Graham was one of the first professional wrestlers to achieve popularity principally on the basis of his character rather than his wrestling skills, paving the way for wrestlers like Jesse Ventura, Scott Steiner, and, particularly, Hulk Hogan, who were all heavily influenced by Graham's career. He had a physique that was far superior to anyone in pro wrestling; his twenty-two inch arms were called "pythons." His look and his personality sold out arenas across America.
"Superstar" Billy Graham is credited for changing how American professional wrestling is portrayed, and may have been the driving force behind the creation of "sports entertainment" and the idea of the professional wrestler as an entertainer rather than trying to play themselves as legitimate althletes, although in recent times with the rise of wrestlers getting over on wrestling ability rather than showmanship, Billy Graham's pioneering ways have been seen by smarks as a damaging move in the progression of professional wrestling today.
Many wrestlers have claimed to have based their looks and styles on Billy Graham. Some famous examples are Scott Steiner, Triple H, and most famously, Hulk Hogan and Jessie "The Body" Ventura.