My Top Five: Wrestlers.
BEFORE ANYONE LICKS THEIR FINGERS...
I know it's fake.
I know you loved it when you were a kid.
I know I can just watch UFC and enjoy real fighting.
I know Hulk Hogan's a cartoon, brother.
I know you're sick of John Cena at the end of every video on Facebook.
I know... and I just don't care.
Also, I'm not saying these are the five best wrestlers.
I'm not saying that at all.
I'm just saying these are the five guys I enjoy watching perform the most.
Enjoy the read.
5. Shawn Michaels.
If someone makes a list like this, there's a great chance that... ahem.
THE HEART BREAK KID, MR. WRESTLEMANIA, THE SHOW-STOPPAH, THE ICON, THE HEADLINER, THE MAIN EVENT, SHAWWWWN MICHAELS!
In all seriousness, he's probably the greatest performer in the biz.
HBK vs Bret Hart? Always a classic.
HBK vs Ric at Wrestlemania 24? "I love you... I'm sorry", tears, every time.
HBK vs Taker at Mania? Both times, both 5 star matches.
What about the legendary ladder match against Razor Ramon at Mania 10?!
He put on legendary matches all the damn time, was a good enough promo, and with the exception of a controversial match against Hulk Hogan, never put on anything less than an outstanding match.
If you ask 100 WWE wrestlers who inspired them growing up, I bet most of 'em would say Shawn Michaels.
Champions Finn Balor and Seth Rollins certainly think so...
But more about them later.
In my humble opinion, and in the opinions of millions and millions across the globe, HBK is the GOAT.
Plus, that finisher? The Sweet Chin Music?
Who doesn't love a good superkick?
4. Finn Balor/Prince Devitt.
Hardcore marks knew all about Fergal Devitt long before he made his NXT debut, but nowadays, anyone with 9.99 is a fan of... ahem... Finn Balor.
I have a theory about what makes a wrestler great.
It's not about the moveset, guys like Tyson Kidd can't buy a pop unless their wife is on Total Divas.
It's not about the microphone ability, most fans can't stand the Miz, and he had "Xpac heat" during his forgettable WWE Championship run.
It's not about the look, because let's face it, even the most cliche, red-blooded heterosexual man has to admit that Roman Reigns is a good lookin' dude.
I think it has to do with their... presence.
Think about it.
Brock Lesnar, the Undertaker, and even Triple H at this point aren't fantastic wrestlers.
Brock Lesnar punches, suplexes, and F-5's.
The Undertaker goes through the motions.. but doesn't do so briskly.
And Triple H has torn his quad and hurt his back and god knows what else for the business over the years... he's Hardly Half the Helmsley he used to be.
Yet, every time we hear the gong, the motorhead, or whatever that noise at the beginning of Brock's song is, we get chills.
The Undertaker's entrance is breathtaking, Brock intimidates even the strongest men, and there's just a respect for Triple H.
It's an intangible.
Finn Balor has that.
When he performs as the demon... even older wrestling fans get caught up in it.
Even the most cynical fans start to forget that Finn and the Demon are the same man.
Not to mention, he's just fun to watch.
He does a lot of great kicks and some exciting flying movements, including his finisher, the coups de gras.
Nobody knows how or when Balor will debut on the main roster... but I bet it'll be awesome.
Some heels are so cool, you just can't help but love them, even in their darkest moments.
Edge epitomizes that.
He went from the scary bad guy in the Brood, to the cocky bad guy with Christian, to one of the most evil men in the biz by himself.
He's done all the heel classics.
He's faced all the face icons.
His feuds with Batista, Matt Hardy, and John Cena are legendary.
It's a real shame that he had to retire so young, because if he had stayed around, he might've been one of those guys you mention among the all time greats.
2. Seth Rollins.
If God could create the perfect wrestler, I imagine it would look a lot like Seth Rollins.
What is it that a wrestler needs?
Like it or not, McMahon likes his wrestlers at least 6 feet tall and ripped.
While he's not a cloud, Rollins might be the most physically gifted superstar the company has.
He's gotta be able to talk on the microphone.
While Rollins had a rough start, he's definitely improved.
When Rollins gets to go out and cut heel promos, he's among the best in the biz.
Hell, after Money in the Bank, he came out and thanked himself repeatedly.
And he's gotta be able to...
And boy, can he wrestle.
If I had to describe Rollins' style in the ring, it's like a lovechild of Jeff Hardy, Shawn Michaels, Eddie Guerrero, and CM Punk.
Despite being 6'2, Rollins has no problem going to the top rope to hit a frog splash or his beautiful phoenix splash.
Rollins has been in amazing matches with the likes of Randy Orton, Dean Amrbrose, John Cena, and Dolph Ziggler.
He may be a heel now, but just wait until he turns face, with his exciting style of offense, fans are going to flock to him.
Ya know, maybe the reason he wrestles like CM Punk is because Punk was his first trainer.
It's funny I mention Punk because...
1. CM Punk.
For me, my infatuation with professional wrestling begins and ends with this man right here.
What is there to say about CM Punk?
CM Punk was...
CM Punk was attitude in the PG era.
CM Punk was relentless on the microphone.
CM Punk was a storyteller inside the ring.
CM Punk was... the best in the world.
From his days on the indies, CM Punk was CM Punk.
If you go back and watch him in Ring of Honor, you'll see the same guy who should've main-evented Wrestlemania 29.
As a worker, it's hard to find a bad CM Punk match.
His matches against Jeff Hardy, Rey Mysterio, the Undertaker, Daniel Bryan, Chris Jericho, John Cena, and Brock Lesnar were amazing. Just awesome.
While many wrestlers on the independent scene obsess over setting up big spots, Punk had mastered the real secret to putting on a good match, and that was telling a story.
The matches against Brock Lesnar at SummerSlam, John Cena at Money in the Bank, and Chris Jericho at Wrestlemania and Extreme Rules especially could've been sold without promos... but that would've been a waste.
Because as good as Punk was in the ring, his real gift was on the microphone.
CM Punk might've been the very best talker in WWE history.
As a face, he could ridicule his opponent, while putting them over, while keeping the crowd on his style.
And as a heel... it didn't quite matter how much you loved him, he could blur the lines between fiction and reality, making you really, really hate him.
He was the Best in the World... and wrestling just isn't the same without him.