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    The Definitive Ranking Of Every WWE Wrestler Of The 2000's

    It was a decade of massive change. From Attitude to PG, Stone Cold to John Cena, the Monday Night Wars to the Brand Split, and everything in between. These are the men and women who stepped into their spandex and helped make it happen through blood, sweat, and cheesy acting.

    First, a few notes.

    Who Qualifies: I ranked only superstars who were part of the active wrestling roster at some point between 2000 and 2009. This excludes other personnel such as valets, commentators, managers, general managers, and legends or celebrities making cameo appearances. Even though many of them saw ring time once in a while, if they weren't in a primarily-wrestling role at some point, they were not ranked.

    Wrestlers also had to have been part of the main roster, resulting in at least one match on RAW, Smackdown, ECW or a pay-per-view. Talent that was in OVW or FCW was excluded, despite making occasional appearances on secondary shows like Heat and Velocity.

    How They Were Ranked: Rankings were based on the quality of the wrestler's performance. Much of it came to in-ring ability, ring psychology, character, and storylines/feuds. This is somewhat unfair to the talented individuals who did not get much of a chance to shine, and for that their potential was somewhat considered, but ultimately it came down to what was actually proven.

    Also, only the years 2000-2009 (and in WWE) were considered. This means that work in other decades (80's, 90's, 10's) and in other promotions (WCW, ECW, TNA) was not part of the equation.

    238. The Heartthrobs

    237. Amish Roadkill

    236. Ernest "The Cat" Miller

    235. Mideon

    234. Ryan Braddock

    233. Tony Mamaluke

    232. The Gymini

    231. Mean Street Posse

    230. Kizarny

    229. Alicia Fox

    228. Kronik

    227. Buff Bagwell

    226. The Bellas

    225. Stacy Keibler

    224. Jesus

    223. Kelly Kelly

    222. CW Anderson

    221. Shawn Stasiak

    220. Braden Walker

    219. Nidia

    218. Torrie Wilson

    217. Dawn Marie

    216. Danny Doring

    215. The Headbangers

    214. Gangrel

    213. KC James & Idol Stevens

    212. Maria Kanellis

    211. The Dudebusters

    210. The Dicks

    209. Christy Hemme

    208. Johnny "The Bull" Stamboli

    207. Nathan Jones

    206. DJ Gabriel

    205. The Blue Meanie

    204. Eve Torres

    203. Ashley Massaro

    202. Layla El

    201. Eric Escobar

    200. The Boogeyman

    199. The Godfather

    198. Mike Awesome

    197. Gunner Scott

    196. Daniel Puder

    195. Colin Delaney

    194. Bam Neely

    193. Scotty Goldman

    192. Tyler Reks

    191. "Hacksaw" Jim Duggan

    190. Vance Archer

    189. Ricky Ortiz

    188. Big Daddy V

    187. British Bulldog

    186. The Basham Bros.

    185. The Highlanders

    184. Maven

    183. Hornswoggle

    182. Kenzo Suzuki

    181. Sylvester Terkay

    180. The Great Khali

    179. Bill DeMott

    178. Rodney Mack

    177. Spirit Squad

    176. Tyson Tomko

    175. Heidenreich

    174. Manu

    173. Haku

    172. Sakoda

    171. Rosey

    170. Curt Hawkins

    169. Mark Jindrak

    168. Ezekiel Jackson

    167. Zack Ryder

    166. Deuce & Domino

    165. Matt Morgan

    164. Jillian Hall

    163. Marcus Cor Von

    162. Luther Reigns

    161. Mike Knox

    160. Maryse

    159. Sylvain Grenier

    158. Rene Dupree

    157. Grandmaster Sexay

    156. Jacqueline

    155. Road Warrior Animal

    154. DH Smith

    153. Big Vito

    152. Orlando Jordan

    151. Farooq

    150. Candice Michelle

    149. Balls Mahoney

    148. Dave Taylor

    147. Daivari

    146. Big Bossman

    145. Yoshi Tatsu

    144. Bull Buchanan

    143. D'Lo Brown

    Via wwe.com

    142. Christopher Nowinski

    141. Matt Striker

    Bec Ferrara / Via wrestling101.com

    140. Scotty 2 Hotty

    Via wwe.com

    139. Kenny Dykstra

    Via wwe.com

    138. Shannon Moore

    137. Chuck Palumbo

    Via wwe.com

    136. Jesse

    135. Justin Credible

    134. Zach Gowen

    Via wwe.com

    133. Taka Michinoku

    132. Jerry Lynn

    Via onlineworldofwrestling.com

    Shown here during his time in ECW, because photos of his time in WWE were practically non-existent, though he did win the Light Heavyweight Championship.

    131. Simon Dean

    130. Katie Lea Burchill

    129. Hardcore Holly

    Bec Ferrara / Via wrestling101.com

    128. Rico Constantino

    127. Rob Conway

    126. Ultimo Dragon

    Via wwe.com

    125. Crash Holly

    124. Perry Saturn

    123. Psichosis

    122. Juventud Guerrera

    121. Super Crazy

    120. Steve Blackman

    119. Kevin Thorn

    Via nebula-wsimg.com

    Also known as Mordecai.

    118. Joey Mercury

    117. Essa Rios

    Via wwe.com

    116. Funaki

    115. Nunzio

    114. Vladimir Kozlov

    113. Michelle McCool

    Via wwe.com

    112. Gene Snitsky

    111. Festus

    Via whatistheexcel.com

    Also known as Luke Gallows.

    110. R-Truth

    Via stunt-granny.com

    Also known as K-Kwik.

    109. Dean Malenko

    108. Elijah Burke

    107. Tyson Kidd

    106. Drew McIntyre

    Via wwe.com

    105. Kid Kash

    104. Trevor Murdoch

    103. Lance Cade

    102. Primo Colon

    101. Tatanka

    100. Scott Hall

    99. Gail Kim

    98. Kanyon

    97. Eugene

    96. Mr. Perfect

    95. Stevie Richards

    94. Chris Masters

    93. Jimmy Wayne Yang

    Via wwe.com

    92. Tazz

    Via wwe.com

    91. A-Train

    Via ecwfrenchtribute.free.fr

    Also known as (Prince) Albert.

    90. Road Dogg

    89. Charlie Haas

    88. Al Snow

    87. Sandman

    86. Mark Henry

    85. Kevin Nash

    84. Raven

    83. Sheamus

    82. Ivory

    81. Chyna

    80. Billy Kidman

    79. Sabu

    Via wwe.com

    78. Diamond Dallas Page

    77. Ted DiBiase Jr.

    76. Cody Rhodes

    Via etv.co.za

    75. Dolph Ziggler

    Via wwe.com

    74. Val Venis

    Via wwe.com

    73. Tommy Dreamer

    72. Paul Burchill

    71. X-Pac

    Via wwe.com

    70. Scott Steiner

    69. Hulk Hogan

    68. Jamie Noble

    67. Rikishi

    66. Test

    65. Natalya Neidhart

    64. Melina

    63. Hurricane Helms

    Via whatistheexcel.com

    Also known as Shane and Gregory Helms

    62. Muhammad Hassan

    61. Evan Bourne

    60. Billy Gunn

    59. Spike Dudley

    Via wwe.com

    58. Sean O'Haire

    57. The Miz

    56. Paul London

    55. Jazz

    54. Jack Swagger

    53. Cryme Tyme

    52. Lance Storm

    51. Santino Marella

    50. Brian Kendrick

    Via prowrestlingwikia.com

    Kendrick was an underutilized talent that gave his all in whatever role he was given. Debuting as Spanky in 2003, he had a few memorable sketches, but his peak was his return to the company in 2005 in a team with Paul London, as the pair would become Tag Team champions for almost a year. In 2008, the duo split, and Kendrick had a short-lived stint as a singles star, The Brian Kendrick, during which he was an interim WWE Champion.

    49. Goldust

    Via wordpress.com

    Goldust returned to the WWF in 2002 as a surprise entrant in the Royal Rumble. He would go on to form one of the most entertaining tag teams of the decade with Booker T, winning the titles at the end of 2002. Always fun to watch and solid in the ring, Goldust's talents were underutilized upon his return in 2008, relegated to rare cameo appearances.

    48. Rhyno

    Via onlineworldofwrestling.com

    The last ECW Champion before the company folded, Rhyno went straight to the WWF, winning the Hardcore and US titles in his first year before an injury sidelined him. He returned in 2003 to have great matches with Chris Benoit and Team Angle. His Gore finisher was one of the best at the time.

    47. John Bradshaw Layfield

    Via wrestlingnewsworld.com

    Entering the 2000's as the APA brawler Bradshaw, John Layfield revitalized his career in 2004 as a stockbroker with a mean streak. JBL soon challenged for and won the WWE Championship from Eddie Guerrero, then went on to hold the title for nine months before losing it to John Cena. While JBL was never the Wrestling God he proclaimed himself to be, he cut promos better than most and was one of the better heel characters of the decade.

    46. Chavo Guerrero

    Via notinhalloffame.com

    The nephew of Eddie Guerrero, Chavo was a WCW transplant that soon teamed with his uncle on Smackdown as Los Guerreros. After the duo split, Chavo dominated the Cruiserweight division, feuding often with Rey Mysterio. Chavo's greatest feat came in 2008 when he won the ECW Championship and feuded with the likes of CM Punk and Kane. A workhorse in the ring, Chavo was a solid heel. (Best to forget about that whole Kerwin White business.)

    45. Goldberg

    Via wwe.com

    One of the biggest stars from WCW, Goldberg didn't make his way to WWE until two years after WCW had folded. He resumed his path of destruction in 2003, taking on former champions The Rock and Chris Jericho, before laying waste to five other men in the Elimination Chamber at Summerslam. A World title reign soon followed. While his brawls were entertaining, Goldberg waned in longer matches, and had a disastrous last match at Wrestlemania XX with Brock Lesnar.

    44. Tajiri

    Via japanesebuzzsaw.com

    The Japanese Buzzsaw came along in 2001, wowing viewers with his unorthodox style, including knockout kicks to the head, the Tarantula submission hold, and the blinding Green Mist. Tajiri was a major player in the Cruiserweight division, followed by numerous stints in different tag teams. He was a great addition to the roster, and very underrated.

    43. Mr. Kennedy

    Via blogspot.com

    The loudmouth Kennedy made a big splash when he debuted in 2005, beating former World champions and bragging incessantly. His entrance was unique and caught on with fans, and he held his own in the ring. Time and time again, however, Kennedy was sidelined with an injury just before getting a big push. Had he been luckier, he likely would've been a major part of the main event scene.

    42. Bobby Lashley

    Via onlineworldofwrestling.com

    Another wrestler that looked poised to conquer, Lashley had the superhuman look and ability WWE loves. A former amateur wrestling champion, he was a powerhouse in the ring, eventually becoming the ECW Champion and representing Donald Trump at Wrestlemania 23. Lashley had more skill than he was generally allowed to display, and would've undoubtedly won the WWE Championship had he not left the company after an injury.

    41. Finlay

    Via 411mania.com

    Brand-new superstars are usually much younger than Finlay was upon his debut, but they aren't usually as good as he was either. Having worked as a trainer behind the scenes for years (credited often with helping produce the best Women's division the company's ever had), Finlay returned full-time to the ring in 2006 as a surly Irishman who loved to fight. Aided by his buddy Hornswoggle, Finlay displayed a great moveset and ring psychology, plus a few dirty tricks involving his shillelagh.

    40. Molly Holly

    Via wwe.com

    Originally debuting in 2000 as a cousin of Crash and Hardcore Holly, Molly was a big part of making the Women's division as good as it was at the time. Playing a heel with no-nonsense, prudish tendencies, she dominated the division in 2003 before losing the title (and her hair) to Victoria at Wrestlemania XX.

    39. D-Von Dudley

    Via whatistheexcel.com

    He got the tables... and the ladders, and the chairs. As one half of the Dudley Boys, D-Von was instrumental in one of the best periods for tag team wrestling ever in the WWF, as the Hardys, Dudleys and Edge & Christian continually one-upped themselves in a series of TLC matches. A singles push as a preacher shouting "Testify!" was less successful, but there's no denying D-Von's contribution to the tag team division.

    38. Bubba Ray Dudley

    Via whatistheexcel.com

    The other half of the Dudley tandem seemed a bit more obsessed with putting people through tables, even once powerbombing 76 year-old Mae Young off the entrance ramp. Bubba fared a little better as a singles star, entering the Hardcore division and even once challenging Triple H for the World title. Luckily, the duo reunited in 2002 and added more tag titles to their collection.

    37. Carlito

    Via photobucket.com

    A naturally gifted performer, Carlito had an auspicious debut, defeating John Cena for the US title in 2004. He continued to antagonize viewers until 2006, when he turned face and showed off an impressive aerial moveset. Though he never quite hit the stride that he was capable of, he was a solid addition to the midcard.

    36. Big Show

    Via blogspot.com

    One of the largest wrestlers in the company's history, the 7'0, 500lb Big Show has faced off with every big name WWE had to offer - Triple H, The Rock, Kurt Angle, Brock Lesnar, Undertaker, even undefeated boxing champion Floyd Mayweather. Despite being nicknamed 'Big Slow,' Show has proven he can move when he wants to, but maintains his presence as a lumbering colossus.

    35. Beth Phoenix

    Via catch-americain.wifeo.com

    The Glamazon was another refreshing change from the rest of the women's division. Powerful and ferocious, Phoenix tossed the other women around like ragdolls, winning several titles along the way. A former amateur wrestler, she also showed a comedic side when she was paired with Santino Marella as her on-screen boyfriend.

    34. Mickie James

    Via allwrestlingnews.com

    Debuting in 2005 as a Trish Stratus superfan, James took part in one of the best storylines ever for the Women's title, her fandom turning to psychotic obsession. A talented wrestler with a great moveset, James won several titles throughout her career and had great matches with the likes of Beth Phoenix and Melina.

    33. MVP

    Via wrestlezone.com

    Montel Vontavious Porter debuted in 2006 and quickly made a name for himself, facing off against Kane and later Chris Benoit to win his first US title, one he would hold for nearly a year. With a unique look, Porter held his own in the ring and on the mic, and looked like a main eventer in the making.

    32. Umaga

    Via ecwfrenchtribute.free.fr

    Also known as Jamal, Umaga moved with a quickness not usually seen in wrestlers of his strength and girth. Hitting opponents with everything from Samoan drops to top-rope body splashes, Umaga took on several main eventers such as John Cena, Batista and Jeff Hardy. He never attained WWE title glory, though he did hold the Intercontinental Championship a few times.

    31. Victoria

    Via wearewrestling.net

    Before Mickie James, there was Victoria. Attacking Trish Stratus in 2002, Victoria proved a great addition to the women's division when she won the title in a Hardcore match. She would prove to be just as good as a face when she had her second title reign in 2004. With possibly the best women's finisher WWE's ever seen, Victoria was an underrated performer for sure.

    30. Kofi Kingston

    Via prommanow.com

    Debuting in 2008, Kofi caught on immediately with his unique moveset and incredible athleticism. Winning both the Intercontinental and Tag titles soon after, he was a steady fan favorite, and that only increased as he stepped up his game in a feud with Randy Orton at the end of 2009. The cheers that ensued at the time should've signaled that he was ready for bigger things.

    29. Ric Flair

    Via webzoom.freewebs.com

    By the time Flair returned to the WWF in 2001, he was in his early 50's, but the Nature Boy still had it. With great matches against Undertaker, Chris Jericho, Triple H, Mick Foley, and even a TLC match against Edge, Flair was still determined to be 'The Man' in his later years. Officially retiring from WWE in-ring action in 2008, Flair's last match against Shawn Michaels was one of the best that year.

    28. Batista

    Via wrestlezone.com

    The Animal rose to prominence in the Evolution faction, groomed by mentors Triple H and Ric Flair. In 2005 he stepped up to the main event, winning the World title from Triple H and becoming one of the company's biggest stars. Great matches with foes like Undertaker, Edge and John Cena soon followed.

    27. William Regal

    Via mirror.co.uk

    Returning to the company in 2000, Regal was the perfect foreign villain, snorting in contempt at American audiences. A master improviser, Regal consistently brought great work to the ring. While he never rose above the mid-card, he was always entertaining to watch, especially in matches against Chris Jericho, Edge and CM Punk.

    26. Matt Hardy

    Via fanpop.com

    Matt started the decade as one-half of the Hardy Boys, a team integral to the rise of tag team TLC matches. The more grounded but-still-high-flying brother was a talented singles star as well, touting his 'Mattitude' philosophy with Matt Facts, flanked by his MFers, the Mattitude Followers. Winning nearly every singles title available to him, Matt came just short of winning a world championship, but had a consistently solid track record nonetheless.

    25. John Morrison

    Via sharkattackwrestling.files.wordpress

    Formerly Johnny Nitro of the team MNM, Morrison was already a championship-winning wrestler by the time he became the Shaman of Sexy on ECW. Wowing viewers with his parkour-infused moveset, including Starship Pain and the Flying Chuck, Morrison formed another successful tag team with The Miz before returning to singles action in 2009, having great bouts with longtime foe CM Punk and Rey Mysterio.

    24. Christian

    Via todaysfast.com

    Another ingredient in the pioneers of TLC wrestling, Christian became a singles star in 2001 after turning on brother Edge that began a string of Intercontinental title reigns. A very talented wrestler and talker, Christian had great feuds with DDP, Chris Jericho and John Cena before leaving the company in 2005. He returned in 2009 to great acclaim, dominating ECW as one of its last champions.

    23. Shelton Benjamin

    Via onlineworldofwrestling.com

    One of the most athletically-gifted stars of the 2000's, Benjamin debuted as the other half of Team Angle in 2002, then in 2004 went into the singles division, winning numerous Intercontinental and US titles. He was also a mainstay in the Money in the Bank match at several Wrestlemanias, performing several death-defying leaps and crashes. Another main-eventer-in-the-making that never quite got there.

    I also met him at Target once, and he was pretty cool.

    22. Mick Foley

    Via pitch.com

    Although he retired just a few months into the year 2000, Foley put on two tremendous matches against Triple H, solidifying him as a top wrestler for the rest of the decade. Over the years, Foley would return to the ring for feuds against Randy Orton, Edge and Ric Flair, bringing his unique brand of hardcore insanity and goofball antics both to the ring and to the mic.

    21. CM Punk

    Via wwe.com

    Though his career skyrocketed after the 2000's ended, Punk's talents were displayed much earlier. Debuting on ECW in 2006, Punk would go on to win several championships and two Money in the Bank matches before the decade was up. Punk was finally allowed to shine in 2009 when he feuded with Jeff Hardy over the World title, turning his straight-edge status into a preachy superiority complex, which evolved into a cult-like obsession and the formation of the Straight Edge Society. With a unique look, great in-ring skills and better promos than most, Punk was one of the company's best additions to the roster.

    20. Lita

    Via sportskeeda.com

    Making her name as a partner of the Hardy Boys, Lita brought a fearlessness that the women's division had never seen before. Leaping off the top rope with moonsaults and hurricanranas, she quickly became one of the most popular women in the company, a status that was retained even after she was gone for a year and a half for a broken neck. In 2004 she took part in the only women's match to ever main event an episode of RAW, before turning heel and joining Edge as his partner-in-crime. When it comes to revolutionary women in WWE, Lita's name will always be one of the first few mentioned.

    19. Trish Stratus

    Via madstepdad.proboards.com

    As will Trish Stratus. The other half of that RAW main event was Stratus as the defending Women's Champion, a title she held a record seven times. The formula for the model-turned-wrestler that persists today was perfected by Trish, and has yet to be topped. While she was surrounded by very talented women to work with, Trish was the face of the division for years, and played that role very well both as a heel and as a face.

    18. Brock Lesnar

    Via royalrumbler.wordpress.com

    The Next Big Thing roared onscreen in 2002, winning the WWE Championship just a few short months later at the tender age of 25. A former NCAA amateur wrestling champion, Lesnar brought an unprecedented mix of speed and strength to the roster, tossing around heavyweights like Undertaker, Mark Henry and Big Show like never before. In 2003 Lesnar sharpened his mat skills against the Olympian Kurt Angle in the best series of matches that year, before leaving the company in 2004. Unfortunately his last match was a disaster, but he has since made up for it.

    17. Booker T

    Via wwe.com

    The five-time WCW Champion came along during the WCW invasion, trading blows immediately with the likes of Stone Cold Steve Austin and The Rock. With a heady mix of in-ring smarts and athleticism, Booker would win a number of titles and have great matches with Triple H, Chris Benoit, and John Cena. In 2006 he would finally reclaim the World title, under his new moniker of King Booker. That Spinarooni though...

    16. Kane

    Via wwe.com

    The Big Red Machine and resident monster of the company has had quite an interesting career. Originally said to be burned horribly under his red mask, Kane was forced to remove it in 2003, whereupon it was revealed that the 'scars' were all in his head. Kane had quite the streak in being a part of some of the most ridiculous storylines the company had to offer, from being accused of murdering his former girlfriend Katie Vick, to blackmailing Lita into marrying him, to facing off against an imposter Kane that wore his old outfit and stalked him, just to name a few. Still, Kane is one of the best big men the company's ever had, consistently holding his own in the ring and remaining a crowd favorite with his pyro-filled entrance.

    15. Randy Orton

    Via ilovetherko.tumblr.com

    A third-generation wrestler, Orton was pushed heavily from the start as the young prodigy of Evolution. Taking delight in being the Legend Killer, Orton made a name for himself by feuding with Mick Foley, and later winning the World title at the age of 24 that same year. Orton bounced around for a while after that, before finding his new niche as The Viper, taking delight in punting people in the head. A multiple-time WWE Champion, Orton has proven his talents against many other top stars, namely Triple H and John Cena.

    14. Jeff Hardy

    Via wrestlezone.com

    Jeff caught on quick with fans due to his daredevil antics, leaping off any tall structure he could find, be they ladders, cages, or the Titantron. Hardy's popularity grew without him having to say much at all, then surged as he broke through to the main event, winning the WWE title in 2008. His plethora of aerial moves was always exciting to watch, and feuds against Triple H, Edge and CM Punk were especially good.

    13. John Cena

    Via voxcatch.fr

    The king of the 2000's, Cena climbed the WWE ranks quickly, winning his first WWE Championship in 2005, the first of seven by the decade's end. Cena rose to prominence with his white-boy-rap gimmick, one that connected immediately with fans. While his in-ring skills were shaky, they grew as he faced off against the likes of Edge, Shawn Michaels, Triple H, Chris Jericho and Randy Orton. While many have cited him as the reason they don't like the company as much as they once did, there's no doubt that he will go down as one of the biggest stars the company will ever see.

    12. The Rock

    Via ign.com

    With Stone Cold Steve Austin out with an injury, The Rock became the biggest star in the company at the start of 2000, winning the Royal Rumble and later the WWF title from Triple H. A nine-time champion by 2002, Rocky left for the greener pastures of Hollywood, something many fans resented. When he returned, he looked down his nose at them, trash-talking with a smile on his face, taking on old foes like Hulk Hogan and Austin. A naturally-gifted athlete and one of the best talkers there's ever been, Rock was born to be the top-tier wrestler and movie star that he's become.

    11. Rob Van Dam

    Via wrestlingrumors.net

    Originally an ECW star, RVD came to the WWF in 2001, becoming one of the most popular stars on the roster, despite technically being a heel. With his extremely unique moveset, full of kicks and flips and the Five Star Frog Splash, RVD proved his worth against opponents such as Jeff Hardy, Kurt Angle, Eddie Guerrero, Chris Benoit, Chris Jericho and Shelton Benjamin. RVD would finally win the WWE title in 2006 at ECW's One Night Stand pay-per-view, an event during which fans threatened to riot if he didn't win. RVD was a big star who could've been even bigger.

    10. Stone Cold Steve Austin

    Via elitedaily.com

    Austin was the biggest star in the WWF when the decade began, though he was out with a neck injury for nearly the first full year. Once he returned, he reclaimed his top spot, dominating 2001 with a length title reign and some of the best matches of his career against The Rock, Triple H, Kurt Angle, Chris Benoit and RVD. Though many disliked his heel run, he was undeniably good at it, and could return to being a fan favorite at any time. Austin infamously walked out of the company twice in 2002, returning the following year for the last match of his career against The Rock. Though Austin's main event run was rather short, he will long be remembered as one of the most popular wrestlers to ever come along.

    9. Chris Benoit

    Though his place on this list is determined by his in-ring career alone, he deserves no other accolades or praise.

    8. Rey Mysterio

    Via wrestlezone.com

    A late addition from WCW, Mysterio debuted in 2002 to immediate appeal. His perfectly-executed lucha libre style caught on quickly, and before long Mysterio was king of the cruiserweight division. In 2005 he began a feud with Eddie Guerrero, lasting nearly a year, propelling him to the main event. At Wrestlemania 22, he did the impossible and won the World title, a feat rarely accomplished by wrestlers of his size. Mysterio went on to win other championships and have other great matches, cemented as a top star for years.

    7. Triple H

    Via uncyclopedia.wikia.com

    Triple H had just made it to the main event level by the start of 2000, a level he would never climb back down from. Accused often of politicking his way to numerous championships and main event matches (doesn't help when you marry the boss's daughter), he was nevertheless a very talented and passionate wrestler, having great matches with the likes of The Rock, Stone Cold, Chris Jericho, Shawn Michaels, Chris Benoit, Batista, John Cena, Randy Orton and Jeff Hardy. A fantastic heel as well as a great face, he will no doubt be remembered as a legend... especially since he will probably be running the company one day.

    6. Kurt Angle

    Via bleacherreport.com

    The Olympic gold medalist Angle proved just as proficient at professional wrestling as he was at amateur wrestling. A tremendous athlete, Angle was also very adept on the mic, making for many great feuds against Chris Benoit, Brock Lesnar, The Rock, Stone Cold, Eddie Guerrero and Shawn Michaels. The wrestling machine brought an incredible amount of intensity and goofiness to his character, two traits he mixed expertly. Even a broken freakin' neck couldn't manage to slow him down too much, as he still wrestled a match with Lesnar and was back again after only a few months.

    5. Eddie Guerrero

    Via jkwrestling.com

    Eddie Guerrero joined the WWF in early 2000, winning championships within his first year. A veteran from the Guerrero wrestling family, Eddie was fantastic in the ring and had a natural charisma that fans loved, even when he was blatantly cheating. He was let go in 2001 for substance abuse but returned in 2002 after becoming sober. His great comeback story culminated with his one and only WWE Championship in 2004, followed by a Wrestlemania main event match. He passed away suddenly in 2005, just hours before he was set to tape an episode of Smackdown.

    4. Edge

    Via forbes.com

    Edge excelled in nearly every situation he was put in. He began the decade in a tag team with brother Christian, innovating the TLC match along with the Hardys and Dudleys. He went solo and won a number of Intercontinental championships, along with the 2001 King of the Ring. But it was his turn as the Rated R Superstar that really put Edge at the top level of the company. As the Ultimate Opportunist, he would snag his first WWE title from John Cena, then later the World title from the Undertaker, then forged a relationship with Vicki Guerrero to maintain his top spot. With a long list of great matches to his name, Edge proved himself one of the best stars of the decade, and one of the best of all time.

    3. Chris Jericho

    Via thewrestlingmania.com

    One of the most well-rounded and gifted talents WWE has ever had (making him the best in the world at what he does, naturally), Chris Jericho was a fresh face when the decade began, but he had brought with him 10 years' worth of experience from wrestling around the world. Great matches with Triple H, Chris Benoit, Stone Cold and The Rock solidified him as a main event player, leading to his winning the Undisputed WWF Championship in 2001. Though he would spend most of his career in the midcard, winning a record nine Intercontinental titles, his talent is undeniable. After a hiatus, he returned in 2007 and soon overhauled his entire character, dressing in suits and talking to the audience with big words and a condescending attitude. The change left Jericho with perhaps the best period of his career, winning three more World titles and having great feuds with Shawn Michaels, Rey Mysterio and John Cena.

    2. The Undertaker

    Via wrestlingvalley.org

    Often called the Conscience of the WWE, Undertaker began the 2000's already the biggest dog in the yard, having been with the company since 1990. He took a risk that year, morphing his legendary 'Deadman' gimmick to that of a biker, resembling a more grounded version of the real-life Mark Callaway. The gimmick was successful, but the Deadman returned in 2004 to great applause. As Taker grew older, he remained one of the best in the company, having fantastic matches with Brock Lesnar, Randy Orton, Batista, Edge, and Shawn Michaels. He's taken what should today be laughed off as a silly cartoon of a character (and by wrestling standards, that's pretty out there) and had it endure through over 20 years as one of the most successful the company has ever seen. A living legend that has survived the eras of Hogan, Austin, and Cena, Taker never quite reached their peaks of megastardom, but there's no doubt that WWE would in no way be the same without him.

    1. Shawn Michaels

    Via michaelcavacini.files.wordpress

    When the year 2000 began, Shawn's career was already over. Having hurt his back in 1998, the Heartbreak Kid wrestled one last match at Wrestlemania XIV, dropping the WWF title to a new star named Stone Cold Steve Austin. Michaels then retired, making sporadic appearances as the WWF's Commissioner, or as a guest referee.

    Then in 2002, Shawn returned to the ring in a street fight against former tag partner Triple H. The match was one of the best of the year, and a few months later they had another. And another. Slowly but surely, Shawn inched towards a full-time in-ring return, and by the end of 2003 was wrestling regularly against the stars of the new generation. Throughout the rest of the decade, HBK would prove time and again to be one of the best wrestlers in the company, winning the PWI award for Match of the Year for 2004 (vs. Chris Benoit and Triple H), 2005 (vs. Kurt Angle), 2006 (vs. Vince McMahon), 2007 (vs. John Cena), 2008 (vs. Ric Flair), and 2009 (vs. Undertaker). Shawn also remained a very entertaining character. Though more toned-down from his wilder days of the 90's, he could cut a mean promo, and had some tremendous feuds, including one of the best of the 2000's against Chris Jericho. And his time reviving D-Generation X with Triple H was very entertaining at times. He could have a five-star match against a broomstick and make it look like a million bucks.

    Retiring in 2010, Shawn Michaels will go down as arguably the best all-around superstar the company has ever seen.

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