WWE Hall of Fame 2016 Predicitions

2015 has  been a real up and down year for wrestling. NXT is blossoming while WWE pretends its biggest star in history doesn’t exist. We’ve lost Hall of Famers like Roddy Piper, Verne Gagne and Dusty Rhodes meanwhile Icons like Undertaker, Sting and The Dudley Boyz are back.

The WWE Hall of Fame in 2015 was no different. Macho Man Randy Savage finally joined the Halls!….after he died. Larry Zbyzsko wrote an amazing speech…which he forgot. Kevin Nash headlined….wait their is no positive there.

2015 suffered because of its size. It had 9 inductees. That’s two headliners, a woman, a celebrity, a foreign act, a tag team, an 70s wrestler, The Warrior Award and Rikishi.

While I love Zbyzsko, Medusa and Fujinamani deservedly going in, The Bushwhackers, Rikishi and even our celebrity inductee were lackluster at best (granted Luke and Butch were great comic relief)

2016 will be in Dallas, Texas. If one thing came out of 2015’s class it is that we are guaranteed a smaller class of likely no more than 6 and the Warrior Award, 6 total or 6 without the Warrior Award (aka the award which can only now go to dead children)

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With all that in mind. I have broken down my predictions for the WWE Class of 2016. We start with an ICON!

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Sting

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Many might be expecting the Undertaker here in this slot. Last year, I predicted that Undertaker would headline the Class of 2015.  I was dead wrong, pun intended. Taker did not retire as expected, he appeared at Wrestlemania 31 and as of this writing also wrestled Summerslam. Now, by no means is the actually 50 year old “dead man” returning full time. He’s not. He did Vince a favor. A favor to come in and main event Summerslam to give it the big time feel and extra WWE Network buys.

Well what does all this have to do with Sting? Well, the WWE simply doesn’t need Sting as much. And although he is now in WWE World Heavyweight Championship program, even if he beats Rollins, it will be short (and cashed in upon from Sheamus) Sting is the pinnacle of part time. Most of his time is spent doing marketing and being an ambassador for the company. He can do that as a WWE Hall of Famer.

I expect Sting to retire at Wrestlemania 32 (he is 56 years old as of this writing). He will not face Taker, instead he will fight and likely lose to an up and coming talent who can carry him (Looking at you Cesaro). End career. Welcome to the Hall of Fame.

Chances of Induction: 7 out of 10

Reason it Won’t Happen: Summerslam forces Taker to retire. Or WWE does induct him while still active. (NOT A GOOD IDEA)

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Fabulous Freebirds

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This omission has been one of the biggest head scratchers since 2009 (with the induction of the Von Erichs). Why are the Fabulous Freebirds not in the WWE Hall of Fame? They were one of the most important tag teams in the history of wrestling. Their feud with the Von Erichs was one of the hottest feuds in the country from 1982-1985. These men were territory specialists. They succeeded almost everywhere they went (excluding the WWF where they were made faces for no reason and left after a month). They could have easier fit in classes in Atlanta (2011), New Orleans (2014) and California (2015). The Freebirds are that prolific.

Michael PS Hayes has worked with the WWE for 15-20 years. He’s bought in to the WWE way of doing things, important to the company and an obvious choice.  Terry Gordy and Buddy Roberts are both deceased, so expect Jimmy Garvin (Freedbird circa WCW) to join as a member as well.

Most importantly, this years Hall of Fame is happening in Dallas. Dallas was one of the major cities in WCCW, where arguably the Freebirds had their greatest success.

Chances of Induction: 9 out of 10

Reasons not to induct: Confederate Flag was their costumes. Racism of Hayes. I mean he is most defiantly a racist.

http://www.tmz.com/2008/04/23/wwe-writer-allegedly-dishes-racist-smackdown/

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Stan Hansen

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Stan Hansen is one of those talents who someday will make the WWE Hall of Fame. He is an obvious inductee. He was a huge talent, who fought for every major promotion (including WWWF, breaking Bruno’s neck)

In 2010, WWE brought Hansen in to induct Antonio Inoki. This was the last piece of the puzzle, opening the door for his inclusion. He, like Future Hall of Famer, Vader were the epitome of  American wrestler success in Japan. WWE has been continuing to globalize their brand, and with the hiring of KENTA, and Fujinami joining last year, Hansen is a perfect choice. He’s also Texan, wears a cowboy hat and is again…TEXAN.

Chances of induction 6 out of 10

Reasons Not to Induct: WWE goes with JBL instead. WWE really likes inducting their own. And with the inclusion of our next prediction, Hansen’s Japanese ties are perhaps, less important.

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Jushin Thunder Liger

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For the first time in history, Jushin Liger appeared on WWE television in a WWE ring. At NXT Takeover August 22nd, Liger, aged 50, did a very good job convincing us that he still “Got It”. 50, while old for a WWE wrestler (not named Sting or Undertaker) is old hat in Japan. Wrestlers, especially large talents like Liger, are known to wrestle well into their 60s in limited role. (Like Ric Flair with less hard living and chops)

Liger is the perfect candidate for a international induction. He wrestled for quite a bit of time for WCW, is a great contact to have to be an ambassador (like Tatsumi Fujinami is currently) and will help build WWE’s brand in Japan. Win win on all sides.

Liger’s appearance (and just recently announced future appearances)  are  too random without the Hall of Fame attached. While its possibly Hansen or Liger, it could still be both.

Chances of induction: 7 out of 10

Reasons Not Too induct: Doesn’t speak English. Perhaps WWE wants to a bigger foreign name.

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Jacqueline Moore

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When doing these lists, I always have to remember two things.  There will always be a woman and likely always be a minority. WWE does not like to have 6-9 white guys standing on stage.

They’d much rather have 6-9 white guys,  AND one woman AND one minority

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See Much Better

Jackie Moore or Jacquiline fits the mold of the next women’s inductee. They’ve done the biggest names in Women’s wrestling in the last 20 years (Western audiences only). 2015 gave us Alundra Blayze in a welcomed surprise move.. The next women’s champion after Blayze (and the deactivation in 95, reactivation in 98) was Jackie Moore.

Many forget that she beat Sable to claim the newly rechristened WWE Women’s Championship. Technically, she is the first women’s champion of modern Women/DIVA wrestling.

Plus she is from Dallas Texas. Fits the bill, makes all the sense.

Chances of Induction: 6 out of 10

Reasons Not to Do Induction: Skip ahead of her and go right to Sable. Seriously, Sable should be in the WWE Hall of Fame. She is legit married to Brock Lesnar as well. Why hasn’t that happened already?

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Celebrity Bullshit

Anyone who has visited here at all knows I hate the celebrity inductee. Why? Because it is unnecessary. It is rewarding a celebrity for making a paid special appearance in a product which most of them do not care about.

Champions of the sport and the entertainment in wrestling are welcome.

Mr. T, Mike Tyson and Andy Kaufman belong in the Hall (although Kaufman isn’t in) , but Pete Rose, Donald Trump and Arnold belong no where near a wrestling Hall of Fame.

Bullshit like Jeremy Piven said above (SUMMERFEST!)  is more the norm that the exception. And even when a fan of the product comes along, they are given heinous dialogue and look strange and out of place. Jon Stewart was so weird at Summerslam…awkward and scripted.

Regardless of what I say, a celebrity  inductee will  join the Hallowed Halls currently holding the greats, like Drew Carey and William Perry, both of whom were obviously NOT getting a paycheck/promoting some stupid comedy show which lasted three months.

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Who Would I Accept?

Cyndi Lauper

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Lauper had a great impact on WWE. Like MR. T, her presense helped to legitimize the WWF in 1985. The rockin wrestling stuff was great,

Her return in 2011 was to say the least absurdly awkward. It be a short speech and a deserving nod.

Who is Likely to Get it?

William Shatner, Shaq, Pamela Anderson ANYONE!!!!

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Chances of Lauper, Muhammed Ali or Andy Kaufman: 0 out of 10

Chances of Bullshit: 10 out of 10

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Final Thoughts

As a PS, there are two other names I would not be surprised to see in 2016. The first is Raw’s third announcer JBL, mentioned above. The second would be more of a surprise. I am talking about Owen Hart. You see, a DVD is coming out about Owen’s career, without Owen’s wife permission. Because the lawsuit is settled….and WWE can legally do that….and Bret Hart wanted it and wants an induction….and they just inducted Macho Man without the involvement or support of his widow…and Owen Hart might be in the video game.

I don’t feel confident quite yet that Owen will go in, but IF we see him in WWE 2k16, I will amend my list and add “The King of Harts” Owen Hart.

Here’s hoping.

 

 

The “Hot Rod” Rowdy Roddy Piper Passes Away

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One of wrestling’s more colorful personalities in history, the Hot Rod Rowdy Roddy Piper has passed away at the young age of 61.

Sometimes being a wrestling fan is really difficult. You have heroes who you never see grow old.  We can now add Roddy Piper to that list,

Roddy Piper will always be remembered as a represntation of the greatest things about wrestling. In his core, he was an entertainer and a damn good one.

Roddy Piper was larger than life: Whether it was during promo back and forth with literally anyone

Or that famous cult movie that we all know,

Roddy Piper stood out. To put it plainly, it stinks that Roddy Piper is gone. It really stinks.

RIP Hot Rod

 

WWE Hall of Fame Class of 2015: Macho Man Randy Savage

RandySavage

Macho Man Randy Savage

Class of 2015

Number Two Draw of the 1980s WWF, OOOH YEA!!!!

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Hall of Fame Rating

9 out of 10

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When I was a child, I had three heroes, all wrestlers who exemplified what I wanted to be as an adult man. Hulk Hogan represented the good in the world, and inspired me to be a champion. The Ultimate Warrior was the best example of energy and passion that existed in my life. And Randy Savage was my inspiration. He represented creativity and embodied the nonsense that runs through my mind. If you, my faithful reader, has ever asked why I write a blog dedicated to the WWE Hall of Fame, this is why. Through these men, wrestling represented what I wanted to be, and as a child they helped define who I became.

The WWE Hall of Fame can be a beautiful thing. It is a chance for the fans to say thank you and to say goodbye to their heroes. When the Ultimate Warrior made his speech last year, I couldn’t help but smile. It was Warrior, back on TV in more advanced age, but yet the same, talking about that portion of his life which mattered so much to me. For Randy Savage, we will never have that moment.

The greatest tragedy of Macho Man Randy Savage is that he is going into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2015. He, of course, deserves it, but that’s not the point. The idea of Randy Savage is joining the Hall of Fame, but the man is dead. He never saw this honor and never had the chance to be thanked. We never got to say goodbye to him.

This above all else makes me angry. WWE had many opportunities to do the induction, if only they could take the politics out of the Hall of Fame. ITS NOT WHAT IT IS ABOUT!!!

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 When the WWE Hall of Fame returned in 2004, no one took notice. It flew directly under the radar and wasn’t really even mentioned. That changed in 2005, when the greatest and most well known wrestler in history, Hulk Hogan was inducted. As far as I was concerned, next year in 2006, Macho Man Randy Savage should have gone in. WWE had it in their power to make it happen, and perhaps would have without the politics we will get ino later. 2006 instead was Bret Hart, a surprise for sure, and a well deserved headliner. 2007 was Dusty Rhodes, followed by Ric Flair in 2008 and Stone Cold in 2009.

That was the year they only let Austin talk for 10 minutes....

That was the year they only let Austin talk for 10 minutes….

Austin went in too early at the young age of 46. I remember questioning this. It was not whether Austin deserved induction (obviously did) , but more asking “Why Now?” Still, I shrugged and felt Macho Man would have his day. Time heals all wounds, right….

In 2010, an opportunity presented itself.  2010 had no headliner. Warrior was supposedly asked in a very disrespectful way by John Laurinaitis to headline that year. Warrior declined. Ted Dibiase ended up headlining  in the most wonky and lackluster class in history (until 2015). 2011 makes me bitter more than anything. The headliner was the recently retired Shawn Michaels. Like Austin before him, Michaels didn’t need to get in yet. He could have waited a few years as he was only retired for less than one whole year. It was the perfect year for the Macho Man.  All WWE had to do was contact the Macho Man. He had already begun to do video game and action figure advertisements for Macho Man products with the WWE.

But this didn’t happen and it is all one man’s fault:

This cocky son of a bitch

This cocky son of a bitch

Vince McMahon makes enemies with his former talent quite easily. The list has been long and plentiful, filled with some of the greatest talents in the history of Pro Wrestling. Triple H, since taking on his regins as Talent Relations Head has successfully attempted to right the wrongs of McMahon’s stubborness. Bruno Sammartino, The Ultimate Warrior, Hulk Hogan (again), Larry Zbyszko etc have all joined the Hall of Fame or returned to television. This is all in spite of Vince McMahon.

Why was the Macho Man persona non gratis with the WWE? First let me address the rumor and i mean THE rumor. The rumor is that Randy Savage, while still an employee (circa 1994),  slept with an underage Stephanie McMahon, something both illegal and the greatest betrayal of Vince McMahon’s trust. You see, Vince and Randy used to be close, very close. In fact upon Savage’s departure to WCW, Vince McMahon appeared on TV to wish Randy well, something which is bizarrely out of character for McMahon.

It appeared the Vince was okay with Savage’s departure, so what changed? It may be possible that the Stephanie rumors are true, or in more likelihood, Savage leaving festered within McMahon. Vince looked at it like a betrayal. Randy was a company man, a man up for anything (even becoming a commentator) and lived WWE. Vince trusted him and yet still lost him. It was an affront that Vince McMahon never got over. Randy Savage had turned their friendship into a business agreement and if that is the case than Vince never wanted to work with him again. And Vince has been quoted as saying “I never want to work with that man again” Was it a vendetta or a severe case of sour grapes? Only two men know and one is dead and the other isn’t talking. Their contention,which existed up until the day Randy Savage died,makes me wish Triple H had taken over the Hall of Fame sooner.

For any wrestling fan worth his weight, there is no question that Macho Man Randy Savage belongs in the WWE Hall of Fame. He belongs in the Pro Wrestling Hall of Fame, the WCW Hall of Fame, even the Television Hall of Fame.

This man was pure gold, in the ring, on the microphone and such a larger than life persona.And that’s what this induction is missing in 2015. In 2015, we can celebrate only what Randy Savage was and what made him special:

We will have to remember his words, the magic which existed in his promos from memory only. We won’t get to hear a “OOOOH YEA” or some other ridiculous statement.

We won’t be able to hear him tell stories about his perfectionist attitude when it comes to matches. Ricky Steamboat has mentioned that their Wrestlemania 3 encounter was scripted to the move.And it was perfect. It was only something a talent like Randy Savage could perform.

We won’t hear about our favorite sales pitch.

We won’t be able to hear the story behind Elizabeth and how her inclusion gave him a specialness which no valet has succeeded in bringing before Savage or after him.

And most importantly, we won’t hear Randy Savage’s side of the story. Last year, the Ultimate Warrior spoke to all his fans and said “I’m a good person.” and we all knew it was true. Warrior spoke from the heart, from a feeling of love for his fans and for the business. Randy Savage had this too. He was a child of the business, a family business which he flourished in. We cannot hear the tales of his father Angelo, or the playful jabs at Lanny for the Genius character. Macho will never talk about his relationships with Hulk Hogan, or Vince McMahon. He won’t be able to talk about his “betrayal” or his status as the ultimate (no pun intended) prodigal son.

The speech Lanny Poffo will give will be fine. it will be a tribute. But that will be a small catharsis for what we are missing.

Overdue and tragic, welcome to the Hall of Fame Macho Man.

 

 

 

Why 2015?

Because the WWE made peace with Lanny Poffo. With Randy’s death, the caretaker of his legacy has become his much less successful younger brother. The Genius said for many years after Savage’s death, that Randy’s wishes were to have Randy, Lanny and Angelo Poffo go in together, ala the Von Erichs.

This very well could have been the case as Macho Man levied in WCW for Angelo to go in the WCW Hall of Fame even though he really didn’t deserve it.

Regardless, the fans wanted Randy Savage. WWE was able to offer enough money and be just convincing enough to get Lanny Poffo to relent. And with Savage having been deceased since 2011, Triple H spent time on those glaring missing elements who were alive (Sammartino & Warrior) before tackling Randy Savage. 2015 was that year

Opens Door For?

Never say Never. Excluding Chris Benoit, there is not a wrestler who deserves it (and does the murderer really deserve it) who will not eventually join the Hall of Fame. Owen Hart, Demolition, The Hardys, and more persona non gratis will eventually get in. Its just a matter of time.

Reasons this shouldn’t have happened.

Go fuck yourself. There are no reasons why Macho Man Randy Savage doesn’t belong in the Hall of Fame.