The art of true living in this world is more like a wrestler’s than a dancer’s practice.Marcus Aurelius
Which Are The Best European Pro Wrestlers In 2021?
Hello everyone, and welcome to our best European pro wrestlers’ Top 10 list. In our previous Top 10 list, we looked at the best Top 10 pro wrestlers in North America (find it here), and we decided to include only retired wrestlers.
This time, to our best European pro wrestlers’ Top 10 list, we decided to shake things up, and we only will include pro wrestlers that are currently active.
We also decided to make this list in alphabetical order since we didn’t find a consensus on which position I’d put our final top 10, primarily due to their quality and the fact they’re still active.
With all criteria explained, let’s jump on the sauce and see which are the best European pro wrestlers in the active – Top 10 list!
- Birth Date: 12/27/1980
- Birthplace: Lucerne, Switzerland
- Height: 6′ 5″ (195 cm)
- Weight: 242 lbs (110 kg)
- Beginning of in-ring career: 2000
- Double C
- King Of Swing
- Most Money Making Man
- Swiss Sensation
- Swiss Superman
- Giant Swing
- European Uppercut
- Ricola Bomb
- Bicycle Kick
- Alpamare Waterslide
- Swiss Death
- Swiss Sleeperholding
- Roaring Swiss Uppercut
- Match Killer
Claudio Castagnoli, better known as (Antonio) Cesaro, is a swiss pro wrestler that since September 2011, has been under contract with the WWE.
Cesaro received his wrestling training from fellow Swiss professional wrestler SigMasta Rappo and debuted as a pro wrestler on Christmas eve in 2000, working for a German-based promotion called Westside Xtreme Wrestling (wXw).
After some dates in the UK, Cesaro had his first experience in the United States, working for I.W.A. Mid-South and Chikara. From there, Cesaro went to wrestle in other promotions as Combat Zone Wrestling (CZW), Ring of Honor (ROH), Pro Wrestling Guerrilla (PWG), Pro Wrestling Noah, and other independent promotions.
His solid in-ring work eventually put him under the radar of WWE, and in 2011 he joined the ranks of Florida Championship Wrestling (FCW), the developmental territory owned by WWE (the predecessor of NXT).
Since his early days in the main roster, Cesaro always displayed incredible feats of strength allied with technical style, seasoned with some high-flyer moves.
As a result, he already received some pushes, but somehow, things never worked out well to the Swiss Superman achieve the main event status within WWE.
Despite his work ethic and how over he is with the fans, WWE never pulled the trigger entirely on him; hence, Cesaro is regarded as one if not the most underrated talent of all time in WWE.
The fact that the Wrestling Observer Newsletter voted him a record four times (from 2013 to 2016) as the Most Underrated Wrestler in the world shows how underrated he’s been throughout his WWE career.
Although it’s unsure what the future holds to King of Swing in WWE, one thing we can take for granted, Cesaro, it will always deliver!
- CAPW Championship – 175 days
- CHIKARA Campeonatos de Parejas Championship (2x) – 531 days
- CZW Tag Team Championship (2x) – 182 days
- GSW Tag Team Championship – 476 days
- IPW Tag Team Championship – 287 days
- IWA Switzerland Heavyweight Championship – 427 days
- JCW Tag Team Championship – 192 days
- PWG World Championship – 287 days
- ROH World Tag Team Championship (2x) – 433 days
- SWF Powerhouse Championship (2x) – 433 days
- WWE RAW Tag Team Championship (5x) – 301 days
- WWE SmackDown Tag Team Championship (2x) – 185 days
- WWE United States Championship – 239 days
- wXw World Heavyweight Championship (2x) – 343 days
- wXw World Tag Team Championship (3x) – 398 days
- Inaugural winner of the André the Giant Memorial Battle Royal at WrestleMania XXX.
Birth Date: 01/30/1987
Birthplace: Dublin, Ireland
Height: 5′ 6″ (168 cm)
Weight: 130 lbs (59 kg)
Beginning of in-ring career: 2002
- The (Irish) Lass Kicker
- The K-nox
- The Man
- Top Rope Legdrop
- T-Bone Suplex
- Springboard Push Kick
- Fisherman’s Neckbreaker
- Dis-Arm-Her (Seated Fujiwara Armbar)
- Bex-Plex (Pumphandle Suplex)
Rebecca Quin started her pro wrestling training in the summer of 2002 in Ireland at the school of Paul Tracey and Fergal Devitt (the name rings you any bells? :)) and made her in-ring debut later that year with the in-ring name Rebecca Knox.
In the independent circuit, Rebecca Knox Worked in several promotions, being the most notorious the Extreme Canadian Championship Wrestling (ECCW), All Pro Wrestling (APW), and Shimmer Women Athletes (SWA).
Things were going well for the young Knox until bad luck struck. After sustaining an injury in a match in Germany, The Irish Lass Kicker had to retire for six years.
Upon her full-time return in 2013, Rebecca signed with WWE and was added to the NXT roster, where she thrived along with other female wrestlers like Baley, Charlotte Flair, and Sasha Banks.
The four became known as The Four Horsemen, and in 2015 she was called to the main roster alongside other female wrestlers to start what WWE coined as The Women’s Revolution.
Becky Lynch became the first-ever Smackdown Women’s Champion and always had a special connection with fans, but her career would start to get stale despite all the expectations.
So when in the Money in the Bank PPV in 2018, after being pinned by Charlotte for the title in a Triple Threat Match, Lynch attacked her former friend, becoming heel in the process, fans rather than upset, were delighted to see Becky turning heel on Flair.
From there, Becky Lynch started to call herself “The Man,” claiming to be the top player in the promotion, and fans loved it and acknowledged her as such. Fans loved it so much, with the pops getting so big that WWE had no choice and had to turn Becky babyface again.
After holding the Raw Women’s Title for a record of 399 days, Becky had to vacate the title in May 2020 due to pregnancy.
Becky Lynch returned recently in the Summerslam PPV in late August. Once more, she shocked the world by beating Bianca Belair by the Smackdown Women’s Title in a couple of seconds and establishing herself as the top heel in the Blue Brand. The Man is most definitely back!
- ECCW Women’s Championship – 301 days
- QOC Championship – 111 days
- WWE RAW Women’s Championship – 399 days
- WWE SmackDown Women’s Championship (4x) – 247 days
- Royal Rumble winner – 2019
- Won both Smackdown & Raw Women’s Championships at the main event of Wrestlemania 35 (1st pro wrestler to hold both titles simultaniously)
Birth Date: 05/06/1985
Birthplace: Ayr, Scotland
Height: 6′ 5″ (196 cm)
Weight: 266 lbs (121 kg)
Beginning of in-ring career: 2002
- The Chosen One
- The Scottish Psychopath
- The Sinister Scotsman
- The Claymore
- Future Shock DDT
- Iron Maiden
Born Andrew McLean Galloway IV, Drew Mcintyre is a Scottish pro wrestler under contract with WWE, in which he’s one of the top wrestlers within the promotion.
Drew started his wrestling training at the age of 15. A couple of years later, he made his professional debut under his real name Drew Galloway while working for British Championship Wrestling (BCW).
After that, he worked for other UK-based independent promotions until he got WWE’s attention. Mcintyre’s imposing physic, charisma, and in-ring work perfectly fit WWE’s standards (The Land of the Giants).
After appearing in episodes of Smackdown and Heat, the now Drew Mcintyre kept training and wrestling at Ohio Valley Wrestling (OVW), and after to Florida Championship Wrestling (FCW), both developmental territories from WWE.
When Mcintyre debuted again in the main roster, it seemed that great things awaited the Scotsman, WWE’s owner, Vince McMahon introduced him as “a future World Champion” and called him “The Chosen One.”
Things were going well for Drew, but somehow, someway, he started to derail, lost his momentum, and found himself as a low-card player in a low-card stable called 3MB, which led to WWE release him in the summer of 2014.
After being released by WWE, Drew Galloway revamped himself and restarted to work the independent circuit worldwide and all other big promotions besides WWE, namely Evolve Wrestling, Lucha Libre AAA Worldwide (AAA), Pro Wrestling Guerilla (PWG), and Impact Wrestling.
He’s working caught once again WWE’s attention, and Mcintyre returned to WWE, performing on NXT initially. Later he eventually debuted in the main roster (again).
After a stale period in the main roster, WWE finally decided to pull the trigger on The Scottish Psychopath.
He went to win the Royal Rumble 2020 match and eventually beat Brock Lesnar for the WWE Championship at the main event of Wrestlemania 36. Thus, Drew Mcintyre became the first British to win the WWE World Title, fulfilling his biggest dream as a pro wrestler.
The highs and lows of Drew Mcintyre’s career show us that in life, we never lose; we only learn!
- BCW Heavyweight Championship (2x) – 233 days
- Defiant World Championship – 150 days
- DPW Heavyweight Championship – 302 days
- European Heavyweight Championship – 2 days
- EVOLVE Championship 336 days
- EVOLVE Tag Team Championship (2x) – 189 days
- FCW Florida Heavyweight Championship – 84 days
- FCW Florida Tag Team Championship (2x) – 69 days
- ICW World Heavyweight Championship (2x) – 658 days
- Impact Grand Championship – 5 days
- Impact World Championship – 89 days
- IWW International Heavyweight Championship – 141 days
- OCW Heavyweight Championship – 175 days
- Open The Freedom Gate Championship – 104 days
- Scottish Heavyweight Championship – 217 days
- WWE Championship (2x) – 310 days
- WWE Intercontinental Championship – 161 days
- WWE NXT Championship – 91 days
- WWE RAW Tag Team Championship (2x) – 84 days
Royal Rumble winner – 2019
Birth Date: 06/25/1981
Birthplace: Bray, Ireland
Height: 5′ 11″ (180 cm)
Weight: 191 lbs (87 kg)
Beginning of in-ring career: 2000
- Irish Captor
- Irish Young Gun
- Prince Of Ireland
- The Demon
- The Real Rock ‘n’ Rolla
- Devitt’s End
- Prince’s Throne
- Coupe de Grace (Diving Double Foot Stomp)
- 1916/Bloody Sunday (Brainbuster)
Graduated from the NWA UK Hammerlock, Fergal Devitt debuted as a pro wrestler in 2000 and quickly created a reputation for himself.
He started alongside Paul Tracey their own promotion, NWAIreland (a certain Rebecca Quin was trained there by Devitt himself :)) which had ties with the NWA banner.
The Irish Captor performances’ caught the eye of New Japan Pro Wrestling (NJPW), and in 2006, Fergal signed with the Japanese promotion.
Fun story, the Japoneses didn’t know how to pronounce Fergal, so they decided to call him Prince (Devitt) instead.
In NJPW, the Price had a meteoric rise winning three times the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion and six times the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Champion. However, this isn’t the most significant mark left by Devitt in Japan.
Alongside other foreign wrestlers in NJPW, Devitt co-created and led the arguably best faction in the modern era, The Bullet Club. The heel faction ran chaos in all NJPW, establishing The Bullet Club and his leader, Prince Devitt, one of the most talk-about stables in recent times in pro wrestling.
As usual, this didn’t go under WWE’s radar, and in 2014, the now Finn Bálor signed with WWE and was sent to NXT, where he was one of the reasons for the brand’s growth in popularity and credibility. During this period, Bálor debuted in WWE his alter ego persona, the “Demon King.”
After his feats in NXT, Bálor was called to Raw to the main roster in the 2016 WWE Draft. Twenty-seven days after debuting in the main roster at the 2016 Summerslam PPV, The Demon became the first-ever WWE Universal Champion (the only WWE wrestler to win a World Title in their PPV debut).
Great things were on the horizon to Finn Bálor, but then bad luck struck; Bálor had sustained an injury in his match for the title, and only one day after winning the WWE Universal Title, he had to relinquish the title.
Upon his return, Bálor featured in some high-profile feuds and had some runs as Intercontinental Champion, but never got a push as he had before his injury.
Moreover, when WWE decided to move NXT from their network to the U.S.A. network, The Prince was brought back to the gold brand, which wasn’t necessarily bad for him since he had terrific feuds with the likes of Johnny Gargano or Adam Cole.
Finn Bálor was brought recently to Smackdown Live. By the time I’m writing, Bálor’s booked for a match against Roman Reigns for the WWE Universal Title, where most likely we’ll see him again as the Demon King; despite the match result, Finn Bálor “is an extraordinary man who can do extraordinary things.”
- ICW Zero-G Championship – 28 days
- IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship (3x) – 1010 days
- IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championship (6x) – 778 days
- NWA British Commonwealth Championship (2x) – 158 days
- NWA World Historic Middleweight Championship – 182 days
- RevPro Undisputed British Cruiserweight Championship – 540 days
- WRESTLING.IE Championship – 156 days
- WWE Intercontinental Championship (2x) – 120 days
- WWE NXT Championship (2x) – 504 days
- WWE Universal Championship – 1 day
Birth Date: 05/19/1985
Birthplace: Alkmaar, Netherlands
Height: 5′ 11″ (180 cm)
Weight: 211 lbs (96 kg)
Beginning of in-ring career: 2002
- The End
- Black Mass (Roundhouse Kick)
- Blood Moon Stomp/Owari Death Stomp (Diving Double Foot Stomp)
- Black Death/Anti Cross (Modified Octopus Stretch)
Tom Büdgen, under the name Tommy End, built a solid reputation as a pro wrestler in his early days working the independent circuit in Europe, the U.S., and Japan.
Although, until this point, Tommy held gold mainly in Europe, he had good runs in the U.S., working to the lights of Combat Zone Wrestling (CZW), Evolve, and Pro Wrestling Guerrilla (PWG), and in Japan working to Big Japan Pro Wrestling (BJW).
His work eventually was detected by (as you might imagine) WWE, and in the summer of 2016, reports of Tommy End signing with the company started to emerge.
In January 2017, still under the name Tommy End, he had a match (which he lost) against Neville in the United Kingdom Championship Tournament finals.
But when his vignettes began to air in March of that year in an episode of NXT, it was under the name Aleister Black that the Antihero presented himself to the WWE Universe.
In NXT, Black had great feuds with the likes of Andrade “Cien” Almas, Hideo Itami, Velveteen Dream, and Johnny Gargano, to name a few. Black eventually won the NXT Championship and became one of the most exciting prospects in WWE.
Unfortunately, his call to the main roster was underwhelming. Vince McMahon wanted four hot prospects from NXT to be called to the main roster to help in the ratings, so Black was one of the four wrestlers chosen and rushed to the main roster without any plan or angle.
Despite the lack of planning, Black connected with fans, delivering fantastic promos and displaying his good in-ring skills. Unfortunately, that didn’t avoid Black’s spells in Raw and Smackdown being erratic and underwhelming, to the fans’ disappointment.
In 2021, he was one of the many pro wrestlers that got fired by WWE, which led him to get back in the independent circuit and be signed by All Elite Wrestling (AEW) under the name Malakai Black.
Although we’re just witnessing Malakai’s first steps in AEW, we can see clearly by the booking that Malakai Black’s career in the promotion will be bright compared to his gimmick, which is darker than ever (if that’s possible). Long Live The House of Black!
- CWN Mittelgewichtsmeisterschaft Championship – 357 days
- FCP Championship – 371 days
- ICW Tag Team Championship – 35 days
- ICWA European Tag Team Championship – 344 days
- ICWA France Heavyweight Championship – 455 days
- ICWA Heavyweight Championship – 727 days
- PROGRESS Tag Team Championship – 188 days
- PWH Tag Team Championship – 364 days
- PWS Heavyweight Championship – 686 days
- SWE Tag Team Championship – 246 days
- WWE NXT Championship – 102 days
- wXw Unified World Wrestling Championship – 421 days
- wXw World Lightweight Championship (2x) – 399 days
- wXw World Tag Team Championship (2x) – 359 days
Birth Date: 12/25/1984
Birthplace: Plovdiv, Bulgaria
Height: 6′ 0″ (183 cm)
Weight: 279 lbs (127 kg)
Beginning of in-ring career: 11/22/2008
- God’s Favourite Champion
- The Best Man
- The Bulgarian Brute
- The Redeemer
- The Russian Gladiator
- Accolade (Camel Clutch)
- Game Over
- Machka Kick
Born on Christmas day, Miroslav Barnyashe always dreamed of becoming a professional wrestler; hence, he decided in the mid-2000s to emigrate to the United States.
Once on American soil, Miroslav started to train at the Knokx Pro Wrestling Academy under the guidance of Gangrel and Rikishi. Here he had the chance to make his in-ring debut working to a California-based promotion called New Wave Pro Wrestling (NWPW) in late 2008.
From there, Miro worked in another California-based promotion called Vendetta Pro Wrestling (VPW), and due to his impressive physique and good in-ring skills, he called the attention of who? You’re totally right, WWE.
In WWE, the now Alexander Rusev worked for Florida Championship Wrestling (FCW), rebranded NXT during Rusev’s spell there.
In NXT, Rusev, with Lana at his side, started to gain momentum, and The Bulgarian Brute’s career in NXT took off.
In 2014, the duo received the call to the main roster. The two adopted an anti-American gimmick with many reminiscences of Ivan and Ludmilla Drago from the 1985 film Rocky IV.
That, allied with a solid push, made the pair one of the top heels in the promotion. Worth to say that Rusev and Lana got married in real life a few years later.
When the undefeated Russian Gladiator became US Champion (first Bulgarian-born champion in WWE) and had a series of successful titles defenses, fans knew they were in the presence of something special.
That until WWE decided to have Rusev losing the US Title to John Cena at Wrestlemania 31, marking his first pinfall lost in the main roster.
Rusev never fully recovered from that loss, and his booking onwards was proof of that. With the years he lost momentum, and even if Rusev was incredibly over with the fans (namely during The Rusev Day period), WWE fired him in 2020 during the global lockdowns.
Later in the year, under his real name, Miro made his debut in AEW Over barely one year in the company, the God’s Favourite Champion is the reigning AEW TNT Champion, is undefeated, and has been booked as the monster he can portray.
Despite what the future reserves to The Redeemer, it’s far from game over!
- AEW TNT Championship – 131 days
- WWE United States Championship (3x) – 312 days
Birth Date: 08/22/1986
Birthplace: Newcastle, England
Height: 5′ 8″ (172 cm)
Weight: 194 lbs (88 kg)
Beginning of in-ring career: 2004
- Beautiful Shooting Star
- Super Superman
- The Bastard
- The Man That Gravity Forgot
- The New Sensation
- Blackout/Red Arrow (Corkscrew Shooting Star Press)
- British Airways
- Shooting Star Press
- Tiger Suplex
- Phoenix Splash
Benjamin Satterley, better known by his current ring name Pac, is without a shadow of a doubt one if not the best hybrid wrestler that ever graced the square circle.
Although Pac’s known for his incredible high-flying style, he displays a very technical wrestling style and mat-based wrestling style, which he exacerbates when he’s working as a heel.
Pac debuted as a professional wrestler in England, working for the Independent Wrestling Federation (IWF). After making a name for himself in the UK, Pac started to work in the US, namely Chikara, Pro Wrestling Guerilla (PWG), and Ring of Honor (ROH), and Japan to Dragon Gate.
A young wrestler established himself as a solid and hot prospect; So this might be the moment WWE enters the scene, sign the talent, and send him to NXT? You totally nailed it.
In 2012, under the name of Adrian Neville, he debuted in the gold brand. Between 2012 and 2015, he had a great run in NXT, being one-half of the inaugural NXT Tag Team Champions and eventually becoming NXT Champion.
After his excellent run at NXT, Neville arrived at the main roster (as a babyface), and things were going ok to Neville.
As time went on, he was another victim of the lack of planning and long-term booking, which unfortunately happens often in WWE If you’re not a main event player.
That changed when The Man That Gravity Forgot joined the Cruiserweight division; Neville turned heel, displaying a new sadistic, cruel, and egotistic side, and became WWE Cruiserweight Champion.
Neville had become the face of the Cruiserweight division and had some great feuds (namely with Austin Aries). Still, after some disputes with the company, Neville was released from his contract.
Upon his release, Satterley again adopted the in-ring name Pac, returned to the independent circuit and Dragon Gate, and was eventually signed by All Elite Wrestling (AEW).
Since then, Pac has shown the world what he’s capable of doing when he has creative control over his gimmick.
Currently, he’s part of The Death Triangle stable alongside Penta El 0 Miedo & Rey Fénix. However, despite what the future holds to Pac, he can always count on fans’ appreciation. After all, everyone loves a good Bastard!
- 1PW Openweight Championship 217 days
- 3CW North East Championship 112 days
- 3CW Triple Crown Championship 110 days
- IWF Tag Team Championship 162 days
- Open The Brave Gate Championship 447 days
- Open The Dream Gate Championship 229 days
- Open The Triangle Gate Championship (3x) 211 days
- Open The Twin Gate Championship 28 days
- Open The United Gate Championship 224 days
- OTT No Limits Championship 9 days
- PWG World Tag Team Championship 70 days
- WWE NXT Championship 287 days
- WWE NXT Cruiserweight Championship (2x) 232 days
- WWE NXT Tag Team Championship (2x) 175 days
- wXw World Lightweight Championship (2x) 470 days
- wZw Zero-G Championship 71 days
- XWA Flyweight Championship 252 days
Birth Date: 11/09/1993
Birthplace: Birmingham, England
Height: 5′ 10″ (179 cm)
Weight: 205 lbs (93 kg)
Beginning of in-ring career: 2007
- Pop Punk
- YxB – Young & Bitter
- Drop Dead Facebuster/Bitter End (Pumphandle Flatliner)
Peter Thomas England or Pete Dunne is for sure a very driven individual. At only 12 years of age, the young Peter started to train to achieve his dream of becoming professional wrestling, and that he did.
In 2007, Dunne debuted as a masked wrestler named Tiger Kid, a gimmick he used until early 2010 when he lost a Hair Vs. Mask match, adopting from that moment onwards the name he’s better known today, Pete Dunne.
Since the beginning of his career, Pete Dunne worked massively throughout Europe, the US, and Japan; he worked in promotions like EDW Wrestling, Dublin Championship Wrestling, Royal Imperial Wrestling, Michinoku Pro Wrestling, Progress World Champion, Pro Wrestling Guerrilla (PWG), and Chikara.
During this period, in 2011, alongside ring announcer Jim Lee, Pete Dunne co-founded the promotion Attack! Pro Wrestling, where he took a role as an active pro wrestler until late 2016. It was most likely the first time Dunne had taken a role other than a pro wrestler.
So, if Pete Dunne was doing so great, why did WWE not sign him, you may ask? Well, they did. In late 2016, WWE announced Pete Dunne was entering the United Kingdom Championship Tournament to crown the first-ever WWE United Kingdom Champion. Dunne arrived at the finals, where he lost against Tyler Bate.
After being added to NXT, in May 2017, at the NXT TakeOver: Chicago, Dunne had his rematch for the title against Bate, which he won in a masterpiece of a match.
The match was so good that it was voted Match of the Year at the NXT Year-End Awards.
The Bruiserweight has established himself as one of the top names in NXT, having memorable feuds and even had a match in the main roster at Raw, in a match against Enzo Amore, the Cruiserweight Champion at the time in a non-title Champion Vs. Champion match, which Dunne won.
With the launch of NXT UK (having the United Kingdom Championship as his top title), Dunne became one of the faces of NXT UK (in which he became a backstage producer), though he still had to defend his title at NXT as well.
Pete Dunne eventually dropped the title (to Walter), became NXT Tag Team Championship with Matt Riddle, but due to travel restrictions to the US, he had to be replaced as Riddle partner and drop the title.
With the recent revamp of NXT, now known as NXT 2.0, The Bruiserweight is one of the top guys in the promotion. Pete Dunne’s future is most certainly “bruiser.”
- 4FW Junior Heavyweight Championship – 161 days
- ATTACK! 24:7 Championship (6x) – 964 days
- AWW British Tag Team Championship – 133 days
- DWW Championship – 582 days
- FCP Championship – 176 days
- FSW Adrenaline Championship – 14 days
- OTT No Limits Championship (2x) – 356 days
- OTT Tag Team Championship – 852 days
- PROGRESS Tag Team Championship – 82 days
- PROGRESS Unified World Championship – 287 days
- PWR Tag Team Championship – 28 days
- Relentless Division Championship – 97 days
- RevPro Undisputed British Cruiserweight Championship – 189 days
- RIW Heavyweight Championship 135 days
- SWA Championship 95 days
- WWE NXT Tag Team Championship 87 days
- WWE NXT United Kingdom Championship 685 days
- wXw Shotgun Championship – 15 days
Birth Date: 01/28/1978
Birthplace: Dublin, Ireland
Height: 6′ 4″ (193 cm)
Weight: 266 lbs (121 kg)
Beginning of in-ring career: 2002
- The Celtic Warrior
- The Great White
- The Irish Curse
- Brogue Kick
- High Cross/Pale Justice
- White Noise
- Irish Curse
- Fiery Red Hand
- Celtic Slam
- Irish Spear
- SOS Drop
Stephen Farrelly grew up as a fan of professional wrestling while watching World of Sports and WWF. After talking with Bret Hart in Dublin in 2002, Farrelly decided to start his training in the Monster Factory wrestling school, following Hart’s advice.
Adopting the in-ring name of Sheamus O’Shaunessy, he had a promising debut in the indies but then suffered a severe neck injury that put him on the shell for two years.
Upon his return, The Irish Curse made an impact at the independent circuit in Ireland, namely working for Irish Whip Wrestling (in which he had a memorable feud with the young rising Scottish star, Drew Galloway), and in the UK, working for Frontier Wrestling Alliance (FWA), and All Star Wrestling.
As we all know by now, when a young prospect shines in Europe, he eventually ends up in WWE. No exception here, SOS joined Florida Championship Wrestling (FCW).
After a couple of years in the promotion with sporadic appearances in the main roster (mainly house shows and dark matches), the now Sheamus debuted in the main roster in 2009 at ECW.
Shortly after Sheamus was drafted to Raw, put in a program with the WWE Champion John Cena, and to the surprise of everyone, Sheamus became the first Irish-born WWE Champion in the company’s history (just 166 days after debuting in the main roster).
In that year, Sheamus won the Breakout Superstar of the Year Slammy Award.
Sheamus eventually dropped the title, but he bounced back and won the 2010 King of the Ring, being known during that period as “King Sheamus.”
In 2012, Sheamus won the Royal Rumble, culminating in winning the World Heavyweight Championship at WrestleMania XXVIII in 18 seconds against Bryan Danielson (Daniel Bryan at the time).
This period must have been his pinnacle at WWE. However, after this period, Sheamus won the US Championship and did the unthinkable by winning the Money in the Bank ladder match in 2015.
Eventually, he successfully cashed in at the champion, Roman Reigns, becoming a three-time World Champion in WWE.
Alongside Cesaro, they formed a tag team named The Bar, which was very successful and won multiple titles.
Nowadays, despite still being a top player in WWE, isn’t likely to see Sheamus holding a top title in WWE, but that doesn’t mean that when The Celtic Warrior shows, we’re not entertained.
- FCW Florida Heavyweight Championship – 84 days
- IWW International Heavyweight Championship (2x) – 391 days
- World Heavyweight Championship – 210 days
- WWE Championship (3x) – 183 days
- WWE RAW Tag Team Championship (4x) – 238 days
- WWE SmackDown Tag Team Championship – 103 days
- WWE United States Championship (3x) – 362 days
- Breakout Superstar of the Year Slammy Award: 2009
- King of the Ring winner: 2010
- Royal Rumble winner – 2012
- Money in the Bank ladder match winner: 2015
Birth Date: 05/07/1993
Birthplace: Essex, England
Height: 6′ 1″ (185 cm)
Weight: 220 lbs (100 kg)
Beginning of in-ring career: 2011
- Commonwealth Kingpin
- Sky King
- The Aerial Assassin
- Essex Destroyer (Front Flip DDT)
- Handspring Enzuigiri
- Hidden Blade (Back Elbow Smash)
- Robinson Special (Corkscrew Roundhouse Kick)
William Peter Charles Ospreay had his training at Lucha Britannia’s London School of Lucha Libre in London. He debuted in professional wrestling in 2012 April Fools’ as a masked wrestler named Dark Britannico, wrestling in a tag team with Leon Britannico.
Moving forward in his career, the now Will Ospreay dropped the mask and assumed a look heavily inspired by the famous video game Assassin’s Creed, which reflected his high-flying style.
Ospreay worked the independent circuit in the UK in promotions such as Progress Wrestling, Future Pro Wrestling (FPW), Southside Wrestling Entertainment (SWE), Revolution Pro Wrestling (RevPro), to name a few.
Will Ospreay worked on American soil too, namely for the at the time Total Nonstop Action (TNA), Pro Wrestling Guerrilla (PWG), and Ring of Honor (ROH) (in which he was already ROH World Television Champion).
He wrestled in Australia for Pro Wrestling Australia (PWA); after winning the PWA Heavyweight Championship, The Aerial Assassin announced he was moving to Australia to help in the wrestling’s scene growth in the country.
So now it must be the time that WWE arrives and sign him, right? Wrong!
In this timeline, Will Ospreay joined New Japan Pro Wrestling (NJPW), and since then, he has cemented himself as one of the best and most exciting professional wrestlers in the world.
In Japan, Ospreay won the Best of the Super Juniors in 2016 and 2019, and most recently, the Commonwealth Kingpin won the New Japan Cup 2021.
Ospreay won on three different occasions the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion, one time the NEVER Openweight Championship, and one time the IWGP World Heavyweight Championship, which the Sky King had to vacate due to injury.
Worth referring that in 2018, Will Ospreay started his own promotion named Frontline Wrestling, which he later sold to move to Japan and work full-time for NJPW.
Currently, The Assassin is the leader of the new faction, Empire United.
- Defiant Tag Team Championship 145 days
- FPW Tag Team Championship 273 days
- IPW Tag Team Championship 119 days
- IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship (3x) 392 days
- IWGP World Heavyweight Championship 46 days
- MCW Intercommonwealth Championship 14 days
- NEVER Openweight Championship 92 days
- PROGRESS Tag Team Championship 91 days
- PROGRESS Unified World Championship 182 days
- PWA Heavyweight Championship 15 days
- RevPro Undisputed British Cruiserweight Championship (2x) 598 days
- RevPro Undisputed British Heavyweight Championship 584 days
- RevPro Undisputed British Tag Team Championship 273 days
- ROH World Television Championship 2 days
- SWE Speed King Championship (2x) 272 days
- Best of the Super Juniors: 2016 & 2019
- New Japan Cup winner: 2021
Best European Pro Wrestlers In The Active – TOP 10
And there you have it, our best European pro wrestlers in the active – top 10. I hope you enjoy it, and let me know if you enjoy it in alphabetical order or you’d prefer I rank the wrestlers from less god to best?
Do you think I miss someone? Will you add someone else to the list? And who would you pull it off the list? Don’t hesitate to superkick me in the comment section below, and I’ll gladly chop you back!
Before you go, if you arrive until this part of the article, I’d like to THANK YOU for your time reading another of our posts and giving us your feedback to help us improve our work continuously! It means a lot to me!
If you like our content, please consider following us everywhere (except on the street, that’s weird:)) and I’ll catch you in our next post; until then, stay strong and keep loving pro wrestling! Amor Fati! : )
Founder of Against the Ropes.