The 30 Best '90s Wrestlers, Ranked

The '90s wrestling icons that still get mentioned to this day

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JON LEVY/AFP via Getty Image

The '90s were a golden age for professional wrestling and while much of the talent spanned generations, this list puts together some of the best from the millennial era. Many of the fighters would jump between different leagues such as the WWF (now WWE), WCW, and ECW before their bodies needed a break, or they moved on to another career. However, with each decade, some wrestlers were able to maintain their popularity while others faded into history. 

There were also those who had been in the business for a long time and ground through the changes that came with the industry to finally make their mark. After the time when "Saying your prayers and taking your vitamins!" like Hulk Hogan often said as one of the hero wrestlers from the previous decade, bringing some anti-establishment attitude was a welcome gimmick in the 90s. With the '90s being the bulk of the "Attitude Era" and the "Monday Night Wars" between the WWF and WCW, here are 30 wrestlers that stood out.

RELATED: The 30 Best Old-School Wrestlers of the 1980s, Ranked

30. Mark Henry

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Wrestled for: World Wrestling Federation

  • Finishing Move: Bearhug

Mark Henry was a lot of things. A competitive powerlifter, weightlifter, and an all-around strong man. Henry debuted in the WWF during the mid-90s after he competed in the 1996 Olympics. His strength and size caused the league to market him as the "World’s Strongest Man" and later, he would become a ladies' man, calling himself "Sexual Chocolate." His legendary theme song from that time period and his "relations" with Mae Yong made him one of the more hilarious highlights of weekly WWF programming.

29. Gangrel


Wrestled for: United States Wrestling Association, Extreme Championship Wrestling, World Wrestling Federation

  • Finishing Move: The Impaler

If anything, Gangrel deserves credit for helping make the aforementioned Edge and Christian duo relevant before they broke off to become a tag team. Of the three Brood members, Gangrel probably represented more of a vampire than he did the goth-themed duo. Either way, were it not for Gangrel feuding with Edge, the tag team of Edge and Christian would not have happened. Man, those Gangrel "blood baths" were awesome!

28. Jushin Thunder Liger

Jushin Thunder Liger bio

Wrestled for: New Japan Pro-Wrestling, World Championship Wrestling

  • Finishing Move: Brainbuster, Shooting Star Press, Ligerbomb

His theme song is catchy as all hell, his moveset is innovative, and his attire is as flashy as they come. This Japanese junior heavyweight GOAT is the costumed dynamo known as Jushin Thunder Liger, who dominated his division for years in New Japan Pro Wrestling and took his talents across the globe during his stints in World Championship Wrestling. Fans from back in the still look back fondly on his classic encounters with Brian Pillman, Rey Mysterio, Ultimo Dragon, and several other junior heavyweight greats. Big shout to Liger for breaking out that Shooting Star Press for the very first time and blowing everyone's minds!

27. Sean Waltman

sean waltman x pac

Wrestled for: Pro Wrestling America, Global Wrestling Federation, New Japan Pro Wrestling, World Championship Wrestling, World Wrestling Federation

  • Finishing Move: X-Factor

X-Pac, Syxx, and the 1-2-3 Kid were all aliases of Sean Waltman during his professional wrestling career. Waltman had standout matches with several other noteworthy 90s wrestling icons, such as Chris Jericho, Bret Hart, and Chris Benoit. He was also part of the biggest groups to come out during the ‘90s including the nWo and D-Generation X.

26. Yokozuna

yokozuna 90swrestlers

Wrestled for: World Wrestling Federation

  • Finishing Move: Banzai Drop

Yokozuna was managed by Mr. Fuji and represented the art of sumo wrestling that originated in Japan. Yokozuna made a big impression on wrestling culture in the '90s. With a billed weight of over 500 pounds, he made for a tough match for any wrestler that was smaller than him, including heavyweights. He won the WWF Championship title twice as well as enjoying a tag team championship run with Owen Hart.

25. Tazz

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Wrestled for: NWA Eastern / Extreme Championship Wrestling

  • Finishing Move: Tazmission / Tazzmission

Tazz was a classic staple wrestler hailing from the hardcore fed known as ECW. He held multiple titles during his time spent competing for the more underground rival to the WWF and WCW. Before Brock Lesnar made "Suplex City" a popular phrase, Taz was originally known as "The Human Suplex Machine" because of the multiple ways that he could pull off different types of suplexes during his matches.

24. Christian

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Wrestled for: East Coast Wrestling Association, World Wrestling Federation

  • Finishing Move: The Unprettier

According to his WWE bio, "Christian proved his worth in WWE from day one. In his first official bout in 1998 as a member of The Brood, the Toronto native set the bar rather high for himself by winning the Light Heavyweight Championship from Taka Michinoku. And he raised it every year since." Christian’s knack for wowing fans by executing innovative and high-impact maneuvers cemented his rep as a top-tier Superstar and led to some pretty epic victories alongside lifelong friend Edge during the Attitude Era. Edge & Christian gelled extremely well as a team, winning the tag team titles multiple times. On his own, Christian won the WWF Light Heavyweight Championship. He and Edge also made history together as they were one of the first teams to compete in Tables, Ladders, and Chairs Matches.

23. Edge


Wrestled for: World Championship Wrestling, World Wrestling Federation

  • Finishing Move: Downward Spiral

Despite being one of three members of The Brood stable—which was a goth-themed trio of wrestlers including Christian and Gangrel from the late ‘90s—Edge became the most popular member of the whole bunch. His personality and skills in the ring captivated fans and helped him gain quite a fan following over time. During the late ‘90, a feud with one of his stablemates would eventually lead him to solo competition and an Intercontinental Championship run. He and Christian revolutionized tag team wrestling thanks to their wars with the likes of The Dudley Boyz and The Hardy Boyz.

22. Chyna

chyna wwe 90s

Wrestled for: World Wrestling Federation

  • Finishing Move: The Pedigree

Chyna was a D-Generation X founding member and the only female to hold the WWE Intercontinental Championship. Chyna did for women’s pro wrestling what Ronda Rousey did for women in MMA. Chyna was unique in that she wasn't just another pretty face who happened to have a few matches every now and then - she brought a lot of charisma and intensity to the sport of wrestling that helped raise the bar and profile of women in the sport as a whole. She was certainly a pioneer during her short tenure at the top of the WWF's women's division.

21. Rob Van Dam

robvandam 90swrestlers

Wrestled for: World Championship Wrestling, All Japan Pro Wrestling, Extreme Championship Wrestling

  • Finishing Move: Five Star Frog Splash

Rob Van Dam aka RVD was another great talent to emerge from Extreme Championship Wrestling (ECW) before it was acquired by the WWE. RVD gained tons of popularity by headlining a ton of WCW pay-per-view events over three decades between the 1990s and 2000s, including the 1998 edition of November to Remember (an ECW flagship event). He always exhibited a wealth of athletic talent and was able to do a full split like another popular martial artist with a similar last name. RVD's eye-popping offense, cool attitude, and slick in-ring gear made him one of the top reasons to follow ECW.

20. Matt Hardy

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Wrestled for: World Championship Wrestling, New England Wrestling Alliance, New Frontier Wrestling Association, The Organization of Modern Extreme Grappling Arts, World Wrestling Federation

  • Finishing Move: Twist of Fate

The more technical member of The Hardy Boyz tag team is none other than Matt Hardy. Matt originally worked alongside his brother as an "enhancement talent" for the WWF from 1994-1997 - they were finally signed to full-time contracts in 1998. The brotherly dup gained notoriety in the tag team division, partly due to their participation in Tables, Ladders, and Chairs matches. With the addition of Lita, the team became known as Team Xtreme and continued to rise in popularity. Alongside Jeff, Matt has captured the WWF Tag Team Championship on multiple occasions.

19. Rey Mysterio

5rey mysterio

Wrestled for: Asistencia Asesoría y Administración, Extreme Championship Wrestling, World Championship Wrestling

  • Finishing Move: West Coast Pop

When it comes to revolutionary luchadors, Rey Mysterio gets all the props in the world for all the high-flying excellence he regularly put on display during the 90s. While small in stature, Rey made up his size with incredible performances that wowed everyone who witnessed them. His runs in AAA, ECW, and WCW truly put him on the map thanks to his classic bouts with the likes of Psicosis, Juventud Guerrera, Dean Malenko, Eddie Guerrero, and Chris Jericho. Rey's flashy offense and slick attire made him unforgettable during his 90s run.

18. Kane

kane 90swrestlers

Wrestled for: Central States Wrestling Association, United States Wrestling Association, World Championship Wrestling, Pro Wrestling Fujiwara Gumi, World Wrestling Council, Catch Wrestling Association, Smoky Mountain Wrestling, World Wrestling Federation

  • Finishing Move: Tombstone Piledriver

Kane made his grand WWF debut as the scarred, half-brother of The Undertaker. After some time, he was able to grow into his own and step from under 'Taker's massive shadow. Kane came into the Attitude Era feuding with his sibling, which would later lead to them teaming up as The Brothers of Destruction. According to his official bio, "At 7 feet tall and weighing in at more than 300 pounds, Kane is a monstrous abomination that seems to have been extracted directly from your childhood nightmares."

17. Mick Foley (Cactus Jack / Mankind / Dude Love)

mickfoley 90swrestlers

Wrestled for: Universal Wrestling Federation, Continental Wrestling Association, World Class Championship Wrestling, Continental Wrestling Federation, World Championship Wrestling, All Japan Pro Wrestling, World Wrestling Federation

  • Finishing Move: Mandible Claw

Mankind, Cactus Jack, Dude Love - no matter what you call him, Mick Foley is one of the most popular wrestlers from the '90s. Foley is best known for taking a lot of damage and laughing in the face of pain every time he stepped foot into the ring for some good old-fashioned deathmatches. One of the most in-depth looks at Foley came at the end of the '90s when the wrestling documentary Beyond the Mat (1999) took fans behind the curtain of pro wrestling to show how Foley and other pro wrestlers sacrificed their bodies for their careers. Foley's 1998 Hell in a Cell Match with The Undertaker is one of the most iconic bouts in all of wrestling history.

16. Owen Hart

owenhart 90swrestlers

Wrestled for: Stampede Wrestling, New Japan Pro-Wrestling, World Championship Wrestling, World Wrestling Federation

  • Finishing Move: Sharpshooter

Owen Hart was a legendary WWF competitor - many wrestling enthusiasts consider him one of the most underrated wrestlers of all time. Owen was a decorated champion and brought home many titles across many categories during his time spent in various promotions. Along with brother Bret, the Harts came from a decorated wrestling family that first plied their trade in Stampede Wrestling. In fact, according to World of Sport, "Hart was trained in his father's Hart Dungeon and worked for his father's federation, Stampede Wrestling, and in England for Max Crabtree's Joint Promotions in matches that got broadcast on ITV's World of Sport." Sadly, Owen met his untimely demise after a failed stunt at WWF Over The Edge 1999. Owen's legacy as a top-tier in-ing technician has solidified him as one of the greats.

15. Jeff Hardy

jeffhardy 90swrestlers

Wrestled for: Organization of Modern Extreme Grappling Arts, World Wrestling Federation

  • Finishing Move: Swanton Bomb

Alongside his brother Matt Hardy, Jeff Hardy was a part of one of the most entertaining tag teams in WWF history - The Hardy Boyz. During the 90s, the duo prioritized high-risk and high-flying moves, which were their modus operandi during their legendary run. The Swanton Bomb and Twist of Fate finishing combo were usually the precursors to being pinned by either Jeff or Matt. Tag teams can’t last forever, of course - thankfully, the characteristics that made these two great certainly carried into Jeff and Matt’s singles careers. Jeff's eccentric fashion choices, iconic entrance dance, and wild top-tope maneuvers blew everyone's minds during the 90s.

14. Razor Ramon/Scott Hall

Razor Ramon bio

Wrestled for: Championship Wrestling from Florida, Mid Atlantic Championship Wrestling, American Wrestling Association, World Championship Wrestling, New Japan Pro-Wrestling, Catch Wrestling Association, World Wrestling Council, World Wrestling Federation

  • Finishing Move: Razor's Edge / Outsider's Edge

"HEY YO!" With that proclamation to the live crowd, WCW fans popped up as Scott Hall took the mic for some "Survey Time." Before his run in WCW as a member of the nWo, Hall rose to fame in the WWF under the moniker of the Scarface-inspired gimmick known as Razor Ramon. Razor's catchy theme music immediately made a great impression on fans, plus his flashy finisher and colorful gear made him pop off the screen every time he made an appearance. "The Bad Guy" was so easy to love when he was running around the WWF as its Intercontinental Champion.

13. Chris Jericho

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Wrestled for: Canadian National Wrestling Alliance, Canadian Rocky Mountain Wrestling, Frontier Martial-Arts Wrestling, Consejo Mundial de Lucha Libre, Smoky Mountain Wrestling, Wrestling and Romance/WAR, Extreme Championship Wrestling, World Championship Wrestling, New Japan Pro-Wrestling, World Wrestling Federation

  • Finishing Move: Liontamer / Walls of Jericho

Chris Jericho is arguably one of the most skilled and technical wrestlers of all time, and because of this, he's still competing today. During the '90s, his top-notch in-ring abilities won his titles in New Japan Pro Wrestling (NJPW), WCW, and the WWF; he also brought a lot of charismatic wit with him. Jericho put on absolute bangers with a myriad of Hall of Fame talent, such as Rey Mysterio, Dean Malenko, Juventud Guerrera, 2 Cold Scorpio, and Ultimo Dragon. By the time he arrived in the WWF as the "Millenium Man," Jericho's stock rose to epic proportions thanks to his amazing catchphrases and memorable mic work. His many Intercontinental Championship runs pitted him against even more greats, such as Kurt Angle, Chris Benoit, Eddie Guerrero, and William Regal. Never forget that he's the first-ever WWF Undisputed Champion who just so happened to defeat "Stone Cold" Steve Austin and The Rock on the same night. Whether he is a face (good guy) or heel (bad guy), Wrestling is Jericho. 

12. The Giant / Big Show


Wrestled for: World Championship Wrestling, World Wrestling Federation

  • Finishing Move: Chokeslam / Show Stopper

Big men are fairly common in professional wrestling, so being bigger than even the tallest and heaviest of them is always significant in the sport. The Giant / Big Show (real name Paul Wight) made waves as a seven-foot-tall juggernaut that dominated the competition with an array of powerful moves. He began his career in 1994. In 1995, he signed with WCW, where he was known by the ring name The Giant, initially introduced as "the son of André the Giant." In 1999, he signed a contract with the WWF and adopted the new moniker of the "Big Show." Between his runs spent in both WCW and the WWF, Show emerged as a seven-time world champion, having held the WCW World Heavyweight Championship twice, the WWF/WWE Championship twice, WWE's World Heavyweight Championship twice, and the ECW World Heavyweight Championship once (he is the only man to have held all four of those particular titles).

11. Diesel/Kevin Nash

Kevin Nash bio

Wrestled for: World Championship Wrestling, World Wrestling Federation

  • Finishing Move: Jackknife Powerbomb

Never mind those first few gimmicks that Kevin Nash got saddled with - when he arrived in the WWF as Shawn Michaels's trusty bodyguard, everyone finally took notice of the big man's natural charisma and imposing nature. As Diesel, this smooth big man struck fear into everyone's hearts as he used his big boot and masterful Jackknife Powerbomb to put them down. His WWF Championship win is attached to one of the fastest wins in wrestling history as he defeated Bob Backlund in Madison Square Garden. When he made his way to WCW, Nash helped establish the nWo and eventually went on to start the nWo Wolfpac. Nash has held numerous titles during his 90s run, such as the WWF Championship, WWF Intercontinental Championship, WWF Tag Team Championship, WCW World Tag Team Championship, and WCW World Heavyweight Championship.

10. Triple H


Wrestled for: International Wrestling Federation, World Championship Wrestling, World Wrestling Federation

  • Finishing Move: The Pedigree

Hunter Hearst Helmsley, best known as "Triple H" made his claim to fame in the Attitude Era as a founding member and eventual leader of D-Generation X stable, which he started with Shawn Michaels, his then-girlfriend Chyna, and Rick Rude. The sledgehammer-wielding powerhouse’s signature move known as The Pedigree usually spelled doom for his opponents and a win for him. HHH first entered the WWF as a wealthy snob that turned up his nose at everyone he deemed lower than him. Once he linked up with the "Heartbreak Kid" and Chyna, HHH's attitude flipped and turned him into more of a rebel. His WWF Intercontinental Championship runs are legendary and his first WWF Championship victory over Mankind in 1999 truly established him as "The Game." While he is currently a WWE executive, his path to power came in the ring.

9. Diamond Dallas Page

DDP crop exact

Wrestled for: American Wrestling Association, Professional Wrestling Federation, World Championship Wrestling

  • Finishing Move: Diamond Cutter

Before The Rock was christened as the "People's Champ," there was a WCW original that earned that lofty title. That man was Diamond Dallas Page, the man who made audiences lose their minds every time he landed a Diamond Cutter. During his ascension to the top of the card of WCW, DDP gradually grew into a massive babyface and popped off in a major way when he swerved the nWo when they tried to recruit him to their ranks. DDP enjoyed an amazing run during the 90s when he locked up with "Macho Man" Randy Savage, Sting, Goldberg, and Kevin Nash. DDP's title runs include his time spent as the WCW World Heavyweight Champion, WCW United States Champion, WCW Television Champion, and one-half of the WCW World Tag Champions.

8. The Undertaker

undertaker 90swrestlers

Wrestled for: World Championship Wrestling, World Wrestling Federation

  • Finishing Move: Tombstone Piledriver

If goth and horror had a representative in professional wrestling, The Undertaker was it. He was always dressed in all black and seemed invincible to everyone. The Undertaker brought a new way of storytelling to the WWF that would help all of professional wrestling evolve and change with the times. His Tombstone Piledriver, followed by a pin made him one of the most dangerous men in wrestling at the time. Whenever that infamous gong came over the arena loudspeakers, a huge wave of fear came over everyone in attendance. "The Deadman's" Hall of Fame career is undisputed and it was awesome to see him claim the WWF Championship back in the 90s when he "buried" Hulk Hogan and Sycho Sid.

7. Sting


Wrestled For: Jim Crockett Promotions, World Championship Wrestling

  • Finishing Moves: Scorpion Death Lock, Scorpion Death Drop

"IT'S SHOWTIME!" "The Stinger" evolved in front of fans' very eyes as he debuted as a beach-blonde surfer with a cool rat tail hairdo and eventually morphed into the brooding character inspired by The Crow. Sting's collection of face pain designs and hyperactive persona gained him a ton of fanfare during his early run in WCW - some of his earliest feuds included the likes of Ric Flair, Big Van Vader, The Great Muta, and Cactus Jack. After stepping away from the ring for a while, Sting returned as the savior of WCW while donning black and white face paint during his mission to decimate the nWo. Sting's mid- to late-90s run featured him in classic bouts with DDP and Goldberg. With several WCW championship wins under his belt, Sting is recognized as a 90s favorite for several old heads.

6. Shawn Michaels

shawnmichaels wwe90s

Wrestled for: World Wrestling Federation

  • Finishing Move: Sweet Chin Music

Shawn Michaels is a bonafide wrestling legend who always showed and proved whenever he hopped into the squared circle. Also known as "The Heartbreak Kid," he had his best moments in the 90s - many of them took place at WrestleMania. HBK performed at a very high level alongside his partner Marty Jannetty as The Rockers, then he entered the singles portion of his career to put on bangers with Razor Ramon, Diesel, and "Stone Cold" Steve Austin. Shawn proved to be adaptable to all sorts of wrestling styles, exuded tons of charisma, and enraptured all the ladies who watched him pull off his signature entrance pose while those background sparklers went off.

5. Bret Hart

bret hart bio

Wrestled for: World Wrestling Federation

  • Finishing Move: Sharpshooter

According to his official bio, "Bret Hart emerged from Calgary's Stampede Wrestling, coming to WWE as a tag team with his brother-in-law, Jim "The Anvil" Neidhart. Together, The Hart Foundation won the World Tag Team titles twice and became one of the most popular pairings in WWE." Hart’s story is unique, not only because he was a fantastic wrestler who came from a pedigree wrestling family. But also because he would also present another look at the business from the inside. Wrestling With Shadows (1998) was Hart's way of giving fans an inside look at how dirty the business can be. Bret's pink and black attire is simply goated - watching the "Excellence of Execution" work his opponent's legs and back with focused offense while he donned his iconic fit never got old back in the day.

4. The Rock

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Wrestled for: United States Wrestling Association, World Wrestling Federation

  • Finishing Move: The Rock Bottom, The People's Elbow

There is a notable collective of wrestling families in the business - one of them is Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, who hails from the Samoan Anoa'i Family. Starting out as Rocky Maivia, then becoming known to fans around the world as "The Rock," Johnson made headlines as another key wrestler from the 90s associated with the Attitude Era. Rocky's promos were always worth sitting through every time he grabbed the mic - fans just couldn't wait to hear him tell someone to "KNOW THEIR ROLE AND SHUT THEIR MOUTH!" Rocky's time spent as a member of The Nation of Domination, his runs as the WWF Champion & WWF IC Champion, and both of his babyface & heel runs showcased Rocky's acting chops & in-ring prowess. It's easy to see why everyone wasn't surprised when Dwayne made his way into Hollywood!

3. "Hollywood" Hulk Hogan

Hulk Hogan With Hair

Wrestled for: World Wrestling Federation, New Japan Pro Wrestling, World Championship Wrestling

  • Finishing Move: Atomic Leg Drop, Axe Bomber

Plenty of fans began turning on Hulk Hogan's babyface act as the 90s rolled around. After leaving the WWF and joining WCW, Hogan maintained his good guy act until he decided to turn his back on the fans by joining the nWo. With the newly attached nickname of "Hollywood" put in front of his name, Hogan donned himself in black and white while he wreaked all sorts of havoc against WCW's roster. While he eventually went back to wearing the red and yellow, Hogan's '90s run is defined by his history-making heel run as the maniacal leader of the nWo. That nWo-logo spray-painted WCW World Heavyweight Championship he used to walk around with is goated! 2 SWEEEEEEEEEEET!

2. Goldberg

goldberg bio

Wrestled for: World Championship Wrestling

  • Finishing Move: Spear, Jackhammer

Goldberg was a product of WCW and the biggest name came from the WCW’s Power Plant training facility. Goldberg was arguably the most intense in-ring competitor to enter the squared circle in the ‘90s. WCW built Goldberg up perfectly as a force of nature that was just so damn difficult to put down. His legendary winning streak saw him steamroll Raven for the WCW United States Championship and "Hollywood" Hulk Hogan for the WCW World Heavyweight Championship. Goldberg's Spear and Jackhammer combo always blew the roof off the place! "The Man" always gets props for being the second-best bald wrestler of the 90s (you guys all know who is #1!).

1. "Stone Cold" Steve Austin

steve austin bio

Wrestled for: World Championship Wrestling, Extreme Championship Wrestling, World Wrestling Federation

  • Finishing Move: Stone Cold Stunner

"GIMMIE A HELL YEAH!" The beer-drinking, middle finger-loving, and Stone Cold Stunner master is none other than this bald-headed SOB. Austin once competed for WCW as "Stunning" Steve Austin, got fired & moved on to ECW, and eventually transitioned over to the WWF. Austin joined the fed in January 1996 as The Ringmaster, who wrestled for Ted DiBiase as his "Million Dollar Champion." Over time, he cut his hair, donned the catchphrase "AUSTIN 3:16," became more of a raging badass, and captured the attention of millions of wrestling fans when he became a "Stone Cold" killer. Austin's epic feud with Mr. McMahon pretty much defined the Attitude Era. Plus his matches with The Rock, The Undertaker, Dude Love, and Shawn Michaels showed just how much his brawling style and Stone Cold Stunner could keep the crowd engaged.

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