Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson went live on Instagram today and answered questions from fans, including one that’s a perennial talking point in wrestling circles: Who’s on your Mount Rushmore of professional wrestling?
— Randy Cruz (@randyjcruz) March 29, 2020
The Rock, a common face on fans’ mountains, isn’t one of The Rock’s picks, but his choices are widely shared. He puts Hulk Hogan, Ric, Flair, and his arch-rival Steve Austin on his Mount Rushmore, and says “that fourth person I always kind of keep blank” because he can’t choose between Buddy Rodgers, Bruno Sammartino, “Macho Man” Randy Savage, and Dusty Rhodes.
Though his fourth pick isn’t clear, what The Rock thinks makes a wrestler worthy of Mount Rushmore status is:
You always want to pick people who have had the most impact on the wrestling business, who have moved the bottom line, but also, most importantly, they just have this intangible, this X factor, where they can connect with the crowd and connect with an audience. And the bottom line is with those three individuals that I mentioned – Hogan, Austin, and Flair – they really moved the company’s bottom line. They moved the NWA’s bottom line, the WWF and the WWE’s bottom line.
In terms of drawing power, these were the biggest draws in the history of professional wrestling and that’s all that matters. You can have 15 world titles and 27 other kinds of titles that you have nowadays, but the bottom line is how strong can you draw, and are you selling arenas out and are you breaking records. Really, that’s the bottom line, and those three guys have. I think Sammartino did for a very long time. Bob Backlund had an incredible run too as well.
Of course, these are all also qualities people could say The Rock have, and he does give himself an honorable mention:
Where am I on Mount Rushmore? I would say I’m on the back of Mount Rushmore. That’s the part you don’t see. I’m on the back all by myself and I’m raising my eyebrow and “If you smell!” and I’m doing all that sh*t. That’s me on the back.