The WWE revealed its first inductees for the 2012 WWE Hall of Fame on Monday night. Former WWE champion Edge and the Four Horsemen will headline the 2012 class on WrestleMania weekend in Miami, FL.
Edge will go into the Hall of Fame just shortly after a year into retirement. Edge walked away from the WWE last year after suffering a career-threatening injury. Rather than take his chances, Edge folded his cards and called it a day. Edge is fondly remembered as one of the biggest WWE superstars of the current and previous eras of the company.
I interviewed Edge a couple of times over the years and no matter how successful he got, he always seemed to remain down to earth and genuine. There was never any doubt that the guy just loved pro wrestling. It has to be quite humbling for someone that was as big of a fan as him to go into the WWE Hall of Fame with his heroes. Edge will be the youngest member to ever be inducted at 38. If holding the WWE championships a combined 11 times doesn’t qualify you for the Hall, I am not sure what will.
Wooo! Guess who is coming back to party? Ric Flair will be heading back into the WWE Hall of Fame as a member of the Four Horsemen. The 1988 unit of the Horsemen consisting of Barry Windham, Ric Flair, Tully Blanchard, Arn Anderson, and manager J.J. Dillon will get the nod. It appears that this specific unit will be inducted rather than the entire Horsemen lineage which consists of 16 members.
It appears that Flair will be attending the ceremony to accept his induction. This is big news as Flair is currently signed to TNA Impact Wrestling. Flair was given permission to attend the event last year and appeared in several WWE photos. In this case, Flair will actually be a part of the show. I can’t recall another time when a TNA contracted wrestler appeared on WWE television so this is certainly a first.
Flair’s status with the company is certainly an odd one. I am a bit surprised that they would bring him back at this time since it was only two years ago in TNA when Ric Flair used his WWE Hall of Fame ring as a prop in a TNA Wrestling match. Then again, at the end of the day it makes TNA look worse than the WWE in my opinion.
The rest of the crew will enter the Hall of Fame for the first time. To me, Barry Windham is one of the greatest of all time. I was hoping he would go in this year on his own, as I am sure plenty of Arn Anderson fans hoped. It is interesting that the WWE waited a year to do this when they were in Atlanta last year, the backyard of the Horsemen and WCW wrestling.
I can’t see anyone having a problem with this nominee. The Four Horsemen were such an important part of any pro wrestling’s life that grew up in that time period, and were such an influence to hundreds of pro wrestlers who followed in their footsteps. It is ironic that they are choosing this 1988 unit of the Horsemen to honor when truth be told, this was one of the shortest units of the Horsemen. If you take the start of the unit as the date that Barry Windham turned on Lex Luger and joined, you get a whopping five months of this particular unit. Let’s not kid ourselves here, this is all politics because quite frankly the original unit should be the one getting honored.
Mexican pro wrestling legend Mil Mascaras will also be inducted into the Hall of Fame this year. Mil was a big star for the company in the 1970s, but will likely be recognized more for his world-wide appeal.
The WWE Hall of Fame 2012 ceremony takes place March 31, 2012.