Sunday, April 27, 2014

The WWE Hall of Fame

I see a lot of Tweets, Facebook posts, even petitions asking World Wrestling 
Entertainment to induct certain wrestlers into its Hall of Fame. The ones I 
see most are Davey Boy Smith, Owen Hart, Randy Savage and Bam Bam Bigelow. 
Strong cases can be made for all four, especially considering past inductees 
like Pete Rose, Drew Carey, Bob Uecker, William "the Refrigerator" Perry, 
Donald Trump and Mr. T.
I mean, honestly, can Liberace and the Where's the Beef lady be far behind?
Turns out those two have something in common with the aforementioned non-inductees:
They're dead.
Not that WWE hasn't inducted wrestlers posthumously. Andre the Giant, Big John Studd, 
the Junkyard Dog, Eddy Guerrero and Curt Hennig were all inducted after death, as 
were Yokozuna, Road Warrior Hawk (as a tag team with Animal and Paul Ellering) and 
Paul Bearer.

But WWE seems reluctant to accept some deceased wrestlers into its Hall of Fame. 
Guerrero and Hennig were inducted in 2006 and 2007, respectively. Then a little 
something Vince McMahon would like us all to forget about happened. Has to do 
with a man named Benoit and a list that followed of the 100+ wrestlers under 50 
who died in the previous ten years.
Since then, possible, and very plausible, nominees whose inductions might have 
brought up discussions about death have been ignored. Sure, Peter Maivia and 
Eddie Graham made it in, but they died years and years ago. Yokozuna got in, 
but he was a big fat guy who would have died regardless of pro wrestling. 
Are there things WWE is afraid would be talked about during an Owen or Davey Boy 
induction? I'd say go ahead and induct the British Bulldogs as a team, but the 
Dynamite Kid has had his own issues I'm sure WWE doesn't want to acknowledge 
Overall, WWE's HOF, just like some other HOFs, seems arbitrary in its selections. 
Abdullah the Butcher is in the WWE Hall of Fame despite never having worked for 
the McMahons, but not Savage or Hart, or Rick Rude, Adrian Adonis, Hercules 
Hernandez, or even living wrestlers who spent years working there, such as Brutus 
Beefcake and the Honky Tonk Man.

At least Abdullah wrestled for decades. William Perry was in the battle royal at 
WrestleMania 2 and got into the Hall of Fame. By those standards, why aren't Dan 
Spivey, Ted Arcidi and the Killer Bees in the Hall?

Savage's brother Lanny Poffo is as or more deserving than a number of the serious 
inductees. And if Sunny, Lita and Trisha Stratus are in, why not Miss Elizabeth? 
Seems the Poffo family in general is getting the shaft.

I can't be the only one who's afraid that Dick Butkus, Aretha Franklin, Snoop Dogg 
and Lemmy from Motörhead will be WWE Hall of Fame-bound before the British Bulldog 
or the Macho Man. Or that, if Bam Bam Bigelow wants consideration, he'll need to 
stand in line with Susan Saint James, Regis Philbin and Rhonda Shear.
With the outpouring of affection for the Ultimate Warrior upon his untimely death, 
I know many wrestling fans will have their fingers crossed that, at the very least, 
Savage, Owen and Davey Boy are accepted into to Hall next year, with maybe the likes 
of Bigelow, Rude and Adonis to follow.

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