Welcome to Seven Things, a list that will run weekly and consist of very eclectic topics. These are of my opinions and doesn’t express the views of others on WrestlingOnEarth.
With President’s Day being yesterday, I decided to go with a somewhat relevant topic. To add fuel to the timely fire, LeBron James recently mentioned his “Mount Rushmore” of the NBA and it led to a lot of debate. It made me wonder who would be The Mount Rushmore of wrestling. The wrestling curiosity I own made me take it further and wonder who would be The Mount Rushmore of each promotion I’ve followed closely in my life which led to a more enjoyable thought process. We go in depth to see who The Mount Rushmore of WWE, WCW, ECW, TNA, ROH and more each would be. Feel free to give your answers in the comments or send them to me on Twitter.
Reminder: If you have any suggestions for future lists, feel free to share them in the comments or send them to me on Twitter: @typicalROHfan.
7. The Mount Rushmore of The Mount Rushmores of Wrestling: Kevin Steen, The Young Bucks and Adam Cole
Okay! First off, they used the name before all these Mount Rushmore conversations started happening so they get first priority. Coincidentally, they happen to collectively and separately be among the best things in wrestling right now. Just watch the video. I promise it’s lovely.
6. The Mount Rushmore of TNA: AJ Styles, Jeff Jarrett, Bobby Roode and James Storm
The clear choices here are AJ Styles and Jeff Jarrett which is humorous since both guys have cut ties with TNA in 2014. Styles is and forever will be until the end, the face of TNA’s history. When they launched, he was the guy that became associated with the positive aspect of what they aspired to develop and for whatever his place on the card was, he would always was the heart of that company.
Jarrett probably would have made this even if I didn’t take in the out of the ring aspect as he was such an integral part of the early years but the dude founded the company and that basically pulls rank on anything.
Bobby Roode and James Storm get the final two places as they’ve done everything in the company, from singles to tag teams, from heels to faces, from opening act to main event. Storm had one of the better moments in his surprise title reign and Roode had one of the better title reigns in his year long heel title run.
Close calls: Christopher Daniels, Samoa Joe, Eric Young, Kazarian, Abyss and Kurt Angle
5. The Mount Rushmore of ROH: Bryan Danielson, Samoa Joe, CM Punk and Nigel McGuinness
One of the toughest ones for me to place just four names. Samoa Joe and CM Punk are must haves for the early years. The legend of Samoa Joe and CM Punk started when they helped keep ROH afloat and then eventually taking them to a place where they would grow. Their matches against each other are still likely the most popular matches of Ring of Honor fans new and old.
Post CM Punk leaving, Bryan Danielson stepped up most. Post Samoa Joe leaving, Nigel McGuinness stepped up most. Both of which would have my personal favorite title reigns after the respective legend left thus proving ROH could withstand the hit. Similar to Joe and Punk, Bryan and Nigel had a classic rivalry that I discussed in length in last week’s Seven Things. Perhaps the four greatest ROH Champions of all time, it would only be fitting they own the spots on a ROH Mount Rushmore.
Close calls: The Briscoes, Kevin Steen, Austin Aries, Davey Richards and Roderick Strong
4. The Mount Rushmore of ECW: Tommy Dreamer, Rob Van Dam, The Dudleys and Sabu
All of these men best signified the best of what ECW offered. Sabu was one of the most unique and innovative performers of his time. It’s a shame many discount his legacy because most of what he did then has become somewhat normal in today’s wrestling climate but his style was unlike any other, which was what Paul Heyman aspired for ECW.
The Dudleys share a spot because of how great of an act they were together. Of all the ECW legends, they arguably had the best careers post ECW, just above RVD. The effectiveness of Bubba Ray and Devon gives them a shared face on ECW’s Mount Rushmore. Sorry to Spike, Sign Guy, Big Dick and the rest of the Dudley brothers but it’s a two face spot, brothers.
Rob Van Dam became the hottest attraction in ECW by having the best matches and giving fans a show they couldn’t get anywhere else in the late 90’s. Wrestling was as popular as ever in WWF and WCW but RVD’s awe inspiring talent led the ECW faithful to view him as the best thing in pro wrestling. Towards the time of his TV Title reign, he was must see and actually propelled a midcard title in becoming more important than the World Title.
Tommy Dreamer was much like the described role about AJ Styles in TNA. He became the face of ECW so organically. Dreamer already held the claim to that spot but many of the top talent was leaving for better deals in WWF or WCW while Dreamer stuck around so his love from ECW faithful only grew. A guy who gave everything he had to his promotion, Tommy Dreamer is the best choice for an ECW Mount Rushmore spot.
Close calls: Taz, Raven, Shane Douglas, Sandman and Terry Funk
3. The Mount Rushmore of WCW: Ric Flair, Sting, Diamond Dallas Page and Goldberg
By far, the most difficult one to put together. Ric Flair and Sting clearly are on the WCW Mount Rushmore. When wrestling fans think of WCW, 90% think of one of those two first. Rivals and friends, Flair and Sting were such consistent sources of entertainment for the WCW fans in the 90s. There’s not much more that can be said other than they are the top WCW stars of all time if you’re going by any standard other than the most subjective facets.
The latter two spots were very difficult. Diamond Dallas Page gave a great story of an old wrestler entering the game late but getting to the top of the game to achieve his dream by relating to the fans. Despite all the star power in WCW at the time, DDP was truly the “people’s champ” from 1997-1999 as the fans elevated and believed in him forcing him into the top of WCW.
Most interesting was the last spot. Goldberg was such a phenomenon that is so rare to make successful in wrestling, as WWE will show you with their original intentions of Ryback. His rise to the top was probably the last successful thing WCW did and to do it in a time where the wheels were starting to fall off and the chaos was overtaking the product is quite impressive.
Close calls: Lex Luger, Booker T, Hulk Hogan, Arn Anderson and The Steiners.
2. The Mount Rushmore of WWE/WWF: Hulk Hogan, Steve Austin, The Rock and John Cena
If you’re reading this, you already know the reasons why for the first three. Hulk Hogan, Steve Austin and The Rock are not so arguably the three most successful wrestlers of all time. They made so much money for WWF and just took their respective eras to a new level.
The final spot was the close one and I went with John Cena. As usual with anything Cena related, it’s a bit of a controversial decision but you can’t deny the guy. He’s been in that “face of the WWE” role for almost a decade now, the company is in a good place, his fans invest in loving him and his critics invest in hating him. No matter how much time passes, none of those things change and his matches are usually on point. If you look at it, his body of work in having consistently good to great matches while in the position at the top likely blows away Austin, Rock and Hogan in their (shorter) time spans.
Close calls: Andre The Giant, The Undertaker, Shawn Michaels and Bruno Sammartino
1. The Mount Rushmore of my fandom: Shawn Michaels, Rey Mysterio Jr., Rob Van Dam and Daniel Bryan
Most wrestling viewers tend to stop watching a certain point. Whether it be losing interest in the product, outgrowing it or one attention’s span, it happens to most and I like to try to recall memories of when I came close to being one of those people. These four wrestlers blocked that from happening.
Like most as kids, I’d just watch the program because it was so over the top with wacky characters, fun portrayal of violence and just “loud television” of so much action happening. When I started to enjoy it less, Shawn Michaels flipped the switch. The matches he put on during his 1996 WWF Championship run changed the way I looked at wrestling. I started to appreciate the “in ring performers” over the face paint or loud voices.
Rob Van Dam and Rey Mysterio Jr. did the same every time I would get to see them perform in the 90s. Rey in WCW and RVD in ECW just would do things I couldn’t believe were possible starting with small things like being able to jump to the top rope instead of climbing. RVD would get me to pop every time before even doing his frog splash.
Last and the opposite of least, Daniel Bryan is my favorite wrestler of all time. From his mid 00s ROH run to his current work at the top of the WWE, every time I’d even contemplate questioning what’s left to see in wrestling, Bryan shows me. Without these four, I’m not sure if I would be watching wrestling, let alone writing thousands of words about it discussing the Mount Rushmore of various promotions!
Close calls: Sid and Paul London