It doesn’t take a genius to know that most aspects of sports entertainment are fabricated. In order for wrestling to be entertaining it needs some structure. It is built on a foundation of heroes and villains. Not just heroes, but superheroes.
It showcases the timeless battle between good and evil. A battle that will never get old until this world is no more. Crowds of all ages flock to arenas the way citizens in ancient Greece flocked to the coliseum. Somehow this scripted sport has been able to captivated audiences from generation to generation. Whether you like him or not Vince McMahon has built something amazing. That doesn’t change that fact that professional wrestling is really just an illusion. It looks real, but it isn’t. That is how wrestling has to be in order for it to work. The WWE doesn’t need that illusion to continue in the hall of fame.
In sports there are only two honor that truly matter. All athletes want to be champions. And all athletes want to leave a legacy. That legacy is often realized when they enter the hall of fame. That is the moment they are truly immortalized in their sport or profession. It is the same in the WWE or at least it should be. When the company puts the championship belt on you it means that they think you can make them money.
They think that as the face of the company you can sell tickets and generate interest. When you break it down like that it is obviously a business. Yet, if you are one of the talent your goal is to be THAT guy. Sure there are other milestones you can reach. There are other championships that will get you name in lights. If your team wins your division in the NFL or your leagues pennant in Major League Baseball it’s an accomplishment. But that is not why you play.
The second honor is to be voted into your sports hall of fame. It is the highest honor you can receive when you’re not actually playing. All major sports have them. Each year, sports writers from all over the country vote on who they think deserves to have their names etched in history forever. There is criteria and guidelines. The whole system is built to make sure that it has legitimacy. Each hall of fame has a mission statement and stands for something more than just attention. The purpose of the NFL Hall of Fame is to:
-Honor the heroes of the game.
-Celebrate excellence everywhere
We see similar statements for baseball and basketball as well. The idea of preserving history and recognizing excellence. Baseball specifically talks about connecting generations. There is a purpose for this honor. A method for the madness if you will. It is almost impossible to think of someone who isn’t in a professional sports hall of fame that should be. If they are not it is because of something serious. Pete Rose gambled on baseball. Sosa, McGwire, and Bonds are all wrapped up in steroid conspiracies. The point is that is a fair process that recognizes greatness.
The WWE Hall of Fame is not legit or credible when it comes to recognizing greatness. Which is sad when you think about it. The hall of fame is the one place that the WWE could be 99.9% legit. The only thing real in the company. Sure there would always be controversy since the writers and powers that be control who gets what spot. That is an easy fix because you can create a system that takes that into account. I don’t have a plan for what that would look like. I know that having Vince decide who goes in and doesn’t is a poor plan. The WWE hall of fame is a sham. Just like the sport itself, it is 100% fabricated and decided on by writers and one man. That sad thing is that a real hall of fame would bring in money. It would bring back fans who would get to see their heroes recognized. One benefit is that due to the content you don’t have to keep people out for moral failure.
Sure there are exceptions. I understand why they might not want to bring Chris Benoit into the fold. But outside of that and few other exceptions the WWE show itself pushed the envelope. You can’t keep someone out for a scandal. Edge and Lita hooked up on the road while she was with Matt Hardy and WWE turned it into a story line. So the fact that Chyna was in adult movies doesn’t keep her out, or at least it shouldn’t. You can’t keep Chyna out when one of your characters names was Val Venus and his finisher was called the money shot. Even in a fake world we don’t need double standards.
The WWE Universe is not stupid. This generation no longer buys into lackluster story lines. They boo Roman Reigns. Not because he is a bad wrestler but because he is a force champion. His baby-faced push isn’t genuine or organic. What fans want is something real or at least some thing that has the presence of reality. The hall of fame is the one place the WWE can give them that.