I used to watch a lot of wrestling when I was in elementary school. Saturday mornings with my buddy Chris and a box of Fruit Rollups was always a good time. My interest for macho soap operas later waned in middle school, but I briefly rekindled my love for pro wrestling as a sophomore and junior in high school when WCW was at its peak. Call it a guilty pleasure. I haven’t watched it since.
While “the sport” is pure trash now (in the 80s it was only part trash), I still have fond memories of those fake-baked, bad actors with muscles and lots of fluorescent tights. Here are my favorites. Do share yours.
5. Jimmy “Superfly” Snuka
I liked Superfly for one reason: the man got crazy air from the turnbuckles, like a mix between a luchador and Michael Jordan. It never got old watching this guy crash into fallen opponents from high above.
4. The Ultimate Warrior
His war paint was ridiculous, and it would always crumble off with sweat as a match wore on, but I always got pumped seeing the Ultimate Warrior get pissed, shake his fist, and go crazy on someone. He was living proof that you’re never entirely out of a fight.
3. Randy “Macho Man” Savage
Mach Man is crazy. He’s also trashy. But much like Superfly, he’d get mad air from the ropes and he talked like I thought every wrestler should: with a 2-packs a day growl. Plus, he had a hot girlfriend who doubled as his manager.
2. Hulk Hogan
It’s impossible to make a list of top pro wrestlers and not include Hulk Hogan. Sure he was goofy, and his special move was a boring leg drop. But he could also rip a ridiculously thin tank top from his torso like it was nothing. And he beat Andre the Giant.
1. The “Nature Boy” Ric Flair
Ric Flair is everything a wrestler should be: loud, conceded, arrogant, funny, and quick on his feet. “To be the man, you gotta beat the man,” and nobody beats him in terms of charisma. Wooooo!