As someone who lives here I can tell you Canada is known for a lot of things, Tim Hortons, Hockey, being nice, etc. However what we aren’t known for is the wrestling talent that has come out of the great white north. With great’s from WWE like Lance Storm, Trish Stratus, the Hart family, and Chris Jericho just to name a few, Canada is underrated in terms of its contributions to wrestling.
With that being said however, with all the names that have come out of Canada, who are the best? That is the difficult task I have taken on in this article and I have narrowed it down to 5. So, let’s get into it!
#5 – Owen Hart
I originally had Lance Storm in this #5 spot, but I think even Lance would agree having this list without Owen Hart on it, does not seem right. The Hart family in general is Canadian wrestling royalty, which we will get more into later. One of the best to come out of the hallowed dungeon in Calgary, Alberta was the youngest of the Hart’s, Owen. Owen in a lot of ways was doing today’s wrestling way before it’s time. Owen was doing things never been seen before, because a lot of the fast paced wrestling that we know today had never been done before. Owen’s best feud of his career was by far with his Brother Bret. The rivalry went on for like a couple years and Owen played the perfect heel in the situation.
When him and Bret made up and formed the new Hart Foundation with Bulldog and Pillman, he was one of the highlights of the stable. He won two Slammy’s and he carried them around like it was the world title. He also made the Intercontinental title feel prestigious, and is one of the few champions to really make it feel special. Although he surprisingly never won the World Championship, he is one of the best wrestlers to ever come out of Canada. After his tragic death in 1999 he is still regarded as not only one of the best in the ring, but one of the best outside of the ring too.
He will go down as a legend, and a trailblazer not just in Canadian wrestling, but wrestling in general.
#4 – Chris Benoit
Now I wasn’t sure if I was going to include Chris in this list, but I felt like it was necessary. What allegedly happened all those years ago aside, Chris Benoit was one of the best wrestlers to ever come out of Canada. He also went through the infamous Hart Dungeon and was trained, of course, by the godfather of Canadian Wrestling, Stu Hart. Chris had an intensity in the ring that was unmatched, his style was so different from what everybody else was doing. Chris in a lot of ways paved the way for the “smaller guys,” the Daniel Bryans of the world for example that were always told they were too small.
When Chris came in from WCW with the Radicalz he had no hope of ever escaping the mid-card scene. Chris slowly worked his way up the card and quickly became incredibly over with the crowd. Between WWE, WCW, ECW and NJPW, he won a total of 22 world titles, and won the 2004 Royal Rumble. After he won the Royal Rumble he was inserted to the main event of WrestleMania 20, in a triple threat match with Triple H and Shawn Michaels. He went on to win the World Heavyweight Championship in that match, and shared an embrace with WWE Champion and his best friend, Eddie Guerrero.
Overshadowed by what happened, that is one of the best moments at WrestleMania of all-time, and Benoit is one of the best wrestlers to ever come out of the wintery north.
#3 – Edge
Where do you even start with the Rated-R Superstar? Any of these top 3 could realistically be #1, but Edge comes in at #3. When you talk about Canadian wrestlers in the modern era, Edge is one of the best. His team with Christian, another Canadian wrestler who almost made the list, was one of the most entertaining teams of all time. Edge came to fame in the early stages of his career for being the lovable babyface alongside Christian. Edge and Christian won multiple tag titles and were one of three teams in the first-ever TLC match at WrestleMania 2000.
Edge quickly became known as the master of the ladder match and wrestled in countless ladder matches throughout his career. All that being said, his best run in the company was his heel run after he cashed in the first Money in the Bank briefcase on John Cena. Edge was one of the best heels in company history and always found new ways to get the crowd to hate him. However, he also had a few face runs, and was so good at playing both.
He was inducted in to the Hall of Fame in 2012, after he was forced to retire due to neck injuries. I grew up watching Edge and I hated him when I was supposed to, and loved him when I was supposed to. He was an incredible wrestler, and personality. No matter his role, he made it work and he gave it 110%, that always showed on TV.
Personally Edge is one of my favourite wrestlers of all-time and he is absolutely one of the best wrestlers to ever come out of Canada.
#2 – Chris Jericho
I switched my #1 and #2 spots several times before I wrote this list and honestly these two are 1A and 1B. After going back and forth, Chris Jericho comes in at #2. If you want to talk about modern Canadian wrestlers, Chris Jericho is #1, he is still wrestling and still very much in demand. Jericho is one of those rare wrestlers that can constantly re-invent themselves and keep themselves interesting. Since Jericho’s debut in 1990, he has wrestled all over the world, from Japan to Canada to Mexico, he is an international superstar. His accolades are endless, mainly in the WWE. He was the first ever Undisputed Champion, a 3-time world heavyweight champion, 9 time Intercontinental Champion, just to name a couple.
Also trained by Stu, Jericho is a once in a lifetime talent and was born for the wrestling business. He just get’s it, he’s a fantastic storyteller, always cuts amazing promos whether heel or face, and overall just a captivating entertainer. He had several high-level feuds in WWE with names like Triple H, Austin, Shawn Michaels, CM Punk, and of course in his iconic debut he interrupted The Rock. Then in his latest WWE run, he had one of the best runs of his career teaming and eventually feuding with Kevin Owens. If you ever wonder how good Jericho actually is, just remember he got a list and the word “it” over.
He could’ve ended his career then and it would’ve been a great career, but he’s not done. In 2017, he returned to New Japan in a pre-taped video and called out Kenny Omega which caused the wrestling world to lose its collective mind. They went on to have a 5 star match at Wrestlekingdom 12, which was Jericho’s first match outside of WWE since 1999. Then he won the IWGP Intercontinental title off Tetsuya Naito at New Year Dash 2018.
At the time of writing this he is signed to All Elite Wrestling, and in my opinion, he is the greatest of all-time.
#1 – Bret Hart
As someone that grew up in Canada, there was only one person I could put as #1 on a list of Canadian wrestlers, Bret “The Hitman” Hart. Like the rest of the Hart brothers, he was trained by his father Stu and may be the most iconic wrestler to ever come out of Canada. On top of being one of the most Iconic wrestlers, he was one of the most Iconic wrestlers of the 80’s. His pink and black attire instantly stood out and caught the eyes of many young children in the crowd. I think Bret’s most iconic feud was with Stone Cold Steve Austin, which led to their match and double turn at WrestleMania 13. Bret and the new Hart Foundation somehow created this really weird reaction where they were babyfaces in Canada, and heels in the States.
That whole era and the fact that they could be hated or loved depending on the country was so different and still to this day hasn’t been duplicated. Bret was never ground-breaking on the mic, but he didn’t need to be, because his persona was so unique and it really spoke for itself. After the infamous Montreal Screwjob, Bret had a run in WCW, but he will be best known for his WWE career.
In my humble opinion, when it comes to Canadian wrestlers, Bret Hart is the best there is, the best there was, and the best there ever will be.