The Undertaker

The Undertaker, Brock Lesnar, CM Punk: Wrestling’s best ever debuts

Debuts come in all shapes and sizes, but some are more memorable than others. Some light the world on fire and some are full of disappointment.

Like all sports, the importance of a debut is huge. It can create a major star instantly and, in this case, every wrestler wants to debut like Chris Jericho or Kane.

With major promotion, it is a wrestler’s first impression on the crowd that often rules how the career will pan out for the next year or so.

WWE has traditionally shone a lot of focus on important debuts, but it doesn’t always go exactly as planned. The long list of stories varies from pure talent struggling to fight for the top spot to workers that never had what it took.

The most important thing to remember is that a good debut does not guarantee further success, as seen in a lot of cases.

Contrary to this, some of the most well-known Superstars have introductions that no one remembers, and typically for all the wrong reasons – take The Rock and Steve Austin as examples.

The Rock & Stone Cold

Although a memorable debut is always a desire for wrestlers starting their career, it is never the end of the world. If they are shown support from the crowd, they are off to a good start.

The fans are hugely important. They want their sport to continue to evolve and giving new wrestlers debuts is at the heart of this evolution.

Wrestlers feed off the crowd as they really are the driving force behind performances sometimes. Let’s be honest – who doesn’t love to watch an interesting, well-performed debut?

WhatCulture has formed a list of star debutants every year from 1990 up until 2021. The variety of talent on show is amazing and this may take you on a trip down memory lane.

1990 – The Undertaker

The Undertaker

1991 – Ric Flair

1992 – Nailz

1993 – 123 Kid

1994 – Hulk Hogan

1995 – Steve Austin

1996 – Scott Hall

1997 – Kane

1998 – X-Pac

1999 – Chris Jericho

2000 – Tazz

2001 – Rob Van Dam

2002 – Brock Lesnar

Brock Lesnar

2003 – Goldberg

2004 – Carlito

2005 – Christian Cage

2006 – CM Punk

2007 – Santino Marella

2008 – Jack Swagger

2009 – Desmond Wolfe

2010 – The Nexus

2011 – Kharma

2012 – The Shield

2013 – The Wyatt Family

2014 – Kevin Owens

2015 – Kevin Owens

2016 – Shinsuke Nakamura

2017 – Chris Jericho

2018 – Rey Mysterio

2019 – Jon Moxley

2020 – Sting

2021 – CM Punk

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