Few men are more respected for their in-ring work than WWE Hall of Famer and Olympic Gold Medalist Kurt Angle. So when the former WWE Champion makes a list os who should be on his Mount Rushmore for best pro wrestlers of all time, people tend to listen. Angle recently sat down with The Sun and gave his list of four names — Ric Flair, Shawn Michaels, Steve Austin and The Rock. Ironically, Angle beat all four of those men at some point during his career.
"A guy like Shawn Michaels would be on the Mount Rushmore, Ric Flair would be on Mount Rushmore," Angle said. "I don't see Brock as an overall athlete that would be up there. But don't get me wrong, what he does in the ring, no-one does better."
"'Stone Cold' Steve Austin and The Rock," he later added. "I would never put myself up there, it's just not who I am. I imagine some people do, but when I think about Mount Rushmore, I don't think of myself."
One name he initially thought should be on the list was Brock Lesnar, a man he faced in a WWE Championship match back at WrestleMania XIX and put on a 60-minute Iron Man Match with back in 2003 (regarded by many as the best SmackDown match of all time). But he later decided to take him off the list.
"With Brock, in most cases they would pass him up," Angle said. "I think it's because he's not a guy--he's a man of very few words. He goes in that ring and performs as good, if not better, than anyone in the world, but in sports entertainment you have got to have something behind that. So, if you are talking about Mount Rushmore then you are talking about the overall entertainment--how people get wowed and what they say to people, to the fans, and how they pertain themselves in their character."
Another person missing from Angle's list was Chris Benoit. Angle said in a separate interview with SPORTbible that he felt his WWE Championship match with him was the best match of his career.
"I do remember my match at the Royal Rumble with Chris Benoit for the world title in 2003," Angle said. "That was my best match ever I think. Chris Benoit was the real deal. He was probably the best in-ring performer, I wouldn't say overall talent but as far as an in-ring performer, [there was] nobody better."