WWE: 15 Greatest Technical Wrestlers – Number 1
We have finally reached the conclusion of our series, after we set out on a journey to find the fifteen greatest technical wrestlers in the history of the WWE. There have been many great wrestlers who never signed with the WWE, wrestling legends such as Misawa, KENTA, Tsuruta and so on, who will be placed at the peak of professional wrestling when it comes to outstanding technical wrestlers.
Most of the crop who had performed in the WWE wouldn’t be able to go head to head with these Japanese legends, because of the physicality involved in Japanese wrestling and working stiff to make professional wrestling look ‘real’. These are the ‘wrestlers’ who put the business above their safety, just to provide the fans what they deserve, no matter if they pay 10 bucks or 100.
Today, we take a look at someone who can stand among the very best the industry has to offer, past and present, and claim to be one of the, if not, the very best in this business. He had a passion for the industry like no other, and perhaps, that consumed him in the end. Today, we look back at one of the toughest, and arguably the greatest technical wrestler, not just in the WWE, but in the history of the business, ‘The Crippler’ Chris Benoit.
Growing up, the business was all Benoit thought about, as he used to drive with his father for hours from Edmonton to Calgary, where he used to watch the Dynamite Kid wrestle at Canadian Stampede. That was when Benoit knew he wanted to become a professional wrestler, and he started pursuing his dreams, starting at Stampede, then making his way to Japan, where he wrestled as ‘Pegasus Kid’ and ‘Wild Pegasus’.
It was in Japan that Benoit honed his craft, taking on all comers, including Jushin Liger. Benoit won the Super J Cup in ’94, and then headed for the big leagues in the United States. Chris Benoit gained notoriety in ECW as ‘The Crippler’, and with Heyman being very high on Benoit, he was destined for great things before WCW snatched him away. Benoit gained his initial fame in WCW, putting on great matches and soon joined the Four Horsemen.
Later, Benoit went on to have what is critically acclaimed as the greatest feud in the history for the United States title against Booker T, where they had a series of matches for the title. Post feud, Benoit joined “The Revolution”, and his off camera problems with Kevin Sullivan forced him to quit the company. Before he left, WCW tried to keep Benoit by putting the World Heavyweight title on him, but he didn’t want to be a part of WCW.
Benoit then had to miss out of in–ring competition for a year due to a broken neck, and when he returned, he quickly rose above the tag team division, winning the tag team titles with multiple partners, including Chris Jericho and Kurt Angle and became the number one contender for the WWE title. Chris Benoit faced Kurt Angle at Royal Rumble ’03 in a match, which is regarded as one of the greatest WWE title matches in the history of the company, and although Benoit lost the match, he was given a standing ovation for his efforts.