Nike shoes for wrestling have enjoyed success for quite a while now and have been strongly promoted by some of the most popular faces of the sport. While professional wrestling is not remotely as popular in Europe as it is in the United States, it has become a global phenomenon which attracts the attention of fans worldwide.
The reason for this may simply be the fact that wrestling is one of the most aggressive performance arts out there since it depends on kicking and throwing your opponent while also entertaining the thousands of people who are watching you. Even though some of the moves are pre-determined, this sport really requires an elite level of fitness and mental toughness.
Since this all started on American soil, it is only natural that the best and biggest wrestling companies are American and the most famous wrestlers in the world are also working here. With that in mind, keep reading to see a list of the 10 best-known American professional wrestlers and find out a little bit about what they did to earn a place in our countdown.
Ask any fan about “Sting” and you will more than likely receive an instant response. He started his professional career in the 1990s and went on to become the face of WCW (World Championship Wrestling). While working there, he held a total of 15 championships and made more pay-per-view appearances than any other wrestler in the company’s history.
Even though WCW lost the fight with the WWE (World Wrestling Entertainment) and became defunct, Sting became famous for being the one wrestler who never jumped ship to the other side. He has since “rectified” that by making some appearances for the WWE a few years ago.
“Macho Man” Randy Savage
The “Macho Man” became one of the most iconic wrestlers the world has ever known due to his intensity and passion while working inside the ring and while speaking on the microphone. Having spent most of his career with the WWF (now-WWE), Randy Savage later went on to join WCW where he continued to be recognized due to his raspy voice and intense personality.
“Macho Man” won 29 titles in a 32-year career, marking him as one of the most storied wrestlers ever. His flamboyant ring attire and trademark “Oooh Yeah!” are forever imprinted in the fans’ memory.
Dave Bautista, more commonly known as Batista, started his wrestling career in 2000 with the WWE where his imposing physique and strong persona earned him 6 world championships.
Nowadays, Batista is also an actor, a mixed martial artist, and a part-time wrestler. Starring in movies such as “The Man with the Iron Fists” and “Guardians of the Galaxy” further increased his fame as he truly went toward global stardom.
Shawn Michaels (or HBK- The Heartbreak Kid) became one of those “larger than life” characters in the last two decades of the 20th century. Using his technical moves and amazing charisma, Michaels rose to the top of the wrestling world and managed to stay there for years to come.
He went on to also be a part of more than one famous wrestling group, D-Generation X being the one that fans, arguably, loved the most. Accompanied by his friend, Triple H, HBK made raising hell fun and interesting while being, overall, a large part of the company’s current global success.
Even though he retired in 2003, “Stone Cold” Steve Austin continues to be one of the names that need no introduction in any type of wrestling format. Appealing to American fans with his “Blue-Collar” type of persona which usually involved beer drinking and striking when his opponent least expected, he became known worldwide as “The Rattlesnake”.
Austin is arguably the most popular wrestler of all time, even though different lists rank him in different places. He’s also one of the few who remained loyal to the WWE and only went on to Hollywood after his wrestling career was over.
Often being called “The Cerebral Assassin”, Triple H seems to live by this nickname inside and outside the ring. Starting his wrestling career in 1992, he is also an actor, bodybuilder, and a business executive with the WWE, having married into the owner family, the McMahon’s.
Triple H and Shawn Michaels created D-Generation X, one of the most popular and controversial groups in history. Despite that, DX gained immense popularity as it was seen as the last remnant of the fabled “Attitude Era”.
Starting his wrestling career all the way back in 1976, Hulk Hogan managed to become an icon for a whole generation of wrestlers and wrestling fans. His bouts with other fellow legends are the stuff of history as he managed to transcend the wrestling ring and become a living icon. He is a 12-time world champion and the third longest combined reigning champion in WWE history.
Hogan is also one of the first wrestlers to transition to acting as well as a singer, television personality, and entrepreneur, all of which he does with his trademark intensity.
Even though many wrestlers make the logical leap to Hollywood, not a lot of them manage to be highly successful. The Rock is a vivid example of somebody who conquered both worlds, as he is a 10-time champion and a real icon in the wrestling world while also being one of the highest paid actors today. He is widely considered to be one of the best wrestlers and talkers of all time.
The Rock comes back to the ring from time to time, with 1-night appearances that keep him imprinted in the minds of fans around the world. His comeback for the two legendary fights with John Cena provided two years of non-stop entertainment for the fans and two years of coverage for the media.
The Undertaker is a living legend because it is very hard to forget you’ve seen him. Almost seven feet tall and playing the part of a merciless, powerful “Deadman”, he is the longest-tenured performer in the history of the company. The Undertaker’s undefeated Wrestlemania streak, even though it’s now over, will go down in history.
Taker is also very popular with his fellow wrestlers as he currently serves the role of somewhat of a father figure backstage, helping and mentoring young talent. He is not formally retired yet but has only been working a couple of matches a year for the last few years.
John Cena managed to turn himself into a real-life hero for generations of younger wrestling fans with his strength, passion, and dedication to the business. A record-setting 16-time world champion, he is also a rapper and an actor. His signature “You Can’t See Me” hand gesture has become pretty popular and is widely used around the world.
Cena’s 2 fights with The Rock, widely considered as the greatest clash between generations ever, were broadcasted worldwide and made them a subject of media attention for two years in a row.