Wrestling at its very core is an entertainment show; this means it has both heroes and villains and over the past few years, WWE has showcased many different wrestling styles.
Whilst many fans of the product are impressed by the high flying superstars, it is the brawlers who have caught the eye of the WWE Universe over the past few decades.
Brawlers are the superstars who don’t look like they are aware of what they are doing in the ring. They seem as if they go into a fight without it being choreographed and pre-determined and proceed to throw everything at their opponent in a crazy and unplanned manner. Brawlers rarely ever capture the headlines because of their wrestling style; it is usually their smash mouth style that gains results and pushes them towards the heights of the company. In WWE’s current era, the likes of Sheamus and Dean Ambrose are flying the flag for the brawlers in the company and showing that it isn’t a style that will ever be phased out, regardless of how many new stars come through the company from NXT.
Over the past few decades, fans have enjoyed the creativity of many WWE brawlers with some of them going on to win the biggest prize in wrestling, which proves that even though brawlers don’t have an attractive looking style, it somehow manages to get results.
The following list looks at 15 of the greatest brawlers in WWE history and how they gained their name and style:
15 The Road Warriors
Tag teams like the Dudleys, the APA and current day members of the Bullet Club Doc Gallows and Karl Anderson owe a debt of gratitude to the Legion of Doom members Hawk and Animal for being a pioneers known for their brute force and excruciatingly painful-looking offense. The Road Warriors were that tag team of the 80s and early 90s, annihilating the competition with their brutal beat downs and back-breaking manoeuvres. The Road Warriors captured tag team championships in virtually every big time wrestling promotion in the 80s, be it in the AWA, NWA, Japanese promotions and finally the WWE.
14 Fit Finlay
The intro of his entrance theme said it all, "My name is Finlay, and I LOVE TO FIGHT!" Finlay was a fiery Irishman that was all business in the ring. His stocky broad frame and rugged looks definitely made him look the part of a knuckle-cracking brawler. Finlay was innovative in his brawling, using parts of the ring, such as the ring apron, to unleash terrible punishment on the poor sap he was facing.
13 Dean Ambrose
The former member of The Shield has become one of the most entertaining wrestlers on WWE’s current main roster, not to mention the new WWE World Heavyweight champion. Ambrose doesn’t follow an official style of wrestling and often looks like he is just fighting like a normal person in the street. One could bet that if he was to be asked what his favorite wrestling move would be, The Lunatic Fringe would probably respond, "the one where I tackle the guy and start punching him."
Sheamus started his career on the ECW brand and it's little surprising as to why. Sheamus has made his money with his brawling technique, battering opponents with his stiff style and his punishing Brogue Kick, which looks like it can take a superstar's head clean off. The Irish brawler and former WWE World Heavyweight Champion has found his feet in WWE over the past few years, with him finally reaching the heights of the company in 2015 when he became the World Heavyweight champion for the first time since the title was unified. While also a powerhouse in the ring,
11 Tommy Dreamer
Wherever Tommy Dreamer is, a kendo stick is not much further away. Dreamer was considered to have been one of the ECW original greats, and someone who would have gladly given up his blood for the cause and lived to entertain. He fought his way to the top in ECW and even had a successful career in WWE where he proved his style was a unique but interesting one. His whopping 14 Hardcore championship title reigns during the 24/7 rule days did not just happen by accident.
"What time is it?!?!" Whenever this big bohemoth came down to the ring, it was definitely Vader Time, and he let his opponents know it every night. Physically imposing while at the same time being athletically gifted and agile, Vader earned a reputation as a feared superstar in the squared circle because of his stiffness and tough as nails style of combat.
9 Rowdy Roddy Piper
They didn't call him "Rowdy" for nothing. Roddy Piper may be the biggest trash talker in the history of the WWE, but he certainly backed up all that bark with one hell of a bite. Though the late Hall of Famer is beloved now, early on in his career he was universally hated for his dastardly actions and his dirty fighting tactics, which he would use even as a babyface.
8 John Bradshaw Layfield
JBL proclaimed himself during his long WWE Championship run on the SmackDown brand as a "Wrestling God" but what would've been more fitting would have been a "brawling god." Whether it was his time in the APA, as Justin "Hawk" Bradsha or as a member of the Blackjacks, JBL's forte included a hard-hitting stiff brawling repertoire.
7 Triple H
The King of Kings and the self proclaimed measuring stick of the WWE is still one of the biggest stars in the company, even since he took over as the Chief Operating Officer. Triple H climbed through WWE as a technical wrestler like many others, but it was always obvious that there was something special about Hunter.
6 Dusty Rhodes
The late great American Dream Dusty Rhodes had a wrestling nation behind him as he climbed through the ranks of WWE to become one of the most popular wrestlers in WWE at the peak of both the 1970s and 80s. In career retrospectives, one would see some of the classic yet bloody battles he had with the likes of Ric Flair and Harley Race.
5 Terry Funk
Terry Funk is one of the craziest superstars in WWE history. Much like his former tag team partner Mick Foley, Funk was an incredible competitor, but when he fought, it was like he was fighting with all he had. Also like Foley, Funk had an alter-ego of his own that brought out his wackiness even more - Chainsaw Charlie. As Chainsaw Charlie, Funk would wield a real chainsaw around the ring, scaring off his opponents who dared come near him.
There is a reason that The Undertaker is still performing at the highest level at his ripe age, and that is because he has kept in incredible shape throughout his career, and he has made a career out of being a heavy-hitting competitor. Undertaker's style has always been a brawling style since day one and as the years went on he added even more brawling to his arsenal and even some MMA tricks up his sleeve like when he implemented the Hell's Gate as a lethal submission finisher.
3 Cactus Jack
Wielding barbed wire bats, bags full of thumbtacks and jumping off of high places doesn't exactly scream technical wrestler. Cactus Jack, or Mick Foley, or whichever name he was known by, was always one of the scariest men in the ring. Foley couldn’t actually wrestle; he was just crazy enough to throw himself off, into and on top of things.
2 Stone Cold Steve Austin
Steve Austin wasn't always a brawler. In fact, early on in his career, he was quite an accomplished and seasoned technical wrestler. However, as the years went by and Austin, bitter from his lack of opportunities and recognition in the wrestling landscape, turned into a ruthless brawler capable of opening up a can of whoop-ass at any given moment. It was always Austin’s attitude that made him stand out above every other brawler out there, and the fact that he was dynamite on the mic. Austin's gritty demeanor, trash talk and vulgarity was always backed up in the ring. He wasn't afraid of stomping a mudhole in you and walking it dry.
1 Brock Lesnar
The Beast Incarnate is an accomplished amateur wrestler who became a multiple-time NCAA champion, but while this made him an accomplished technical wrestler early on his career, it was his bully-like brawling style that made him reign supreme in both the WWE and MMA. Brock Lesnar is a human wrecking machine and he has become well known for taking his opponents to "suplex city" with his specialty German Suplex manoeuvre, which has destroyed many opponents throughout his career.
Brock's successful crossover to the UFC as a former Heavyweight champion proves that he is not only one of the fiercest wrestlers in the history of the WWE, but he is also a man that can legitimately fight it out inside the Octagon. Brock is an incredible talent and even though a lot of the time he has Paul Heyman doing the talking for him, his actions speak much louder than words inside the Squared Circle.
Leave A Comment
Looking for an AD FREE EXPERIENCE on TheRichest?Get Your Free Access Now!