Lowlife Louie Ramos, Brian Damage and Amerigo Diehl
This past Wednesday was Canada Day and I thought it would be cool to list our personal top five Canadian wrestlers of all time.
Honorable and controversial mention to Chris Benoit. His wrestling could have easily put him near the top of this list…but due to the circumstances I am omitting him.
5) Owen Hart…should have been higher, but due to having his career cut short due to his tragic passing is on here at 5. Could and should have been world champion. Great on the microphone and in the ring. Owen Hart was an amazing all around performer that will always be fondly remembered.
4) Abdullah the butcher..my list so I see fit to add the madman from the Sudan. Abdullah was actually born in Windsor Ontario Cananda way back when. He is one of the forefathers of hardcore wrestling ,and with a career that spanned from the early 60s to almost 2010, Abby is indeed a Canadian legend.
3) Chris Jericho. Actually born in Long Island, Jericho’s dad was Canadian hockey star, Ted Irvine .Jericho would move to Canada as a young child and hold Canadian citizenship. He has always extolled the virtues of Winnipeg Manitoba Canada as his home. He is a certified legend. Holding titles all over the world, And remains relevant after over 30 yrs in wrestling.
2) Bret Hitman Hart. A man synonymous with Canadian wrestling. The Hitman is another wrestling icon. Holding championships in both WWE and WCW. His career spanned decades, he wrestled virtually every star of 2 generations and has had phenomenal matches versus every one he stepped in the ring with. One of the all time greats.
1) Edge..the ultimate opportunist takes my top stop. His phenomenal performances in matches where he would sacrifice his body tremendously, his number of accolades and his grit and determination, not only to come back from Achilles rupture in 7 months to win a Royal Rumble, but .to come back 9 years after his retirement shows what kind if top notch performer he is. Also the fact that he was a lifelong fan attending Wrestlemania 6 will always hit home. As he is living proof dreams come true.
In no particular order….
5. Pat Patterson – Many younger fans may know Patterson as one of Vince McMahon’s stooges during the Attitude Era. Some will recall Patterson for the various sex scandals he was involved in. Others might remember him for being a creative mind behind the scenes. While Patterson was all those things, he was a tremendous worker in the ring. The very first Intercontinental champion in WWF history and a great heel character.
4.Stu Hart – I tried to keep this list to ones that I actually saw wrestle, but I felt Stu Hart needed a mention. He was a true grappler and tough man. Not only that, but trained countless of other wrestlers that are on this list.
3. Ivan Koloff – The infamous ‘Russian Bear’ was actually born in Montreal. He was entrusted enough to defeat the practically untouchable Bruno Sammartino for the WWWF world title in 1971 albeit a transitional champion. Koloff had a great career and should be recognized for it.
2. Roddy Piper – Despite being billed from Glasgow, Scotland…Piper was born in Canada. One of the greatest if not the greatest heel in pro wrestling history. While not technically gifted in the ring, was a great brawler and of course was a master on the microphone.
1. Bret Hart – When you think of Canadian wrestlers…Bret ‘the Hitman’ Hart is one of the very first that come to mind for many wrestling fans. He wore his love for his country on his sleeve and was a great technical wrestler. Hart was a multiple time world champion for both WWF and WCW. His ego might have hurt his career a bit, but ultimately one of the top Canadian wrestlers of all time.
For this list I have chosen wrestlers who were born in Canada, as opposed to whether they might have lived or competed there, or were billed as from being somewhere else.
5. Chris Beniot: I will address the elephant in the room, or maybe the wolverine in the room first. Yes, what Beniot did was horrible, however his in ring work will always be remembered as being about as technically sound as one might ever see. He had success in multiple promotions, and even though it is hard to look past what he did, I want to give credit where it is due.
4. Roddy Piper: Good wrestling skills combined with great charisma and mic skills made Piper successful wherever he wrestled. My first introduction to him was via magazines during his run in the Pacific Northwest and Georgia Championship wrestling. When he arrived in the WWF his reputation proceeded him, and I was not disappointed. He is one of a few wrestlers, where if you completely took away his ring work and just looked at his promos or commentary, he would still be a hall of famer.
3. Pat Patterson: My introduction to Patterson was as McMahon’s commentary partner during the early 80’s WWF, prior to the relaunch with Hogan etc. Later I would discover just how good he was both in the ring and behind the scenes. Patterson is credited with creating the concept of the Royal Rumble among other things. In his first book, Jim Ross says Patterson was the best in the world at laying out a match. His wrestling career as a tag team partner of Ray Stevens is pretty solid work.
2. Whipper Billy Watson: Ok, this one is even way before my time but he deserves this spot. Watson was a Canadian legend who competed with the likes of Lou Thez, Gorgeous George, and Gene Kiniski. He was a two time heavyweight champion who ended Lou Thesz’s 6 year run as champion. Watson was a local hero and drew large crowds wherever he wrestled. Later he worked with Easter Seals raising millions of dollars to help children.
1. Killer Kowalski- There are tons of reasons why Kowalski makes this list. Besides having a great in-ring career in numerous territories, including some great feuds with Bruno Sammartino in the early 70’s. During his career he had cemented his reputation as a vicious and hated heel. Besides the in-ring success I chose him for the first spot because of his work after his in-ring career ended as a trainer. Among those he trained were Big John Studd,(who he won the WWWF tag team championship under Lou Albano) Perry Saturn, Kofi Kingston, Chyna, and Triple H, and numerous others. For that reason alone his legacy has a tremendous impact on wrestling to this very day.
You can read all previous Top Five pieces here.