In the world of wrestling and WWE in particular, the big stars of the promotion often grab the limelight and the adulation of the fans. They are treated like Gods by the adoring WWE Universe and rightly so, as they bring joy to the masses week after week.
But, WWE Superstars of yesteryear like The Rock, Stone Cold Steve Austin and Hulk Hogan are incredibly popular with the WWE Universe even though they haven’t featured in too many Live shows and often just make appearances in pay-per-views and important matches.
There are a bunch of Superstars, though, who have appeared in almost every event of the WWE – from Live shows to pay-per-views and the weekly tapings of Raw or SmackDown – who are the real workhorses of the brand in their years in WWE and other promotions.
Here’s a list of 10 WWE Superstars (current and former) with the most matches. (This list includes matches in WWE as well as other promotions. The number of matches updated till 12 August, 2019) (Data Courtesy: ProfightDB)
#9 John Cena – 1372
John Cena is one of the most popular Superstars in WWE history, and for nearly a decade, the WWE banked on him to bring in fans. The Face That Runs the Place does not make as many appearances as he used to, owing to him becoming a television and movie star, but he is still hugely popular among the fans.
Cena has made over 1300 appearances in his wrestling career and has won 16 world titles in his glittering wrestling career. The Leader of the Cenation has won three World Heavyweight Championships and thirteen WWE Championships.
His feud with Edge propelled him into being the ultimate babyface of the company. Unlike other wrestlers on this list, Cena has fought a majority of matches in WWF/WWE promotion since signing for them in 2000.
Cena is now a part-time Superstar with WWE, appearing briefly on big PPVs as he is now concentrating on his acting career.
#9 Daniel Bryan - 1385
Daniel Bryan has had quite an incredible pro wrestling career, which has seen him wrestle all over the world, and in various promotions - from NJPW to ROH, PWG, and then finally WWE.
But his fairytale WWE career has had a lot of hiccups, including him being fired by WWE in 2009, only for him to return in 2010, and then having a phenomenal career which has seen him win the WWE Championship five times as well as other titles in WWE.
His career was brought to a halt in 2016 due to concussion-related injuries and then became the SmackDown General Manager.
Most fans thought that his in-ring career had ended following his retirement, but he and WWE sprung a surprise on fans when he announced that he would be returning to the ring once again in 2018. He re-debuted at WrestleMania 34, and then winning the WWE Championship later in the year.
#8 Dolph Ziggler – 1483
The Showoff, as he is known, has gradually risen to the top of the card on RAW since signing with WWE in 2004. Ziggler made his first RAW appearance over a decade ago in 2005 and worked briefly in RAW before being assigned to a developmental territory of WWE. He returned as a heel in 2008 and won the Intercontinental Championship for the first time in 2010.
Ziggler has fought in over 1400 matches in his professional wrestling career, and that number is bound to increase considerably in the future considering how the WWE have booked him in the last few years.
He rose to prominence when he won the Money in the Bank ladder match and became the No. 1 contender for the World Heavyweight Championship, which he has captured twice in his career.
Ziggler was moved to SmackDown in the 2016 WWE Draft and won the six-pack challenge in the following week and became #1 contender for the WWE World Championship. Like Cena, Ziggler too, has mostly fought in the WWE for almost his entire professional wrestling career.
The Showoff took a brief hiatus from WWE to concentrate on his comedy career, before returning once again in 2019.
#7 Bubba Ray Dudley – 1518
Like longtime tag-team partner D-Von Dudley, Bubba Ray Dudley has had a storied wrestling career spanning over two decades. Bubba Ray also started his wrestling career with Extreme Championship Wrestling (ECW) before he made the switch to Vince McMahon’s World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) promotion.
Bubba Ray – who also went by the name Buh Buh Ray Dudley, Brother Ray and Bully Ray – has wrestled in over 1400 matches and the Dudley Boyz are recognised as one of the most iconic and successful tag-teams in the history of not only WWE but professional wrestling.
Unlike D-Von, Bubba Ray had a relatively successful singles career, winning the TNA World Heavyweight Championship twice and the WWE Hardcore Championship eight times.
He is a part of Ring of Honor after spells with TNA and a brief return to WWE in 2015. He was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2018 and briefly retired before 'unretiring'.
#6 Chris Jericho – 1526
The Ayatollah of Rock 'n' Rolla has stayed relevant in his numerous avatars over the last two decades in professional wrestling and is regarded as one of the modern-day greats of WWE. Jericho, in spite of his multiple commitments as a singer in the band Fozzy, as well as actor, has wrestled in over 1500 matches in the last 20 years.
The nine-time WWE Intercontinental Champion wrestled in Extreme Championship Wrestling (ECW) and World Championship Wrestling (WCW) before joining the WWE bandwagon in 1999 and going on to script a stellar career which is still going strong almost 20 years on.
Jericho’s last great feud in the WWE was with Kevin Owens and ‘The List of Jericho’ gimmick brought him new fans and was widely appreciated by the WWE Universe. Although he hasn’t been a constant fixture lately owing to his commitments with his band, Y2J still has a lot to offer to the world of professional wrestling.
His foray into NJPW and his feud with Kenny Omega was one of the great feuds in the last decade or so in professional wrestling. Jericho then joined AEW in 2019, and is one of the biggest stars in the newly-formed promotion.
#5 Shinsuke Nakamura – 1537
A wrestler destined for great things in the future, Shinsuke Nakamura’s arrival on SmackDown was greeted excitedly by the WWE Universe.
The much-loved Japanese wrestler joined NXT in 2016 after leaving New Japan Pro-Wrestling (NJPW), where he was a mega star and wrestled for over a decade.
Nakamura has been part of over 1500 matches in his professional wrestling career, with his major honours being the IWGP Heavyweight Championship, which he won thrice, and the NXT Championship, which he won twice.
The Artist made his SmackDown debut in April 2017 and started a feud with Dolph Ziggler, which culminated in a Nakamura victory at Backlash. He then went on to win the Royal Rumble in 2018 and started a feud for the ages, against AJ Styles.
He won the United States title and then the Intercontinental title, but many of his fans believe that he hasn't been used well on the main roster.
#4 Hideo Itami – 1542
Like Nakamura, Hideo Itami also wrestled in Japan for All Japan Pro Wrestling and Pro Wrestling Noah before moving base to the United States to compete in the WWE. But, unlike Nakamura, Itami fought in Ring of Honor – an American wrestling promotion – before making the switch to WWE and wrestling in WWE NXT.
The youngest wrestler on this list, the Japanese Superstar has racked up over 1500 matches in his professional wrestling career which began in 2000.
Earlier in 2017, Itami had a feud with NXT Champion, Bobby Roode, which set-up a match between the two at NXT TakeOver: Chicago, but the Japanese wrestler wasn’t successful in winning his first WWE Championship.
Itami left WWE in 2019 after he asked for his release and returned back home to Japan to wrestle in NJPW after 5 years in WWE.
#3 The Big Show – 1632
Paul Donald Wight II, or commonly known as The Big Show in wrestling, is a veteran wrestler who has competed in various wrestling promotions since 1994. The World's Largest Athlete signed for World Championship Wrestling (WCW) in 1995 and became the WCW World Heavyweight Champion almost immediately.
The Big Show quickly became a big star of the promotion but sought pastures anew and moved to the then World Wrestling Federation (WWF) promotion, which was then the biggest promotion in professional wrestling. Thus started an incredible run for the seven-foot tall wrestler, where he became the World Heavyweight Championship once and the WWE Champion twice, as well as numerous other titles.
Over his two-decade career in professional wrestling, The Big Show has fought in over 1600 wrestling matches with his wrestling career entering the twilight years.
#2 Cesaro – 1652
An unlikely name to make this list, Cesaro trained in his home country of Switzerland before embarking on a wrestling career in various promotions in the USA and then got his big break with the WWE.
The Swiss wrestler signed a contract with WWE in 2011 and worked in a developmental territory and then debuted on SmackDown in 2012. Some of the promotions that have accounted for his over 1600 wrestling matches include the Chikara, Ring of Honor and Combat Zone Wrestling, among others.
The Swiss Sensation held the United States Championship when he defeated Santino Marella and also won the inaugural André the Giant Memorial Trophy at WrestleMania 30 in 2014. In 2017, he won the WWE Tag Team Championship, partnering with Sheamus, and defeating the Hardy Boyz.
The Bar, which was a tag team of Sheamus an Cesaro, was split in 2019 after Cesaro moved to RAW and became a singles Superstar once again.
#1 Kane – 1763
The WWE wrestler with the most wrestling matches is The Big Red Machine, Kane, who was part of the WWE for 20 years and a popular wrestler with the WWE Universe. Kane was billed as the half-brother of The Undertaker, and the duo had a riveting feud, but they later were part of a tag team, The Brothers of Destruction in the early 2000s.
In his WWE career, Kane was there or thereabouts in the hunt for the big prizes in the promotion in both singles and tag team competitions. He has been part of 1763 matches, and it seems like that number may not increase as Kane has, surprisingly switched careers and is now a politician in the USA, as well as an actor.
When he finally hangs up his wrestling boots, he will be regarded as one of the greats in his era of wrestling.
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