The top 90s wrestlers ranked: A list of the most influential 1990s wrestlers

The top 90s wrestlers ranked: A list of the most influential 1990s wrestlers

The 90s were a pivotal era for professional wrestling, marked by the emergence of larger-than-life personalities, fierce rivalries, a mainstream popularity boom, and the birth of the attitude era. From the classic Monday Night Wars between WWE (previously WWF) and WCW to the rise of extreme wrestling promotions such as ECW, the 90s proved to be an unmatched period of athleticism and entertainment. Explore the top 90s wrestlers who left an indelible mark on the industry.

90s wrestlers: From (L to R) Ray Mysterio in his mask, Manami Toyota after a match, and The Rock in the ring
Ray Mysterio, Manami Toyota, and The Rock are some of the top 90s wrestlers. Photo: @619iamlucha, @joshipuroresunews, @stonecoldsteveaustin_fans on Instagram (modified by author)
Source: UGC


The 1990s had enormous shoes to fill after the 1980s, widely regarded as the golden era of wrestling. In the late 1990s, another wrestling boom occurred, forever changing wrestling and ushering in the attitude era. However, the attitude era and the late 90s would be nothing without the wrestlers who made it so memorable.

When compiling this list of top 90s wrestlers, we ranked them based on their accomplishments, influence, charisma, and in-ring prowess during the 1990s.

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Top 90s wrestlers ranked

The 90s was a transformative period for professional wrestling. This vibrant era set the stage for iconic battles, giving rise to some of wrestling's most influential individuals. Here are the top old WWE wrestlers’ names and pictures and other prominent athletes in the sport who had a lasting impact on the industry.

1Stone Cold Steve Austin
2Manami Toyota
3Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson
4Shawn Michaels
5Hulk Hogan
6The Great Muta
7Mick Foley
9Ultimo Dragon
10Bret Hart
13The Undertaker
14Ric Flair
15Rey Mysterio

1. Stone Cold Steve Austin

Steve Austin Stone Cold, one of the 90s wrestlers, is wearing a grey t-shirt and folding his hands as he poses for a photo.
Former WWE Wrestler Stone Cold Steve Austin shooting a Wndy's Commerical at PC&E Studio in Atlanta, Georgia. Photo: Moses Robinson
Source: Getty Images
  • Date of birth: 18 December 1964
  • 1990s win/loss record: 694-465
  • Notable achievements: 6x world champion, 2x Royal Rumble

Stone Cold Steve Austin rose to fame as the face of WWE's attitude era. He was renowned for his rebellious attitude and unrelenting pursuit of authority figures. Austin previously competed for WCW, got fired, and then moved on to ECW before joining the WWF.

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His epic feuds with Vince McMahon and his memorable catchphrase "Austin 3:16" cemented his place in 1990s wrestling history.

2. Manami Toyota

  • Date of birth: 2 March 1971
  • 1990s win/loss record: 867-591
  • Notable achievements: AJW champion

Manami Toyota was regarded as a 1990s All Japan Women's Pro Wrestling standout. Toyota, a Joshi scene star, is known for her fast-paced wrestling and high-flying style. Her hallmark move, the Japanese Ocean Cyclone Suplex, is still used today as Bea Priestley's Queen's Landing.

3. The Rock

The rock giving a speech at the 2nd Annual Grio Awards while holding an award
Dwayne Johnson accepts the Inspirational Icon Award onstage during the 2nd Annual theGrio Awards at The Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills, California. Photo: Stefanie Keenan
Source: Getty Images
  • Date of birth: 2 May 1972
  • 1990s win/loss record: 261-271
  • Notable achievements: 10x world champion

Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, a third-generation wrestler, established himself as one of the most dynamic and entertaining 90s wrestlers. His electrifying promos and the "People's Elbow" propelled him to superstardom.

The Rock's feuds with Stone Cold Steve Austin and his shift from a babyface to a fascinating heel demonstrate his versatility.

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4. Shawn Michaels

Shawn Michaels giving a speech at the WWE Hall Of Fame Induction Ceremony at the Philips Arena
Hall of Fame inductee Shawn Michaels attended the 2011 WWE Hall Of Fame Induction Ceremony at the Philips Arena in Atlanta, Georgia. Photo: Moses Robinson
Source: Getty Images
  • Date of birth: 22 July 1965
  • 1990s win/loss record: 706-428
  • Notable achievements: 4x world champion, 2x Royal Rumble

The "Heartbreak Kid" Shawn Michaels' exceptional athletic skills and unrivalled storytelling abilities helped him become one of the most popular and respected WWE wrestlers from the 90s.

After a successful tag team career with Marty Jannetty, he transitioned to singles competition, but not before hurling his former partner and tossing him face-first through a window with a Super Kick in 1991.

5. Hulk Hogan

Hulk Hogan in a ring during the WWE Crown Jewel pay-per-view in Riyadh.
Wrestling legend Hulk Hogan greets the crowd during the World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) Crown Jewel pay-per-view at the King Saud University Stadium in Riyadh. Photo: Fayez Nureldine
Source: Getty Images
  • Date of birth: 11 August 1953
  • 1990s win/loss record: 295-109
  • Notable achievements: 13x world champion

Even though the 1980s were Hulk Hogan's prime, his influence extended into the 90s. His move to WCW and the creation of the revolutionary faction, The New World Order (nWo), played a pivotal role in the Monday Night Wars.

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6. The Great Muta

The Great Muta in his black and white mask during the Pro-Wrestling 'Dradition' - Tatsumi Fujinami 50th Anniversary
The Great Muta enters the ring during the Pro-Wrestling 'Dradition' - Tatsumi Fujinami 50th Anniversary at Korakuen Hall in Tokyo, Japan. Photo: Etsuo Hara
Source: Getty Images
  • Date of birth: 3 December 1962
  • 1990s win/loss record: 723-443
  • Notable achievements: 4x IWGP Heavyweight Championship

Keiji Muto, a.k.a The Great Muta, is regarded as one of the greatest old-school wrestlers. He was among the first Japanese wrestlers to achieve an international following.

He competed in what was widely regarded as one of the bloodiest professional wrestling matches of the time against Hiroshi Hase, sparking the creation of the "Muta scale," which measures the bloodiness of matches to this one's 1.0 rating.

7. Mick Foley

Mick Foley addresses an audience at WWE SummerSlam 2015 at Barclays Center of Brooklyn
Mick Foley greets the audience at WWE SummerSlam 2015 at the Barclays Center of Brooklyn in New York City. Photo: JP Yim
Source: Getty Images
  • Date of birth: 7 June 1965
  • 1990s win/loss record: 609-640
  • Notable achievements: 4x world champion

The King of Hardcore debuted as Mankind in 1996 and quickly became The Undertaker's first real enemy because of his ability to bear pain and unique brawling style. Foley was a pillar of the Attitude Era, winning three WWF Championships from 1998 to 1999.

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8. Sting

WWE Professional Wrestler Steve Borden aka Sting in his black and white facial art
WWE Professional Wrestler Steve Borden, aka Sting, attends day 3 of Wizard World Comic Con at Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Photo: Gilbert Carrasquillo
Source: UGC
  • Date of birth: 20 March 1959
  • 1990s win/loss record: 975-187
  • Notable achievements: 13x world champion

Born Steve Borden, Sting has 10 WCW World Championships and numerous other titles. He was the only wrestler to stay with WCW from the late 1980s until 2014, when he made his WWE debut at Survivor Series.

His battles against the nWo and spectacular matches with Hollywood Hogan and Ric Flair cemented his legacy as an icon.

9. Ultimo Dragon

  • Date of birth: 12 December 1966
  • 1990s win/loss record: 473-228
  • Notable achievements: J-Crown

Western fans know the masked Ultimo Dragon as one of the most iconic old-school wrestlers. He was a Japanese wrestler who learned Mexican lucha libre and distinguished himself from his opponents with his hybrid style, while his Toryumon School (founded in 1997) trained a wide range of wrestlers.

10. Bret Hart

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Bret Hart at the WWE Smackdown Live Tour at Westridge Park Tennis Stadium
Special guest referee Bret "The Hitman" Hart is speaking during the WWE Smackdown Live Tour at Westridge Park Tennis Stadium in Durban, South Africa. Photo: Steve Haag
Source: Getty Images
  • Date of birth: 2 July 1957
  • 1990s win/loss record: 1082-246
  • Notable achievements: 7x world champion

Bret Hart is one of the most famous wrestlers from the 90s and the best technical wrestler in pro wrestling history. From 1991 to 1997, he became a five-time WWE Champion, co-winner of the 1994 Royal Rumble, two-time Intercontinental Champion, and the only two-time King Of The Ring (1991 and 1993).

11. Chyna

Chyna does the peace sign during her visit to SiriusXM Studios in New York City
Former Pro wrestler/actress Joanie "Chyna" Laurer visits SiriusXM Studios in New York City. Photo: Slaven Vlasic
Source: Getty Images
  • Date of birth/date of death: 27 December 1969-17 April 2016
  • 1990s win/loss record: 25-14
  • Notable achievements: 2x Intercontinental champion

Chyna was a founding member of D-Generation X and the only woman to have held the WWE Intercontinental Championship.

Chyna was notable in that she wasn't just another beautiful face who had a few battles here and there; she added a lot of charm and intensity to the sport of wrestling, which helped raise the bar and women's profile in the sport in general.

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12. Goldberg

Goldberg at a baseball game between the San Diego Padres and the Pittsburgh Pirates
Goldberg at a baseball game between the San Diego Padres and the Pittsburgh Pirates at PETCO Park in San Diego, California. Photo: Denis Poroy
Source: Getty Images
  • Date of birth: 27 December 1966
  • 1990s win/loss record: 233-14
  • Notable achievements: 173-0 undefeated streak

Bill Goldberg's meteoric rise to superstardom in the late 1990s is still one of the most spectacular runs in wrestling history. He entered WCW with an unmatched undefeated streak and instantly became a fan favourite with his explosive power and deadly finishing move, the Jackhammer.

13. The Undertaker

  • Date of birth: 24 March 1965
  • 1990s win/loss record: 1124-331
  • Notable achievements: 21-0 WrestleMania streak

The Undertaker wasn't always in the main event, but his mere presence in the ring always resulted in high-profile matches. Despite his legendary supremacy in the ring, he finished the decade with only three WWE championships.

However, The Phenom didn't need the spotlight or numerous title reigns to cement his spot as a top 90s wrestler.

14. Ric Flair

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Ric Flair at the Nashville Municipal Auditorium in Nashville, Tennessee
Wrestler Ric Flair is seen at Nashville Municipal Auditorium in Nashville, Tennessee. Photo: Jason Kempin
Source: Getty Images
  • Date of birth: 25 February 1949
  • 1990s win/loss record: 481-533
  • Notable achievements: 16x world champion

Ric Flair was a prominent name in the 80s, and he carried that influence into the 90s, where he wrestled in WWE, WCW, and occasionally in NJPW. He combined world-class in-ring ability with remarkable charisma, establishing himself as one of the decade's most well-rounded and prominent figures and winning multiple world titles.

15. Rey Mysterio

  • Date of birth: 11 December 1974
  • 1990s win/loss record: 416-157
  • Notable achievements: 3x world champion

Rey Mysterio helped to elevate a completely new style and tempo of professional wrestling that had not been seen on American soil until the 1990s.

Mysterio's lucha libre style seamlessly transitioned to WCW, which helped differentiate the company from WWE and establish the cruiserweight division, one of its most consistent highlights.

The 1990s marked a new era in professional wrestling, with unforgettable characters, fierce rivalries, and ground-breaking storylines. The top 90s wrestlers, from Stone Cold Steve Austin to Rey Mysterio, helped shape the industry and influenced subsequent generations of wrestlers.

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