50 Ruthless Aggression Era Superstars Ranked From Worst To Best

The old guard, the rising stars, and the best wrestlers in WWE...

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The Ruthless Aggression Era, which lasted more or less from January 1st, 2002 until SummerSlam 2008, was a period of significant change in WWE: Vince no longer had any major competition, the roster had doubled in size, and WWE had gone public. 

In order to deal with these huge changes, WWE went through a phase during which there was still a lot of the edginess of the Attitude Era, only significantly more toned down in terms of extremes, and a greater emphasis on traditional wrestling. 

This period saw many veterans retire or leave the company, a new batch rise to the top, and older Superstars become legends. Sadly - but inevitably - a select few were also sadly forgotten.

This article will take the 50 biggest WWE Superstars from this six-year period, and rank them from worst to best. These wrestlers will be ranked based on a number of factors: wrestling ability, drawing power, overall popularity, booking and presentation, and most importantly, the legacies they left behind after their tenure with WWE during the Ruthless Aggression era ended. Once again, if multiple wrestlers have the same final score, their position will be determined based on booking and overall success.

Though some of these men and women lasted for a very short time in WWE, the legacies they left behind are what matter most in their overall ranking. In the end, the Ruthless Aggression era was a very memorable period in WWE history, as demonstrated by the contributions of the following 50 men and women...

50. The Great Khali

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1. Absolutely gigantic, even by WWE standards

2. Had a ‘size appeal’ that drew in curious viewers

3. Was WWE’s attempt to cash in on an increasingly lucrative market in India


1. Yeah, he couldn’t wrestle at all

2. Moved so slowly he made Big Show look nimble by comparison

3. Went from Punjabi nightmare to…Punjabi Playboy

The Great Khali was the best example of WWE’s antiquated ideas being applied in the wrong era. He was a giant who’s unique body size drew in crowds in the same way that ‘freaks’ drew in crowds in the old carnival days of pro wrestling’s early history. But Khali debuted in 2006, a time when the WWE Universe had certain expectations of the athletes they were paying good money to see.

As insanely huge as Khali was, a good wrestler he was not. 

His entire offense was centered on lazy-looking chops, an even lazier-looking big boot, and a release Chokebomb. Yet somehow, Vince made this behemoth of a human being World Heavyweight Champion, a feat he accomplished by winning an over-the-top-rope battle royal instead of a tournament or even a singles match in which he could prove how worthy of the title he was.

Long story short, Khali remains to this day as one of the most questionable hires in modern WWE history. But at least he’s a better wrestler than Raja Lion.

Final Rating: *3/4


Alexander Podgorski is a writer for WhatCulture that has been a fan of professional wrestling since he was 8 years old. He loves all kinds of wrestling, from WWE and sports entertainment, to puroresu in Japan. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Queen's University in Political Studies and French, and a Master's Degree in Public Administration. He speaks English, French, Polish, a bit of German, and knows some odd words and phrases in half a dozen other languages.