The Empire State has always been a hotbed for professional wrestling. Madison Square Garden in New York City is considered by many to be one of the greatest venues for pro wrestling in the world, and the Garden itself can be given much credit for helping the WWE become the global empire it is today.

Before the WWE became a multi-media powerhouse producing Hollywood films and countless hours of television, the early World Wide Wrestling Federation was just a simple wrestling company. In its infancy, the WWWF depended on successful gate attendance at venues like Madison Square Garden to keep its business afloat.

Legends like Bruno Sammartino and Hulk Hogan would steamroll into the Big Apple and tear the house down, which helped them achieve television distribution deals, and subsequently, gain more fans nationwide.

But neither Bruno Sammartino or Hulk Hogan were actually BORN in New York. So what about the wrestlers who were? Who were some of the biggest stars?

There are lots of factors to consider when determining "the best" wrestlers. There are some wrestling purists who say that those who drew the most money through paid attendance are the best. Others say it's the ones who put on the best matches.

I took both those schools of thought into building this list. So in honor of the WWE returning to Utica for the first time in 3 years this weekend, let's look at the 10 best pro wrestlers born in the state of New York:

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