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Thread: A SCF Greatest Of All Time List?

  1. #11
    Senior Member Fallout's Avatar

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    And here's my 6-10:

    Click for Spoiler:

    6: Bruno Sammartino



    Why is he here?
    If Hulk Hogan were Alexander The Great, Bruno Sammartino would be Philip of Macedon. He made it possible for the Hogan era to be what it was by establishing the WWF as a serious force in the wrestling industry, alongside the NWA and AWA through his sheer drawing power and two gargantuan runs with the WWF title at 2,803 days and 1,237 days respectively. The WWF, whilst launched into the stratosphere by Hulk Hogan, was the house Bruno built.

    Why is he below Gotch?
    Despite Sammartino's dominance within his own pasture, the NWA was still alive and well during his prime. He never got an opportunity to face the likes of Harley Race until after his peak, and some like Verne Gagne, not at all, so for his best defences, you're looking at Giant Baba, Killer Kowalski and Stan Hansen. All big names that will undoubtedly make this list, but after them, the pool gets a little more shallow. To put it simply, at the time, the WWF was not the biggest pond. Hell, Baba wasn't even a fixture in the WWF, and Hansen achieved his greatest fame in Japan.

    7: Stone Cold Steve Austin



    Why is he here?
    The biggest star in the last serious promotional feud in America, Austin was instrumental in winning the Monday Night War for the WWF. He was a dominant performer with huge matches and wins to his name, and a merchandising and pop culture phenomenon to this day. Together with Vince McMahon, the two changed how wrestling stories would be told forever more and drew mainstream popularity that rivalled the golden era of the 1980's.

    Why is he below Bruno?
    Longevity. Before 1997, Austin was an upper-midcard wrestler, and that's being generous. His in-ring career ended in 2003. He also took long hiatuses, such as his time to heal injuries at the end of 1999 and his sabbatical in 2002. Bruno may have had less dates to work, but his first title reign lasted longer than the entirety of Austin's main-event run.

    8: Ed "Strangler" Lewis



    Why is he here?
    I mentioned the Goldust Trio in my Frank Gotch write-up, but here's a more in-depth explanation. The Goldust Trio consisted of manager Billy Sandow, promoter Toots Mondt, and of course, wrestler Ed Lewis. Whilst the likes of Gotch and Hackenschmidt had helped wrestling move past the confines of a carnival attraction, it was these three men that developed the concept of a match card, time-limit matches and storylines in wrestling, essentially expanding upon the concept of kayfabe like no-one before or since.

    Lewis was the most important member of the trifecta arguably. As I've mentioned previously, to avoid running the risk of titles being stolen by those taking matters into their own hands, whether out of wanting to secure their own fame, or being paid to by rival promoters, your top star needed to be the toughest of the tough. And Lewis, in his prime, was exactly that. A 4-time World Heavyweight Wrestling Champion made him the champion with the most reigns with that belt previously held by the likes of Gotch and Stetcher, as well as the longest combined reign in days of the championship. A match with Jim Londos in 1934 drew in over 35,000 fans and $96,302, which, adjusted for inflation, is a colossal amount of money today, and the tickets from the match itself are considered valuable antique items.

    Why is he below Austin?
    A lot of the contributions Lewis made, whilst instrumental to wrestling as we know it today, were outside of the ring rather than within it, as well as in conjunction with Toots Mondt and Billy Sandow. In terms of judging accomplishments strictly in terms of the ring, Lewis advanced the medium tremendously, but did not reach the same heights as those higher on the list in terms of dominance.

    Also, from what I hear, his match against Ray Steele made Hogan and Warrior at Halloween Havoc '98 look like Savage and Steamboat 10 times over. Who on earth thought that was a good idea?

    9: Antonio Inoki



    Why is he here?
    After the untimely death of Rikidozan, puroresu was in great jeopardy of fading away. But in a post-Rikidozan era, it was Antonio Inoki who helped secure a stable stronghold for the medium in Japan. Not only did Inoki perpetually sell out arenas in Japan and draw viewership only rivalled by Rikidozan, he also drew massive crowds in NORTH KOREA on more than one occasion, and even fought Muhammad Ali, the greatest boxer of all-time, to a 15-round draw in a shoot-fight whilst Ali was still in his prime. These feats and others, such as defeating Bob Backlund for the WWF Championship (although the reign was not recognised), making Andre The Giant submit in 1986 and modernising Japanese wrestling as we know it today, secured Inoki's position on this list.

    Why is he below Lewis?
    He and Lewis are very similar in that they were both hugely influential inside and outside the ring. The difference that ranks Lewis above the two is that Inoki very much built upon the framework left behind by the likes of Rikidozan. Ed Lewis's contributions affected wrestling on a global scale, whereas Inoki, for the most part, was contained to Japan.

    10: Andre The Giant



    Why is he here?
    Andre wasn't THE guy during his time, but he was certainly the guy that drew the most eyes and attention for his gargantuan height and bulk, and a presence in the business that could never be recaptured. He was as important as Hogan for ensuring the success of Wrestlemania 3, and had an unparalleled run of dominance during the 1970's. Whether as a face or a heel, Andre captured the intrigue and attention of audience's around the world, and became one of wrestling's most successful draws, earning $400,000 during one year in the early 70's alone.

    Why is he below Inoki?

    As I said, Andre undoubtedly is the greatest wrestler of all-time that wasn't THE guy, to the point that he transcends wrestling. It just so happens the 9 men above him were the top-dogs in their era and area of prominence. Andre definitely had his days as the top dog, but I wouldn't go as far to pen him in the tier of those above him.

    "We are not entitled to our opinions. We are entitled to our informed opinions." - Harlan Ellison (1934 - 2018)

  2. #12
    Senior Member SSJPhenom's Avatar

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    Here's my 6-10

    6. Antonio Inoki

    If we're talking success and impact then there are very few wrestlers that have meant more to a nation and to the world then Inoki does to Japan and to the world. He was trained by Rikidozan at a young age and became one of the most, if not the most successful wrestlers in the history of Japan. He created and founded NJPW which is probably, outside of the WWE, the most famous and successful wrestling organizations in the world. That's not all though. Along with Ric Flair, he headlined two shows in North Korea that drew 150,000 and 190,000 people respectively. The largest two live crowds to ever be at a wrestling event. Also, in 1979 He defeated Bob Backlund for the WWF Championship. Not to mention his fight with Muhammad Ali in 1976 that a lot of people credit as the precursor to modern MMA. Inoki was and is one of the biggest names in the history of Professional wrestling and based on what he's done and accomplished in Japan, he deserves to be on this list.

    7. Andre the Giant

    Without a shadow of a doubt the most successful attraction in the history of professional wrestling. Wherever this man performed, people showed up. Not to mention his mainstream success and appeal. At one point, it is not hyperbole to say that Andre was the most famous athlete in the world. Whether it was wrestling events, movies, television shows/interviews, etc. Andre captured the awe of the world. Had he of won some titles and done things like that, I think he'd be right up at the top with Hogan. Andre's influence is still felt in wrestling today. Big Show straight up started his career being billed as Andre's son and the Undertaker pretty much became that attraction type performer that Andre was. His impact on wrestling is very profound.

    8. Lou Thesz

    Say what you will about wrestlers pre-1980, but Thesz was probably the best of the bunch. He is a 15 time world champion and he held the NWA Heavyweight championship 3 times for a combined total of 10 years, 3 months, and 9 days. Longer than anyone else in history. Why is he not higher on the list then? As I said in my Flair post, IMO, I don't think the big names of wrestling pre-1980 had as big an impact on the business as the big names post 1980 had. Was Thesz great? Absolutely. Was he a huge draw? Of course. Having said that, though, what was his impact on wrestling? Did he impact the business in more profound ways than the names listed above? IMO, no he did not and that's why he isn't higher on my list.

    9. John Cena

    Say what you will about Cena and while you're saying it make sure to realize that he's been the absolute biggest name in Professional Wrestling from 2005-2015. A decade of being on top in the wrestling world. What makes that so impressive to me, though, is that he's spent a decade on top of wrestling during a time where people have gone from being World Champion level performers to mid card lever performers to not performing at all. I remember when I was a kid; if a wrestler was a former WHC, they pretty much spent the rest of their career at or near the top of the card. Now a days, in wrestling, we've had people like Sheamus, Alberto Del Rio, Jack Swagger, and most recently Kofi Kingston. They've been World Champions and some of them aren't even performing any more and the ones that are performing are lucky if they're on a kick off show or the first match on the card. During these times, Cena has not only remained relevant, but he's remained at the absolute top of the card. Where SCSA left off, Cena took over. Longevity has to mean something and while a lot of the names on this list do have longevity; they did it in a time period where long reigns at the top were common place. Cena has done it during the most volatile and flip floppy time period in the history of the business. He deserves credit for that and our respect. IMO, that makes him one the ten greatest professional wrestlers of all time.

    10. Macho Man Randy Savage

    Again, we're talking about impact and success and when talking about that, Macho Man is right there with the gentlemen I've already named. His influence on wrestling is still being felt today. Not only was he a top draw during his time, doing what few were able to do during the Hogan era and that was hold on to the Championship for a significant time period, but his charisma and ring work put him a class not many made it to. During the late 80s and early 90s while Hulkamania was running wild and Flair was the man, everyone else was snapping into a Slim Jim. People to this day still try and imitate his voice and mannerisms. CM Punk would climb the top rope, point to the sky, and drop an elbow. Jay Lethal made a career off of imitating Savage. Bottom line is Savage had the success, the impact, and the mainstream appeal that only a few wrestlers had and because of that I think he's one of the 10 greatest Professional Wrestlers of all time.
    Last edited by SSJPhenom; 12-09-2019 at 02:44 PM.

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  4. #13
    Senior Member Fallout's Avatar

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    I'm going to leave this open for further contributions for a week longer, then I'll tally up the four lists we've got so far.

    "We are not entitled to our opinions. We are entitled to our informed opinions." - Harlan Ellison (1934 - 2018)

  5. #14
    Senior Member Fallout's Avatar

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    Still a few days left for contributions before I tally up the average.

    "We are not entitled to our opinions. We are entitled to our informed opinions." - Harlan Ellison (1934 - 2018)

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