Its officially WWE Hall of Fame (And Wrestlemania) season!
With Sting being announced as the first inductee, it is only a matter of time before the rest of the Class of 2016 starts tricking out.
This past week there were some rumors, some expected, some not for the rest of the upcoming class. Let’s take a look.
pic.twitter.com/p8WuWdfApQ. Tis the season!!!!!!
— Big Van Vader (@itsvadertime) January 7, 2016
The week prior to WWE’s announcement of Sting as the first WWE Hall of Famer this year, Future Hall of Famer, Vader posted the tweet above.
Speculation abounded. Was Vader going in this year? Did he give away an induction before the WWE?
Likely not. Similar to King Kong Bundy in 2013 announcing a big announcement, (which ended up being getting inducted in the PWR hall of fame)
…Vader is likely pushing for induction. Like Bundy, it will not sway the WWE. They seem to have a Texas theme this year, one which Vader doesn’t fit into.
Don’t get me wrong, Vader should and will eventually get in. He has now turned 60 years old, and will be a welcome addition to any class. Not going to happen this year.
Chances of Induction 2 out of 10
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.
Well deserved, and frankly very late coming.
Chances of Induction: 9 out of 10
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.
Chances of Induction 7 out of 10
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!
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?
Chances of Induction: 7 out of 10
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?