May 25, 2003
These five guys rocked the \'90s
By DON \'CYRUS\' CALLIS -- Slam! Wrestling
My commentaries over the past few weeks have fueled rampant debate in the form of e-mails to the NHB Wrestling Web site regarding which wrestler was the best performer of the 1990s.
My recent articles about Bret Hart, Shawn Michaels and Ultimo Dragon have led to several fans e-mailing me asking me to take a position on who is indeed the best of the 1990s.
For what it\'s worth, here is my top five:
1. Bret Hart:. Bret marked a change in philosophy by the WWF in that they made the decision to go with a \"smaller\" world champion who could actually wrestle. Whatever the decision making process involved, Bret became a great babyface champion and later, in his Canada-U.S. feud with Shawn Michaels, became the No. 1 heel in the entire business. Bret\'s matches were always believable and he was one of the few guys in the business whose matches actually got better the longer they went.
Bret also had the ability that all of the great wrestlers possess, to make any opponent look fantastic. Bret would do things at the 40-minute mark that would fall into place like a great murder mystery with things he did in the opening minute. That is psychology at its finest, and Bret was wrestling at its finest in the 1990s.
2. Shawn Michaels: It\'s tough to choose between Shawn and
Bret. I love the work of both guys so it is a tough one and really you would like to have them tied -- but I had to pick. Shawn was a more spectacular wrestler than Bret, though not as believable.
Like Bret, Shawn was equally good as a heel or babyface and could carry opponents to matches normally thought to be outside the realm of possibility (Sid, Diesel).
Shawn never wrestled the same match twice and was off the charts when it came to charisma. Shawn would actually still be on my list for 2003, right behind Kurt Angle.
3. Ultimo Dragon: Can wrestle any style, make any opponent look like a champion and pound for pound might have been No. 1 in the world.
Bret and Shawn have the edge here because rightly or wrongly, Dragon was never put in a position by a Japanese company to hold the heavyweight belt.
4. Keiji Muto: Wow, as I write this I begin to hate having to make choices. Muto might be my favourite Japanese wrestler of all time, and despite having knees that are a disaster, he remains one of the top wrestlers in the world. Like Michaels, he is still able to have matches that are match-of-the-year candidates despite the beating his body has taken over the years. Oh yes, he also performs as Great Muta, which you may have heard of over the years.
5. Mitsuhara Misawa: It is tough to pick between Misawa and Kenta Kobashi, both of whom performed during the \'90s for All Japan Pro Wrestling. Misawa was the flagship and his title matches with both Kobashi and Toshiaka Kawada are legendary for their brutality and psychology.
There were no more physical and realistic world title matches during the \'90s than the ones involving Misawa, and perhaps no world title meant more than the one he held.
NHB Wrestling presents Bret Hart in Winnipeg on Fathers Day June 15 at the Beach at the Canad Inns Fort Garry Express. Tickets are available at the Canad Inns Express front desk. You can meet the \"best there is, the best there was and the best there ever will be\" and watch the Badd Blood pay-per-view. Get your tickets early.