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Your "Mount Rushmore" of All-Arounders

Liam O'Rourke

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Not very often I get a chance to do this, but...


Ultimate Warrior-  larger than life, legacy lives on through that WM weekend and now the Warrior award, the batshit mental stuff has been 'airbrushed away'. Okay may not have been the best worker but when large swathes took up to see, ie down load his finale for NWE, then yeah that's a great legacy. Maybe cartoon like, but thats kinda the whole point here. All around as he brought that Star quality seldom now seen in wrestling where you knew youd get something exictingeven if it was just a blowie from Queen Sherri


Mr Perfect- May not have reached the career heights of others, but had you invested, was great in ring on promo and in vignettes, could go with anyone in any type of match and make it believable and a spectacle. as allrounders go, I cannot see where the down side was, possibly that wasnt a face, but meh.


John Cena- He is THE guy, perhaps one of the best ever, the discussion of where he sits  will be had when he calls it a day, but face heel, big match or small he even out prom'oed The Rock, yeah he has to be on Mt Rushmore.


Chris Jericho- mic work, in ring and styles wise has been pretty good, first Undisputed Champion, although booked in to obscurity has adapted his style and often can bring out the best in others. 


Honourable mentions to- Ricky Steamboat, Kurt Angle, Jeff Hardy who all had their strengths but didnt quite make the list

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Hulk Hogan

The Rock

Steve Austin

John Cena


They were the four names that immediately sprung to my mind.

They are probably the most well known four across a variety of different audiences and not just the wrestling audience also.

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I've had a good think and my mind keeps swaying about who deserves their face to be turned to stone.

Even with the goal posts you have set, it's given us the chance to use interpretation, not just the 4 biggest draws.


Although drawing power undoubtedly plays a big role in this, as does longevity, there are plenty of incredible 'all rounders' that were only noticeable for a short space in time or played 2ND fiddle to other names running the scene at the time.


Taking everything in to consideration, I've managed to get it down to about 7-8 names, so I'm going to pick the 4 I like the best, that I was a big fan of and that meet the criteria.



1) - Randy Savage

He had the look brute look, even for a smaller guy surrounded by giants, he still seemed a genuine threat. He managed to take the 'wild man' gimmick that was typically given to islanders, but managed to humanise it so that people could relate, he also pulled off the genuine caring of his wife role so well, that he is forgiven for locking her in cupboards. Undoubtedly much of this was based on his ability to talk, he was bloody great at speaking even half of what he said was jibberish, it again played perfectly to his general wild character. His emotion was so intense, you knew exactly how he was feeling (feud with Jake, wow). His nonsensical ramblings weren't as questionable as the likes of the warrior. Savage still managed to seem like a human, with maniacal tendencies who portrayed a character with serious mental health issues... not just a loud nutter from another planet. His in ring work was exceptional and he proved throughout the late 80's that he was the bread bun, the onions and the mustard, creating the solid foundation and base to keep Hogan's hotdogging intact.

He could jump between main event and high midcard effortlessly and carried Soooo many people to tremendous matches, again goes to show that regardless of the belt he was wearing or chasing, he was at the top of his game.

I honestly think he is THE first pure all-rounder to feature during WWE glory years, and although others can claim a similar status with all-roundedness, I think he was probably the innovator and the first in WWF/WWE to have the look, the body, the charisma, the character, the voice and the ability.

The true total package.


2)- Shawn Michaels

Basically, take everything I have said about savage above, tweak the character, fast forward 10 years and you have HBK.

It goes without saying that he epitomises what a true top level all rounder is. The look, the words, the charisma, ability etc. He took over the 'all-rounder / utility' role where savage left off. He in some minds took it to the next level, however I think that he was on top 96-97 when he was given the space to shine, unlike poor savage, who had Hogan in his prime taking the top spot.

That doesn't take anything away from Shawn though. He dragged half of the company in the mid 90's to decent if not great matches, including 2 brilliant matches, a decade after his prime with a particular undertaker who SCG deemed so bad they murdered and buried him... the irony.

Shawn has to be given A LOT of credit for the change in direction mid 90's and while I understand that Austin tends to get the thumbs up for the birth of the attitude era, HBK is side by side with him in this respect. Imagine if HBK wasn't in WWE in 95, would we have ever reached the Monday night wars? or would Mo and Duke Drosse be Vince's shining lights?

What's interesting with HBK is that after the rockers split, he never changed his gimmick from the boy toy, no matter whether he was face or heel, he simply tweaked it slightly, but kept the same persona, dance, gear, music etc, whilst convincing people to cheer or boo.

He even managed to keep this in tact for the best part of a decade.. Hogan couldn't even accomplish this and had to rely on a full character/appearance change to put the point across.. "I'm a baddy now" to justify why he got the stale red and yellow booed out of him.

I think that Shawn's early solo gimmick also pushed boundaries at the time but did so in a really subtle way (at least compared to goldust and the DX stuff), but the mid 90's Shawn would happily shag your lass and a number of people would happily let him whilst having a sneaky wank in the corner. He's a great all-rounder and had to make my list.


3) - Kurt Angle

Again, he's more of a bridesmaid in the scheme of things, but a bridesmaid who has had a fling with the groom, is a better option than the bride and will forever be a threat to a happy marriage. For me, he was the crossover from legitimate combat athlete who adapted to the pro wrestling style flawlessly whilst making it seem like a competitive sport. Others have had recognised legitimate fighting backgrounds, the closest high profile probably being Shamrock, but he doesn't come close.

I'm basing my choosing of Angle based purely on his time with the WWE. Whether pompous gold medal winning Olympic hero, or serious bald aggressive machine or even a comedy milk drinking cowboy hat wearer, he was complete entertainment, with fantastic presence, incredible in ring talent and performances and a joy on the mic.

He, much like Shawn and Savage encompass what I deem an all-rounder, and from this inclusion, one of the best all rounders at that.


4) - Jake Roberts

Now this is more of a wild card entry and while the first 3 options will possibly be pretty popular shouts, the 4th place was a difficult choice. I considered Rock, Austin, HHH and Flair, but it came down to favoritism and whilst they all make my top 10, Jake stood out as someone offers something different than the typical superstar, an innovator of psychology and a legend that is incredibly well known and respected, considering he never made it to the top (main event/title scene).

I can't think of anyone that actually cones close to Jake, especially in the 90's who I admired but was legitimately scared of. The way he spoke, his facial expressions and methodical in ring ability is still regarded by many as the best in that field.

Don't get me wrong, he couldn't always make his opposition look like a million quid (as the names above do), but you were always highly intrigued about each of his matches and feuds due to his psychology and rantings I'm the lead up.

He had feuds with Andre and Quake and let's be honest, it's not an easy task to make either look great in the ring, but the intrigue was definitely there.

However, when given someone good to work with, it was magic.

Look at the feud with savage, the Liz slap, the snake bite, the mind games, all absolutely incredible.

Although savage was on form during this, Jake made it what it was in my opinion.

Considering he wasn't the top draw and wasn't forced on us like a Hogan or Warrior, he was always excited to see him announced at a show and he was by far my favorite.

He had in ring limitations but knew this and made what he could do look brilliant, much like Austin and Rock. I also think he had the same level of verbal skills as the likes of the Rock and Austin.

It helped that his finisher was protected, the way he teased the finish and ultimately the execution of his attacks. But that again shows how well developed his ring psychology actually was.


Anyway, there you have it.

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Might be missing something here, but surely the moment you say "he was rubbish at this particular aspect", it precludes said wrestler from being considered an all-rounder? The nominations of Warrior and Andre come to mind here. This is a discussion specifically about the best all-rounders, not the biggest draws - if anything, the Warrior rather highlights the distinction. He wasn't capable of having good matches by himself; he needed solid, seasoned workers to work with, like Hogan, Savage, Slaughter, etc. He couldn't just be slotted into any match, feud or angle, he needed to be catered to. He was deficient in this critical aspect, and therefore could not be considered an all-rounder.


Andre wasn't an all-rounder; at least, not during his biggest WWF years. Could barely move, even for a giant, and his promos were nothing to write home about either.


Likewise, Chris Benoit wasn't an all-rounder. Highly skilled in the ring, but a shit promo, and couldn't carry talking-heavy angles.


When it comes to selecting actual all-rounders, I agree with tiger_rick's list, particularly Randy Savage, who, for me is definitely the ultimate all-rounder, but also agree with the nominations for Cena and Kurt Angle.


I'd also like to nominate Jerry Lawler. Phenomenal promo, could carry feuds and angles, could sell, and whilst his style wasn't particularly varied, it was athletic enough for him to be able to work with anyone, producing excellent, paced matches that people could really get into.


One more nomination: "Rollerball" Rocco. Believable as a near-psychotic bastard or a bad-ass face, state-of-the-art wrestling style, decent promo, could work with anyone.

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Went with Bret Hart, Ric Flair, Shawn Michaels and Steve Austin.


Though it was a struggle to leave out Kurt Angle, Daniel Bryan and Randy Savage.


I did ask my missus out of curiosity what she thought and she brought up the Bulldog in terms of what he did for the sport over there which is something I never thought of.

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Great topic idea.  

So Mt Rushmore is a massive public monument so there's 2 questions her for me - who are the greatest all rounders and, from that list, who's face do you want as the public faces of 'all rounderness'.


The biggest star ever in wrestling is Hogan, no doubt.  But recently outed as a racist and the whole Mrs Bubba stuff and creepy daughter-touching, I dont think I want him anywhere near this.


Next biggest for me is Austin.  But I dont feel comfortable having a massive stone head of a wife-beater representing my choices so he's out too.


Third is Rocky.  The Brahma Bull. the most electrifying man in sports, sorry alllllllll, entertainment.  And there's the issue 'all entertainment'.  Undoubtedly one of the greatest all rounders but I dont want to be accused of 'selling out' for mainstream attention with this choice, and also everything since he went to hollywood has been really shit.

So who's left....


1. Cena. No brainer. Mr WWE for the last 15 years or however long.


3 choices left - that means there's a 33 1/3% chance of scotty steiner making this list.....


2. Bret Hart. My favourite growing up.  Always the best in the ring, great on the mic, and generally amazing. Completely subjective of course, but he's definitely on the list.


3. Jericho.  The first undisputed champion and again,.  one of my personal favourites.  always enjoyed his ring and mic work (let's ignore the crappy Punk feud and Fandango stuff).  Great longevity and proving now that he's still got.... it. 


4. Kurt. won a gold medal with a broken freacking neck. Great WWE run, huge part of TNA's success (lets not pretend they've always been shit, they havent).  


And that's my list.  Sorry Scotty, huge fan but you didnt make the list.


It would be interesting to look at 'Rushmores' in different contexts - time periods, companies, etc.

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The word is My so the picks are from within a certain timeframe, and taking note of the way the OP was worded. Looking for great in-ring, great mic work + character development, and big time aura:


1. Eddie Guerrero - the one I credit most for hooking me on wrestling. the ultimate charmer and one of the sharpest, bad-ass looking technicians that ever was. watched his last PPV match with Batista at No Mercy 05 recently. Not one of his best matches but his character work and storytelling abilities were still top of the range and his new entrance music was absolutely cool as fuck - shame it didn't get put to use for longer. Such a loss for the business, he had so much left to offer.

2. Chris Jericho - not that I saw it at the time, but his self-driven rise to prominence in WCW and impending WWF debut were the fucking tits. He was the dude who needed to be Here and he's delivered way more times than he has not. Putting in his best character work right now and that's no small feat. He may not be able to quite match his past in the ring but we can still expect a lot of great things from him, he's constantly been the ideas guy, always creative, hassling management to make certain things better and just knows what will work, way more times than he doesn't. He's got a big future in wrestling when he hangs up his boots no doubt.

3. Kurt Angle - picked up on the wrestling biz like no one else, was funny as fuck when he emerged in the attitude era and managed to mesh that seamlessly with a bad ass mat genius character at the top of his game in the coming years. His time in WWE was painfully short and I still pointlessly hold out for his return, but his importance and legacy in the company can't be underestimated. Imagine Austin retiring and Rock going to Hollywood without guys like Angle around to put your OVW lot over.

4. AJ Styles - his character development in the last 2 years is amazing. We wondered if he'd make it here hypothetically for over a decade and it never seemed like it would work, his mic-work wasn't this standard at the time, questions about his size, would his accent pigeon-hole him, would WWE ever push a "TNA guy" - nobody could've foresaw the way he's just knocked it out of the park from basically the beginning of his time here. Combine that with putting on so many great matches with varied opponents for such a long time, as well as being one of the key workers along with Samoa Joe and Bryan Danielson (also great all-rounders close to making this list) responsible for wowing me and completely broadening my wrestling horizons back in the TWC days earns him the last spot here.


Cena just misses out for not heeling for a long time, though if he ever does I'd expect him to rocket to the top. Like I mentioned Joe and Bryan are close, as well as Shawn, Taker and quite honestly, give it some time, Nakamura. Never thought I'd consider well, any non-North American as the best all-rounder but for a Japanese guy it really says something

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I know, I'm not saying he should have. He's a great character but we haven't had that diversity I see with the others, he's played a pretty similar character for 11 years now. Maybe slightly unfair but that puts him on the cusp of my list rather than in it.

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Now the episode's out, what do we think of SCG's final four?


I'll put it in spoilers for anyone who hasn't listened yet.



They went with Ric Flair, Stone Cold, Shawn Michaels and Eddie Guerrero.


Hard to argue with that list overall. I think over the course of the show, Eddie's conclusion was actually the best argued for by a long way. I wouldn't have considered him before the show but by the end I totally agreed. Very well argued!


The show as a whole got a bit more balanced in the arguing as the SCG shortlist went on - I wonder if it would have worked if the shortlist had been provided at the start of the week and the Loyal Listeners had only had the top 12 to choose from?


I thought G and Kieran did a great job sticking up for certain wrestlers that Liam and Karl were more inclined to dismiss, which gave a good balance to it all. In the first parts of the show, I think some members of the panel were a bit too dismissive of the likes of Hogan and Cena compared to others who, basically, they had a bigger personal preference for... Criticising Woodster or Big Match John for certain things but trying to excuse the same issues in other wrestlers - but whenever someone did that they were called on it, which was good!


Bit of an uphill struggle trying to justify Arn Anderson or Terry Funk among some of the others being discussed. Yes, they were great, but as far as I'm concerned, if you don't make it to the top in WWE - or rather if they don't present you as an all-time great - I find it harder to consider you an all-time great. That's harsh of me but it's a personal perception thing more than anything I think. Imagine if Funk had had a feud with Hogan or Savage in WWE? That would have been ace.


A question to think about - has anyone's legacy been sullied by the TNA Stink more than Kurt Angle? Poor Kurt. Just come home to WWE, Kurt…


Anyway, congrats on the 100 episodes, SCG, bring on episode 101!


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On the phone at the minute so I can't spoiler tag it so I'll try and be cryptic.


I thought it was a good show, the only criticism being the way that the two you mentioned were easily swept aside because of a perceived lack of in ring ability. Whereas others were given a bye on drawing power/promos etc because the panel seem to 'like' them.


Good show though all being said, and here's to the next hundred.

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