Yesterday, I praised the WWE for its decision to honor William Moody – better known to us as Paul Bearer – with his induction into the WWE Hall of Fame. Now, on the flip side, it’s time to ask a time honored question when it comes to the selection process and the decision of “Who is in” and “Who is out.”
- Ken Patera out.
- Rick Rude out.
- Big Boss Man out.
- King Kong Bundy out.
- Vader out.
Excuse me while I throw up in my mouth. That explains the inconsistency of the selection process.
What can you say about these five performers who gave the fans everything they had in the ring and then some? Faces, heels – it did not matter. The fans accepted them as part of the circus Vince McMahon and their cartoon-like performances were the stuff of wrestling lore. Their success spoke for themselves.
King Kong Bundy
Bundy achieved mainstream recognition in the World Wrestling Federation (WWF, now WWE) in the 1980s and 1990s: he headlined WrestleMania 2 in 1986 against Hulk Hogan in a steel cage match for the WWF Championship, and at WrestleMania XI in 1995 he was also the fourth victim in The Undertaker’s now 21-match undefeated WrestleMania streak.
Late WWF play-by-play commentator Gorilla Monsoon dubbed Bundy as the “Walking Condominium” in reference to his imposing size and weight.
He wrestled mainly as a heel for the World Wrestling Federation (WWF), National Wrestling Alliance (NWA), and American Wrestling Association (AWA) during the 1970s and 1980s. In 1976, he challenged Bruno Sammartino for the WWWF Heavyweight Championship.
This was a huge draw around the northeastern part of the United States and at Madison Square Garden, and was one of Sammartino’s last great challengers before losing the title to Superstar Billy Graham, which ended his second, shorter WWF title reign. When Bob Backlund later won the title, Patera also unsuccessfully challenged him.
He and Kerry Von Erich had the best bodies in the business in the 1980s.
Rude was a five-time world champion (three-time WCW International World Heavyweight Champion and two-time WCWA World Heavyweight Champion) Also won the one-time WWF Intercontinental Champion, and one-time WCW United States Champion.
The self-proclaimed “Sexiest Man Alive”, Rude’s physique has been named by WWE as the greatest in the history of professional wrestling. He is also recognized by the promotion as one of the greatest talkers of all time. Rude was one of the four original members of D-Generation X in 1997, alongside Shawn Michaels, Triple H, and Chyna.
Big Boss Man
Known outside the wrestling ring as Ray Traylor, he was best known for his appearances with the World Wrestling Federation (WWF) under the ring name Big Boss Man, as well as for his appearances with World Championship Wrestling as The Boss, Guardian Angel and Big Bubba Rogers. During his appearances with the WWF, Big Boss Man held the WWF World Tag Team Championship once and the WWF Hardcore Championship four times.
The one name that struck fear in wrestlers before the development of Goldberg.
Vadar or Leon White, which was his real name, White is best known for his time with New Japan Pro Wrestling, World Championship Wrestling, the World Wrestling Federation and All Japan Pro Wrestling in the 1990s.
A super-heavyweight wrestler capable of aerial maneuvers such as the moonsault and the dropkick, White was both a face and a heel in several professional wrestling promotions. During his career, he became an eight-time world champion, having won the WCW World Heavyweight Championship three times, the IWGP Heavyweight Championship three times and the AJPW Triple Crown Heavyweight Championship twice.
And to stir the pot a bit… Sable
Here is hoping the 2015 Hall of Fame class will have all or at least some of this class.
Follow David on Twitter @davidlevin71
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