In the past year within the WWE, we’ve bared witness to a certain number of superstars throwing their bodies on the line in the name of entertainment. Whether propelling themselves through the ropes, jumping from defying heights to the canvas below, or risking it all from ladders, there have certainly been plenty of high-flying moments. But there still seems to be a lack of individuals whose traits are that of high-flying escapades.
Admittedly, the emergence of Sin Cara and Kalisto as true tag-team division contenders has recently fueled that fire once more, but we require more of these types of wrestlers in order to truly hark back to the classic days of Swantom Bombs and Frog Splashes aplenty.
Looking back in history, the WWE has seen its fair share of high-flying individuals, prepared to put their careers on the line week-in, week-out to provide mass entertainment for the crowds and solidify themselves in the history books.
As we look forward to yet another thrilling year of action from the WWE, hopefully bolstered by a scintillating final Pay-Per-View of the year in TLC: Tables, Ladders and Chairs, let’s count down some of those individuals who defined what it is to be a soaring superstar.
From those who are now sadly deceased, to characters who jumped from other wrestling platforms (and have moved on since), we’ve seen plenty of high-flying stars enter the ring and smash down on that canvas in true style.
10. Jimmy ‘Superfly’ Snuka
An individual who has constantly proved that size really doesn’t matter within the WWE, Rey Mysterio‘s Lucha Libre trademark style has been the subject of a number of superstars through the years, but very few were like this man.
Bounding across the ring at breakneck speed, flying seamlessly through the air on a regular occurrence, and performing moves that many of us can only dream of attempting, Mysterio was the real deal when it came to high flyers.
A winner of the Royal Rumble and a 21-time champion across a number of belt divisions, the WWE sorely miss this man and one can only dream for a time when he would come back to light up the industry once more.
8. Shawn Michaels
The Heartbreak Kid is still, to this day, one of the WWE’s greatest figures and patrons, having competed in a plethora of stunning match-ups, serving up a whole host of memorable moments.
But while many will remember Michaels for his personality and that Sweet Chin Music finisher, it must be noted that Michaels was also one to fly through the air for a takedown on plenty of occasions.
Executing many a Moonsault in his time, along with Elbow Drops and much more, this was a man who had bucketloads of talent in his locker and would deliver it night after night.
7. Shane McMahon
While his appearances in-ring were few and far between, you knew that any time that Shane McMahon did step into the ring it would certainly be unforgettable.
A competitor who knew just what made the crowd tick and blast out those ‘Holy Sh*t!’ chants, Shane would perform the most daring of moves with limited care for his own safety.
Jumping from ridiculous heights from Titantrons and even jumping from one end turnbuckle to the other, Shane can easily be defined as one of the greatest high-flyers the business has ever seen.
6. Jeff Hardy
You only have to look back at the first ever Tables, Ladders and Chairs matches to see the sheer impact Jeff Hardy had whenever it came to testing the limits of gravity and putting his body on the line.
With unimaginable agility and fearlessness on a regular occasion, Hardy would throw himself over, under and between the ropes, walk across ladders and thrust himself from extreme heights all in the name of entertainment and glory.
There are still rumors of him one day returning to the WWE and we cannot wait for the day should this come to fruition.
5. Chris Benoit
One of the most visceral and technically brilliant superstars in history, it would be a disservice to Chris Benoit to deny him of a place on this list.
While his personal issues and suicide may have tarnished his name, Benoit will always be remembered as one of the greats. Aside from his ground moves, this was a man willing to take to the top rope and deliver.
Serving up the trademark Flying Headbutt and so much more, Benoit earned his rightful place among the greats.
4. Chris Jericho
Very much a star whose career worked in a similar vain to Benoit’s, Chris Jericho was another Attitude Era superstar who remains a name you cannot avoid mentioning as a true history-maker.
Once again, a great technician in the ring, Jericho would often show off his high-flying antics with Moonsaults off the turnbuckle and his famous Lionsault in the quest to finish off an opponent.
One of my personal favourites of all time and forever a superstar cementing himself in the Hall of Fame.
3. Owen Hart
As far as tragic deaths go in the business, Owen Hart’s was possibly one of the most impactful and sent ripples through the roster of stars, but such was his influence as a wrestler that he will never be forgotten.
This was a man who was just as astute with his suplexes and submission moves as he was flying through the air. Often taking to the dizzying heights of the top rope, Hart would ensure fan credibility with impressive feats from the turnbuckle and ensure he would be a superstar impossible to forget.
2. Rob Van Dam
An original figurehead of Extreme Championship Wrestling (ECW), Rob Van Dam’s career has been littered with unforgettable moments in which he has literally put his career on the line.
A man who seemed more comfortable above the ring apron rather than on it, Van Dam’s feats of undeniable brilliance have seen him regarded as one of the most hellacious wrestlers to have ever performed.
You only have to look back at his famous match against Jerry Lynn at 1999’s Hardcore Heaven to see what a fantastic performer RVD was and that there were no limits to his aerial assaults.
1. Eddie Guerrero
When you talk about high flying superstars, there is literally no-one who defines the term greater than one of the greats – Eddie Guerrero. Another superstar taken way too soon from this life, Guerrero helped to reinvigorate the WWE and ensure that the crowds got so much more than what they had paid for.
In capturing the Frog Splash as his signature finisher, Guerrero would etch that very move into history as his own and undoubtedly influenced a whole new generation of wrestling superstars to come.
A man who was respected both in the locker room and within the WWE universe itself, as well as the former ECW community, Guerrero is an untouchable entity when it comes to great high-flying memories.