Wrestlers come in all shapes in sizes, from all over the world. However, over the years there has been one place in particular that has produced more than its share of greats – Canada.
The list of Canadian legends in the sport of professional wrestling is a long one. The WWE is loaded with Hall of Famers from the “Great White North” and there are plenty more names that are sure to be added as time goes on. Of course, this leads to a difficult question. Who are the greatest wrestlers the nation has ever produced?
To answer this question, we have ranked the ten greatest Canadians to ever set foot in the ring.
10 Bobby Roode
In truth, the number ten spot is a bit tricky. There are several stars like Lance Storm, Jinder Mahal, and Pat Patterson who have a strong case for the slot. However, in the end, Peterborough, Ontario’s Bobby Roode gets the nod.
Even before signing with WWE, Roode had been a stellar performer in TNA wrestling for many years. In fact, he is a two-time TNA World Heavyweight Champion and also won the tag titles six-times. The ‘Glorious One’ went on to become one of NXT top stars – capturing the promotion’s version of the world title in the process. Roode has since gone on to win the tag titles and the United States Championship as a member of WWE’s main roster.
While it’s true, Natalya has never been the top female star in WWE (at least in terms of popularity), she has been a steady performer for well over a decade now. Her consistency combined with her title reigns is good enough for the daughter of the legendary Jim “The Anvil” Neidhart to earn the number nine spot.
From a historical standpoint, the Calgary, Alberta product became the first woman to hold both the Divas Championship as well as the SmackDown’s Women’s Championship. That being said, it’s her ability to have solid matches with less experienced performers over the years that has really helped her shine. She may be slightly underappreciated now, but history will be kind to a gritty worker like Natalya.
8 Kevin Owens
A longtime favorite among internet fans; Kevin Owens has now established himself as a top performer in WWE. An excellent entertainer overall; Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu has earned the right to be mentioned alongside the top Canadian sports entertainers. Depending on how the rest of his WWE run goes, he may make his way further down the list in the years to come.
Owens biggest strength is his mic work; he’s one the best talkers in WWE and is a natural heel. His in-ring work is also generally pretty solid. Since making his main roster debut in 2015, he has won several titles – including the WWE Universal Championship.
Kitchener, Ontario’s Christian defiantly earned his stripes in World Wrestling Entertainment. Like so many of the greats, he had success as both a tag team wrestler and a singles star, on his way to earning the number seven on our list.
Christian held just about every title known to man throughout his illustrious career. Despite being a former world champ, he is arguably best remembered as one-half of the tag team Edge and Christian. His finest moment in the ring was the famous WrestleMania TLC match involving The Dudleys and The Hardy Boyz. His main event push came late in his career when WWE was bit talented starved, which is why he isn’t lower on the list – though he’s still an all-time Canadian great.
6 Owen Hart
Due to his tragic death, WWE has kind of walked on eggshells when it comes to approaching the topic of Owen Hart. As a result, many younger wrestling fans may not realize just how good he actually was. In truth, he was one of the top in-ring performers of his generation, which is why he made the list.
Owen Hart’s Wrestlemania match with his brother (Bret Hart) is easily among the five best in the pay-per-view’s long-standing history. The “King of Harts” held every major title in WWE – except the world championship. Unfortunately, his career was shortened before he got the main event push that most of the other performers on our list received.
5 Trish Stratus
The word “trailblazer” is often overused in WWE. However, Trish Stratus is one of the few stars who truly managed to blaze a trail for her predecessors. The Toronto native’s rise to superstardom showed WWE officials that there was a market for women’s wrestling. If not for Stratus’ impressive run, many of the female standouts that are featured so prominently today, may not even be in WWE.
While her ring work may not seem overly impressive compared to today’s female stars, it was better than the majority of her contemporaries. The former “Diva of the Decade” had an impressive 7 title runs and is a member of the WWE Hall of Fame.
Orangeville, Ontario’s Edge is a very versatile entertainer. He is one of only a handful of wrestlers who was as good a babyface as he was a heel. He could make fans laugh or hate him seemingly at will.
If titles were the only criteria on our list, Edge would be in the number one slot. Over the course of a WWE career that began back in 1996, he managed to capture 31 titles. He was also one-half of one of the great tag teams in Edge and Christian. In terms of popularity, he never reached the heights of stars like Hulk Hogan and The Rock, but he remains an all-time great nonetheless.
3 Chris Jericho
Technically, Chris Jericho was born in Manhasset, New York. However, he grew up in Winnipeg and identifies as Canadian – so he qualifies for our list. He is one of the few stars that resonate with the internet wrestling community and casual audiences – due to his ability on the mic combined with excellent ring work.
After making a name for himself in WCW, Jericho took things to the next in WWE by winning the Undisputed WWE (then WWF) Championship. He’s also held the Intercontinental title an impressive 9 times – more than any other wrestler. The only real knock on Jericho is that he’s never really been the top guy; there has always been a Steve Austin, Rock, or John Cena around in the featured spot.
2 Roddy Pipper
No, he’s not really Scottish – he was born in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.
‘Rowdy’ Roddy Piper is perhaps the greatest heel in professional wrestling history. When it came to being a man that folks love to hate, nobody did better than “The Hot Rod.” His segment known as Piper’s Pit is still the best wrestling feature of its kind – despite several attempts by WWE and others promotions to duplicate/surpass it.
Piper is often mentioned among the greatest wrestles to never win the World Title. That’s because he didn’t need it. Piper became the company’s top heel on his mic skills alone. As Hulk Hogan’s arch nemesis, Piper helped take Hulkamania to the next level, which in turn helped make professional wrestling as popular as it is today.
1 Bret Hart
Holding down the number one spot we have none other than Bret “Hitman” Hart. He is widely regarded as one of the best in-ring technicians of his generation – or any other one for that matter. Hart always had amazing matches and fans never had to suspend their disbelief to enjoy them.
Hart is 5-time WWE World Heavyweight Champion and is one of the few wrestlers who has been inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame twice (once as a member of the Hart Foundation). His match with his brother Owen and Shawn Michaels are two of the best in Wrestlemania history. He was also WWE's top start throughout much of the 1990s.