This is has not been a good 24 hours for Pro Wrestling.

George “The Animal” Steele, a member of the WWE Hall of Fame, passed away at the age of 79. 

“The Animal”, born Jim Myers, was a native of Detroit, Michigan and played college football at Michigan State.  He would later become a teacher, but like many college football players he would turn to professional wrestling where in his home city he donned a mask and performed as “The Student”.  It wasn’t long before he caught the attention of Bruno Sammartino, the World Wide Wrestling Federation Heavyweight Champion and owner of the Pittsburgh territory. 

Losing the mask, Myers would adopt the George Steele name in Pittsburgh and became a wild in ring wrestler, using foreign objects yet still showcasing technical ability.  Steele would join Bruno in the WWWF and would feud with Sammartino for the WWWF World Title, performing in numerous sold-out shows in the Northeast. 

The WWWF would remain his home for decades and the Animal would go up and down the card and would later challenge Pedro Morales for the World Title, and Sammartino again when he regained the championship.  When Vince McMahon Jr. took over the reigns of the newly named World Wrestling Federation, he had Steele become more Neanderthal like and he would speak only in monosyllabic gibberish.  Steele would receive title shots against Hulk Hogan, but despite his numerous high profile matches, it was his face turn on the first Saturday Night’s Main Event for which he is best known for.

Steele would become a beloved fan favorite and would notable feud with Randy “Macho Man” Savage for the Intercontinental Title, and for the affection of Elizabeth.  He would end his in ring career in 1988, though would sporadically return on camera on occasion.  He was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 1995.

Ivan Koloff, another wrestling legend also passed away. 

Born Oreal Perras in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, Koloff would begin his career as Red McNulty, only to become one of many kayfabe Russians.  Billed from Ukraine, “The Russian Bear” would enter the WWWF in 1969 and would become the World Champion, ending the seven year plus reign of Bruno Sammartino.  It was a brief reign as Koloff would hold the belt for under a month losing it to Pedro Morales, but it cemented him in WWE folklore.

In and out of the WWF throughout the 1970’s, Koloff would have a more famous run in the NWA, most notably in the 1980’s as the leader of the Russians, a stable consisting of himself, his “nephew”, Nikita Koloff and Krusher Khruschev. 

Koloff’s name had been thrown about for the WWE Hall of Fame, though he has yet to be selected. 

We here at would like to extend our condolences to the friends and family of George Steele and Ivan Koloff at this time. 
Another Hall of Fame Class equals for us another Hall of Fame revision.

Approximately seven weeks ago, the WWE Hall of Fame inducted the Class of 2017, which took many off of our list.  This included:

Kurt Angle (Ranked #6)

Toots Mondt (Ranked #17)

“Ravishing” Rick Rude (Ranked #20)

Haystacks Calhoun (Ranked #32)

The Rock and Roll Express (Ranked #41)

Diamond Dallas Page (Ranked #47)

Rikidozan (#68)

Dr. Jerry Graham (#80)

Teddy Long (#134)

June Byers (#199)

Beth Phoenix (#240)

With the removal of these wrestlers, we have moved one wrestler from the future candidates section (The Big Show), and have added more additional performers who we may have forgotten before.  Rankings have changed based on your votes and comments and continuing career analysis.

Let’s get right to it, shall we?

While it is a controversial choice for some of you, we just can’t move the owner of the WWE, Vince McMahon out of the top spot.  Love him or hate him, most of you who started watching professional wrestling did so because of the marketing brilliance of McMahon. 

The Undertaker returns at #2.  With his recent retirement at Wrestlemania it is widely speculated that he will be inducted next year.  Frankly, we are hoping that is the case.

The Rock also returns at the same position, #3.  Like the Undertaker, when the Rock gets in, he will without question be the headliner. 

Triple H returns at #4.  While the resume of Triple H is certainly Hall of Fame worthy, though with him being a high ranking executive, it is actually a lot harder to induct him.  Maybe this is “Vince 2.0”, and he will be on this list for years to come. 

The late Ivan Koloff moved up two spots from #7 to #5.  There was talk about inducting him two years ago, but now any induction for the former WWWF World Heavyweight Champion would be posthumous.

Chris Jericho had a huge jump from #8 to #6.  While he is coming off of one of his most entertaining years in the ring, Y2J is 46 years old and older than the mandatory age of 45, which we placed to move Futures to the main list, even if they are active competitors. 

Bruiser Brody took a bit of a tumble as he dropped from #5 to #7.

Dave Batista, whose Hollywood run tells us he won’t be returning to the WWE anytime soon climbed one spot to #8.

Recently retired Daniel Bryan went up one spot to #10.  Bryan currently serves as the Smackdown General Manager.

Rounding out the top ten is The Big Show, our lone transfer from the Future Candidates Section to our main list.  While Show is in the best shape of his career, he will be 46 in February and is clearly on a reduced schedule.  He has been hinting retirement for years.

Here are the other new entries:

Seiji Sakaguchi at #153.

Alfonso Dantes at #186.

The Von Brauners at #197.

Jun Akiyama at #216.

Angelo Poffo at #292.

The Missouri Mauler at #314.

Bill DeMott at #338.

Dan Severn at #343.

Justin Credible at #353.

Pak Song at #355.

Stevie Richards at #359.

Duke Keomuka at #361.

Earl Hebner at #363.

Judy Martin at #367.

Ray Mendoza at #369.

Balls Mahoney at #370.

Hayabusa at #372.

Perro Aguayo Jr. at #373.

Al Madril at #374.

Bill Alfonso at #375.

Tony Anthony at #376.

Jamie Noble at #377.

The Disco Inferno at #378.

Velvet McIntyre at #379.

Sweet Daddy Siki at #380.

We have also increased our list from 365 to 380, and will likely add 20 more by the year’s end to bring it to an even 400.

You know what we want you to do!

Take a look and cast your votes and offer your opinions as those help us shape our future WWE List.

5. Ivan Koloff

A quick way to get heel heat in the world of Professional Wrestling is to declare your hatred for the United Sates and take on the persona of one of their enemies. More often than not, these performers were not from those countries, but back in the 70’s and 80’s had you told anyone that Ivan Koloff was not really a Russian, it would be hard to find anyone to believe you.