I can see people arguing with me on Santana. I took shit for other guys that I have talked about in the past too, like One Man Gang or King Kong Bundy. But I am curious how much Tito Santana you have seen?
I think the biggest difference between our lists is that I'm putting most of my emphasis on ring work, which is why I'm not a big Slaughter or Piper fan. The heat they got? Off the charts. And Slaughter was a hell of a brawler. Same with Road Warriors. They were poor workers. Massive heat, uber pops & looked great with ridiculous power moves...but, eh, I like the art aspect of wrestling more I guess than the showmanship.
Nick Bockwinkle, I just haven't seen enough of his stuff, honestly. Andre, as mentioned, I just fuckin' forgot somehow, even though I champion him all the time. He should be on my list (probably in place of Steamboat).
EDIT: Maybe it's a cop-out for me to put Jumbo on there too. He was great but he sticks out like a sore thumb in a thread full of just North American workers.
Answering your question first...I was a huge wrestling fan in the 70's and 80's. I have dozens of old video tapes from various territories in boxes in my closets. I was a smart mark before the term came to life, and I saw loads of Tito....even before his WWF run, when he was working the territories....where he rarely main evented as well
. I saw him live dozens of times against various opponents. I saw a match with him a Butch Reed in Nashville that was very, very good. I wish the WWF had not abandoned their Butch Reed push.
Good observation, as far as work rate and I will give you that. Sanatana was one heck of a worker. But the thread "greatest of the 80's" to me, encompasses so much more than work rate or Hogan would not be on anyone's list. If it were greatest workers then sure I would consider him for the top 20. It just sounds to me like he's a personal favorite of yours, and when making a list like this it is hard not to mention our personal favs. Thus I debated putting Mr. Wrestling 2 on mine although it is forgotten how huge he was, he would not be in the Top Ten of the decade, 70's maybe. I simply started this whole debate because of all the names anyone listed Santana stuck out like a sore thumb, at least to me.
BTW I too champion the One Man Gang, very under-rated big man. Don't take to much crap for that, most wrestling "historians" acknowledge how great he was.