If you missed the first part of GCSN’s Best Wrestlers From All 50 States, be sure to check it out here! In this article we give you the best wrestlers for the rest of the 50 states from Montana to Wyoming!
Little known fact, Gary Albright is a member of the Anoa’I family! Granted, it’s through marriage, as he married Afa’s daughter, but hey, it counts! Albright was actually born in Rhode Island, but went to school in Montana. And since there aren’t many wrestlers from Montana, I included him here. Many may not know who Gary Albright is, but he wrestled primarily in All Japan Wrestling and Stampede Wrestling in Canada. He was the All Japan Wrestling World Tag Team Champion with Stan Hansen and “Dr. Death” Steve Williams. Albright even earned Wrestling Observer’s Rookie of the Year in 1988.
Honorable Mentions – N/A
Gorgeous George – Butte, NE
Another tough decision here, as there are two extremely talented wrestlers from Nebraska; Gorgeous George, and Sting. I went with Gorgeous George because of what he meant to wrestling. George came up in time where wrestlers had little to no personality, and he changed all that. He was one of the first wrestlers to have entrance music and came to the ring with two women on his arm. He was the first flamboyant wrestler, ushering the way for many wrestlers, including Sting, George held Heavyweight titles in AWA in Boston, Gulf-Coast Championship Wrestling, and Mid-South Sports. George was also inducted into the Wrestling Observer Newsletter, Stampede Wrestling, and WWE Hall of Fames.
Honorable Mentions – Sting
Buddy Rose – Las Vegas, NV
According to multiple accounts, “Playboy” Buddy Rose was one of the most hardest working wrestlers in his era. Rose would work 90+ days for WWE (a lot back then) and when he was off from WWE, he would fly to the west-coast and perform for small local promotions. After taking a break from wrestling, Rose returned as a more comedic heel, but his career before that was no joke at all. Rose won a total of 13 World Championships across many promotions and was inducted into the 2019 WWE Hall of Fame.
Honorable Mentions – Ryback
Triple H – Nashua,NH
The Game. The Cerebral Assassin. The King of Kings. Whatever you want to call him, Triple H is arguably one of the best sports entertainers ever. Even though he was born in New Hampshire, Triple H was always billed from Greenwich, Connecticut. He even began his career in WWE as The Connecticut Blueblood. Either way, Paul Levesque had one of the most impressive WWE careers being a 5-time World Heavyweight Champion, a 9-time WWE Champion, and a 5-time Intercontinental Champion. His accolades don’t stop there as he was just the second Grand Slam Champion, the seventh Triple Crown Winner, he’s a 2-time Royal Rumble winner, and a King of the Ring. All of this while being apart of two of the greatest factions in WWE history, DX and Evolution. Plus, he made NXT what it is today.
Honorable Mentions – N/A
Buddy Rogers – Camden – NJ
The original “Nature Boy” Buddy Rogers was an innovator in his own right. His in-ring style was one that was almost unheard of in his time, as it employed many “flying” moves such as dropkicks, body slams, and piledrivers. He started his career as a babyface that connected with the fans on so many levels. He took this connection and turned into a cocky, all about himself heel that the fans hated. In total, Rogers won a total of 25 World Championships across many promotions, as well as being apart of the NWA Hall of Fame, the St. Louis Wrestling Hall of Fame, the Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame and Museum, the Wrestling Observer Newsletter Hall of Fame, and the WWE Hall of Fame.
Honorable Mentions – Bam Bam Bigelow, Diamond Dallas Page, Chief Jay Strongbow
Blackjack Lanza – Albuquerque, AZ
One half of the Blackjacks along with Bray Wyatt and Bo Dallas’ grand-father Blackjack Mulligan, Blackjack Lanza was a true legend of the business. Lanza worked for AWA for 8 years as a main-eventer before he teamed up with Mulligan. With Mulligan, The Blackjacks won 4 tag team championships across various promotions. They are one of the first teams managed by Bobby “The Brain” Heenan that garnered success, and are still considered one of the greatest tag teams of all time, thanks to the skills of Lanza and Mulligan alike.
Honorable Mentions – N/A
Chris Jericho (?!?) – Manhasset, NY
Chris Jericho is one of the greatest Canadian exports in wrestling history, but Y2J was actually born in Manhasset, New York. Chris’ father, Ted Irvine was an NHL Hockey player and was playing for the New York Rangers at the time of Chris’ birth. Chris lived in New York for 7 years, and moved to Winnipeg, Manitoba after his father retired. The list of accolades for Chris Jericho is waaay to long to list here. He held Championships in WCW, ECW, WWE, NJPW, and AEW when he became their first AEW Champion. Jericho is responsible for some of the greatest gimmicks in wrestling history, most notably The List of Jericho (I still cry thinking of the Festival of Friendship). Jericho may be staking his claim in the greatest wrestler of all time, and at the age of 49, Jericho is still going strong.
Honorable Mentions – Chyna, Ricky Steamboat, Gorilla Monsoon
Cody Rhodes – Charlotte, NC
Cody Rhodes was born in Charlotte, North Carolina despite attending school in Georgia. The son of the great Dusty Rhodes and brother of Dustin Rhodes (Goldust), Cody joined WWE in 2006 as apart of OVW. Over the course of his WWE career, Rhodes won a total of 6 tag team championships, and the Intercontinental Championships twice. When he left the WWE in 2016, Rhodes saw much success, winning the IWGP United States Championship, the ROH World Championship, and the NWA World Heavyweight Championship. He’s also one of the people responsible for starting AEW with the Young Bucks, Kenny Omega, and Tony Khan.
Honorable Mentions – Jeff Hardy, Matt Hardy, Vince McMahon
Red Bastien – Bottineau, ND
North Dakota is one of those states that just hasn’t been a hot bed for wrestling talent. Red Bastien trained under the great Verne Gagne, and worked many different carnivals across the mid-west. Bastien was a tag team worker, tagging with his brother Lou Bastien, Hercules Cortez, and The Crusher. Bastien won multiple tag team titles across multiple promotions, and is said to have been the man to discover Sting, and The Ultimate Warrior, training both of them.
Honorable Mentions – N/A
“Macho Man” Randy Savage – Columbus, OH
One of my favorite things to do is go back and watch old Macho Man promos. They are some of the best pieces of wrestling you can ever find. His scratchy voice, the “HOOOO YEAHHH” and just the off the wall analogies and catch phrases are some of the best. It wasn’t only his promo work either as Savage was an incredibly gifted wrestler. Savage won the WWF World Heavyweight Championship twice, the WWF Intercontinental Championship once, and won the 1987 King of the Ring. Savage was inducted into 3 Hall of Fame’s, including the WWE Hall of Fame and the Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame.
Honorable Mentions – Brain Pillman, Dolph Ziggler, The Miz
Jack Brisco – Seminole, OK
Along with the Anoa’i family and the Hart family, the Brisco family is one of the biggest names in wrestling. Jack Brisco was, to many, the best wrestler of that family. Brisco was a very important figure to the NWA in the 70’s and 80’s and it shows in his accolades. In all, Brisco won 29 Heavyweight Championships and 26 Tag Team Championships among many other titles. Brisco was also notable outside of the ring, as he and his brother Jerry acquired a minor share of Georgia Championship Wrestling. They then struck a deal with the majority owners to sell GCW to Vince McMahon, which was one of the biggest shakeups in wrestling history. Jack is also credited with discovering one of the biggest names in wrestling, Hulk Hogan.
Honorable Mentions – Goldberg, Bill Watts
Ken Patera – Portland, OR
Ken Patera was a highly decorated weightlifter, even winning a gold medal at the 1971 Pan America Games in weightlifting total. Patera was also the first American to clean and jerk over 500 pounds, and also finished third in the 1977 World’s Strongest Man contest. He made the transition to wrestling in 1973 and wrestled in territories such as AWA, NWA and WWF. In 1977, Pantera challenged wrestling great Bruno Sammartino for the WWWF Heavyweight Championship. Pantera held the WWF Intercontinental Championship and the NWA Missouri Heavyweight Championship at the same time. Pantera last wrestled in 2011, facing Bob Backlund for Juggalo Championship Wrestling.
Honorable Mentions – Art Barr
Kurt Angle – Mt. Lebanon Township, PA
Kurt Angle was an Olympic wrestler before joining the WWE. He even won a gold medal….with a broken freakin’ neck. But once he joined the WWE, he took to it like a duck to water. I think everybody in the wrestling world can agree, nobody has succeeded at wrestling as quickly as Kurt did. He was immediately one of the company’s biggest heels in a time where the company was full of incredible talent. When he left WWE, he joined TNA and quickly became the face of the company. Before returning to WWE, Angle had stints in NJPW, AAA Worldwide, and other various indie promotions. Angle was the fifth WWE Grand Slam Champion, and was the 2000 King of the Ring and was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2017.
Honorable Mentions – Stevie Richards, Bruno Sammartino (Born in Italy)
Chuck Palumbo – West Warwick, RI
You remember Chuck Palumbo right? He married Billy Gunn! Look there are really only two wrestlers from Rhode Island, one is Palumbo and the other is Spike Dudley. I love Spike Dudley, but as a wrestler, Palumbo had some more success. While in WCW, Palumbo was a four time WCW World Tag Team Champion, 3 times with Shawn Stasiak, and once with Sean O’Haire. When he was apart of Billy and Chuck, him and Gunn won the WWE Tag Team Championship twice, and were even voted PWI’s Tag Team of the Year. Plus…I’ve always loved the F.B.I, the Full Blooded Italians.
Honorable Mentions – Spike Dudley
Big Show – Aiken, SC
WEEEEEEEEELLLLLLLLLL! Big Show will always be mentioned in the same breath as Andre the Giant, and that may be a fair comparison, but Big Show’s work ethic is something that we’ve never seen from someone of his size. He began wrestling in 1994, then joined WCW a year later as Andre the Giant’s son. He enjoyed success in WCW before joining WWE on a ten-year deal in 1999. Big Show became the first wrestler ever to hold the WWE Championship, the WCW Championship, and the ECW Championship. He won the World Heavyweight Championship, but lost it in 45 seconds to a Daniel Bryan cash in. Big Show is still wrestling today, and actually looks in really good shape.
Honorable Mentions – The Fabulous Moolah, Shelton Benjamin
Brock Lesnar – Webster, SD
Everything about Brock Lesnar is Minnesota. He’s billed from Minneapolis, and attended the University of Minnesota, but make no mistake about it, the Beast Incarnate is from South Dakota. Love him or hate him, you can’t deny the power and draw of Brock Lesnar. It seems whenever the WWE needs ratings, they bring Brock back. And people may say they hate him, but the ratings do increase when he’s around. Many don’t know Brock was an IWGP Heavyweight Champion on top of being a 5-time WWE Champion and the only 3-time Universal Champion.
Honorable Mentions – Shayna Baszler
Ric Flair – Memphis, TN
Ric Flair seems to be synonymous with North Carolina, but the Nature Boy was actually born in Memphis. This spot would belong to Jerry the King Lawler had Flair actually have been born in North Carolina. The jet flyin’ son of a gun is considered by many to be the greatest wrestler of all time, and for good reason. Everybody wanted to be like him. He wore stylish robes, had nice jewelry and great shoes and could cut a promo with the best of them. Flair is a 16-time World Champion and is a two-time WWE Hall of Famer. There isn’t much more to say about the Nature Boy as we all know his resume.
Honorable Mentions – Jerry “The King” Lawler, Koko B. Ware, Jeff Jarrett
Stone Cold Steve Austin – Austin, TX
Man oh man, this was easily the hardest state to pick. So many incredibly talented wrestlers to chose from, but when you sit back and look it, nobody was loved more than the Texas Rattlesnake. The crowd related with Stone Cold probably more than any other wrestler ever. He was a guy that drank beer, stuck his middle finger up whenever he wanted, and did the one thing we’ve all wanted to do at one point…beat the holy hell out of your boss. Stone Cold and Vince McMahon had probably one of the best rivalries in wrestling and it wouldn’t have worked with anybody but Steve Austin. Stone Cold held the WWE Championship 6 times and won the 1996 King of the Ring where he cut the famous 3:16 promo that changed his entire career.
Honorable Mentions – The Undertaker, Dusty Rhodes, Eddie Guerrero, Von Erich Family
The Sandman – Sandy, UT
While doing the research for this article, I got to the state of Utah, a state that is considered one of the most religious states in the nation, and I see The Sandman. One of the craziest and unpredictable wrestlers of all time, Sandman got his start in Tri-State Wrestling in Philadelphia before joining ECW and became one of the faces of extreme wrestling. Sandman held the ECW World Heavyweight Championship 5 times and was even inducted into the Hardcore Hall of Fame. Not to mention, he had one of the best entrances ever, coming through the crowd with “Enter Sandman” by Metallica blasting and smashing beer cans on his head. Crowds loved him, and he even though he may not be the best technical wrestler, there’s no doubt he is one of the best hardcore wrestlers ever.
Honorable Mentions – Don Leo Jonathan
Vivian Vachon – Newport, VT
Vivian Vachon was a Canadian wrestler that was considered one of the top female wrestlers in the 70s., however she was born in Vermont. To the casual fan, the Vachon last name may not mean much, but true wrestling aficionados know of the talent that the Vachon family produced. One of the most if not the most impressive part of Vachon’s career was her run with the AWA World Women’s Championship. Vachon held that title for 651 days, which is the third longest reign of any Champion behind June Byers and Kay Noble. Vachon was inducted into the Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame in 2015. Tragically, Vachon and her nine-year-old daughter were hit by a drunk driver in 1991, ending both of their lives. Rest in peace to Vivian and her child.
Honorable Mentions – N/A
Tony Atlas – Roanoke, VA
Tony Atlas had one of the most impressive physiques in wrestling. He was a former three-time Mr. USA before he started wrestling for various NWA territories. Once his career started, Atlas was seen as more of a tag team wrestler, joining forces with legendary wrestler Rocky Johnson to form the “Soul Patrol”. Atlas and Johnson became the first ever all-black tag team to win the WWF World Tag Team Championships when they defeated The Wild Samoans in 1983. Atlas had a few opportunities at the Intercontinental Championship, yet never won but is credited as the first wrestler to press slam and pin Hulk Hogan, however Hogan’s foot was on the rope and the referee did not see it. Atlas was inducted into the New England Pro Wrestling Hall of Fame in 2009, and the WWE Hall of Fame in 2006.
Honorable Mentions – Magnum T.A.
Daniel Bryan – Aberdeen, WA
One of the best feel-good stories in wrestling history just so happens to involve one of the biggest baby faces ever. After being told he would never be able to wrestle due to complications with concussions, Bryan worked extremely hard and eventually cleared by 3 external independent neurosurgeons, neurologists, and concussion experts. Joseph Maroon, the medical director of the WWE cleared Bryan and he returned to the ring. Bryan was the leader of the “YES!” movement that propelled him into superstardom, and started a trend that will probably never die in wrestling. Bryan is a 4-time WWE Champion and the sixth WWE Grand Slam Champion. His work before WWE was what made fans fall in love with him with fantastic runs in ROH, PWG and NJPW. Bryan was inducted into the Wrestling Observer Newsletter Hall of Fame in 2016 and was voted their Most Outstanding Wrestler for 5 years straight between 2006 and 2010.
Honorable Mentions – Greg “The Hammer” Valentine
Ray “The Crippler” Stevens – Point Pleasant, WV
Ray “The Crippler” Stevens began his four-decade long career in 1950 under the mentorship of the great “Nature Boy” Buddy Rogers. Stevens eventually became a tag team wrestler, and won the NWA World Tag Team Championship with Roy Shire. Stevens teamed up with some legends in the game including Pat Patterson, “High Chief” Peter Maivia and Jimmy Snuka. Even though he had tag team success, Stevens was an incredibly gifted singles wrestler. He won a total of 12 United States titles, four Heavyweight titles, and four Junior Heavyweight titles. Stevens was inducted into the Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame, the NWA Hall of Fame, and the Wrestling Observer Newsletter Hall of Fame.
Honorable Mentions – N/A
Ed “Strangler” Lewis – Nekoosa, WI
Ed “Strangler” Lewis was born in 1891, and began wrestling at age 14. He actually got his name “Strangler” due to him putting his opponent in a sleeper hold in France, and because the French fans had never seen it before, they thought he was strangling his opponent. Lewis was apart of the “Gold Dust Trio” with Toots Mondt and Big Billy Sandow. The three were a traveling show and they revolutionized wrestling by creating undercards. Back then wrestling events were normally one match, but it was now a full show with multiple matches. Lewis was a 2-time AWA World Heavyweight Champion, and is apart of the WWE Hall of Fame, the Wrestling Observer Newsletter Hall of Fame, the Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame, and the George Tragos/Lou Thesz Hall of Fame.
Honorable Mentions – The Crusher, Mr. Kennedy
This pick is wrong for two reason; one because Bischoff isn’t really a wrestler, and two because Bischoff was born in Detroit, Michigan. However, there are really no wrestlers from Wyoming, and Bischoff lived in Wyoming, so we had to go with him. Say what you want about Bischoff (and there could be a lot) but he is very entertaining as a heel authority figure. Bischoff started the Monday Night Wars with WCW before the company closed it’s doors. After that, Bischoff made appearances in WWE and TNA and Global Force Wrestling. Hate him or love him, but on-screen, he was one of the best heel authority figures in wrestling.
Dave “The Animal” Batista was one of the WWE’s biggest stars in the 2000s. First making his appearance in WWE as Deacon Batista, an enforcer to Reverend D’Von Dudley. Batista turned on D’Von and beat him to end their feud before joining one of the best factions in WWE history, Evolution. Being apart of Evolution put Batista in the spotlight along with a young Randy Orton. Batista won the 2005 Royal Rumble which would cause him to leave Evolution. Afterwards, he went on to win the World Heavyweight title from Triple H, and would hold it 3 more times. As of right now, Batista has won 3 Tag Team Championships, and two WWE Championships. Batista was also announced as one of the inductees to the 2020 WWE Hall of Fame. Plus, he’s Drax. Drax is awesome.
Honorable Mentions – Abyss, Velveteen Dream
So there you have it, the best wrestler from all 50 states (and Washington D.C). If you disagree with any of our picks, be sure to let us know! Who are some of your favorite wrestlers from your home state?!
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