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WRESTLING COLUMNS

I GOTTA SAY THIS
WWE Hall of Fame Prospects 2004
February 16, 2004 - by Brad Dykens

The announcement was recently made that the WWE would reopen its prestigious Hall of Fame this March, and induct a group of legends at a ceremony the day before Wrestlemania XX this year (2004). There are many people who definitly deserve to be in the WWE Hall of Fame, but with the McMahons, there are a unique set of rules to follow when choosing inductees. Some wrestlers have been kept out of the Hall, just because they have heat with one or more members of the McMahon Family. I don't think that is right at all. There should be an outside Hall of Fame committee that meets to choose a list of candidates for induction, and then hold a vote amung WWE employees and alumni. Here's a list of the wrestlers who I feel should be inducted next month.

1) The Hart Family: This would specifically apply to Bret & Owen, and indirectly to Stu. It would start out as a good idea, but would quickly turn into a fiasco when every member of the Hart Family shows up looking for a plaque or trophy of their own, and trying to get their face on TV, when the three TRUE legends being honored (Bret, Owen & Stu) will not be in attendance. Maybe they should stick to those three separately instead of inducting the whole family as one unit.

2) Bruno Sammartino: The greatest WWE Champion of all time should have been honored in the Hall of Fame a long time ago. Unfortunately the bitterness between he and Vince, and the whole wrestling industry has kept him from getting inducted. I think WWE should stand up and be the better man and award Bruno with the highest honor; Even if Bruno does not attend the ceremony, they should at least mail it to him, but a WWE Hall of Fame without Bruno Sammartino is a complete utter injustice!

3) "Adorable" Adrian Adonis: A consistant worker who was one of the original "gimmicked" employees. He did his job with respect and dignity, and always did what was best for the company. I often watch tapes with Adrian Adonis and I'm amazed at how good he was in the ring, even later in his career when he packed on the pounds.

4) Bobby "The Brain" Heenan: I think this induction is a shoe-in. I'm under the impression that Vince McMahon thinks very highly of The Brain and visa versa. Bobby Heenan was a major part of some of the biggest storylines in the WWE for over a decade. The greatest manager of all time is Hall-of-Fame-bound!

5) "Superstar" Billy Graham: This past year, the Superstar reconsiled with Vince McMahon after years of bitterness between the two. This shows that Vince does have a heart and also shows that he's capable of anything. Back in the 70s, it was extremely difficult for a heel to reign as World champion for any length of time, but Billy Graham did it for almost a year and even battled Harley Race in the first ever NWA vs. WWWF World Title Unification match in 1977..

6) The Rock: This won't happen. But if I was in charge it would. I'd give him his plaque (he'd probably accept the award via sattelite because he's too good to attend) but I would tell him thanks for coming, you're not welcome here no more, have a nice day!

7) Mr. Fuji: After years of loyalty to the McMahon family, and being a part of the product for so many years, I'm surprised Mr. Fuji isn't already in the Hall of Fame, but since he's not, I think he should be inducted this year! Mr. Fuji is a multiple tag team champion, and the manager of dozens of bizzar wrestlers over the years..

8) Bob Backlund: Bob Backlund was an incredible champion during a down period in the history of the WWE. He was champion for nearly four years, just before Hulkamania broke loose and took over. Bob Backlund ruled Madison Square Garden for years with dozens of brutal feuds and tons of matches..

9) Mr. Perfect Curt Hennig: Nobody denies his brilliance as a worker and as a human being. He was exactly what his gimmick said, absolutely perfect. Curt Hennig should be this year's "perfect" inductee..

10) "Cowboy" Bob Orton: Not a natural choice for the Hall of Fame, but I think considering his son is a major part of the WWE now, I think it would be a fitting tribute to a wrestler who was a consistant worker, but never got what he deserved.

11) Hillbilly Jim: Don't go messin' with a country boy, and this country boy has been a major part of the WWE since it started getting huge 20 years ago. First as a wrestler and later as a major part of the WWE Home Video department. Hillbilly has been on tour for a few weeks promoting Wrestlemania XX and this would be a pleasant reward for all his work..

12) Sgt Slaughter: Another loyalty reward to a wrestler who never had a problem with taking one for the team. A former World champion who can still get pops from younger crowds can't be a bad choice for the Hall of Fame..

13) "The Million Dollar Man" Ted DiBiase: One of the greatest character wrestlers of all time, with the technical skills to back it up. A former WWE Tag Team champion, and an inspirational story since his retirement. Ted DiBiase belongs in the Hall of Fame.

14) Randy "Macho Man" Savage: Ohhhhhh yeaaaaaaaah... Randy Savage is one of three wrestlers who fans relate to the Wrestlemania era of the WWE's past. Randy Savage was a carbon copy of Hulk Hogan, except for one thing, he was an incredible worker. The only thing holding Randy Savage back right now is that he's recently jumped on the NWA:TNA bandwagon..

15) Hulk Hogan: I don't think I have to explain this one to anybody. Hulk Hogan is partially responsible for the dominance of the WWE over the entire wrestling world. The Hulkster, just like Bruno Sammartino, has some heat with the McMahons right now, and that may screw him for life as far as any future involvement in the WWE goes. If I were in McMahon's shoes, I would write Hulk Hogan a letter and say "Hulkster, we're inducting you into the Hall of Fame this year, you will not be wrestling, and you will not be getting paid. We'll fly you in and feed you. If you want to appear and accept the award in front of your fans, then you're more than welcome. Thank you, see you soon." And if he doesn't show up, then everybody will know that he doesn't care about the company that made him famous, or the fans who made him rich.

I would also like to say, given his current gimmick, I think Randy Orton should be a part of the Ceremony, and work some kind of angle with one of the inductees. I know it would be nice to break kayfabe for a change, but I think this is a great opportunity for the "Legend Killer" to strike.

Who do you think should be inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame this year? Write in and have your comments posted on this page for everybody to view. Thank you very much..

by Brad Dykens


Kcirtap wrote:
I know I am not the oldest wrestling fan around, but when I think of great wrestlers Hulk Hogan comes to mind before anyone else. I know many people don't respect him because of his more resent years in the business, but look back long ago when the crowds chanting while he ripped it shirt off. No one can stand up to anything like that; he was just not a wrestler but a role model to so many people. He represents wrestling as a whole. I know many people out there are going to hate me for this but, Hulk Hogan is wrestling. He dedicated his life to wrestling.
HockeyTownMatt wrote:
I think wwe hall of fame sould be a daly once a year tradation now my pick for WWE hall of fame I say wendi richter with out her there's no sunny,trish,torrie willson so on with the diva's and also i whould inducted mahhamed*sp ali Is far fetched but he was one of the first sports stars crossover in boxing/wrestling and he was in the first wrestlemania as a ref think about it and inducted arn anderson because he is one of the great tech wrestlers and also arn made stables what is today!!!!! that brings me my last indcutee the IV horsemen without the horsemen there will not be no nWo, evolution, DX or corpration ..
Brian Bertrand wrote:
A good Hall Of Fame prospect, even though he's still on the active roster, would be The Undertaker. He has been around for a very long time and still counting and that's not very common seeing as how others within his age range have shown their age and dropped out of the running. His ring skills are great against virtually any of his opponents and he has shown that he is top dog in his yard. He doesn't have to show up to the ceremony since he has to get ready for his match against Kane during the event. Having the dead man in the Hall of Fame will put tears in a lot of fans' eyes as well as mine.

Another good prospect would be (wait here it comes), one of the best hardcore wrestlers in the history of professional wrestling (could it be???), Terry Funk. (Aww, son of a BITCH!) Now I know that Vince has a thing about WCW and ECW wrestlers but this guy has been through just about everything imagineable in the business along with his father, Dory Funk Jr. The thing that Vince doesn't realize is that the guy helped bring the attitude era of the WWE to a higher level in '98 along with Mick Foley by the time Wrestlemania XIV came around. He has just about the same rep sheet as Mick so why not throw Mick in there too? The only difference is that Funk's been around the business 22 years more than Foley.
John Richard Wallace wrote:
I reckon Shawn Michaels, Steve Austin, The Undertaker, Ric Flair, Bret Hart, Owen Hart, Hulk Hogan, Vince McMahon, Triple H, Jerry Lawler, The Rock, Mick Foley, Randy Savage, Curt Hennig, The Road Warriors and Roddy Piper

All of these guys should get in because they all made what the WWE is today -- Without these guys the WWE probably wouldn't be what it is today
Phil Haller wrote:
I would like to say that Randy Savage, Ric Flair, Tito Santana, Mr. Perfect, Ultimate Warrior, Ravisihing Rick Rude, Owen Hart, Mr. Perfect and Bret Hart should all be inductees. For those who dont remember the late 80's early 90's the ultimate warrior was the biggest draw in the WWF and i know he didnt have much talent but alot more than Hogan and he was more over than Hogan this guy deserves it. Hennig of course deserves this he was a fine athlete one of the best my favourite for many years. Hogan come on yeah he may have helped the company in your eyes but in my eyes he ruined it turning our beloved Sport into nothing but family entertainment with all the bright colours and soap opera bullshit the guy only had 2 moves. The rest of my list needs no explanation.
wrote:

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