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WRESTLING COLUMNS

Ten Years From Now: The Future HOF (Part 2)
October 11, 2006 by Charlie Eccles


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I would like to take this first part of the column to write a quick thank you to all of the people who had good constructive criticism toward my last column. I have had a couple of columns accepted but none of them had such a huge reaction. I am a huge wrestling fan and I really have a lot of respect for people who do not down other wrestling fans, but tell what they are thinking in a very constructive, none offensive way. So, again thank you all of you!

The Hall of Fame has been inducting people for a number of years now. There is no doubt in my mind that the men that I have mentioned will be inducted due to their resumes in the wrestling industry. There are a number of people who deserve the induction, but I stress that the induction ceremony is an extremely big event in the WWE today. When the time comes, who has earned it" Who else has what it takes to make the ceremony a memorable one"

Mick Foley - Cactus Jack, Mankind, or the more undesirable Dude Love, these likenesses are known as the "Three Faces of Foley." Foley was inspired by one of the greatest wrestlers of all time, and a hall of fame member himself, Jimmy "Superfly" Snuka. He was in attendance when Snuka took his legendary leap of the top of a cage in Madison Square Garden . He would go on to try and recreate that move in the backyard of one of his neighbor's yard, off the top of their house. The rest is in the history books.

Mick Foley was on the independent scene, making his name as a hardcore wrestler for a couple of years, as Cactus Jack. For a while he was thought of as the best independent wrestler on the market. Then he finally got his big break in WCW.

In the WCW he started off on top with a lesser known feud with Sting. Sting was the WCW champion and they would go on to have a non-title, falls count anywhere match at the Bash at the Beach. He would later face Sting at Halloween Havoc in a Chamber of Horrors match to end the feud. He would later be turned face and become the next opponent for Big Van Vader when he held the WCW title.

Foley would win against Vader in a legendary bout on WCW Saturday Night. He won by count out, and it would become a very big feud, resulting in a match in Germany where Foley lost his ear.

He would go on to win the WCW tag team titles with Maxx Payne. During the time that he had the tag team titles he was sent to ECW, Foley was under the understanding that he was there to try and start a working relationship between WCW and ECW. In all actuality, he was only there as a part of a lawsuit agreement that ECW and WCW had made. The match was made, a dream match in many peoples' eyes, Sabu vs. Cactus Jack. He would lose the match, but would make one of the most interesting and most controversial promos in wrestling history, where he would spit on the WCW tag belt.

After a bad falling out with WCW he would later join ECW full time. He won the ECW tag belts with Mikey Whipreck against Public Enemy. He would later turn heel in ECW only to put on some of the greatest, or in many others eyes the greatest, promos ever. He would become "Anti-hardcore", and even went so far as to change his wrestling style to generate heat from the demanding ECW fans.

During his time with ECW he would also wrestle in Japan , during the famous Japanese Death Matches. He would win the "King of the Death Match" tournament in Japan , beating his idol Terry Funk in the finals.

After this time he would join the WWE and the hardcore hero turned into a hardcore legend. He started his career in the WWE as the deranged Mankind. This was a turning point in his career, because it was the first time in his career that he was not Cactus Jack. He would go on to be a top mid carder, but never winning a title. It was time for a change, enter Dude Love.

The Dude might not be everyone's favorite but was successful in the career of Mick Foley none the less. He would win the tag team title with Stone Cold Steve Austin, and later feud with Austin for the WWE title as Dude.

He would later again become Cactus Jack again, and also wrestle as Mick Foley in many more current matches also. He would even enter the Royal Rumble in 1998 three times, as all three of his personas.

The most success however that he had was when he would have a long run as Mankind, where he was thrown off the top of the Hell in a Cell cage, onto the Spanish announce table. This is a bump that is legendary in the eyes of most. He would go on later that year to win the WWE title from The Rock for the first time in a legendary moment on Raw. In this time he found something that would change his career forever, Mr. Socko. Socko was a sock puppet that would make many appearances, and shoot his stardom to legendary status. He would go on to team up with The Rock to form the Rock and Sock Connection, and win the tag titles again.

He had a semi-retirement stint, only to come back to feud with many of the younger superstars like Randy Orton and Edge. He would have a legendary hardcore match with both of these men on separate occasions.

Foley is deserving of the Hall of Fame, bar none. There is no one in the wrestling industry that could have pulled off three different personas with the grace that he did.

Kurt Angle - Unlike many other great superstars today, Angle was one of the few people to make a name for himself in the WWE and no other promotion or company beforehand. We thought we would only be seeing him in the WWE; but through time, we learned otherwise.

Angle is one of the most decorated superstars today, and is an Olympic hero. He was on the United States amateur wrestling team in 1996. He wrestled for the gold medal in the last match of the Olympics, and won the match with a neck injury that required surgery.

He was trained, and started his WWE career at Survivor Series in 1999. He went on an undefeated streak until the 2000 Royal Rumble, where he lost his first match to Tazz in his WWE debut.

A couple of weeks after his first loss in the WWE, he defeated Val Venis to capture the European title, and a couple of weeks later defeated Chris Jericho at No Way Out to win the Intercontinental title. These two wins cemented him as one of the only people to hold both the European and Intercontinental title at the same time.

Later in 2000 he won the King of the Ring tournament, beating Rikishi in the finals of this illustrious tournament. He would go on to defeat The Rock for his first WWE championship, and went on to be a dominant champion. In his first WWE title reign he defeated the likes of Stone Cold, Rikishi, The Rock and The Undertaker. He also had a legendary Armageddon Hell in a Cell match, where he faced 5 other men (Rikishi, Stone Cold, Undertaker, The rock, and Triple H) and retained his title. In early 2001, he dropped the title to The Rock at no way out.

Angle went on to play a part in the Invasion angle in the WWE only to join the alliance, and turn on them for the WWE. In this time, Angle held the WCW US title and the WCW heavyweight title.

After the Alliance storylines were over, and Raw and Smackdown! went to two separate brands, Kurt won his first WWE tag team title with Chris Benoit in the finals of a tag team tournament.

Later, he would go on to form the faction "Team Angle" with Shelton Benjamin and Charlie Haas. With this faction he would hold the WWE championship two more times, beating The Big Show and Brock Lesnar.

He would play a minor part on Smackdown! for a while, putting people like John Cena and Rey Mysterio over, but would eventually feud with Raw's Shawn Michaels. His feud with Michaels produced one of the greatest wrestling matches in wrestling history at Wrestlemania 21. He would later move to Raw and feud with Michaels again, and also feud with WWE champion John Cena.

After his short stint on Raw, he made a surprise appearance on Smackdown! on the night which they were crowning a new World Heavyweight Champion. There was a battle royal and the winner would become the new World heavyweight Champion. Angle won the match and had a good run as the Champ and lost the title to Rey Mysterio at Wrestlemania 22.

In the early summer of 2006, the WWE was getting ready to revamp ECW and make it a perspective brand. Kurt was moved off of Smackdown! to go to ECW where he would have great matches with Sabu and Rob Van Dam. Later in the year of 2006 Angle was released from his contract with the WWE to address his personal issues.

Then in September of 2006, in a debut that nobody saw coming, it was announced that Kurt jumped to TNA. This was a debut that was so secret, that most of the wresters in the locker room didn't even know it was going to happen. It was a smart move by TNA; their website had its most viewers it has ever had when people learned that Kurt Angle would be joining the TNA roster.

Even though he is on TNA, he is still very deserving of the Hall of Fame. People need to look past the fact that he went to the competing company after he left the WWE and look at the cold hard facts. He is one of the best, and most decorated superstars off all time.

The Undertaker - One of the greatest big men of the business, he has had one of the most watched and most entertaining careers in the WWE's long history. He made his debut in late 1990 in a classic Survivor Series match. He would go a full year undefeated, defeating superstars like Jimmy Snuka and Jake Roberts. He would win his first WWE championship match at Survivor Series the next year against the immortal Hulk Hogan. He would drop the title to Hogan, ending his undefeated streak, a couple of weeks later.

He went several years without a title win, but became an innovator of new matches like the Casket Match. Undertaker faced Kamala and Yokozuna in this legendary gimmick match. He would also feud with King Mabel and have his face injured and wore a mask to the ring for a brief period of time.

He also played a major roll in the debut of Mankind. They would feud off and on for a number of years and would debut matches like the Broiler Room Brawl and the Buried Alive match.

He started going after the gold a little bit more and more as the years progressed and would finally defeat Psycho Sid for the WWE title at Wrestlemania 13, and have a dominant reign on the top.

In late 1996, he began to feud with Shawn Michaels and made the premiere of in many peoples eyes the most entertaining specialty match of all time, the Hell in a Cell. He would be in this match up several times, including as Mankind's opponent when he was thrown off the top of the cell.

As the years went by and the "Attitude Era" began, so did the Undertaker. He would go on to form the Ministry of darkness, and later merge with the Corporation to form the Corporate Ministry. He would become the WWE champion once again. In this time he would become the WWE tag team champion with the Big Show and Stone Cold.

His character took a turn as he became a bike riding "American bad-ass". He would be known as one of the most sadistic wrestlers at this time, winning both the WWE hardcore title, WCW and WWE tag team champion with Kane, and WWE champion once again. He let his character become a little stale and formed a storyline to bring back the "Deadman", to face his "brother" Kane at Wrestlemania 20.

Amongst his long career in the WWE, he also has the most impressive winning streak in Wrestlemania history, 14-0. He is one of the most watched and most loved superstars of the business. He is a surefire for the Hall of Fame in the future.

The Rock - Come on, I really should not get a good argument about this one. Although he is more focused on making movies now, he was one of the most loved and most charismatic superstars that the wrestling world will ever see. He is a great athlete, and put on many classic matches in the WWE. He is the first ever third generation star in the WWE, his father was Rocky Johnson a former tag team champion, and his grandfather was Peter Maivia.

The Rock made his debut at Survivor Series in 1996. He came out in his debut match, as Rocky Maivia, and was the sole survivor in a classic Survivor Series Match. The name came from combining the two generations before him to honor both his grandfather and his father. He won his first title in the WWE when he defeated Triple H for the Intercontinental Title.

Due to him being a babyface, and the fans not enjoying him as much as people expected, he joined with the Nation of Domination. Rocky eventually became the leader of The Nation, and people started to refer to him as The Rock. The Nation would go on to feud with D-generation X and that is when his popularity as a top card heel grew. Eventually, The Nation would break up leaving The Rock to fend for himself.

He was in the finals match for the WWE title at Survivor Series against Mankind, and became the WWE champion when Vince McMahon recreated the infamous "Montreal Screwjob" for The Rocks first WWE championship. He then became Vince's right hand man, and the "Corporate Champion".

He would exchange the title several times with Mankind in many classic matches. These matches included an I Quit Match, the first and only Empty Arena Match on Half-time Heat, a Last Man Standing match and a Ladder Match. He would eventually be the last one standing so to speak, and face Stone Cold at Wrestlemania 16.

After a few months of feuding with Stone Cold, he would have a run where he actually teamed up with Mankind, where as I said earlier formed the "Rock and Sock Connection".

In early 2000, he won the Royal Rumble for his first time and earned the right to face the WWE Champion at Wrestlemania 2000. Storylines were made, and eventually this match turned out to be a fatal four way elimination match between himself, Triple H, Big Show and Mick Foley. He was in the final two and was screwed by Vince McMahon to lose that match but would come back a couple of years later to win the WWE Championship.

The Rock then played a huge role in the Invasion angle, where he actually beat Booker T for the WCW World Heavyweight title. His character began to draw less and less attention until he finally did one of the most legendary things the business had ever seen before; he challenged the Immortal Hulk Hogan to a match at Wrestlemania X-8.

He would go on to defeat Hogan at Wrestlemania in this clash of titans. There was eventually a time where he disappeared to promote one of his first movies, only to come back and defeat The Undertaker and Kurt Angle for the Undisputed Heavyweight title. This would be his last championship to date that he has held.

He disappeared again to work on other things and came back on and off to face Stone Cold again at Wrestlemania, and then a year later reformed the Rock and Sock Connection to face Evolution at Wrestlmania 20.

We have not seen The Rock since, but I would venture to guess that he will come back at least one more time.

That is part two. I thank everybody who took the time to read my last article, and would I like to come back with one last final round for the people who put in the time to read this amateur's articles.

by Charlie Eccles


Kevin Michaels wrote:
Good article. I couldn't agree with you more. Only correction is that Jerry Lawler competed in an empty arenas match against Terry Funk. Besides that, great article. Keep up the good work.
ShaggyDog wrote:
I agree 90 percent becuz some things arent right.....Im thinking HBK will be retired by then so he should be in there.....and another is Stone Cold steve austin....but maybe not though becuz of all his no shows and thinking hes betterthen the company.
Jesse Lee wrote:
Definitely a lot more accurate (time-wise) than the part 1. Everyone you've listed here may perhaps see the HOF in or around 2016, if not sooner for some. Rules used to be that you had to be retired and not wrestle (for the company) for so many years before being inducted, but Eddie was inducted into the HOF not even a year after his death (similar to WWE's first HOFamer, Andre the Giant.

Out of this list, I say there are two who may wind up HOF before 2016 and that's Mick Foley and Undertaker(given that he retires soon.)
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