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JaymeFuture

Your "Mount Rushmore" of All-Arounders

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Flair, Jumbo, Bryan and Liger are the first 4 names that come to mind. Essentially ruling out Misawa/Kawada/Kobashi/Taue because I can't quite point to them as true heels at any point the way I can with Jumbo, and that diversity seems a prerequisite for this particular question. If you want to make the case for it, slot them all right there at the top as well. Funk is on that next rung.

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I don't doubt that any of the people you listed are heels and proper ones. They obviously have had proper heels in Japan and the statement needed some qualification.

 

But look at the specific questions I asked. If you think it's a no brainer that all those were heel runs, I can see that, it's cool. I don't see them as being obviously villainous in the way that, say, Sheik and Abby were in the 70s. Was Choshu a villain? I don't really think so.

I know you aren't a Toryumon/Dragon Gate guy, but there are very clear heels and faces in that promotion. M2K, Shin M2K, Mad Blankey, VerserK, etc. The promotions works on one bonafide heel unit, a bonafide babyface unit, and a handful of tweener units.

 

For example, there was a period in 2000 when M2K was doing a gimmick called "the double ring-out committee". Their goal was to internationally ruin good matches by having them finish in a double countout. It was an awesome gimmick.

 

Now they have Shingo Takagi who is straight up the best heel in wrestling. No one touches him. There's a big argument with followers of the product and Shingo because a lot of native fans say that the audience actually hates Shingo - not in a fun, kayfabe way, but that he's a huge turnoff for them, yet attendance didn't drop while he was champion for 11 months. He is a true heel however you want to look at it, however. A proper heel, if you will.

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My four would be, well, the Four Horsemen:

 

1) Tully Blanchard - all-time elite in the ring and promo.

 

2) Ric Flair - 'nough said.

 

3) Arn Anderson - great in the ring, great promo, could be a great face or heel, etc

 

4) Barry Windham - all-time elite in the ring before he got fat, great face, great heel, and a good talker, too

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I don't doubt that any of the people you listed are heels and proper ones. They obviously have had proper heels in Japan and the statement needed some qualification.

 

But look at the specific questions I asked. If you think it's a no brainer that all those were heel runs, I can see that, it's cool. I don't see them as being obviously villainous in the way that, say, Sheik and Abby were in the 70s. Was Choshu a villain? I don't really think so.

 

For example, there was a period in 2000 when M2K was doing a gimmick called "the double ring-out committee". Their goal was to internationally ruin good matches by having them finish in a double countout. It was an awesome gimmick.

 

 

 

That sounds like Parv's single least favorite thing ever. I need to win a bet with him so he'd have to review those matches.

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I don't doubt that any of the people you listed are heels and proper ones. They obviously have had proper heels in Japan and the statement needed some qualification.

 

But look at the specific questions I asked. If you think it's a no brainer that all those were heel runs, I can see that, it's cool. I don't see them as being obviously villainous in the way that, say, Sheik and Abby were in the 70s. Was Choshu a villain? I don't really think so.

 

For example, there was a period in 2000 when M2K was doing a gimmick called "the double ring-out committee". Their goal was to internationally ruin good matches by having them finish in a double countout. It was an awesome gimmick.

 

 

 

That sounds like Parv's single least favorite thing ever. I need to win a bet with him so he'd have to review those matches.

 

I would LOVE for Parv to review some of them haha. Lucharesu battles that end in a double countout.

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Thinking about just in ring performances and going 2 guys in Mexico & 2 guys in Japan:

1. Tatsumi Fujinami

2. Alexander Otsuka

3. Negro Casas

4. El Dandy

 

The lucha picks are the obvious lucha picks. I picked those two over Satanico because as well rounded as Satanico is in the ring, he's not as dynamic offensively as Dandy & Casas. He's as good if not better than those two in terms of brawling and matwork (and is definitely a better trios worker imo) but flying is a big enough part of Lucha Libre that picking someone who didn't do any top rope moves or dives to the outside would be weird I think. Casas & Dandy were great at any role though.

 

Fujinami probably the most obvious pick ever for something like this. From Junior to Heavyweight in singles or tags, against luchadores, traditional japanese wrestler, shoot stylists, british wrestlers, american wrestlers, small guys, big guys, in blood feuds, in title matches, whatever situation you can come up with, Fujinami was amazing from the late 70s-89. Just a master.

 

Alexander Otsuka is my off the wall pick but its for many of the same reasons as Fujinami. Otsuka could just do any and everything you could ask in the ring. He could blend shoot style mat work with head droppy bombs combined with dives outside of the ring and giant swings and while it might be unexpected, you don't get the sense that its out of place.

 

Honorable mention to Jushin Liger who lost his spot so I could talk about Otsuka :)

 

Ok twist my arm

Lucha Mt Rushmore:

1. Negro Casas

2. El Dandy

3. El Satanico

4. Pirata Morgan

 

Japan Mt Rushmore:

1. Tatsumi Fujinami

2. Jushin Liger

3. Alexander Otsuka

4. Akira Hokuto I'd consider her for a "worldwide" Mt Rushmore that inherently penalizes the wrestlers who speak languages I don't understand. Hokuto's promo's are so good I literally don't even need to understand them to know they are great)

 

 

From a US point of view where you're taking promos, angles, in ring versatility etc into account...

 

1. Terry Funk

2. Jerry Lawler

3. Ric Flair

 

Those 3 are your Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln picks. I'm kinda struggling with Teddy. There are several names I'm thinking about for the last spot including Dusty, Arn, Buddy Rose and Bockwinkel. Bockwinkel & Rose feel like the "safest" picks because they're in the company of Funk, Lawler, Flair in terms of in ring ability and I'd actually argue both are more well rounded in-ring performers than Lawler & Flair. However, while I think Bock & Rose are very good-great in terms of mic work, angles, presence whatever, I wouldn't consider them near the level of those 3. Dusty and Arn are obviously tippy top picks for outside of the ring stuff. And while I do love Arn as a wrestler, I wouldn't put him next to those 3.

 

So I'm gonna say fuck it.

 

4. Macho Man Randy Savage.

 

Macho was a great wrestler. Terrific as a heel or face, working technical matches, working brawls, great matches with great workers, shitty workers, great long matches, great short matches, tags, singles, elimination matches, Rumbles, incredible spots, obscenely underrated at heel ass showing schtick (even before Liz). You wanna talk about presence? Its fucking Macho Man. I LOVE his insane cocaine fueled promos. I think Macho was a hugely compelling individual and I'd rather go with my heart than my brain so Macho over that nerd Bockwinkel.

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I'd probably go Flair, Liger, Eddy and Ted DiBiase. DiBiase may not poll exceptionally high in a GWE poll but something like this plays to his strengths. Other guys I'd consider are Negro Casas, Arn Anderson and Vader.

 

Also, people will laugh but this is why Chris Jericho has had so much longevity -- his ability to "do it all".

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1. Tatsumi Fujinami

 

2. Negro Casas

 

3. Terry Funk

 

4. El Dandy

 

Honorable Mentions: Eddie Guerrero, El Satanico, Buddy Rose, Nick Bockwinkel, Daniel Bryan, Black Terry, Jushin Liger, Alexander Otsuka, Pirata Morgan

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Ric Flair, Terry Funk, Jerry Lawler & Stan Hansen were the four that first came to my mind. After reading the thread, Eddie Guerrero is probably a better pick than Stan Hansen though. I also loved the Nick Bockwinkel name-drop. Hard to argue that one.

 

Also, there has to be a case for Steve Austin, no? When his ring work slowed, mostly due to his body breaking down, everything else went up. The promos, the character, the presence, the effectiveness..

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When did Alexander Otsuka work a pro-style? It has somehow eluded me.

 

He has had matches in NOAH, Ice Ribbon, Dradition etc. Nothing too extensive but enough to see he worked really well in more traditional settings. Though like Elliott mentioned, the argument for him is basically he could do a ton of different stuff and could even work like 5 different styles into one match.

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When did Alexander Otsuka work a pro-style? It has somehow eluded me.

 

Kinda always and kinda never all at the same time but more always than never if you ask me. :)

 

edit:

What Micro said.

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Savage, Bockwinkel, Terry Funk.....and Arn Anderson.

 

I'm typing on a phone so I'll leave others to talk up the first three, but Arn shouldn't go without a mention here as I think he's probably the most complete performer I've ever seen who wasn't a career main eventer. For my money he was the best promo of all time. Pure believability and intensity, with incredible delivery that made you forget he kind of looked like a slightly tougher version of a math teacher.

 

He was great as both a tag and singles worker, and it's worth noting that his TV title runs did have an ace-like quality to them that suggests Arn could have delivered as a World champ if the situation had ever called for it. Instead he was a brilliant sidekick. An enforcer who you believed could kill you, but also believed was a scaredy cat, or wimp if the situation called for him to stooge.

 

Arn had all time great execution on his signature spots (possibly the best DDT ever, definitely the best spine buster), was among the best ever when it came to facial expressions, and was equally effective as a face and a heel even if the vast majority of his best work was on the heel end. Good with any partner, and great with most, Arn was also great working short TV matches and great working big time ppv title bouts or feuds. He was also an excellent squash match worker.

 

As a character I doubt anyone was as rock solid in their role as Arn was as a Horsemen, member of the Dangerous Alliance, or even a Brainbuster in the WWF. Literally the only knock I could see against him is his look, but I don't buy it as he made his look work for him and became a sort of every man version of badassery. Even with the 3 other names I mentioned being hall of fame level all timers, I'm not sure I can honestly say that Arn wasn't an even more complete package than they were. He just wasn't in the spotlight as much.

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I'm also on my phone bc I'm walking to the store and it just hit me. I should have said Bill Dundee. For reasons

 

Edit

Ok, I'm back. So Dundee is a great pick for many of the same reasons all the other people have been named. Great in singles and in tags. He's probably the best studio wrestler ever and had awesome arena matches too. I think he's probably underrated as a mat wrestler because he is really extremely skilled on the mat. Awesome as a heel or a face. Great gimmick match wrestler. Great working angles and skits and all the wonderful Memphisy shit. Yeah, Dundee definitely belongs in the conversation.

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Funk, Flair, Windham were the first three to come to mind for me. The fourth slot I'd give to either Eddie, Lawler, or Liger.

 

Part of me wants to put Dustin Rhodes and Arn Anderson in there. I'm making my way through the Portland set, and Buddy Rose is making a case, big time.

 

I need to see more Bockwinkel, so I can't argue for him. There's also a ton of Puro and Lucha guys that I can say the same thing for.

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Funk

Savage

Flair

Lawler (not quite as much for in-ring, that's why I'd put him in the 4th slot, but his effectiveness as a heel and a babyface and ability to thrive at different spots on the card and different environments was outstanding.)

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I'd go Funk, Savage and, to throw two new candidates into the mix, Bret and Regal.

 

Regal, to me, is an absolute all rounder. Bumbling heel dressed like a pirate wench for laughs? Yep. Vicious heel cruelly stretching guys? Yep. Fired-up babyface promising a violent revenge on HHH for assaulting Eugene? Yep. Can work convincing vicious brawls with Finlay as convincingly as working guys over on the mat or doing some comedy schtick dressed as Goldust.

 

Bret is a guy I always found believable in every role he played. Whether working as an underdog against Yok or Diesel, slugging it out with Austin or domineering face ace vs 1-2-3 Kid, Bret never felt unconvincing in those roles. He was a great, virtuous face and made the switch to being a heel without it ever seeming forced or like a massive switch in his personality. Whichever role he had to fill, he was always right for the role and always still felt like the same character.

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Regal is a great pick.

 

I thought about Bret for a moment but his disappointing tag work really holds him back to the 2nd or 3rd tier for something like a best all around sort of discussion.

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If anyone who can speak Japanese reads this, I'd love to know the answer to the bolded:

 

Ishin Gundan is an interesting test case. Was Riki Choshu a heel? Was Tenryu a heel? Were Kawada and Taue heels? Was Jumbo a heel in 91-2? I guess the heart of the answer to the question lies in that. To me they don't seem like "proper heels", they always have sections of the crowd cheering them, they don't obviously rule break like someone like The Sheik would, even if Jumbo / Fuchi might resort to using a chair once in a while. It would be great to have a Japanese speaker talk about how it was put over on commentary. I don't get hero / villain from any of that stuff, more "clash of ideologies". If someone wants to argue those are all "heel" runs, I could see that. But they don't feel like heels in the conventional sense.

 

 

Choshu was a rebel. What you might call a "cool heel." When New Japan was super hot in the early 80s they went head-to-head with this police drama on Friday nights:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9qSGmoYw0qk

 

Looks a bit like the Sabotage video, huh?

 

Somebody else thought so and did a mash-up:

 

 

The police chief was played by Yujiro Ishihara, who was the ultimate tough guy actor of the era. You think Yujiro Ishihara played by the rules? You bet your ass he didn't. Ishihara was macho. Choshu was macho.

I can't emphasize enough how cool Choshu was. When I first watched Choshu I thought he was boring as shit but over the years I've come to understand why he was so popular. You need to understand that the majority of wrestling fans at the time were either young men or middle aged salary men. Japan working culture is based on a hierarchical system where promotions and pay increases are based on age not on performance. Choshu threw a middle finger to the establishment. He was coarse and rough. He had long hair but was every bit as macho as Ishihara. He was a heel but it resonated with young guys who wished they could stick a middle finger to their boss too.

 

With Misawa it was the same except he was a face. To an extent, Misawa & Co. vs. Jumbo & Co. was a battle of ideologies. The wrinkle was that it wasn't like all the young guys supported Misawa and all the older fans supported Jumbo. Both Jumbo and Misawa were charismatic to the audience just as both Jumbo and Tenryu had been. No matter how much of an asshole Jumbo was, the crowd would still cheer for his "Oohs!" His partners did a lot of the dirty work for him, but Jumbo still transcended heel/face divides. Kawada and Taue did plenty of heel work in their matches, though when it was Misawa vs. Kawada in singles they played up the senpai vs. kohai aspects a lot. Senpai vs. kohai is again a hierarchical divide and I'm sure there were plenty of fans in the audience who knew what it was like to feel inferior to their senpai. That led to a certain amount of sympathy for Kawada, I'm sure, and when he was positioned against gaijins he was pushed as a native and therefore fan favourite. It was against Misawa and Kobashi that things were more complex. It's a tricky one because on commentary they would sometimes lambaste Kawada's tactics but at the same time they booked the classic babyface chase against Misawa and Misawa & Kobashi, which gave Kawada certain anti-hero qualities. You weren't supposed to hate Kawada, but you weren't meant to respect him more than Misawa or Kobashi. Despite that, he had recognizable fighting qualities. Jumbo was Jumbo and hugely popular. Kawada, I think, was more nuanced.

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If anyone who can speak Japanese reads this, I'd love to know the answer to the bolded:

 

Ishin Gundan is an interesting test case. Was Riki Choshu a heel? Was Tenryu a heel? Were Kawada and Taue heels? Was Jumbo a heel in 91-2? I guess the heart of the answer to the question lies in that. To me they don't seem like "proper heels", they always have sections of the crowd cheering them, they don't obviously rule break like someone like The Sheik would, even if Jumbo / Fuchi might resort to using a chair once in a while. It would be great to have a Japanese speaker talk about how it was put over on commentary. I don't get hero / villain from any of that stuff, more "clash of ideologies". If someone wants to argue those are all "heel" runs, I could see that. But they don't feel like heels in the conventional sense.

 

Choshu was a rebel. What you might call a "cool heel." When New Japan was super hot in the early 80s they went head-to-head with this police drama on Friday nights:

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9qSGmoYw0qk

 

Looks a bit like the Sabotage video, huh?

 

Somebody else thought so and did a mash-up:

 

 

The police chief was played by Yujiro Ishihara, who was the ultimate tough guy actor of the era. You think Yujiro Ishihara played by the rules? You bet your ass he didn't. Ishihara was macho. Choshu was macho.

 

I can't emphasize enough how cool Choshu was. When I first watched Choshu I thought he was boring as shit but over the years I've come to understand why he was so popular. You need to understand that the majority of wrestling fans at the time were either young men or middle aged salary men. Japan working culture is based on a hierarchical system where promotions and pay increases are based on age not on performance. Choshu threw a middle finger to the establishment. He was coarse and rough. He had long hair but was every bit as macho as Ishihara. He was a heel but it resonated with young guys who wished they could stick a middle finger to their boss too.

 

With Misawa it was the same except he was a face. To an extent, Misawa & Co. vs. Jumbo & Co. was a battle of ideologies. The wrinkle was that it wasn't like all the young guys supported Misawa and all the older fans supported Jumbo. Both Jumbo and Misawa were charismatic to the audience just as both Jumbo and Tenryu had been. No matter how much of an asshole Jumbo was, the crowd would still cheer for his "Oohs!" His partners did a lot of the dirty work for him, but Jumbo still transcended heel/face divides. Kawada and Taue did plenty of heel work in their matches, though when it was Misawa vs. Kawada in singles they played up the senpai vs. kohai aspects a lot. Senpai vs. kohai is again a hierarchical divide and I'm sure there were plenty of fans in the audience who knew what it was like to feel inferior to their senpai. That led to a certain amount of sympathy for Kawada, I'm sure, and when he was positioned against gaijins he was pushed as a native and therefore fan favourite. It was against Misawa and Kobashi that things were more complex. It's a tricky one because on commentary they would sometimes lambaste Kawada's tactics but at the same time they booked the classic babyface chase against Misawa and Misawa & Kobashi, which gave Kawada certain anti-hero qualities. You weren't supposed to hate Kawada, but you weren't meant to respect him more than Misawa or Kobashi. Despite that, he had recognizable fighting qualities. Jumbo was Jumbo and hugely popular. Kawada, I think, was more nuanced.

 

Post of the year

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Ric Flair -- Reasons are self-explanatory

Terry Funk -- Nobody was better at incorporating silly schtick into a wild brawl or technical match and making it believable.

Jushin Liger -- Even though he's Japanese and I have no idea what he's saying, his charisma still shines through so he makes it.

Arn Anderson -- Because this Mt. Rushmore needed an enforcer.

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I want to thank everybody for the contributions, we got to read many of them on the show, which is now available at the following link:

http://squaredcirclegazette.podbean.com/mf/web/yff6gp/SCG_Radio_100_-_The_Wrestling_Mount_Rushmore_of_All_Arounders.mp3

Join us for our 100th episode, as we attempt to determine the four individuals who best suit the lofty honour of being carved into our theoretical Mount Rushmore of All-Around performers. Judging on criteria ranging from in-ring work, promos, effectiveness, versatility, drawing power, historical significance and many other measures of influence, we break down a litany of candidates, including Arn Anderson, Bret Hart, Eddie Guerrero, Randy Savage, The Rock, Kurt Angle, Terry Funk, Steve Austin, Hulk Hogan, Mick Foley, Shawn Michaels, Ric Flair, John Cena and many many more. As always, we have your takes on why people should or should not reach the mountain top, and have a blast doing it. A big thank you to everybody who has supported SCG Radio since its beginning, enjoy the show!

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