WWE Hall of Fame 2015: Rumored Names

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Well…its that time again.  Its Rumors Time!. Coming earlier this year than previous, we actually have a full class of rumored superstars 10 months out.  This year’s rumors cover a wide berth of the great, the good and the meh. Exactly what one would except from the WWE Hall of Fame…..

meh

Let’s dive in

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The Rock

rock

The Rock is an obvious future WWE Hall of Famer. His career, importance and gravitas speak for them-self . His original run, while shorter than most top superstars,

See John Cena

See John Cena

his affect on the business cannot be understated. While Steve Austin may have been the originator of the modern catch phrase, Rock perfected it. Look at WWF cerca 1998 and the amount of chants from the audience were maybe one or two. Today, every superstar has a chant. Without the chant, no one cares. The modern audience wants to participate in the show, and the Rock started that.

 

Now technically, the Rock was the “face of the WWE”  for only the year 2000. 2000 was his peak, mostly due to Steve Austin being out on injury that year but afterwords, Rock began his path towards actual stardom. There is no denying that Rock is the only case of a professional wrestler taking his stardom from the business and transitioning to become an actual movie star. This is transcendence. Its also why Dwayne didn’t appear for the organization from 2004-2008 (Hall of Fame induction of his father) and wasn’t in the ring again until 2011. He needed to seperate to legitimize himself as an actual movie star, instead of a wrestler playing an actor.

See Steve Austin

See Steve Austin

Upon his return for Wrestlemania 27, and subsequent matches, the Rock showcased what about him what so unique. It was his acting skills. Dwayne Johnson was good at playing the role of the Rock. He came back and successfully conquered John Cena (YAY), won the WWE title and dropped it to John Cena the following year (BOO) and that was that. All told, Rock’s return consisted of 5 matches: 2 against Cena, 2 against Punk and that weird tag match again R-Truth and the Miz.  His return was both good for business and also an example of “doing the right thing”;  passing the torch everyone’s favorite, John Cena.

So as I mentioned it is obvious that the Rock has had a Hall of Fame career and will eventually be in. But is 2015 his year?. His inclusion always depends upon what he is doing in his real action star life.

Rumors recently circulated that the Rock would be unavailable for Wrestlemania 31 due to the release of Fast&Furious 7

Why are there 7 of these?

Why are there 7 of these?

http://www.rantsports.com/pro-wrestling/2014/07/11/will-the-rock-be-at-wrestlemania-31/

Other big question, is does it need to be his time. Rock is 42 years old, young in comparison to other qualified headliners. This means anytime in the next 10 years, he can headline a class.  WWE doesn’t need him this year and its likely it will not occur.

Is 2015 his year?

No. Rock is a movie star at his prime of success.  Better to save him for a future year where there are no other possible headliners. My suggestion is 2017 or 2018.

Who instead?

Older headliners. Sting (deal with below), Goldberg, (not gonna happen) or for god’s sake Randy Savage!

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Sting

sting

\Sting is the only example of a main event WCW/NWA talent who didn’t try his hand at wrestling for Vince. And he had his reasons.

 He worried how he’d be used. Where could he have possibly gotten that idea from? Perhaps if we take a look at former WCW talent who came to the WWF…..

raceking

Harley Race became a King

rhodespolka

Dusty Rhodes got polka dots

stalkerddp0

DDP stalked Undertaker’s ugly wife

bookertloses

Booker T was made a fool, sucka

And on and on and on.

Sting is in the twilight of his career. When he didn’t re-sign with TNA, it was obvious that he was ready to hang the boots up. So is he WWE bound? Rumors have been wild and speculative that Sting signed, he didn’t sign, he’s in the video game, he will wrestle Undertaker at Wrestlemania 31, he won’t wreslte again, etc etc.

Well, I highly doubt we will see Sting in a WWE ring as a competitor. That time has passed years ago, and with Sting announced as the pre-order bonus for WWE 2k15 (AWESOME promo below), then he could follow the pattern of Ultimate Warrior (RIP) and be the headliner talent for WWE Hall of Fame Class of 2015.

Is 2015 his year?

Probably. Sting makes sense. If its true that the Undertaker is done, there is no one left for Sting to face. (or that he wants to face) Its time to embrace Sting for what he is, a great legend in the business, who despite his lack of tenure with the WWE is the biggest living name they can get right now.

Plus Sting appearing on WWE programming, even in this limited fashion is guaranteed to get some old school fan love, and is exactly what the Hall of Fame is all about.

Who Instead?

If the Rock is out, only Goldberg or possibly the NWO are big enough (or alive enough) to headline 2015. Its too early for Taker, HHH, Cena and Vince McMahon. This one makes sense.

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Randy Savage

RandySavage1

Why is Macho Man Randy Savage NOT in the WWE Hall of Fame. Why can’t they get this done?

The WWE Hall of Fame without Randy Savage is ridiculous. Almost as ridiculous as a Hall with Bruno Sammartino. Randy Savage was one of three main event talents of the mid-late eighties. It was Hulk Hogan, Ultimate Warrior and Randy Savage. This is and will remain the biggest blight and easiest de-legitimizing factor for WWE’s “Hall of Wrestling”, until its fixed.

There is no need to convince anyone of Savage’s credentials. Whether it was his in ring, promo or even commentary skills, Randy Savage is one of the best examples of a successful wrestler. His career can only be seen as inspiration for other smaller and unique talents, like CM Punk or even Steve Austin.

Amazing Talent. Check. Multi-Time Champion. Check.  Inspiration. Check. This induction should have occurred in 2010, when the headliner was Ted Dibiase. Nothing against Ted, but he is more of a secondary level as his run on the top was short and he did fall quite far down the card. Politics is the only reason it didn’t happen then and is the only reason it hasn’t happened yet. But now, regardless of when he goes in, something is missing. Why

?savagepearlygates

Randy Savage is dead. We will never get to see his speech. This year, the Ulimate Warrior went in and spoke at the Hall. He spoke his truths and when he died three days later, it was bittersweet, but yet it felt less awful. We saw him for one last time, one of our heroes. Instead, Randy died and was passingly given tribute on RAW…and that’s it.

Instead, we hold with bated breath each year to see if the WWE will grow a pair and rectify this travesty. Randy Savage can’t be there himself, but damn is it time to recognize him.

IS 2015 his time?

Yes. For the love of all that is good and holy, YES!! All that aside, Lanny Poffo has started doing interviews for DVDS, including a rumored upcoming Randy Savage documentary (similar to the amazing Jake Roberts’ Pick your poison or one of the 15 HBK documentaries)

In the end, it is all about the money, and the notoriety. Lanny Poffo must realize that inducting Savage is what’s best for him and best for business.

Who Instead?

NO ONE> RANDY SAVAGE!

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Rikishi

Rikishi

Let me preface this upcoming tirade with the following statement, I like Rikishi. He was perfectly good at the role that he had….

rikishidancing

Which was this

And while, I have very fond memories of Rikishi and Too Cool doing this dance above every week, it was and should only be looked at for what it was; namely comedy. Rikishi didn’t work as a serious character. You may remember, “I did it for the Rock” , the infamous illogical statement made by heel (seriously?) Rikishi as the WWE tried and failed to bring him into legitimacy.

There is something completely unbelievable about how Rikishi delivers that line. I feel like I am watching a really bad understudy….

Anyway, onto the Hall of Fame, is Rikishi  going to be a Hall of Famer? Probably. Should he be?

bryanno

Rikishi falls into two categories of wrestlers which the WWE is famous for inducting. The first are the parents of current superstars. WWE really loves having their current stars induct their fathers. It has happened bundles of times. Sometimes, its great (see Dusty Rhodes or Ted Dibiase) Other times, the person being inducted is more of an after thought (Bob Orton, Rocky Johoson) and Rikishi fits into the second category.

He is fine. Fun, sure, but that alone does not a Hall of Fame career make.

That's right. You NEED a Bird!

That’s right. You NEED a Bird!

Koko B. Ware aside, let’s look at his career. He was a midcard comedy act from 1999-2000, followed by the aformentioned tragic heel turn and from there stayed with the WWE in a lower card (see no actual feuds) so he could be dumped out of the ring during battle royals and the Royal Rumble up until he was fired in 2004.

Hall of Famers should either be amazing characters, who regardless of their tenure, made a memorable impact on the industry OR an innovator. Rikishi is neither. The only he inspired is this:

tensaidancing

Gee thanks Rikishi…..

Is 2015 his time?

Probably. Again, the WWE want the Usos to induct their dad. It gives historical  “legitimacy” to characters on TV now. Any easy given to assume on, is if a major pushed star has a father, grandfather or uncle who was in the wrestling business, they will eventually go in. Guaranteed. I guess this year is going to be RIkishi’s.

Who Instead?

Some of the great  80s and early 90s mid card acts who are sadly missing. Vader, Rick Rude, or the Honky Tonk Man are just three of the missing from WWE’s greatest generation. (Technically Vader is from the worst generation of 1996-1997, but the idea sounded nice)

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Kevin Nash

dieselwwe

If there is one guarantee for the WWE Hall of Fame Class of 2015, it is that Kevin Nash will be an inductee. Since 2013, Triple H has  flourished in his role as the master of the Hall of Fame.  But, let us not kid ourselves, Triple H, like any former wrestler now in a position of power, has his favorites and has his friends.

2014 gave us the return on the New Age Outlaws to active competition because….uh.

oldageoutlaws

It also gave us Scott Hall’s induction into the Hall of Fame as a character he played for four years, Razor Ramon. While I documented how silly it was for Hall’s career to be simplified down to a gimmick (the theme of the summer here at the WWE Hall of Fame Blog), his inclusion was due to two factors: talent and Triple H. Triple H will now start to induct his friends into the Hall of Fame. And Kevin Nash is next.

Or should I say Diesel. In general WWE has a need to celebrate what they did over any other promotion. They won and the past is always told from the point of view of the victors. Therefore, Nash, who despite having one of the worst title reigns in the history of the WWF, will go in as his character whose greatest highlights include fighting Mabel and winning the championship on a house show.

Nash himself is a polarizing figure. He is the king of the shoot interview (HTM & Raven as well) and says a lot of stupid things.

Is 2015 his year?

His mouth aside, Nash or Diesel cannot be denied as a WWE Hall of Famer (all world champions should be)

 This one is happening in 2015.

Instead?

Triple H is going to continue to induct his friends. New Age Outlaws, XPac will go in during the next 3-5 years. Nash is a world champion. I am okay with this one.

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Mickie James

mickiejames

Oh, what a sad state women’s wrestling is in. If you have read my blog at all, my general disdain of women’s wrestling is extremely apparent. It is not to say, that there aren’t many solid pro wrestlers who happen to be women, it’s more that a female’s careers in general are  short, mostly unspectacular and of no great importance. The average diva (hate that term) life span in the business is about 5 years;  at the most, 7 years,  Then they are put out to pasture for being too old (32-35)

Which is Why they never brought in the amazing Sara Del Rey...

Which is Why they never brought in the amazing Sara Del Rey…

That being said, let’s look at our rumored women for the Class of 2015. WWE decided in 2010 that each year must have a women as part of the class. While the idea is nice and certainly commendable for diversity purposes, it is an impossible feat to continue without booking people who have only been retired for very short periods of time.

Cue, Mickie James. Mickie James’ WWE run was from 2005-2010, followed by a  TNA run (which will be ignored) While she certainly fits the criteria of a wrestler, is she a Hall of Famer? Of course not.

Mickie had one good story line. The best women’ story line of the 2000s, of the Ruthless Aggression ERa and then because WWE doesn’t actually care about its female wrestlers, did nothing and was released because she was making a country music album. You know out of spite.

This is who belongs in the Hall of Fame?

How about this? Instead of inducting a wrestler who happens to be a woman who hasn’t appeared recently, let’s go back and actually induct worthy wrestlers. Missing female combatants, Mildred Burke, Madusa, Bull Nakano, Jacqueline, or how about Brock Lesnar’s wife, Sable.  Even lesser performers like Velvet Mcintyre or Lelani Kai are former Women’s Champions during WWE’s heyday in the 1980s.

Is 2015 her year?

No, I don’t think so. Mostly do to our next rumored women’s wrestler

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Victoria

victoria

Apply most of the rant above to this potential inductee. Victoria, out of the two rumored names, is a better choice. She literally is a better wrestler and had a better gimmick, mostly due to the fact that her time with the WWE (2002-2009) was the Ruthless Aggression Era and she had the opportunity to not only wrestle the biggest female wrestlers of the ERA (Mickie James did too) but ended her run before the WWE’s Diva division became a large joke.

Victoria’s biggest moment has to be Wrestlemania 20, where she shaved Molly Holly’s head bald. The feud leading up to their match was a good one and this moment alone was memorable both for its humor (hair vs hair matches are always fun) and for its uniqueness (Only woman in history of mainstream USA wrestling to be shaved completely bald) Now theoretically any woman could have been put into that moment and that inherently is what is wrong with this induction. Victoria was good worker and tough but she had no real key moment with the organization. She was also fired (and appeared in TNA as Tara) due to her age. WWE doesn’t like women who have the best years (in terms of beauty) behind them .

Is she Hall of Fame worthy? Not really, but WWE seems to want to forget the lineage of Women’s wrestling and pretend that it all began with Trish Stratus. If this revision is to be believed, Victoria is fine. Hooray, obligatory woman induction.

Is 2015 her year?

If these rumors are to be believed, then yes. Victoria will go in before Mickie James.

Instead?

I listed all of them above. For simplification purposes, how about Jacqueline. She is former Women’s Champion and former Cruiserweight Championship. That’s plenty more than Victoria. My choice for the next inductee (will never happen) is Chyna (former IC champion) but with Triple H in charge, it is highly unlikely to see his former girlfriend inducted into the Hall of Fame.

 

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So there you have it. Our rumored class for the 2015 WWE Hall of Fame. If I would wager a guess, Sting, & Kevin Nash will definately go in. Randy Savage has a real good shot (THANK GOD) We are missing our celebrity inductee ( I say Andy Kaufman) and the old timer (Ray Stevens?). Only time will tell.

Come back soon for our look at some of the greatest gimmick wrestler inductions, future gimmick wrestler inductions and some who will never enter.

 

Up next We got 2004’s Junkyard Dog and future Hall of Famer, Earthquake.

 

 

 

Ultimate Warrior Dies?!?

ultimatewarrior

According to Triple H and WWE.com, recent Class of 2014 WWE Hall of Famer, The Ulimate Warrior has passed away today, Tuesday April 8th, just one day after his appearance on Monday Night Raw and three days after his Hall of Fame induction.

 

Shock. Sadness. Surprise. I don’t know what to say about this. In his speech last night, Warrior ominously talked about lastly legacies as well a death and immortality. This speech, done in Warrior’s character as well as his induction last weekend will forever serve as the epilogue to a bizarre and extremely memorable character and persona.

I don’t know what else to say…..

WWE Hall of Fame Class of 2015 Prediction: The Undertaker Will Headline

undertaker

 

April 5th 2014 will go down in the lore of professional wrestling as one of the most important moments in the history of professional wrestling. It is the day when the Undertaker, a man who has cemented himself as the real Mr. Wrestlemania, was finally defeated at that event. The streak is dead.

Undertaker’s loss can be interrupted as many things. It is a changing of the guard, an ending of the old and most likely, the end of the career of the deadman. The initial shock aside, Taker is one of the last examples of an old school wrestler. He will always do the right thing and just as Shawn Michaels and Ric Flair before him, Taker appears to have gone out on a losing effort (one only wishes the build up and story was better or more about the passage of time and its effect on the Undertaker) The Undertaker tonight looked like a shell of his former self, he was skinny, out of shape and appeared to be struggling in the match.

takertoday

Old Taker

Reality appears to have set in for the Undertaker and I wouldn’t be surprised if this match is the last for the dead man. Taker seems to have gone out with a whimper, but that surprise builds in the fans watching the feeling that truly anything can happen in the WWE. Taker did the right thing.

This could very well mean that next year, we have our headliner. It is obvious that Undertaker would be a first year pick for whatever Class following his retirement. IF he is retired, expect the Undertaker to headline and be a major factor in the WWE Hall of Fame Class of 2015. It will be a welcome chance to see the man behind the Undertaker, a man named Mark Calloway who so loves this business that he has given years to it, more than perhaps he even needed to.

One last point. If you look at the WWE’s website and look at the Undertaker’s profile, there is a not so subtle hint that Taker is on his way to the Hall of Fame.

takerprofile

 

See his full profile here: http://www.wwe.com/superstars/undertaker

 

Only time will tell, but I predict the WWE Hall of Fame will welcome the Dead Man next year.