WWE Hall of Fame Class of 2014: Lita

lita1

Lita

Class of 2014

Hot Chick

lita4

Hall of Fame Rating

5 out of 10

Memorable

Out of all the 2014 inductees, Lita is the one I don’t understand. Her tenure with the WWE was memorable but she is thought of by many as the 2nd most important female wrestlers of the 2000s. Yet, when I think of Lita, all I can think of is:

litainhury

Botches

Lita,  is at best a passable wrestler, who was in some story lines and had a fan base, mostly due to her “hot chick” character. She is no better than most of the females who will never get in the Hall of Fame. Compare her career, work rate or skill set to that of Victoria, Ivory, Mickie James, Jacqueline, Luna Vachon, Molly Holly or Beth Phoenix and Lita…just doesn’t match up. Still, many are unconvinced.

eddie-izzard-plugging-his-ears-o

So why? Lita’s major positive is her sexuality. Her character was simply a hot chick, which in the landscape of 2000s WWE, was different. Many of the models of the time, who played wrestlers on TV, were either completely cookie cutter (Blonde). Lita also benefited greatly from her pairings…..

rioslita

Not this one….

And WWE’s booking. Lita is an example of a person whom the machine got behind and did a very good job of selling what Lita was offering. She had spunk, sexiness (in a girl you bang undr the bleachers kind of way) and a voice that only a smoker would love.

Lita’s greatest moments happened not in the ring but as a valet, a role she played more than wrestler. She was the valet to Team Extreme for many years and did have success because of the Hardys as well as add sex appeal to their overall package. A major reason was because she was willing to do their moves, plus the one she became noteworthy  She was the first female to do  moonsaults on WWE programming, which when hit are always impressive and when they are not….

Ouches All Around

Ouches All Around

Lita’s greatest moments happened during her tenure with the Rated R Superstar and she did help bring Edge to the next level.  But again, it had more to do with her sex appeal and willingness to do…well anything.

The main reason why Lita stands out amoung her peers is that she had one thing you actually need to be successful. She had storylines. Lita was a functioning member of Team Extreme and participated in their feud with the Undertaker. In fact, she wouldn’t stop interfering in many of the Hardy’s matches. That meant that she took all the Hardy’s feuds just as personally. That’s great right writing and Lita benefited from it on a regular basis. She was fun, but no where near as big of a deal as she is made out to be.

Oh, BTW, That’s right…Lita feuded with both the Undertaker and Kane….

Lita simply could not be a top 10 female wrestler in history (Currently6 Females Inducted, and one of them is Sunny) Her tenure simply wasn’t long enough. Lita spent a lot of time injured and alot of time off television And  injuries matter because all and all Lita was with WWE from 1999-2006, that is seven years. That’s it. She was injured for a year a half. She was a non wrestler for at least 2 years of that time, which means for a woman to get into the Hall of Fame, it only take 3 ½ years of being featured in storylines. Somehow, this doesn’t feel worth it.

There is no denying that Lita was fun. But the Hall of Fame has started to get serious again, and Lita simply doesn’t make the cut of the rest of the class this year. Her induction is another example of WWE following a formula….

frankenstein

MUST HAVE FEMALE INDUCTEE

Why 2014?

 In the World of WWE, Lita is in the top 10 female wrestlers of all time. Following Trish Status last year, they continued with their tradition of skipping of the 90s and moving straight to the 2000s when it comes to female inductees. With her inclusion, perhaps now Ivory, Chyna, Sable, Luna, Madusa or other deserving 90s stars will get the chance to go in.

Opens Door For?

Literally any other female character…. We will get one each year after all

Reasons this shouldn’t have happened.

litainhury

WWE Hall of Fame Class of 2014: Carlos Colon

carlosColon

Carlos Colon

Class of 2014

Father of Puerto Rican Wrestling; 26 Time WWC Champion

carlos-colon

Hall of Fame Rating

7 out of 10

Historically Significant

Carlos Colon is referred to the Father of Puerto Rican Wrestling in some circles. In a way, he fits that title. His organization, the World Wrestling Council, was and in some cases still is, the biggest home grown wrestling company in the Island of Puerto Rico. Unlike most of his contemporaries, his company still does perform shows, and although his involvement is limited, WWC remains his biggest lasting legacy.

That's not Cool!

That’s not Cool!

Oh, yes and Carlito.

Colon followed the path of contemporaries like Stu Hart, Verne Gagne and Fritz Von Erich in whom he booked in his territory. If a promoter could physically do it, his first choice as top babyface was himself. No one better to trust as talent. You will never leave you high and dry, unless you are crazy….Oops said the magic word….

CRAZY!

CRAZY!

Anyway, Colon holds two impressive records/accolades in wrestling down in Puerto Rico. His is 26 time Universal WWC champion. That is more times than any other booker-champion. Unlike his counterparts, Colon not only liked to win, he liked to lose. His first reign was in 1982 and last in 1999, which means he held the championship at least 1.5 times every year during those 17 years. That’s quite a feat, but not as impressive as the next accolade. Colon is the first Puerto Rican NWA Champion. Unfortunately, for him, the NWA to this day still does not recognize his victory over Ric Flair in a unification match.

Matches against Flair aside, Carlos Colon was never known as a wrestler’s wrestler. He was no technician. Colon’s battles with competitors were generally of a personal nature; a severe hatred brewed over a period of time. Its probably why Colon lost the title so much. Its hard to have hatred for someone who is being a competitor and gunning for your championship.

Abdullah the Butcher is often referenced as Colon’s greatest opponent. Their battles were bloody brawls. Abdullah was never known as a worker of anything, so there were lots of punches and kicks and weapons, think hardcore but not really as interesting…

Got to love “Vengeance Matches”, as the above is called.

In the US, Carlos Colon was never as big as a wrestler. He was solid mid-card NWA face. He won some matches and lost some matches. Here in the states, Pedro Morales was much larger and well known. Morales is, after all, a former WWF Heavyweight Champion and the first Triple Crown Winner. Not bad for a man who looks like your uncle…

That's not Cool!

That’s not Cool!

In WWC, another common territory troupe occurred as well. The son of the well known champion and promoter became champion as well. Stu Hart, The Funks and Fritz Von Erich followed this path to much success. And Carly Colon joined his father as WWC Universal Champ for the first time in 2000 and the last in 2011 (not counting the 4 years he was with WWE) That’s 13 times in 7 years, 1.5 times as well. Well if it works…why fix it….

On top of Carly (Carlito), Primo Colon also has held the title and currently is more successful that his older brother as a proud member of the WWE Roster.

losmatatoress

Proud Members

That's not Cool!

That’s not Cool!

Carlos Colon has his legacy intact…except for one thing. For fans of wrestling before the 1990s, there are some beloved territory figures who never really existed in the WWE world. Abdullah the Butcher is one and Bruiser Brody is another. Brody is a future Hall of Famer himself and suffers from the “deceased problem” which has held up his induction. Yet unlike many of his contemporary deceased people, his death is not drugs or abuse related.

Bruiser Brody was murdered. In a WWC locker room. BY a wrestler. Under Carlos Colon’s watch.

In a article about Bruiser Brody, I will go into this further, but the basics are that a fights broke out between Brody and Invader #1  in the showers which resulted in Brody being stabbed, and  was left to bleed out in the locker room while Tony Atlas frantically tried to get medical help. The man was bleeding in the shower, dying on the tile and no one in the locker room (save Atlas) did anything to assist. Partial blame has to fall on the shoulders of the man in charge. That man was Carlos Colon.

On top of all of that, Colon continued to book Invader #1 until his retirement. Invader, whose real name is Jose Gonzalez, was charged with murder and found innocent…mostly due to the corrupt nature of  the Puerto Rican legal system as the time and Colon’s power to push it under the rug.

That's not Cool!

That’s not Cool!

 I agree Carlito. I agree.

On a side note, Colon is our second inductee into the Crazy Scars Wing where he joins Abdullah the Butcher in the wing where we ask the simple question, “Why did you do that to your forehead!!!”

Welcome! Forks are sharp and plentiful!

Welcome! Forks are sharp and plentiful!

Why 2014?

Two words. Video Library. Carlos Colon owns one of the largest untapped libraries still not owned by WWE. They have been on a mission to own all of wrestling. Started in early/mid 2000s and a renewed push due to the WWE Network. Colon is selling and he gets the Hall of Fame nod he’s been wanting. Its a fair trade.

And this isn’t the first time that a Hall of Fame induction has been part of a sale or DVD release. Many Hall of Fame inductions have terms attached to them (Gagne sold library and wanted son hired) or themselves are icing on the cake, as Colon’s appears to be here. He wanted the induction (and was rumored to be upset when it didn’t come last year in NYC)

Opens Door For?

Other international lesser known stars, perhaps from Japan or Mexico. El Santo or Great Muta. Also anyone who owns a wrestling library. Definitely those.

Reasons this shouldn’t have happened.

The Brody Thing is the only negative mark against Colon. He is supposed to be a very nice man, with very poor judgement.

 

WWE Hall of Fame Class of 2014: Razor Ramon

razorramon

Razor Ramon

Class of 2014

Scott Hall’s WWF Alter Ego; The Bad Guy

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Hall of Fame Rating

8 out of 10

Legend

 As the rumors started to surface of a possible Hall of Fame nod for Scott Hall, thoughts went to just how far Hall’s health had progressed in such a short time. Only a year and a half ago, Scott Hall was on death’s door. He had been featured on ESPN E60 and looked like a man who was at best, a shell of his former self.

Kevin Nash is on record as saying that he was waiting for Scott Hall to die. Hall’s battles with addiction are not only documented, but an major facet of his legacy. Scott Hall is a drunk and messed up. More messed up than Jake Roberts even…

That’s why Scott Hall’s recovery and induction here in 2014 is not only surprising. It is shocking. Scott Hall was not supposed to live to see his WWE Hall of Fame induction. One probable result was that he’d be inducted as part of the Outsiders after his death. That’s is if Kevin Nash ever allows himself to go in or could make it to the building….

Prerequisite Nash Quad Joke

Prerequisite Nash Quad Joke

Hall has had a long, storied career, which is an easy way of saying he’s done a lot of different things. In the mid-late 1980s, he was a product of the tail end of Verne Gagne’s AWA. Say want you want about Verne Gagne’s lack of business sense or ability to compete with Vince, he knew talent…

Uncle Verne knows what he likes

Uncle Verne knows what he likes

Hall was poised to be AWA’s answer to Hulk Hogan and began his career green around the ears but with the power of the 3rd largest promotion in the country behind him. Heck, Big Scott Hall, looked more like Tom Selleck that Magnum TA….

Only in the 80s...

Only in the 80s…

Scott Hall had star written on him from the get go and his pairing with Hall of Famer Mr. Perfect Curt Hennig brought both a modicum of success in the tag ranks (back when tag ranks mattered) and also begot a strange video where Hall and Hennig shined with their great rapping skills. If you haven’t seen Wrestlerock….you owe it to yourself….

As AWA began to die, Hall moved about through the NWA (where he was saddled with with Gator Scott Hall…whatever that is.) Wrestling Council and WCW as the Diamond Studd before he finally reached a stable footing in 1992. His debut in the World Wrestling Federation was one of the best done series of vignettes. Not since former teammate, Mr. Perfect, had WWE encapsulated a character so perfectly (pun intended) in the short promos.

Who pushes a kid into a fountain? The Bad Guy, that’s who. Hall’s creation of Razor Ramon was pure genius. It worked on the 1992 level of charactery gimmicky and also on a more believable side, which would be beneficial for Ramon as the “New Generation” began to take hold.

Razor Ramon, while an obvious villain and rule breaker, got over with the fans in popularity and within a year and half of joining the WWF, he turned baby face and began what would be his most successful turn with the company. Ramon became the first 4 time Intercontinental Champion in history while trading the title back and forth with Jeff Jarrett, Goldust and Shawn Michaels. Ramon, could arguably, be the last GREAT IC champ.  His reigns were the tail end of  IC title prestige.  As WWF entered its Attitude faze it faded into obscurity and importance. (Another casualty of the “best era”)

Ramon’s pinnacle point has been regularly been considered (by WWE) to be in 1994, with Wrestlemania 10 and the “first ladder match”

While a definite highlight of Wrestlemania 10, it’s status as “Top Ten in History” has mostly faded as the years have gone on. It also happens to represent an image which haunts the entire New Generation Era. Now, I have been very critical of the Kliq (Michaels, Ramon, Nash , HHH & Xpac) in previous articles for their attitudes, and specifically, ability to hold down other talent and manipulate backstage. Now Hall himself has very rarely if ever accused of throwing his weight around, however the aforementioned ladder match went long (mostly due to Hall/Michaels going long and ignoring calls to end match), which then bumped the 10 man tag match and cost those involved a Wrestlemania paycheck. This is just one example of the group that Hall remained part of during his tenure with the WWF. In my mind, it is the only tarnish on an otherwise good run.

I really don't like Shawn Michaels

I really don’t like Shawn Michaels

The Kliq dictated the void after Hulk Hogan’s departure in late 1993. There are lists of talents from Bam Bam Bigelow to Shane Douglas and even Bret Hart himself who deride and despised the group Hall was part of.  Still, I wonder if Hall was only in it for friendship and drug partners….

Hall, along with Nash left the WWF in early 1996. Hall’s last appearance as Razor Ramon was a glorified squash match at an In Your House against Vader.

Ramon’s appearance in 1996 on Monday Nitro was one of the largest turning points in history.  Scott Hall was the  catalysts to the future of the wrestling business. Austin/Bret at Wrestlemania 13 is another example of a moment where the game just changed. The minute that Scott Hall walked onto WCW programming, the battle between the organizations became real and tangible. Hall was no slouch. He was not a WCW made guy who was “Going Back Home” like Sid, Flair or Luger. This was WWF’s Razor Ramon and he was on Nitro, talking and acting like Razor Ramon. Razor Ramon became a part of Scott Hall, integrated it into his character to such a degree that they are inseparable. You cannot mention one without mentioning the other.

Scott Hall was the spark that lit the fire caled the NWO. The NWO needed Hulk Hogan for sure, but it also needed Attitude. Hall was pure Attitude and pure “machismo.”  His success as a founding member of the NWO is a very important and defining feature of Scott Hall’s career. Without the NWO, Scott Hall was a midcard act who would probably be rated much lower on our friendly scale up top.

Scott Hall helped to redefine the wrestling business financially. He was one of the first guaranteed contracts (a must in today’s corporate landscape). He even had a level of creative input and control, while not the aforementioned “Danger Zone” levels of  Kevin Nash and Hulk Hogan. His business acumen is all large part of how the Attitude Era/ Monday Night Wars went. Money Makes the world go round and Hall changed the money setup.

Plainly, Hall cannot be overlooked for his importance is fostering, focusing and being the real wrestler of the NWO. It is sometimes forgotten that Scott Hall was actually a good hand. In the NWO, he was the one who would take the fall, because frankly he didn’t care. He was making more money than most anyway, because he understood the business.

Sadly, there was one thing he didn’t understand and that was his own demons. Coming off an amazing win at World War 3 (and winning a WCW world heavyweight shot), Scott Hall faded quickly in wrestling. He became unreliable,; a death sentence for any wrestler.  As his demons began to take hold, his abilities in the ring and in promos diminished. By 1998, Hall was basically a non entity and by 1999, he had faded out due to his alcohol abuse.

Hall is an example of demons getting the best of him. His inclusion in the Hall of Fame is a must. Scott Hall’s  welcome home….unless…

I have to mention a fear surrounding this induction. In a strange move, WWE is inducting Scott Hall as Razor Ramon. While known as Razor for a four year chunk, Razor Ramon was a part of his career and most definitely not the most prolific. That honor goes to his NWO run. Now, WWE has always been known to celebrate the aspects of careers as they like to see them. Everyone knows Barry Windham was not an original Horseman or that Koko B. Ware sucks, but WWE does what they want with these inductions.

However, Scott Hall is a little different. His career spans too much and the NWO is too important to ignore. i could be going crazy, but take a look at the induction video:

This induction video basically is the induction video for Razor Ramon, the character. It has nothing to do with the career of  Scott Hall,. Scott Hall the AWA champion, Scott Hall the first member of the NWO and Scott Hall the changer of the way business is done, none of these are mentioned in the video above. To induct Scott Hall, all parts (ESPECIALLY THE NWO) need to be included to do him justice.

Now regardless, this induction is extremely important. I don’t care what they call him. They could call him Gator Scott Hall, as long as the breath and importance of his career are out in the open.

I, like all look forward to his speech and his inclusion in the WWE Hall of Fame

I'm sure he would attend....

Unless he comes… Uh Oh

 

Why 2014?

Same as Jake the Snake. WWE wants to get him in while he is healthy and strong. He’s back!

regaldancing

Opens Door For?

Kevin Nash to have his own solo induction…most likely as Diesel. Other 90s new generation like Sid, Vader, Owen Hart & British Bulldog.

Reasons this shouldn’t have happened.

His first big event back in spotlight since quitting drinking and using the power of DDP and DDP Yoga. Perhaps too much