Who do you think will be ranked number one on the list of the best technical wrestlers of all time? Will your favourite make it onto the list? Keep reading to find out.
Wrestling is a complex sport with many ways to get the crowd of their feet. Whilst the likes of Hulk Hogan and Steve Austin controlled the crowd with charisma and microphone skills, the best technical wrestlers of all time can control the tempo of the crowd by simply applying different wrestling holds.
Whilst some considering the art of technical wrestling a dying art, it couldn’t be further from the truth. Some of the best technical wrestlers of all time are currently wrestling around the world and main eventing the biggest shows all across the globe.
From all the way back to the early days of Frank Gotch, to the first big stars in WWE like Bruno Sammartino, to stars of the 80s and 90s like Bret Hart, and to modern day wrestlers inspired by their forefathers like Daniel Garcia, there are no shortage of top technical wrestlers in any era of wrestling.
Narrowing them down to a top 10 list is impossible. There are so many stars all over the world that will be left out for one reason or another. If there are any of the best technical wrestlers of all time you feel have been left off this list, let us know in the comments!
Here are the list of the top 10 best technical wrestlers of all time.
Best Technical Wrestlers Of All Time
10. William Regal
The first man on the list of best technical wrestlers of all time is one of the most beloved and influential men in wrestling.
William Regal is one of the best British wrestlers of all time and one of the biggest what-ifs in wrestling history. He brought a fresh and exciting technical style to WWE, mixed in with violence and brutality that made the fans fear him.
Drug issues stopped him from becoming a WWE Champion, but he did manage to win the King of the Ring in 2008 before a suspension halted her momentum. However, he did have a 20+ year career in WWE and WCW, with some incredibly memorable moments as the Commissioner and General Manager of Raw.
Despite never living up to his potential as a World Champion in WWE, William Regal is still one of the best technical wrestlers of all time.
9. “Mr Perfect” Curt Hennig
The reason Curt Hennig went by the name “Mr Perfect” was because everything he did in the ring was just that – perfect. He was a technical whizz in the era of Hulk Hogan and Andre the Giant, taking advantage of his amateur background to wow the fans in the United States.
He showcased his skills in all the top American promotions, including AWA, WWF and WCW. He became a world champion in the AWA, defeating the legendary Nick Bockwinkle in 1987 to become the AWA World Heavyweight Champion. It was a belt he held for over a year before moving to the WWF where he became Mr Perfect.
There he became a Intercontinental Champion and brought with him a great technical wrestling style that few in the promotion had seen before. Combining that with his arrogant “Mr Perfect” persona, he was one of the greatest WWE wrestlers to never win the WWE Championship.
He would later join the NWO in WCW and make a brief return to WWE in 2002 before a stint in TNA. However, he sadly passed away in 2003, aged just 44. He was survived by his son, former WWE Superstar Curtis Axel and remains one of the best technical wrestlers of all time in the WWE.
8. Zack Sabre Jr
Six-time winner of the “Bryan Danielson Best Technical Wrestler of the year” award has to be included on the list of the best technical wrestlers of all time.
The British grappler has wowed fans in New Japan Pro Wrestler as multi-time tag team champion, and even holds a victory over one of the best Japanese wrestlers of all time, Kazuchika Okada.
Zack Sabre Jr is known for wrestling a style from years gone by in British wrestler. He channels the likes of Marc Rocco and Johnny Saint by applying innovative and painful holds in a variety of ways. He wrestlers a slow, deliberate pace in his matches that harkens back to the World of Sport days of British wrestling.
He wrestles an almost totally technical style which has solidified himself as one of the best technical wrestlers in the world. He is a huge fan of Bryan Danielson and a match between the two could usher in a new era of technical wrestling.
7. Jushin ‘Thunder’ Liger
One of the best Japanese wrestlers of all time, Jushin “Thunder” Liger, ranks in at number 7 of the best technical wrestlers of all time.
Liger was a innovator and huge star in the Junior Heavyweight division in NJPW. He was given the gimmick of the same of a character in an anime in Japan, but his incredible in-ring skills and connection to the crowd meant that he quickly surpassed the popularity of the TV character.
He held the IWGP Heavyweight Championship a record 11 times, including having the longest reign of all time. In his second title reign, he held the belt for a staggering 683 days.
He started out as a fast paced, high octane wrestler, but altered his style to be more technical as the years went on. This incredible change in in-ring style is why he is so high up on this list, showing he could do just about everything.
He was also the innovator of many moves used by wrestlers today. The Romero Special (The Surfboard Stretch) was brought into popularity by Jushin Liger, and he is recognised as being the innovator of moves like the Liger Bomb, Tilt-a-whirl backbreaker and Shooting Star Press.
6. Dean Malenko
“The Iceman” Dean Malenko was a huge star in the 1990s, simply due to his crisp and technical wrestling style. He earned the nickname of “The man of 1000 holds” due to the amount of ways that he could inflict pain on his opponent.
Whilst he was never pushed hard in WCW and WWE, his lack of main event status never fazed him. The cool, calm and collected cruiserweight wowed fans against the likes of Eddie Guerrero, Rey Mysterio and Chris Jericho in WCW in some of the best matches of all time.
Dean Malenko’s in-ring ability was so great that he was awarded the number one spot on the 1997 PWI 500 list. The list is a kayfabe ranking of who was the best in the world and Malenko’s was such a great technical wrestler that he finished ahead of both Mitsharu Misawa and Stone Cold Steve Austin.
He inspired a number of wrestlers with his matches in Japan, ECW and WCW, with wrestling great Daniel Bryan that his “number one guy, growing up, was Dean Malenko””
5. Dynamite Kid
Ignoring his outside the ring antics, the Dynamite Kid is one the best technical wrestlers of all time and one of the most influential junior heavyweights in the history of wrestling.
Real name Tom Billington, the Lancashire born grappler first made a name for himself working for Stu Hart’s Stampede Wrestling. His matches in particular with a young Bret Hart impressed the Calgary fans, and it earned him booking across the world including in Japan.
His matches with Tiger Mask in NJPW are hailed as one of the most influential matches in his history. The pair wrestled at a lightning fast paced, with incredible counters to each others holds and some incredible technical wrestling that wowed that fans. Those matches became the blueprint for the modern junior heavyweight matches in Japan.
He also featured in WWE as part of the British Bulldog’s tag team, along with his cousin Davey Boy Smith. The pair were one of the best tag teams of the 1980s, but a terrible back injury ended the career of Dynamite Kid in WWE, and eventually his career in general years later.
Did you Know – The British Bulldog’s son Harry Smith wrestled in WWE as David Hart Smith.
4. Chris Benoit
Despite committing the horrible double-murder of his wife and child, Chris Benoit in one of the best technical wrestlers of all time.
The Canadian crippler first made waves in Japan as Wild Pegasus, with his matches against Eddie Guerrero (as Black Tiger) in New Japan Pro Wrestling particularly wowing fans. Benoit was known for his incredible skill in the ring and also his incredible work ethic. Chris Jericho noted that he would “punish” himself for making a mistake in the ring by doing 500 Hindu squats.
He later moved to ECW, where Paul Heyman revealed that he was set to make him the ECW champion. More matches against Eddie Guerrero wowed American audiences, and earned Benoit and Guerrero a move to World Championship Wrestling.
In WCW, he was part of the Four Horsemen, and was a one time WCW Champion. He walked out on the company the day after winning the championship and signed for the WWE, where his incredible technical style was showcased against the likes of Steve Austin and Triple H.
He became a World Heavyweight Champion in WWE in 2004, solidifying himself as one of the best technical wrestlers of all time. In one of the highest rated matches on CageMatch.net. he defeated both Triple H and Shawn Michaels at Wrestlemania 20, in one of the best Wrestlemania matches of all time.
Obviously his legacy has been greatly tarnished by the actions that led to his death in 2007, but fans of Chris Benoit the wrestler would admit that he is one of the best technical wrestlers of all time, and inspired a generation of wrestlers.
3. Kurt Angle
Oh, it’s true. WWE Hall of Famer Kurt Angle manages to land at number three on the best technical wrestlers of all time.
He came into the business knowing about pro-wrestling, but having dominated the world of amateur wrestling. He won the gold medal in wrestling at the 1996 Olympics, and soon signed with WWE to try to conquer the world of pro-wrestling.
He took to the sport like a duck to water. He forged his own technical style, mixing the world’s of amateur wrestling and sports entertainment that helped make him one of the greatest and most popular wrestlers in WWE history.
2. Bryan Danielson
Bryan Danielson, or Daniel Bryan, is currently having the run of his life and showcasing his skills in AEW as one of the best technical wrestlers of all time.
Before he signed for WWE, he made his name as the best wrestler in the world as one of the greatest ROH champions of all time. He has recently been inducted into the Ring of Honor Hall of Fame for his work for the company in the early-to-mid 2000s.
In WWE, he became a multi-time world champion and main evented two Wrestlemania’s. He proved that size means nothing over hard-work and technical skills, as he main evented Wrestlemania 30 and Wrestlemania 37, both times in Triple Threat matches.
Since leaving WWE in 2021, he has had incredible matches in All Elite Wrestling. He has wrestled in multiple five-star matches against wrestlers like Kenny Omega, Adam Page and Minoru Suzuki, showcasing his skills as one of the best technical wrestlers of all time.
1. Bret Hart
Coming it at number one on the list of the best technical wrestlers of all time is none other than Bret ‘The Hitman’ Hart. No-one made wrestling feel as real and when Bret Hart stepped into the ring, he showed that hard work and incredible wrestling could you to the top in the land of the giants in WWE.
Despite retiring over 20 years ago, Bret Hart still remains the greatest technical wrestler of all time. He used wrestling to tell a story that no-one else could, and always worked harder than anyone else to have a great match night in and night out.
Hart became a multi-time WWE and WCW World Champion in his time in the ring, and had some of the best matches of all time. His bouts against his brother Owen Hart are still regarded as some of the best ever and were 30 years ahead of their time when they first aired in the 1980s.
He tops the list of the greatest technical wrestlers of all time simply due to his ability to perform technical wrestling so flawlessly and so entertainingly that he took down the likes of Hulk Hogan and Randy Savage, who towered him in size and stature but could not match his incredible in-ring ability.
Bret Hart is the best technical wrestler of all time and it cannot be argued about the impact he had on wrestling.
Do you think Bret Hart is the best technical wrestler of all time? Is there anyone who we left off the list of the best technical wrestlers of all time? Let us know in the comments or click below to keep reading.