WWE 2k16 to feature The WWE Hall of Fame Class of 2015

In the last few years, I have gone back to at least playing the WWE wrestling games. The history modes featured in the last few games included Best of Wrestlemania, Best of the Attitude ERA and Path of the Ultimate Warrior, all fun modes.

This year 2k has raised the bar with a fun additional DLC mode, one which I had always thought would be fun.

Its the WWE Hall of Fame Mode, featuring matches which cover the Class of 2015.

Every WWE Hall of Famer (excluding Connor the Crusher, a child who never wrestled and Arnold Schwarzenegger, a celebrity who never wrestled)

This mode will feature:

‘Macho Man’ Randy Savage vs. Jake ‘The Snake’ Roberts from Tuesday Night at Texas

Rikishi vs. The Rock from Summerslam 2000

Tatsumi Fujinami vs. Ric Flair from Superbrawl 1991

The Bushwhackers vs. The Natural Disasters from Summerslam 1991

Larry Zbysko/Arn Anderson vs Ricky Steamboat/Dustin Rhodes from Clash of Champions

The Outsiders vs. Harlem Heat from Halloween Havoc &

Alundra Blayze vs. Paige from nowhere. I am guessing they tried to get Bull Nakano or Bertha Faye and couldn’t secure the deal.

Its a fun mode and something I look forward to playing.

What do you think? Is this a welcome addition to the WWE video game series?

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WWE Hall of Fame Class of 2007: Dusty Rhodes

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Dusty Rhodes

Class of 2007

The American Dream, Son of a Plumber; Father of Wacky

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Hall of Fame Rating

9 out of 10

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The Common Man Boogie is the perfect theme for the American Dream Dusty Rhodes.  Whenever I think of Dusty Rhodes, this theme just pops into my head.  It encapsulates the energy, and power infectiously found in the man and in all incarnations of his face character.

Dancing!!!

Dancing!!!

Dusty,The Dream was not known for his in ring ability (only pass-able for his time period) Rhodes got over because of his character, which was stronger, better and more relatable than most stars of his generation.

Rhodes was so good, he was the first real doesn’t need the belt face in history. His status was that of an ICON, in the time period where ICONS were few and far between.

He did commercials, sold action figures and was a brand in a time before wrestling created brands. When did you ever see Harley Race, Bob Backlund or even Ric Flair do these? It was all Dusty Rhodes and his drawing power.

It is easy in the WWEized world of “sports entertainment” to miss the historical importance of a man like Dusty Rhodes. In land of territories or the world before WWF, Rhodes was a major star wherever he went. He even had a feud in 1970s WWWF, facing then champion Superstar Billy Graham in a series of matches where Rhodes’ sheer semi-national presence was on display.

WWE tends to miss or under report that in late 1970s, Dusty was huge. He was bigger than Backlund; Bigger than Ric Flair. He had a run with the NWA world heavyweight title, which although it didn’t last long, one of the first and best examples of the modern “face chase”. Rhodes perfected the chase, but wasn’t a good enough technical wrestler to be the 1970s NWA champion. He likely would have been a great WWWF champion or WWF champion if he had decided to pursue that. Rhodes instead choose to pursue the behind the scenes to make his mark on wrestling. In this area, the WWE rarely gives Dusty the credit he deserves.

If you need to find anything which showcased Rhodes at is his best, it has to be the WCW staple, War Games. In its time, War Games was considered to be one of the most deadly, intense and spectacular specialty matches. A 5 man team fought a 5 man team in the “match to end all matches”.li Its an awful shame that War Games has never appeared at a WWE event. Another case of Vince McMahon being uninterested in ideas which weren’t his (see Goldberg, NWO, literally anything WCW).

As a booker, Dusty Rhodes can be given some of the credit for the Four Horsemen, Lex Luger, Sting, Barry Windham, Sid Vicious and many other successful talents. He can also be blamed for one of the greatest terrible ideas. That’s right! Dusty Rhodes came up with the Shockmaster!

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Well, nobody is perfect….

At the tail end of his in ring career, Dusty had a falling out with the new owners of WCW (He was fired)Dusty finally looked north and jumped for his first full long-term stay with the WWF in 1989.

By the late 80s, Vince McMahon controlled most of wrestling. He had just put Verne Gagne and his AWA out of business. At the same time, WCW was struggling to compete, having issues deciding if it was a wrestling organization or if it was going to embrace the “sports entertainment” aspect fully. WWF could do whatever it wanted.

This is why it was surprising when Vince brought Dusty Rhodes in. Dusty remained Dusty. He wasn’t even changed character wise a  real deal. Vince was notorious for doing what he wanted and for putting people in their place once joining the WWF.

Really, this is what you do with Harley Race?

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While being lucky enough to keep his name and general gimmick, Dusty Rhodes still had to be “punished”. He was saddled with something very notorious.

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Polka Dots!!!!!!

This was an insult. This was a way of putting Dusty in his place. This was all about control. Dusty can work for the WWF, but he has to look stupid.

That's a great idea

“He will be made a fool and prove once and for all that WWF s the best”

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You got it

 

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 oh honey, I’ll get over anyway

 

And he did. He did! Polka dotted and  saddled with Sapphire, a non wrestling “common woman”, Dusty still got over. IT is a testament to the charisma of Dusty Rhodes.

He is one of the greatest talents in the history of wrestling. Both for in ring and for his contributions to the business (or as he would say, to the Industry)

Dusty’s last great effect on the business of wrestling was with the developmental system and amazing wrestling brand, NXT.  His involvement as the head of NXT, head of promos at NXT, coach and GM cannot be understated. When he died, the NXT groups in particular came out to thank him. More than anything Dusty Rhodes will be remembered as a lover of the business.

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And as the reason for this:

Finally, Dusty will always be remembered as the beginning of a dynasty….a dynasty of weird. Goldust was a groundbreaking talent in the mid 90s WWF. Dynamism did not fall far from the tree and Goldust has proved again and again to be the Dream’s more than capable son.

The Dream’s second son, Cody Rhodes has also become a premier and regular talent in the WWE. He too has recently taken a tilt towards the crazy as Stardust.

Two of the most dynamic, strange and best actors in wrestling. Following “the Dream to wrestling success.

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Dusty gave us fans so much. He was beloved and he will be missed.

 

Why 2007?

WWE has always had a headliner problem when it comes to Hall of Fame. After Bret Hart in 2006, they had three options: Macho Man. Warrior or Dusty Rhodes. Rhodes was the easiest to secure (as he worked for the company) Easy timing during the Johnny Ace led years of the WWE Hall of Fame.

Very deserved, but I will always be bitter of the headliners between 2007-2011. They were all in the way of us seeing Randy Savage get inducted in person.

Opens Door For?

The Four Horsemen, (2012), and eventually other NWA/WCW talents like Sting, DDP and Lex Luger. They like Rhodes had most of their success outside of the WWE.

Reasons this shouldn’t have happened.

First headliner to have the majority of his career outside of the WWF. IF WWE decided to do a WWF/WWE only Hall of Fame, this wouldn’t have made sense.

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WWE Hall of Fame Class of 2015: Macho Man Randy Savage

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Macho Man Randy Savage

Class of 2015

Number Two Draw of the 1980s WWF, OOOH YEA!!!!

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Hall of Fame Rating

9 out of 10

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When I was a child, I had three heroes, all wrestlers who exemplified what I wanted to be as an adult man. Hulk Hogan represented the good in the world, and inspired me to be a champion. The Ultimate Warrior was the best example of energy and passion that existed in my life. And Randy Savage was my inspiration. He represented creativity and embodied the nonsense that runs through my mind. If you, my faithful reader, has ever asked why I write a blog dedicated to the WWE Hall of Fame, this is why. Through these men, wrestling represented what I wanted to be, and as a child they helped define who I became.

The WWE Hall of Fame can be a beautiful thing. It is a chance for the fans to say thank you and to say goodbye to their heroes. When the Ultimate Warrior made his speech last year, I couldn’t help but smile. It was Warrior, back on TV in more advanced age, but yet the same, talking about that portion of his life which mattered so much to me. For Randy Savage, we will never have that moment.

The greatest tragedy of Macho Man Randy Savage is that he is going into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2015. He, of course, deserves it, but that’s not the point. The idea of Randy Savage is joining the Hall of Fame, but the man is dead. He never saw this honor and never had the chance to be thanked. We never got to say goodbye to him.

This above all else makes me angry. WWE had many opportunities to do the induction, if only they could take the politics out of the Hall of Fame. ITS NOT WHAT IT IS ABOUT!!!

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 When the WWE Hall of Fame returned in 2004, no one took notice. It flew directly under the radar and wasn’t really even mentioned. That changed in 2005, when the greatest and most well known wrestler in history, Hulk Hogan was inducted. As far as I was concerned, next year in 2006, Macho Man Randy Savage should have gone in. WWE had it in their power to make it happen, and perhaps would have without the politics we will get ino later. 2006 instead was Bret Hart, a surprise for sure, and a well deserved headliner. 2007 was Dusty Rhodes, followed by Ric Flair in 2008 and Stone Cold in 2009.

That was the year they only let Austin talk for 10 minutes....

That was the year they only let Austin talk for 10 minutes….

Austin went in too early at the young age of 46. I remember questioning this. It was not whether Austin deserved induction (obviously did) , but more asking “Why Now?” Still, I shrugged and felt Macho Man would have his day. Time heals all wounds, right….

In 2010, an opportunity presented itself.  2010 had no headliner. Warrior was supposedly asked in a very disrespectful way by John Laurinaitis to headline that year. Warrior declined. Ted Dibiase ended up headlining  in the most wonky and lackluster class in history (until 2015). 2011 makes me bitter more than anything. The headliner was the recently retired Shawn Michaels. Like Austin before him, Michaels didn’t need to get in yet. He could have waited a few years as he was only retired for less than one whole year. It was the perfect year for the Macho Man.  All WWE had to do was contact the Macho Man. He had already begun to do video game and action figure advertisements for Macho Man products with the WWE.

But this didn’t happen and it is all one man’s fault:

This cocky son of a bitch

This cocky son of a bitch

Vince McMahon makes enemies with his former talent quite easily. The list has been long and plentiful, filled with some of the greatest talents in the history of Pro Wrestling. Triple H, since taking on his regins as Talent Relations Head has successfully attempted to right the wrongs of McMahon’s stubborness. Bruno Sammartino, The Ultimate Warrior, Hulk Hogan (again), Larry Zbyszko etc have all joined the Hall of Fame or returned to television. This is all in spite of Vince McMahon.

Why was the Macho Man persona non gratis with the WWE? First let me address the rumor and i mean THE rumor. The rumor is that Randy Savage, while still an employee (circa 1994),  slept with an underage Stephanie McMahon, something both illegal and the greatest betrayal of Vince McMahon’s trust. You see, Vince and Randy used to be close, very close. In fact upon Savage’s departure to WCW, Vince McMahon appeared on TV to wish Randy well, something which is bizarrely out of character for McMahon.

It appeared the Vince was okay with Savage’s departure, so what changed? It may be possible that the Stephanie rumors are true, or in more likelihood, Savage leaving festered within McMahon. Vince looked at it like a betrayal. Randy was a company man, a man up for anything (even becoming a commentator) and lived WWE. Vince trusted him and yet still lost him. It was an affront that Vince McMahon never got over. Randy Savage had turned their friendship into a business agreement and if that is the case than Vince never wanted to work with him again. And Vince has been quoted as saying “I never want to work with that man again” Was it a vendetta or a severe case of sour grapes? Only two men know and one is dead and the other isn’t talking. Their contention,which existed up until the day Randy Savage died,makes me wish Triple H had taken over the Hall of Fame sooner.

For any wrestling fan worth his weight, there is no question that Macho Man Randy Savage belongs in the WWE Hall of Fame. He belongs in the Pro Wrestling Hall of Fame, the WCW Hall of Fame, even the Television Hall of Fame.

This man was pure gold, in the ring, on the microphone and such a larger than life persona.And that’s what this induction is missing in 2015. In 2015, we can celebrate only what Randy Savage was and what made him special:

We will have to remember his words, the magic which existed in his promos from memory only. We won’t get to hear a “OOOOH YEA” or some other ridiculous statement.

We won’t be able to hear him tell stories about his perfectionist attitude when it comes to matches. Ricky Steamboat has mentioned that their Wrestlemania 3 encounter was scripted to the move.And it was perfect. It was only something a talent like Randy Savage could perform.

We won’t hear about our favorite sales pitch.

We won’t be able to hear the story behind Elizabeth and how her inclusion gave him a specialness which no valet has succeeded in bringing before Savage or after him.

And most importantly, we won’t hear Randy Savage’s side of the story. Last year, the Ultimate Warrior spoke to all his fans and said “I’m a good person.” and we all knew it was true. Warrior spoke from the heart, from a feeling of love for his fans and for the business. Randy Savage had this too. He was a child of the business, a family business which he flourished in. We cannot hear the tales of his father Angelo, or the playful jabs at Lanny for the Genius character. Macho will never talk about his relationships with Hulk Hogan, or Vince McMahon. He won’t be able to talk about his “betrayal” or his status as the ultimate (no pun intended) prodigal son.

The speech Lanny Poffo will give will be fine. it will be a tribute. But that will be a small catharsis for what we are missing.

Overdue and tragic, welcome to the Hall of Fame Macho Man.

 

 

 

Why 2015?

Because the WWE made peace with Lanny Poffo. With Randy’s death, the caretaker of his legacy has become his much less successful younger brother. The Genius said for many years after Savage’s death, that Randy’s wishes were to have Randy, Lanny and Angelo Poffo go in together, ala the Von Erichs.

This very well could have been the case as Macho Man levied in WCW for Angelo to go in the WCW Hall of Fame even though he really didn’t deserve it.

Regardless, the fans wanted Randy Savage. WWE was able to offer enough money and be just convincing enough to get Lanny Poffo to relent. And with Savage having been deceased since 2011, Triple H spent time on those glaring missing elements who were alive (Sammartino & Warrior) before tackling Randy Savage. 2015 was that year

Opens Door For?

Never say Never. Excluding Chris Benoit, there is not a wrestler who deserves it (and does the murderer really deserve it) who will not eventually join the Hall of Fame. Owen Hart, Demolition, The Hardys, and more persona non gratis will eventually get in. Its just a matter of time.

Reasons this shouldn’t have happened.

Go fuck yourself. There are no reasons why Macho Man Randy Savage doesn’t belong in the Hall of Fame.