Wrestling's Greatest World Heavyweight Champions

View:
Log in to copy items to your own lists.
1.
Lou Thesz
Lou Thesz is one of wrestling's living legends. Thesz started wrestling in the 1930s, and from the 1930s to the 1960s, he was one of the most dominant figures in the business. Thesz won his first World Heavyweight Title in the 1930s, and went on to become a 6-time World Heavyweight Champion, many of those reigns as the NWA (National Wrestling Alliance) world champion...
 
2.
Verne Gagne
An amateur and professional wrestling legend, Verne Gagne's career covers the entire period of wrestling from the "real" to "fake" to "entertainment" eras. Gagne won two NCAA wrestling championships while at the University of Minnesota, and was a member of the 1948 Olympic Wrestling team for the United States...
 
4.
Harley Race
Self, Starrcade
Harley Race is one of the foremost legends of professional wrestling. He is an 8-time NWA Heavyweight Champion and has held numerous other titles over his career that has spanned four decades. Harley won his first NWA World Title in Kansas City in 1973 when he defeated Dory Funk Jr. Harley feels that this was the best match of his whole career as Funk had held the title for more that four years...
 
6.
Ric Flair
Actor, WWE Raw
Richard Morgan Fliehr isn't what you'd expect from a professional wrestler. A medical student at Minnesota University (his father was a doctor, his mother an actress), Flair dropped out college to train for the mat wars under legendary former AWA World champ Verne Gagne. He made his professional wrestling debut on December 10...
 
7.
Nick Bockwinkel
The son of a professional wrestler (Warren Bockwinkel), it was only natural for Nick Bockwinkel to follow in his father's profession. Bockwinkel wrestled for several years in various regions, but gained his greatest fame in the now-defunct American Wrestling Association (AWA). He and tag-team partner...
 
8.
Hulk Hogan
Actor, Rocky III
One of the greatest, most popular, most hated and charismatic wrestlers of all time, Hulk Hogan is one of the men who helped parlay the circus-like world of professional wrestling from cult following into the forefront of American entertainment. What many people who know about Hogan don't know is he was in the "sport" for several years in virtual obscurity before hitting the big time...
 
9.
Steve Borden
He has held the WCW World Title 10 times, and has been the US, Tag, TV, and the US tag champ. He has been the only wrestler to stay in WCW since the late 1980s and he had reconstructive knee surgery in 1991. Steve aka Sting is also the only wrestler from the WCW who has never worked for WWE.
 
11.
Dory Funk Jr.
Like his younger brother Terry Funk, Dory Funk Jr. was a success in the hyperbole that is professional wrestling. Their dad, Dory Funk Sr., was a long-time pro of the "golden" era of wrestling when the matches were real. Dory Jr. got his pro start in 1963 and excelled as a wrestler, winning the coveted National Wrestling Alliance (NWA) championship from Canadian wrestler Gene Kiniski...
 
13.
Randy Savage
Actor, Spider-Man
One of the most colorful wrestlers in and out of the ring, Randy "Macho Man" Savage became a larger-than-life pop icon along with other wrestling superstars, such as "Rowdy" Roddy Piper, Hulk Hogan, Jimmy Snuka (aka "Superfly Jimmy Snuka"), Jesse Ventura and Dwayne Johnson (aka "The Rock")...
 
14.
Terry Funk
Funk has strong wrestling bloodlines. His dad, Dory Funk Sr., was a well-known grappler from the 1940s to the 1970s, and his brother, Dory Funk Jr., wrestled from 1963 until the early 90s, and won the National Wrestling Alliance (NWA) world heavyweight championship in 1969. Funk, himself, became...
 
15.
Jeff Jarrett
Jeff Jarrett was trained in the USWA which was run by his father. He wrestled for his father's promotion throughout the 80's before hitting the big time in the early 90's. Jarrett had his first major run in the WWF - winning the Intercontinental Title 6 times before joining WCW. His career sky rocketed in WCW - where he achieved his lifelong ambition of becoming the WCW Heavyweight Champion...
 
17.
Antonio Inoki
Japan's Antonio Inoki is a "living" legend in Asia. The greatest wrestler ever to step in the ring in Asia, he just may be the greatest wrestler of all times. One of the first great wrestlers to compete in "real" fights. Inoki has some of the most impressive fight stats in mat history. His professional wrestling record for single match competition was 611-41-50...
 
18.
 
19.
Stan Hansen
Refused to drop the American Wrestling Association heavyweight title in 1984, even when told directly by AWA president Verne Gagne. Never officially dropped the title and was stripped of it for failure to defend it in thirty days. When the AWA asked him to return the belt since he wasn't champion anymore...
 
20.
Kurt Angle
Kurt Steven Angle was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA. He is a 1996 Olympic Gold Medal winner in the 220lbs weight category. First ever wrestler to hold the WCW and WWF World Championships during the same calendar year, and has held WWF, Intercontinental, European and Hardcore championships all on separate occasions. Likes to listen to the Olympics theme.
 
22.
Bret Hart
Bret Hart is one of Canada's most successful wrestlers. He is also recognized as one of the worlds best wrestlers ever. Hart comes from the legendary Hart Family of Calgary, Alberta, Canada. He owns a junior hockey team named after him and has his own column in the Calgary Sun. Bret has held the WWF World Title (5)...
 
24.
Jimmy Snuka
Jimmy Snuka is a classic example of the World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) (formerly known as World Wrestling Federation (WWF)) bad guy who became a baby-face (a good guy) without trying. Originally a "heel", he came into the WWE under the guidance of heel manager Capt. Lou Albano. After receiving many title shots at the WWE Championship...
 
25.
 
26.
 
29.
Curt Hennig
Curt Hennig was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania as the son of one of wrestlings all time legends - Larry Hennig - Aka Larry The Ax Hennig. Curtbegan training to follow in his fathers footsteps when he was just 12 years old. Starting off in the AWA - Curt began his career as a tag team wrestler....
 
30.
Allen Jones
A.J. Styles first started making waves in the pro wrestling world feuding with Air Paris in the small NWA Wildside organization. At the time, the now defunct WCW group was using NWA Wildside as a developmental territory. Noticing the potential in both Styles and Paris, WCW top-brass brought them both in and put them into a tag team together...
 
32.
Scott Steiner
Actor, WCW Greed
Scott Steiner has been a mainstay in professional wrestling for over 15 years. When he started out in the business, he was a singles wrestler, wrestling in some smaller federations before coming to the NWA (WCW) to team with his older brother, Rick. It was at this time that Steiner became world famous as one half of the greatest tag team of the 1990's...
 
34.
Dan Severn
Dan "The Beast" Severn is a legend in amateur and professional wrestling and Martial Arts. Born in Coldwater, Michigan, on June 9, 1959, he excelled in wrestling in both high school and college. A winner of over 500 amateur victories and numerous titles, he was an alternate on the USA Olympic Wrestling team...
 
36.
 
39.
 
40.
Kerry Von Erich
Kerry Adkisson was born on February 3, 1960, to Jack and Doris Adkisson. Jack was a wrestler, so most of Jack's children followed in his footsteps (one child, Jack Adkisson, Jr., tragically died in 1959 from electrocution). Kerry was a standout discus thrower at University of Houston, and actually held the SWC discus record; coincidentally...
 
42.
Scott Levy
Few antagonists in the history of sports-entertainment have stirred as much controversy in the squared circle as the man from The Bowery called Raven. The grungy sociopath terrorized opponents and fans alike in major wrestling organizations including WWE, WCW and the original incarnation of ECW. Raven may have looked like a roadie for Pearl Jam...
 
44.
 
48.
Dusty Rhodes
Writer, WWE Raw
"The American Dream" has been one of the most popular and colorful professional wrestlers in history. Rhodes began wrestling in the 1960s and gained a reputation as a fast-talking, hard-rocking wrestler. He teamed early in his career with fellow Texan, the late Dick Murdoch, and, for more than 20 years...
 
50.
Rodney Anoai
The man who would eventually become known as Yokozuna was born in San Francisco on October 22, 1966. He came from a wrestling family, as his uncles were Afa Anoai and Sika Anoai. He was trained by his uncles and Sam Fatu as a teenager and wrestled in Alabama and the USWA under the name Kokina Anoai. He already weighed 400 pounds...
 
51.
Jim Hellwig
Standing out than the rest, Ultimate Warrior became one of the most popular wrestlers in the WWE (back then in the WWF). During his run from the 1980s-90s, Warrior became known for high high energy when running down to the ring with his music hits, shaking the ropes during his entrance, his signature move...
 
52.
Terry Brunk
He is the nephew of the Original Sheik, (Ed Farhat), one of the most notorious classic pro-wrestling heels (villians). Sabu is probably best known for his high-flying and higher-risk taking style.
 
53.
Rob Van Dam
Self, W.W.E. 24
He was trained by the Original Sheik, Ed Farhat, who was one of pro-wrestling's classic and greatest bad guys. Even though their styles are quite different (Sheik being a wild hardcore-style brawler, known for throwing fire, cutting his opponent's forehead's up with foreign objects like a pencil, fork...
 
56.
Paul Wight
Actor, WWE Raw
Paul also played college basketball at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville from 1992 to 1993, and was a member of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division II Cougars basketball team. Paul is a member of the Xi Beta Chapter of Tau Kappa Epsilon fraternity at Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville...
 
57.
 
58.
Shawn Michaels
Actor, WWE Raw
Began his career in Texas. Trained by the legendary Jose Lothario, Shawn Michaels wrestled in Kansas, where he met fellow wrestler, Marty Jannetty. A year later, after sending tapes of his matches to the major wrestling companies at the time, he was contacted by the AWA, who proposed that he team up with Marty Jannetty again...
 
59.