New Zealand is not a country usually known for professional wrestling, but it does boast some of the finest wrestlers of all time.
The small island has produced some brilliant wrestlers over the years, including world champions, tag team specialists and stars of AEW, WWE and NJPW.
In this article, we’ll reveal who the best wrestlers from New Zealand are, explaining why these Kiwis deserve to be rated so highly.
5. Bad Luck Fale
One of the most successful and influential wrestlers to come from New Zealand in recent years is Bad Luck Fale.
The giant Kiwi has established himself as a consistent force in NJPW, appearing in multiple big matches against some of the best wrestlers of all time.
He has helped grow pro-wrestling in New Zealand, opening up his own training school on the island. Fale also helped get Kiwi stars, like Jay White, into the New Japan Dojo, showing his influence in wrestling.
4. Toni Storm
While she is thought of as being Australian, Toni Storm was born in New Zealand and lived there until age four.
She wrestled all over the world, from Japan, to the UK and to the United States, becoming one of the top female wrestlers in the world.
She has won world championships in WWE and AEW, becoming the first woman to win the AEW Women’s Championship twice – helping her to the title of the best female Kiwi wrestler of all time.
3. The Bushwhackers
Butch and Luke cannot be separated in the ring, so we’ll include them as a team on the list of the best wrestlers from New Zealand.
Known as “The Sheepherders” in their home country, they were one of the most feared and destructive teams in the world.
They are best known for their later run in the US as “The Bushwackers” – a more goofy team who were known for their crazy march to the ring, and penchant for licking the heads of fans.
Whichever iteration of the group you like, they are without a doubt one of New Zealand’s finest exports in wrestling.
The Bushwhackers were inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2015.
2. Pat O’Connor
When it comes to the history of professional wrestling, the name Pat O’Connor is one that is not easily forgotten.
The New Zealand born wrestler is one of the best of all time to come from the island, leaving New Zealand to travel to the US to become a pro wrestling (following a successful career as an amateur),
He made history by becoming the first ever AWA World Heavyweight Champion in 1960. He was also NWA World’s Heavyweight Champion, making him AWA World Heavyweight Championship and NWA World Heavyweight Championship, simultaneously.
1. Jay White
Despite still being in the early stages of his career, Jay White ranks as the best Kiwi wrestler of all time.
Switchblade made a name for himself in New Japan Pro Wrestling, after coming through their dojo (thanks to Bad Luck Fale).
After an excursion to the UK and US, he returned to Japan as Switchblade Jay White, giving New Zealand it’s first main event star in a top company in decades.
He is the only wrestler from New Zealand to hold the IWGP World Heavyweight Championship, which is one of the most prestigious titles in the world.
Jay White is also incredible in the ring, with his best matches up there with some of the greatest matches of time.
He is one of the world’s greatest wrestlers, and without a doubt New Zealand’s best ever pro wrestler – and he’s showing in AEW that he may be one of the best of all time.
Hamish is a writer and podcaster and wrestling fan who is a key part of the Atletifo team.
After playing countless hours of WrestleMania X8 on the Gamecube, he discovered Rey Mysterio getting his head crushed by The Great Khali, and thus a love for professional wrestling was born.
He is also a Media Graduate, as well as writing for multiple sites about Premier League football and the culture of Wales – his home country.