Saturday, April 13

10 Best High Flyers Of The 1990s, Ranked

While wrestlers have always utilized a high-flying style, that sort of wrestling didn’t blow up in major companies like the WWE until a bit later. The 1990s saw the first big wave of that kind of wrestler break through the mainstream, mostly when compared to the 1980s when the only names that were doing that were someone like Jimmy Snuka.



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10 Best High Flyers Of The 2000s, Ranked

Here are some of the most influential high-flying wrestlers that graced the ring in the 2000s.

The 1990s saw the start of the cruiserweight division in WCW, the Attitude Era in WWE, and the peak of ECW, with all three promotions taking a more focused approach on wrestlers that flew from turnbuckle to turnbuckle. Japanese wrestling also had a vast array of talent that was working this specific style and making it popular with the audience in that area. With a lot of viewers believing the ’90s was the best time in wrestling, let’s go back in time and see who were the absolute best high-flying wrestlers of that period.


10 Sabu Made It Extreme

He Was A Staple In ECW

Most Impressive Move

Diving Out Of The Ring From A Steel Chair

Accomplishment(s)

ECW World Heavyweight Champion, ECW World Television Champion, ECW World Tag Team Champion

Career Length

1985-2021

Sabu worked in Extreme Championship Wrestling and Frontier Martial-Arts Wrestling (Japanese ECW) during the ’90s and did the high-flying style in a way that most other wrestlers weren’t. Sabu would take any risk possible to provide the ECW crowd with some entertainment, such as wrapping himself in barbwire in a match against Terry Funk, throwing himself and others through tables, or diving through the ropes and landing on very thin padding over the concrete.

The only reason Sabu doesn’t rank higher is that while he was risking his body for the fans, in turn, he didn’t look as graceful as other wrestlers and often saw Sabu slip up or trip during his attempts. Either way, Sabu needs to be recognized as one of the best high-flyers of his time.

9 2 Cold Scorpio Could Fly

And He Made It Look Amazing

Most Impressive Move

450 Splash

Accomplishment(s)

ECW World Tag Team Champion, ECW World Television Champion, WCW World Tag Team Champion

Career Length

1985-Present

Similar to how WWE has a long list of talent that deserved better than they got and should have been crowned a World Champion during their career, that is what 2 Cold Scorpio is to ECW. He was easily one of the most athletic and skilled wrestlers in that promotion, but sadly never became the World Champion and instead held the World Tag and Television titles numerous times.

The move he excelled with was the 450 Splash, and while that move has been done by countless other wrestlers by now, not many made it look as good as 2 Cold Scorpio could. Scorpio is now 58 years of age and still performs fairly consistently on the independent scene, and recently worked as a trainer at Rocky Mountain Pro Wrestling Academy.

8 Fans Flocked Toward Billy Kidman

His Offense Was Unique

Most Impressive Move

Shooting Star Press

Accomplishment(s)

WCW Cruiserweight Champion, WCW World Tag Team Champion, WCW Cruiserweight Tag Team Champion

Career Length

1994-2008

Billy Kidman only trained and worked in professional wrestling for about two years before getting signed to WCW. This run became the breakout role that he needed as he was able to captivate audiences with his technique on a worldwide scale. Equally, loved and hated, Kidman became known for his Shooting Star Press, with some fans saying no one made it look as good, while others said Kidman did it horribly.

Whatever side of that argument you land on, it can’t be argued that Kidman was a high-flyer and had countless other moves that looked amazing. After a run with the WWE, Kidman retired in 2008 and started working backstage as a producer and makes appearances on-screen once in a while.

7 Brian Pillman Didn’t Start Off As A Loose Cannon

He And Steve Austin Were A Great Pair

Most Impressive Move

Springboard Lariat

Accomplishment(s)

WCW World Tag Team Champion, WCW Light Heavyweight Champion, NWA World Tag Team Champion

Career Length

1986-1997

Brian Pillman was an innovator for wrestling in the United States as he brought a lot of what he learned from promotions like Stampede and New Japan into the states. He was one of the first American wrestlers to adopt lucha libre wrestling into his character and showed the world a vast array of high-flying moves.

His early work in WCW was when he was at his peak of being a high-flyer, as injuries caused him to mostly leave that style of wrestling behind when leaving WCW. Pillman’s work against names like Eddie Guerrero, Jushin Liger, and Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat are great examples of what Pillman could do in his prime.

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10 Best High Flyers Of The 1980s, Ranked

Contrary to popular belief, there were some great high-flyers from the 80s; you just had to look a little harder for them.

6 Juventud Guerrera Was A Highlight On Nitro

His Feud With Chris Jericho Showcased Both Of Their Styles

Most Impressive Move

Springboard Frankensteiner

Accomplishment(s)

IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion, WCW Cruiserweight Champion, WWA Lightweight Champion

Career Length

1992-Present

Juventud Guerrera carved himself a pretty decent career in the U.S. after capturing multiple titles in AAA and WWA in Mexico. The early part of his career saw him have an amazing feud against Rey Mysterio Jr. in AAA before leaving alongside Mysterio and other luchadors for Extreme Championship Wrestling.

Similar to other talent, he’d find his way into the cruiserweight division in WCW, where he captured that title numerous times and was a mainstay in that division. Any fans who haven’t watched Juventud need to see his work against Chris Jericho in WCW or his match against Mysterio at ECW’s Big Apple Blizzard Blast.

5 Hayabusa Was The Ace Of Frontier Martial Arts

And Yet Deserved So Much More

Most Impressive Move

Phoenix Splash

Accomplishment(s)

FMW Brass Knuckles Heavyweight Champion, All Asia Tag Team Champion, FMW Independent Heavyweight Champion

Career Length

1987-2001

Hayabusa had a relatively short career but spent a major part of it as the ace of Frontier Martial-Arts Wrestling, where he captured multiple titles and main-evented the FMW Anniversary Show six times. His career sadly ended after a botched moonsault off the ropes where he landed on his head, leaving him paralyzed.

His body of work is nothing short of impressive and saw him create and popularize many moves that have become mainstays in modern-day wrestling, such as the Phoenix Splash, 450 Splash, and Falcon Arrow.

4 Jushin Liger Broke Records

Held The IWGP Junior Heavyweight Title 11 Times

Most Impressive Move

Shooting Star Press

Accomplishment(s)

IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion, IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Champion, NWA World Welterweight Champion

Career Length

1984-2020

Jushin Liger comfortably sits among some of the greatest high-flying wrestlers as he was the innovator behind one of the most commonly used moves, the Shooting Star Press. This move helped him earn countless titles, including his 11 different reigns with the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship.

His decades-spanning career also led him to be one of the most recognizable wrestlers to come out of New Japan. The man was able to work almost everywhere possible during his tenure, including runs with WWE, WCW, NJPW, CMLL, ROH, and more.

3 The Great Muta Was A Jack Of All Trades

Could Switch From A Technical Wizard To High-Flying

Most Impressive Move

Moonsault

Accomplishment(s)

IWGP Heavyweight Champion, Triple Crown Heavyweight Champion, NWA Worlds Heavyweight Champion

Career Length

1984-2023

Another legend who helped create a popular move, The Great Muta, was the mastermind behind multiple maneuvers, with the most utilized being the moonsault. There aren’t many names that can reach the same level of prestige that Muta has. He was even able to be inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame without having a single match for the promotion.

Muta could do anything in the ring as he was great at the hardcore types of matches, technical masterpieces, and flying from rope to rope at a moment’s notice. There are only a couple of names better at aerial attacks than Muta was.

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All because someone is a great mat-based wrestler doesn’t mean they can’t be an awesome high-flyer, too! WWE has featured numerous stars like that!

2 Ultimo Dragon Held Countless Belts

Created The J-Crown with Eight Titles

Most Impressive Move

Asai Moonsault

Accomplishment(s)

IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion, WWF Light Heavyweight Champion, World Junior Heavyweight Champion

Career Length

1987-Present

Similar to The Great Muta, Ultimo Dragon was able to strike opponents from anywhere as he was great at technical work and submissions, while also being able to soar through the sky and rain down on someone. It has been discussed countless times that Ultimo Dragon is still the most decorated champion at a single time when he held ten different belts and created the J-Crown with eight of them.

His work leaves a legacy that most likely nobody will ever be able to touch and solidifies him as one of the greatest high-flyers of a generation.

1 Eddie Guerrero Is One Of The Greatest

He Has Influenced A Generation Of Stars

Most Impressive Move

Frog Splash

Accomplishment(s)

WCW Cruiserweight Champion, ECW World Television Champion, WWE European Champion

Career Length

1986-2005

There is no question that the high-flying style of wrestling is dominated by a few different athletes. The 2000s saw Rey Mysterio cement his legacy and become a legend, while the 1990s were the highlights of Eddie Guerrero in the ring. Guerrero had it all as he was amazing on the microphone, in the ring, and, from all accounts, as a person.

His later career finally saw him become the main eventer he always should have been. There are very few wrestlers that can compare to Eddie Guerrero, which is why he is, without a doubt, the greatest high-flying wrestler of all time.

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