Editorials

Greatest Wrestler Ever Ballot

For those unaware, Pro Wrestling Only is a message board that focuses exclusively on wrestling. While there are plenty of message boards that can lay claim to this, I always felt that Pro Wrestling Only, also known as PWO, stood out because of the breadth and depth of discussion found within its technological walls. Charles Lynch and Will, the good ole one from Texas 🙂 , have built themselves a message board where a critical eye isn’t just welcomed; it is encouraged.

Part of the allure of PWO is the tendency of the message board to take on large ideas and even larger tasks. There are no easy answers at PWO, because more than anything it’s a message board where the discussion is key, not the end result. For the past year and a half, or thereabouts, a project of immense proportions has been brewing at PWO. That project was masterminded by Steven Graham with the intent to replicate a poll that had been published on another, and long since dead, message board ten years earlier. That project is called Greatest Wrestler Ever, and boy is it a doozy.

The goal was to use critical thinking and discussion to break down who the greatest wrestler of all time happens to be. There were various parameters set in place; such as a wrestler needing to be nominated via published reviews to be considered, you can only submit a final list of one hundred wrestlers, etc. Eventually tag teams were added to the discussion as well, and for over a year and a half there has been plenty of tremendous discussions taking place about the Greatest Wrestler Ever, GWE, project on the PWO message boards.

There were bumps in the road, arguments about merit, nominations, and much more. In the end though I went with the same criteria I had gone with from the beginning. I created my lists based purely on in-ring work, and as I am not someone who ascribes to Great Match Theory I ranked my wrestlers based on the whole of their careers instead of just how many great matches they had. If you’re interested in any of the discussions, the rules, the arguments, or anything else GWE related just visit this subforum of PWO and have at it. If you are one of the people interested in submitting a ballot I’d keep an even closer eye on said subforum.

Due to some personal differences I stopped posting at PWO late in 2015. All the same, I still support the message board and will tell anyone who cares to listen that it is the best message board about pro wrestling on the internet. I put a lot of effort into GWE discussions, and I don’t want that work to go to waste. Therefore I now present to you my final lists for the GWE project. Twenty five tag teams and one hundred singles wrestlers brought about by a lot of discussion and thought. A process I enjoyed greatly and a project I am glad to see reach its end point. An end point that will be occurring, according to Steven, sometime in the week following WrestleMania 32.

But that’s enough from me, here are the lists,

Tag Teams

25) Genichiro Tenryu & Stan Hansen
24) Enforcers (Arn Anderson & Larry Zbyszko)
23) America’s Most Wanted (Chris Harris & James Storm)
22) Doom (Ron Simmons & Butch Reed)
21) Heavenly Bodies (Stan Lane & Tom Prichard)
20) British Bulldogs (Davey Boy Smith & Dynamite Kid)
19) Demolition (Ax & Smash)
18) Nightmares (#1 & #2)
17) Dudley Boyz (Bubba Ray & D-Von)
16) Hart Foundation (Bret Hart & Jim Neidhart)
15) Can-Am Express (Doug Furnas & Dan Kroffat)
14) Los Villanos (IV & V)
13) Brain Busters (Arn Anderson & Tully Blanchard)
12) PG-13 (JC Ice & Wolfie D)
11) Los Gringos Locos (Eddie Guerrero & Art Barr)
10) Briscoe Brothers (Jay & Mark)
9) Steiner Brothers (Rick & Scott)
8) Rockers (Marty Jannetty & Shawn Michaels)
7) Heavenly Bodies (Jimmy Del Ray & Tom Prichard)
6) Akira Taue & Jumbo Tsuruta
5) Hardy Boyz (Jeff & Matt)
4) Fantastics (Bobby Fulton & Tommy Rogers)
3) Midnight Express (Bobby Eaton & Dennis Condrey)
2) Rock ‘n’ Roll Express (Ricky Morton & Robert Gibson)
1) Midnight Express (Bobby Eaton & Stan Lane)

Singles

100) Jay Briscoe
99) Greg Valentine
98) Davey Boy Smith
97) Timothy Thatcher
96) Carlos Colon
95) Lex Luger
94) Sting
93) Stan Lane
92) Dick Togo
91) Emilio Charles Jr.
90) Angel Azteca
89) Barry Windham
88) Bob Backlund
87) Zoltan Boscik
86) Mariko Yoshida
85) Brock Lesnar
84) Dory Funk Jr.
83) Jerry Estrada
82) Kerry von Erich
81) Rick Rude
80) Invader #1
79) Mick McManus
78) Dick Murdoch
77) Chigusa Nagayo
76) Atlantis
75) Tito Santana
74) Mick Foley
73) Jerry Blackwell
72) Manami Toyota
71) Mocho Cota
70) Matt Hardy
69) Akira Maeda
68) Jon Cortez
67) Necro Butcher
66) Chris Benoit
65) Andre the Giant
64) John Cena
63) Aja Kong
62) AJ Styles
61) Bret Hart
60) Bestia Salvaje
59) Tully Blanchard
58) Super Dragon
57) Megumi Kudo
56) 2 Cold Scorpio
55) Mark Henry
54) Arn Anderson
53) Gran Hamada
52) Meiko Satomura
51) Jushin Thunder Liger
50) Bill Dundee
49) Jack Brisco
48) La Parka
47) Rick Martel
46) Pat O’Conner
45) Mascarita Dorada
44) Toshiyo Yamada
43) Jim Breaks
42) Buddy Rogers
41) Owen Hart
40) Genichiro Tenryu
39) Akira Hokuto
38) Chris Hero
37) Kenta Kobashi
36) Giant Baba
35) Eddie Guerrero
34) Blue Panther
33) Steve Austin
32) Kiyoshi Tamura
31) Daniel Bryan
30) Ricky Morton
29) Negro Casas
28) Terry Rudge
27) Villano III
26) Ricky Steamboat
25) El Satanico
24) Bobby Eaton
23) Randy Savage
22) Toshiaki Kawada
21) Virus
20) Ric Flair
19) Kurt Angle
18) Rey Mysterio Jr.
17) El Dandy
16) Billy Robinson
15) Mitsuharu Misawa
14) Steven Regal
13) Akira Taue
12) Terry Funk
11) Jun Akiyama
10) Dustin Rhodes
9) Bull Nakano
8) Jumbo Tsuruta
7) Vader
6) Shinya Hashimoto
5) Volk Han
4) El Hijo del Santo
3) Nick Bockwinkel
2) Jerry Lawler
1) Stan Hansen

There you have them, those are my lists. I’m sure that some, or most, will disagree with wrestlers I’ve left off the lists, wrestlers I have on the lists, and placement of wrestlers on the lists in general. That’s fine, the goal of such a project is discussion. Drop me a line on Twitter (@MOTYPod) or leave a comment on here if you feel like making such an argument or do the same if you just want to discuss any of the teams or wrestlers on the lists. Don’t forget to visit PWO and get your votes in, before WrestleMania 32, if you want to participate. Then check back the week after WrestleMania 32 and find out who ended up being named the Greatest Wrestler Ever.

Cheers,
Bill Thompson

About the author

Bill Thompson

I am the almighty Bill Thompson, father of a little girl, husband to an awesome wife, a paramedic/firefighter, and a fan of the Chicago Cubs. I've been writing about wrestling for some time now. You can find me writing about great matches at Blue Thunder Driver, or matches people have suggested I watch at Random Match Generator. I write about free matches legally available to watch online at Free Pro Wrestling and am a contributor to the Cubed Circle Newsletter. I'm also the Senior Writer for the magazine/website The Tag Rope. I'm happy to be on the Wrestling with Words ship, and have I mentioned I am a fan of the Chicago Cubs? Cause I am, like huge, as in they are my #1 priority. Just making sure we're on the same page...

  • Alvaro Bellamy

    Angle at 19? What? Except for that, nice top.

    • Bill Thompson

      The Angle pick will ruffle some feathers, I’m sure. He’s a guy I’ve always liked and there was a stretch of 6 years or so where I thought night in and night out he was in contention for best in the world.

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