Mount Rushmore of Professional Wrestling: Who's On It?

Your criteria for placement is whatever you want it to be. Here are my picks.

Andre the Giant. Don’t see how you could justify leaving him off.

Hulk Hogan. In the 80’s he brought pro wrestling to the mainstream masses. Pro wrestling’s first true mega-star.

(Now things get a little murky.)

Ric Flair. The longevity of his career as being a major headline act is astounding. Seems he did everything you could imagine as a professional wrestler and changed with the times as needed.

One left and it has to go to **Stone Cold Steve Austin **(sorry Macho Man) and I’m not even that big a fan. He wasn’t the first but he changed the dichotomy of heel versus baby face. He was so bad that the fans loved how bad he was. He brought in the soap opera back story line as he launched the transformation of Vince McMahon into the cartoonish over the top Mr. McMahon. Having said that, I can see making a case for putting someone else up there (Savage or Foley most likely.)

I didn’t include any of the old-timers such as Gorgeous George, Lou Thesz or Bruno Sammartino cause I just didn’t. I think my choices are pretty solid though.

Have at it if you will.

Old school, from my childhood: Bruno Sammartino.

A local punk band The S.P.U.D.S. (special people under doctor’s supervision) even did a song dedicated to the guy.

(I see you mentioned him)

Ed “Strangler” Lewis
Lou Thesz
Ric Flair
Hulk Hogan

Ric Flair
Hulk Hogan
Andre the Giant
Mick Foley

I not a wrestling expert, but I think you should have a head for each of the wrestling eras

(really old wrestler that I don’t know)
Andre the Giant (80s)
Hulk Hogan (90s/2000s)
Stone Cold Steve Austin (attitude era-present)

George “The Animal” Steele.
Jimmy “Superfly” Snuka.
And you can just leave Lincoln on there.

Andy Kaufman?

Star Man
Kin Corn Karn
King Slender
Fighter Hayabusa

Obviously Andre.

It’s a real tough call for every one after that. You might include Vince McMahon. His dad created Andre, but Vince Jr. made him a household name. Antonino Rocca was a bigger star in his time than any wrestler before or since, but that’s because wrestling hadn’t hit the modern era. Dusty Rhodes was a major driver of the modern style of wrestling storylines and personalites. Rick Flair and Bruno Sammartino were long time popular champions during their eras, but neither had the long term impact on the sport as others did. Lou Thesz, and the two Strangler Lewis’s may have been the best real wrestlers ever in the game, but again, limited impact on the sport. Mick Foley, like Dusty Rhodes had a tremendous influence on the sport without being a long term champion.

It’s kind of hard to pick out other wrestlers who achieved the same level of iconic stature as a real life giant like Andre. I’d say give him his own mountain like the Crazy Horse Monument, then fight it out for 4 others on the Rushmore.

Is this American wrestling or would it include Japanese and Lucha Libre? If so, I’d add El Santo and maybe the Great Muta or Antonio Inoki.

Stu Hart.

Got to be Andre.

Replace Kin Korn Karn with The Amazon and there you have it.

Ok, seriously, Hogan is a lock. Mick Foley deserves a spot. Steve Austin gets one, I suppose, though Foley really personifies that era and what it was all about, doing whatever it took to get over. Austin was more of a talker and showman than a wrestler, but Foley had it all.

The old-school is underrepresented simply because it was a regional thing back then, but from the old school I would pick Gorilla Monsoon simply because he ably bridged the gap by becoming a beloved announcer after a legendary career. Everybody my age knows who Monsoon was, we heard him every weekend on Wrestling Challenge and Superstars with old Vince McMahon and later Bobby the Brain.

Old school has to include Ivan Putski on there somewhere. Or at least put a Polish Hammer on one of the other busts on the mount.

“Gorgeous George” Wagner probably deserves at least a nomination. Without Gorgeous George, we wouldn’t have the “Louisville Lip” persona of Muhammad Ali we know and love.

I’m going to use the real Rushmore presidents as a basis for choosing my wrestlers

Bruno Sammartino = George Washington

Represents the old school roots of pro-wrestling. Arguably the first superstar wrestler before wrestling was nationalized by the McMahon family. Even when it was regional, Sammartino stood above the rest

Vince McMahon = Thomas Jefferson

The “author” of the state of pro-wrestling as it is now. It was his innovations that brought out wrestling from the regional promoters into a national spotlight.

Hulk Hogan = Abraham Lincoln

The biggest name in wrestling. He put together a character and a style that is still copied to this day. No matter what you may think of him, and personally I detest the guy, he is the first, last, and only name most people think of when they think wrestling. Wrestling today wouldn’t exist the same way if it weren’t for him

Stone Cold Steve Austin = Teddy Roosevelt

The transformative superstar. He went against his own popularity by being bad, but he was so good at it that he won over fans from both sides. Some of his catchphrases are still being uttered today, and the way he was on the mike, the attitude and the defiance, changed a generation of wrestling fans used to the old cheesy 80’s gimmicks to the more serious ones you see today

Fritz Von Erich
Rowdy Roddy Piper
Ric Flair
Andre The Giant

Agreed. We would never have had the modern wrestlling personalities without him. Actually Ali said it was Freddie Blassie that inspired his patter, but he typically used the more well known name of Gorgeous George. George was much more influential than some of the other names people have listed.

The Amazon? Are you crazy? Great Puma belongs on there more than The Amazon. Even Giant Panther would have been a better choice.

Jesus, man.

Vince McMahon
Stu Hart
Andre The Giant
Hulk Hogan