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The top 10 WWF wrestlers of the 1980s

Written by: James at Classic Nerd

The top 10 WWF wrestlers of the 1980s

I knew it was fake.

I mean, my parents straight up told me.

But I still begged for the pay-per-views, lived and died with every moment as my favorite wrestler seemed to be finished, then back, then finished again and finally winning with a surprise reversal that went into their finishing move.

I remember the Royal Rumbles, the Wrestlemanias, even the Summer Slams.

Building a list of the best pro wrestlers from the '80s would be like trying to pick out your favorite ant — there's just so damn many of them, and they were all equally awesome in so many ways.

Even by adding the qualifier of keeping it to only WWF wrestlers, building a list of only 10 has been stressful, nearly impossible — pretty much the hardest thing I've ever done in my life.

But, it had to be done. Someone had to take the bold move of ranking pro wrestlers from the 1980s — don't bother Googling it, just go ahead and assume we are the only ones who are bold enough to do take on this Herculean task.

Some of your favorite wrestlers won't make this list. Some will. But what's most important is that this list is 100% founded on science, and even if you disagree, you're wrong. And if someone else were to take a stab at it, they would also be wrong.

Here are the top WWF wrestlers from the 1980s, ranked, as proven by our rigorous scientific method of deciding for our damn selves who deserved to make the list:

10.  The Bushwhackers

These guys started wrestling in 1966. Let that sink in for a while.

But it wasn't until the late 1980s that they found their true calling: running around the ring licking each other's heads — not to mention licking opponents, fans, and pretty much whatever else was around.

The Bushwackers are the only tag team making this list, and for good reason: Even though they only wrestled in the WWF for a couple of years in the '80s, their popularity skyrocketed them as fan favorites almost immediately.

Within a matter of days they were gifted a big match with The Bolsheviks, and a match at Wrestlemania V that same year.

Maybe it was the comedic quality to their act, the licking, or just the fact that New Zealanders are naturally likeable. Whatever the reason, fans loved them as dearly as any of the more serious, ostensibly bigger names in the ring at the same time.

WWF ultimately more or less forced them into retirement, despite the fact that they were quite popular with fans well into the mid-90s. Presumably today they're simply doing a walkabout somewhere in the bush.

9. The Iron Sheik

The WWF of the 1980s only worked because of heels. And the Iron Sheik paved the way for every heel that followed.

Here was a man who fully embraced his role embodying every single deep-seated fear Americans had of Iran in the '80s.

In an organization that blatantly played up stereotypes, the Iron Sheik still somehow stood apart from all the others.

And let's not forget, he held the WWF World Heavyweight Championship for a good year in the early '80s.

He retained the belt until he was scheduled for a rematch with Bob Backlund at Madison Square Garden in 1984. At the last minute, Backlund was replaced by some guy named Hulk Hogan. Hogan beat the Sheik, finishing the job with his trademark leg drop.

This is generally considered the beginning of Hulkamania, and the moment that Hogan's career took off, simultaneously ushering in the Golden Era of the WWF.

Without Iron Sheik, that moment never happens.

8. Hacksaw Jim Duggan

He was a perennial undercard, yet fans loved him. That may have had something to do with his extremely vague patriotism, or the fact that he always had a piece of wood in his hands.

It's hard to go wrong with a flag and a 2x4.

Although he never held a major title, he embodied all the the things that were truly glorious about the WWF in the '80s: great hair, a hatred for commies and love for wood.

7. Brutus ‘The Barber’ Beefcake

It's hard not to empathize with a character who starts out as a male stripper and then goes on to become a hair stylist. I mean, we've all been there.

Was there really anything more '80s than cutting your defeated opponent's long, feathered locks from their head after a match?

It's actually a wonder no one was decapitated by those shears.

Brutus never had a chance at becoming a serious hero like some of the other wrestlers on this list, but that was what made the WWF so awesome in the '80s — dudes like Beefcake, who were just totally off the wall and ridiculous. The WWE has struggled to recapture these kinds of characters ever since.

6. The Macho Man Randy Savage

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