Every year, as part of the the leadup to Wrestlemania, the WWE announces its inductions into their wrestling hall of fame*.
Now even though there is no real voting committee like there is for other professional sports, there is still plenty of debate about who should be in the hall of fame.
Last year, there was a bit of an uproar when Koko B. Ware was announced to be inducted.
I don’t really think it was the wrong decision, it was just done in the wrong way.
See, the WWE Hall of Fame should be broken down into different categories. There should be one for jobbers, mid-carders and stars for wrestlers, and then different ones for tag teams, managers and miscellaneous (such as announcers and referees).
This way, everyone has a fair shot to get into the hall of fame. Jobbers and mid-carders spent their careers making the superstars look good, and deserve to be recognized as well.
So far, the WWE has announced a few inductees for this year: Maurice “Mad Dog” Vachon, Wendi Richter, “The Million Dollar Man” Ted DiBiase and Antonio Inoki (with Stu Hart more than likely going in as well).
But there are quite a few names missing. Bruno Sammartino doesn’t want to be inducted. Others have said no, or the WWE won’t include them.
I also understand that the WWE wants to spread out the big names, so they’re guaranteed one major inductee a year.
That being said, here are the next 15 wrestling personalities I think should be inducted (no active wrestlers allowed from any of the main rosters, so that excludes Eric Bischoff, Kurt Angle, Kevin Nash, Sting, Mick Foley, etc., even though I think they should be in the hall of fame).
And of course, there are always names left off (Chyna, Ron Simmons, British Bulldogs, etc.).
* Note: I realize there are several different hall of fames, such as the Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame, the WCW Hall of Fame, the NWA Hall of Fame and the National Wrestling Hall of Fame, but it’s the WWE Hall of Fame that’s the big one and the one we’re going to focus on here.
This is one who belongs in the jobber category, but Steve Lombardi has done a lot for wrestling over the years. He was with the WWF as a wrestler for about 15 years, and has been a road agent for the last 15 years or so.
Ravishing Rick Rude
I don’t think Ravishing Rick Rude was ever a good guy, but he put on some great matches and made the fans respect him as well as hate his character.
Was a dominant heel in the WWF for years. How many people can say they beat Hulk Hogan and Bret Hart in singles matches? For championship titles no less.
Probably should be higher up on the list, but I keep hoping he’ll come back for a six-month run. Probably won’t happen though. Still, the most popular wrestler of the past 15 years, was the most entertaining in the ring and with a microphone in his hand.
The first Diva of the WWE/WWF, Sunny made women’s wrestling sexy. She managed several successful tag teams, and was one of those heels that could get cheered and booed at the same time.
Never has a lengthy a career as some of his other counterparts, but he was a one-man wrecking crew in WCW.
While many considered them knock-offs of the Road Warriors, Demolition turned out to be a popular knock-off. They were mean, tough and would take on anybody. They led the WWF tag team ranks for half a decade.
Diamond Dallas Page
With all due respect to Goldberg, I would argue that Diamond Dallas Page is the biggest name to come out of WCW (not including wrestlers who were with NWA). He was popular, had an excellent hand gesture, was half-decent in the ring and was pretty good on the mic.
More people cared about Miss Elizabeth than probably any other women’s wrestler/manager/valet/Diva/cheerleader/whatever in the wrestling world. When Randy Savage was a heel, people still loved her. When Savage was a good guy, people loved her. When she and Savage got back together at Wrestlemania XII, people cried. One of the easiest choices for an induction if there were ever a women’s section of the hall of fame.
Although I don’t think he was ever heavyweight championship material, Owen Hart was one of the perfect wrestlers. He made people boo him, had great heel gimmicks without being offensive and could actually wrestle.
Jake the Snake Roberts
Jake The Snake Roberts was one of those wrestlers that was so good that he never needed a title. In fact, I don’t even remember him going after a title. But Roberts is one of the greatest speakers of all-time, and had one of the greatest gimmicks.
Newer wrestling fans may Tommy Dreamer as more of a jobber, as the WWE seemed to have him lose almost every week. But the Innovator of Violence was dominant in ECW, easily that federation’s best superstar ever. He was also loyal, never leaving ECW for other wrestling companies like so many of his colleagues did.
Legion of Doom
So popular as the Road Warriors in the NWA, that the WWF had two different imitation tag teams (the aforementioned Demolition and the never-to-be-mentioned-again Powers of Pain). They dominated wrestling pretty much every where they went, and won tag titles numerous times.
This is one for the miscelleneous category. Paul Heyman had more influence on the late-90s wrestling boom than any other person. The WWF copied the attitude of ECW. WCW brought in luchadors when they saw how popular they were in ECW. Both WCW and WWF signed ECW talent and stole ideas. Without ECW, we’d probably still be watching jobbers versus stars every single week.
The Ultimate Warrior’s popularity rivaled Hulk Hogan’s for a while in the early 1990s, but he couldn’t sustain it. Still, many youngsters pretended they were the all-powerful wrestler who ran to ring and then ran roughshod over his opponents. Had some good matches, and was unfairly buried in a DVD release a few years ago.
Randy Macho Man Savage
The easiest choice for number one. Apparently, Vince McMahon holds some sort of grudge against Savage, but Savage is definitely the leading contender for the wrestling hall of fame. The second-most popular wrestler of the 80s/early 90s in the WWF, won multiple championships, was effective as a heel or a face, could wrestle a great match out of anyone. Yeah, he definitely deserves to be in the hall.