The WWE Hall of Fame Class is shaping up to be one of the best in the history. The upper class of the Hall has been bedazzled with Bruno Sammartino and Mick Foley. The mid-card of the class is standing strong with Bob Backlund and Trish Stratus. Even the celebrity inductee is a good choice (in comparison to other potential celebrities only. Donald Trump is the quintessential Celebrity inductee. Things are looking great. We hope.
Generally speaking, the Hall of Fame Classes are 7 individual inductees (which sometimes include families, stables and tag teams). Last year, 2012’s class was only six inductees but included the 5 inductee group of the Four Horsemen. 2013’s class could have anywhere from one to three more inductees, depending on what the WWE wants. The “new” induction process (herein called Triple H’s way) seems to only favor the actually worthy inductees. So far, there has been no one who was questionable ( Tony Atlas), dumb (Pete Rose) or offensive (Drew Carey). Let’s take a look at some recently rumored names and follow up on some old rumored names.
This is a new one. Last week, many of the dirt sheets were reporting that a “Hall of Fame video package” was done for the bookman, Booker T. This report seems to signify the likelihood of Books’ induction. Considering similar reports came out about Donald Trump, I would take this report at face value. If the WWE is serious with keeping with worthy inductees only, Booker T makes sense. Plus he’s was regularly booked as from Harlem, NY (Houston, TX is his hometown)
No one would disagree that Booker T is a worthy inductee, but personally, I always prefer the inductees to be at least retired to be eligible for induction. Booker, although technically not a full time wrestler, is still on television. He’s there every week, in a position which doesn’t suit him whatsoever.
Still there is no denying that Booker should be in the Hall of Fame. But this year? I hate to say it, but 2013 is a waste for Booker T. He isn’t necessary He could easily be in any class as the 2nd of 3rd most important inductee (like Bob Backlund this year) A problem WWE is always running into is not enough big names. Booker T is well known and on television now. Which means like Edge, he is a bigger deal than he might be if not recently on TV. (I’ll deal with Edge when I do his induction) But Booker has the same issue Edge did. Its too soon. Booker needs to be held off until he first actually retires, and second until he leaves the company for a short while.
The Hall of Fame has always been a way to “catch up” with former stars. When a recent or current superstar is inducted, it feels unnecessary So Booker goes in the Hall and now will be called Smackdown General Manager and WWE Hall of Famer every time he appears on the program, which is every week. I felt similar about 2007’s inductions of Jerry Lawler and Jim Ross. Both were on TV every week and that makes it feel less special. The Hall of Fame should always feel special for all inductees.
This gripe aside, Booker T was always going to get in. He would have ended up in there eventually and is a welcome choice. He would also be further proof that WWE is finally taking the Hall seriously.
One last point, WWE has a tendency to induct people who fit a certain mold. Almost every year, the class has one woman and one Africian-American. I blame this more than anything for the paltry inductions of Tony Atlas and Koko B. Ware. There just aren’t a load of super well known and successful African-American wrestlers. And most of them are already in the Hall. Eventually, if WWE keeps it up, Iceman Parson will end up in the Hall. This will also most likely put to rest the Kamala rumors, but I’ll deal with that below.
Chances of induction 8 out of 10
I’ve been reporting rumors of Ivan Koloff for many weeks, but this week it was almost confirmed that he hasn’t been asked. Koloff posted on his facebook account, that he was “Not going to be inducting Bruno and would love the honor of induction himself” He also asked fans to “vote with the WWE” to tell them to induct him this year.
These words don’t seem like a man who is actually on the block for induction nor who has been contacted whatsoever. That is not unusual for the WWE. Many times they wait until the absolute last minute to solidify at least one inductee. Still with the new Triple H way, it is very possible that the class is set as of now.
The last report on Ivan also listed Kamala as a possibility. This potentially makes the report old and probably invalid. Although I think this would be a perfect choice, Koloff’s chances are looking slim.
Chances of induction: 4 out of 10
RIP Paul Bearer. He is a well deserving inductee but after his death on Wednesday, reports are circulating that “some” are pushing for Bearer’s induction this year. This isn’t going to happen.
Considering the close proximity to Wrestlemania, 4 1/2 weeks away, the general grieving process of a family is much longer for a loved one. If this had happened in December or January I would expect that WWE would pull an Eddie Guerrero (induct someone at the next possible moment) but in this case it is too soon.
Expect Bearer to either be done next year or due to his deceased nature, held off until after the Undertaker, so that he can do the induction (my guess on WWE’s original plan)
Chances of induction 3 out of 10
If these names hold, it is possible we are looking at a 6-7 person class. As of late, updates have been done every other week. With four weeks remaining, two more inductees should be in the works.
Booker T alone
Booker T and Ivan Koloff
Booker T and suprise guy, like the Honky Tonk Man.
Names which aren’t going to happen this year
As I mentioned above, WWE has a tendency to do only one African American a year. Reportedly, Kamala was asked in January and there has been no real follow up on this. Since, Kamala has been advertised and booked on WrestleCon’s signings during Wrestlemania weekend. No one who will appear on WWE programming during the weekend is allowed to attend and participate in this event. Pretty much puts death to the Kamala rumors.
There may be many reasons for this. Perhaps reports of Kamala came from an unreliable source or perhaps Kamala turned down the honor. Kamala and the WWE have had a contentious relationship to say the least. Kamala has iterated many times his displeasure with the E”s payments to him in his three runs. Supposedly, Kamala was paid like a low-midcarder during his main event runs with Andre in 84, Hogan in 87 and Undertaker in 92. This factor alone, would make any man angry and resentful to the company which wants to honor him (for only 5,000 dollars as reported by Bruno)
Chances of induction 2 out of 10
Check back soon for more info on inductees and rumors circulating as well as a full review of the induction ceremony (I’m going!) coming on April 6th.