The American Dream Dusty Rhodes Passes Away

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WWE.com is reporting that, Virgil Runnels, Aka The American Dream Dusty Rhodes has passed away at the age of 69. This is both sudden (he had not been sick) and a great loss for both wrestling fans and NXT going forward.

Rhodes, the father of Goldust and Stardust, is a two time former NWA Heavyweight Champion and is considered to be one of the best talkers in the history of the business.

Condolences to his friends, family and all those who knew the American Dream!

Verne Gagne Passes Away

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WWE.com is reporting that former AWA owner and promoter Verne Gagne has passed away at the age of 89. Verne had been in an assisted living facility for over five years and suffered from dementia, and Alzheimer’s disease, which led to his death,

Verne Gagne is one of the most prolific promoters in history and one of the few old timers who tried to give Vince McMahon a run for his money in the 1980s.  The AWA continued all the way until 1991, when it shut its doors forever. He eventually joined the WWE Hall of Fame in 2006, with him graciously accepting the award, all the while saying ” I haven’t joined the Vince McMahon club”

Verne has been used many times in this blog as an example of a wrestler type which doesn’t exist anymore, with our reference to Uncle Verne. He really looks like your uncle doesn’t he. I, for one, will still celebrate our fun uncle…

Balding Uncle Superstar Verne Gane

Balding Uncle Superstar Verne Gagne

We will all miss the personality and the toughness of Verne Gagne. I will do a full breakdown on Verne in the next few weeks, in the meantime enjoy some of the man: Verne Gagne.

WWE Hall of Fame Tonight!!!

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Tonight on the WWE Network, my favorite night of the year: The WWE Hall of Fame premieres!!!!

Tonight’s induction class is the largest since 2004 and features one of the most eclectic classes in history. Many deserve the honor. Some do not. Let’s take a quick look at who is going in tonight:

 

Macho Man Randy Savage

Macho Man Randy Savage finally takes his rightful place in the WWE Hall of Fame. While the celebration of this moment will be great, Macho will not be there himself to revel in his induction. Lanny Poffo will do a passable job at accepting for his brother. Expect him to say that this Induction is “For the Macho Fan, more than the Macho Man>” something he has said way too often since this was announced. Maybe we’ll be a poem too…..

 

Kevin Nash

Rumors have said that Kevin Nash will be headlining the Class tonight, mostly due to the fact that Macho Man is dead. He is also supposedly being given the most time, with all other inductees asked to go twelve minutes or less.

Nash is a über polarizing figure and an apparent avid fan of fucking with fans. It is possible we may see some of that, and its also possible he may be booed by the smart mark crowd.

Rikishi

The latest in the long line of Samoan inductees, Rikishi is one of the weakest in this year’s class. His induction is due mostly to “popularity” with Too Cool and stinkfaces. Rikishi will be inducted by his sons, The Usos, who will immortalize their father, all the while likely knowing in their minds that Rikishi is only getting in due to their current employment. Not looking forward to this one.

Alundra Blayze

The potential dark horse of the night, Alundra Blayze or Madusa as she is properly known, should have an interesting speech. Her inductor is TBD, which means it will likely be a Diva like AJ Lee (or possibly all the DIVAS combined like Sunny). Blayze has been persona non gratis with the WWE for 15 years, she may have something to say about it. Watch this one.

 

Larry Zbyszko

The classic superstar inductee of this year, Larry Zbyszko may be an unknown for some of the fans in attendance. His heel persona was one of the best and he specifically is known for his promo skills. Bruno Sammartino will be inducting the owner of Larryland. It is likely that Larry’s poetic nature will give the best speech of the night.

 

The Bushwhackers

The most frustrating inductees of the night, The Bushwhackers, undeservingly join the Hall of Fame tonight as well inducted by former flag bearer, Johnny Ace. I just hope this goes quickly and we can forget the KoKo B. Ware level of embarrassment felt by their inclusion.

 

Tatsumi Fujinami

Tatsumi Fujinami, international star and Japanese legend will also join the Hall this year. Ric Flair, his greatest US opponent with wax poetic while telling tales of this master of the wrestling ring. During access, he even appeared to congratulate Hideo Itami on his victory. Hopefully, those in know can see this rub to help Itami become a success here in the WWE.

Connor the Crusher: Warrior Award

The heartfelt moment of the night with be the inaugural Warrior Award as presented to recently deceased Connor “The Crusher”. Connor died last year after a long battle with cancer. This move of inducting him is both welcome and will be a special moment for his family.

Arnold Schwarzenegger

WWE continues its pattern of celebrity inductions with the weakest one since Drew Carey. Arnold’s inclusion is likely due to a deal between Triple H and he, with Triple H going into the International Sports Hall of Fame (owned and run by Arnold) and Schwarzenegger going in to the WWE. This is a dumb induction and will hopefully go quickly.

Catch the WWE Hall of Fame tonight on the WWE Network and come back for a full review of the days proceedings this upcoming week after Wrestlemania!!!