The French juggernaut was monumental to pro wrestling’s rise, and more specifically, the spectacle that is known as WrestleMania. Being body slammed by Hulk Hogan made Terry Bollea and larger than life star, but he should be thankful that is was possible thanks to this larger than life star. Without Andre, one of the great heels of the late eighties, who knows where we would be. Davey Boy Smith had incredible success in the WWE yet he never won the WWE Championship. One half of The British Bulldogs and a member of The Hart Foundation, his defining moment was when he beat his brother-in-law, Bret Hart, at Wembley Stadium at SummerSlam 1992, headlining the card and capturing the Intercontinental championship. He had stints in WCW but none were are successful as the ones in WWE, where he won 7 titles. The best wrestler on this entire list, The Dynamite Kid (Thomas Billington), had spectacular matches with Bret Hart in Stampede Wrestling, and for winning the Tag Team championship with Davey Boy Smith in The British Bulldogs. He was a wrestler that exceled way before his time, with his stocky build and sheer power, he was able to use high-flying maneuvers as well. Sadly for Billington, the years of hard work has left him disabled and in a wheelchair. Perhaps the most underappreciated wrestler of all-time, the “Blue Blood” William Regal was an intensely hated individual in his early days with WCW and that carried over in WWE. He is a King of The Ring winner, former Raw general manager and held the WWE European championship 4 times, the WWE Tag Team Championship 4 times with three different partners (Tajiri, Eugene and Lance Storm) and is a beloved wrestler in his home country of England). Although Drew McIntyre is stuck in a really bad gimmick right now with 3 Man Band, the former Intercontinental champion and a handpicked star chosen by Vince McMahon has the build, the heel status and the skills to be a major player in the WWE. It has been a while since he has possessed those attributes and we hope he can shine sooner than not having the chance to later. Currently recovering from injury, Sheamus could be hit or miss with the WWE Universe however his rise to the top was faster than almost anyone in the history of the company. He is a big man, and we all know Vince loves those types of guys, hence why he won the WWE Championship so quickly in his WWE career. Within four years with the company (even though he worked a hefty amount of dark matches at the beginning), he won the two major titles, a Royal Rumbled and a King of The Ring. The former ROH vet is taking the wrestling world but its heels – literally – with his use of the “Giant Swing” where he has showcased the move of over 30 seconds long in matches against The Usos, Kofi Kingston and Santino Marella. Cesaro may be a little underused right now, but his work in The Real Americans is satisfactory. He should be headlining cards, or at least having competitive matches with the stronger and more favorable guys in the company instead of losing to weaker opposition week after week. The former Nexus leader and three-time Intercontinental champion, it is strange why Barrett is not amongst the top guys in WWE, and like Cesaro is losing to weaker opposition but the difference is Barrett is actually getting squashed by guys he should not even be close to losing to. With previous pushes going nowhere, maybe there is something that has to be read between the lines yet he has all the pickings to be a stud in the company. A fan favorite in the WWE but a menacing force in WCW, Fit Finlay (or better known as Finlay) did not have many title runs in both promotions, only capturing the WCW Television championship and WWE United States Championship once, respectively, but he was known as one of the toughest competitors in the ring who would actually beat the crap out of you just for selling purposes. He also introduced us to Hornswoggle, which give or take, is alright. An AWA and Mid-South veteran, the 2005 Hall of Fame inductee Nikolai Volkoff will be remembered mainly for his time with the always entertaining Iron Sheik, who he still receives a grilling from to this day here and there. Volkoff led the team of The Bolsheviks in the early-nineties, but they did not find too much success, hence being slaughtered by The Hart Foundation at WrestleMania 6 in mere seconds.
Stemming off our Best 10 European Champions piece and the recent “Giant Swing” signature move we have been seeing, we look at the best European wrestlers that have competed in WWE, past and present. With a couple of past legends, world champions and rising stars of the modern era, we are gracious that these Europeans were able to provide us with some great moments.