Professional Wrestling has become so widely saturated with personalities, that there are mainstream wrestlers from nearly all 50 states in the United States of America. We have compiled a list of the best and most popularized pro-wrestler from every state in the US of A. Without further ado, check out the best wrestler from their respective home state. Do you agree with our picks?
Professional wrestling is one of the largest and closely followed forms of entertainment not only in the United States but, the entire world. For decades, people have gathered to set up their own independent wrestling circuits or contributed to the largest pro-wrestling platform in the World Wrestling Entertainment Inc. Throughout the history of the WWE, the establishment has been the inventor of many trends, world-renowned personalities, and cultural moments.
From the 'Rock & Wrestling' 1980s era of the WWE to the attitude era of the 1990s and early 2000s to today's larger than life era of the WWE- professional wrestling has crossed over several platforms of professional sports. Athletes that have participated in professional mixed martial arts and boxing realms have curated careers in pro-wrestling.
The Mobile, Alabama-bred wrestler and manager, Paul Bearer is one of the most eclectic WWE personalities of all-time. The pasty white and darkened undereye makeup meshed perfectly in conjunction with The Undertaker's haunting aesthetic. Paul Bearer is most notably known for managing The Undertaker and his creepy monologues and mystical urn that allowed him to envision the outcome of The Undertaker's opponents.
Paul Bearer proved his worth as a notable wrestling personality after ditching The Undertaker as his manager and becoming The Undertaker's brother's manager in Kane. Bearer also managed wrestlers like Mankind and Stone Cold Steve Austin. Unfortunately, Bearer passed away at the age of 58 in 2013 due to heart attack, the cause of the heart attack was Supraventricular tachycardia. Bearer was later inducted in the WWE Hall of Fame the following year in 2014.
Honestly, Kenny Kaos didn't have much competition making this list being that Alaska isn't especially known for breeding pro-wrestlers. But yet, Anchorage, Alaska did breed this beast who just so happened to have a rather lively stint in the WCW throughout the mid-90s. Kaos made his pro-wrestling debut in August 1995 which helped him earn a contract with the WCW allowing him to return in the following year 1996.
For most of Kaos' career, he acted as a tag team act and even earned the WCW Tag Team Championship title belt alongside his partner, Robbie Rage. Rage and Kaos formed a collective known as High Voltage but later split up. Kaos appeared in a couple of singles matches and retired after a couple years in 1999. Kenny's pro-wrestling career might be underwhelming to some but, he repped the heck out of Alaska because no one has made it as far as he has in the pro-circuit.
Shawn 'The Heartbreak Kid' Michaels tends to rep his hometown of San Antonio, Texas and it makes sense being that he was raised there. However, Michaels was originally born in Chandler, Arizona making him our Arizona representative for the 50 states' list. Shawn Michaels is yet another legendary wrestling personality across all platforms as he's one of the most consistent wrestlers of all-time on the WWF roster. Michaels wrestled consistently from the late 1980s to 2010.
Michaels is a three-time WWE Championship, one-time World Heavyweight Champion, two-time Royal Rumble winner (1995, 1996), and the brand's first-ever Grand Slam Champion. The Heartbreak Kid has seen many pay-per-view stages as both a heel and a fan-favorite as he was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2011. To this very day, there still isn't a finishing move impact that matches Shawn Michaels' Sweet Chin Music.
Sid Vicious also known as Sycho Sid or Sid Justice is one of the most dominant presences ever to enter the professional WWE ring. Standing at 6'9", Sid Vicious was not only physically large, but his athletic ability also put him in a category by himself during his era of wrestling in the 1990s. Vicious was another one of those wrestling personalities that walked the thin line of being a heel or a face, which allowed him to star in the main event of two Wrestlemania. The first being in Wrestlemania VIII against Hulk Hogan and the second in Wrestlemania XIII as a champion against The Undertaker.
Strangely, one of Sid's most memorable wrestling moments came when he was a member of the WCW roster. In 2001, the executives of the wrestling organization suggested that Sid implement more acrobatic moves to his combat arsenal. While he was opposed to it, he attempted a big boot move from the second turnbuckle which resulted in him snapping his tibia and fibula on his left leg on live television. The scene was so graphic, television stations refused to re-air the injury.
Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson is professional wrestling's biggest crossover act of all-time. Beginning his career as a wrestler in 1996, a la his grandfather and father, he's become a world-renowned actor and the highest grossing male actor in the year 2016 earning over $64 million. However, prior to his rise to prominence on the silver screen, The Rock was the headliner for the most viewed era of Monday Night Raw in WWE history and headlined the most viewed Wrestlemania (XXVII) in history when he took on John Cena.
Not only is he responsible for boosting the viewing ratings of the WWF/E, but he also has ruled supreme in a multitude of wrestling companies. The Rock held the WWE Championship eight times while holding the WCW Championship belt twice, he's a five-time WWE Tag-Team Champion, and a two-time WWF Intercontinental Championship belt holder as well. There aren't too many wrestling personalities that can compete with The Rock and he's got the numbers to prove it.
There aren't too many notable names in the professional realm of wrestling that hail from Colorado but, Steve Williams better known as Dr. Death definitely deserves high praise. Prior to stepping into the ring, Williams was an All-American football player and wrestler at the Univerity of Oklahoma. Williams was also another freakish athlete standing just over six feet tall and weighing close to 300 pounds. His strength and size alone made him one of the most imposing wrestlers to ever enter the ring.
Williams and his tag team partners in Terry Gordy found success in the WCW, NWA, and All Japan Pro Wrestling companies where they held the tag team championship belts multiple times. Unfortunately, Steve 'Dr. Death' Williams passed away at the tender of just 49-years-old due to throat cancer. Thankfully, Williams' legacy will forever be remembered in the wrestling community for decades to come. Rest well, Dr. Death.
Shane McMahon might be the son of the chairman and CEO of the WWE in Vince McMahon but there's no denying that he's not willing to put his body on the line in order to give the fans the ultimate wrestling experience. He's dived from some of the highest points in wrestling history from diving off of the Hell in the Cell cage through ringside tables to leaping off the top of the Trinitron, Shane McMahon has gained notoriety through his daredevil acts even as a heel.
Now, the wrestler/businessman billed from Greenwich, Connecticut is the commissioner of Smackdown and a current WWE Smackdown Tag Team Champion with his partner The Miz, Shane McMahon is here to stay as a full-blown persona and storyline participant in the WWE for years to come. You might dislike him because of the nepotism but, you gotta respect him for the risks he takes when he enters the ring.
The state of Delaware isn't known for producing some of the world's greatest physical specimens but the state didn't fail when it came to the molding of Frederick Seawright better known by his wrestling moniker, Brickhouse Brown. While only standing at 5'8, Brickhouse was literally a powerhouse weighing over 240 pounds. He appeared to be sculpted of marble while he had the athletic prowess of any of the wrestling greats you could imagine.
Surprisingly, Brown didn't have an extensive career in the WWE but he did have two exhibition matches within the brand facing Hunter Hearst Hemsley and Henry O. Godwinn. Brown had longer stints with wrestling companies like the American Wrestling Association and Continental Wrestling Association. Unfortunately, Brickhouse Brown passed away in July 2018 of prostate cancer at the age of 57. The wrestling community has since then come together to honor his memory as a wrestling great.
Hulk Hogan is most likely the most popular wrestler of all-time. He is to wrestling what Michael Jordan is to the NBA. You might not know too much about the realm of wrestling but, you definitely know who Hulk Hogan is. His image has alone has crossed over into mainstream pop culture due to his larger-than-life persona he displayed in and outside of the ring. Since his introduction by the WWF in the late 1970s, he's been a relevant figure in the pro-wrestling world across all major brands of American wrestling including WWF, WWE, and the WCW.
Throughout all of the eras of wrestling Hulk Hogan has been a part of, he's been a twelve-time world champion. And his most memorable moment might be slamming the 520lb Andre the Giant in Wrestlemania III. Despite his recent turbulent history, he's revered as one of the greatest wrestlers of all-time and is respected by his peers and fans to this very day.
Hailing from Stone Mountain, Georgia, Jake 'The Snake' Roberts is one of the WWE's most revered wrestling personalities of all-time. Roberts was one of the first pro-wrestling heels that was openly supported by wrestlings fans everywhere. Jake The Snake trod a thin line between the good and the bad guy and often was accompanied by his live boa constrictor, Damien, ringside.
Jake 'The Snake' Roberts' finishing move, the DDT has become one of the most commonly used moves in modern wrestling history. However, Roberts' rendition of the DDT usually rendered his opponents unconscious, while the modern version of the DDT does not have the same killer impact. Throughout, Roberts' pro-wrestling career, he faced many personal demons including his struggle with drug abuse but, today, Roberts' is clean and more of an inspiration than ever. In 2014, Jake 'The Snake' Roberts was inducted to the 2014 class of the WWE Hall of Fame.
Donald 'Don' Muraco also known as the Magnificent Muraco as well as the original 'The Rock' but, most famously as Don Muraco hails from the island of Oahu, a territory of Hawaii. Muraco became a wrestling champion on the island before entering the professional realm of wrestling in 1970 where he quickly became one of the popular personalities in the sport. He was disrespectful, demanded respect in and outside of the ring, and wasn't afraid of a little blood.
Don Muraco was the first ever WWF King of the Ring (1985), he's also been a two-time WWF Intercontinental Champion and two-time ECW Heavyweight Champion. Muraco was known for being a cocky heel but developed a faithful fanbase throughout his nearly two-decade career. His Hawaiian Hammer finishing move established dominance across the pro-wrestling circuit but it was his personality that has allowed him to become a WWE Hall of Fame inductee in 2004.
When it comes to Idaho, the first thing usually comes to mind is potatoes or Napoleon Dynamite. However, the city of Boise did just happen to raise one of the most cherished women in all of wrestling in Torrie Wilson. Prior to entering the world of wrestling, Wilson was a fitness competitor and won Miss Galaxy in 1998. The following year, Wilson became an integral part of the WCW brand. Two years later, Torrie Wilson became a member of the WWF roster where her career skyrocketed.
Torrie Wilson was one of the most revered personalities and figures that was utilized to promote the 'bra and panties' era of WWE wrestling. Wilson danced in between being a heel and a face throughout her career as she managed her real-life boyfriend Billy Kidman and was a member of the group called Vince's Devils. Not only was Wilson beautiful, but her presence was a necessity in the 2000s era of the WWE.
Macho Man Randy Savage is one of the most cherished, eclectic, and respected personalities in all of wrestling. Savage's over-the-top persona, flashy apparel, and vocal cadence have surpassed recognition in just the pro-wrestling world, he's become a pop culture figure that everyone has come to know and love. Inside the ring, Macho Man, was now for overpowering his opponents, outside of the ring he is arguably the greatest monologue deliverer pro-wrestling has ever seen.
As the headliner of multiple Wrestlemania's, Randy Savage ultimately ended his wrestling career as a four-time WCW World Heavyweight Champion, two-time WWF World Heavyweight Champion, one-time Intercontinental Champion, 1989 King of the Ring Winner, and posthumous WWE Hall of Fame inductee in 2015. Randy Savage passed away at the age of 58-years-old due to suffering a fatal heart attack while driving in 2011. His passing shook the world, but his impact and wrestling legacy will live on forever.
James Brian Hellwig, who later legally changed his name to Warrior, and was known by his wrestling moniker, The Ultimate Warrior, is another wrestling personality that has transcended recognition just within the sport. Matter of fact, The Ultimate Warrior's popularity increased after his retirement from wrestling over the past decade. The neon tassels, the bright face paint, and the unpredictable monologues allowed him to become one of the biggest wrestling characters of the 1980s and '90s.
Unfortunately, The Ultimate Warrior did struggle with drug abuse, contract disputes, and more throughout his stint in the WWF, which hindered his career. But, Warrior remained in the hearts of fans even though he acted as both a heel and face for the company and ended up taking an absence from the ring as well. Sadly, days after being inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame and 24 hours after making his appearance on WWE RAW in over 18 years, Warrior collapsed while walking to his car with his wife and was pronounced dead April 8, 2014. There isn't much to say other than rest in power to one of the greatest wrestling personas of all-time in The Ultimate Warrior.
Seth Rollins is considerably still a new act in the WWE despite being a part of the brand for almost a decade now. However, he's accomplished so much and has had such an insane impact on both NXT and the WWE, he's a fair and qualified representative of his hometown state, Iowa. Early in his wrestling career, Seth Rollins became the first-ever NXT Heavyweight Champion in 2012 only to become the WWE Champion three years later in 2015.
Since then, the now 32-year-old Seth Rollins has become a two-time WWE Champion, a two-time Intercontinental Champion, and three-time WWE Tag Team Champion alongside Roman Reigns, Jason Jordan, and Dean Ambrose. Seth has become a major player in the current generation of the WWE and his the potential to have a monstrous legacy a la some of the greatest wrestlers to ever touch the mat if he continues to stay healthy.
'Cowboy' Bob Orton Jr. comes from and has continued a lineage of wrestling throughout his family tree. His father was a popular wrestler, Bob Sr., Cowboy's brother was a notorious wrestler, Barry O, and his son is a famed-wrestler, Randy Orton. While his son might be the prized jewel of the Orton wrestling family, his father Cowboy Bob Orton was one of the most vicious wrestlers of his time in the 1980s. His finishing move the superplex was highly revered and allowed him to gain his own cult-like following of fans.
Cowboy Bob joined Rowdy Roddy Piper and Paul Orndoff to take on Mr. T and Hulk Hogan in Wrestlemania I, while he himself shared rivalries with Jimmy 'Superfly' Snuka and Tito Santana over the Intercontinental Championship belt. After retiring, Cowboy was spotted several times accompanying his son Randy ringside for moral support and also is a 2005 WWE Hall of Fame inductee.
Here's yet another persona birthed during a questionable character-driven era of professional wrestling in James 'Hillbilly Jim' Morris. Despite being born in Miami, Florida, Jim's character hailed from Mudlick, Kentucky as the 6'7 giant dressed in overalls dawning a golden horseshoe around his neck and shaggy beard to make his character believable. While his character was meant to impose a simple-minded man his demeanor as a smiling, waving giant won over wrestling fans everywhere.
Unfortunately for Hillbilly Jim, he legitimately broke his leg chasing the manager of Brutus Beefcake during a match with Hulk Hogan which disrupted his rise to prominence. Fortunately, the WWF acquired a multitude of similarly dressed 'family members' in Uncle Elmer, Cousin Luke, and Cousin Junior that allowed him to extend his career as a tag team focused character. In 2018, Hillbilly Jim was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame.
Hailing from Rayville, Louisiana is 'Big Cat' Ernie Ladd who was one of the first Black-American heels in professional wrestling back in the early 1960s. Surprisingly, wrestling was not Ladd's original calling as he was also a professional football player and was drafted 15th overall by the San Diego Chargers in 1961. Ladd worked as a wrestler during the offseason but on the field won the AFL title in 1963 and also played for the Houston Oilers and Kansas City Chiefs before retiring from football in 1968.
'Big Cat' Ernie Ladd's cocky interviewing style and dirty in-ring tricks helped him become a household name for wrestling fans everywhere while he held titles in the National Wrestling Federation (NWF), National Hollywood Wrestling Association (NWA) and the World Wrestling Association (WWA). Unfortunately, Big Cat lost his battle with colon cancer at the age of 68 in 2007. Ernie Ladd was and still is one of the most cherished and personable two-sport athletes in wrestling history.
Scotty 2 Hotty might not have been the most athletic or strongest in the ring during his run in the 1990s and early 2000s but, he was one of the most entertaining personas of his era. Scotty 2 Hotty born Scott Ronald Garland hails from Westbrook, Maine, where you wouldn't think hip-hop is a major influence. However, it definitely was for his wrestling character as he was one-half of the tag team duo, Too Cool, alongside partner, Brian 'Too Sexy' Christopher.
His finishing move was a combination of an elbow drop accompanied by 'the worm' which doesn't sound all that fascinating but, he definitely knew how to make a crowd roar. Also, that didn't stop him from becoming a two-time WWF Tag Team Champion and one-time WWF Light Heavyweight Championship belt holder throughout his stint in the WWF/E. These days Scotty 2 Hotty trains newcomer wrestler acts at the WWE Performance Center in Orlando, Florida and still is a fan-favorite by wrestling fanatics to this day.
Stacy Keibler is another female wrestling personality to proudly represent her respective state as a citizen born in Baltimore, Maryland. Prior to beginning her career as a wrestling persona, Keibler worked as a Baltimore Ravens cheerleader. Keibler eventually made her way into the wrestling realm joining the WCW in 1999. Later, Keibler made the jump to the WWF in 2001 where she became a key member in the WCW/WWE Invasion era. Throughout her illustrious wrestling career, she managed wrestlers like Tazz, Test, Randy Orton, and most notable The Dudley Boyz where she became known as the 'Dutchess of Dudleyville.'
As a solo persona, Stacy Keibler became known for her 5'11 frame and toned legs. She also became known under the moniker of 'The Legs of The WWE.' Following her departure from the wrestling realm in 2006, she earned a spot on Dancing with the Stars that same year and dated George Clooney for a short period of time. Stacy Keibler has become a household name for both wrestling fans and casual entertainment consumers alike.
Born in West Newbury, Massachusetts was a young man who couldn't be seen by his parents, peers, and now his fans in John Felix Anthony Cena, better known today as John Cena. John Cena is probably the second-largest crossover act in pro-wrestling history behind The Rock. But his current stint as roster member of the WWE might land him in the Hall of Fame early as he's the fourth longest reigning WWE Champion in combined days in the history of the business.
Throughout his career, John Cena has held the WWE Championship title thirteen times and the World Heavyweight Championship belt a total of three times. Cena has headlined more pay-per-view events than another wrestling act in the brand's history with a total of 67 and has lately found himself on the silver screen. Cena has starred in films like The Marine, Legendary, and 12 Rounds. If John Cena hasn't established himself as one of the greatest to ever enter the ring, he's on his way to doing so and very soon at that.
Michigan is a tricky state when it comes to determining who's the best wrestler to represent the Great Lake State. Big time wrestling personalities like Sgt. Slaughter, Rob Van Dam, and George 'The Animal' Steele have all hailed from Michigan but, can they top the impact that Kevin Nash had on the sport? As the longest-reigning WWF Champion in the '90s and one of the creators of nWo with Hulk Hogan and Scott Hall, it's hard to deny Kevin Nash being the state's most popular wrestler.
At one point in time, Kevin Nash was revered as just Shawn Michaels' bodyguard but he went on to curate a lucrative wrestling career of his own. Which allowed him to become a five-time WCW Heavyweight Champion, a nine-time WCW Tag Team Champion, and a two-time WWF Tag Team Champion as well. Not to mention, Kevin Nash also known as 'Diesel' and 'Big Sexy' was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2015. You want to talk about legacy, look no further than Kevin Nash himself.
The "Rolex wearin', Bentley drivin', two girls every night havin' gator shoe ownin', the real heavyweight champion of the world" in Ric Flair, is another one of professional wrestling's most adored personalities of all-time. Matter of fact, Ric Flair might be just as popular as when he was originally introduced to the WWF in the early 1990s. Flair also had one of the most controversial WWF debuts as he entered the ring still holding the title of the NWA Heavyweight Championship.
While 'The Nature Boy' might not have been the most athletic wrestler throughout his stint in the pro-wrestling circuit, but he had and still has one of the most memorable personalities in all of wrestling. Everyone wanted to be him, the furs, expensive watches, suits, and the women- what's not to like? Ric Flair is a two-time WWE Hall of Fame inductee, one as a member of The Four Horsemen (2008) and the second for his individual performance as the Ric Flair (2012). WOOOOO!
The ideology and character development of James 'Kamal' Harris throughout his professional wrestling career is a troubling one. It's no secret that stereotypical, xenophobic, and racist rhetoric has been sprinkled throughout pro-wrestling since its conception, but the character known as Kamala might have been the wrestling realm's peak forms of racism. Kamala was a character known as 'The Ugandan Giant' who hailed from 'The Dark Continent' and was managed by his safari outfit-wearing handler, Friday.
It sounds as bad as you might think, in one of Kamala's most known monologue segments featured a scene where he supposedly devoured a live chicken prior to entering the ring. Despite the antics, Kamala has faced WWF legends such as Andre the Giant, Hulk Hogan, The Undertaker, and Jake 'The Snake' Roberts throughout his stint with the organization. Unfortunately, Harris' relationship with the WWE isn't the greatest as he's signed a class action lawsuit stating that the brand did not make its participants aware of the traumatic brain injuries that could occur while in action. Harris has also had some health issues that have set him back and is currently living in his hometown of Senatobia, Mississippi.
Randy Orton is arguably one of the greatest heels of this current generation. He's such a good bad guy that a lot of pro-wrestling enthusiasts would choose to see him win in most cases and throughout his short stint as a roster member of the WWE, he's done exactly that. He is the grandson of the famed wrestler, Bob Orton Sr., the nephew of the wrestler, Barry O, and son of 'Cowboy' Bob Orton Jr. Now, Randy Orton is paving his own path as one of the WWE's greatest personalities of all-time.
At the tender age of 24, Randy became the youngest WWE Champion in the belt's history. At the age of 27, he became the youngest two-time WWE Champion. Since then, he's had a thirteen-time WWE and World Heavyweight Champion throughout his short stint in the WWE. Orton is also a one-time Intercontinental Champion, one-time United States Champion, and two-time Royal Rumble winner. In just over a decade, Randy Orton has proven he's going to make history, he just has to stay healthy and focused if he wishes to do so.
Despite that Sting was raised in Southern California, he was born in Omaha, Nebraska making him the state's best representative for most revered pro-wrestler. Sting might have one of the best rebrands of all-time. At one point in time, Sting was known for his blonde locks and fluorescent face paint. However, after the nWo takeover of WCW, he branded himself as a Crow-esque persona who stalks his adversaries throughout the night.
Sting is arguably the most popular WCW roster member of all-time, winning a total of six WCW Heavyweight Championship belts with the promotional company. His brutal wrestling style and willingness to risk his body while in the ring won fans throughout his three-plus decade career. Now, Sting has been inducted into both the WWE and TNA Hall of Fame and is one of the most respected characters to ever enter the ring.
In his prime, 'Playboy' Buddy Rose was arguably the most hardworking wrestler of his era. In the early 1980s, Rose would often work 90s day straight performing for fans across the country. When he was able to get a day off from the WWF, he would fly to the west coast where he would perform in smaller market promotion companies for local fans. Buddy Rose had many worthy rivals including Jimmy 'Superfly' Snuka, then-WWF Champion Bob Buckland, and more.
Playboy Buddy Rose even participated in the first-ever Wrestlemania as 'The Executioner' where he took on Tito Santana. After taking a break from wrestling and returning in the early '90s, he had gained a considerable amount of weight which he used to play on throughout his monologues. Rose was a comical heel that gained the respect of fans but unfortunately, lost his life at the age of 56 due to natural causes involving his weight in 2009. Rest well, Playboy, you're legacy lives on.
New Hampshire is another state that the average patron might not consider to be breeding grounds for athletic talent, yet the east coast-based territory did give us none other than WWE legend, Triple H. Triple H arguably one of the most influential figures of all-time in regards to the brand of WWE. As a roster member, Triple H is a 14-time World Champion, a five-time Intercontinental Champion, a two-time tag team champion, two-time Royal Rumble winner and one-time King of the Ring winner.
Not only is Triple H was one of the rawest, gritty combatants in the ring, he also was able to gain notoriety being both a heel and face. Currently, Triple H is the Executive Vice President of Talent, Live Events and Creative for the WWE as well as the creative lead for NXT, a subsidiary brand of the WWE. Honestly, the future of the WWE could be left in the hands of Triple H when the time comes.
Hailing from Asbury Park, New Jersey is a major personality from the underground scene that wrestling aficionados would come to know as Bam Bam Bigelow. Scott Charles Bigelow better known by his stage name, Bam Bam, was surprisingly nimble and agile for a man stood 6'3" and weighed 370 pounds. His finishing move the Bam Bam Sault was widely unexpected coming from a man of his stature and included a cartwheel moonsault off the top rope.
Bam Bam's illustrious career expanded through two decades. He began wrestling in the late 1980s and wrestled for all of the major pro-wrestling imprints. WCW, ECW, and WWF. Bam Bam was a one-time ECW Heavyweight Championship belt holder, a two-time WCW Tag Team Championship belt holder but didn't earn any belt honors in the WWF despite headlining multiple events including Wrestlemania XI where he took NFL legend, Lawernce Taylor. Unfortunately, Bigelow passed away at the tender age of 45 due to a drug overdose in 2007. His legacy still lives on.
John 'Jack' Lanza also known as Blackjack Lanza is definitely a member of the throwback rendering of the current WWE that we know today. Lanza originally began his wrestling career back in 1962 with the American Wrestling Association. Lanza later joined the WWF, ran by Vince McMahon Sr., in 1975 with his tag team partner, Blackjack Mulligan, where the two dominated the tag team scene. With finishing moves like the brainbuster and clawhold, Lanza and Mulligan became fan-favorites within the pro-wrestling circuit.
After retiring from the wrestling scene, the WWF hired Blackjack Lanza as a road agent. That's not the only involvement the now 83-year-old had to do with the biggest company in professional wrestling, Lanza also happens to the uncle of former WWE Champion, Bradshaw. Back in 2006, both Lanza and Mulligan were inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame for their work and dedication.
Michael Francis Foley Sr. also known as Mick Foley or Mankind is one of the most favored pro-wrestling personalities of all-time. At the peak of the Attitude Era in the WWF where Stone Cold Steve Austin and The Rock dominated, Mick Foley was truly the people's champ of that era. His death-defying acts in the ring and rivalry with The Undertaker provided him with the moniker, The Hardcore Legend. Foley and The Undertaker participated in never-before-seen matches including the 'Buried Alive' and 'Boiler Room Brawl' matches which technically had no rules.
His dedication to risking his body has created some of the greatest moments in pro-wrestling history. Not to mention, Foley had the personality that capsulated the masses. Throughout his three-decade career, Mankind was the first-ever WWF Hardcore Champion, a three-time WWE Champion, an eight-time WWF Tag Team Champion, a two-time ECW Tag Team Champion and so much more. Since his departure from wrestling in 2013, Mick Foley has been a New York Times Best Selling author, comedian, and WWE Hall of Fame inductee in 2013. When it comes to wrestling legends, Mick Foley defines what it means to truly be a legend in professional wrestling.
Vince McMahon Jr. is nothing more or nothing less than a genius. There hasn't been a longer-running television series than the WWE and a lot of that has to do with Vince McMahon's business acumen and ability to keep a top-tier production team incorporated into his business. As the chairman of the WWE Inc. since 1982, he's been able to acquire his competitive assets in the WCW and curate a conglomerate of pro-wrestling platforms that makes the WWE the most domineering promotions company in the world for professional wrestling.
As a wrestling personality, he's utilized his position as CEO to create storylines that have allowed his persona to blossom in front of wrestling fans. Throughout his tenure, McMahon has held the WWE Champion title once and the ECW Championship belt once as well. As the boss, he calls the shots and only holding the title belt once is pretty humble if you ask us. Without Vince McMahon there is no hostile WWE takeover and wrestling might not be what it is today without him. We gotta give him his flowers while he's here.
Another state that just so happens to be lacking in modern-day pro-wrestling talent is North Dakota but yet, there is a deserving member of the wrestling community that is able to take the honor of representing North Dakota in Rolland 'Red' Bastien. Hailing from Bottineau, North Dakota, Red Bastien also known as Texas Red made his pro-wrestling debut back in 1956. Bastien was known as a tag team act alongside his brother, Lou Bastien, and partners, Hercules Cortez and The Crusher.
The Bastien Brothers were able to become two-time American Wrestling Alliance Tag Team Champions. And Red was able to become a one-time American Wrestling Association Tag Team Champion alongside Hercules Cortez. His signature move was the figure-four leg lock and Red was Rowdy Roddy Piper's best man at his wedding. Unfortunately, Red Bastien passed away in August 2012 due to complications with Alzheimer's disease.
Michael Mizanin, better known by his ring name, The Miz, has had one of the most unique rises to prominence in WWE history. Michael made his first on-TV appearance as a cast member on MTV's The Real World: Back to New York in 2001. Later, Mike entered the WWE competition television show, Tough Enough, in its fourth season. The Miz finished runner up but was able to join the brand's developmental subsidiaries. Years later, The Miz was drafted into the ECW branch of the WWE in 2007. Since then, he's become one of the most dominant presences in the modern day era of the WWE.
The Miz has won a total of eight WWE Intercontinental Championships, two WWE United States Championships, all the while earning the WWE Championship belt and defending it against John Cena in Wrestlemania XXVII main event where he surprisingly ended up being the victor. Wrestling fans might not like The Miz for his antics but, he continues to win and work hard. Oh yeah, he's currently the WWE Smackdown Tag Team Champion alongside Shane McMahon, he's unstoppable.
There has never been an anomaly in the wrestling world like Bill Goldberg. Goldberg literally came out of nowhere and was added to the WCW roster in 1997, he quickly tallied up a mysterious undefeated winning record of 173-0. All of his matches were extremely short, he ended them quickly with a spear and became a must-watch for wrestling fans which drew crowds from WWF to WCW.
Eventually, the Tulsa, Oklahoma-bred wrestler found his way to the WWE where became a number one contender and Wrestlemania headliner against Brock Lesner in Wrestlemania XXXIII. The event was so lackluster it left fans disappointed but Goldberg did earn the WWE Universe Championship. Goldberg is the only wrestler to win the WCW World Heavyweight Championship, the WWE World Heavyweight Championship, and the WWE Universal Championship. Bill Goldberg could considerably be the most intimidating wrestler of all-time and he probably is being that his wrestling career has always been on his terms. He's one of the greatest.
Ken Patera is another chiseled physical specimen that was freakish during his wrestling era in the 1970s and '80s. Originally, Patera competed in the 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich, Germany as a powerlifter. For the next half decade, Patera competed in lifting competitions and transitioned into the wrestling realm. Patera quickly became a hated heel for his cockiness and brute strength that utilized to perform his bearhug finisher.
Towards the beginning of his mainstream wrestling career, he challenged WWF Champions Bruno Sammartino and Bob Backland which was unheard of at the time. However, Ken Patera was the first-ever wrestler to hold two title belts in two different promotions companies. Patera held the WWF Intercontinental Championship and the NWA Missouri Heavyweight Championship simultaneously. Patera's physique and strength allowed him to have some notable battles with the likes of Hulk Hogan and Andre the Giant. To this very day, the Portland, Oregon-bred wrestler is alive and kickin' at the age of 76-years-old.
Kurt Angle didn't have to curate some strange moniker or weird character in order to hit the biggest stage in professional wrestling. Kurt Angle won the gold medal in the 1996 Summer Olympics for freestyle wrestling in the heavyweight division. From there, Angle made his WWF debut two years later where became the company's ultimate heel.
Throughout his career, Kurt Angle has faced many top-tier adversaries including The Rock, Stone Cold Steve Austin, Chris Jericho, Edge, Shawn Michaels, and so many more. Not to mention, his formal wrestling style made all of these names beatable for the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania-native. Kurt Angle ended his career as a four-time WWF/E Champion, a one-time WCW Champion, one-time WWE Tag Team Champion, and so many more accolades. Angle is one the greatest to ever hit the mat, he has the ability to put on a show and make you love him or hate him. Peace to the 2017 WWE Hall of Fame inductee, Kurt Angle.
When you think of Rhode Island you usually think Family Guy or clam chowder, you'd rarely think hardcore wrestlers but, surprisingly the state has produced two- Chuck Palumbo and Spike Dudley. Wrestling enthusiasts should know why we've clearly selected Chuck for the honors of representing Rhode Island for the most popular wrestler in Rhode Island in this case (no disrespect Spike).
However, Chuck Palumbo made a name for himself in the tag team market teaming up with the likes of Sean O'Haire and Billy Gunn throughout his illustrious career. As a member of The Alliance with Sean O'Haire, the two feuded with some of the best tag team duos of The Attitude era of the WWF/E including the likes of The A.P.A, The Hardy Boyz, Christian & Edge, and more. Palumbo earned a total of four WCW Tag Team Championships alongside Sean O'Haire and two WWE Tag Team Championships alongside Billy Gunn. Following his wrestling career, Chuck Palumbo starred in Rusted Development, a show where he customized cars and motorcycles.
Paul Randle Wight Jr. better known by his wrestling stage name, The Big Show, might not be professional wrestling's most famous giant but, he's definitely the hardest working and most decorated giant of all-time. The Big Show currently has the longest running tenure as an active performer in professional wrestling. Big Show started his pro-wrestling career in 1995 and to this day is signed to the WWE's Smackdown division.
The Big Show also is the only wrestler to hold these four titles- the WCW World Heavyweight Championship belt (2x), the WWF/E Championship belt (2x), ECW World Championship belt (1x), and the World Heavyweight Championship belt (2x). The Big Show knows how to put on a show as well (no pun intended), he's faced greats like Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Shaquille O'neal in the ring. The WWE Hall of Fame will be calling his name when it's time for him to hang up his boots for good.
Hailing from Webster, South Dakota is yet another freak of nature in Brock Lesner, who can easily be considered the most intimidating professional wrestler in history behind Bill Goldberg. Brock Lesnar has participated in traditional wrestling at Bismarck State University and the University of Minnesota, participated in the NFL as a defensive tackle for the Minnesota Vikings, and as a combatant in the UFC. Lesnar could easily be the most versatile and complete fighter in pro-wrestling history.
Throughout his wrestling career, Lesnar became the youngest WWE Undisputed Champion in the belt's history at 25-years-old. Brock has also won the WWE Championship and WWE World Heavyweight Championship a total of four times while currently holding the belt for the WWE Universal Championship. Brock's real claim to fame could be when he defeated Randy Couture for the UFC Heavyweight Title in November 2008. Since then, Lesnar has retired from mixed martial arts but, he's still a force in the pro-wrestling world and a future Hall of Famer.
Jerry 'The King' Lawler's championship reign in his home state of Tennessee allowed him to become a regional superstar to the point he didn't need to crossover to the WWF/E until the latter years of his career. As a member of the American Wrestling Association, Lawler is a 52-time AWA Southern Heavyweight Champion, a ten-time AWA Southern Tag Team Champion, two-time WCWA World Heavyweight Champion, and so much more.
The King has an endless amount of accolades to list but he's also made himself out to be one of the greatest heel announcers the WWF/E has ever seen. His unique voice helped shape an era throughout the 1990s and 2000s. Jerry 'The King' Lawler was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2007 and he barely had to set foot in the ring. However, he did suffer a heart attack in 2012 while doing color commentary ringside, since then he's taken a step back from the wrestling realm.
Stone Cold Steve Austin might be the most beloved persona in all of wrestling. His nonchalant, disrespectful, beer-drinking, kick-ass attitude are traits every wrestling fan appreciated. Stone Cold was another personality that was able to transcend the sport of wrestling and become a major part of pop culture. Stone Cold originally made his debut in 1989 wrestling for promotions companies like WCW and ECW but didn't rise to prominence until signing with WWF/E in 1995 where he became a superstar.
Throughout his illustrious career, Stone Cold Steve Austin has been a six-time WWF/E Champion, two-time WCW United States Heavyweight Champion, four-time WWE Tag Team Champion, two-time WWF/E Intercontinental Champion, and so much more. His rivalries with The Rock, The Undertaker, Shawn Michaels helped curate one of the best eras of professional wrestling. Stone Cold Steve Austin was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2009 and now host a popular podcast on the WWE Network.
It comes as a surprise that someone as corrupt and violent as The Sandman comes from such a religious-based state such as Utah. However, the man born James Fullington and known as The Sandman happens to be from Sandy, Utah. The Sandman is probably one of the most unpredictable and reckless pro-wrestlers ever. Constantly armed with his Singapore cane, he's become an ECW legend and referred to as the 'Hardcore Icon.'
The Sandman is a five-time ECW Heavyweight Champion, one-time ECW Tag Team Champion, and was inducted into the Hardcore Hall of Fame in 2007. For a man who crushes beers on his way to the ring and is willing to put his body at risk in the ring, he still works the local circuit to this very day despite making his debut in 1989. We're not sure how he does it now but The Sandman is one of the greatest Hardcore wrestling athletes of all-time.
Vermont is another one of those states that you probably wouldn't think to produce a lot of major professional wrestlers and if you guessed so, you were right. However, there was one legendary female wrestler from Newport, Vermont that did revolutionize the sport of professional wrestling in the 1970s, a one Vivian Vachon.
The name might not ring a bell but, she was considered the best female wrestler of the '70s. Vachon grew up wrestling with her brothers and became the AWA California's Women Champion in 1971. Vachon also starred in a major motion picture entitled Wrestling Queen alongside her brothers and other respected wrestlers from that era. Unfortunately, Vivian Vachon passed away in a car accident at the tender age of 40 in August 1991. This is a legacy as wrestling fans that we must keep alive. Rest well, Vivian Vachon.
Tony Atlas can be described as physical perfection. The chiseled muscles, the minimal body fat, and the ability to manhandle his competition in the ring helped him earn a roster spot on the biggest stage in professional wrestling. Tony Atlas is one of the strongest men to ever enter the ring after he earned the nickname 'Mr. USA' after winning the nation's highest bodybuilding title on three separate occasions.
Throughout his decorated wrestling career, Tony Atlas was known as a tag team specialist alongside his partner Rocky Johnson, in which the two formed the 'Soul Patrol.' The Soul Patrol was the first-ever Black-American duo to earn the WWF World Tag Team Championship belts in 1983. Later in his career, Atlas wrestled as a solo act and had a couple of shots at the WWF Intercontinental Title, but never quite made it over the hump. Fortunately, his services in the pro-wrestling realm were rewarded when he was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2006.
Daniel Bryan has been a fan-favorite since his resurgence into the WWE scene in 2009. His 'Yes Movement' has captivated audiences across the nation and the globe as he continues to prove that he's here to stay as one of the most elite wrestlers of this current generation. Still, it wasn't easy for Bryan to make his way to the top after rising from the NXT stables and suffering multiple injuries and even was forced into retirement due to medical issues (seizures due to multiple concussions and a brain lesion) in February 2016.
However, Bryan has since then committed himself to return to the ring in March 2018 and is currently in his fourth WWE Championship reign. Over this past decade, there isn't an accomplishment Daniel Bryan hasn't been able to achieve whether it be World Heavyweight Champion (1x), WWE United States Champion (1x), WWE Intercontinental Champion (1x), or WWE Tag Team Champion (1x). Daniel Bryan is paving a way for himself and if he can continue to stay healthy, the sky is the limit.
Batista is one of the very few wrestling personalities that gets praise for helping the WWE maintain relevance during their Raw/Smackdown brand split. His demeanor and vicious wrestling style captured the attention of wrestling fans around the world when he was first introduced during the early 2000s. Since then, Batista has won the World Heavyweight Championship a total of four times and the WWE Championship a total of two times. To this day, Batista is the longest-reigning Heavyweight Championship holder in the belt's history.
Batista also headlined one of WWE's most-watched pay-per-view events in Wrestlemania XXI where he took on his mentor, Triple H. Since his departure from the wrestling scene, he's starred in major motion pictures like the Guardians of the Galaxy series and James Bond: Spectre. Batista might have crossed over but his legacy began within the realm of wrestling, where his roots began.
Born and raised in Pineville, West Virginia, Heath Miller, better known by his stage name, Heath Slater, is the state of West Virginia's crown jewel when it comes to the world of professional wrestling. While he might play an aggravating heel that talks himself into trouble, he's definitely one of the most entertaining personas of this current generation of wrestlers.
Slater has become a member of multiple tag team groups throughout his career, including Nexus featuring himself and his partner Justin Gabriel, the Three Man Band or 3MB featuring Jinder Mahal and Drew McIntyre, and his latest partner in Rhyno. His partnerships have allowed him to become a three-time WWE Tag Team Champion and one-time WWE Smackdown Tag Team Champion With such an entertaining personality Slater has the opportunity to do big things in the WWE.
Ken Kennedy was one of those narcissistic heels that made you dislike him because of his self-indulging antics. His arrival on the WWE Smackdown scene in 2005 quickly propelled him to the top as he was able to earn the honors of holding the WWE United States Championship the following year in 2006. Unfortunately for Mr. Kennedy, he lost the belt after a month but formed notable feuds with the likes of WWE legends like The Undertaker, Shawn Michaels, and Chris Benoit.
Ken Kennedy's time did not last long with WWE as he was released from his contract in 2009. However, his best days were ahead of him as he became a full-time roster member on TNA in 2010 where he became a two-time TNA Heavyweight Champion. Since then, Ken Kennedy has been working the independent circuit and killing it. We're sure he'll make it back to a major platform in the near future.
Eric Bischoff might not exactly be a wrestler in the traditional sense of an athlete but, he's severely affected the climate of what wrestling is today. As president of the WCW imprint, Bischoff single-handedly helped the company rise to prominence above the forever dominating force that was the WWF in the pro-wrestling promotions world in the mid-90s. Bischoff helped develop the nWo era of wrestling, he helped Sting rebrand and become a cult-classic legend, and he developed the killing machine that we all know today as Bill Goldberg.
Bischoff started the Monday Night Wars between WCW and WWF and reigned supreme for a total of 84 weeks in a row. Unfortunately, WCW's reign was cut short and the masses transitions back over to the WWE. Bischoff later was hired as a General Manager at WWE Monday Night RAW, he also worked with TNA as a producer and Global Force Wrestling before bowing out of the business. Say what you want about him, you have to give Eric Bischoff his credit for affecting the culture in a positive way and maxing it out to its fullest potential.