In its 61 years, the World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) has seen some of the most powerful men in the world compete for gold and glory. From the most unthinkable of gimmicks to the most charismatic of men, the largest wrestling promotion in the world has created and shown it all. There are names which slid into oblivion and there are names which became legends. There is no doubt that the WWE and its crop list of wrestlers continue to entertain wrestling fans across the world but there is a point when a die-hard wrestling aficionado starts missing some of the glorious days of wrestling when the fights were real tough and the gimmicks were jaw-dropping. The WWE is currently being criticized for its predictable storylines and feuds, which is why it is time to bring back some of the big names (and introduce a legend) to make this period of sports entertainment as memorable as the Attitude Era, maybe more. Here are top 5 wrestlers who the WWE must get on board to cement its dominion in the hearts of wrestling fans once and for all.
He is the greatest wrestler never to have fought in the WWE and is perhaps the only one who has actually refused numerous offers from the world’s most widely recognized entertainment wrestling federation. Sting, who is currently associated with the TNA, would have undoubtedly gained respect in the WWE locker room as much as he commands it at his current place. He has been a 15-time world heavyweight champion during his association with TNA and, previously, with the WCW. For wrestling believers, Sting is god. His moves inside the ring continue to baffle his illustrious opponents especially since he performs the maneuvers at the age of 54. With a list of accomplishments that can put any WWE wrestler – other than Hulk Hogan and the Undertaker – to shame, Sting aka Steve Borden must have a match against any of the legendary or top billed WWE wrestlers even if for just one time. Even though he never signed on with WWE, the promotion described Sting as “one of the most popular and respected competitors of all time”. It is time Vince McMahan persuades him to join WWE.
From among the current WWE roster, there are only two names who can match Sting’s stature – John Cena and Undertaker. Being then reigning WWE champion and the most popular face of the promotion, a match between John Cena and Sting will be nothing less than epical. However, since Cena is not a fan favourite these days, there will be more support for Sting which is why the Undertaker would be a far better option. Sting’s in-ring arsenal consists of some of the most technically brilliant moves including the Scorpion Deathlock (the Sharpshooter) and the Undertaker is the grandmaster of wrestling. The Undertaker has never tapped out in his career spanning almost three decades while no one has escaped Sting’s Scorpion Deathlock.
Batista was nicknamed “The Animal” in the WWE and he proved to one and all why the name suited him. The ferocious intensity he brought in all his matches with any opponent was animalistic, may I say. Batista’s in-ring moves were powerful as was the built of his body. Of course, there were allegations of steroid use and controversy over his remarks demeaning both Raw and SmackDown brands of the WWE but that was before he left the promotion to seek a career in MMA. He has fought only one match as an MMA fighter perhaps because he is too busy in Hollywood these days. Is he trying to do what Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson has succeeded in? That would be a bad idea on all fronts. Dave Batista is a custom-built wrestling machine and he should stick to that.
The WWE fans rejoiced the day Brock Lesnar thundered into the ring and F5-ed John Cena. Since then he has made quite a few regular appearances to as recently as in Wrestlemania 29, where he was defeated by Triple H. Lesnar has had a highly successful career in WWE before leaving it in 2004 to pursue MMA (where he partly succeeded) and football (where he failed). His return in 2012 boosted WWE’s ratings. Lesnar is a big bad man and Batista is ‘The Animal’. The F5 v/s the Batista Bomb; if the ring doesn’t gives away, you gotta be kidding me!
3. Ken Shamrock:
The undisputed king of fighting itself, this MMA great has been dubbed ‘The World’s Most Dangerous Man’ by ABC news. Kenneth Wayne Shamrock or Ken Shamrock, as he is billed, is not the man anyone in any kind of wrestling federation will like to rub the wrong way. Shamrock can beat the hell out of any wrestler, even cursorily mentioned in this list, in a street fight. The inventor of the Ankle Lock, Shamrock can be as ruthless as a rogue MMA warrior comes. In a rather short stay of two years from 1997 to 1999 with the WWF (as the WWE was known back then), Shamrock made a name for himself like no other wrestler before him, feuding with the likes of The Undertaker and British Bulldog. He went back to MMA and is now considered a legend in its arena. If the WWE manages to lure him back, hell certainly will seem to be a better place than the ring.
Choosing an opponent for Shamrock is like choosing a mountain for a mountain crusher. The problem is because people are aware of Shamrock’s ferocity and his technical brilliance which can outsmart anyone in the ring. This means his opponent should have years of experience behind him plus the technical brilliance required to face a 15-time MMA headliner. Who fits that bill? If it were not for Lesnar, there wouldn’t have been anyone in the current WWE crop to face Shamrock. But wait! What about Ryback? Will he be able to “feed” on Shamrock?
2. Stone Cold:
Whenever the glass shattering theme of ‘The Rattlesnake’ plays everyone in the arena stands up either to catch a better glimpse of this man or out of respect. There is no denying that the entire Attitude Era, the most successful period in WWE history, was defined by two men. One was The Rock and the other was Stone Cold Steve Austin. The Rock is back in the WWE and is going great. Stone Cold, on the other hand, keeps making sporadic appearances but is yet to fight in a full-fledged match. Injuries and differences with WWE forced him into retirement in 2003 (although he refereed in 2004 Wrestlemania XX match between Brock Lesnar and Goldberg). Austin 3:16 has not been heard for quite a long time now and fans will have a treat once the beer guzzling antihero distributes Stunners inside the squared circle. Buzz is he will return at Wrestlemania 30. Fingers are crossed here!
There is only one man, an encounter with whom will send the ratings tearing through the roof: The Rock. It was The Rock who defeated Stone Cold in Wrestlemania XIX, the last match of ‘The Rattlesnake’. It would, therefore, be fitting if Stone Cold faces The Rock at next year’s Wrestlemania. But it seems the board has other plans (and I would say they are not bad). CM Punk is being prepared to face off against Stone Cold next year. Events in the past and a YouTube video certainly point to that. Punk is a known straightedge superstar who, despite promoted as a heel, is cheered by fans. It would be a match between two men with starkly opposite real-life attitudes.
There is no wrestler, past or present, who can boast of the ability to leave opponents decimated in a matter of minutes (less than three to be precise) as Bill Goldberg. An MMA veteran, Goldberg wrestled in the WCW before entering the WWE arena in 2003. His first opponent: The Rock, who else. Goldberg holds a record 173 consecutive wins since his professional wrestling debut. He is strong and agile, and is armed with some earth-shattering moves, particularly the Spear – a running shoulder drive into the abdomen section of a standing opponent. No one has been able to execute the Spear better than Goldberg. He lasted just one year in the WWE within which he won the World Heavyweight Championship; faced all the top ranked wrestlers of the time; and, defeated all of them in singles competition. The unstoppable Goldberg faced Brock Lesnar in what was their last match in the WWE (both had decided to leave the promotion for MMA), which was won by the former.
Triple H was Goldberg’s biggest rival during the latter’s period in WWE, but back then ‘The Cerebral Assassin’ was a heel. Triple H is now a face of the brand and Goldberg is unlikely to turn heel. This means that a Goldberg-Triple H match will not generate enough craze. But a rising John Cena is the perfect opponent for Goldberg. Cena’s brute strength is not a secret and despite being the promotion’s babyface, he is booed by the WWE universe. Goldberg spearing Cena will give the fans a lot to feel happy about. And just in case that does not happen, there is always a Brock Lesnar to fall back on.