Mount Rushmore of Wrestling: Babyfaces

Lowlife Louie Ramos, Brian Damage and Padraic Toolan

This week’s Mount Rushmore, we are going to do top four babyfaces in wrestling. Who are the good guys you loved to cheer and root for growing up as a fan in this business. These are all your own personal choices so there are no wrong selections. Who are your four best babyfaces?


Louie

Honorable mentions…Stone Cold Steve Austin, Bob Backlund, Pedro Morales, Atsushi Onita, Andre the Giant, Antonio Inoki, Carlos Colon and Jack Veneno ( The last 3 names would definitely have made the list if they were as revered and well known outside their home countries, as they are within them)

Bruno Sammartino

The living legend, Bruno’s career spanned almost 5 decades….during that time he had one of the longest runs a champion has ever had. And did it all with the support and love of the fans. I don’t recall ever seeing Bruno work heel or even break a rule during his runs. He also worked against every conceivable villain during the time.

Sting

Popular,charismatic, great look and great ability. Sting really was one of the few total packages in history. During his hey day in the 90s WCW ,his popularity was through the roof. He was embroiled in a memorable feud with the 4 horsemen, and even battled the maniacal Cactus Jack and Abdullah the Butcher inside a cage. Even during the NWO years,while up in the rafters, Sting remained ever so popular. Shame he didn’t enter WWE sooner.

Ricky ‘The Dragon’ Steamboat

One of the most technically gifted wrestlers of all time. The Dragon was always the consummate good guy, so much so that he would actually bring his wife and child to the ring with him on occasion. That image kept Steamboat on the fans good graces for 2 generations. He is still loved and respected today by fans and wrestlers who followed in his footsteps.

Hulk Hogan

Did you think I was going to pick anyone else? The Hulkster was cheered by millions, starting late in his AWA run and his subsequent return to the WWF, where he captured the championship and began an unprecedented run at the top. His commandments to his legions of fans, his charisma and his ability to sell a match was unmatched. The fact that he could super humanly slam 400 and 500 pound men made him look like a super hero. Many young fans of that era would go on to become huge stars in their own right..and would credit Hogan as inspiration. Even after his WWE return in 2002, raw after mania ,after his bout with the Rock…the ovations he received is still to this day something to behold ..


Brian

Andre the Giant

Many fans will remember Andre’s last big run of his career when he was a heel character, but Andre was a beloved wrestler for the majority of it. Andre was an attraction, but I think what made him so popular was he seemed to be a gentle giant. Very soft spoken when doing promos and practically always a smile on his face. Andre the Giant was a huge babyface star for several years.

‘Stone Cold’ Steve Austin

The Texas Rattlesnake Stone Cold Steve Austin was the Hulk Hogan of the Attitude Era within the WWF. Extremely popular who sold merchandise like no other superstar before him…including Hulk Hogan. While Austin’s run as a top babyface did not last nearly as long as Hogan’s did, he still generated as much reaction and passion from the fans. Austin may not have been the prototypical face we were all use to seeing….he was the perfect face for the era that he was in.

Kerry Von Erich

I would’ve loved to put the entire Von Erich Family as a selection…but only one face could be chosen…so I picked ‘The Modern Day Warrior’ Kerry Von Erich to represent them all. While David was the true star of the family and most certainly destined for bigger and better things before his tragic demise, Kerry to me was the wrestler who looked most suited for the part. He looked like a million bucks physically and while not as charismatic as David…had all the women at the Dallas Sportatorium swooning. As a whole, the Von Erich family were huge babyface stars of World Class.

Hulk Hogan

Unlike Louie, I am no fan of Hulk Hogan…but I do recognize just how big of a babyface star he was for a considerable length of time. Hogan was training, saying prayers and eating vitamins…making movies and being in cartoons. His face was everywhere and definitely took Vince McMahon’s ball and ran with it helping make the WWF a true juggernaut that we see today.


Padraic

If I could do a smaller Mount Rushmore, like a Mount Rushless, which was like the next tier down from Mount Rushmore, it would contain The Rock, Kurt Angle, Tito Santana, and Dusty Rhodes. But there is only one Mount Rushmore, and here are the faces on mine, pun intended:

Bret Hart

At one point, Bret was probably the most famous and most popular Canadian in the world. He was other wrestlers’ favorite wrestler. The dude had the look, the in-ring ability, the mic… well, two out of three. No matter how he was on the mic, the love for him was real. The reactions he got, especially in Canada, were incredible. Watch any Bret Hart entrance in the early-mid 90s and you’ll see the crowd go insane. Even when he was a heel late in his WWF career, Canada still gave him a hero’s welcome and blew the roofs off of arenas when he came to town.

Bruno Sammartino

He held the WWWF Championship for almost EIGHT YEARS. Sure, pro wrestling in the 60’s and 70’s was not as exposed as it is today, but still, that goes to tell you how important Bruno was to the company and how popular he was with the fans. Terry Funk once said that Bruno “was bigger than wrestling itself”. After losing the title, Bruno said he thought he had damaged his ears because the crowd was so silent and stunned. People were so upset they were crying. He was such a popular champion, that Vince McMahon Sr. offered him more money and less dates to come back, and his second championship reign was just over THREE years. Bruno’s popularity was off the charts.

Stone Cold Steve Austin

Ten years earlier he’d have been a heel, but Austin had the perfect “attitude” for the time and for the target audience, and he became probably the most popular wrestling superstar of all-time. There was NO pop like an Austin pop. Never before, and never since. You still see Austin 3:16 shirts everywhere, not just at wrestling shows. You have to know how fans will react to things to be a great babyface, and that’s certainly a common theme on this list, especially this guy:

Hulk Hogan

Hulk Hogan is pro wrestling. He owned an entire decade, and his legacy and popularity will live on forever. Especially in the 80’s, when patriotism, especially in wrestling, was so high, when he was the all-American hero. Even after his racist bullshit, most fans still went crazy for him when he returned. Hogan is eternal. He was such a great and hated heel as Hollywood Hogan because of how beloved he was by the fans and how much they felt betrayed by them. So train, say your prayers, eat your vitamins, and be cool, eat fruit.

5 thoughts on “Mount Rushmore of Wrestling: Babyfaces

  1. Let’s see…. Bruno Sammartino, Hogan, Bret Hart, and Stone Cold Steve Austin. I would never put Carlos Colon in any form of Mount Rushmore. Fuck that puto bitch. He helped cover up the truth behind Bruiser Brody’s death.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hulk Hogan, Ricky Steamboat, Bret Hart… I’ve never considered Steve Austin a babyface.
    Maybe Jerry Lawler in Memphis, he was a god there who was able to defeat anybody.

    Like

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