The world of professional wrestling has treated us to a wide range of colorful figures over the decades, and perhaps the most productive wrestling franchise in terms of iconic superstars is WWE. Whether you are a casual pay-per-view spectator or an avid fan of Bodog sports betting, you are likely to have a range of favorites of your own for any given period in WWE history. Let us take a look through the top WWE superstars of every decade as we relive the thrills and spills of tournaments gone by.
The history of WWE can be traced back to 1952, when an ancestor called the Capitol Wrestling Corporation picked up a devoted following from many people, some interested in betting on sports, others simply casual viewers.
Amongst Capitol’s stars, probably the biggest names were the tag team of Eddie and Jerry Graham. Together, the team succeeded in besting their rivals Curtis and Mark Lewin – in doing so, paving the way for many more spectacular matches to come.
1963 saw the formation of the World Wide Wrestling Federation – the outfit which is today known as WWE. Throughout the sixties, it seems safe to say that the big names of the franchise were Lou Albano and Tony Altomare, who comprised a tag team called the Sicilians. As their motif was themed around the stereotypical Italian gangster, they caused something of a controversy which went beyond the world of sportsbook betting and led to debates about stereotypes in the media. Despite the villainous, Mafiosi-style persona around which he had originally based his career, Albano became a wrestling manager in the seventies and was presented as a more friendly and benign figure in official media.
With Albano having risen through the ranks, the stage was set for a new WWWF star of the seventies. The franchise played host to many memorable figures: these include Mr. Fuji, a Japanese wrestler who, like Albano before him, later became a manager; the glamorous Valiant Brothers; Haystacks Calhoun, a veteran from the early days of the franchise who was still going strong; and the Fabulous Moolah, an icon of women’s wrestling. But perhaps the greatest of all was Larry Zbyszko, a wrestler who lent his talents to AWA and WCW as well as WWWF.
In 1980, the World Wide Wrestling Federation became the World Wrestling Federation. The title may have become smaller but the franchise became much bigger, reaching proportions that rivaled the excitement of the Olympics and Bodog Sports.
It attracted memorable grapplers such as Harley Race, a veteran who was previously associated with NWA, and Mr. T, an actor who starred in The A-Team.
There was one champion who shone above all others, however, one of the first wrestlers to become an out-and-out mass media star: Hulk Hogan. An unpredictable figure – not even the best bookmaker sportsbook knew exactly what he would do next – Hulk Hogan was immortalized in comic books, a children’s cartoon series and numerous action figures. Make no mistake, Hulk Hogan was the face of wrestling in the eighties.
Hogan’s prime status lasted throughout the nineties as well, but the decade also saw new blood being injected into the franchise – resulting in some of the best sportsbook excitement seen to date.
There was a rise in emphasis on wrestlers with larger-than-life personas, a prime example being the Undertaker – a mortician-like wrestler inspired by the morbid imagery of goth rock music. The Undertaker emerged as a “bad guy” figure who could stand in opposition to the more clean-cut stars such as Hulk Hogan.
Finally, we come to the decade of the 2000s. As well as seeing the WWF become renamed as the WWE, not to mention the rise of the Internet – and, therefore, the online sportsbook – the 2000s saw the rise of a great new superstar named John Cena. Cena grappled his way through many of the more memorable events of the decade and earned his place as the true superstar of the 2000s.
What will the future of wrestling bring us? Well, when 2020 arrives we be able to look back upon another decade of wrestling superstars…