With WrestleMania 26 a week away, the annual tradition of enshrining some of the most influential individuals in the history of sports entertainment into the WWE Hall of Fame is upon us. When I look at the class of 2010, I see several personalities that bring back fond memories of my childhood as well as those whose contributions deserve this honor. When you reflect on the accolades of Ted DiBiase, Stu Hart, Antonio Inoki, Gorgeous George, Wendy Richter, Mad Dog Vachon, and Bob Uecker, recognizing their impact on the future of the industry is what makes them special.
And yes, I included Bob Uecker in that statement because when WrestleMania was still gaining momentum that would eventually manifest itself as the grandest stage of them all, incorporating celebrity guest appearances was a crucial part of its success.
All of that being said, when I reflect on this year’s class, I find myself asking two questions.
1) How do so many amazing talents whose contributions are of similar or greater influence continue to get passed over?
2) What is it that qualifies someone to be inducted in the first place?
[adinserter block=”1″]While I have absolutely no issue with this year’s class, I have though often about which personalities continue to get snubbed and who has been inducted that should have waited a little longer before being rewarded with such an honor. In regards to the snubs, I can understand the theory of having a WCW/NWA themed ceremony next year, so I will forgo my issues with people such as the Road Warriors, Lex Luger, Sting, Tully Blanchard, Arn Anderson, The Rock N Roll Express, Ivan and Nikita Koloff, etc. However, I will say that when I hear that they are potentially thinking about Bill Goldberg, I get a bit irritated.
I do not, however, understand overlooking some of the other talent from other organizations or from within the WWE family. How is it that someone like Cowboy Bob Orton is in, who aside from being a sidekick for Roddy Piper never accomplished anything measurable in the wrestling business? Don’t get me wrong. As I said before, I am ok with him being in the Hall, but there is a plethora of other choices that should have been there before a guy who’s biggest contribution to the industry wasn’t a championship run, wasn’t managing superstars of the future, but was wearing a cast for 10 years and jobbing to virtually anyone at mid card status and above. With the exception of 1 match on Saturday Night’s Main Event against Hulk Hogan, I cannot think of a meaningful match that he had in his career.
[adinserter block=”2″]Jim Neidhart, Owen Hart, and Davey Boy Smith could have easily made the build to the Hart v McMahon match even more emotional. The induction of Yokozuna, King Kong Bundy, the Berserker…ok I just threw that in for the heck of it, or even Bam Bam Bigelow would be more appropriate. Recognizing other organizations through their stars like “Hot Stuff” Eddie Gilbert, Shane Douglas, Austin Idol, or Stan Hansen would lend more credibility to the WWE Hall of Fame by making it a truly nondiscriminatory WWE only club. I could even see putting in someone like Kamala or Killer Kahn before someone like Koko B. Ware.
How is it that only one member of High Energy is in the Hall of Fame and it isn’t Owen Hart. How is it that guys like Koko B. Ware and Bob Orton make it in and people who have WWE and WCW world title reigns and who have headlined WrestleMania can’t seem to get any love….Calling Sid Vicious…How about those who have helped bring minorities to the industry like Carlos Colon, Mil Mascaras, or the rest of the Guerrero family for that matter. Heck, I wouldn’t mind seeing Ron Simmons in there before Koko B Ware. At least he won the World Title and several tag team championships.
I understand the politics behind Bruno Sammartino and Randy Savage not going in, but even in those cases, Vince could swallow his pride for 4 months and trash them after they are already inducted. Ok maybe that is wishful thinking.
I respect this year’s inductees more than I can describe. They are all amazing influences. My concern is that other talent that you can make the argument is more deserving doesn’t seem to get the same level of respect. Come on WWE, lets get some of these and other influential talent in the Hall. They put their bodies on the line for you over the years. Now it is time for you to stick your neck out a bit for them and give them the honor they deserve.
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