This is always a fun topic to dive into for wrestling fans. I've seen this pop up multiple times in the comments section, and even as a FanPost in the past. I'm going to give it a slight twist in future articles, for example "Wrestling's Mount Rushmore: 1980's Edition". As you might guess for that article, you guys would only pick the best of the 80's!
Criteria is wide open; it's whatever you think makes each wrestler the best ever. Today is really simple: you can pick from any year and company to make up your top four. The only rule is wrestlers only! At some point I will do non-wrestlers.
I'll start with my top four. My criteria in picking is a mixture of longevity, drawing ability, innovation, in-ring ability, promos, and mainstream cross-over.
#1 - Gorgeous George - He influenced Muhammad Ali and James Brown, 'nuff said. He was one of the first to have entrance music, he drew huge crowds, and was one of the first flamboyant heels that people just loved to hate. When the referee would check him pre-match George would yell "Get your filthy hands off me!", funny stuff for that era. Also, he had the first wrestling figure in the form of a hand puppet! Needless to say he knew how to entertain, but was always a very competent wrestler to boot. For more info on George, Rex wrote about him not too long ago.
#2 - Bruno Sammartino - He held the WWWF Title for over 11 years, spanning only two reigns! "The Italian Superman" drew massive crowds and with advent of TV people all over the country were able to watch the legend wrestle. A hard-nosed wrestler, he had the skills in the ring and on the mic that fans just couldn't get enough of. Also, his finisher was a bear hug...a bear hug!
#3 - Ric Flair - "Woo!" "To be the man, you've got to beat the man." "With a tear in my eye!" "I'm Ric Flair! The Stylin', profilin', limousine riding, jet flying, kiss-stealing, wheelin' n' dealin' son of a gun!" I could go on and on, but you get the point; one of the best promo guys ever. Oh yeah, he was great in the ring too, awesome work-rate, brawler, technician, story-teller, both as a face and heel. I'm such a Flair fan that a wrestling figure of his sits atop my Dad's flagpole in their front yard.
#4 - Hulk Hogan - There were multiple parties involved, but without Hulk Hogan wrestling would not be what it is today. He was a dominate force as a babyface in the 80's, and had one of the best heel turns ever to start one of the greatest stables ever in the 90's. It goes without saying how much of a draw he was, and all the epic moments he has created over his career. Never the best in the ring, but promos were always on point, and he made matches feel like they were can't miss events.
Those are my picks. It's kind of cool that these four span from 1940's-1990's, each having their turn at greatness starting with George and ending with Hogan.
Okay, Cagesiders, here's what you do:
1) Who would be on your Mount Rushmore? (Only 4!)
2) Rec people's picks that you like. We probably won't all agree on a set four, but I'll do a results post with the top 3 most popular picks.