Wrestlezone has reported that WWE is selling a Hall of Fame T-shirt which includes an award which has not been announced as of yet, called the WWE Legacy Award. See photo below.
Included on this as recipients of the legacy award include Lou Thesz, Mildred Burke, Pat O’Connor, Frank Gotch, Art Thomas & George Hackenschmidt,. For those hardcore fans, these men and women are known as the backbones of professional wrestling. Many are world champions dating all the way back to the beginning of wrestling in North America.
While WWE has yet to announce anything about this award, it is unclear if that will induct these pioneers as full fledged members (done in quick order to skip the whole award portion for men and women long dead, but still recognize them) or be another bullshit award ala the Warrior Award.
What do you think? Things might still be occurring for the WWE Hall of Fame Class of 2016 (and I might need to do 7 more induction articles!)
Not In the Hall of Fame has a great list of all wrestlers (and other sports stars) not included in their respective Hall of Fames. Over the last few years, many on the top of their lists (Bruno, Randy Savage, Bob Backlund, Mick Foley, Jake Roberts) have gone in. The Freebirds have been one of the highest rated left out.
Any long time wrestling fan sees the Fabulous Freebirds in a positive light. They were the first and possible greatest heel faction. This may upset some Four Horsemen fans, and in WWE world, The Horsemen are the pinnacle (also the precursor to Evolution)
And that’s all well in good. But in a fight of importance for the business, the Fabulous Freebirds would win. They made WCCW, made the Von Erichs, were the first group of heels who weren’t defined by a manger (think Grand Wizard’s group or Heenan Family), revolutionized with some of the first theme music, and had longevity.
That is on top of Michael Hayes, who one could argue has had more to do with modern wrestling than anyone not named (or married into) the McMahon Family. He is severely due an induction.
Even Stone Cold Steve Austin has come out in support, going as far as to say he wouldn’t come to Wrestlemania 32 if the Freebirds didn’t get their due.
Likely included with the original three (Hayes, Buddy Roberts and Terry Gordy) will be Gorgeous Jimmy Garvin, who stepped into the team in WCW in the late 80s/early 90s as Michael Hayes partner. The Freebirds might have always been a team but Michael Hayes was the living breathing Freebird. Rumor suggests thayt Hayes pushed for Garvin to be included. This will allow Hayes to have a compatriot on stage with him, as Gordy and Roberts both passed away.
Texas is a state of mind. Cowboy hats, ranching, guns, heat- all things which you think of when seeing Texas in your mind.
No one has represented so many of those factors more than Stan “the lariat” Hansen. Hansen might be an unknown to many current WWE fans as his major runs took place mostly outside of the WWE and even outside of the United States.
Still he had some memorable WWE moments, most specifically breaking Bruno Sammartino’s neck and their great steel cage battle at Shea Stadium.
He won the AWA world heavyweight championship in 1986 (as one of the many desperate moves by Verne Gagne in the 80s), defeated a red hot Lex Luger for the United States championship in WCW and dominated wherever he went.
Hansen’s greatest legacy has to be his international credibility. WWE is never likely to admit, but it is extremely difficult for an American to get over in Japan. They either need to be an attraction (Andre), an amazing wrestler, or the monster type. Hansen, like Vader, Giant Bernard and others who followed him, dominated as the unstoppable American heel.
Hansen is also on great terms with WWE, even inducting Antonio Inoki in 2010. It’s Hansen’s time and I fully expect this one to go through this year.
Oh the dreaded Celebrity Inductee! Any reader of this blog knows I hate the celebrity inductee. To qualify, I say that said celebrity actually had to have a monumental effect on WWE or wrestling in general. As far as I can tell, only Mr. T, Cyndi Lauper, Mike Tyson and Andy Kaufman meet this criteria. So regardless of who it would be, I’m going to hate it.
Rumors have been abounding the Lemmy from Motorhead, who recently died would be inducted this year. I for one, think this is very likely. Lemmy (and Motorhead) have done all of Triple H’s theme songs including King of Kings, The Game and his Authority song.
Basically Lemmy will get this induction for writing one guys’ theme music and being dead. Seems very WWE of them to do this. Plus, think of the press!
Vince is Happy
If it has to be, I would suggest they induct the entire band, Lemmy and Motorhead. This will allow Triple H to memorialize Lemmy and still have the honor be accepted by someone.
Somehow a band going into the Hall of Fame seems wrong, but its the Celebrity wing, It doesn’t have to make sense. Why?
Did you know JBL was from Texas? The current cowboy hat wearing announcer for Raw is a sure fire future WWE Hall of Famer. But does it need to be now?
WWE has a tendency to induct some of their employees too early. Eddie Guerrero died in 2005 and went in in 2006. Edge retired in 2011 and joined in 2012. Its a normal thing that the E does and all it does it make it possible for another older inductee possibly not living to see induction.
I have been very critical of the WWE for not inducting Randy Savage when they could have, instead putting Steve Austin in before he was 50 (in 2009) and Shawn Michaels 8 months after he retired (2011). JBL is another example of this. Should he go in? Yes. in 2016? Nope.
Instead, include another Texas legend (Bruiser Brody, though deceased is well past due), or another 70s/80s star who has been skipped over (Rick Martel, Rock n Roll Express, Koloffs, and many more). Include Honky Tonk Man, Demolition, Mr. Wrestling II, The Destroyer, and many others before they die! C’mon WWE, heads out of your butts!
Chances of Induction: 4 out of 10
Who else do you think are going to be included this year? Are they going with a Texas theme after all?
According to The Wrestling Observer Newsletter, WWE’s new DVD on Randy Savage may be the first and greatest step towards Macho Man’s long due induction into the WWE Hall of Fame.
As everyone reading this blog likely knows, Savage has been on the outs with the WWE since his departure in 1994. Although his actual goodbye was graceful and well done….
However, Randy was soon persona non gratis in the WWE Universe. Rumors of a sexual relationship with Stephanie McMahon began and persisted until his death in 2011. Whether these rumors were true, or in likelihood, Savage was victim to his inability to mend fences with McMahon, Randy Savage has been left out of the WWE Hall of Fame, truly the greatest remaining slight (especially after Bruno went in during 2013)
Following his passing in 2011, it has taken WWE a long time to warm to the idea of inducting him into the Hall of Fame. Once they did (2013-2014), Lanny Poffo balked and claimed that Savage wanted the entire Poffo family to go in as a group in reparation for McMahon refusing to book Angelo Poffo in an old-timer battle royal during Savage’s run with the company, which Savage saw as a slight.
This all changed this year with the release of a full-length documentary on Savage, something the original “Best of Macho Man Randy Savage’ lacked. This act alone alludes to a potential Hall of fame induction. WWE has commonly used the DVD doc as part of a package which includes Hall of Fame Induction. Verne Gange, Curt Hennig, and the Ultimate Warrior are three examples of this trend.
The documentary has interviews with both Lanny and Judy Poffo, which could be seen as a sign that relations between the Poffo family and WWE have thawed. This DVD will lead to more cooperation and is perfect timing for Savage to either headline or possibly be the number two spot (due to his post humous induction) with Sting as a headliner.
It will be a shame to have Savage’s induction come 4 years too late. Many times since his death, I have looked at the Classes of 2010 (headliner-less class with Ted Dibiase at the lead) and 2011 (Shawn Michaels going in too soon) and wished that Savage got his chance to make a speech. One only needs to look at the tragic tale of the Ultimate Warrior to see how important that speech really is. In its stead, take a look at what we missed with Randy Savage by seeing one of his Mattel Action Figure Promos in 2011.