The WWE Hall of Fame 2012 announcements have been sporadic this WrestleMania season. While RAW generally gets first dibs on nomination announcements, SmackDown will get the honors this week as another WWE champion has been confirmed for this year’s class.
Although it has been rumored for months, the WWE finally made it official at this week’s SmackDown tapings. Former WWE champion Yokozuna will be entering the WWE Hall of Fame. Yoko beefs up the 2012 class as the fifth world champion of the class, the third former WWE champion.
Yoko is an interesting choice for sure. He isn’t the kind of guy that I think of when I think Hall of Fame. It has nothing to do with him as a wrestler, but I always think of him as having a short run on top. From the 1993 Royal Rumble through WrestleMania X Yoko was the top dog in the WWE. He held the WWE championship twice during that period with wins over Hulk Hogan and Bret Hart. He was certainly a big player during that time period but quite frankly, 1993 was not a memorable era in WWE wrestling history.
Outside of WrestleMania IX & X, I think Yoko is probably most remembered for his angle he did with Lex Luger. It has been replayed many times over the years and is just one of those moments you don’t forget if you watched it as it happened. The moment being the day Luger bodyslammed Yokozuna aboard the USS Intrepid on Independence Day leading up to their match at SummerSlam.
Following his WWE title runs, Yoko would probably be best remembered as teaming with Owen Hart with Jim Cornetee as their manager. The pair would go on to hold the WWE tag team championship on two different occasions. Unfortunately Yoko had gotten so big that it finally started to slow him down in the ring. He was not nearly as mobile as he was a couple of years prior during his run on top.
There is no word yet on who will induct Yokozuna. Bret Hart has shot down rumors that it would be him. I wouldn’t be surprised if it was someone like Afa Anoai or maybe even a rival like Hacksaw Jim Duggan or Shawn Michaels. Rodney will be the third Anoai inducted into the Hall of Fame, joining uncles Afa and Sika.