WWE Hall of Fame Class of 2018: Hillbilly Jim

Hillbilly Jim

Class of 2018

Country Boy, Company Man

Hall of Fame Rating

4 out of 10


I love Hillbilly Jim’s theme. It is one of the best 80s themes. And it’s originally from WWE’s 1985 record The Wrestling Album, featuring the best “song” ever recorded…by a large group of wrestlers.  (And for those who do watch- Yes, that is Meatloaf.)

Like Dusty Rhodes’ Common Man or Pomp & Circumstance for the Macho Man, Jim’s song is so specific and so perfect for who he is, and that is great. Like most things Hillbilly Jim, his music is fun, memorable and makes you feel good in general.

Who can hate that smile


Yet an issue arises quite quickly, despite his affable nature and his memorable persona, does Hillbilly Jim belong in the WWE Hall of Fame?

Fans today have seemed to be split 70/30 in favor over Hillbilly Jim’s inclusion and I can see both sides.

On one hand, Hillbilly Jim is a company man, ala Blackjack Lanza, who has worked with and for the company since 1984, including today as a well-known ambassador. His wrestling career in WWE lasted 1984-1990, followed by his time managing the Godwinns to tag team gold. Longevity is reward-worthy.

Plus, Hillybilly Jim fits into the lovable WWF 80s babycategory which WWE loves to remember in the Hall.  Men like Hacksaw Jim Duggan, Jake Roberts and Big Bossman are in the hall for better or worse depending on preference.


Me too

Whether they were good wrestlers, they were kid friendly fan favorites and WWE loves their beloved characters of the past.

One last point on Hillbilly Jim, he was the only Hulk Hogan’s Rock N Wrestling cartoon cast member missing from the WWE Hall of Fame. JYDSnuka, Santana, Hogan, Albano, Andre, Okerlund, Richter, Heenan, Mr. Fuji, Piper, Sheik, Volkoff , Moolah and Studd have all been in the WWE Hall of Fame for a decade. In fact many fans have commented today that they thought Hillbilly Jim was already in the hall.

These are all good reasons to include Hillbilly Jim in the Hall of Fame, and why I rated him as high as I did.

The counter to everything I listed above is the following list of all of Hillbilly Jim’s achievements in the wrestling ring.

Hillbilly Jim’s greatest run was his teamups with Hulk Hogan. He was “trained” by Hogan and played the role of “little buddy” for Hogan, a role both Tugboat and Brutus Beefcake would take on at different points. The videos and sequences were a example of what would eventually become WWE’s “comedy”.

But once you pass this point, Jim did absolutely nothing of note in the ring.

His biggest feud of memory was with King Kong Bundy and midgets.  (Bundy isn’t in the Hall of Fame BTW)



He also introduced to the world Uncle Elmer, a fat man who couldn’t wrestle, let alone dance.  The Hillbilly clan was on par with Doink and Dink in its groan inducing segments.


A majority of fans criticize Koko B. Ware and the Bushwhackers (god knows I did) for just not deserving the honor. So does Hillbilly Jim fit in same category as the these obvious awful inclusions?

I’d say no. The biggest difference is his time period. Jim was part of the organization during the boom of the WWF Golden Era. He was just as much a part of it as Piper, Hogan and JYD (although obviously the lower mid card part) Plus his inclusion in the Hulk Hogan Rock N Wrestling Show put him on a much bigger platform than Ware or the Bushwhackers ever reached. I’m okay with this one.



Why 2018?

WWE loves their feel good inductees and they love to reward company men. Teddy Long in 2017 fit into both of those categories. Hillbilly Jim does this year. We will have to wait and see if Jim is an easy replacement for a planned name (such as Kid Rock) who fell through.

Opens Door For?

Other company men- Harvey Whippelman, Brooklyn Brawler, Jamie Noble, Hardcore Holly.

How about me?

No Marc Mero, never you.


Reasons this shouldn’t have happened.

This will be the only Hall of Fame Hillbilly Jim will ever be in. He has literally no wrestling credentials.



WWE Hall of Fame Class of 2017: Teddy Long


Teddy Long

Class of 2017

Longest Tenured Smackdown GM; Consistently Employed


Hall of Fame Rating

4 out of 10


Hey look! Its Teddy Long! Holla Holla Holla!


And he dances….like this…


It wouldn’t be a WWE Hall of Fame Class without an inductee who just isn’t in the same league as the rest of the group. For every Ricky Steamboat, there is a Howard Finkel (2009); for every Antonio Inoki, a Bullet Bob Armstrong (2010); and for every Diamond Dallas Page, a Teddy Long.

We all remember Teddy Long. He was on WWE TV for many years. He was the long time role of face Smackdown General Manager. Up until today’s Daniel Bryan, WWE never really did Good Guy General Managers well. They were always kinda boring and just there. That’s why Teddy Long was perfect; he was kinda boring and just there.

Teddy Long...doing what he does best...

Teddy Long…doing what he does best…

Teddy Long career in wrestling began as a gofer for certain stars. The stories include that he was “get me that kid” guy, for such superstars as Abdullah the Butcher.

Forks! I need forks!

Forks! I need forks!


The wrestling business used to be very structured. In pro wrestling parlance, “dues” were needed to get you to the next level. As a wrestler, that includes doing the job for a couple of years. (Not a current thing- looking at you Roman Reigns)

In the non-wrestler role, many men went to ring crew to get themselves into the business. Long followed this path. He moved from ring crew to part time referee, working as the NWA needed him to, throughout the late 80s.  He even got to ref the NWA heavyweight match between Ric Flair and Ricky Steamboat…as a replacement.

The replacement might as well be Long’s nickname. Long had allies in NWA, including Kevin Sullivan and Eddie Gilbert (as well as Dusty Rhodes later). Due to this, Long was given a promotion from referee to manager. Generally speaking, refs don’t move up to different levels. This isn’t due to their lack of talent or caring, more so due to their lack of the dynamism. Long suffered from the same issue that Nick Patrick suffered when he turned heel in WCW. He just couldn’t be a believable bad guy.

That didn’t stop NWA/WCW from trying. Long was given WCW world champions Doom, The Skyscrapers (including Sid, and the Future Undertaker, Mean Mark Callous) among others. Long’s major issue was he just wasn’t that great at being a manager.

Yes, he was unlikable, but in 1990, heels were automatically booed. It was still a kayfabe given. Long was less on the level of Jim Cornette or Bobby Heenan and more on the level of Oliver Humperdink. Who is Oliver Humperdink?

A man who will never be in the Hall of Fame... Oliver Humperdink

A man who will never be in the Hall of Fame… Oliver Humperdink

Like Humperdink, Paul Jones, Sonny Onno or Harvey Whippleman, Teddy Long was an obvious 2nd tier manager. His promo skills were fairly lacking, something which in a managerial role, makes that performer useless and forgettable. Mean Mark, for instance didn’t need Teddy Long talking for him. Long was an accessory, and proof positive of WWE’s current belief that managers really aren’t needed.

Teddy Long was employed by WCW until 1996, even though his “memorable” management times stuck exclusively to 1990-1992. You see, Teddy Long was really good at keeping a job. In his wrestling career, he stayed with NWA/WCW from 1985-1996 and WWE from 1998-2014.

Longevity is in many ways looked at an asset. If you can stay with a company for a long time, you must be great. Right?

Not necessarily. Long’s longevity is due to being just nice enough to fly under the radar. He didn’t make problems and likely didn’t cost very much. Why not keep him around?

WWE brought Long back to his beginnings in 1998 as a referee. Long played this role for many years in WWE, doing a fine and extremely unmemorable job.

WWE promoted Long to manager in 2002, after the failed Invasion/WCW/ECW storyline and he proceeded to do exactly what he did in WCW, only worse. Long managed one of Mark Henry’s tenure’s in between injuries in the early 2000s as well as the easily forgettable Jazz and Rodney Mack.

Trust me you have no idea who Rodney Mack is.

Trust me you have no idea who Rodney Mack is.



After his less than memorable manger career ended in 2004 (and WWE mostly got rid of managers), Long was brought in as a Smackdown GM as a replacement for Kurt Angle. This is where most fans remember Long from. He “helmed” Smackdown from 2004-2007, ECW in 2008-2009, and Smackdown again from 2009-2012 .


Long was great as just being a means to an end. As a face general manager, the job mostly entailed giving heels a little bit of a hard time, something which in the grand scheme of general managers, is a fairly boring part of it.

Long’s most famous and well remembered contributions were making tag team matches or making a heel go one on one with the Undertaker.


And that’s about it.  Who remembers anything he did as ECW general manager?

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Or his relationship with Kristin Marhsall aka Mrs. Bobby Lashley?


Or his time as a maid with Vickie Guerrero?


Or his…nope that’s about it.

Long is a longevity inductee. Howard Finkel, Johnny Rodz, Gerald Brisco and Mae Young, none of them particularly that interesting, all made the Hall of Fame due to being there for a long time….without much attention paid to them. Like your cousin who is real nice and you like but you can’t think of anything he does.


Teddy Long..Ladies and Gentleman

Longevity gives us Finkel. And now it gives us Long.




Why 2017?

Two major reasons. Teddy Long is old, so if they were going to do it, it should be soon. Wrestlers die and it always sucks to induct without the person (See Future Hall of Famer Ivan Koloff).

Most importantly, WWE likes to diversify their classes. One big issue is WWE and wrestling in general has been a white male sport mostly with a few hispanic, black and women performers thrown in until about 20 years ago. WWE is notorious for its lack of push to especially africian american performers. And they’ve kind of run out of people to induct and like the diversity element.

Teddy Long fits a slot.

Opens Door For?

Bob Holly. Longevity in the modern WWE. No one beats Bob Holly (except Henry and Taker)

Welcome to the Hall of Fame Hardcore…UGH

Reasons this shouldn’t have happened.

Name me another Teddy Long moment i missed. There aren’t any.


WWE Hall of Fame Class of 2016: Jacqueline



Class of 2016

1st African American Women’s Champ; Attitude Era Diva


Hall of Fame Rating

4 out of 10


2016’s female induction is a multi-time women’s champion, a one time cruiserweight champion and a strong willed women. With all that being true, why does this induction just feel lackluster?


The female wing of the WWE Hall of Fame has always worked by different rules. That’s simply due to the WWE treating women’s wrestlers different. They aren’t even allowed to be called women.

Somehow an actual belt in WWE

Somehow an actual belt in WWE

Its easy to look at the history of women’s wrestling and see how they have been treated as second class citizens. Whether its the 5 years that everything from championships matches to blood feuds were decided by said women removing each other’s clothes or how the Women’s Championship just disappeared without notice twice in the last 30 years (see 1989 and 1995).

This basically means that it can be difficult finding an alive deserving women’s candidate each year for the Hall of Fame. Some deserving inductees are dead (Luna) or persona non gratis (Chyna)

This brings us to today’s induction. Jacqueline or Jackie Moore. You may remember her as the first female crusierweight champion or her time during WWF Attitude….or you may not remember her at all.

Jackie’s issue is that while she has accomplishments on paper, she is missing one core thing which seems to exist in successful Hall of Famers. It is the simple fact of being memorable. Jim Duggan had few accomplishments but is well remembered and beloved. Is Jackie even remembered?

Jackie appeared in WCW in 1997-1998, even having a feud with Disco Inferno. I was surprised to find out about this fact as in my mind, Jackie was never in WCW. She never really did anything memorable.

Neither did Disco Inferno

Neither did Disco Inferno

She appeared in WWF in 1998 and took on the role of Marc Mero’s girlfriend.



In that role, Jackie had her biggest feud of her career, defeating Sable for the recently renewed WWF Women’s Championship becoming the 1st African American Women’s Champ. This should have been a huge deal, expect it kinda wasn’t and is more a footnote of history that a pioneering moment.  She only held onto the belt for the length of that feud, losing to Sable 50 days later. Jackie’s title run was designed to get Sable over and allow Sable to chase. It really had little to do with Jackie herself.

Jackie had one more feud for the women’s championship in 2000, defeating Harvey Whipleman (yes you heard that correct) for the belt before losing it to Stephanie McMahon. Another Jackie situation where she played more of a support role than being the featured or memorable person/event.

The problem here is that Jackie, like many women wrestlers tend to blend into the scenery due to how they are booked and how generally there is only one, max two female feuds at one time. With Trish, Lita, Stephanie, Victoria, Molly Holly clogging feuds and storylines, Jackie tended to disappear.

Jackie spent most of her career either on the sidelines or in the background. She was in WWE from 1998-2004 and there are only three major moments that Jackie was involved in. Two are above and the third is her other 1st. She was the first female cruiserweight champion. She won during Chavo Guerrero’s open challenge and lost the title back in a few weeks in a match where Chavo had his arm tied behind his back. That’s not a great way for Jackie to go out.

Jackie was released in 2004, and ending up spending some time in TNA (we generally don’t mention TNA due to its well…general suckatude), before mostly retiring in her 40s.

So is that a Hall of Fame career? While on paper it appears that Jackie is an easy 2nd or 3rd ballot candidate, in reality, she is a so so induction. Jackie fits into the group of former wrestlers who if never included, no one would complain. Meh.

Why 2016?

Jackie lives in Dallas Texas. She is being inducted in Texas. Plus WWE has included a female inductee each year since 2010. Yup those are the two reasons….

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Opens Door For?

If Jackie gets in, I assume that Victoria and Molly Holly will follow shortly.

Reasons this shouldn’t have happened.

Jackie is not an exciting induction.

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