Best Wrestlers before I was born?

Jason Mann asked a question on his tweeter feed today. 

If you polled even an educated group on who the greatest ever was, I wonder which pre-1980s wrestler does the best and where he/she ranks?

Lets put aside that picking on greatest wrestler is silly.  Because of the aspects pro-wrestling, I do think you can rank someone as the best.  Making a list of the best can make for a good conversation.  I think you can say which wrestlers were the best in-ring, on mic, or at drawing heat.  Picking the best of the best seems to not really work for me. 

I tried to figure out who I would put on this list.  I realize that I could not put anyone on this list, because I do not have an emotional investment in anyone who I did not see wrestle.  My first thought of who to put on this list was Andre the Giant.  He is the wrestler that I could first remember.  He wrestled in the 80s, but I am not sure that meets Jason criteria. 

The next people to come to my mind had to do with the re-runs of old TV shows I watched as a kid.  My tweet back to Jason Mann:

@wrestlespective I am choosing between Freddy Blassie because of the Dick Van Dyke show and Gorgeous George because of I Love Lucy

When I look at my 10 Favorite Wrestlers of all time, I have an emotional reaction to them.  Both the good guys and bad guys made an emotional connection with me.  I guess it is the same as my 10 Favorite Phillies or Eagles of all time. 

I am not sure If I can watch a bunch of old youtube clips to make that connection.  If I watched a bunch of old video tapes, I might make an emotional connection with a wrestler who was not active during my fandom.  I am not sure it would really work in the same way.  I think this is an idea that would help promoters and wrestlers. 


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