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post #1 of 20 (permalink) Old 04-08-2013, 12:48 AM Thread Starter
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Top 10 Wrestlers with "Crossover Appeal" of all time.

A recent post disputing Andre's crossover appeal got me thinking about this.

Obviously Hogan, Austin, and Rock are lightyears above the others but who are the other seven. And how would you rank the top ten? This is not who was better in the ring, or who was the better wrestler, just who had (espcially when it comes to their era) the most striaght crossover appeal?

I would say. (in America)

1. Hogan
2. Rock
3. Austin
4. Andre: In the 70's wrestling's biggest crossover star, plus his role in The Priness Bride and sheer novelty appeal. He was doing the national talk shows years before Hogan.
5. Georgeous George: Set the true Golden Age on fire
6. Bronko Nagurski: Probably the biggest athelete to turn wrestler ever.
7. Bruno Sammartino: Graced strongman adds in comics and ruled New York for well over a decade.
8. El Santo: Although obviously the man in Mexico his success crossed over to the States where he was huge in California, Texas, and other western states. Films are stillconsidered cult classics here.
9. Sgt Slaughter: GI Joe, and other tv shows, and political lovefest in the 80's.
10. Brock Lesner: UFC career

HM: I went back and forth on Jerry Lawler, and Verne Gagne I think a case could be made for either in the top ten. Others: Ric Flair, Dick the Brusier, and maybe Kurt Angle.

Maybe missing some obvious ones. What would you say?

Last edited by Greenlawler; 04-08-2013 at 01:00 AM.
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post #2 of 20 (permalink) Old 04-08-2013, 02:12 AM
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Re: Top 10 Wrestlers with "Crossover Appeal" of all time.

Ric Flair has cross over appeal in rap. A bunch of songs sample his promos and mention him by name.


Also add Chris Jericho to that list. He has his music and that robot show he does.

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post #3 of 20 (permalink) Old 04-08-2013, 02:16 AM
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Re: Top 10 Wrestlers with "Crossover Appeal" of all time.

Bill Goldberg has done TV shows and movies, I would add him to the list. Also Macho Man Randy Savage being in Spider Man and the Slim Jim commercials. Nice list though, you brought up some classic names that definitely had crossover appeal back then.
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post #4 of 20 (permalink) Old 04-08-2013, 05:31 AM
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Re: Top 10 Wrestlers with "Crossover Appeal" of all time.

This is very difficult. But I'll give it a shot.

1. Hulk Hogan

2. Gorgeous George - the first true wrestling star AND one of the first true TV stars period - in any category. Muhammad Ali, James Brown and Bob Dylan have all cited him as an inspiration.

3. The Rock

4. Freddie Blassie - a usual tv guest in his time from sitcoms to talk shows. Among his crossover highlights- he appeared in an episode in The Dick Van Dyke Show and starred in a movie with Andy Kaufman called My Breakfast with Blassie. The movie was name checked in pop song that peaked at #18 on the billboard charts titled "Man on the Moon". He recored voiceovers for the songs "Blassie, King of Men" and "Pencil Neck Geek" which were performed by Johnny Legend. He also appeared on a live segment of Hulk Hogan's Rock N Wrestling cartoon. He's often considered the greatest on the mic from the 50s and 60s. and is the one who started the "pencil neck geek" phrase. At one point he needed police officers to protect him from the fans just get into the building.

5. Randy Savage - damn near anyone who knows Hogan, knows Macho Man. And he's had tv/movie roles aswell. Hell, dude was in a Spider-Man movie bigger than anything The Rock or Hogan was ever in. Not to mention his Slim Jim commercials. He also appeared in Dexter's Laboratory and the Disney movie titled Bolt. He even dropped his own rap album.

6. Steve Austin - very popular for revolutionizing the wrestling business, but he doesn't have as much crossover appeal as wrestling fans like to think. Just look at his inferior wrestling rival- The Rock gettin all the big movie roles/tv appearances, while Austin gets stuck with b level stuff. He did manage to land a acting role in the movie The Expendables which opened up at no.1 at the box office and he also has managed to land a acting role in the remake of Longest Yard movie which did very good at the box office opening up at the no.2. He's also starred in a slew of straight to dvd movies proving that there are plenty of film makers interested in him. Austin is often considered to be the wrestler who sold the most merchandise EVER.

7. Buddy Rogers - Featured in lots of magazine articles and tv shows in his time. Was used as WWF's launching pad. Would've probably been top 5 on this list, but his main event status was short and so was his pop status. But from 1961-1963, he was as high in the wrestling business as anyone before or after. And for those that don't know, he is the ORIGINAL Nature Boy and the man who invented the figure four leg lock. In 1961 he took the NWA title from Pat O'Connor in front of an North American professional wrestling record of 38,622 in attendance. The record lasted almost 23 years. The ticket sales of that same event was $148,000 which was the North American professional wrestling record for almost 20 years.

8. Frank Gotch - the man who made professional wrestling popular in America. His matches with George Hackenschmidt were on front of sports pages all around the nation and outside the nation as well. He was invited to the white house by President Theodore Roosevelt. At the end of a Chicago Cubs game, nearly every member on the team came to him asking for his autograph. He starred in a play called All About A Bout and it's said that everywhere he performed he received a standing ovation...even overseas.

9. John Cena

10. The Undertaker - certainly not a hollywood guy, but due to his longevity, gimmick and battles with almost all the top dogs of the last 20 years, he's by far one of the most popular wrestlers of all time. Wrestlemania has been the most popular wrestling event in America since 1985 and guess who has the most Wrestlemania victories? The Undertaker with 21. If you're between the age 15-45 and don't know who the Undertaker is, you were NEVER a wrestling fan in any kind of way. Even if you don't like WWE, u still know who The Undertaker is. He's arguably one of the top 5 most recognized gimmicks in wrestling history. I'm sure he's been in more wrestling video games than anyone else.

Honorable Mention
Andre the Giant, Ric Flair, Bruno Sammartino, Lou Thesz and Roddy Piper.

Last edited by superdog; 04-08-2013 at 05:56 PM.
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post #5 of 20 (permalink) Old 04-08-2013, 05:38 AM
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Re: Top 10 Wrestlers with "Crossover Appeal" of all time.

1.The Rock since his return(2011) has the biggest crossover appeal.

2.Randy Savage's role in Spiderman is bigger than any role Hulk Hogan or Rock has ever had.
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post #6 of 20 (permalink) Old 04-08-2013, 08:22 AM
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Re: Top 10 Wrestlers with "Crossover Appeal" of all time.

I feel like Freddie Blassie should be on the list, just don't know where he would fit.
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post #7 of 20 (permalink) Old 04-08-2013, 09:37 AM
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Re: Top 10 Wrestlers with "Crossover Appeal" of all time.

Quote:
Originally Posted by austin316 G.O.A.T View Post
1.The Rock since his return(2011) has the biggest crossover appeal.

2.Randy Savage's role in Spiderman is bigger than any role Hulk Hogan or Rock has ever had.
Lolwut ?

I like randy folks, but let's not get ahead of ourselves just because the guy is dead (RIP)

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post #8 of 20 (permalink) Old 04-08-2013, 12:27 PM
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Re: Top 10 Wrestlers with "Crossover Appeal" of all time.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rocky Mark View Post
Lolwut ?

I like randy folks, but let's not get ahead of ourselves just because the guy is dead (RIP)
My bad.I ll edit my post.

I meant Randy Savage's role in Spiderman is the most watched movie segment featuring a wrestler.
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post #9 of 20 (permalink) Old 04-08-2013, 04:50 PM
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Re: Top 10 Wrestlers with "Crossover Appeal" of all time.

Quote:
Originally Posted by austin316 G.O.A.T View Post
My bad.I ll edit my post.

I meant Randy Savage's role in Spiderman is the most watched movie segment featuring a wrestler.
Come on bro, what about Luca Brasi in The Godfather ? Or The Rock's last movie which is the highest grossing in movie this year ?

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post #10 of 20 (permalink) Old 04-08-2013, 06:24 PM
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Re: Top 10 Wrestlers with "Crossover Appeal" of all time.

This thread is invalid without Jesse Ventura. He was in Predator and Running Man. Has been Gov. of MN and has had his own TV show. Behind perhaps The Rock, Hogan and Austin he probably has the next most crossover appeal.
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