Going into the WWE’s main card I thought I would do a dedication to the superstars who we have seen for years lighting up the ring and giving us matches we will always remember. This is all opinion so keep that in mind, some stars had shorter careers which will place them lower, however I tried to remember as many in the top 25 as I could. So here we go!
25-Daniel Bryan-WWE’s modern day David, had one of the great WWE moments in his WM 30 victory over Randy Orton and Batista. His IC title victory the following year, was yet another show stopping match by Bryan Danielson. The veteran technicians career was cut short, however many of us are holding out hope for an HBK style return. After 2 Sheamus bouts that don’t deserve attention, he, along with Kane defended Team Hell No’s WWE Tag Team titles, the following year he defeated Triple H, to earn and eventually win the WWE Heavyweight Championship. Only time will tell if there are more career highlights to come.
24.Kane-The Big Red Machine is proof that the third time is the charm. After 2 failed gimmicks in years prior, The Undertakers brother, made his debut and had his best feud with his brother, throughout the the following year, having their best Mania match in WM 14, a title run though brief (one day), came soon after, his following 16 WrestleMania appearences, were generally mid card status however. Despite the success he had in 1998, the status of guys like Triple H, The Rock, Angle and Jericho, pushed alot of the other talent down the roster. Matches against Randy Orton, Kurt Angle, and an Undertaker rematch, are additional highlights in the career of the man who’s won 23 total championships.
23-John Bradshaw Layfield-One of the few wrestlers who have 3 different personas, One a cowboy, a beer drinking bad ass, and lastly a successful invester, who would be the most successful transformation. His big break came in 1998, when along with Faaroq (aka Ron Simmons) formed the Acolytes. After a successful 4 year run with 3 tag team title runs, he went solo with a character similar to Dallas’ J.R. Ewing. He won the WWE title in 2004, and held the belt for 9 months, before losing the belt to John Cena at Wrestlemania 21. He would defeat Chris Benoit, for the US title in WM 22, in what would be his last major title run prior to going on to a successful career as an announcer in the WWE.
22-Eddie Guerrero-The sight of Guerrero and Chris Benoit celebrating after WrestleMania 20, is one of the great, touching celebrations where we see 2 men, controvesy aside, at the top of there game. A year and a half later we would lose one of the most revolutionary wrestlers of all time. Born into one of the royal families of wrestling, Eduardo Llanes’ career began at 19 years old, after 13 years of wrestling all over the world, Eddie, along with Perry Saturn, Benoit and Dean Malenko, entered the federation as The Radicalz, he defeated Test, for the European title at Mania X7, a couple years later he would receive a solo push, where he would defeat Brock Lesnar for his first and only WWE championship. His match against Kurt Angle, only overshadowed by the Michaels-Benoit-HHH main event, was a 20 minute was a blockbuster and would’ve been the match of the card any other year. His final Mania match was a battle with Rey Mysterio, a match he would eventually lose. His passing 7 months later, was a dark day in the history of wrestling community. Though not the only person on the list who is no longer with us, The man, the persona, and legend of Eddie, is something that will continue for all eternity.
21-Roddy Piper-The quintessential wrestling villian. Funny, arrogant, charismatic, yet likable. The late Hot Rod, was a man fans loved to hate was a part of the original Mania extravaganza his legendary feud with Hulk Hogan, wrestling with Paul Orndorff to go against Hogan and Mr. T. The feud continued the following year when he boxed Mr. T in a forgettable Mania 2 match. His acting career began to take off and his time in the WWF was similar to the part time status of alot of guys today. However from 1987-1991, he’d make appearences at manias, not to mention the black face disaster of Mania 6. 1992, however would bring a resurgence of the Hot Rod. Winning thr IC strap from the Mountie at Royal Rumble 1992, he would face Bret “The Hitman” Hart, in a match that not only was a highlight in the beginning of the Hitman, but also one of the best matches of Pipers career. Despite losing, Piper would continue to make the fans cheer, making appearences in multiple federations, including guest referee spots in WM 10 and 11, and the Hollywood Backlot Brawl at WM 12, where he fought Goldust. He’d continue making appearences and acting through out the years til his passing in 2015. Yet another legend, gone, but not forgotten.
Stay tuned for 20-16!