The following people are considered by Pantheon to be the top 10 most legendary Canadian Wrestlers of all time. This list of famous Canadian Wrestlers is sorted by HPI (Historical Popularity Index), a metric that aggregates information on a biography’s online popularity. Visit the rankings page to view the entire list of Canadian Wrestlers.
With an HPI of 63.96, Rocky Johnson is the most famous Canadian Wrestler. His biography has been translated into 16 different languages on wikipedia.
Rocky Johnson (born Wayde Douglas Bowles; August 24, 1944 – January 15, 2020) was a Canadian-American professional wrestler. Among many National Wrestling Alliance titles, he was the first black Georgia Heavyweight Champion. He won the World Tag Team Championship in 1983, along with his partner Tony Atlas, to become the first black champions in WWE history.He was the father of actor and former WWE wrestler Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson.
With an HPI of 63.15, Bret Hart is the 2nd most famous Canadian Wrestler. His biography has been translated into 40 different languages.
Bret Sergeant Hart (born July 2, 1957) is a Canadian-American retired professional wrestler, amateur wrestler, writer and actor. A member of the Hart wrestling family and a second-generation wrestler, he has an amateur wrestling background, wrestling at Ernest Manning High School and Mount Royal College. A major international draw within professional wrestling, he has been credited with changing the perception of mainstream North-American professional wrestling in the early 1990s by bringing technical in-ring performance to the fore. Hart is widely regarded as one of the greatest professional wrestlers of all time; Sky Sports noted that his legacy is that of "one of, if not the greatest, to have ever graced the squared circle". He was a face of the World Wrestling Federation during the New Generation Era. For most of his career, he used the nickname "Hitman". Hart joined his father Stu Hart's promotion Stampede Wrestling in 1976 as a referee and made his in-ring debut in 1978. He gained championship success during the 1980s and 1990s in the World Wrestling Federation (WWF, now WWE), where he helmed The Hart Foundation stable. He left for World Championship Wrestling (WCW) following the controversial "Montreal Screwjob" in November 1997, where he remained until October 2000. Having been inactive from in-ring competition since January 2000, owing to a December 1999 concussion, he officially retired in October 2000, shortly after his departure from the company. He returned to sporadic in-ring competition from 2010 to 2011 with WWE, where he won his final championship, headlined the 2010 SummerSlam event, and served as the general manager of Raw. Throughout his career, Hart headlined WrestleMania IX, X, and XII, and participated in the main event of Starrcade 1997 and 1999 – as a special enforcer and referee in the former. He was inducted into the Wrestling Observer Newsletter Hall of Fame upon its inception in 1996, while still an active performer. Hart has held championships in five decades from the 1970s to the 2010s, with a total of 32 held throughout his career, and 17 held between the WWF/WWE and WCW. Among other accolades, he is a five-time WWF World Heavyweight Champion and a two-time WCW World Heavyweight Champion. Hart has most combined days as WWF World Heavyweight Champion during the 1990s (654), and was the first WCW World Heavyweight Champion born outside the United States. He is the second WWF Triple Crown Champion and fifth (with Goldberg) WCW Triple Crown Champion, and the first man to win both the WWF and WCW Triple Crown Championships. Hart is also the 1994 Royal Rumble match winner (with Lex Luger), and the only two-time King of the Ring, winning the 1991 tournament and the first King of the Ring pay-per-view in 1993. Stone Cold Steve Austin, with whom Hart headlined multiple pay-per-view events as part of an acclaimed rivalry from 1996 to 1997, inducted him into the WWE Hall of Fame class of 2006. In 2019, Hart became one of four people to enter the WWE Hall of Fame twice, when he was inducted again as a member of The Hart Foundation, with brother-in-law Jim Neidhart. Outside of wrestling, Hart has appeared in numerous films and television shows such as The Simpsons as well as featuring in several documentaries, both about himself specifically and others about his family or the wrestling industry in general. Hart also helped found and lent his name to the major junior ice hockey team the Calgary Hitmen, and has written two biographies along with a weekly column for the Calgary Sun for over a decade. After his retirement, Hart has spent much of his time on charitable efforts concerning stroke recovery and cancer awareness since his personal experiences with the two. Bret Hart chronicles his wrestling life and Montreal Screwjob in his bestselling autobiography.
With an HPI of 61.85, Edge is the 3rd most famous Canadian Wrestler. His biography has been translated into 42 different languages.
Adam Joseph Copeland (born October 30, 1973) is a Canadian professional wrestler and actor. Widely regarded as one of the greatest professional wrestlers of all time, he is currently signed to WWE, where he performs on the Raw brand under the ring name Edge, and is currently inactive due to injury.Throughout his career, Edge has won the World Heavyweight Championship a record seven times, the WWE Championship four times, the Intercontinental Championship five times, the United States Championship once, the WWF/World Tag Team Championship a record twelve times, and the WWE Tag Team Championship twice. He is WWE's 14th Triple Crown Champion and 7th Grand Slam Champion. He also won the King of the Ring tournament in 2001, was the first Money in the Bank ladder match winner in 2005, the first to cash in the Money In The Bank briefcase twice, and won the Royal Rumble match in 2010, making him the first wrestler in history to achieve all four of those accomplishments. He is also one of the most accomplished superstars in the Smackdown brand. He also headlined multiple pay-per-view events for WWE (including WrestleMania XXIV) and was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame by Christian in 2012. His wife Beth Phoenix joined the Hall of Fame in 2017, making them the first real-life couple to be inducted.Copeland was trained by professional wrestlers Sweet Daddy Siki and Ron Hutchison. Throughout the 1990s, he wrestled in various United States independent promotions. During his time in these promotions, he competed in singles and tag team competition, the latter with longtime best friend Jason Reso. In 1997, Copeland signed a developmental deal with the WWF and was rebranded as the storyline brother of Christian, Reso's WWF persona. He made his televised debut the following June under the ring name Edge. In July 1999, he won the WWF Intercontinental Championship at a house show in Toronto, marking his first title reign with the company. Edge and Christian, billed as brothers and later childhood friends in WWF/WWE storylines, went on to win the WWF Tag Team Championship on seven occasions. During this time, they gained notoriety in the tag team division, partly due to their participation in Tables, Ladders, and Chairs matches. He retired in April 2011 due to several neck injuries, but returned to competition in the 2020 Royal Rumble match after a nine-year retirement. Aside from professional wrestling, Copeland appeared in the fantasy film Highlander: Endgame and WWE Studios' Bending the Rules. He has made guest appearances on television shows such as Weakest Link, Mind of Mencia, Deal or No Deal, MADtv and The Flash. He appeared on the Syfy series Haven as recurring character Dwight Hendrickson, and as recurring character, Ketill Flatnose, in the fifth season of Vikings.
With an HPI of 61.74, Chris Benoit is the 4th most famous Canadian Wrestler. His biography has been translated into 42 different languages.
Christopher Michael Benoit (; May 21, 1967 – June 24, 2007) was a Canadian professional wrestler. During his 22-year career, he worked for numerous promotions including the World Wrestling Federation/World Wrestling Entertainment (WWF/WWE), World Championship Wrestling (WCW), Extreme Championship Wrestling (ECW), and New Japan Pro-Wrestling (NJPW). Industry journalist Dave Meltzer considered him "one of the top 10, maybe even the top 5, all-time greats".Benoit held 22 championships between WWF/WWE, WCW, NJPW, and ECW. He was a two-time world champion, having been a one-time WCW World Heavyweight Champion, and a one-time World Heavyweight Champion in WWE; he was booked to win a third world championship at a WWE event on the night of his death. Benoit was the twelfth WWE Triple Crown Champion and seventh WCW Triple Crown Champion, and the second of four men in history to achieve both the WWE and WCW Triple Crown Championships. He was also the 2004 Royal Rumble winner, joining Shawn Michaels as the only two men to win a Royal Rumble as the number one entrant. Benoit headlined multiple pay-per-views for WWE, including a victory in the World Heavyweight Championship main event match of WrestleMania XX in 2004.In a suspected double-murder and suicide, local law enforcement officials concluded based on “evidence found within the (Benoit family) home”, that Benoit had murdered his wife in the residence on June 22, 2007, had killed his 7-year-old son on June 23, and on June 24 had committed suicide, reportedly hanging himself using equipment in a weight-training area located in the residency basement. Later research undertaken by the Sports Legacy Institute suggested that depression and chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a condition of brain damage, from numerous concussions Benoit had sustained during his professional wrestling career were both likely contributing factors leading to the crimes.
With an HPI of 60.36, Roddy Piper is the 5th most famous Canadian Wrestler. His biography has been translated into 29 different languages.
Roderick George Toombs (April 17, 1954 – July 31, 2015) was a Canadian professional wrestler, amateur wrestler, and actor, better known by his ring name "Rowdy" Roddy Piper. In professional wrestling, Piper was best known to international audiences for his work with the World Wrestling Federation (WWF, now WWE) and World Championship Wrestling (WCW) between 1984 and 2000. Although he was Canadian, because of his Scottish heritage he was billed as coming from Glasgow and was known for his signature kilt and bagpipe entrance music. Piper earned the nicknames "Rowdy" and "Hot Rod" by displaying his trademark "Scottish" rage, spontaneity, and quick wit. According to The Daily Telegraph, he is "considered by many to be the greatest 'heel' (or villain) wrestler ever".One of wrestling's most recognizable stars, Piper headlined multiple PPV events, including the WWF and WCW's respective premier annual events, WrestleMania and Starrcade. He accumulated 34 championships and hosted the popular WWF/E interview segment "Piper's Pit", which facilitated numerous feuds. In 2005, Piper was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame by Ric Flair, who dubbed him "the most gifted entertainer in the history of professional wrestling".Outside of wrestling, Piper acted in dozens of films and TV shows, most notably taking the lead role of John Nada in the 1988 cult classic They Live and a recurring role as a deranged professional wrestler called Da' Maniac on the FX comedy series It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia. He is also widely known for his role in Hell Comes to Frogtown as the character Sam Hell.
With an HPI of 59.62, Stu Hart is the 6th most famous Canadian Wrestler. His biography has been translated into 17 different languages.
Stewart Edward Hart (May 3, 1915 – October 16, 2003) was a Canadian professional wrestler, wrestling booker, promoter, coach, trainer, football player, amateur wrestler, and sailor. He is best known for founding and handling Stampede Wrestling, a professional wrestling promotion based in Calgary, Alberta, teaching many individuals at its associated wrestling school "The Dungeon" and establishing a professional wrestling dynasty consisting of his relatives and close trainees. As the patriarch of the Hart wrestling family, Hart is the ancestor of many wrestlers, most notably being the father of Bret and Owen Hart as well as the grandfather of Natalya Neidhart, Teddy Hart and David Hart Smith. Hart was born to a poor Saskatchewan family but became a successful amateur wrestler during the 1930s and early 1940s, holding many national championships, as well as engaging in many other sports. He began wrestling for show in 1943 with the Royal Canadian Navy while serving in World War II as he could not go to the 1940 Summer Olympics due to the war. After leaving the service he travelled to America and debuted professionally for the New York wrestling territory in 1946. Hart was considered very handsome and a good in-ring performer, focusing on a submission-like and technical style of wrestling, but despite this and being popular in general he was not given a major spotlight by the writers, and soon after marrying Helen Smith, whom he met in New York City, he created his own promotion in Edmonton, Alberta which would be known as Stampede Wrestling and took over the surrounding wrestling territory which covered most of western Canada and the US state of Montana. The territory would go on to become known as the Stampede territory thenceforth. In 1949, Stu and Helen moved to Great Falls, Montana. Hart's promotion featured a large variety of outside stars from the wrestling industry as well as homegrown talent for whom he booked storylines. Beginning from the 1950s Hart helped train a large number of people for his company and gained a reputation as one of the best teachers in the wrestling business. In October 1951, Stu and Helen moved to Calgary, Alberta, into what would become the famous Hart House. Hart remained an active full-time wrestler until the 1960s when he entered semi-in-ring retirement, thereafter he would focus mostly on promoting, booking and teaching, as well as raising his twelve children with Helen while still appearing in the ring sporadically until the 1980s. Throughout his career, Hart almost exclusively portrayed a heroic character, a so-called "babyface" role and only held one professional title, the NWA Northwest Tag Team Championship. After selling his territory to Titan Sports, Inc. in 1984, Hart would make several appearances on WWF television and Pay-Per-View with his wife, often involved in storylines surrounding his sons Bret and Owen and several of his sons-in-law who were signed to the company. He continued to teach wrestling at his home in Calgary until the 1990s when he suffered a severe leg injury and had to stop engaging excessively with students, leaving most of the work for his sons Bruce and Keith. He died at age 88 in October 2003 after suffering from multiple medical issues. Hart is regarded by many, including major wrestling historian and sports journalist Dave Meltzer, as one of the most influential and important figures in professional wrestling history and an icon of the artform. His greatest contribution to the art was as a promoter and trainer. Along with Bret and Owen, Hart's trainees included future world champions Fritz Von Erich, Superstar Billy Graham, Chris Jericho, Edge, Christian, Mark Henry, Chris Benoit, and Jushin Thunder Liger. Hart was a member of the inaugural Wrestling Observer Newsletter Hall of Fame class in 1996 and was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2010 by his son Bret. Hart was also well known for his involvement in over thirty charities, for which he was named a Member of the Order of Canada, the second highest honour for merit which can be given in Canada and the highest civilian honour.
With an HPI of 58.70, Pat Patterson is the 7th most famous Canadian Wrestler. His biography has been translated into 17 different languages.
Pat Patterson (born Pierre Clermont, January 19, 1941 – December 2, 2020) was a Canadian–American professional wrestler. He was known for his long tenure in the professional wrestling promotion WWE, first as a wrestler, then as a creative consultant and producer. He is recognized by the company as their first Intercontinental Champion and creator of the Royal Rumble match. Patterson was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame class of 1996. In 2019, Patterson became the oldest person to ever win a title in WWE history, after winning the WWE 24/7 Championship at 78 years old. He was described by journalist Dave Meltzer as "Vince McMahon's right-hand man" and "one of the chief architects of the WWE, playing an integral role in helping it become a global phenomenon."
With an HPI of 56.82, Owen Hart is the 8th most famous Canadian Wrestler. His biography has been translated into 29 different languages.
Owen James Hart (May 7, 1965 – May 23, 1999) was a Canadian professional wrestler and amateur wrestler who worked for several promotions including Stampede Wrestling, New Japan Pro-Wrestling (NJPW), World Championship Wrestling (WCW), and the World Wrestling Federation (WWF). He received most of his success in the WWF, where he wrestled under both his own name and the ring name The Blue Blazer. A member of the Hart wrestling family, he was born in Calgary, Alberta, the youngest of twelve children of Stampede Wrestling promoters Stu and Helen Hart. Among other accolades, Owen was a one-time USWA Unified World Heavyweight Champion, a two-time WWF Intercontinental Champion, a one-time WWF European Champion, and a four-time WWF World Tag Team Champion, as well as the 1994 WWF King of the Ring. He headlined multiple pay-per-view events for the WWF, and was widely regarded as one of the company's best in-ring performers.Hart died on May 23, 1999, due to injuries following an equipment malfunction and fall from the rafters of Kemper Arena in Kansas City, Missouri, United States, during his ring entrance at the WWF's Over the Edge pay-per-view event.
With an HPI of 56.37, Santino Marella is the 9th most famous Canadian Wrestler. His biography has been translated into 30 different languages.
Anthony Carelli (born March 14, 1974) is a Canadian professional wrestler, sports analyst, web series host, trainer, former mixed martial artist and occasional actor. He most recently worked for Impact Wrestling under his real name. He is perhaps best known for his 11-year tenure with WWE where he wrestled under the ring name Santino Marella. He is the founder of Canadian martial arts and professional wrestling training facility Battle Arts Academy. Anthony Carelli is known for his humorous gimmick as Santino Marella, an Italian stereotype, often being involved in comedic segments, having several on-screen relationships with fellow wrestlers, and getting slapped several times by Jim Cornette for not selling to the Boogeyman,as well as being crowned "Miss WrestleMania" at WrestleMania XXV disguised as "Santina Marella". His character won Carelli Wrestling Observer Newsletter's award for Best Gimmick in 2007 and 2008. During his time in WWE, Carelli won the Intercontinental Championship in his debut. He is also a former WWE Tag Team Champion and United States Champion. Carelli won four championships in WWE before retiring from professional wrestling in 2014.
With an HPI of 55.86, Ivan Koloff is the 10th most famous Canadian Wrestler. His biography has been translated into 17 different languages.
Ivan Koloff (born Oreal Donald Perras; August 25, 1942 – February 18, 2017) was a Canadian professional wrestler, best known for once holding the WWWF World Heavyweight Championship. He was known as "The Russian Bear".
Pantheon has 38 people classified as wrestlers born between 1915 and 1990. Of these 38, 30 (78.95%) of them are still alive today. The most famous living wrestlers include Bret Hart, Edge, and Santino Marella. The most famous deceased wrestlers include Rocky Johnson, Chris Benoit, and Roddy Piper. As of October 2020, 4 new wrestlers have been added to Pantheon including Rocky Johnson, Kenny Omega, and Kyle O'Reilly.
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Which Wrestlers were alive at the same time? This visualization shows the lifespans of the 8 most globally memorable Wrestlers since 1700.