In this edition, keeping up with the WrestleMania coverage leading up to the event itself, I wanted to take a look at the WWE Hall of Fame and more importantly, which people haven't been inducted yet but should and the people that shouldn't have been inducted. This naturally does not include this year's class of Bruno Sammartino, Mick Foley, Bob Backlund, Trish Stratus, Donald Trump and Booker T.
Koko B. Ware - Right now, Koko B. Ware is pretty much the only person that I think should not have been inducted in the Hall of Fame who currently is. While I can see why people can get peeved about the inclusion of different celebrities like Pete Rose or William "the Refrigerator" Perry or Drew Carey, in my mind the celebrity wing is kind of a throwaway. The very idea that they classify it as "the celebrity wing" differentiates it and lets you separate it from the true people that matter. It's a gimmick and everyone knows it, so there's no real legitimacy to it anyway. However, this shouldn't apply to adding people like Koko B. Ware. I honestly don't see how he can be included in the Hall of Fame with people that have meant SO much more to the business - particularly while others that have contributed more to the product haven't been inducted yet. If he would have won a single title in WWE or been one of those insanely popular underdogs that has a massive following, then I would justify it, but as far as I'm aware, that's not the case.
The Chris Benoit Issue - No, I don't think he should be inducted and it's completely due to the circumstances of his death. The Hall of Fame is not only about honoring the careers of the people involved (in which case, on that basis alone, he'd definitely have a spot) but also about honoring the PEOPLE themselves behind the gimmicks. By no means does Chris Benoit the person deserve it. Chris Benoit the wrestler will just have to sit this out.
Now on to naming some people that I think need to be inducted into the Hall of Fame.
*Let it be known that I'm not including people that are currently still active such as Triple H, Undertaker, Kane, etc. There's more than enough time to induct those people. The same goes for people like Kurt Angle and Jeff Jarrett that may not be in WWE but are still active in TNA.
Owen Hart - Here's hoping his wife changes her mind and allows him his rightful spot.
Bam Bam Bigelow - One of the best big men to cross over between companies.
Randy Savage - Come the fuck on...no explanation needed whatsoever. It's an absolutely ridiculous situation that he wasn't inducted YEARS ago to begin with.
Paul Bearer - There was talk of a possible induction this year. Again, it's a shame he wasn't inducted before his passing. Hopefully next year we'll get to see the Undertaker and Kane do a joint induction of William Moody.
Ravishing Rick Rude - One of those great talents that would have won a world title in WWF if they had done a brand split years beforehand.
Davey Boy Smith / The British Bulldog - Very similar situation to Rick Rude (and Owen Hart and many others). Davey Boy was a staple in WWF and needs to be a member of the Hall of Fame.
Big Boss Man - Nobody should be punished for the dog kennel match or the Big Show funeral segment except the writers, not Ray Traylor.
Mr. T - His involvement in the first two WrestleMania events speaks for itself. Ideally I'd like to have him be inducted next year at WrestleMania XXX as I want that to be an amazing group of people. As far as I'm concerned, he's the top celebrity that hasn't been inducted yet.
Vince McMahon - Ideally it should happen at WrestleMania XXX, but they might wait on this one.
Ultimate Warrior - The guy is nuts and there seems to be issues with inducting him either on WWE's end, on his end, or both, but it still should be done.
Sycho Sid Justice - Sid is a multiple time champion, he's made his mark as far as feuds with people, and the acceptance speech he would deliver would be quite entertaining.
Kevin Nash / Diesel - Big Daddy Cool is a multiple time world champion who has his detractors but nonetheless was able to defy them all and still be a popular entity in wrestling nowadays. Just look at the pop he got at the Royal Rumble and how many people were disappointed that he wasn't able to do more with his last run in WWE.
New Age Outlaws - C'mon...obvious.
Sean Waltman - While some might argue that he isn't as clear cut of a choice as the other members of the Kliq, I argue that Waltman has an impressive niche carved out in history for himself. X-Pac was popular, the 1-2-3 Kid was popular, and he doesn't get as much credit as he deserves.
Scott Hall - Tentative depending upon his well-being, but if he's never able to do it himself, he should eventually be inducted posthumously.
Jake Roberts - See "Scott Hall" above.
John "Bradshaw" Layfield - If they can induct Booker T this year, they can induct JBL soon as well.
Taka Michinoku - This is admittedly a rather low functioning addition, however, it does make sense to me. He was the first Light Heavyweight Champion and he's someone that people remember. If you're going to induct Koko B. Ware, then this guy is at least on par with him if not slightly higher for having a title basically revolve around him coming into WWF at the time.
King Kong Bundy - You don't wrestle Hulk Hogan at the second WrestleMania and not have a spot in the WWE Hall of Fame.
Lex Luger - Do I even need to explain why? I shouldn't have to.
The Model Rick Martel - Never a true main event guy, but I don't see a WWE title in the history books for Tito Santana or Jimmy Snuka or anyone else like that.
Goldust - They can wait on inducting him, but he needs to be in there eventually. Maybe he's inducted by his father or by Cody Rhodes? Maybe by someone else that he's just good friends with? Who knows, but he deserves it.
Finlay - Now that Finlay is back with the company and clearly no longer an active member of the roster, an induction is soon to come. He doesn't have an incredibly storied career like a Bret Hart or a Roddy Piper, but he's not without merit as a sort of "undercard" Hall of Famer.
Vader - It's time. It's time. It's Vader's time to be in the Hall of Fame.
The Steiner Brothers - Really it's more about Scott Steiner, but his brother isn't going to be inducted solo (similar to Stevie Ray not being included with Booker T as Harlem Heat this year). Steiner has pissed people off but so have other people that are in the HOF. Plus, similar to Sid, the acceptance speech would be hilarious.
The Natural Disasters (John Tenta / Earthquake and Fred Ottman / Typhoon) - Sure, these guys were the Shockmaster and Golga, but they also were tag team champions and at one point pretty big names in the company. If you could only pick one, then obviously Tenta should get the nod over Ottman, but why not just include the both of them in one shot?
Harvey Wippleman - Managers need some love too. He might have been Hervina, but he also fulfilled his parts admirably while being paired alongside various heels throughout the years.
Rikishi - He would have to go in as Rikishi rather than as half of the Headshrinkers "Fatu", but that right there helps explain why he should be inducted. His time as the Sultan was extraneous but Rikishi is one of those guys that stayed on the roster incredibly long despite never being that top draw.
Honky Tonk Man - Why is he not in the Hall of Fame yet? He's the longest reigning Intercontinental Champion in history!
Alundra Blayze / Madusa / Debrah Miceli - She was pretty much the entire women's division in WWF for such a long time. Despite her problems with the company, if they can get past that, they need to induct her.
Lita - Now that Trish is in the Hall of Fame, Lita's one of their higher profile divas that can go in after her.
Jim "the Anvil" Neidhart - I could see him being inducted as a member of the Hart Foundation where they include others at the same time, but he could also go in by himself as far as I'm concerned. Natalya's waiting to be called up to induct her father.
I'm sure I've missed many people as I'm doing this off the top of my head, so by all means is this not a reflection of the only ones from the past that I think are deserving of an induction. This is just a group of them. I'd like to hear your thoughts on these people, the ones that have been inducted that you feel shouldn't have been, and the people that you are hoping will in the future find their place in WWE's Hall of Fame.