WWE Hall of Fame Class of 2018: Legacy Inductees- It Continues

For the third year in a row, WWE will include a series of “Legacy Inductees”. This group will include deceased wrestlers from yesteryear, who likely would either be impossible to do a proper induction for, (due to either a lack of family, next of kin etc) or would be mostly unknown by the main audience.

 

Who? Who? Who?

 

This has proven to be a good idea in theory, allowing wrestling pioneers like George Hackenschmidt, Farmer Burns and Karl Gotch to join the Hall.  All those men are long deceased and it was obvious in 2010 when WWE inducted Gorgeous George, that bringing George’s 96 year old ex wife on the stage was a strange choice due to its awkwardness.

Historic inclusions aside, 2016 brought Lou Thesz to the WWE Hall of Fame. It was astounding that such an important icon was not given a full induction. 2016, Thesz’s lack of WWE involvement was the likely reason, as the since 2012, the Hall of Fame Classes have been more 1980s and on centric. 2017’s Legacy Class included another odd choice with WWWF mainstay Haystacks Calhoun. He easily would warrant a normal post-humorous induction.

2018 has its fair share of historical, international and territorial stars, but also includes two men extremely deserving of regular inductions.

Let’s take a look at the WWE Hall of Fame Class of 2018 Legacy Inductees.

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Stan Stasiak

Hall of Fame Ranking

5 out of 10

Memorable

Stan “The Man” Stasiak is a former WWWF champion, holding the belt for 9 days and playing the traditional role between Pedro Morales and Bruno Sammartino’s second reign in the 1970s. This reason is the key as to why Stan should be more featured than having 10 seconds on a legacy video.

While his career is more associated with the territory system, holding many regional championships, Stasiak is in the lineage of the WWE Championship. He is featured in the “Hall of Champions” on the site. There is no question Stan belongs in the Hall, the method is just lacking.

This also likely shows us how Ivan Koloff will be included in the future (once the concussion lawsuit is finalized)

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Lord Alfred Hayes

Hall of Fame Ranking

7.5 out of 10

Significant

The most shocking inclusion in this year’s Legacy Class, Lord Alfred Hayes was a corner stone of WWF programming in the 1980s and the early 90s.  He ended his tenure with the company, being fired during WWF’s biggest downturn in 1994/1995.

Hayes, although a wrestler and heel manager throughout the territories and the UK during the 60s and 70s, transitioned into the role of commentator with the style and humor that any fan of the Rock N Wrestling Era remembers fondly.

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Dara Singh

Hall of Fame Ranking

7 out of 10

Historically Significant

WWE’s move to bring in the Indian fan continues with a worthy inclusion in Dara Singh. Singh is historically the biggest wrestler in India’s history. His career while huge in India didn’t really move too much past his birth continent.

Similar to Mil Mascaras, and fellow 2018 Legacy Inductee, El Santo, Singh turned his wrestling career into an acting career, performing in 100s of movies for Bollywood.

Dara-Singh playing something….?

Singh died recently in 2012; Had he lived longer,it is possible that he might have received a regular non-legacy induction.

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Cora Combs

Hall of Fame Ranking

4 out of 10

Fine

During the time period of Mildred Burke, and the subsequent years run by WWE Hall of Famer (and current persona non gratis) The Fabulous Moolah, women’s wrestling was a niche, speciality type of performance. Each territory wouldn’t have their own women. Instead, promoters of women’s wrestling- specifically Billy Wolfe (Burke’s former husband who eventually married Moolah) handled all national bookings for women’s wrestlers.

Cora Combs was one of the last women’s wrestlers brought to the scene by Billy Wolfe. She wrestled with fellow Legacy inductees June Byers and Mildred Burke.

Like many women of the time, her biggest credit was the Women’s US Championship (The World Title was held only by Burke, Byers and Moolah). WWE likes to include a diverse class for the legacy inductees as well. This is why Cara Combs is included.

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El Santo

Hall of Fame Ranking

7 out of 10

Historically Significant

Like Rikidozian last year, El Santo, or just Santo, is considered as the patriarch of wrestling in his country. Santo’s career began in the 1940s, as he was the precursor to fellow WWE Hall of Famer- Mil Masacaras.

Santo wasn’t just a wrestler, he was a hero in Mexico. Like Mil Mascaras after him, Santo turned his fame in a very successful movie career. The love and adulation seen for El Santo in Mexico is something which can only be compared to how beloved Bruno Sammartino was at his height in Madison Square Garden. Truthfully, Santo was bigger than most movie stars in his heyday.

Santo died in the early 1980s of a heart attack but not before he surprisingly unmasked on television, marking the end of his career a week before his passing. It’s almost as if he knew.

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Jim Londos

Hall of Fame Ranking

7 out of 10

Historically Significant

The last of the pre television superstars of pro wrestling, Jim Londos is a welcome addition to the Legacy wing of the Hall of Fame.

Unlike his catch is catch can style predecessors, Londos jumped into wrestling in the time period where the results had moved to predetermined.

Jim Londos most important feature was his look. His muscular physique gave him a heads up with the fans, and the NWA used him as their poster boy, becoming the first NWA World Heavyweight Championship, holding it for 1847 days. Quite an awesome run.

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Rufus Jones

Hall of Fame Ranking

4 out of 10

Fine

Regional star Rufus Jones was a product of the territorial system. He was a black star in the St. Louis area during a time where this was not as common. With his nickname, the Freight train, he wrestled for almost 20 years.

Similar to their normal induction process, WWE likes to include an African american in the legacy portion. Rufus Jones plays that role today.

Here is an interview with Rufus.

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The first of the two questionable “Legacy” additions

Sputnik Monroe

Hall of Fame Ranking

6 out of 10

Influential

Sputnik Monroe is known as one of the greatest draws in the history of Memphis wrestling, but what he will known for from a historical standpoint was the desegregation of the crowds in the Memphis territory.

Monroe was known for fraterizing with the black community, as way to help his business during a down period. These actions built him up in the black community, causing an upswing in business.

Later in his career, he notoriously refused to perform until the crowds became completely desegregated. As Monroe was the big draw, he got his way- making waves and breaking down barriers. A welcome addition to the legacy wing.

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Boris Malenko

Hall of Fame Ranking

6 out of 10

Influential

Father of WCW star, and current WWE producer, Dean Malenko, Boris “The Great Malenko” Malenko was a regional talent during the territory system, playing a foreign “evil Russian” character. Malenko held regional championships throughout his career, holding the NWA North American Heavyweight and NWA Tag Team Championship.

His inclusion as one of the well-known foreign heels of his time is a welcome addition. Playing a heel in the 1950s, and 1960s, Malenko was a perfect heel, playing the role to a tea. On top of training his sons, he ran a school training future wrestlers until his death.

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WWE Hall of Fame Class of 2018: Kid Rock

Kid Rock

Class of 2018: Celebrity Inductee

Obnoxious rap rocker, Somehow in the WWE Hall of Fame

Hall of Fame Rating

1 out of 10

A Joke

For anyone new to this blog, my disdain for the Celebrity Wing of the WWE Hall of Fame has been documented. The first Celebrity, Pete Rose, despite being an obvious marketing ploy, was acceptable as Rose played a role  at three Wrestlemanias (feuding with Kane) and “got it”, by playing a heel (a rarity for celebrities). WWE immediately showed they didn’t understand their own creation by including William Perry in 2006. Perry appeared once for WWE in a battle royal. Great…

While it appeared that WWE had realized their error by including Bob Uecker in 2010, in 2011, WWE confirmed their shortsightedness and general apathy toward fans of the WWE Hall of Fame with the inclusion of Drew Carey into the Celebrity Wing.

Drew Carey = Sad

Since then the Celebrity wing has jumped back and forth still featuring mostly undeserving inclusions. Obvious welcome additions of Mike Tyson and Mr. T aside, the celebrity is the joke of each year. How bad can the choice be? In 2013, future president Donald Trump got in. In 2015, Arnold got in for appearing twice, 2016 gave us Snoop Dog, who despite being a fan, never actually appeared in an angle with the organization.

Now that we are all caught up on the ugh fest that is the Celebrity Wing, lets take a quick look at this years inclusion. WWE Hall of Famer- Kid Rock.

The celebrity criterion, as explained above, is already low- but Kid Rock? Kid Rock is the just as bad as Perry. Why, apart from marketing, is this man in the WWE Hall of Fame. What did Kid Rock bring to the WWE product? Kid Rock sang songs live for WWE. That is his only “contribution”.

Take a quick look at Kid Rock’s performance at Wrestlemania 25.  During said performance, the “divas” for the upcoming match played background prop. It was the height of the anti women’s revolution of the mid 2000s.

Did you know Sunny or Torrie Wilson were in that Battle Royal? Did you see they enter? No? Well, Kid Rock is the reason why.  Thanks Kid Rock.

Apart from periodic WWE concerts, which by the way are always terrible, Kid Rock also did the themes of 2000s American Badass Undertaker (See- worst version of Taker) and Stacey Kiebler.  So, there’s that.

 

According to WWE’s induction video (included below), Kid Rock has performed live not just once, not just twice but three separate times, each time taking time away from the performers that everyone actually cares about.  WOW, good job Kid Rock.

 

There is nothing else to say. Bad idea. Bad inductee. Let’s move on.

 

Why 2018?

 

Wrestlemania’s theme this year is provided by Kid Rock.

It’s a great marketing opportunity

Thanks Brand Ambassador, whatever that is.

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.

Reasons this shouldn’t have happened.

All of the reasons. Pick any. Any reason.

Jim Cornette below has a couple of his own. (including suggesting closing the Celebrity wing)

 

WWE Hall of Fame Class of 2018: Ivory

Ivory

Class of 2018

Early 2000s women’s wrestler. GLOW. 

Hall of Fame Rating

3 out of 10

Unimportant

Holy moly, what are we doing here, WWE? Ivory?

WWE has a tendency to induct undeserving talents. Its a WWE staple. Almost each year has at least one head scratcher; one obvious misstep. Did the Bushwhackers belong in the Class of 2015 with Macho Man Randy Savage? Of course not. Should The Godfather have joined a class filled with legends like Sting, the Fabulous Freebirds and Stan Hansen? Nope. So does Ivory belong in this class with Goldberg, The Dudleys and Mark Henry?

WWE normally follows a pattern with their Hall of Fame inductees.  Each year includes a headliner, a sub-headliner, a tag team or faction, a female star, a person of color and unfortunately a celebrity. This pattern is a good jumping off point, but when used religiously, it gives us inductees like KoKo B. Ware and Ivory.

Here is a list of all of Ivory’s greatest matches in the WWE.

Ivory joined the WWE in 1999. She ironically debuted as fellow undeserving inductee,The Godfather’s ho, a great beginning for any superstar.

Ivory’s entire tenure in the WWE was during the height of the anti-women’s revolution of the early 2000s. She appeared in more bra and panties matches or 2 minute squash fests than anything spectacular or memorable. Ivory’s only really memorable moment was joining the Right to Censor, a stupid faction created to mock television censors (and again ironically with fellow ugh inductee, The Godfather, now named the Goodfather, whatever that means)

So, keeping in mind all that Ivory didn’t accomplish, why is Ivory being included in the WWE Hall of Fame? Like 90% of the celebrity inductees, Ivory is going in due to marketing. You see, Ivory is the only former GLOW, or Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling performer to every perform for the WWE. And Netflix’s series came out in the last year, causing WWE to jump on the bandwagon. Good job WWE.

And as for Ivory’s character in GLOW- here it is.  Tina Ferrari- Hall of Famer.

Too bad we can’t fast forward live television. Her induction is going to be sad and annoying all at the same time.  This is for sure a poor poor choice. Very disappointing.

Why 2018?

Netflix’s GLOW series. That is only reason.

Opens Door For?

Other undeserving female stars. Let’s say Jazz. Who is Jazz you may ask?

This one. Sure

 

Reasons this shouldn’t have happened.

Ivory has no memorable matches and no memorable moments. Those are good reasons.