WWE Hall of Fame Class of 2018: Jeff Jarrett

Jeff Jarrett

Class of 2018

Father of TNA Wrestling; The Most unexpected inductee ever

Hall of Fame Rating

7.5 out of 10

Significant

Hell has frozen over and I am wrong. In April of 2013, almost 5 years ago, I penned “Never Going into Hall of Fame: Jeff Jarrett” , an article lambasting Jeff Jarrett as a unsuccessful star in WWE, who has so pissed off Vince McMahon, that he received a live firing from Vince, even when he didn’t officially work for WWE (was part of the purchased WCW)

The expression “Never Say Never” has been applied to many stars, Bruno, Warrior, Savage, etc but Jeff Jarrett to me was always a no go. Each of the previously mentioned men were brought in with a combination of respect (Triple H reaching out) and money (Bruno got lots of money, Warrior family still has contract). Jarrett is different. Jarrett is here because last year Jeff Jarrett went to rehab, on WWE’s dime.

WWE has the standing offer to help any previous employee get help for substance abuse, a program used by Sunny, XPAC and many others. It’s a nice thing, used a way to avoid the drug related deaths. And Jeff Jarrett needed help. Jarrett return to TNA and merger with GFW was going so so, mostly due to Jarrett. Jarrett’s last best hope at recreating his early TNA success didn’t light the world on fire.  Jarrett’s drinking backstage and in general, a problem he wasn’t necessarily known publicly ,started to bite him in the foot. I can only assume he was drinking was always a problem and got the best of him. Jarrett was suspended and put on leave of absence and subsequently fired for the third and likely final time in 2017, leaving Jeff Jarrett with nothing. With no one to turn to, Jarrett turned to WWE. Listen below to the beloved Solomonster explain the situation

I say that Hell has frozen over because this shouldn’t have happened, Jeff Jarrett, with his father Jerry- created TNA- the 2006/2007 poacher of talent (Angle, Christian, Booker T,) and the best shot across the bow of WWE’s dominance the world has had since the demise of WCW. Jarrett, when ousted from TNA, even opened another promotion GFW, which while amazingly unsuccessful, was still Jarrett trying to create his own WWE. That man. He is going in the Hall of Fame.

Jarrett’s work and domination over TNA isn’t the only reason he has been persona non gratis with the juggernaut. In 1999, during Jarrett’s last run with the WWE, his contract was set to expire. Jarrett decided to return to WCW, but at the time he was intercontinental champion.  In his last match, Jarrett was to drop the IC Title to Chyna, something he agreed to if a large sum of money in cash was delivered to him. He held Vince McMahon up for money. This big no no (and something which has been falsely accused of the Ultimate Warrior in the past) is plainly stated not okay anywhere.

 

But yet Jeff Jarrett is now a WWE Hall of Famer. For this to be true, one can only guess that Jarrett apologized for his past deeds. Humble pie goes a long way. (See Kurt Angle)

When one gets past the shock, it is apropos to have the creator of TNA back with the WWE during the time of the “TNA Home Grown revolution” currently going on in WWE. Jarrett’s organization helped foster Samoa Joe, AJ Styles, and Bobby Roode- all of which are a big deal in WWE right now.

While I’ve never been a fan of Jarrett in general, it is impossible to deny his effect on wrestling. It seems the WWE agrees. Welcome to the Hall. Thanks for the egg all over my face.

Yum.

 

Why 2018?

Jarrett made amends. He apologized. Vince likes that.

Vince is Happy

Opens Door For?

Dixie Carter and Jerry Jarrett. WWE is buying TNA without having to buy it. How Bizarre.

Reasons this shouldn’t have happened.

My pride. My first incorrect Never Going in the Hall.

 ‘

WWE Hall of Fame Class of 2016: Stan Hansen

stan-hansen

Stan Hansen

Class of 2016

The Bad Man from Borger TX; Biggest American Star in History of Japan

Stan_Hansen

Hall of Fame Rating

7.5 out of 10

Significant

If there is a radar that significant wrestlers of yesteryear fly under, its captain is this man, Stan “The Lariat” Hansen. Hansen like fellow inductees The Fabulous Freebirds has been on the list of “pending” inductees for years. Each time WWE visited Texas for Wrestlemania or inducted a shallow “superstar”, die-hards (including myself) have asked: “Where the hell is Stan Hansen!?”

In terms of the 2016 class, the term mixed bag aptly describes it. On one hand, Hansen, Sting and the Freebirds are welcome and deserving inductions. On the other hand, the offensive stereotype the Godfather and 2016’s “who the fuck are you” inductee Jackie Moore are also going in. And although the average normal fan might know the Godfather more than Hansen, there is no comparison in the significance of these men to the industry as a whole.

It’s very simple. Stan Hansen is the man. He lived that. His career showcased that and his calm kind demeanor today encapsulates why we are today singing his praises.

For anyone too young to understand who Stan Hansen really was and what he accomplished, take a look at this.

Hansen seen here in the 1980s was not only a gritty realized “person” of a character, frightening children and impressing fans, he was doing it before it was cool. (lets say the mid 90s)

Hansen was a product of his home state. The bad man from Borger, Texas was trained by wild Texan patriarchs, the Funks and upon his debut in 1972, hit the ground running.

Within two years of his debut, he was headlining Madison Square Garden as a rival for then champions Pedro Morales and as the dastardly, dangerous and believable counter to Bruno Sammartino.

Hansen participated in the territory system we all hear about lovingly from old time wrestlers, and unlike even some of the greatest of the day, Stan the man, rocked wherever he went.

It is a obvious struggle to get over in different parts of the country, just ask Roman Reigns:

tumblr_ny919szGyT1rfrhmao1_500

AKA Big Cities Hate Me Guy Number 686

 

Hansen did it with grit, and determination. He and fellow Texan Bruiser Brody represented a generation of journeymen, whose strengths in speech, character and toughness outweighed any negatives in “theatrical” wrestling they may have missed.

In the US, Hansen had one of the WWWF biggest late 70s feuds where he actually broke Bruno Sammartino’s neck. (Kayfabe, this was due to his dread lariat, while in reality a botched bodyslam and Bruno’s age led to the injury) The cage match rematch at Shea Stadium between the two men solidified Stan Hansen as a man to watch.

This is where Hansen’s career gets unique. It was and still is common for wrestlers to do tours of Japan. Dynamite Kid’s book Pure Dynamite, (which you should read btw) showcases his constant tours of Japan and the love of both wrestling in general (Japanese fans watch respectfully instead of cheering like maniacs) and of a real fight.

Hansen’s career in Japan is one of note for its sheer longevity. He is considered to be the most successful gaijin (term meaning forienger) in the history of modern Japanese wrestling. And he feuded with all the big names, including victories over home country heroes like Antonio Inoki and Giant Baba.

Whether it was winning the NJPW tag belts with Bruiser Brody or harassing the competition, Hansen brought it eveery night, scaring the bejesus out of the normally quiet and demure Japanese crowd. Oh and here he is body-slamming Andre the Giant.

His inductor this year is one of his greatest rivals, fellow “pending” induction and all around hoss, Big Van Vader. Vader, in a tumultuous brawl with Hansen, literally had his eye pop out of the socket. Stan was always stiff (a word for hard punches) which he attributed to bad eye sight. Whoops!

whoops

Japan aside, Stan Hansen also had two memorable runs in the US during the mid to late 80s and early 90s.

During its death throws, AWA tried anything to make itself into competition for the dominating WWF. In 1986, they took their championship of the completely passable (and also “pending” inductee) Rick Martel to give Stan Hansen a try as their main bad guy champion, something which had worked for them for most of their term (see Nick Bockwinkel). Unfortunately for Verne Gagne, Stan Hansen was less then cooperative and still heavily involved in Japan when he won the AWA Belt.

After Giant Baba, Hansen’s then Japanese booker said no to Stan losing the AWA belt, (after advertising that it would be defended in Japan), Hansen did what he did best, and said to Verne Gagne. “No, Fuck you”.

Verne eventually did get back the AWA belt from Hansen in the mail, although it was a little worse for wear as Hansen had run over the championship with his truck before returning.

Hansen also had a memorable and short term in WCW, where he defeated long running US Champion Lex Luger in a surprise victory. After losing the belt back to Luger two months later, he left in another “No, Fuck You” moment when he told WCW officials under no circumstance would he be involved with a trio of bumbling cowboy characters named the Desperados. Hansen was tough, a tough Texan and not a joke.

While Stan Hansen retired in 2001, after a 25+ year career, he will always be remembered fondly in Japanese culture. This induction means he will hopefully also be remembered by the US fans as one of the original and best Texas Cowboys in wrestling history.

 

Why 2016?

The Bad Man from Borger Texas. WWE does like to bring alive wrestlers from the locations they visit. Also, Hansen is on good terms with the WWE, inducting Antonio Inoki in 2010 and appearing in many interviews for WWE DVD releases.

Plus he kinda plays the part of international inductee as well as most of his career was in Japan. The biggest gaijin indeed.

Opens Door For?

Vader. I think Vader will go in by 2018.

Reasons this shouldn’t have happened.

Hansen might defend his ring in Japan and send back to WWE with tire tracks