Okay, I promise this is going to be the last WWE related article that I post for a while. But with the Royal Rumble less than two weeks away, and the Road to WrestleMania beginning at said event, this is the start of some of the biggest seasons in professional wrestling, so I wanted to make sure I put some emphasis on that as I am a huge fan of pro-wrestling. And while my first two post this week revolved around the Royal Rumble event itself, this post will feature on something that really cements the legend of many WWE performers and their careers – the WWE Hall of Fame. Though the honor is mainly symbolic, and there are some questionable entrants in the WWE Hall of Fame, it is still an important accomplishment for many who have worked for the company and for the fans who have loyally followed them for years.
For WWE Superstars who are inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame to take their often time rightful place alongside other legends such as Eddie Guerrero, Alundra Blaze, Andre the Giant, Bret Hart, Dusty Rhodes, Bruno Sammartino, and many more, this is the ultimate honor that they could ask for – or that their families could ask for if they are inducted posthumously. But this is also important for their fans as this is a way that the WWE Universe can continue to honor their work and contributions to the business for years to come.
This list is a very personal one as there are the Superstars that I believe deserve to be in the WWE Hall of Fame, and I am hoping to see them inducted in the Class of 2019.
Honorable Mention: Cyndi Lauper
The fact that other celebrities such as Drew Carey, Bob Eucker, and Snoop Dogg are in the Hall of Fame while Cyndi Lauper is not is a huge travesty of justice. What Cyndi Lauper did in the early 1980s as one of the catalyst for the start of the “Rock ‘n’ Wrestling Connection” era and the popularity and visibility the then WWF enjoyed because of it is more than deserving of her being inducted to the Hall of Fame. Yet, she has still not been inducted and I have yet to hear a decent explanation as to why. It’s time for the WWE to correct this mistake and finally recognize her and her contributions to the WWE and the professional wrestling world as a whole.
Bam Bam Bigelow
In a 2013 article published on WWE.com by the WWE staff, they even admit that Bam Bam Bigelow was “the most natural, agile and physically remarkable big man of the past quarter century”, yet the “Beast from the East” is still not in the WWE Hall of Fame, and it’s been twelve years since his passing at the young age of 45 in 2007. Though he didn’t accomplish as much as he should have in the WWE, his accomplishments in ECW and WCW, as well as other promotions during his time as a wrestler, surely make him a worthy candidate for induction. Hell, his performance during the main event of WrestleMania XI where he carried professional football star Lawrence Taylor to a solid performance despite Taylor’s lack of in-ring knowledge is more than enough reason for Bigelow to be inducted into the Hall of Fame.
It’s often been said that Vince McMahon was never a huge fan of Christian, believing “Captain Charisma” to not have what it takes to be a huge and sustainable singles star. But just to the ovation that Christian gets when he appears at a WWE event, and it goes to show just how wrong Mr. McMahon is on this matter. Christian has one of the most genuine connections with the WWE Universe and has been a crowd-pleasing performer ever since his split with former tag team partner (and current Hall of Famer) Edge. He once left the WWE for TNA where he was promoted as the star he should be for a lengthy three-year run before returning to the WWE and finally capturing the ECW Championship and World Heavyweight Championship, twice each – but he has yet to be inducted into the Hall of Fame despite his success and continued popularity since his quiet retirement. The WWE should finally change that in 2019 and recognize him for the talent that he truly is.
Even before her tragic passing in 2016, Chyna was more than deserving of being inducted into the Hall of Fame for what she accomplished in the then WWF during her time there. In a 1995 WWE.com article published a little more than a year before her death the following year, the article states that Chyna left “a lasting legacy as the most dominant female competitor of all time” – their words, not mine. She is even a one-time WWF Women’s Champion and a two-time WWF Intercontinental Champion. Yet, she is still not in the Hall of Fame, and the arguments that I have heard as for her exclusion have been poor at best when you look at Hall of Famers like Sunny, the Fabulous Moolah, and Mike Tyson (just to name a few), and it’s hard to see why their controversial actions haven’t kept them from being excluded but Chyna’s have. Yes, she was not the most technically proficient female wrestler the WWE ever had, but the sheer spectacle of what she was and how she changed the business for other women in the WWE for years to come should be recognized for the feat that it is.
The Hart Foundation (Bret Hart, Jim Neidhart, Owen Hart, Davey Boy Smith, Brian Pillman)
First off, I get why the WWE simply can’t put Owen Hart into the WWE Hall of Fame as a singes competitor; his widow Martha simply would not allow it and would threaten social and legal repercussions if they attempted to do so. But, if he were included in a faction that did just as much, if not more, for the business of professional wrestling than his singles career, that would be a way to honor him for the fans as well as the other deserving individuals of the group – especially since there is only one surviving member of the group today, Bret Hart. The Hart Foundation as a stable is more than deserving of being in the Hall of Fame as each member of the group – Bret Hart, Owen Hart, Jim Neidhart, Davey Boy Smith, and Brian Pillman – each had amazing and successful careers in the WWE and beyond as singles competitors, tag teams, and as a faction as a whole. Just look at the number of championship all these men have combined and tell me they aren’t deserving of the recognition. Their contributions as a faction and as a legendary family in the world of professional wrestling deserves to be recognized, and an induction as part of the Class of 2019 is a great way to do so.
Jim Cornette loves to talk, and that mouth of his has gotten him into more trouble and burned more bridges than he may be willing to admit – but it has also been what made him such a name in the world of professional wrestling since he started in the business back in the early 1980s as a manager of some of the most recognizable stars of the era. He would later parlay his vocal talents to that of a commentator while also being a promoter, booker, agent, director, and general manager, and every job in between that you can have in the world of professional wrestling. And we haven’t even spoken about his penchant for working with and recognizing wrestling talent in newcomers to the business. Though many younger fans often take offense to his criticism of the business today, there is no denying the wealth of knowledge that Cornette has. It’s time that the WWE finally recognizes his huge and continued contributions to the business by giving him a rightful place in the Hall of Fame.
A WWE.com article once stated, “No championships, no revolutionary movements — just class. That’s why Miss Elizabeth was aptly dubbed the first lady of the squared circle.” And yet, even almost sixteen years after her death, the “First lady of Wrestling” has still not been inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame, and that is just wrong. Widely recognized as the true first female superstar in the modern era of professional wrestling, Miss Elizabeth has been denied a spot in the Hall of Fame and I can’t see how this has continued to go on uncorrected after all these years. Despite the circumstances of her tragic death at the young age of 42, there have been no rumors that have dogged her legacy, not controversies that have mired her name, not an ill word ever spoken about her that would warrant her continued exclusion from the Hall of Fame… so why has this been allowed to continue. It’s time for the WWE to finally step up and include her alongside all the other legends of yesteryear where she deserves to be.
How is it that Molly Holly, a two-time WWE Women’s Champion and one-time WWF Hardcore Champion, has not been inducted into the Hall of Fame yet? Just ask people who have worked with Holly throughout her lengthy wrestling career and you will nary hear any ill words spoken about her; to the contrary, she is often regarded as one of the most kind-hearted and professional women to ever step into the squared circle. And it’s easy to see that the WWE still respects her and her body of work as even after leaving the WWE in 2005, she has continued to make appearances for the company in various capacities because they recognized how well liked she is by both the people at WWE and the fans of the WWE Universe. She deserves a spot in the Hall of Fame, and she should get in this year as part of the Class of 2019.
Rob Van Dam
As the only man to ever hold the ECW World Heavyweight Championship and the WWE Championship simultaneously, RVD is more than deserving of being in the Hall of Fame, and that is even before you take into account what he had done before arriving in the WWE as part of the original ECW promotion where he holds the distinction of being the longest reigning ECW Television Champion. But then you look at what he did once he arrived in the WWE and the number of multiple championships he won while there, and it is hard to discount his contributions to the company. And don’t even try to give me that whole “he was kicked out because of his drug possession arrest” thing – the WWE showed that they have moved past that when they welcomed him back to the company in 2013 – six years after his departure and after his time with TNA; it’s clear that the company still has trust in him as he claims that he is still in contact with them to this day. So, why not honor what he has done by inducting him into the Hall of Fame this year.
In 2017, a CBSSports.com article said that Vader “is widely regarded as one of the greatest super-heavyweight pro wrestlers of all time.” And even though his tenure in the WWE was far from a perfect one, to include him as an inductee into the WWE Hall of Fame would be largely to recognize his contributions to the world of professional wrestling as a whole. He is a legend in Japan where he built a monster name for himself in NJPW while there and became a three-time IWGP Heavyweight Champion, he was a massive hit in WCW where he also became a three-time WCW World Heavyweight Champion, and he has left a lasting legacy everywhere he has performed around the world. To recognize him accomplishments in wrestling as a whole, as well as his tenure in the WWE, the year after his death last year at 63 would be a wonderful way for the company to honor him and for his fans to remember him.
On Victoria’s own WWE.com Alumni article, they state that “the powerful two-time Women’s Champion left a trail of pain while breaking barriers, be it with a trashcan in hardcore bouts or her devastating Widow’s Peak maneuver during a bikini contest. Victoria terrified the roster, but she pushed women’s wrestling from the cheese of dance-offs to the grittiness of No Disqualification brawls” – recognizing her contributions to the WWE as an in-ring competitor and what she was able to do and change for women’s wrestling in the ring. Personally, Victoria is one of my favorite female wrestlers of all time, and I and her other fans believe it is time for her to be inducted to the Hall of Fame, especially given that the WWE recognizes what she has done in the ring and she continues to be a welcome presence at WWE events. Maybe not on camera, but you can always see her at the Hall of Fame Ceremony as a welcome guest. Hopefully, this year she’ll be a part if the inducted class.