All right wrestling fans, let’s be honest: professional wrestling can be quite boring at times. The current state of the Divas Division is an non-stop yawn-fest. Mark Henry and Big Show slow down the pace of the program to a point where watching Monday Night Raw can suddenly mean waking up on the couch Tuesday morning.
Take for instance what is consider to be the biggest wrestling match of all time: Hulk Hogan vs. Andre the Giant at WrestleMania III at the Pontiac Silverdom in front of a live crowd of 93, 173 fans. The build-up towards the epic encounter was fantastic.
Hulk Hogan – who had been WWE Champion for three consecutive years – was to take on the man who was said to be undefeated in the WWE for the past fifteen years. There were no stars bigger than Hogan and Andre at that point and placing them both in the main event of WrestleMania III was the right move as the event would set attendance and Pay-Per-View records (Both of which have since been surpassed).
However, in the grand scheme of things; Hulk Hogan vs. Andre the Giant was rather boring. The hype leading up to the match was more fascinating than the actual bout. Randy Savage vs. Ricky Steamboat was the match of the night at WrestleMania III while Hogan and Andre was basically a set-up for a body slam – one big spot.
Then of course the ’90s came along and professional wrestling began to shift form its traditions. The rise of the Luncha Libre style in North America presented wrestling fans with a new outlook on in-ring execution as this fresh form of competition was not only exciting but captivating; no time to look away from the action. This would make way for the adaption of high-flying wrestling into the mainstream and ever since, the level of mesmerizing action has continued to rise.
These are the top 20 greatest high-flying wrestlers of all time:
20. Bam Bam Bigelow
When we think of high-flying wrestlers, we automatically draw up a picture in our minds of the small and lean superstars to which we have grown accustomed. When it came to Bam Bam Bigelow, the image of the high-flyer was tossed aside and replaced with a tattooed beast.
Despite a weight of nearly four-hundred-pounds, Bam Bam Bigelow could do things that most wrestlers in his weight class couldn’t accomplish on their best day. Bigelow could fly, incorporating diving head-butts and splashes into his moveset. Perhaps most impressive was the big man’s ability to execute the moonsault – with ease and precision.
19. Adrian Neville
(Adrian) Neville may be new to the WWE Universe but Benjamin Satterley (real name) has been performing for a number of years around Europe and the independent circuit in the United States where he worked under the moniker, PAC.
“The Man That Gravity Forgot” excels at high-risk-behavior which is now evident on WWE programing. Neville may appear a little young to make a list which is compiling the greatest high-flyers of all time but he has already shown so much that his skills deserve the proper recognition.
18. Eddie Guerrero
Eddie Guerrero was such a great all-around wrestler that his name tends to appear on list after list after list. The accomplishments of Guerrero and the will of Latino Heat have earned him all the respect in the wrestling world.
Eddie Guerrero could do pretty much anything inside of the ring which included high-flying offense. Guerrero was quicker than a cat and more sly than a used-car salesmen. Eddie Guerrero could lie, cheat, steal … and fly with the best.
17. Shelton Benjamin
The most memorable spots in the WWE career of Shelton Benjamin can be traced back to the early years of the Money in the Bank Ladder match where Benjamin would awe the crowd with his running up and leaping from a set ladder.
Shelton Benjamin, who is also an accomplished amateur wrestler, could wrestle a technical match on the mat. However, in a flash, Benjamin could catch some air and unleash a high-risk set of high-flying maneuvers.
16. Billy Kidman
When World Championship Wrestling was struggling to survive each and every day on life-support, Billy Kidman would find himself involved in the biggest angle of his career; a feud with Hulk Hogan, which was not the usual type of Hogan opponent.
The angle, like everything else is those grim days of WCW would flop, but the failure of Hulk Hogan was the victory of Billy Kidman, who was finally afforded some main event time to showcase his style of high-flying wrestling.