WrestleMania XIV. Backstage, a defiant and pissed off Shawn Michaels voices his displeasure (as he had a tendency to do at that point in his life) about putting over "Stone Cold" Steve Austin. He doesn't want to do it and is suggesting he may not. Seated not far away from him is The Undertaker, taking in Michaels' latest rant. Then, with ol' HBK watching, he stares at his co-worker, wrapping his fists as he goes. Suddenly, Michaels is quiet, the mere suggestion that The Phenom may rise from his seat and beat the ever-loving hell out of him if he even thinks of refusing to do business enough to change the WWE champion's mind. That is the effect Undertaker had, and continues to have, on his peers. Despite the wealth of legitimate tough guys that came through WWE during his tenure with the company, and the mess of political masterminds that manipulated their way to high-profile spots on the roster, Undertaker has remained the locker room leader. He has been the one consistent, the law and order of Vince McMahon's sports-entertainment empire. It was he who not-so-subtly "suggested" to McMahon to get his ass out of his private office and go face Bret Hart like a man after the Montreal Screwjob at Survivor Series 1997. It is he who served as the judge and jury for so many sessions of wrestler's court, as revealed by past Superstars like Matt Hardy, Matt Striker and Bradshaw. And it is he who remains the most respected outlaw in pro wrestling today. His toughness is undeniable, the intimidation that he creates is unquestionable and his spot on this list is a no-brainer.
Erik Beaston is a freelance pro wrestling writer who likes long walks in the park, dandelions and has not quite figured out that this introduction is not for Match.com. He resides in Parts Unknown, where he hosts weekly cookouts with Kane, The Ultimate Warrior, Papa Shango and The Boogeyman. Be jealous.