WWE Hall of Fame Class of 2011: Hacksaw Jim Duggan

jim-duggan

Hacksaw Jim Duggan

Class of 2011

HOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!

duggan

Hall of Fame Rating

5 out of 10

Memorable

Today’s fan may tend to forget that the 1980s were all about kids. The PG environment of 2008-todayish was nothing compared to 1988-1996 in WWF. I grew up watching men carrying live animals to the ring and an evil repo man.And we had these!

wrestlingbuddies

Dolls are sometimes cool.

This was the period of time which supplanted Hacksaw Jim Duggan. But as what?

Jim Duggan was a solid hand in the early 80s Mid South and came up with Ted Dibiase, Jake Roberts and Butch Reed. He came to the WWF in 1987 and was a generally over mid-card face. Once 88 came, and the cartoon-ness of characters really started to take hold, Duggan developed catch phrases, and became an archetype. He was the crazy about America cartoon character. His story lines had little substance but he was cheered by audiences constantly, as every face character was in the 1980s.

But that’s it. Duggan had his usefulness for a few years. By 1993, he was barely used except for jobbing and quickly left the promotion. That is because all successful wrestlers have to eventually change. Today, the Big Show has gone through 10 or so different incarnations of the same character. He needed to change with the changing 2000s. Duggan never did this. And this is the inherent problem with many 80s and early 90s wrestlers and characters.

Duggan’s only real success came at two times. In 1988, he won the 2nd Royal Rumble. I say 2nd by the way as there was a 1987 Rumble won by One Man Gang that was never televised. (Which is why 2013 was the 26th Annual and not 25th Annual, even WWE says this)

http://www.guysnation.com/untold-story-true-royal-rumble

But for all intents and purposes he won and Hooray.

It never really led to anything. It was the first “official televised” event and was approved upon and legitimized in 1989-1990. Duggan went on to have mid card feuds with Ted Dibiase, Greg Valentine, and Haku, who he defeated for his other accolade. Jim Duggan was king of the ring. And called himself King Hacksaw.

Oh and he had an actual coronation with all Mid-Card faces and Demolition.

 That was Jim Duggan’s high point with the WWF and that was in 1989. Duggan slowly fell into obscurity as his character got boring. His latter work was meh and unmemorable.

Now nobody will deny that Duggan was popular. He was likable, affable guy who no one really disliked. But that does make him a Hall of Famer

His credentials are sparse  1X Time WCW US Champ (as a punishment to Steve Austin), 1x WCW Television Champ (when he found the belt in the garbage), 1x Royal Rumble Winner (only 20, and a test version) and “King” by beating Haku in 6 minutes. Duggan would never get in on credentials alone. He doesn’t have them.

duggan3

He kept it! Trash Can Title!

Duggan was beloved for a bit. But his character is memorable, which is the only real qualification to get into the Hall. I only wish he wasn’t inducted this soon. Its an okay induction for an okay performer. His positive relationship with WWE caused this.

Why 2011?

 2011 was the most disjointed class in the history of the Hall. It appeared thrown together at the last minute and only included two good inductees (Michaels and LOD) Sunny, Bob Armstrong, Abdullah, Drew Carey and Duggan are all pretty weak inductees. Duggan was beloved but should never have be one of the first late 80s WWF guys to be considered. Not when Rude, Roberts, Savage, or Warrior weren’t in.

So the WWE needed to get people really quickly and asked people they knew would say yes. This pattern has seemed to change in 2012 and more so in 2013 (which is a good sign and a positive effect of Triple H) Johnny Ace never seemed to actually care about the Hall (Talent Relations gives suggestions to Vince)

The 2011 class needed people. Jim Duggan is a person. Sigh.

sigh

Opens Door For?

 Other perennial mid card WWF/E talent. People such as Big Bossman, One Man Gang, Brutus Beefcake and others, some positive, some negative

Reasons this shouldn’t have happened.

 Duggan was the third 80s WWF superstar to go into the Hall. Mr. Perfect, Koko B Ware and Jim Duggan. That was way too soon. Duggan himself perhaps deserves the honor, when he is 65, in 10 years, when they’ve exhausted all the best. Not now.

WWE Hall of Fame Class of 2011: Drew Carey

carey2

Drew Carey

Class of 2011: Celebrity Inductee

Semi Funny Comic and Host Guy, Lost a lot of Weight at one point……

carey

Hall of Fame Rating

0 out of 10

Travesty

Drew Carey is the worst, and most offensive WWE Hall of Fame inductee. All the criticism of the Hall is summed up in Drew Carey. His inclusion sullys the institution. Drew Carey is in the WWE Hall of Fame. Macho Man Randy Savage and Ravishing Rick Rude are not. That alone is a travesty

eugene

“But James, What do you have against Drew Carey?”

Good question Eugene. Nothing. As a person or even in his many comedic exploits, Drew Carey is fine. He was a run of the mill 80s and 90s comedian, who got a sitcom, and did Who’s Line Is It Anyway? (which I like) and The Price is Right (Barker’s better). Congrats to Drew Carey, he is a certifiable C grade celebrity.

The problem with Drew Carey isn’t him. In fact he looks like a pretty nice guy. But what in holy hell does Drew Carey have to do with wrestling? Well, in 2001, Drew “competed” in the Royal Rumble. You see, Drew was promoting his “Drew Carey’s Improv All-Stars PPV”. On WWE’s PPV.

WWE has done this type of stuff many times (Flo Rida recently) And Drew Carey is a good pleasant sport about the whole thing. Drew makes a joke at Vince, Vince convinces him to particpate in the Royal Rumble (First rumble to incorporate comedy/legend segments in Drew And Honky Tonk), Drew vs….KANE. Its all very entertaining.

But that’s it. Drew Carey never appeared for the WWE again. He was never a guest host in 2009/2010. He never showed any interest in the product. He is not a wrestling fan. This was a promotional gig for Drew Carey and he played along. Thanks Drew. Vince probably thought it was hilarious and well worth it.

This is where logic breaks down. How is that a Hall of Fame worthy contribution? He had one visit to hock another product and “wrestled” in the Royal Rumble. He was never mentioned again on programming. He is not a Hall of Famer, plain and simple. And everyone knew it. It was plain on Drew’s face during the ceremony.

Listen to video above at the 30 second mark. Oh so many boos. I will give Drew credit for his “I’m rich” line. He is a old stand-up pro and knows what its like to be booed.

Still WWE made its biggest Hall of Fame mistake here.Drew Carey doesn’t belong in the WWE Hall of Fame, even from celebrity standards. Mike Tyson was part of a important story line  Cyndi Lauper, Mr. T and Andy Kaufman will all eventually join the Celebrity Wing. Drew had none of these things. He had no story line. He had no effect whatsoever on wrestling.  But he’s there and its a bummer.

punksad

Why 2011?

Up until the 2013 class, the Hall of Fame was not well thought out. From 2006-2011 mostly(excluding 2008 and most of 2009), it felt fairly thrown together. Word on the street is that Johnny Ace (Laurinaitis), who was head of talent relations at the time, would wait until the last minute, a poll would be taken and calls would go out. There ended up being no theme, nor real rhyme or reason why certain individuals were included. 2010 had no headliner, 2007 and 2011 were random smatterings of individuals and 2009 was the year Koko B Ware went in.

The point is, celebrity inductees started up again in 2010 and last minute they needed a celebrity. The probably couldn’t get who they wanted or someone named Vince or John really likes Drew Carey. Either way, Drew thought it be fun, silly, went to it, was booed to high heaven, had a terrible time and really has never talked about it again.

So Why 2011? Because, god forbid the WWE doesn’t have at least one celebrity present (as inductee or inductors)

This is the biggest example of putting celebrity over wrestling in the Hall of Fame. As Carlito would say:

93603539_1869be0702

That’s Not COOL!

Opens Door For?

EVERYONE. Theoretically, anyone who has ever appeared on a WWE screen. Adam Sandler for the time he sat in the stands. Jenny McCarthy for walking Shawn Michaels down the aisle, Micky Rourke for punching Chris Jericho, or Kim Kardashian for talking too much. Sad face.

Reasons this shouldn’t have happened.

All of the reasons. There are only reasons against this. None for. Not….It should NOT…..

WWE Hall of Fame Class of 2011: Abdullah the Butcher

Abdullah

Abdullah The Butcher

Class of 2011

Hardcore Icon

20110402_hof_abdullah_r

Hall of Fame Rating

6 out of 10

Influencential

Abdullah the Butcher, or how he is officially know, Superstar Billy Graham’s least favorite Hall of Famer, Abdullah the Butcher is important. Very important. Abdullah has been performing since 1958 and has never actually officially retired. He has always been a monster, a brawler and a legend. His battles with Bruiser Brody were amazing,

However, the most important factor is Abdullah’s influence.

Hall of Famers always fall into one of many categories. They either were known for championship runs like Jack Brisco, or character like Billy Graham himself. Many however are influence specific. Abdullah was a contemporary of the Sheik’s hardcore style. He was also the hardcore successor. Look at his head. That’s dedication to his craft and his character. Abdullah fits in between Sheik and Terry Funk in the lineage of hardcore wrestling. Mick Foley, ECW, and many parts of the beloved Attitude Era came from these three.

Influence is super important. Ron Simmons was the first African American Champion which opened doors. Gorgeous George created the real wrestling character and Abdullah made hardcore cool and real.

Why 2011?

Sheik was inducted in 2006,and the Funks were in 2009. The WWE hadn’t done a hardcore guy in awhile and Abdullah fit. Plus 2011 was a strange class. It appears to be the second of two last minute, “OH No We Forgot About the Hall of Fame” types of induction years. 2010 was much worse, but 2011 still suffered from this. It is almost as if Vince or Johnny Ace was thinking about Abdullah one day and was like “HEY, he’s fun!”

Abdullah also never competed in WWE. WWE likes those inductees. It makes them the ambassadors of all wrestling history.

Sheik was inducted in 2006,and the Funks were in 2009. The WWE hadn’t done a hardcore guy in awhile and Abdullah fit. Plus 2011 was a strange class. It appears to be the second of two last minute, “OH No We Forgot About the Hall of Fame” types of induction years. 2010 was much worse, but 2011 still suffered from this. It is almost as if Vince or Johnny Ace was thinking about Abdullah one day and was like “HEY, he’s fun!”

Opens Door For?

Bruiser Brody. He also never really competed for the E and has a mixed reputation. I am hoping Brody goes in 2014 in Texas.

Reasons this shouldn’t have happened.

Billy Graham hasn’t gone crazy and Abdullah actually lied about knowingly giving fellow wrestlers Hep C.

Carlito Says,

 93603539_1869be0702

 “That’s Not Cool!”