Posted by Van Hammer
The WWE Hall of Fame. There are plans to get a brick and mortar building. Although other WWE inspired establishments did not do too well, this one has potential. Putting the physical building in Connecticut near the towers gives wrestling fans a destination point if they are in the New York/New Jersey area much like seeing MSG. This is always a sobering experience to view for old school fans like myself. When I was younger I would mark out to the returning superstars. They were all way over to me and my buddies. Hogan slamming Andre then watching Andre leave was surreal. Seeing The Ultimate Warrior pin Hogan was equally game changing. I respect the legends. This is just as integral a part of WrestleMania as the Undertakers streak to me. With that rant/dialogue out of the way, let’s take a look back at last year’s Hall of Fame. Can the 2013 class compete? Which package is better? Where do we go from here? Let’s get started.
Hall Of Fame
|Co-Headliner||The Four Horsemen||Bruno Sammartino|
|Also Inducted||Mil Mascaras; Mike Tyson; Ron Simmons; Yokozuna||Bob Backlund; Trish Stratus; Donald Trump; Booker T|
The Summary: The class of 2012 was headlined by the recently retired Edge. We were all still reeling from losing him as in active competitor but this was a fantastic way to give the audience closure. While his title reign, a nod to Edge, was forgettable, Christian was the only choice to induct him. The video and the stories were told from the perspective of a best friend which we all could relate to. In 2013, we can expect a similar feel with Terry Funk, the original Hardcore Icon, as he inducts his protégé, Ms. Foleys Baby Boy into the HOF. Long overdue, I would attribute Foley with letting the world know WWE was indeed the winner of the Monday Night Wars. This happened when it was given away on Nitro that Misses Foley’s Baby Boy would be champion over the Rock. This caused all viewers to change channels and witness history. Both events also have incredible secondary stories. The Four Horsemen, the preliminary wrestling stable, was inducted along with Ric Flair. Flair would receive his 2nd HOF ring while an active member of the TNA roster.
This year, the champion the WWWF was built upon, Bruno Sammartino, has agreed to end things the right way. After seeing the current product and being given a few well deserved incentives, Triple H has used his reputation and knowledge of the business to right a falling out that has grew into a legend of its own. The man who won the WWWF Title from Nature Boy Buddy Roberts in 18 seconds should have been here a long time ago.
The Grade: When looking at the headliners, there is no easy way to say which looks best on paper. The real story is the others who were inducted. I am an old school fan, so Mil Mascaras and Bob Backlund are amazing for us die hards. When looking at the celebrities, The Donald has been way more consistent with being involved then Iron Mike. Yoko gets a sentimental feeling from myself and those familiar with the Samoan legacy and how great Kokina was for a man of 600lbs but Trish has everyone’s respect as one of the greatest women competitors ever. Ron, who is recognized as the first black “WCW” World Champ, and while entertaining in his DAMN! gimmick, is no match for the legacy of Booker T. While Teddy Long may be the one who inducts Book, I personally would mark out if Big Stevie Ray cleaned up and showed out. I go with 2013.
The Future: There always needs to be a celebrity, workers and a headliner. With those parameters, who do we get to headline 2014 next year in the Big Easy? My idea for 1015 is easy, have Sting do Undertakers last WrestleMania. Then the following year induct them both. Bear with me for a moment. Vince is obsessed with things the fans wanted… 2 to 5 years ago. We raised such a stink that it’s about time he starts listening. As for next year, its about time to reset to the basics. Lets highlight workers. Recent talk has suggested that Owen Harts widow has come to terms with WWE. With the majority of the family in support of it now, I see no reason why next year the Hart Family is not inducted. Bret Hart accepting and Shawn Michaels presenting, or even Vince McMahon presenting to Bret and his family would close a lot of chapters that Bret has not already done in his last comeback. Jake Roberts is looking for one last run. Having him come in via the rumble then stick around to help the next person prepare for the Undertaker like he did with Warrior so many years ago. This would be an excellent way to give his story closure. Rick Rude was so influential. WWE has tried to recreate and reinvent the mold this man has set for quite some time. A ring general and legendary worker, Rude would be a perfect induction. Just a few others: Bam Bam Bigelow, Jim Cornette, Demolition, Teddy Long, Hillbilly Jim, etc. Regardless of what next year holds I will mark out.
Writers often immerse themselves in a distraction when the words do not seem to flow. My distraction is music. So for the IWC (I include myself) and anyone who has been just as big a mark for the WWE HOF as they are for WrestleMania, I offer PileDriver.
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