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

Fine

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.

Dancing?

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.

 

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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 Famer Bobby ‘the Brain” Heenan passes away

It is with great sadness that I write that wrestling’s greatest manager, Bobby “the brain” Heenan has passed away at 73 (or 72 technically)

For any fans of the Golden Era of WWF in the mid and late 1980s, Bobby Heenan is one of the most important and well known elements of that group. He’d be put on the same level of importance as Roddy Piper,  & Ted Dibiase as one of the biggest heel acts in the company.

Heenan had the gift of gab, and used it both in his managing as well as during his lengthy term as a color commentator in WWF (with Gorilla Monsoon) and in WCW. I will always remember how Bobby Heenan spoiled Hulk Hogan’s heel turn. “Who’s side is he on:?!” Classic.

 

 

Its a sad day in wrestling, however i am happy that Bobby Heenan is no longer suffering. Heenan has had a series of surgeries after his throat cancer and jaw replacement. In recent years, Bobby lost his ability to speak, a great tragedy on top of the many this man suffered. RIP Bobby.