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5 Greatest Wrestlers of the 80s

Updated on March 8, 2015

It's arguable that the 80's featured the greatest wrestlers of all time. These men and women refined their skills in the territory system, and then shined on the main stage of the WWF and NWA. From wrestling in small clubs in front of a few hundred people, to winning championship gold in front of thousands, many 80's wrestlers could claim to be good. However, only a few chosen ones can truly be called great. Here is a list of the 5 greatest wrestlers from the 1980s.

Andre the Giant


Propagandized as the "Seventh Wonder of the World," Andre the Giant was a larger than life fan favorite most of his career. But it was his historic altercation with Hulk Hogan that bore him his highest creative success. After his feud with Hogan, Andre characterized a smaller role with the WWE brawling with Jim Duggan and Jake "The Snake" Roberts. He clutched the federation's tag team championship shortly before his retirement. Andre the Giant passed away in 1993.

Ultimate Warrior

Though his initial run in the WWE was brief in comparison to fellow headliners, the Ultimate Warrior made the most of his time. Warrior came in with a burst of energy and charisma never before seen. His intense promos and powerful ring presence led Warrior to a run with the WWE Heavyweight Championship. The Ultimate Warrior is habitually overlooked by the modern WWE administration, but true fans of the sport will always remember the entrance running madman.

Macho Man Randy Savage

"Oh Yeah, dig it"? Randy Savage was as charismatic as he was athletic. A true performer in every sense of the word. The "Macho Man" Randy Savage spent most of his WWE career at the top of the card, facing challengers like Hulk Hogan, Ultimate Warrior, Ricky Steamboat and "Million Dollar Man" Ted Dibiase. Savage held the Heavyweight Championship twice, before deserting WWE in 1994. Sadly, Randy "Macho Man" Savage passed away from a heart attack in 2011.

Rowdy Roddy Piper

The "Hot Rod" was the biggest and baddest heel in the 80s. He was a degenerate. A foul-mouthed, no-nonsense character, that spit in the face of the forces of good. One half of the tandem that imparted you the "Rock n Wrestling Connection," Piper devoured the early 80s rolling around the ring with Hulk Hogan and Mr. T, and playing antagonist to musician Cyndi Lauper. Piper also starred in many movies including the cult classic "They Live." Piper lingers an active character with a limited role in the WWE. Piper hosts his live skit "Piper's Pit" on television several times a year.

Hulk Hogan

Many argue that if it weren't for Hulk Hogan, there would be no professional wrestling as we know it. And I accept it to be concrete. Hulk Hogan was the consummate showman, and the only character grandiose enough to usher in the evolutionary sports entertainment. With his signature red and yellow colors, Hogan would parade to the ring and tear his shirt off in front of thousands of "Hulk-a-maniacs" every day of the week. In 1987, Hogan drew 93,000 devotees to Wrestlemania three for his match against Andre the Giant. Hulk Hogan is the ultimate 80s icon, and wrestlers worldwide owe him a debt of gratitude. If it weren't for Hulk Hogan, there may not be a wrestling industry.

The 1980s remains a treasured memory for many wrestling fans. When pro wrestling was about good versus evil, and not about sex and violence. Although the wrestling wasn't nearly as exciting as it is today, in our minds, there wasn't a better era in wrestling.


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    • Paul Kuehn profile image

      Paul Richard Kuehn 2 years ago from Udorn City, Thailand

      I agree that there can't be a better decade for pro wrestling than the 80s. I agree with your selections for the 5 greatest wrestlers, but surprisingly don't remember much about the Ultimate Warrior. I only remember seeing Rowdy Roddy Piper wrestle a few times, but I really loved it when he put the sleeper hold on his opponents. Voted up and sharing with HP followers.