Rumored WWE Hall of Fame Class of 2017

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Its that time again. With somehow less than 5 months until Wrestlemania, a list of possible names have come out of potential Hall of Famers for next years class and its quite a doozy. Please note, this list came from inquisitor.com, a site more known for clickbate and less known as a  bastion of correct and true information. Still, I would be remiss if I didn’t cover. And here we go.

 

Goldberg

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2016 has brought yet another unexpected return in the WWE world. 50 year old Goldberg is making his in ring return at Survior Series 2016. Yes, hell again has frozen over.

WWE has, perhaps in desperation, made friends with many of its former stars (Goldberg, Ultimate Warrior, Bruno Sammartino) and stars of WCW’s past with Sting. As Triple H says, “It’s best for business”

Goldberg returned with the best promo of his life and showcased in those five minutes why he truly is a great legend and a worthy headliner for a Hall of Fame Class. He looked better here than he did his entire 2003-2004 run.

Goldberg’s match versus Brock Lesar at Survivor Series is supposed to be a one off (expect him to lose cleanly to Brock Lesnar) . The Hall of Fame seems like the next logical step. WWE always needs a headliner, a lesson learned well during 2010’s headlinerless class.

2010

With headliner…Ted Dibiase…shucks

 

For 2017, Goldberg is only 1 of 4 possibilities. Its either Goldberg, Daniel Bryan, Undertaker or the Rock. My guess is that Goldberg makes the most sense, even if he does come back for one last (again) match at Wrestlemania 33.

Daniel Bryan has years to go in and can easily be used once he’s off WWE programming as Smackdown Live GM or in a year where there are no other possibilities.

Undertaker won’t go in until he is officially retired. I got this wrong before after the defeat of the streak in 2014.

This leaves the Rock and Goldberg. I predict its Goldberg’s year (I detail the Rock below)

WWE will celebrate Goldberg the right way and he will headline the class this year.

Chances of induction: 9 out of 10

Mickie James

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In a slightly less surprising move, mostly due to her star power, Mickie James has recently come back (for a likely one off) to NXT. WWE has really started to use older stars and has gone all out to bring in talents with name recognition. Rumor had it that James was a last minute replacement as an opponent for NXT Women’s Champion Asuka, with recently pregnant WWE Hall of Famer Trish Stratus originally earmarked for that role.

Mickie James, a veteran in her late 30s will play her role and lose decisively to Asuka, continuing to build up Asuka as the female dominant performer.

The question at hand on this blog is however whether Mickie will jump into the Hall  of Fame this year. I for one hope not. Nothing against Mickie or her talent in the ring, but her inclusion is another and probably the worse case of too soon for female inductees. Mickie isn’t even retired for god sakes.

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WWE did this both with Trish and Lita, inducting them at very young ages (before the age of 40) and although female wrestlers careers tend to be shorter, (at least in the modern era), I believe that more time needs to be given before induction. Plus, Chyna, Victoria, Molly Holly,  Luna Vachon, Miss Elizabeth and Bull Nakano are all pending inductees. Mickie James is  too soon.

 

Chances of induction 7 out of 10

 

Mike Graham

mikegrahamAn odd choice for the annual post humorous inductee, Mike Graham has one thing going for him- Florida. For those not in the know, Mike Graham was the less successful, less famous son of wrestler and promoter, Eddie Graham. Mike Graham above inducted his deceased father into the WWE Hall of Fame the last time they drifted down to Orlando for Wrestlemania in 2008.

While Graham makes sense from a location point of view, he makes very little sense otherwise. His contribution to the wrestling world and especially WWE are very little. Mike Graham had success in Championship Wrestling from Florida due to it being his father’s promotion. He did win championships there and have some other regional success, but it was fleeting and not memorable. He was really good as going against stars of a much higher caliber.

His other main contribution was being on the booking team for WCW in the height of the Monday Night Wars. He was known to dislike smaller wrestlers like Eddie Guerrero and Chris Benoit, while having a hot temper and a bad reputation. Also, if you’ve ever watched any shoot videos, Mike Graham is well known for telling us who (like him) never drew a dime in the wrestling business.

 

So the question is this just a guess done by the inquisitor.com or a legimitate head scratcher? Here’s hoping cooler heads prevail and WWE instead include a much more deserving deceased wrestler. (How about Bruiser Brody, Earthquake, Bam Bam Bigelow or Rick Rude?!)

Chances of induction 2 out of 10

 

Steve Keirn

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Hey look Skinner! Yup, Skinner himself Steve Keirn is on a list of potential inductees and it has nothing to do with his Florida crocodile-hunter character, which was both unmemorable and really crappy at the same time.

Steve Keirn, for many years ran WWE’s training and developmental facility FCW. FCW was in Florida and was the precursor to the success in NXT until 2012, when WWE decided they could do developmental itself (and subsequently did it better). When FCW was no longer backed by WWE, its doors shuttered and Keirn was ushered into retirement.

Despite some obvious issues with production,

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Hey look, palm trees and no one there….

 

,FCW had many successes including the men who became the Shield, the Nexus and the Wyatt Family.

As a wrestler, Keirn was also known of one half of the Fabulous Ones with Stan Lane. This team while having some regional success were always a knockoff Midnight Express (Stan Lane even joined the ME later in his career)

Past the Fabulous Ones and the aforementioned Skinner (aka Florida jobber), Keirn’s career as in ring isn’t particularly Hall of Fame caliber. His promoting, like Eddie Graham, will push him over and into the Hall of Fame. Plus, FLORIDA!

Chances of induction 7 out of 10

The Dudley Boyz

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Well that was quick! The Dudley Boyz, the long running and uber successful multiple tag team champions are on this list! After a long and successful turn in TNA, both Bubba and D’Von surprised fans by returning full time in August of 2015. They stayed for a one year contract and decided to call it quits, with D’Von retiring from active competition and taking a job backstage. Bubba remains an active wrestler and recent rumors said that he might be coming back to the WWE early next year for a singles run.

Basically, t is either the Bubba has also decided to mostly hang up the boots and go in the Hall and perhaps concentrate on his wrestling school, or this possible induction is all hope and no substance.

Chances of induction 5 out of 10

Diamond Dallas Page

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Diamond Dallas Page should already be in the WWE Hall of Fame and his possible inclusion is super exciting.

DDP is a both deserving due to his in ring career, one of over achieving and exceeding expectations. DDP started his in ring career at the fairly advanced age of 35 years of age. By all logical accounts, he should have never had success especially World Championship success. DDP, as a WCW superstar, is one of only a handful of guys built by the organization. This alone would get him in the Hall of Fame.

Outside of his career,  there is an even more important reason DDP should be in the Hall of Fame. That is DDP Yoga, the exercise and mindfullness program which has become the  savior of many wrestlers. DDP yoga brought Jake Roberts and Scott Hall back from the brink. It gave Goldust a revitalized career. It keeps Chris Jericho in shape and has made Mick Foley healthy again. It is the greatest physical work out system in the history of wrestling. Good job. BANG!

Chances of induction 9 out of 10

The Rock

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The Rock will be in the Hall of Fame when he wants to be in the Hall of Fame. Everytime we go to Florida, the Rock rumors swell to the forefront. This is not happening now, because Rock isn’t finished. He still wants to have the possibility to come back and do another short Wrestlemania run. Trust me, when the Rock is done, we will know and he will be a first ballot star.

Patience, but not this year.

Chances of induction 1 out of 10

 

Those are the rumors for today. Who do you think is joining the Hall of Fame Class of 2017.

 

 

WWE Hall of Fame Class of 2017: Possible Headliners

WWE-Hall-of-Fame-logo-645x370WWE Hall of Fame Class of 2017 has a headliner problem. For many years, there has been talk that WWE will run out of inductees and specifically headliners as it has been going through superstars at a fever pitch. While I have disagreed in many regards in most years (Assuming Sting, Ultimate Warrior, Macho Man and Mick Foley would join), 2017 seems poised to be the first class since 2010 (headlined by Ted Dibiase after the Warrior said no) without a legitimate headliner.

Going off the correct idea that WWE is a marketing giant and will not headline a class with a lesser talent at this point….

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Here’s three possible headliners for the WWE Hall of Fame Class of 2017

Daniel Bryan

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Daniel Bryan retiring in early 2016 was a great loss for the wrestling world. Bryan was a superstar of amazing potential who theoretically was only beginning to assume his role as a main event talent. He was a Bret Hart or a Shawn Michaels in the making. Unluckily, he was injury prone, specially when it came to concussions.

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Concussed face

Concussions are not a thing to be treated lightly. During my own twenties, I had five concussions (due to maleficence mostly) and have suffered the consequences of confusion and spaciness subsequently. Daniel Bryan’s concussions?-Oh  those are much worse. His style in the ring is one which has basically welcomed injury and concussions. Bryan jokes about the frequency of his head injuries, but he is likely at least 20 times concussed. Not a good thing.

No Category

WWE’s doctors would not clear Bryan and he decided to retire, mostly due to his contract which beholden him to appearing both on Total Divas and remaining “active” as needed. Bryan has been quoted as saying his life is worse for not wrestling. Ask the Funks how that feels. Those guys can’t remain retired in their 60s.

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Talk about glass jaws…

Bryan is still retired as far as WWE is concerned (although recent rumors suggest he might wrestle again) and therefore is a potential candidate for the Hall of Fame. WWE loves inducting recently retired headliners. Edge in 2012 (retired May 2011) and Shawn Michaels in 2011 (retired March 2010) were both cases of “fast tracked” headliners. Both were more a case of the easiest choice. Michaels and Edge were both still under contract at the time of their inductions. Bryan follows this mold.

Still, Bryan may come back. He may wrestle. The only active wrestler to be inducted was Ric Flair and he lost that privilege and “retired” (again only as WWE was concerned) a day later. Bryan will have this slot only if he is actually retired. If WWE bring Bryan back in a desperation play or just because Bryan needs it- Then Bryan is off the table.

Goldberg

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I love the 2k video games for WWE. They are always a good mix of WWE, NXT and Legends making it a fun whos who of matches to play. They are also precursors of those who will return into the fold with the WWE. As an organization, WWE functions mostly as a marketing company for itself. Even more than the matches, WWE is, like almost all wrestling historically, good at making you come back to watch.

Shift to the video games. In the last five years, superstars and celebrities alike have been featured in pre orders and found their way either in the Hall of Fame (Ulltimate Warrior) or  back on WWE programing (Sting). Cut to this year’s pre order. Goldberg is 49 years old. If he was to ever come back, this is his last shot. WWE knows that and he has the perfect in and the perfect opponent, Brock Lesnar.

Goldberg is an easy Hall of Famer if the organization is willing. He was a mega superstar. He dominated WCW in 1998-1999 and was the best home grown talent they had. His inclusion in WWE 2k17 is an easy door opener for his involvement in the WWE promotional machine  and an eventual uber legends contract (ala Bruno and Ultimate Warrior) which brings him back into the fold. He makes a great headliner.

The issue is the rumors. Goldberg is coming back. He has been very vocal on twitter that he wishes to have his children see him wrestle. (Goldberg hasn’t performed regularly since 2004) and is a guarantee to pop ratings and PPV alike if brought back (Sting part 2). WWE isn’t stupid. They know there is a built in story around Goldberg. He is the only man who has never lost to Brock Lesnar. The storyline writes itself for Wrestlemania.

I for one believe Goldberg will wrestle at Wrestlemania 33. This likely disqualifies him from the Hall of Fame (again the Ric Flair rule). Without Goldberg or Bryan, this leaves only one man.

Undertaker

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The Undertaker is 51 years old and says he is retired. Both of those facts lead to the obvious decision. 2017 will be the Taker’s last hurrah by joining the WWE Hall of Fame. The celebration will be great and the Taker will go out into the sunset.

The problem is that do we really believe that the Undertaker’s last match is going to be against Shane McMahon? Does anyone believe that? Apart from dying, this is unlikely. Again, WWE is a marketing machine and they will advertise the fuck (excuse me?) out of the Undertaker’s retirement, unless he is unwilling, Rumors have abounded that Taker has said he is done. History tells us he is done until he is offered the penultimate moment. Taker will be retired in a match. Plain and simple …he isn’t actually done.

I got in trouble predicting the Undertaker’s end in 2015. He lost the streak but has been back twice since. 2017 could be his end, against John Cena. Cena, being the greatest attraction of the last tweleve years, is an obvious choice to end the Taker. 2017 could be that year, but that obviously precludes Mark Calloway from joining the Hall this year. He has no way to talk and be the real man behind the mask until he is done. This will take 2017 out of the mix.

And this leaves……no one.

WWE has a 2017 headliner problem. Only solutions are no headliner, Triple H or perhaps a super team. Could the Hart Foundation, NWO or DX’s Hall of Fame induction be in the future?

Who do you think will headline the WWE Hall of Fame Class of 2017

RIP Mr. Fuji

 

fujiAnother tragedy has befallen the WWE and wrestling communities (I refuse to use the world universe). Harry Fujiwara, aka Mr. Fuji has passed away at the age of 82.

http://www.wwe.com/article/mr-fuji-passes-away

 

Fuji was best known for his time as one of the big three managers in WWE in the mid to late eighties (with Bobby Heenan and Jimmy Hart). His segments for the bizarre Tuesday Night Titans with Don Muraco will end up being one of his largest lasting legacies. Fuji Vice in particular is poetically bizarre especially when considering how terrible a handle of the English language Fuji actually had.

Fuji was known out of the ring as a man who ribbed everyone. His sense of humor and love of his life will be remembered for generations to come. Another great goes down.

 

I have previously written a full Hall of Fame profile on Mr. Fuji. He was a one of a kind man, superstar and manger. He will be missed.