Picture the scene: it's just after Wrestlemania XVII and we've witnessed the infamous Austin heel turn, a moment signalling the end of the Attitude Era and the beginning of an era Vince himself would go on to dub the Ruthless Aggression Era, a shift that saw the rises of stars like John Cena and Batista and a change in focus that concentrated much more on the in-ring action. This didn't mean promo and character work was simply left by the wayside however: this oft overlooked period of time saw the surge in popularity of some of the best talkers and character workers of all time, and it's no coincidence that the one thing you'll see in common with the majority of this list is that they were also the top workers of the time. In a stretch of time where everyone had a high degree of in-ring skill, it became of paramount importance to have a character that stood out. No disrespect intended, but that's the difference between an Eddie Guerrero and a Chavo Guerrero; both men were amazing in-ring technicians, but one just had that edge of charisma and intrigue that the other did not, and that is precisely why one became a world champion and the other did not. It was also an age for a different kind of character: wrestlers became less gimmicky and were allowed to express more of their own identities as the Attitude Era developed and this culminated in the Ruthless Aggression Era having personalities that were a little more true to life than ever before. But again, that didn't mean a compromise in either characterisation or self-promotion, and arguably it made the successes of these greater promo guys - robbed of make-up, mask and gimmick, all the more impressive.