Part four of the greatest WWE superstars of all time goes from one extreme to another. From an Olympic gold medal winner to a hardcore legend and a fast talking anti-hero to a man that simply was ''perfect", here is the final chapter in the 20 greatest WWE superstars of all time.
16. Kurt Angle
Had his tenure with the WWE been longer than six and a half years, the 1996 Olympic gold medal winner would undoubtedly be higher. Angle made his debut at the 1999 Survivor Series event and even at that early stage you could see that he was destined for greatness within professional wrestling. He won his first two titles within the company just a few short months after his debut.
He dubbed himself the Eurocontinental champion by virtue of holding the Intercontinental and European titles simultaneously. He made his WrestleMania debut at the 16th anniversary of the premiere event but lost his championships in a triple threat match.
He became the first King of The Ring winner of the new millennium with a win over Rikishi in the final of the tournament. Four months later, Angle defeated The Rock for the WWE championship, the first of his career.
With this victory over ''The People's Champion'', Angle became the first and only Olympic gold medalist to win the world title in the company. He defended his title against the likes of The Undertaker, Triple H and also in a six man Hell in a Cell featuring The Rock and Stone Cold Steve Austin.
At Survivor Series 2001, Angle helped Team WWE defeat Team WCW after helping The Rock defeat his tag team partner Stone Cold Steve Austin. He won the third WWE championship of his career a year later at Armageddon with a victory of The Big Show.
He advanced to the main event of WrestleMania 19, but lost the title to Brock Lesnar. Following this loss, Angle missed three months of action, however upon his return he won the WWE title for a fourth time, getting a measure of revenge by regaining the championship from Lesnar.
The feud ended with Lesnar coming out on top before Angle began to engage in a series of battles with new WWE champion, Eddie Guerrero. The Olympian won a triple threat match at No Way Out against John Cena and The Big Show, thus earning a title match at WrestleMania 20 against Guerrero.
Latino Heat came out on top in a great bout featuring two phenomenal athletes. The following year, he faced Shawn Michaels at the 21st anniversary of the premiere event, in yet another match of the year candidate, this time Angle came out on top by forcing the Heartbreak Kid to submit to the Ankle Lock.
The feud between Angle and Michaels continued throughout 2005 as Michaels tied the series at 1-1 at Vengeance that year. In October, the two squared off in a 30 minute Ironman match which ended deadlocked at 2-2, meaning in the three matches each had a win, a loss and a draw.
Angle won the World Heavyweight title for the first time in January 2006 by winning a 20 man battle royal, last eliminating Mark Henry. He defeated ''The World's Strongest Man'' at the Royal Rumble a few weeks later to retain the championship and once again defended the gold at No Way Out against The Undertaker the following month.
His reign would come to an end at WrestleMania 22 in a triple threat match when Rey Mysterio became World Champion for the first time, pinning fellow challenger Randy Orton.
In May, Angle was drafted to the newly formed ECW brand. He dubbed himself ''The Wrestling Machine'' and defeated a number of top stars in WWE including Randy Orton at the One Night Stand pay-per-view.
In August 2006, Angle was granted release from his contract from the company, due to health issues. Since leaving the WWE, Angle has mainly worked for TNA (Total Nonstop Action) and has won the world title five times since joining the company seven years ago.
17. Mick Foley
The former WWE champion has many names, to most fans of the original ECW he is fondly known as Cactus Jack. For his titles runs in WWE he is remembered as Mankind and for a character with a lighter side to his game, he will always be Dude Love.
Prior to signing with the WWE in 1996, Foley wrestled in ECW, WCW, Canada, Japan and a host of other independent wrestling promotions.
He made his debut in WWE as Mankind the night after WrestleMania 12 and defeated Hardcore Holly on an episode of Raw. He quickly began a feud with The Undertaker and made his pay-per-view debut at King of the Ring, successfully defeating ''The Deadman.''
He earned his first world title shot against Shawn Michaels at a house show that same year. The then champion, Michaels won the match by disqualification due to interference from The Undertaker. Foley considers this bout as one of the best of his career.
Mankind and The Undertaker continued to feud sporadically, trading several wins leading up to their infamous Hell in a Cell match at King of the Ring 1998. As the bout was taken to the top of the cage, The Undertaker launched Mankind 20 feet through the announcers table.
Mankind refused to stay down but was slammed onto a bed of thumbtacks and was subsequently defeated by ''The Phenom.'' This remains one of the most famous matches in professional wrestling history.
As his hardcore legend began to grow, so did his championship opportunities. In January 1999, Mankind defeated The Rock to become WWE champion for the first time. This would turn out to be a pivotal moment in changing the fortunes between the WWE and WCW. He would win the title again later that year at Summerslam in a triple threat match against Stone Cold Steve Austin and Triple H.
He then began a major feud with ''The Game'' lasting well over six months. At No Way Out in 2000, Foley was defeated by Triple H in yet another Hell in a Cell match and was forced to retire from WWE. However he returned a few weeks later and competed at WrestleMania 16. After failing to win the title back in a fatal four way match, Foley did not wrestle again for four years.
At WrestleMania 20, Foley teamed with former tag team champion partner, The Rock to face Batista, Randy Orton and Ric Flair. He then faced Orton for the Intercontinental title at Backlash in a hardcore match.
He made several more appearances in WWE since, including returning as the Mankind character to defeat Carlito at Taboo Tuesday in 2005. Earlier this year, Foley was inducted in the Hall of Fame by longtime friend Terry Funk.
It was a fitting reward to a man who had been a manager, a commentator, a world champion and arguably the most entertaining WWE superstar of all time.
18. Andre The Giant
Hailing from Paris, France and weighing over 500 pounds, Andre The Giant is arguably the greatest big man to ever perform in the WWE. He began his career in the company in 1973 and was one of the most popular wrestlers for the majority of the 70s and early 80s. In 1987, Andre turned villain to face Hulk Hogan at WrestleMania 3 for the WWE title.
Prior to this match, Andre was billed as being undefeated in wrestling for 15 years by pinfall or submission. The match between Andre and Hogan was dubbed ''the irresistible force vs. the removable object.'' Hogan successfully defended his title in front of over 90,000 fans at the Pontiac Silverdome.
Just about a year later, Andre defeated Hogan for the WWE title but held it for less than a minute, the shortest reign in the company's history. In 1989, he formed a tag team with Haku which became known as The Colossal Connection. Together they defeated Demolition for the tag team titles at the end of the year. The defended the gold regularly but lost at WrestleMania 6 against Demolition.
He made a number of sporadic appearances in WWE in the early 90s. He wrestled the final match of his career in Japan in December 1992 before sadly passing away about a month later in his hometown of Paris. He became the first wrestler to ever be inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame which was created in 1993.
19. ''Rowdy'' Roddy Piper
One of the greatest mic talkers in the history of professional wrestling, Piper was signed by Vince McMahon in 1983 to join the WWE. He officially began working for the company a year later, firstly as a manager due to injuries he had sustained.
But he appeared in the first ever main event of WrestleMania in a tag team match alongside Mr. Wonderful Paul Orndorff in a losing effort against Hulk Hogan and Mr. T. Piper faced Mr. T again the following year at WrestleMania 2, in a boxing match.
The Hot Rod won the first and only singles title during his WWE career. He defeated The Mountie at the 1992 Royal Rumble event for the Intercontinental championship. He lost the title soon after to Bret Hart at WrestleMania 8.
After two years away from the company, he returned in 1994 and began feuding with Jerry Lawler. Piper defeated The King at the King of the Ring pay-per-view. He then faced Goldust at WrestleMania 11 in a Hollywood Backstage Brawl, only to leave the WWE again afterward.
Piper was gone from the WWE for seven years. During this time he competed for rival company WCW and won the United States title. He appeared at the 2005 WWE Hall of Fame ceremony and was inducted by Ric Flair. A year later, Piper won the tag team titles with Flair at Cyber Sunday, thus becoming the oldest competitors to hold the championships.
Hot Rod has made a number of appearances since. Notably at WrestleMania 25 where he teamed with Jimmy Snuka and Ricky Steamboat to face Chris Jericho. Piper is perhaps most famous for hosting Piper's Pit which has included the likes of Jericho, Stone Cold Steve Austin and Hulk Hogan. This segment inspired future WWE talk shows such as The Highlight Reel and The Cutting Edge.
20. ''Mr. Perfect'' Curt Hennig
Hennig first appeared in the WWE in 1982 but it was six years later in 1988 when he first became known as Mr. Perfect. Following his return to the company, he remained undefeated for over a year. His first televised loss came against Brutus Beefcake at WrestleMania 6 in Toronto.
Perfect won the Intercontinental title for the first time in 1990 defeating Tito Santana in the final of a tournament after the championship had been vacated by The Ultimate Warrior. He won the title for a second time later that year and remained champion for almost a year before being defeated by Bret Hart at Summerslam in 1991.
After serving as a commentator while injured, Hennig returned to the ring in 1992 and defeated Ric Flair in a loser leaves the WWE match on Raw, a night after the Royal Rumble in 1993. He then faced Lex Luger in a losing effort at WrestleMania 9 before attempting to win the Intercontinental title once again, this time against Shawn Michaels.
Injuries to Perfect's back finally began to catch up with him and after appearing a handful times for the next two years, he left the WWE in 1996.
Hennig spent three years in WCW from 1997-2000. He returned to the WWE in 2002 and competed in that year's Royal Rumble event. He feuded briefly with both Rob Van Dam and Stone Cold Steve Austin before being released by the company in May.
Hennig passed away in February of 2003. In 2007, Perfect was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame. He remains one of the most gifted wrestlers in the company's history, backing up his title as ''Mr.Perfect.''
That concludes the top 20 WWE superstars of all time. Do you agree with this list? If not who would feature in your top 20? Have your say below.
Write for GiveMeSport! Sign-up to the GMS Writing Academy here: http://gms.to/1a2u3KU
DISCLAIMER: This article has been written by a member of the GiveMeSport Writing Academy and does not represent the views of GiveMeSport.com or SportsNewMedia. The views and opinions expressed are solely that of the author credited at the top of this article. GiveMeSport.com and SportsNewMedia do not take any responsibility for the content of its contributors.
Do YOU want to write for GiveMeSport? Get started today by signing-up and submitting an article HERE: http://gms.to/writeforgms