Arn Anderson reveals his Mount Rushmore of pro wrestling legends

Anderson has revealed why big names like Steve Austin or The Undertaker are not part of this list.

by Sead Dedovic
Arn Anderson reveals his Mount Rushmore of pro wrestling legends
© THE HANNIBAL TV / Youtube Channel

WWE Hall of Famer Arn Anderson recently discussed various topics during the ARN podcast, including the 'Mount Rushmore of pro wrestling'. Many have defined an era in wrestling and left a lasting mark, but some stood out during a company's era and remain big names to this day. Anderson believes Ric Flair is one of those figures. Flair mentioned several other names, and of course, this debate cannot go without mentioning the legendary Hulk Hogan, a man synonymous with wrestling.

“Well, you have to go Flair, you have to. Anybody who doesn’t give [Hulk] Hogan credit for changing the marketing, and the way people view the business at that time, you you have to go there. I think you have to put Ricky Steamboat… I guess just because of — and to this day, he’s given credit for this contribution, selling. Ricky Morton.”- he said, as quoted by Pwmania.

Ric Flair
Ric Flair© Arturo Holmes / Getty Images Sport

Anderson has revealed why big names like Steve Austin or The Undertaker are not part of this list. Despite their dominance in WWE and their potential inclusion in any list, there are specific aspects that set them apart from others. Anderson places special emphasis on emotion and selling, considering it one of the main components. The connection an individual has with the audience is evidently what drives Anderson's attention and admiration, and the names he respects certainly possess that quality.

“They were dominant. I mean, how do you not put Undertaker on every single list? But it’s just a different slant of what — I mean, here’s a guy, Ricky Morton who looked 12 years old, you know. But he would bring emotion into his selling and a match that no matter who the heels were, they had heat. And the fact that they were pounding on Ricky Morton, and the way he’s reeled the audience and, and had them ready to come over the rail. Grandmothers ready to come over the rail with a cane and help him. He was something special.”- Arn Anderson said.

Anderson stresses that in today's wrestling world when veterans are asked to pick the best salesman in the business, Ricky Morton stands out. Despite not being known for his physical power, Morton was great as a salesman, effectively sharing emotion and engaging the audience in his matches.

When Anderson advises young wrestlers aiming to establish themselves in the industry, he consistently emphasizes the importance of mastering the art of selling. In wrestling, selling moves and giving emotions authentically are crucial because they form the foundation on which matches and storylines are built. Without effective selling, Anderson stresses there is nothing substantial to build upon in wrestling, highlighting its critical role in creating captivating and memorable performances.

Based on the reactions of fans, former and current wrestlers, and experts, four names are generally mentioned as the Mount Rushmore of this sport: Hulk Hogan, Steve Austin, The Rock, and Ric Flair. Each of them has been part of a different era and left a huge impact. It's difficult to draw a definitive conclusion or rank them against each other since everyone has their favorite. The fact is that each of them has written the history of this sport and became a reason why many fell in love with wrestling.

Arn Anderson on Ric Flair and his retirement

He recently spoke on his podcast about Flair and the end of his career, emphasizing when Flair should have retired. Making such a decision is probably the hardest thing for many. Building a career for years, being part of the biggest stage, and then leaving all of that is certainly a difficult thing. Anderson believes that it's hard to give the right answer about when Flair should have retired.

“Oh God, I can’t make that call. Because that’s a decision that we all have to make. What’s going on in our real life, or what’s what you don’t see? What are the issues that — you know, whether it’s injuries or burnout or any number of things you could throw out there. You just had enough, whatever.“

Anderson believes that he is not someone who can make decisions for others, considering that Flair is the one who can make the decision. When it comes to Arn's career, he emphasizes that at the moment when he realized he was permanently injured, he understood that he had to put an end to his career. Doctors warned him that he had two options: to walk or to end up in a wheelchair. In those moments, he didn't have many dilemmas; he knew he had to say goodbye to wrestling. However, not everyone has the same path, and everyone's journey involves different challenges. Flair's career is specific in many ways.

Arn Anderson Steve Austin The Undertaker