleasure of watching. Oh, and we’ll forgive him for running over Austin. He did it for The Rock.
3. CM Punk
Rarely does a wrestler actually teach you something, let alone at such an advanced age. But Punk has taught me in the past two years that if you work at something so hard you are physically torn apart from it like your matter is separating from the sheer fucking passion you feel, then you can excel to levels of human ability that I would assume is held only by astronauts and Jamaicans. To bring up the straight-edge thing is a little redundant, thanks to the children of America fuckin’ it up for you guys (which I do sympathise with), as in the UK it isn’t so much of a movement as it is a basic awareness. Sure there are probably pockets of it, but it isn’t a cult. I don’t drink, do drugs, smoke, or drink coffee or energy drinks. Some of those aren’t “straight-edge”, and my purposes stem from a realisation that I don’t need them, rather than don’t want them. Everyone can do what they want, ain’t no biggie. And sometimes it’s nice to be offered. So I’m cool with whatever everyone decides to do, it’s not a tribal gang mentality to me, purely personal.
However, the reason I bring it up is because I admire Punk’s strength in his beliefs as much as I admire his passion, and very much for the same reasons. It’s his mental and physical prowess and ability to connect the two to create one functioning human fucking being that I love so much. Plus the cunt can wrestle so props and shit to that too I guess.
2. William Regal
When I was younger I was patriotic. No, scratch that, I was only ever patriotic when it was on US television. Any time a US show mentioned Britain (or better yet, Scotland) I and a lot of the kids in this country usually go a little mad, grabbing our parents by the sleeve, pointing at the screen yelling “THEY KNOW WE EXIST MOMMA! MAYBE THEY CAN SEND HELP!” So then I was attracted to Regal’s character for being British, and people hating him for just that reason. However, now, I love him for being the one guy who, if he had to, could teach the entire world how to be a humble person. Then he’d teach them how to dislocate someone’s spine with their knees. The best wrestler ever, and the best person in wrestling. 10/10.
Okay I don’t know why. Well I do a little. It’s like the Dudley Boys and Rikishi combined. It’s visual feedback. When he wrecks someone with that little, stout, wrecking-ball shaped body it feels like he’s breaking down the walls of your house. It feels like he’s breaking bricks across your ribcage. It feels like all the testosterone in that tiny, adolescent male carcass you’re carrying around is suddenly burst to life with a shockwave of thunder, and all you can do is just clench your fists and get all wriggly in your seat. And that’ll just be his from his entrance.
The Gore is the greatest finisher in wrestling history. Edge can take that wimpy little waist hug and fuck off. The Gore will break your mother in half and fuck her ashes while Edge is still gurning and tugging at his goldilocks in the corner like a paedo with dandruff.
Rhino is feedback personified, and if anyone has ever made me *feel* the moves performed, it’s him.
E3 Press Conferences as Wrestling Matches
Sony: Who booked this shit? Fucking main eventing with this bunch of over-hyped plebians? Some piss poor chain wrestling goes on for an hour and just when everyone’s about to leave, Uncharted trailer. 5 stars. Hall of Fame. Never forget.
Nintendo: “Same old shit! Same old shit!” Like Cena/Orton. Every year. Forever.
Microsoft: Like MiTB 2011, it seems like we’re witnessing a classic that will go down in the annals of history. This is going to change things around here, step this shit up yo! Look at the
technology wrestling! 3 months later and all we got is Just Dance 3 Punk/HHH. Thanks guys.
Ubisoft: A bunch of Mid/Low-carders fumble about in a battle royal for a bit. New Jack’s music hits, Ezio walks in a fucks shit up, leaves. Everybody cheers, leaves happy.
EA: You know when you’ve paid a solid bundle of money to order a PPV, you’re watching a very good main event and they start advertising next months PPV? Yeah. Madden ‘13 bitches. Also merchandise, food, drinks and autographs are mandatory purchases, or else you can’t see the second half of the match. Plus we just ate another rival company. Enjoy your purchase, see you next month.
Right, the time has come.
I’ve been putting this off for a long, long time.
I think it’s finally time I should just bite the giant, comedy-sized bullet and do this…
I mean, what have I got to lose!
I haven’t watched TNA for a long while. I mean, I have no idea what’s going on over there, other than tiny rumblings that make it’s way onto my dashboard like Sting going mental and some whack-ass heel/face turns. I don’t know the current champions, I don’t know the current stories…
Let me put it this way, I haven’t seen it since before they changed the colour of the ring and everything went “Impact!”.
Well, here I go. I’ll try to keep posts in chunks of sizable amounts of content, so I don’t clutter your dashboard with whatever emotions are felt in the next hour or two.
Oh, and this isn’t like #CliffReacts1MonthLate (which was comedy gold btw), I’m just jumping into the deep end here, no transitions whatsoever. I can feel my body preparing actually. Tensing. Recoiling.
I only watch original prints projected in a tomb underneath the original set of filming 50 years after release. Doctor Zhivago will be one to watch, you’ll see.
If you like Doctor Zhivago, you are going to love Weekend at Bernie’s 2.
botchlog replied to your photo: Then again, I don’t like the way McNiven sometimes…
Jumping out of jets and being shot at by missiles is Cap’s filling out tax forms.
This explains everything.
heatburg replied to your post: punkslovepoints replied to your post: weekend…
I know! That was, patently, the best part of the show! The only compensation is that there’s more sitting-around-the-table-time with the cast, which usually ends up being David and Charlie yelling at each other. That’s good, but not really enough.
The world would be a better place if there existed the David Mitchell And Charlie Brooker Yelling And Vitriol Hour. Make it happen, C4!
Cut the audience, cut the Graham Norton-style Jimmy Carr section, scale down the needless flashy set and vignettes. Program fixed.
Exactly. Clearly we just need to march in and hijack the studio (possibly while the cameras are rolling) and Make It Awesome.
Just finished watching it. Perfectly booked, some great wrestling (Ziggler/Morrison & Punk/Rio), but 50% rubbish. Although I think the last match really put a dampener on the event, so maybe I’m just reeling from that.
(Just gonna leave this here)
botchlog replied to your post: botchlog replied to your photo Wait what is this?…
botchlog replied to your post: botchlog replied to your photo Wait what is this?…
Genuinely thought it was D&D. At that point I didn’t see the other ones, although the ACME Rocket should’ve been a giveaway!
You buy the ACME stuff from Betty Boop for some reason.