The Wrestling Mount Rushmore

I assume you know what this is gonna be about, but if not, that is why we have introductory paragraphs. The idea is, what 4 wrestler belong on the Mount Rushmore of wrestling.  One has to think about the criteria. First of all, let’s establish a time frame. Whether this is fair or not, I am starting at 1985, the year of Wrestlemania 1.This eliminates a lot of truly great legends. this also eliminates me trying to guess what crowd reactions were, how they impacted ratings, tickets, sponsors, championships, just so many things to take into consideration. I know going into this, the choices are going to seem obvious, but half of the fun is the elimination process, right? So let’s start throwing names out there and see where we end up.

Andre the Giant

Why he’s being considered: He’s the first inductee into the WWF Hall of Fame. He may be the only wrestler who’s name was just as big as Hulk Hogan’s. He went into acting and did an honest to God great movie in the Princess Bride. Helped cement Hogan as face of the company and passed the torch at WM 3. Legitimate once in a lifetime performer.

Why he doesn’t make it: He started in WWF in 73, the bulk of his work came prior to the cut off date. Had he been born 10-15 years later, my god, things would have been so different. His timeframe simply doesn’t fit the criteria, otherwise he makes a hell of a claim. Points for knocking out Warrior when Warrior wouldn’t follow Andre’s instructions during a match.

Macho Man Randy Savage

Why he’s being considered: To this day, almost 20 years after his pinnacle in the business, I literally just heard the crowd in Boston cheering his name when CM Punk hit the elbow off the top rope. He’s still relevant. WWF world champ twice, one of the all time greatest IC champs, 4 time WCW world champ, World War 3 winner, headlined 4 of the first 5 Summerslams, main evented WM 4, 5, & 8 and stole WM 3 with Ricky Steamboat and WM 7 with Warrior in the career match. Perfected and may have originated the jealous boyfriend in wrestling with Miss Elizabeth. Allowed a snake to bite him. Epic slim jim commercials that people still remember. Every guy has tried to impersonate him at some point in their life. He made a rap album and called Hulk Hogan a coward. He got a role in Spiderman.

Why he doesn’t make it:  He’s probably top 10 material, but he doesn’t make the cut as he was never given the ball to run with it enough times for long enough periods. That, and the rap album. His appearance in TNA was terrible and an absolute abomination. Also, he may have fucked Stephanie McMahon. Not sure whether that belonged in this segment or second segment.

Ric Flair

Why he’s being considered: 16 time world champion, the jet flying, limousine riding nature boy, one of the most charismatic wrestlers of all time, could wrestle for an hour, made Sting among others, 4 horseman, Evolution, actually lived his gimmick, won the 92 Royal Rumble that I attended

Why he doesn’t make it: Way too much time spent in WCW, never had that proper Hogan feud in WWF, one of the toughest omissions

Hulk Hogan

Why he’s being considered: He’s Hulk Hogan, he headlined Wrestlemania 1-9 & 18. He made wrestling cool in the 80’s, Vince built a company around this guy. He is considered the icon of wrestling. He left WWF, goes to WCW, makes them relevent, they start up Nitro, gets stale, takes the chance of a lifetime, goes heel with NWO, reinvents himself and gets a second life in his career. You go to a wrestling event, you most likely see somebody dressed as Hogan.

Why he doesn’t make it: ……..He makes it, this is obvious.

Sting

Why he’s being considered: Has done damn near everything there is to do in wrestling in WCW and TNA, like Hogan, his career became stagnant and was revitalized by NWO when he became the Crow version of Sting. He was for all intents and purposes WCW’s version of the Undertaker as far as being their mainstay, they guy they could put in any feud and it would still feel important.

Why he doesn’t make it: He never wrestled in WWF. Now even if he has a run, the time has passed. Had he signed when WCW got bought out, the argument could have been made for Sting honestly. Still, tough omission.

Vadar

Why he’s being considered: It’s Vadar time, was one of the most gifted big men of all time, akin to Bam Bam, but main evented more, main evented WCW and WWF

Why he doesn’t make it: A really bad video.

Bret Hart

Why he’s being considered: Along with HBK, he helped bridge the gap between Rock N Wrestling era to Attitude Era. In a way makes a more compelling argument than HBK despite me liking HBK more and I like HBK a lot more. Bret helped make so many people. He gave Bulldog his best match. He gave HBK his first championship. He made Austin. He made Owen. He had teh awesome figure four around the ring post on the outside. Most importantly though, when he left WWF, that gave us the Montreal Screwjob, he gave WCW too much false hope and they utterly squandered his greatness, and helped create the greatest heel of all time in Mr McMahon which was the most important aspect in the turnaround in the Monday night wars.

Why he doesn’t make it: His time at the top as “The Man” is only a couple of years, always seemingly overshadowed. Kind of a whiny bitch for quite a few years.

Shawn Micheals

Why he’s being considered: So you just read the Bret stuff. HBK wasn’t as great a technician as Bret, but he was so charismatic. He was and still is a great cocky prick. Degeneration X pushed the boundaries. DX was instrumental in getting fans to switch from WCW, whether it was lewd comments or getting girls to flash. He taught HHH a lot in how to work a crowd. Put Austin over before retiring for years. He comes back, steals the show, acts like he never missed a beat and becomes champ again, has some of the best feuds including against HHH, Jericho, Flair, and of course stealing the show against Taker in back to back Wrestlemania’s. HHH tried doing the same and it paled in comparison.

Why he doesn’t make it: That 4 and a half year lay off honestly. If he stays healthy, he puts himself really high on this list.

Undertaker

Why he’s being considered: Greatest gimmick wrestler of all time. Greatest big man wrestler of all time. Capable of taking the shittiest storylines and often makes them watchable. Everybody wants to call HBK Mr. Wrestlemania, Taker deserves that nickname just as much. HBK ain’t ever had to work with Giant Gonzalez. Never left WWE during the rough years, one of the most loyal and respected guys in the locker room. More important than anything else, I think he is the icon of WWE, and his streak shall never be broken.

Why he doesn’t make it: He makes it, when you have the most important streak in wrestling history, more so than Backlund, Sammartino, and Goldberg.

Stone Cold Steve Austin

Why he’s being considered: Was the face of the company at it’s peak during the attitude era. The guy who rebelled against his boss and got away with it. He drank beer, gave the middle finger, did his own thing, and looked like a bad ass while doing it. And he could work a hell of a match when he wanted to, his promo skills were top notch, had tons of charisma, a great mind for the business, and sold a ton of merchandise.

Why he doesn’t make it: ………

Mick Foley

Why he’s being considered: Because he’s the hardcore legend. Because of Hell in the Cell. Because he is genuinely one of the nicest guys in the business and is very approachable and sincere. He brought hardcore wrestling to the warped minds of Americans. He is one of the few guys who had prominent feuds in WCW, ECW, WWF, and TNA. Amazing at promos and master of the cheap pop.

Why he doesn’t make it: Never truly considered “the man” at any point in his career.

The Rock

Why he’s being considered: The most electrifying man in sports entertainment, multitime everything champion in WWF. Willing to put people over moreso than most big names. Considered by most to be top 3 all time on the mic, cut some of the funniest, most scathing promos in history. Not the greatest wrestler, but had a good sense of timing.Gave back to the industry. Along with Austin was the face of the attitude era.

Why he doesn’t make it: ……….

HHH

Why he’s being considered:  He had a hell of a run on top as the man in the main event. Was at the helm of DX and Evolution, member of the Corporation, married Stephanie McMahon, so just involved in upper card matches for a long period of time. 10 time world champ now I think. Puts up great matches usually, especially in brawls or specialty environments. Works well with any type of wrestler, underated trait, good if not great promo. Was a great heel. Helped make quite a few wrestlers.

Why he doesn’t make it:  Honestly, just barely misses the cut. He was much closer than most people would probably like, but it’s true if you really want the truth. 7 or 8th probably.

Goldberg

Why he’s being considered: Because if I left him off some jackass would say, “What about Goldberg?” he looked intense, had a good entrance song and was strong and very popular due to his streak.

Why he doesn’t make it: Whisker Biscuit was a prima donna bitch. I don’t like him at all.

Kurt Angle

Why he’s being considered: Probably the best wrestler I have ever watched. Yeah, he’s that damn good. Not only that, he was amazing on the mic, both serious and comedic. On top of that, the only wrestler I have met twice and a very nice dude. Can still go. Probably the most impressive rookie ever. Bald.

Why he doesn’t make it:  He doesn’t have enough time as the man in the big leagues. His insistence in pushing his body too far was such a concern that he ended up getting released and going to TNA because Vince feared for his safety. Fuck, that is scary. And Vince was right for doing so. All the potential and talent in the world, but he needed to slow down, and never did.

Brock Lesnar

Why he’s being considered: If Kurt isn’t the greatest rookie of all time, then this guy is. The best natural athlete ever in wrestling quite possibly. Nah, he just is. If he doesn’t have diverticulitis, my god, he goes on to be a legend in fighting as well as wrestling.

Why he doesn’t make it: His heart was never in it totally, still isn’t, it;s just not his personality. Unlike other guys who eat, sleep, and breathe wrestling, Brock is a farm boy at heart who is a dad and husband and those are his priorities, and there’s nothing wrong with that.

Chris Jericho

Why he’s being considered: First ever undisputed champion. Never injured. Great promo and in ring work. Still finds ways to reinvent himself and be entertaining. Still somehow underrated.

Why he doesn’t make it: Never enough time as the full fledged man, held down too much in his prime by HHH, sorry but it’s the truth.

John Cena

Why he’s being considered: Whether us adults like it or not, this guy has been a main eventer for almost a decade now. His brand is worth almost 100 million. He now has his own clothing line at KMart. He’s not going heel any time soon. He is what he is. He will break Flair’s record. He is to kids nowadays what Hogan was to us 20 years ago. Interestingly enough, kids started rebelling against Hogan towards the end and he went to WCW and when that fell flat, he had to go heel to remain relevant. Let’s hope history eventually repeats itself. Everybody involved deserves it. They need to build up some new stars now though. That is a blog for later.

Why he doesn’t make it: Unfortunately, he has to make it, he’s too important to wrestling. I don’t hate Cena, I admire him, I like him. I respect the hell out of the guy and all the charity work and make a wish work he does, that stuff is tremendous, I’m just sick of his on screen character.

Ultimate Warrior

Why he’s being considered: I have to, I have a pair of testicles and grew up in the 80’s. Remember me just mentioning getting sick of Hogan and how the tide started turning? You know why? Because there was a cool alternative and it was the ultimate Warrior. Unfortunately, he was a fuckhead and didn’t do what was best for business. He had strong runs as the man though, insanely popular. Most males in their 30’s know who he is. Not as recognizable as Macho man, but damn close surprisingly.

Why he doesn’t make it: He’s a fuckhead. Really, just a complete dumbass that didn’t do right by the business and was almost as dumb as Goldberg. Too full of himself. Would just quit. Cut the craziest promos ever (part of his appeal as well). Terrible worker. Just can’t, but he had to be in this blog.

Edge

Why he’s being considered: Edge deserves a lot more respect than he is often given. While Cena was given so much, Edge busted his ass. Edge became one half of the greatest tag team in WWE history. I still say Dudleys are greatest in all of wrestling, but E&C in WWE only. Edge is 14 time tag team champ, 5 time IC champ, 1 time US, 1 time King of the Ring, Triple Crown winner, royal Rumble winner, 2 time Money in the Bank winner, 2 time slammy award winner, 11 time world heavyweight/WWE champion, and hall of famer. Who on this list has a better resume statistically speaking? Flair and Jericho are the only comparable I would think. He was a good face, but a great chickenshit heel with a great viscous streak. He could be hilarious, rude, lewd, and downright mean when needed. On a personal note, I was there in Albany when he retired, and it was a genuinely sad night, not gonna lie. I wish he had 3-5 more years. He seemed like a well liked hard working guy that gave back to the business.

Why he doesn’t make it: He wrestled in the same era as Cena, so unless he was wrestling Cena or Taker, the spotlight never shined brightly enough on him, plain and simple. During the time frame, he performed in probably more great matches than Cena, but they weren’t always the main event. It sucks, but he may well go down as the Macho Man to Cena’s Hogan. Or maybe Randy Orton will be Macho.  Hmmm.

So with that being said, the final say on the wrestling Mount Rushmore are these 4.

1. Hulk Hogan – OBVIOUS

2. John Cena – Modern day Hogan sadly

3. Undertaker – In 20 years, people will still remember the streak, Hell in a cell, his confrontation with Kane. They will remember his 20+ years of greatness.

4. Stone Cold Steve Austin – He was the face of the Attitude era, the best era in wrestling history.

Honestly, I know a lot of people think the Rock belongs, but he doesn’t belong anymore than Bret, Flair, HHH, or HBK to be honest. Had Rock not gone to do movies, you’d be correct, but I am sorry, his run as a wrestler is not THAT impressive. While he did it, sure, he was amazing for awhile. But he road the coat tails of Austin.and Vince. Let’s not forget, HHH was very instrumental in the Rock’s ascension as they went up the rankings together basically, and were awesome. In the late 90’s, if you went in a mall, you was likely to see a few Austin 3:16 shirts, not always guaranteed to see even one rock shirt. And Taker over the Rock is a no brainer in my opinion for longevity and what he has meant to the industry. Look at when I posted on FB, damn near everybody mentioned Taker. that tells me something.

All pictures used in this blog are for review purposes. They are property of WWE and wwe.com.

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