The 5 Greatest Sellers Of All-Time

LOS ANGELES - NOVEMBER 16: Actor Randy Savage attends the 31st Annual American Music Awards at The Shrine Auditorium November 16, 2003 in Los Angeles, California. (Phot by Frank Micelotta/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES - NOVEMBER 16: Actor Randy Savage attends the 31st Annual American Music Awards at The Shrine Auditorium November 16, 2003 in Los Angeles, California. (Phot by Frank Micelotta/Getty Images) /

A few weeks ago, we took a look at the top sellers in the business today and I mentioned a possible look at the greatest sellers of all time. Well, here it is, and in it, we’ll take a look at the best in the business. Those wrestlers that sold the gimmick and the bumps they took to the point that they had millions convinced that what they were putting across was as real as the floor at your feet.

Sellers can make the product hard to watch…the tension building because everyone is thinking to themselves either: “Hey…he or she really got hurt there,” or “Man…he looks serious…are they really having a heated argument?”

Sellers take promos to the limit and expertly so, and as mentioned they take bumps to the limit too. Here’s a look at some of the best to ever step their feet into the ring.

Dusty Rhodes

This man could have you believing anything. Does anyone else remember when the Four Horsemen broke Dusty Rhode’s arm in a parking lot back in NWA as a lead-in to Starcade?

Dusty was so believable, that in another incident involving the five men on September 29th, 1985, the Four Horsemen broke Dusty’s leg in a steel cage. The fans believed the travesty so much, and that Arn, Flair, and company did it on purpose, they refused to let the Four Horsemen exit to the back; fans actually tried to climb into the cage. Long story short, police got involved and their life had been threatened. According to Arn Anderson, fans even cut them with knives and landed some shots on them during the melee.

Now just imagine if you will how believable Dusty must have been in selling that injury.

But time and time again, this legend and father to Cody Rhodes and Dustin Rhodes paved the way for wrestlers who didn’t have all that much in the physique department. But that didn’t stop him, because for what he lacked in genetics, he certainly made up for in the form of dedication and conviction to his art.

He never broke Kayfabe, and not even with his son. Cody’s statements on Bleacher Report Live proves as much:

"“He always explained it to me in a way that I didn’t mind. I liked being disillusioned by it all. And his simple ways of putting it to me always…‘oh, okay that makes sense’. Like he explained you couldn’t fight outside of the ring otherwise the “league”, the vague league would fine you. Or there would be these big repercussions. And at a young age, I bought it. That makes sense…Same as when we got older. I’d see guys bust a wooden chair over his head and then shake his hand later. And he says ‘respect back here. Out there is the only place where we can truly compete’. Never once did I question it. I didn’t want to question it. The show was too dang fun…”"

Terry Funk

At One Night Stand (2006), Funk had returned to wrestle with Tommy Dreamer and Beulah McGillicutty to face Edge, Lita, and Mick Foley. Foley ended up cutting Funk’s eye with barbed wire and despite the fact that Funk was taken out of the match and patched up in the back, he still returned. I don’t mention that to prove his toughness, as anyone who knows Funk and remembers his career knows that much, but I mention it because of his performance when returning to the ring.

It’s pro wrestling gold. “My eye, Mick…My eye,” he said as the blood poured down his face and the medic urged him to go to the back, his voice thick with a tremor and rage. I think Terry had Mick Foley himself convinced that he blamed him for his injury judging by the look on Mick’s face.


But going way back to his days in NWA, New Japan Pro, and of course ECW, this man could sell and sell big.

Bret Hart

They didn’t call him the excellence of execution for nothing; especially when in pro wrestling, execution is essentially learning how to sell. Bret did phenomenally well against larger opponents, but smaller ones as well. Particularly in a match, he had with the 1-2-3 Kid, Sean Waltman in 1994. Sean Waltman himself has gone on record to say that it was his favorite match of his career and for very good reason.

"“Yeah, he absolutely [worked to get me over]. Now Bret, he got really aggressive with me in there for the sole purpose of making sure the people were behind me. Because you know, people were always solidly behind me back then, but I’d never been up against, been across the ring from Bret…I never really thought of it at the time, but looking back on it that match really, besides the stuff with Razor coming in the door, beating him and having the $10,000 challenge match when I got back, you know, obviously that was great for me and the victories over DiBiase and all that stuff. But no, this was, I needed that. I needed that match…”"

Jerry Lawler

The world believed for years that he and Andy Kauffman really fought on David Letterman…something they kept up for years.

But even in the ring, Lawler, like Rhodes, kept up appearances. In 1997, when ECW invaded WWE, he started an altercation with Taz, an ECW original, and most watching had no idea that his giving them that level of believability was a favor he was doling out. His selling to them and their antics put them over big time with the WWE audience.

Macho Man Randy Savage

The breaking up of the Mega Powers was maybe the moment that as a kid watching, I thought that my world had come crashing down. Randy really believed that Hogan had betrayed him with Elizabeth, and as a child watching that, I thought that wrestling was real and none of my friends were right about it being fake.

The conviction that Randy had wasn’t seen all that much in others at WWE at the time, especially with the cartoonish characters often seen in WWE at the time and soon after.

Even Hogan did an epic job; especially when Randy hit him with the belt and sent him sailing over that gurney and to the ground backstage. There are of course those that believe that Randy, in real life, didn’t trust Hogan for a plethora of reasons, therefore it was easy to make it all believable, but to that I say…Hey, whatever works.

Honorable mentions

And of course, a list like this wouldn’t be complete without a few honorable mentions, and you probably have a few thoughts on the matter yourselves, dear readers.

Ric Flair, whom Dusty would probably have not have had an epic villain to go up against. And you need to mention Arn Anderson as well for the same reason.

And speaking of Flair, we must mention Charlotte who is on the last list I wrote but needs a second mention, as she certainly learned from one of the best and is always convincing, and both when she’s antagonistic and when she’s taking bumps. No matter what, she’s believable to the end.

Next. WWE Queen of the Ring finals planned for Saudi Arabia. dark

Undertaker, Shawn Michaels, Tully Blanchard make that list as well.

At the end of the day, sellers make the product worth watching and it was an honor to honor these pro wrestlers who played the game of selling the best.