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1. Hulk Hogan
The biggest star in the history of the industry and an iconic figure in pop culture, the 12-time world champion’s name has become synonymous with pro wrestling. When Vince McMahon needed a charismatic babyface world champion to build around as he was taking the Northeast-based WWF national in 1983, Hogan was the perfect choice. With Hogan on top, wrestling’s popularity soared to an unprecedented level, including a return to network television after a 30-year absence. After more than a decade as wrestling’s top babyface, Hogan turned heel in WCW in 1996 and again was a key figure in a huge resurgence in mainstream popularity for wrestling. Hogan eventually returned to WWE in 2002, and he and The Rock engaged in one of the most memorable matches of all time at WrestleMania X-8.