Twilling's Blog: Where does Shawn Michaels rank amongst the greatest WWE Superstars of all time?
Wednesday, MARCH 31 - 3:36 P.M. (CT)
-Just before the WrestleMania 14 main event, Shawn Michaels and Triple H made their way through the locker room toward the Gorilla position. As Michaels turned to the camera to make a dedication, Jim Ross proclaimed, "He's the greatest WWE Champion of all time folks."
Michaels retired that night although it was never officially announced or celebrated. Fast forward twelve years and Michaels has hung up the boots for good (for now at least). Michaels returned from injury in 2002 and his second stint with WWE was in itself a Hall of Fame career.
A lot of wrestlers come and go. Some of them are labeled with the "great" or "elite" tag, but very few are referred to as "the best of all time." In the WWE, there are a few names that can be referred to as the greatest WWE Superstar/Champion/Wrestler of all time.
-Hulk Hogan: The most recognizable name in the history of wrestling. He was the man who put wrestling on the worldwide map. He literally transcended the business and was responsible for making a lot of people a lot of money. It's difficult to argue against Hogan.
-The Rock: Rock is a mainstream movie star and the most successful crossover talent WWE has ever produced. He was also one of the top stars of the Attitude Era, which was arguably the best in the history of the company. Rock's WWE tenure was not long enough to make him the best ever, but he made a huge impact while he was there.
-Steve Austin: Nobody did more in less time than Austin. While Hogan put WWE on the map, Austin saved WWE from going out of business. His time at the top of the card transcended the business all over again. He doesn't have Hogan's longevity, but he did have Hogan's success. A lot of people will argue for Austin and would have a great argument.
-Bret Hart: Unfortunately, a lot of people will remember Bret for what they saw at Mania 26. Older fans will remember how great he was. Hart paved the way for stars like MIchaels and Chris Jericho. Hart was the first "smaller" guy to be given a run at the top of the WWE card with Vince McMahon in charge. Bret is one of the best ever, but probably not the best.
-Bruno Sammartino: It would have been interesting to see Bruno in the pay-per-view era. It's difficult to say whether or not he would have been such a huge star, but when he was in his prime, he had one of the most impressive careers in WWE history.
While all five of these stars all have a case of being the best ever, none of them crack the top two. Either of the top two could be interchangeable as the top WWE wrestler of all time.
-The Undertaker: Minus a few injury issues, Taker has been going strong since 1990 in WWE. He did not jump to WCW when it looked like the WWE ship was sinking. He has had a connection with the crowd that is as strong now as ever. He always brings it at WrestleMania and gets good matches out of not so good opponents. Finally, he had two of the best Mania matches ever in the last two years. Taker is one of the two best WWE Superstars ever.
-Shawn Michaels: Nobody has ever been better for longer in the ring. He was a damn good babyface and a damn good heel. Even on his way out the door, he was still the best in-ring performer in WWE. He was so good that he did not even need the WWE Championship. It was like the title was not good enough for him. Michaels' career was nothing short of legendary. To me, he and the Undertaker are the two best ever. Arguing that would be very difficult.
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