Ring Ability (Technical) - Bret "The Hitman" Hart (Cruiserweight - Benoit/Jericho/Malenko)
Ring Ability (Storytelling) - "The Heartbreak Kid" Shawn Michaels
Ring Ability (Power) - Brock Lesnar
Ring Ability (Brawl) - Mick Foley
Ring Ability (High flyer) - Jushin Liger
Draw - "Stone Cold" Steve Austin
Promoter - Paul Heyman
Mic (Charisma/Serious) - Jake "The Snake" Roberts
Mic (Comedy) - Edge
Submission specialist - Chris Benoit
Tag team - Road Warriors
Stable - nWo
Gimmick - Undertaker
Hardcore - Mick Foley
Hardcore Hipster Special - "Sick" Nick Mondo
Look - Rick Rude
Went to Hollywood and ended up being more famous for being an Actor than a wrestler. Literally the only big time wrestler to have ever done this - The Rock
Legit bad motherfucker (without weapons) - Haku/Meng
Legit fighter (steroid free) - Dan Severn (Ken Shamrock has admitted to being a roidhead)
Legit fighter (other) - Brock Lesnar
Criminally never won a world title - Owen Hart
Announcer - JR
Manager - Bobby Heenan
Slag (old school) - Miss Elizabeth
Slag (modern) - Trish Stratus
Slag (bonermaker) - Sunny
Fatty - Vader
European- Dynamite Kid
Putting People Over - Daniel Bryan
Heel (team/overall) - Dudley Boyz in ECW
Heel (individual) - Rick Rude (though it could be that Mexican guy from before we were born who used to get threatened in the streets)
Botch - SABU / Goldberg / Mabel
Strong Style - ROH Samoa Joe / Shinsuke Nakamura
Shoot (Interview) - Jim Cornette
Not in WWE - AJ Styles
Jobber - Brooklyn Brawler / Gillberg
Best Big Guy (6'10"+) - Undertaker
Color Commentary (pro) - Jerry Lawler
Color Commentary (guest) - CM Punk
Pop - Mick Foley first title on RAW
Asshole - Vince Russo
In ring cunt - New Jack
Potato - Bob Holly/JBL
Well rounded - Kurt Angle
Entrance (one off) - Shawn Michaels WMXXII
Entrance (general) - Ultimate Warrior
Entrance (theme) - Sycho Sid
Debut - Kane (He's alive Undertaker!/ BAH GAWD, IT'S GOTTA BE KANE!)
I fell into a festive coma last time this thread was up so here we go again.
The aim of the list is to ultimately be definitive and is predominantly formed by general consensus. I have shown on numerous occasions that I am more than happy for my personal opinion to be overridden by the mob except in circumstances where the mob hasn't got a fucking clue what they're on about. I have made a few additions and alterations from the previous list based on what I observed between me going AWOL and the old thread 404ing.
Unequivocally the best businessman. That goes without saying.
But consider what Vince was doing in the early-mid nineties. Generic big men and comedy acts galore. Susceptible to the whims of a "clique" - literal or otherwise. At the time, his competition was Bill Turner's charity sinkhole whose gimmicks and gross underbooking of legitimate talents were patronising their ever disillusioned fanbase. Between the two, it was a race to the bottom.
Paul Heyman saved wrestling. Without his freaky camera shots and "outsider" gimmick, there would be no nWo. Without his edgy storylines and hardcore action, there would be no attitude era. Most pertinently, had he not promoted his cruiserweight talents as legitimate wrestlers. the landscape of 2000s wrestling would have looked very different. If indeed, it existed at all in any meaningful way.
Heyman > McMahon
If you find the original version of this thread in the archives, you will note that the list was considerably shorter.
By all means, give me some categories with relevant nominations and I will add them.
My saying VkM is the best businessman of all time isn't an endorsement of his credentials as a human being.
Far from it. He's an unsavoury pile of shit and that's being generous. I have no respect for who is or what he does.
Nevertheless, economics (not my personal feelings on the man or whether his obtaining of wealth were ethical) are what determines who the best businessman is and the best businessman in wrestling history is unequivocally Vince McMahon jr.
Nominate a better wrestling businessman and I'll laugh at your reaching effort.
Also anybody who actually put on a product fans wanted to pay for instead of telling them what they wanted to increasingly-atrophying market.
Remember that, just after a year of Vince having a monopoly, the audience shrunk by 30%
But who has that monopoly? The end-game of capitalism...
Bischoff wasn't a businessman. He was hired by Billionaire Ted to pump ideas into his black-hole. He didn't risk a single cent of his own.
Even though this is moot since I just explained how Bischoff isn't a businessman, he stole the edgy outside gimmick from ECW. And that was a fluke that lasted three years top.
Vince McMahon is still running shit and Bischoff... well... isn't?
As I said in my "Why Heyman was a better promoter than Vince was", if we're talking wrestling for wrestling's sake, Vince has overseen so many booking catastrophes and has diminished the overall fanbase so much that it doesn't even bear considering.
Yet despite his multitude of calamities, he is still the man with bank.
If that doesn't convince you of his prowess as a businessman then give me another nomination.
Yet it's the same man who absorbed the willing territories and literally destroyed the unwilling ones (against his fathers wishes) before ultimately buying out his remaining competitors.
On paper, his acumen looks shit but it's the one that granted him a monopoly. Even though it was to the detriment of the industry as a whole.
McMahon is a horrible, horrible person for what he's done to the industry and it is shrinking by the week due to his sheer arrogance. He's probably going to be the man who kills the sport dead.
Nevertheless, he's the embodiment of the American Dream. He destroyed his competitors and made a pretty penny in doing so. So long as he has his, why should he give the slightest shit about what happens to the sport?
Or maybe create a Cruiserweight technical division?
Not sure if you read the preceding threads but as we couldn't put Bret as both technical and storyteller, boytoy was given storyteller and fair dues.
I couldn't deny it.
He's one of the best in the realms of ring ability, storytelling, mic (serious), mic (funny), legit and dare I say, draw. Would have been in the running for theme if it wasn't ripped from The Patriot.
He isn't number one in any of those particular categories but he's in the top five of all of them.
Kurt Angle is a phenomenon in the sport and that's why I gave him space in the OP because he has earned every pixel of it.