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From the Bowery: WWE Top 50 Superstars of All Time (Disc 1)

February 2, 2011 | Posted by Robert Leighty Jr.
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From the Bowery: WWE Top 50 Superstars of All Time (Disc 1)  

From the Bowery: WWE Top 50 Superstars of All Time (Disc I)

-Figured it’s time to take a look at this set and see how they justified the list that was put together. This should prove interesting as this set caused more controversy before release than any recent DVD the WWE has released.

-Todd Grisham welcomes us and lets us know that this list was voted on by current WWE Super Stars. They asked every Super Star to rate their favorite performers of all time with that as the only criteria. Well that explains a lot.

50) Killer Kowalski

-Regal and Cena are current stars that Put Killer over, and various old timers put over how vicious he was. HHH makes his first appearance as they mention he was trained by Killer. He mentions that he learned to be a ring general from Kowalski. You would think HHH voted him pretty high just out of respect for training him, and can’t argue with that.

49) Batista

-They put over Batista’s look and way he carried himself. Cena talks about him in the past tense and makes it sound like Dave is dead or something. As said before he was probably 2nd biggest star during that OVW transition following the Attitude Era, but Orton appears to be on his way to passing him.

48) Rick Rude

-Had injuries not happened in WCW and he got the run with a debuting Hogan, he could have been higher on this list. Miz says he still watches video of Rude to see what he can learn. Striker has been all over this DVD so far (as one would expect from a wrestling nerd) and he mentions from the neck down Rude was everything a guy was jealous of and everything a woman wanted. That made him someone you wanted to watch.

47) Bob Backlund

-Naturally Skaaland is the first one we hear from as he puts over Backlund’s amateur ability. Miz brings up the fact that he held the title for over 5 years, and that alone puts Backlund in elite company. Everyone else discusses how he was a conditioning freak, and Striker says nobody wanted to test him because he was a shooter. The run in the 90s is still pretty awesome, and introduced my generation to the man that was just the guy before Hogan.

46) Dory Funk, Jr

-Quote simply Dory was a wrestler and that’s what you were going to get from him. Regal and Lawler put over that nobody could touch him on the mat. Rather quick piece here as it ends with Terry Funk telling us it was a wonderful thing for his brother to be champion.

45) Jeff Hardy

-I can see a lot of the younger guys in the WWE putting Hardy on this list. Miz calls Hardy weird as he laughs, and as expected, it is all of the younger guys putting over Hardy. We even get talk from Helms, and Moore. I believe I heard Matt too, but he wasn’t shown. Edge says he wishes that he could be in the mind of Hardy for just one day to see what it would be like. HHH says Jeff is the guy that is too small to be in the fight, and in the Main Event, but he does it anyway.

44) Nick Bockwinkel

-High praise from Regal as he calls Nick the ultimate professional. Miz mentions he watches as much Bockwinkel he can and tries to learn from him. You can actually see a little of that coming out. Some say Miz is copying Jericho, but Jericho said he got a lot of his heel run from Bockwinkel. Everyone puts over that Nick is just a classy guy.

43) Kane

-Cena calls him the most underrated Super Star in WWE history. I can kind of see where he is going with that point. The naturally mention his Rumble dominance in 2001, and bring up the unmasking. As stated by others the unmasking took away his unique look, but gave the character more emotional range. Cena ends by saying he was thrilled when Kane cashed in and got a proper run with a World Title because he deserved it.

42) Sgt Slaughter

-Briscoe calls him a red blooded American and that you can’t get any more American than that. Well, you know, outside the period when he was an Iraqi sympathizer. Hell yeah, we get a GI Joe reference. Where’s CM Punk when I need him? They do touch on the Iraqi sympathizer run, but don’t bring up that he is a former WWF Champion as they jump right back to him turning face again.

41) Jack Briscoe

-Some sweet black and white footage of Gordon Solie introducing us to Jack Briscoe. JJ Dillon makes an appearance and puts over Briscoe as being one of greatest amateurs to make switch to pro-wrestling. Wade Boggs even shows up as he calls Briscoe his favorite wrestler. Striker calls Briscoe a real man and that’s why he related so well with fans at that time. Flair gets the last word as he says Briscoe could wrestle anyone on level with anyone in the world.

40) The Big Show

-Cena calls him this generations Andre the Giant, and he knows Show will call him for saying that. WCW footage as they discuss the fact Show used to do a missile dropkick. That’s still pretty fucking sick to see. Striker basically calls him a gentle giant, but naturally you shouldn’t piss off the big man. Kind of annoying they aren’t really covering accomplishments on most of these guys. I mean Show did hold the WCW, WWF, and ECW title (yeah, I know was WWE version of ECW Title, but still).

39) Jake “The Snake” Roberts

-Everyone remembers the DDT, and still is my favorite wrestling move of all time. Jake’s way of doing a promo is covered as he was different since he rarely showed emotion and got over without having to yell and scream. DH Smith calls him perhaps the greatest character in the WWE of all time.

38) Superstar Billy Graham

-Vince McMahon gets in the first word as he calls Graham one of the most unique characters ever. Miz puts over how he was the man to end Sammartino’s 7 year run as WWF Champion. He was ahead of his time and Cena compares him to Muhammad Ali. Watching this old footage of Graham and scary how much Ventura, Hollywood Hogan, and Scott Steiner stole from the man. Hogan even mentions that Graham is the reason he got into the business.

37) Junkyard Dog

-This seems pretty freaking high to me, and perhaps I am just too young to realize what all JYD had done before his WWF run. The man did have a shit load of charisma, and everyone loved him. They discuss the juke, and Striker even mentions that at 30+ years old he still does the juke. They show JYD eating one of the old WWF ice cream bars, and now I want one. Was always a great day when I could get my hands on one of those.

36) Gorilla Monsoon

-Dibiase mentions that most remember Gorilla for his post wrestling career, and don’t realize he was one hell of a hand in the ring. Years before WrestleMania we got Monsoon vs. Muhammad Ali. There is some great footage of Monsoon putting Ali in an airplane spin. The Heenan/Monsoon connection is covered and brings a smile to my face. The Gorilla position is discussed and they even have a sign posted with a picture of a gorilla. That’s pretty sweet actually!

35) Buddy Rogers

-He was the very first Nature Boy, and one of the most revolutionary men in the early days of wrestling on television. Where Hogan and Ventura took from Graham, Flair took from Rogers. Miz mentions what most fans know: Rogers was the very first WWF Champion.

34) Kurt Angle

-This would be the 2nd wrestler currently under contract with TNA. I am actually shocked Angle somehow managed to get voted this high. I guess he doesn’t have as many enemies in the WWE as Hogan and Flair currently do. Santino asks if anyone has ever had the credentials that Angle brings to the ring. Cena calls Kurt a machine, and Jericho backs that up by calling him a freak of nature. Scary to think how fucking awesome Angle could have been had he not been hampered by injuries.

33) Mick Foley

-The 3 Faces of Foley are discussed, and the Rock and Sock Connection is also discussed. Cena, who has been the man on this set so far, puts over Foley achieving so much more than what people told him he could do. Hell in a Cell ’98 is naturally covered and Santino mentions he may have crossed the line between bravery and being crazy. Joey Styles fittingly gets the last word as he calls Foley clearly one of the greatest stars in the business.

32) Superfly Jimmy Snuka

-Striker says Snuka is the one reason he fell in love with the business. Miz calls him a pioneer for guys like Mysterio and Evan Bourne. Regal calls him interview style kind of unique as he rambled, but didn’t matter as everyone kept their eyes on him. Stryker also says he was there in MSG as Snuka flew off the cage.

31) The Iron Sheik

-It took a lot of balls for Sheik to play that gimmick, and still contest a gimmick like that will always be money in this business. Slaughter says there were times he feared for Sheik’s safety, and I don’t doubt that for a second. Sheik is the man who ended Backlund’s 5 year reign as the WWF Champion. To my generation he will always be the man who ate the pin that ushered in the reign of Hogan.

30) Pat Patterson

-Just curious how long it takes before we get someone bringing up winning the IC Title in a tournament in Rio. Dillon brings up the tag team of Patterson and Ray Stevens. Lawler mentions he was the first IC Champion, and thankfully he doesn’t mention the fictional tournament in Brazil. They mention Pat is the guy who was one step behind Vince and still to this day helps any superstar that wants it. Jericho says he has learned more from Patterson than anyone else. You can see the adoration some of these guys have for Patterson. Grisham mentions most will call him the best mind in the business, and that he is the one who came up with the Royal Rumble.

29) Randy Orton

-Damn, this seems ridiculously high. Cena says Orton is the best Super Star he has ever seen. Wow! He calls Orton the smoothest guy in the ring, and Regal says he such natural talent. Everything he does means something and he doesn’t waste a drop of energy. I get where they are going with that as he doesn’t do crazy ass moves for the sake of making someone in a gym of 500 people spit out his soda. I still think he is way too high on this list, but no denying he is going to be a fixture for years to come.

28) Freddy Blassie

-One of the most hated men in the history of the business, and probably most feared manager ever. The majority of the time is spent talking about him as a manager and how he was so hated. Hogan makes another appearance (old footage obviously) as he puts over the charisma and way he carried himself. Vince and Stephanie get the last word as they put over how much Blassie loved life. Steph even seems a little choked up as she talks about him.

27) Fabulous Moolah

-The first and only female wrestler to make the list. Everyone calls her the most famous female wrestler of all time. Mae calls her the greatest female champion of all time, and really kind of hard to argue since she held the belt for decades. The late Sensational Sherri says without Moolah a lot of women would never have gotten into the business.

26) Ted Dibiase

-Great character, great worker in the ring, but not sure how he is this high? Again, I think all of the young guys just remember the character and that outweighs how big of a star he actually was. None the less, Dibiase was one hell of a hell, and ran with that character like nobody else.

25) Chris Jericho

-Now this seems to be too low compared to who is coming up later in the list. Lots of Nitro footage of early Jericho, and then everyone puts over how he was able to recreate himself. Thankfully they do discuss what all Jericho accomplished: held IC title more than anyone, and first every Undisputed Champion (beating Rock and Austin in one night). What makes him great is that he may be right when he says he is the greatest in the world at what he does.

24) Bruno Sammartino

-Again, this seems way too low, but what the hell do I know. Cena says that Sammartino was his grandfather’s favorite performer and his dad’s favorite performer. Sammartino was money and sold out shows at MSG like no other at the time. Striker mentions that he bridged the gap between various ethnic groups of fans.

-We head back to Grisham in the studio and even he starts apologizing for what’s about to come. He calls the next person on the list the biggest star of the 80s, and can’t believe we’re about to cover him this early on this list.

23) Hulk Hogan

-Yep, here it is. The single biggest Fuck You on this DVD as Hulk fucking Hogan is put at #23 on this list. Cena calls Hogan one of his heroes when he was a kid, and Barrett mentions the same thing. Lawler calls him the most famous wrestler in history and Regal calls him larger than anything that has ever happened in the business. Then how in the hell is he so damn low on this list? I know this list means nothing in the grand scheme of things, and it just a way for WWE to make money, but holy hell this is insane. Naturally I would put Hogan #1, but I have been a Hogan mark since I was barely able to walk. I would have had no problem though with Austin #1 and Hogan #2, but that didn’t happen either. If there really was a vote with current WWE Super Stars, I imagine that majority had Hogan in Top 5, but I also imagine some petty bastards probably left Hogan off their list entirely. Again, I have no clue why I am getting so upset over this list when it means nothing. I guess my years spent defending Hogan as a child and teenager are still engrained in me.

22) Terry Funk

-Really, can anyone justify how Funk is above Hogan? Ok, I need to stop watching this DVD, and take a breather as I don’t want to take shots at everyone else above Hogan. Just give me a few hours, and I’ll pick this up again. Well, it has been about 24 hours since I stopped plowing through this list, and I think I am ready to go again.

22) Terry Funk

-Everyone calls Funk a renegade and basically a tough bastard. He pioneered the hardcore style that made ECW famous. They cover his winning the NWA Title just like his brother did. Jericho puts over how he reinvented himself in ECW and his World Title run there is covered. Jericho says Funk is the reason that ECW got off the ground, and Lawler goes on record saying in his opinion Funk is the best of all time. High praise there from The King!

21) Lou Thesz

-Cena calls Thesz wrestling, and that he could handle anyone. Larry Hennig calls him the greatest wrestler of all time, and Jack Briscoe calls Thesz his hero. Harley Race makes an appearance and says Thesz is one of the most influential wrestlers of all time, and pioneered the early days. Cornette calls him the Babe Ruth of pro-wrestling, and we get sweet image of Thesz going his Thesz press and it morphing into Austin doing the same move to Rock at WrestleMania X-Seven.

20) Jerry “The King” Lawler

-Jerry Lawler owned Memphis, and there he was the Stone Cold Steve Austin of his day. They cover the significance of Lawler dropping his strap. Naturally we cover the angle with Andy Kaufman, and then his defeating Hennig for the AWA Title. Striker covers the fact that Lawler has won more championships than anyone in the business. A voice over from JR says the number is 125 total. They briefly touch on his commentating career before finishing.

19) Edge

-Ok, Edge is a Hogan guy from time he was a kid, and I can guarantee you that he doesn’t think he should be 4 spots above Hogan on this list. Wait, sorry, sorry! I am getting off topic again. Edge has been my favorite wrestler since his heel turn in 2004, and I need to quit with the Hogan thing. They do cover all of Edge’s accomplishments and Cena mentions how he has involved from playing kazoos to the Rated R Superstar. They put over that once he got his chance as a singles competitor he knocked it out of the park. He was born to play a villain, and I have to agree on that. Striker brings up Taker vs. Edge at WM XXIV, and says may be the greatest match he has ever seen. In high praise, Arn Anderson says Edge always delivers a great match no matter the opponent.

17) Ric Flair and Dusty Rhodes (tie)

-This seriously has to be a rib on Flair to have him tied with Dusty Rhodes of all people. Flair outside the Top 5 is kind of nuts too, but that’s the price you pay when you currently work for TNA I guess. They cover Dusty first, and put over his promo ability. Miz is practically giddy as he talks about Dusty and does his best impression of him. He was the poor man’s champion, and the fans were able to relate to him. Regal calls him a true sports entertainer, and Striker says Rhodes is his father’s favorite wrestler. Joey Styles says he should be up there with Flair, Hogan, and Sammartino. Well, he is ahead of two of those and tied with the other.

– Cena says that Flair had absolutely everything you could ever want in a pro-wrestler. Striker mentions that people from the age of 7 to 70 will do the “Woo.” Holy hell, we get a Billy Kidman sighting as he puts over Ric Flair. Regal says many will call Flair the greatest of the all and that may be the case. Lawler says he probably may have had one of the greatest careers of all time. That’s kind of an understatement King.

16) John Cena

-Cena being ranked above Hogan and Flair should bring up a lot of interesting discussion. Miz says the work he does in and out of the ring makes him one of the greatest ever. Kofi rightfully calls Cena the face of the WWE right now. Lawler says he is the biggest presence the WWE has ever seen, and I question King’s sanity after that statement. They say nobody in the history of the WWE has been able to create a response like Cena has whether he is loved or hated.

15) Mr. Perfect

-I absolutely love Hennig, but damn there are too many big names behind him on this list. No matter though, he was just one talented man in that ring. Wade Boggs mentions you would never see him miss when he you swat the gum that he spit out of his mouth. Heenan says he loved Hennig, and was an honor to work with him.

14) Randy Savage

-And this would probably be another big F U to Hogan. Miz immediately starts us off with his Macho Man impression. Cena thinks Savage caught the WWE by surprise and that the WWE didn’t know what they had with him. A match between Savage in his prime and Cena would probably kick all kinds of ass. Thankfully they do mention Elizabeth, and that they complimented each other so well. The late Sensational Sherri mentions that he always gave everything he had. Striker gets in another shot as he says Savage was a lot of people’s favorite performer above Hogan and above Flair.

13) Gorgeous George

-Lawler says nobody had ever seen anything like Gorgeous George, and because of that he was an innovator. Cena says he basically coined the term sports entertainer. John Walters actually shows up to tell us that George made it ok for guys to be flamboyant. He was before his time, and Burt Sugar says he was a man everyone loved to hate.

12) HHHH

-Kofi lets us know that he gets goose bumps when he even thinks about HHH’s music hitting. They cover the blue blood period and his evolution from there. Cena says nobody is as precise in that ring and that he truly is The Game. Regal calls him a master and the term general gets tossed around. Regal then gets in a funny comment as he mentions HHH had a good mentor as well. Awesome! HHH also could make you laugh and they touch on DX.

11) Eddie Guerrero

-Fitting Chavo gets in first words as he mentions wrestling was in his family’s blood. Flair says Eddie is Top 10 of guys he has worked with in his career. Jericho calls Eddie the best performer in the world when he was on. Cena says his personality showed when he came to the WWE and it came across well to the crowd. Rey says Eddie is number 1 in his heart and in his mind.

10) Roddy Piper

-Another shot at Hogan as Grisham mentions Piper was only top guy to not get pinned by Hogan in the 80s. Everyone calls Piper a wildman, and that he was one of the first cool heels. Okerlund puts over his work on the mic, and says WrestleMania was as big as it was in part of what Piper brought to the table. Piper’s Pit is discussed as every talk segment since has been compared to it. Snuka getting blasted with a coconut finishes out this segment.

9) Rey Mysterio

-Seriously? I mean Rey is fantastic, but damn is this high. Cena says Rey is a real life superhero which is kind of funny considering people think Cena is booked as Super Man. Miz mentions he is the smallest world champion ever, but he likes to think of him as greatest high flyer ever. Jericho also calls him a real life superhero and that he made it in a business when nobody thought he would. He can do things that nobody else has even thought of doing in the ring. Jericho goes as far to say he is probably Rey’s biggest fan. They discuss the mask, and again the question is why WCW ever decided to take the mask off the guy.

8) Andre the Giant

-Can’t just be coincidence they go from Rey to Andre. Regal says he incredible to watch in his younger days as he was graceful for such a large man. Naturally WrestleMania III is brought up and the fact Andre helped bring 93,173 to Pontiac, Michigan. Flair says for a period he was most well known wrestler in the world, and Dibiase backs this up by seeing even non-wrestling fans know Andre the Giant.

7) Ricky Steamboat

-Arn calls him one of greatest performers that will ever walk through the doors, and Kofi calls him his favorite ever. Christian says scary how easy everything in the ring came to Ricky. Bret says if you want to learn how to wrestle then watch Steamboat. Again we head back to WrestleMania III and everyone puts over the awesomeness of Savage/Steamboat. Still gets my vote for greatest match of all time. Flair says he always enjoyed working with Steamboat. Tommy Young gets some face time and says Steamboat had everything. Cena mentions that nobody will ever be able to do what Steamboat did and stay face for an entire career and maintain that level of success.

6) Harley Race

-Miz mentions that Harley is someone that everyone talks about. JJ Dillon calls him a man’s man, and Flair says toughest man he has ever been in the ring with in his life. Cena mentions all you will ever hear from Hall of Famers is how tough Race is. Arn mentions Harley was never in a hurry, and patterned himself after him as much as possible. Dibiase mentions that you didn’t want to piss him off as he would kick your ass.

5) The Rock

-Not shockingly the Miz says Rock is his favorite wrestler of all time. You had no clue what was going to come out of the Rock’s mouth and that made people stay glued to their television. Jericho calls him the total package, and they bring up Rock/Hogan. Jericho says again that the match should have closed WrestleMania X-8. Austin shows up and mentions that they brought the best out of each other. Cena talks highly of the Rock, and you can just see that he would love to have that one on one match with him. God if that match could ever happen, it could rival the reaction we got for Rock/Hogan. In a nice touch we get package of Rock using other people’s catch phrases in past interviews. Good times! Jericho says Rock could read a Chinese food menu and make it funny. Damn, I would love to hear that now actually.

4) Bret Hart

-Arn compares him to a car that you love and that has 300,000 miles on it, but still cranks every time you turn the key. The Anvil pops up to put over his former tag partner. Dolph calls him a machine in the ring and that’s why he was one of the greatest ever. Okerlund says just on accomplishments alone he should be Top 10. Kofi mentions that someone who would go out and wear pink had to be tough. Arn says he was consistent during a time when there wasn’t a lot of consistency.

3) “Stone Cold” Steve Austin

-Again, I would have had Austin at #2 behind Hogan, but wouldn’t have been mad if he was #1. Cena says Austin is responsible for so many memorable moments in the WWE. Dibiase says right guy, right place, and right time. The feuds with the Rock and Vince McMahon are covered. Jericho calls him the first anti-hero, and that is what drew the fans to him. Kofi mentions he was a fan all his life, and then in high school everyone else started wearing Steve Austin shirts. Cena says Austin is a hero of his, and if you could draw a time line would go Gorgeous George, Ric Flair, Hulk Hogan, and then Steve Austin. Dibiase says he is the greatest guy they have ever had. We end with Vince calling him the greatest superstar of all time at his Hall of Fame induction.

2) The Undertaker

-Regal calls him a phenomenon, and once in a lifetime gets brought up a lot. Cena says that he will always be mentioned as one of the greats, and Lawler asks who has had a more storied career. The persona, visuals, and Paul Bearer all added to what became greatest gimmick in the history of the business. The landscape would be different if Undertaker never existed. Cena brings up the WrestleMania streak and says nobody will ever come close to that. CM Punk says he does things that other men can’t do. HHH says it is a benchmark that will never be duplicated. Well, no shit! Striker says nobody deserves more respect than Taker. Lawler finishes by saying he may be the best of all time.

1) Shawn Michaels

-Regal starts by saying Shawn is as good as anyone has even been. It’s always a good day when we get to see Marty getting tossed through the barber shop window. Punk is clearly a huge fan as he gushes over Shawn. Damn, why couldn’t we get something between those two? Arn calls him the best there has ever been, and HHH, Kofi, Cena all say the same. HHH is still amazed that Shawn took 5 years off and came back as good as he ever was. They make sure to slip Montreal in there, and we get Shawn giving some current TNA stars a superkick (Flair, Hogan, Angle). He earned the name Mr. WrestleMania as he stole the show on an annual basis. Jericho says nobody is even close to Shawn as this list comes to a close.

-Grisham signs off and notes that this list will surely bring up a lot of discussion.

The 411: I know this list isn't worth all that much, and as most have said, is just a ploy to sell DVDs. With that said I still found myself shaking my head in disbelief. Order aside, it was kind of cool seeing the young guys talking about the older guys, and vice versa. This was a fun piece to sit through, and some of the comments were interesting.
Final Score:  7.8   [ Good ]  legend

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