Lowlife Louie Ramos, Amerigo Diehl and Brian Damage
Ok peeps, this week’s selection is top five hardest hitting or stiffest wrestlers of all time. Wrestlers (could be both male and female) who you watched and believed were the most physical inside a wrestling ring.
My goodness what a great topic. But by gawd did you make this difficult. Top 5 STIFFEST . There has been so many great hard ,heavy hitters in history.. To just name 5 seems tough.
Maybe an American top 5…A Japanese top 5..An international top 5..An independent top 5 ..lol..wooooffff. I’m gonna try my best. So to all you guys out there this is MY all time top 5…
Honorable mention…Low Ki, Toshiaki Kawada, Kenta Kobashi, Samoa Joe. Steve Monsta Mack, Brock Lesnar, Tomohiro Ishii, Daisuke Sekimoto, Chris Dickinson, Dan Maff, SHLAK, MASADA, Corp Robinson, Ian Rotten, Minoru Suzuki, Dr Death Steve Williams, Fit Finlay, Walter, Bull Pain. Bryan Danielson
5) Mitsuharu Misawa
The defacto father of the All Japan boom in the late 80s early 90s. Misawa was synonymous with the strong style that came out of that company. His move set along with his brutal sweat spraying forearms and strikes are amazing .His hard hitting matches with Kobashi, Kawada, Dr Death and so many others are the stuff of legends..the 3 men i just mentioned should also be on this list. This is how hard it is to pick here.
4) Stan Hansen
The bad man from Borger Texas gets the nod over another legend here..Vader…as he was responsible for knocking Vader’s eye out of its socket during an especially stiff bout in Japan..a place where he made a huge name in singles and tag team with another highly impactful athlete in one Bruiser Brody. Hansen also broke the neck of living legend Bruno Sammartino in the 70s. Wrestling for the better part of 5 decades. Hansen was as tough as they come.
3) Terry Funk
The true living legend.. the man wrestled virtually everyone in his illustrious career that spanned 6 decades. Funk was a star and a champion everywhere he went. Wrestling tough hard hitting matches that blurred the line every time..His pile driving Ric Flair on a table back in 88 may look standard now..but back then was a move only a maniac and renegade would attempt.. Funk was a true pioneer. HAVE ANY OF YOU OUT THERE BEEN HIT BY A TERRY FUNK LEFT HAND?? NO…WELL I HAVE. HE ALSO KNOCKED HALF MY TOOTH OUT OF MY MOUTH.. so i can speak from experience lol.
This one is high up because its the man responsible for training me. But his body of work speaks for itself. The godfather of east coast indy wrestling and a man who trained many a strong style grappler (Low Ki, Steve Mack, Dan Maff among many others) Pound for pound probably one of the strongest strikers ever. Has also wrestled extensively around the world for decades now. Wrestlers like Bryan Danielson ,Samoa Joe, CM Punk and so many others began using this style only after the Notorious 187 brought it into the forefront of the independent scene at the turn of this century still going strong to this day.
1) The Necro Butcher
Deathmatch legend. A man who made every match he participated in a violent hard hitting must watch affair ( He vs Samoa Joe IWA MS in Philly. Watch it) Necro Butcher brought it every time he set foot in the ring. Brutal punches and kicks from all directions, he was a fighting fury, He would also take as hard as he gave..taking insane bumps and having all sorts of items from bats to computer screens thrown at his head.. he was Jason Vorhees like, just kept coming.. He even wrestled another hard hitting monster in Shlak just 15 months ago, and was throwing just as hard despite the fact that he was…unbeknownst to anyone at the time…battling a form of cancer. Now how’s that for hard hitting?!?
Louie was definitely correct in saying how difficult this was to narrow down to just five of the hardest hitters in professional wrestling. There were so many of them, but I’ll give it a shot. This is certainly a subject that will have me say “Oh Yeah, I forgot about him.” In any event, here are my top five all time…
Honorable mentions: WALTER, KENTA, Mitsuharu Misawa, Haku, Bradshaw, Ron Simmons, the Wild Samoans
5 Dr. Death Steve Williams
Whether it was in Japan or here in the States, Dr Death certainly lived up to his nickname. Hard hitting, stiff, dropped numerous opponents on the back of their heads…just because he could. Definitely beyond vicious inside the squared circle.
4 The Road Warriors
Hawk and Animal were two of the stiffest wrestlers of any era. They refused to sell a lot and quite frankly didn’t have to. Heaven forbid a wrestler didn’t sell for them however…it would be a real life massacre.
3 Bruiser Brody
His reputation as being a stiff wrestler that did whatever he wanted, whenever he wanted certainly rings true. Bruiser Brody was a one of a kind wrestler that made himself a star without relying on a particular promotion or booker to get him over. What made him so successful was his ability to hit hard and make fans believe he was the toughest of the tough. Truth be told….he was.
2 Stan Hansen
This tough Texan had to be on my list for the simple fact he hit so hard, he knocked out Vader’s eye and broke Bruno Sammartino’s neck. His lariat is absolutely vicious and devastating. No list of hardest hitting wrestlers can be complete without Mr. Hansen on it.
1 Kenta Kobashi
Japan certainly has had its fair share of super strong style wrestlers. Guys like Kawada, Ishii, Misawa and KENTA just to name a few. To me, the king of all of them is the legendary Kenta Kobashi. I was first introduced to Japanese wrestling by watching a match between Kobashi and Mitsuharu Misawa. The level of hard strikes and stiff kicks was off the charts. To me, Kobashi was the leader of strong style. His thunderous chops alone are something to both fear and admire.
You can read all previous Top Five pieces here.