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Author: Subject: Best Professional Wrestler of the Decade
DKBroiler
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posted on 11-22-2019 at 08:49 PM Edit Post Reply With Quote
Best Professional Wrestler of the Decade

Bleacher Report had a quote today from Stone Cold Steve Austin who said that he believed Brock Lesnar was the overall top professional wrestler of the decade. Not to put words in his mouth but I think itís pretty safe to assume that SCSA would probably be a big believer in ďhe who draws the most money is the bestĒ and I doubt he would say a non-WWE guy.

Anyway, despite Brockís part time status, I think SCSA is probably right. Iím guessing only Cena actually drew more money overall but most of that was beginning of the decade. You can make a great case for Jericho. Iím assuming the only non-WWE guy who could get some votes would be Omega but I definitely donít believe he has anywhere near the gravitas of Lesnar. Roman perhaps if I willingly disregard the whole RoBOOOOOO period. Bryan is my guy but he missed 3-4 years.

Anyone else or is it just lol Lesnar wins?

[Edited on 11-22-2019 by DKBroiler]





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punkerhardcore
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posted on 11-22-2019 at 09:09 PM Edit Post Reply With Quote
A guy who ultimately couldn't care less about the business, has like 4-5 matches per year, and does two moves... is the best professional wrestler of the decade?







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posted on 11-22-2019 at 09:22 PM Edit Post Reply With Quote
quote:
Originally posted by punkerhardcore
A guy who ultimately couldn't care less about the business, has like 4-5 matches per year, and does two moves... is the best professional wrestler of the decade?




He has drawn the most money. Itís a legit argument. I mean I donít think Endgame was the best movie of the decade but itís an arguable point. Who do you have?





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posted on 11-22-2019 at 09:52 PM Edit Post Reply With Quote


Punk's been gone six years and the only other people that come remotely close to him in importance as far as Pro Wrasslin' goes are Cena, D-Bry, and Jericho. And of those three he's the only one that still gets his gotdanged name chanted for shitzengiggles, which at least indicates he lingers in people's heads above and beyond the others regardless of how great they are of their own accord.

However, it is funny that of all the guys listed above, only Jericho has mostly been a part of wrasslin' in some capacity for most of the decade. Brock's only been intermittent since April 2012, D-Bry was sidelined with injury for a couple years and didn't really start to take off until late 2013 anyway, and Punk did Punk shit for longer than he did WWE shit this decade.

Regardless, my vote is for The Best In The World.



[Edited on 11-22-2019 by janerd75]





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punkerhardcore
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posted on 11-22-2019 at 10:14 PM Edit Post Reply With Quote
quote:
Originally posted by DKBroiler

He has drawn the most money. Itís a legit argument.


Has he, though?

I'm not even saying you are wrong. But I wanna see some sort of proof on that one.

Plus, Endgame isn't gonna win an Academy Award for best picture because it earned the most money. There's a clear difference between what's most popular and what is the best, as far as the entertainment industry goes.

And by your own accord, you are only assuming Austin meant draws the most money. We don't know for sure that's what he meant. Maybe he did mean that. Or maybe he did mean the best pro wrestler, period... in which case he is insane.

[Edited on 11-22-2019 by punkerhardcore]





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posted on 11-22-2019 at 10:19 PM Edit Post Reply With Quote
Yeah, most money has to be John Cena. Absolutely has to be. Most important is also John Cena, because that's the position they put him in. Best is always going to be a matter of what constitutes "best", but if we're looking at overall picture, most everything is probably answered "John Cena". Also best cyclist.



[Edited on 11-22-2019 by nOOb]





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posted on 11-22-2019 at 10:27 PM Edit Post Reply With Quote
quote:
Originally posted by janerd75

Regardless, my vote is for The Best In The World.



Youíre voting for Shane McMahon? Thatís a bold statement, Cotton.

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posted on 11-22-2019 at 10:34 PM Edit Post Reply With Quote
My vote would be Bryan, but results may vary.
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posted on 11-22-2019 at 10:40 PM Edit Post Reply With Quote
If you asked who was the best wrestler of the decade in the 80s then the undisputed answer would be Hulk Hogan if you only take into account drawing money. But Ric Flair would be a fair answer due the critical acclaim of his work, the consistency of it and the long term effect of his legacy as many wrestlers after him were inspired by him.

So in that respect, I'd say Kenny Omegas makes fine critical darling counter option to Brock Lesnar's box office power. Especially, ifyou consider his trilogy with Okada as the definitive series of matches of this decade like some critics and fellow wrestlers do. Personally I think the Tanahashi/Okada series was better but that's just me.

My personal pick is Seth Rollins. The Shield changed the landscape of weekly tv as their weekly six-man tag extravangas lead to an incredible leap in match quality. In part it might have been because WWE was really struggling with doing 3 hour RAWs so letting longer matches happen was an easy solution but the Shield lead the charge as their had been nobody like them since maybe the Smackdown Six. Just a couple of guys going 15 to 25 minutes every single week. Killer fucking matches against a varierty of opponents, hell their debut match in 2012 was a MOTYC. And the main guy responsible would be Rollins as the workhorse of the group. Throw in his cred as the first ever NXT Champion and the guy could be the poster boy for the increase of workrate WWE has had in the last decade. Hell, the first time WWE had the balls to do an overly hour long gauntlet match was with Rollins carrying it.

But just to sum it all quickly, he was workhorse of the Shield. He reescued WM31 from being shit on with his now legendary cash in the main event. He was one of the best Champions of the decade in his 2015 run, had kickass tag team run with Ambrose , and great IC Title run in 2018. Sadly he's in a slump right now but it doesn't negate the greatness of everything he's done between 2012 and 2018.

[Edited on 11-22-2019 by First 9]

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posted on 11-22-2019 at 11:20 PM Edit Post Reply With Quote
Isnít Cena the clear pick?

His feud with The Rock sold a bunch of PPVs. He sold all the merchandise.

He had classics with Edge, HBK, Punk, Bryan, and KO. The US Title open challenge was fantastic.

If you want to consider box office appeal, ring work, mic work, impact on the sport and take the entire decade in to consideration, how is it not Cena?

Punk, Bryan, Omega, and Jericho would also be good candidates. If WWE let Brock wrestle (see his matches with AJ, Bryan, and Balor) heíd be under consideration. Cody might be up their for Impact. Charlotte / Sasha / Bayley / Becky are hard to think of on their own. Okada should be higher, but NJPW is niche outside of Japan. Sadly.

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posted on 11-22-2019 at 11:49 PM Edit Post Reply With Quote
Honestly, I'd probably go with Jericho at this point, but I am probably giving too much weight for his NJPW and AEW runs, which, of course, are very recent. If AEW is successful, Jericho probably moves up onto the Top 5 of the last 40 years and into the Hogan/Flair/Rock/Austin group.

If not Jericho, I'd probably go with Cena. I didn't particularly enjoy him, but he was the face of the biggest wrestling company in the world for a large part of the decade.





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posted on 11-23-2019 at 12:09 AM Edit Post Reply With Quote
Is there a reason why nobody has said "AJ Styles," yet? Because I know I sure as hell shouldn't be the guy who says it first, given my low opinion of 90% of TNA's existence.

Unimpeachable in-ring ability, if that's your thing. Pretty much carried TNA as their top draw, then drew even more money in Japan. And once he made it to WWE, I think it's safe to say he's lived up to what we expected in the ring and blew away any sane expectations in terms of his importance and popularity.

Styles arrived in 2016, and is actually among the 20 most-prolific PPV performers of the entire decade with well over 40 matches. Number of PPV matches is just about the best stand-in for "most relevant" that you can easily find... sadly, while there are cool sites like profightdb.com, they are just repositories of results and nobody allows you to apply filters/searches like baseball-reference's awesome Play Index, so I don't really have any notion for how else to quantify that aspect.

Ideally you'd be able to whip up a special sauce that also weights title reigns, PPV main events, some element of mainstream crossover appeal, and, of course, match quality... that might not be an option, but just eyeballing it, Styles knocks it out of the park on everything but that mainstream appeal.

That, of course, is where Cena knocks it out of the park, and puts himself in serious consideration.

Along similar lines, we shouldn't be sleeping on Miz, who has quietly been killing it for 10 years and only getting respect for it over the last 2-3... and his crossover appeal isn't the same as Cena's, but it's probably stronger than just about anyone else who was a full-timer for most of the decade.

Either Miz or Randy Orton is going to end up having the most PPV matches of the '10s; they are neck and neck. The only other guy with more than 80 PPV matches is Cena, but Kofi and Dolph both have a chance of joining that group.

A notch below, if you lower the bar to 60 PPV matches, that expands the group to include Rollins, Sheamus, Reigns, and Cesaro.

And then the 40-and-over club adds 12 more guys and 2 women: Ambrose, Bryan, Kane, Big Show, Styles, Big E, Cody, the Usos, Owens, Rusev, Alberto del Rio, Charlotte, and Natalya. Bray Wyatt, with a match at TLC, would join that list. Becky Lynch is the next woman on the list, but will still be about 5 shy at decade's end.

I could get on board with Cena or Styles. And I don't think I'm crazy for considering Miz for the bronze. But honestly, after the first two there's a pretty big pile-up of guys whose final scores across the metrics I mentioned probably average out to just about the same number, whether it's the monster drawing power of Brock Lesnar or the workhorse in-ring skills of Rollins or what have you.

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posted on 11-23-2019 at 12:15 AM Edit Post Reply With Quote
quote:
Originally posted by bigfatgoalie
Isnít Cena the clear pick?

His feud with The Rock sold a bunch of PPVs. He sold all the merchandise.

He had classics with Edge, HBK, Punk, Bryan, and KO. The US Title open challenge was fantastic.




Do the feuds with HBK and Edge count for this decade? I know Cena vs Edge had one more round in 2009 but most of it took place in 2006.

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posted on 11-23-2019 at 12:32 AM Edit Post Reply With Quote
Yeah...so put in Styles and Rollins instead on the list of guys Cena has had great matches with. And Cena isnít my favourite, I just donít see how you go with anyone else. He just checks all the boxes. Hell Cena was a big part of getting Punk and Bryan to the levels they got in WWE and theyíve been suggested as best of decade.

As far as AJ goes...he never felt like THE guy. Not in TNA (Joe), not in NJPW (Omega/Okada), not WWE (Cena, Bryan, Brock, Reigns). Flair/Hogan were the guy. Austin/Rock were the guy. AJ? Damn good...but more of a Savage than a Flair.

But again, it SHOULD be Brock. Itís well established he will do whatever Vince wants him to do in the ring, has charisma out the wazoo (I mean, Suplex City bitch!), and attracts the press that Vince craves.

He just isnít used often enough, or allowed to be a great in ring performer.

Also...who would be the best from 2000-2009? Triple H, Rock, Taker, Cena, Brock, Edge, Jericho, HBK? Eddie? Benoit was the best in the ring for that decade, but I mean...he killed his son and wife.

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posted on 11-23-2019 at 12:57 AM Edit Post Reply With Quote
"Best of" discussions should be banned because even settling on the basic criteria to determine the "best of" is impossible. For example, if the criteria were just most entertaining & created the best crowd pops then the winners would be guys like Punk, Bryan, Cena, AJ, or the ladies like Becky or Sasha. Brock wouldn't even be in the running because he is neither the most entertaining and in general receives a negative crowd reaction. He really hasn't gotten a full-crowd reaction since his feud with Big Show on SD over a decade ago. More people get into a Brock appearance just for the Heyman promo than they do for anything Brock actually does.

Just my view. And it's nothing against Austin either. But his opinion is determined by things like knowing the guys. He's not an audience member and in many ways is still an insider and the view from the inside very rarely matches the one from outside. How Vince views "the best" isn't something the rest of us have to adhere to, not when Vince's view results in negatives like entire audiences turning on Reigns and now a lot of hostility being aimed at Rollins.





Well you know, just because these young men have little education and live in squalor, it doesn't entitle them to commit antisocial behaviour and get away with it.

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posted on 11-23-2019 at 01:34 AM Edit Post Reply With Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Paddlefoot
Blah blah blah soory aboat skidoo universal healthcare blackface Molson's Oilers Flames kvetch yenta winge , eh?


YES YES THAT'S ALL WELL AND GOOD BUT WHOMS'T IS YOUR'N CHOICE FOR BEST WRASSLER OF THE DECADE, BUDDYGUYPALFRIENDO?!?!

AJ, Cena, Punk, D-Bry, Jericho, or Bork. Pick one!!!







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posted on 11-23-2019 at 01:44 AM Edit Post Reply With Quote
For making me play this stupid game. Aargh!

D-Bry. Best crowd reactions of the decade, both as a face and a heel. His firing from WWE over the Justin Roberts incident during the first NXT storyline kicked off a fan backlash that foreshadowed other major fan reactions and counter-reactions to come, like AJ Lee being swamped with support on social media for calling out Stephanie McMahon over WWE's insincerity regarding women's wrestling, and then again with the major backlash against the forced push of Roman Reigns. He was/is effectively universally loved, with a genuine sadness from the fans when he had to temporarily retire. Major industry events, both in the ring and backstage, revolved around him for five years. If being a game-changer is a criteria for "best of" consideration then Daniel Bryan earned the label.





Well you know, just because these young men have little education and live in squalor, it doesn't entitle them to commit antisocial behaviour and get away with it.

it's a child molesting robot

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posted on 11-23-2019 at 02:14 AM Edit Post Reply With Quote


It's Punk tho.





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posted on 11-23-2019 at 06:48 AM Edit Post Reply With Quote
Great debate. Punk probably was the third most over guy of the decade at his height (Pipe Bomb, Summer of Punk time period) trailing only Yes Movement Daniel Bryan and Kofiís run to Mania this year. Add in his 400 day reign and he makes a great case, yet he wrestled for what? Half of it maybe?

Cena I thought was more of a victim of wrapping into 2 decades as his apex was probably 2005-2015 or so. Shift those a few years and itís a slam dunk.

There are so many guys that missed time at the top it becomes a bit harder for me to shit on Brock for being a part timer. I mean whatís worse, 50 matches in 8 years or 400 in 4 and then 6 years on the shelf? Rick makes a great case for AJ in that aspect.

With the women itís basically Charlotte or Becky because it sure as bell isnít Nikki Bella.





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posted on 11-23-2019 at 04:39 PM Edit Post Reply With Quote
I don't agree with Rick on much, but AJ should have been mentioned far before he was. The answer is Cena, but I think AJ is the clear 2. He absolutely was THE GUY for TNA. Joe was great at times, but AJ carried that company almost the entire time he was there even if he wasn't the guy holding the top belt. And while Okada/Nakamura/Tanahashi are the aces of NJPW, I don't think it starts to crossover to the US as much as it has without AJ being a top guy for the year or two he was. And then he's absolutely been on par with Rollins & Roman as the top guy in WWE the last few years even if he's never truly been positioned that way.

Brock's a fucking joke of an answer as he isn't drawing a dime since there's no such thing as PPV buys anymore, he doesn't show up for house shows, barely shows up on the network except for 4-5 times a year, and I've never seen anyone ever wearing Brock merch.

Punk's an interesting answer as someone who still resonates with the audience and was clearly actually a huge draw as opposed to Brock but it's tough to be considered the best of a decade when you only wrestled half of it and for half of the time you did wrestle, the company you wrestled for as its biggest champion found anyone and everyone to main event over you.

On the current AEW side; Cody isn't even a blip in the discussion and never should have been brought up. Omega has some of the in-ring work but he's got less of a case than AJ when it comes to NJPW since without AJ & Finn, Omega doesn't sniff a main event there and he also did it for what feels like a much shorter time, and Jericho...he's got the longevity and he's, I guess, the top guy now but for the majority of the decade he was a midcard guy who's ability varied greatly depending on his mood and how you viewed his everchanging characters. He can probably be put into the discussion, but his better decade was definitely 2000-2010 but he can probably make the bottom half of a top-ten for this decade which because of his longevity definitely puts him in the top 5-10 all time too.

Bryan has the same issues as Punk where he missed far too much time and worked for a company that never truly got behind him.

Roman & Rollins probably fall into the not enough time trap since their first 2 years on a main roster were part of a group where it's tough to separate them and then both have missed large chunks of time and have been a bit of a roller coaster with regards to support and ability. But both are legit answers.

Miz & Orton get some recognition for longevity and sustainability on the upper side of the midcard/lower side of the main event, but can't see either of them really making a dent in the discussion.

So, that all being said...here are the definitive ratings for best of 2010-2020:

1. John Cena
2. AJ Styles
3. Seth Rollins
4. Roman Reigns
5. CM Punk
6. Daniel Bryan
7. Kaz Okada
8. Chris Jericho
9. Hiroshi Tanahashi
10. Miz/Orton/Nakamura/Joe/Kofi.


I have no idea how to fit women or tag teams into the discussion.

Becky/Charlotte/Sasha/Bayley all go together and only really have the last 4 years or so. Paige has a good middle portion of the decade but with starting late on the main roster, injuries and personal issues at the end, tough for it to be her, and AJ is the only other legit potential answer has the opposite issue as the 4 HW as she only has the first half of the decade and probably even less of a case because we never got to truly see her at her best because the talent wasn't there to surround her.

On the tag side, the Briscoes deserve some recognition though they continued to shoot themselves in the foot on getting bigger. The Bucks are ahead of Jericho & Cody & Omega when it comes to what they've done for the growth of a new company and building NJPW into America and they had a long run in ROH too. The Machine Guns, Usos, Beer Money, New Day, Shield, Daniels/Kaz, Sheamus/Cesaro...but not sure how many of them truly moved a needle with regards to drawing.

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posted on 11-23-2019 at 04:47 PM Edit Post Reply With Quote
quote:
Originally posted by DKBroiler


There are so many guys that missed time at the top it becomes a bit harder for me to shit on Brock for being a part timer. I mean whatís worse, 50 matches in 8 years or 400 in 4 and then 6 years on the shelf? Rick makes a great case for AJ in that aspect.



50 matches in 8 is far worse. How is that a discussion? Like, I mean...he's ruined the main event scene for years now because he barely shows up, and in the 8 years that he's wrestled those 50 matches, he's lost to 6 people (Rollins x3, Roman x3, Cena, Hunter, Goldberg, and Taker). And yes the matches with AJ, Bryan, and Finn have been good but in the long run they haven't helped any of those guys. He's a bane on the title scene everytime he's around and hasn't drawn one extra eyeball to a show.

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posted on 11-23-2019 at 05:05 PM Edit Post Reply With Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Paddlefoot
For making me play this stupid game. Aargh!

D-Bry. Best crowd reactions of the decade, both as a face and a heel. His firing from WWE over the Justin Roberts incident during the first NXT storyline kicked off a fan backlash that foreshadowed other major fan reactions and counter-reactions to come, like AJ Lee being swamped with support on social media for calling out Stephanie McMahon over WWE's insincerity regarding women's wrestling, and then again with the major backlash against the forced push of Roman Reigns. He was/is effectively universally loved, with a genuine sadness from the fans when he had to temporarily retire. Major industry events, both in the ring and backstage, revolved around him for five years. If being a game-changer is a criteria for "best of" consideration then Daniel Bryan earned the label.


Pretty much all of this.

Out of the other candidates, I agree with all of the others being considered except for Rollins and AJ. I think Rollins has been awesome at times, especially when he was heel champ, but his face run has been boring, heís not the best on the mic, and I feel his series of bad finishers (other than the Pedigree) and general digression in the ring hurts him in my eyes. AJ started off white hot with Cena, and heís always platinum in the ring, but heís also a boring face, has Rey Mysterio-level mic skills, and poor booking with not including the Club earlier hurts him.

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posted on 11-24-2019 at 11:54 AM Edit Post Reply With Quote
I'll throw an out of left field vote in for Kazuchika Okada. One of the most dominant champs in the history of NJPW, he's been at the top of the food chain for the biggest expansion in the company's history and has been their signature star for 2/3 of the decade. He's one of the best workers there is and has incredible charisma.

If we're going with North American/Western workers, I think I'd probably go with Daniel Bryan.





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posted on 11-24-2019 at 03:56 PM Edit Post Reply With Quote
AJ Styles, Punk, Bryan, Sami Zayn (As Zayn AND Generico) Tanahashi And Okada are the discussion starters here, so iíll break em down.

AJ - Carried TNA on his back and always was the guy they went back to, went to NJPW and crushed it, revived ROH for itís last good years, and then went to WWE when people were worried he was past his prime and had an incredible debut year, becoming one of the hottest acts in WWE, and has always delivered a good match whenever need be.

Bryan - WWEís most appealing act from 2011 and onward. Part of numerous show highlights, was a legit reason to watch Raw or Smackdown for his segments, recovered from an awful Mania moment, and then used it to catapult himself into a perfect storm of a Wrestlemania. Upon return from hiatus, he has once again shown his worth, night in andnl night out. Dude is an ace.

Punk - Summer of Punk, great title run and subsequent heel turn, and to this day those 4 years have resulted in him STILL being the talk of the wrestling industry and he has made himself relevant.

Zayn/El generico - Left the indies in his prime after having the hottest feud of the century in indy wrestling with Steen (Owens), crushing it in PWG/DDT, and then went on to set new standards for the fans in NXT TV/Takeover matches (and NXT in general going forward). NXT today is what it is due in part because of his matches with Cesaro, Neville, Owens, and Nakamura.

Okada - an absolutely stellar main eventer (easily the best and most consistent of this century) in terms of his work and psychology, and has a presence that many are missing in wrestling and very few can compare to. Part of the single greatest match to ever take place in a pro wrestling ring with Kenny Omega in June of last year and hardly ever has a match thatís below ďreally fucking good and well-workedĒ.

Tanahashi - Single-handedly brought the other side of the world out of itís wrestling funk and kickstarted NJPW into the mega star that it is amongst hardcore wrestling fans (not including the Japanese). Itís amazing seeing how big NJPW is. Iíve been to japan 4 times in the past two years and motherfuck, itís presence is powerful. On top of always having big-time, kickass matches, he has charisma that most other faces dream of.

Cena? With the exception of MITB 2011 and SS2016, he didnít come close to what he was doing between 2004-2009.

Rollins? Too immature, doesnít carry himself like a pro, and has yet to have a singles match on the level of Cena/Punk, Okada/Omega, or Generico/Steen (Final Battle 2010)

Reigns...too dividing and stunk up two mania main events in a row in 2016 and 2017. Opponents aside, heís yet to get any sort of fan support thay matches his Rumble performance in 2014. AJ got his best singles matches out of him (and his Mania main with Brock was awesome, too.)

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salmonjunkie
Best There Is Was or Ever Will Be






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posted on 11-25-2019 at 06:07 PM Edit Post Reply With Quote
My top 10 by my own damn criteria:

1. John Cena
2. Daniel Bryan
3. Brock Lesnar
4. CM Punk
5. AJ Styles
6. Chris Jericho
7. Seth Rollins
8. Roman Reigns
9. Randy Orton
10. Kevin Owens/Kofi Kingston

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