DEONNA PURRAZZO has named John Cena, The Rock, Steve Austin and Ric Flair as worthy wrestlers to honor a wrestling version of Mount Rushmore.
The iconic American National Memorial sculpture features the sculpted heads of former presidents George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt, and Abraham Lincoln.
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Purrazzo, 27, was asked which wrestlers of the past or present deserve recognition for being in the pride of wrestling.
He told The Sun: “My criteria is someone who has transcended wrestling in traditional pop culture.
“All my picks for a wrestling Mount Rushmore are because they were able to break into modern pop culture.
“Ric Flair and his wooo can be heard in all sports around the world.
“Not only was he a great wrestler in his day, but he also continued to stay true to his roots and return to WWE in so many different ways after his retirement.”
Flair, widely regarded as the greatest professional wrestler of all time, is a two-time WWE Hall of Famer and a founding member of the legendary Four Horsemen stable.
Purrazzo says: “My earliest memories of Ric are when he was with Evolution and he was the ‘dirtiest player in the game’.
“If you ask anyone on the street if they know any WWE wrestlers, these are the names (Flair, The Rock, Stone Cold, John Cena) that would be thrown out.”
Dwayne The Rock Johnson, 50, and Steve Stone Cold Austin, 57, were the stars who brought wrestling to the mainstream in the late 1990s and early 2000s thanks to the Attitude era.
This era was an extremely popular time for professional wrestling, with stars appearing regularly on sitcoms, talk shows and in movies.
Purrazzo also praised The Rock and Stone Cold for keeping in touch with wrestling after becoming big names in Hollywood.
He continued: “Stone Cold has consistently stayed in pop culture with the immortal phrase Austin 3:16, but also with TV shows after TV shows on cable networks and appearances in WWE.
“He was able to take his popularity as an anti-corporate wrestler and proved that even the everyday blue collar worker can be on top.”
The Rock is another wrestler who has gone beyond wrestling. According to Forbes, Johnson was the highest paid male actor in 2019 and 2020.
Purrazzo said: “The Rock is obviously one of the most requested movie stars today.
“With his roots in wrestling, I believe emerging wrestlers, seeing what he has accomplished after wrestling, has helped change his mind that opportunities are out there for wrestlers, outside of wrestling.
“It may even have opened the doors to Hollywood to see wrestlers as well.”
John Cena followed in The Rock’s footsteps and also became a Hollywood fixture.
Her involvement with WWE is now part-time as she stars in commercials, films and television shows.
On Cena, the Impact star says, “He’s using his popularity to be on top of the WWE to conquer Hollywood and commercials.”
Purrazzo, who started wrestling in 2013 and competed in Ring of Honor, Total Nonstop Action (TNA), WWE NXT, and is now a two-time knockout champion in Impact Wrestling.