Being unbeatable doesn’t necessarily have to mean that you never lose a match. After all, in the history of professional wrestling, nobody with a career of any length has ever gone completely undefeated. But in certain circumstances, some wrestlers have excelled at standing above the rest of the crowd and becoming absolutely dominant. The wrestlers on this list hold some of the longest winning streaks, the lengthiest title reigns, and have survived some of the most improbably situations in order to emerge victorious. They are the wrestlers that you wouldn’t want to face at the peaks of their careers, because you would surely be walking away with a loss.
When people look at the semi-retired Triple H and laud him for his efforts building NXT into an incredible success that will be a big part of developing WWE talent for the future, they might start to think to themselves “he can’t possibly have been as bad as people say he was when he wrestled”. Well, we’re here to tell you that for roughly a three-year period in the early 2000’s, Triple H was seen as probably the biggest problem in WWE, and one that, due to his marriage to Stephanie McMahon, would never go away. After being handed the new World Heavyweight Championship in mid-2002, Triple H would go on a reign of terror almost beyond compare. He lost the title briefly for a few weeks at the end of 2002, in order to give his best friend Shawn Michaels what was thought to be one last moment in the sun before HBK slipped back into retirement, but otherwise held a death grip on the belt for an entire year, beating any number of promising talents along the way, even when it made no sense. In the fall of 2003, he briefly lost the title to Goldberg, but regained it again in December, and held it until WrestleMania. Then, he won it back again in mid-2004, once again not relinquishing it until WrestleMania 21, at which point he finally let his hold on the top title loosen just a little bit. From the inception of the title in 2002, until being dethroned by Batista in 2005, Triple H held the World Heavyweight Championship for an astonishing 616 days, or in other words, nearly two full years of a three-year time period.
This seems like an odd choice, because Charlotte has actually been beaten many times in her career, across NXT and WWE. That’s an obvious statement to make, because otherwise she wouldn’t be a multiple-time Women’s Champion, since you have to lose the belt so you can win it back. But what we’re talking about is the fact that for the first year and a half after she debuted, Charlotte was undefeated in singles matches on PPV, and only actually lost a single PPV match at all in that period. To make the streak more impressive, Charlotte never took a PPV off, wrestling on every single one from SummerSlam 2015 to Survivor Series 2016, nearly all of them a match for the Women’s Title. The only blemishes on the record are a loss in a tag match during that period, as well as the fact that she also dropped three Women’s Title matches to Sasha Banks on Raw in that same time frame, losing the title in each instance. Still, if you were facing Charlotte on Pay Per View during her initial run, your chances of victory were practically non-existent.
The Great Khali
In their continual search to find the “next” Andre The Giant, as well as part of their attempts to expand their fanbase into overseas markets, WWE brought in The Great Khali, a massive Indian wrestler who was notable for his impressive height and intimidating look. In one of his first WWE matches, he effortlessly pinned The Undertaker, covering him with a single foot on Taker’s chest, as WWE tried to establish him as a dominant monster heel. Unfortunately, in large part due to his height and relatively thin frame, Khali’s body quickly began breaking down under the rigors of a full-time wrestling schedule, to the point that it became painful to watch him walk down the aisle. This actually forced WWE to book him to be an even more dominant force (although he was no longer portrayed as a title contender, and more of a sideshow), only participating in quick squash matches and brief appearances in the Royal Rumble, due to the fact that it was nearly impossible for him to take more than a few bumps in any match.
“Dr. Death” Steve Williams
Steve Williams never really rose to quite the level of prominence as many of the others on this list, although he did have an incredibly successful career in Japan where he was one of their top foreign stars for a long period. And he does have one claim to fame that nobody else in this company can even come close to matching: from 1987 until 1997, basically an entire decade, Dr. Death was not pinned a single time in any match in North America. While he did lose matches in that span as part of several tag teams, and by the usual heel methods of DQ or count-out, not one time in ten years were Williams’ shoulders on the mat for a count of three. Ironically, shortly after his legendary streak ended, he signed a contract with the WWF for the first time in his career, entered in the Brawl-For-All tournament, lost his second match, and suffered a massive hamstring injury which basically torpedoed his wrestling career going forward.
When it comes to winning matches, few can beat the Immortal Hulkster. While heels would occasionally get the upper hand on Hogan outside of actual matches, when things moved inside the confines of the squared circle, it was a safe bet to put your money on the power of Hulkamania. When he moved to WCW and founded the New World Order, Hogan got even more unbeatable, as you can literally count the number of clean pinfall losses he suffered on one hand. As for submission losses, forget about it. Obviously, part of the reason why Hogan never lost is because of his incredible backstage pull, which he amassed by being the top-drawing wrestler on the entire planet, allowing him to gain creative control over his character for most of his lengthy career. But the fact of the matter was that Hogan, first in his role as the physical incarnation of the triumph of the American spirit, and then as the all-powerful leader of an incredibly dominant gang of thugs, was a character that was supposed to win all the time. Thus, those few times that he lost, it was always a big deal that could determine the entire direction of a company.
The Dead Man is unbeatable for so many reasons. First of all, he’s essentially an undead zombie, which means he is impossible to kill using the conventional methods of pro wrestling. In his career, he has come back from being buried alive (three times), having the source of his power stolen or destroyed (too many times to count), having eleven guys beat him up and seal him in a casket, being dragged to the bowels of whatever is supposed to be under the ring multiple time, having his face crushed by a pair of 500-pound men, being legitimately (albeit accidentally) set on fire during his entrance, and any number of other acts that would not only end a normal person’s wrestling career, but likely their existence as well. Then, of course, there’s the Streak, his unique record of winning 21 straight matches at WrestleMania before suffering his first (and so far only) defeat at the event. And finally, in more mundane terms, the simple fact of the matter is that in over 25 years, the Undertaker has rarely lost matches, has only been forced to submit by one man (Kurt Angle, naturally), and always comes out on top in the end. The very mystique of The Undertaker is tied up in the fact that he is virtually unstoppable, and it has been that way for over 25 years.
The younger half-brother of The Undertaker didn’t manage to inherit all of the same powers as his undead sibling, but he also has survived many things that would have destroyed a mere mortal, possibly even moreso than the Dead Man himself. Perhaps due to his more aggressive, violent personality, Kane seems to end up in many feuds where the ante gets raised on a regular basis. He has been set on fire multiple times (and of course, the basis of his character is that he survived a fire in the first place), knocked into a flaming dumpster, been locked in a limousine that then crashed into an 18-wheeler, allegedly survived a massive car crash before he became a wrestler (but after the fire sent him to an asylum, just don’t think about it too hard), and many other extreme incidents. His ability to survive harsh punishment translates into his matches, where he has been bashed with all manner of weapons and not only survived, but shaken off any possible ill effects in an instant. In his first match against The Undertaker, it took an astonishing 3 Tombstone Piledrivers to finally put him down for good, when almost no one has survived even one. And while he doesn’t have the impressive Streak of his brother, more often than not, Kane has come out on top of a lot of big matches during a lengthy career.
The numbers, fudged or not, really speak for themselves. Goldberg holds the record for the longest unbeaten streak in wrestling history, officially racking up 173 straight victories (unofficially, the number is somewhat lower) before finally losing a match. More importantly, Goldberg was barely ever even vaguely threatened in any of his matches, often winning in less than two minutes, a trait which made him all the more impressive in the eyes of fans. Some might question the level of competition for much of his Streak, but it’s hard to argue with results. In addition, while his WWE career was much less impressive, Goldberg has the distinction of being undefeated against a man thought to be one of the most dominant wrestlers on the planet, Brock Lesnar, including a shocking 86-second victory over Lesnar in 2016, twelve years after Goldberg ostensibly retired from pro wrestling entirely!
This isn’t going to be another one of those complaints about the fact that there are large portions of John Cena’s career where he never lost, because even though it’s true, there are also plenty of examples where he has actually lost important matches to put over new stars. But the real reason why Cena is considered unbeatable is the fact that since winning his first WWE Championship at WrestleMania 21, and possibly for a long stretch before that, he has never lost a match via submission. He is the living embodiment of his catchphrase, “Never Give Up”, because he actually never does. Cena has been in the ring with some of wrestling’s greatest submission artists, he has been trapped in holds that have made others submit in seconds, and he was even, at one point, handcuffed to a ringpost and beaten by two men armed with kendo sticks, and still refused to say the words “I Quit”. If you’re good enough, and you come in at the absolute top of your game, you might be able to score a pinfall off of Cena. But it’s looking incredibly likely that, barring some sort of heel turn, John Cena will retire without ever being forced to tap out.
Andre The Giant
Despite what WWE will tell you, Andre was not undefeated headed into WrestleMania III. But in an era where the Internet literally didn’t exist, wrestling was still largely a territory-based system, and any overseas wrestling promotion might as well have been on another planet, his losses simply didn’t get publicized, so it was easy for WWE to pretend that it might be true. Besides, who was going to argue with him? While he wasn’t actually unbeaten, Andre’s losses were few and far between, and he was virtually unstoppable in battle royals, due to his massive size. In addition, Hulk Hogan was not the first man to body slam the massive Andre, but that list is also incredibly short, and it was seen as a great accomplishment to even knock the Giant off his feet. As his career wound down, Andre became more vulnerable, but still maintained an aura of invincibility that few wrestlers have ever managed.