WWE Hall of Fame Class of 2012: Mike Tyson

tyson

Mike Tyson

Class of 2012: Celebrity Inductee

Baddest Man on the Planet

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Hall of Fame Rating

6 out of 10

Influential

Out of all the celebrity inductees in the Hall, Mike Tyson deserves this honor the most. His participation was similar to Mr. T’s in Wrestlemania 1. It mattered. It actually legitametly affected the product in a positive way.

Most celebrities at Wrestlemania are window dressing. Vince brings them in to get media attention and to make himself feel good.

pamanddiesel

Pam is ditzy and fun AND accompanying Diesel! OMG!

cooperandjake

Jake and Alice Cooper cuz they are both dark or something

This is the most obvious example of the entertainment factor of sports entertainment. Hard core wrestling fans generally glance over this element, which has grown into a spectacular waste of time on events especially Wrestlemania. (Remember Snoop Dog’s Rap Battle bumping Sheamus vs Daniel Bryan for US Title at Wrestlemania 27) Its real bad.

What does all this have to do with Mike Tyson? Well, Tyson is the anomoloy not the rule. Celebrities normally suck. They feel extra and never really affect anything. Mike Tyson did. His precense did exactly what Vince always wants (got media attention) and what real fans want (good story and actually helped change things).

Steve Austin was on a roll since 1997 and during his injury in the later half of the year (Owen Hart’s great contribution to Austin lore), Austin bloomed. He became the hero against the classic ways of doing things in the WWE. Austin lit a spark with his stunners of Ross and McMahon, and Mike Tyson became fuel to that fire.

In 1998, McMahon knew he had something with Steve Austin. The fans loved him. Austin 3:16, his catch phrases and bucking authority were all new in wrestling. This was hard. This felt real. So McMahon took a gamble. A huge gamble. If this gamble was unsuccessful, he was on the path towards the destruction of the WWF. Mike Tyson was that gamble.

Tyson cost over one million dollars to appear at Wrestlemania 14 and preceding Raw shows. At this point, McMahon was losing an uphill battle against WCW. Things were not hunky dory at the time. McMahon changed his product rather quickly in 1997 to adapt to the changing times (and in response to the now) But they still weren’t in the lead and were losing money fast. If Tyson hadn’t brought the attention and more importantly the fans back to WWF, it could have folded.

Mike Tyson joins DX by BigFaker

But Tyson did. He was the cherry on top to the Austin/DX Feud, which brought in the casual fan and the WCW fan. Many came for this and never left as it was obvious WWF was the better product. Tyson helped legitimize the change going on. Why?

The Baddest Man on the Planet. That was Mike Tyson’s nickname and how WWF labled him. Tyson, in all reality, was not a nice man. His job was to beat and destroy people. He had actually been in jail for a few years. Mike Tyson of 1998 would not be brought in WWE today. He was too controversial. And that’s why he mattered.

Vince took his gamble, and it worked. On top of that, Tyson (who was a fan) actually partcipated in a angle where he almost fought Austin, joined DX until he finally saw the truth at Wrestlemania and counted the beginning of the Attitude Era with Austin’s victory. It was a good story and it helped to change the importance of the outcome.

McMahon was always going to go Austin victory. Tyson’s involvement helped more people to see this victory and realize a change was in the air. Tyson is in the handful of celebrities who are musts in the Celebrity Hall. Well done.

Why 2012?

Drew Carey’s 2011 induction was a debacle (he got booed at his speech, at Wrestlemania and even all the press was more “Huh” that “YAY”. )

punksad

Drew Carey=Sad

Did they learn from it? Yes, it seems. Mike Tyson is one of probably five celebrities who have to be in the celebrity wing at some point. His inclusion here says that perhaps the WWE has decided to actually question the validity of a celebrity inductee and not just pick one.

Tyson mattered and with his main involvement being over ten years prior, his induction was good, at least as far as it goes with celebrities.

Realistically, celebrities don’t belong, but if they have to be there, Mike Tyson is up there with Mr. T in needing to be in the Hall.

Opens Door For?

Hopefully a pattern of good celebrity inductions. Mr.T, Cyndi Lauper and Andy Kaufman should be the next three

Reasons this shouldn’t have happened.

Worried about PG rating. But Tyson’s speech was far from TV MA, so none really.

Oh BTW, after that speech Mike Tyson joins the Bat-Shit Insane Wing of the Hall of Fame, which includes Billy Graham, Bob Backlund, Iron Sheik and many others

WWE Hall of Fame Class of 2012: Yokozuna

Yokozuna

Yokozuna

Class of 2012

WWF Champion, 2nd Generation Anoi’i Family, Best Non Asian Japanese Wrestler

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Hall of Fame Rating

6 out of 10

Influencential

Yokozuna was the biggest and most agile of big men wrestlers in WWE’s history. He also has the record for the heavyist World Champion in the history of the organization. Ligitamatlly he weighed over 600 pounds for most of his tenure. That’s all of man. Other wrestlers his size were never able to really anything. While Haystacks Calhoun was great at standing and leaning, Yoko gave leg drops. 200 pound leg leg-drops. No move in the 90s looked like it hurt more than the Bonzai Drop.

That’s alot of meat squishing you.

ohmy

Yokozuna’s career was a burst in 1993 and 1994 which generally fizzled out quickly. His time in the E was six years long, most of which was accomplished in the first two years. Then he got fat. Real fat. Too fat to really stand. So fat, that he was not allowed by certain State Athletic Commissions to perform in that state.

But the most important question is whether Yokozuna is a deserving Hall of Famer. Simply, every world champion before 2000 is deserving. Yokozuna won as a heel and held onto the belt for 280 days. That’s the same length of time as JBL and almost as long at the Ultimate Warrior. Its a big deal. From June 1993 till March 1994, Yokozuna was pushed and worked his ass off. All that equals Hall of Fame.

The problem with any performer pushed to the heights quickly is that there is nothing to do with him afterwards. Yokozuna was a victim of the death of the territory system. His career may have been longer and better if he took on the attraction mantle of big men of previous generations.

Why 2012?

WWE likes to do one deceased wrestler a year. Those tend to fit into one of two categories. Either historical legends in the business (Eddie Graham or Gorgeous George) or WWE mainstays like Mr Perfect or in 2012, Yokozuna.

Backstage Yoko was great friends with Undertaker, well liked and well respected. 2012 was a great Hall of Fame class. Every person and element was deserving. That hasn’t been able to be said since 2005. When Yokozuna is the “least deserving” Hall of Famer, you know its a good class.

Opens Door For?

Perhaps More Samoans. Umaga, Rikishi, Haku and others. Mostly affirms if you held the big belt, the Hall of Fame is in the future. Go Jack Swagger!

Reasons this shouldn’t have happened.

Bad feelings from when Yoko ate everyone’s lunch!

(Wish I could find the video of Todd Pettengill singing at the 1996 Slammys about Yokozuna to the theme of Married With Children, lyrics as I remember them below)

“Yokozuna, Yokozuna, He’s the federation’s big kahuna.

Never missed a dinner! He’s a Nathan’s Hot Dog eating…winner.”