By Gerry Pee
Many great minds have appeared on the wrestling scene and I want to explore as many as I can. Sure there will be some obvious ones and I am not writing this just to state more of my opinions but rather naming some of the people I think are great wrestling minds and ask you to add your own. If I miss someone just name them.
First off I am going to start with one which many of you will agree with, Vincent Kennedy McMahon. One of the very greatest minds ever to grace his presence in wrestling, no one can deny that he deserves to be on this list. Vince McMahon probably made a bigger impact on the wrestling business than any other human being. He brought wrestling into the mainstream and made it what it is today. I have to applaud him for such a massive amount of success which he thoroughly deserves. He created Wrestlemania for crying out loud! This man can be referred to nothing other than a genius. He even went along with being a villain of something that he loves just to help his business. Without Vince we would not have the WWE that we have now. However, in his early days he did make a few mistakes such as revealing wrestling was fake and he double crossed some people but everyone makes some mistakes.
My Second great mind is Eric Bischoff. Nowadays Bischoff has made some wrong turns with TNA, especially brining in Garrett Bischoff. But if you wind your mind back to the 90s this man took a company that was relatively nothing and made a multi-million dollar business that was fighting for fans with the best promotion around. Eric Bischoff is definitely a mastermind of wrestling. He created the likes of the NWO, which became the greatest ever heel stable known to man. Another amazing impact of Bischoff was how he changed the PPV business. He went from 5 PPVs a year to 7, then to 10 and finally done one every month. This man not only knew wrestling but knew business, he could make money better than a bee could make honey, but his only downfall was his ego. Eric Bischoff let himself stand in his own way which consequently led to the death of WCW.
Next I have went for a different kind of person, The Undertaker. In my mind The Undertaker is undoubtly the smartest wrestling wise in ring competitor of all time. This man has never been out of character and some of his past promos have been outstanding. He knows how wrestling works, what makes people tic and what makes them sick. His whole character is something which had never been seen before and will never be seen again. ‘Taker has made a bigger impact than any other wrestler I know of and not a bad word can be said about him. A totally unique persona with such great psychology is what makes him such a phenomenal wrestler and entertainer. His spine chilling entrance and amazing Wrestlemania record or all elements of genius. I see the undertaker as the Muhammad Ali of the wrestling world, he is light years ahead of anyone else in the sense of entertaining and psychology. I can say nothing else except he has been so strong and faithful to be wrestling for over 20 years.
Hundreds of wrestlers could be picked to be a great wrestling mind but there needs to be a better reason that they have been chosen above everyone else which is why I have chosen Chris Jericho. In my opinion Jericho is massively underrated in terms of wrestling intelligence. He knows exactly how to get on the bad side of the fans and is a terrific heel. I have to say I honestly feel he is one of the most creative individuals in WWE and has many fantastic personas all of which have been carried out with excellence. His ring psychology and realistic feel to a match makes him a cut above the rest. All of this and yet I have not even mentioned that he can really take a topic such as bullying or drugs for example and display impeccable talent at brining the topic out. His promos are so amazing that you can hardly believe how good it is.
CM Punk. I guess you probably expected his name to pop up somewhere in this list of great minds. I believe Punk is without a doubt the greatest wrestling mind of his generation. I don’t think I have ever seen better promo cuts than Punks during last year. He got fans to choose between WWE’s biggest baby face, John Cena and himself and won a millions of fans over. Incredible acts of Punk have got him on this list and it is even the little things that makes a massive impact on fans which he does so well. This man is a true legend and will forever be the man who left with the WWE Title. His comedy and intensity all adds to his character of the strait edge lifestyle. His mind must have been waiting to explode when he finally proved himself, and an explosion happened. It is such a hard task to do as Punk did and for that we love him.
My second last pick for one of the greatest minds of wrestling is a tie. I have picked two extremely creative minds which have revolutionised the business. Eddie Guerrero and Mick Foley. I know they have no link or connection I just couldn’t decide not to pick one of them. Mick Foley has played numerous characters during his wrestling career and made some amazing TV. His mind is loaded up with ideas how to make things better and his put his health on the line for the business. After reading one of his books I understand just how intellectual he really is. His stint in ECW was brilliant, he made some great promo cuts and done some real good stuff there. He can be dark and can be light but hardly anyone can do like him. What I think really highlights his wrestling genius is that he wasn’t a very good wrestler per say, he didn’t have the standard wrestling look and just was not a very good wrestler so his mind is what really led him to so much success. Eddie Guerrero comes form a long line of wrestling heritage. It’s in his blood to wrestle and he had been learning since being an infant. Eddie knew everything there was to know about pro wrestling and executed it perfectly. I have a huge admiration for Eddie because his intelligence, he learned every move precisely and live out his dream. I think there is much we don’t know about Eddie. His Lie, Cheat and Steal gimmick was so different to what we usually see especially when he was a face.
Finally, I have left what I feel is the greatest mind to last. Paul Heyman. I would love to just spend a day picking his brain because there is so much I could find. In my opinion no one ever in this world has better wrestling mind than Paul Heyman. He created ECW and made it a massive company. It could have even arguably been the second biggest promotion for a short while. ECW was like nothing before, totally creative on its feet all the time. Heyman is responsible for the Attitude Era as it stemmed from ECW. Just no one compares to him and at some points I believe his mind was too good. He was thinking of new things at 100 miles per hour while trying to run a whole company on his own. A man can only take so much and unfortunately Paul Heyman was not willing to let others help him. I would just like to take a second to thank Paul Heyman as he totally changed the wrestling world. Thank You.
Taker as Ali? I like it!
Man I miss Eddie Guerrero :(. He was my favorite wrestler at the time and he was pretty intelligent.
Surprised you left Booby Heenan and JR out of it but good list.
I miss Eddie as well. Too soon.
Good picks, but where is my name? : /
It’s okay. People look past my brains as well. You do get numb to the pain after a bit.
Great picks. Totally agree. I would’ve also included Jake “The Snake” Roberts and Jim Cornette, but that’s just me 🙂
I’m surprised there’s no Stu Hart.
Eric Bischoff? Really? Sorry, no chance in hell. The majority of his stint in WCW was a disaster, as is his time in TNA proving to be. As far as wrestlers go, how you go for Jericho over Flair (not as a booker, I mean when he was a wrestler before he started looking like a geriatric)or Hart is curious. I’m a big Jericho fan (sitting here wearing a “Raw Is Jericho” T while I write this!), but his longevity and influence is nowhere near Ric Flair’s or Bret’s (who booked for Stampede to acclaim as well).
CM Punk? The guys 33 years old (I think) and has been in the big leagues for 6 years if I’m not mistaken? When he has success as a booker or achieves true iconic status over a number of years then he might be eligible.
I agree with you on Paul E though, no-one could ever refute him from it.
Stu Hart should definitely be in there, Jim Cornette should be in there, Jerry Jarrett possibly.
Although you missed the obvious one: the one man who single handedly revolutionised the entire wrestling industry and made the WWF into the Juggernaut it became: Vince Russo.
As much as I clearly dislike Bischoff, he did do some good things in WCW. I just think he went loopy when WWF started winning the ratings war.
There’s loads of people that could be in there but I’ll speak for Gerry in saying you a second column could be made for this topic, even a third.
Gerry – Do some replies dude, lol.
sorry my internet has been off last 4 days so today is the first time I have seen it
I’m not entirely convinced that Bischoff’s success wasn’t down to luck and a couple of great ideas that he happened to somehow come up with. Not what I’d qualify as a “Great Wrestling Mind” personally!
Thanks you guys have made some great points about wrestlers who should be in it,and I think there will be another few of these to come. I am reading Bret Hart’s book just now and am just learning how smart stu hart was so he probably will be .