Craig Wilson, Brian Damage, Jamie Lithgow & Russ Morgan
On this past week’s episode of Raw it was officially announced that Randy ‘Macho Man’ Savage would be the first entrant in the 2015 Hall of Fame ceremony at Wrestlemania 31. For many, the most glaring omission from the WWE’s Hall of Fame.
In this Sunday Sermon, the team discuss his entry as well as other superstars and wrestling personalities that are missing from the Hall of Fame.
Craig: First of all, what I’ve always been humoured by when people discuss the WWE Hall of Fame is the scorn poured over those discussions by people who say that the WWE Hall of Fame isn’t a real hall of fame. Completely ignoring the fact it’s a topic related to wrestling…
Anyway, that’s by the by. The Savage announcement shouldn’t really come as a major surprise now. In previous years it seemed unthinkable but there was a clear thawing of relations towards Savage from the WWE and the recent DVD package made it look very obvious that he would be inducted.
Let’s make this Sermon two pronged: 1) Other superstars that are deserving – for whatever reason – of inclusion and 2) who else is likely to go in this year, bear in mind it’s unlikely we’ll have many more posthumous entries.
Brian: First of all, we mustn’t ignore the little fact that Hulk Hogan will be inducting Savage into the Hof . That’s a pretty big deal…not because it’s simply Hulk Hogan…but because what and who Hulk Hogan was to Randy Savage. The two had a huge legitimate love/hate relationship…mostly hate that spanned years. I really don’t know how they ended off their relationship…but Hogan might not have been the right guy that Savage would have wanted inducting him.
Jamie: The choice of Hogan is an interesting one, but who else is there? Randy’s brother Lanny (aka The Genius) was who I thought of straight away, but then he will likely be accepting on Randy’s behalf. From watching the recent Macho Man DVD documentary it seems that Randy had a positive impact on the lives of many outwith the wrestling business, but I guess his charity partners and friends don’t really put asses on seats. Given that his first love was baseball I’m sure Mach’ would have gotten a kick out of a baseball legend inducting him, but anyway…
Onwards to who else should be inducted into the Hall of Fame and a big assumption is that as soon as The Undertaker calls it quits he will be inducted at the first opportunity. No doubt he will, but when will he call it quits? I also doubt WWE would induct two mega stars like Savage and Taker on the same night. What about Demolition, are they in yet? Quite topical given The Ascension’s name dropping of them and JBL aggressively defending Demolition’s (and LOD’s) status as legends. Miss Elizabeth would also be fitting for this year. I just assumed she was already in, but I can’t find a record of her induction.
Brian: Randy had a lot of friends in the business….it just doesn’t make too much sense to have a guy like Hogan who Savage personally couldn’t stand…..maybe a Ric Flair, Ricky Steamboat someone of that ilk.
As for other entrants….I like the addition of Demolition…especially now that Ascension has been dropping their names lately. Ax and Smash had a brilliant WWE career and it should be acknowledged. What about Sting? Granted, Sting’s career was mostly in WCW and TNA…but that never stopped the WWE in the past.
Jamie: Great shout with Steamboat, that would make so much sense within the ‘WWE Universe’. Sting is also a no-brainer, but this year? I would regard him as a headliner, so would not induct him with someone of equal standing in Savage. I wonder how WWE view him though? Can a guy who has never wrestled for WWE – yet – headline a Hall of Fame class? I also assume he’ll be working a match at ‘Mania, which goes against the rule of thumb about active wrestlers being inducted. On that note, is The Rock eligible or not? That’s one for the future though.
Brian: The Rock is definitely a lock…but probably not this year. Sting on the other hand…while not a WWE “Superstar” so to speak….that didn’t stop the WWE from inducting a guy like Verne Gagne. Also, Sting may be headlining Wrestlemania….but didn’t Ric Flair headline against Shawn Michaels and get inducted the same year?
Honkytonk Man is deserving of recognition…Elizabeth would make perfect sense this year….but who would induct her? Lex Luger? I seriously doubt it considering the circumstances surrounding those two.
Jamie: Right enough, Flair did go in and promptly lost a retirement match the next night. I just can’t help but feel that WWE might keep Sting up their sleeve for another year or so, just in case he isn’t done in the ring yet.
As for who would induct Liz? Sounds generic, but any one of the modern day Divas could do the honours. Liz was ‘The First Lady of Wrestling’, pathing the way for women to play a more prominent role in the business. Granted, the role she played didn’t shatter any feminist glass ceilings, but the only other woman I can think of worthy of a spot is Chyna…. and that ain’t gonna happen any time soon!
Isn’t Honky Tonk already in? If not then certainly worth a shout. Here’s one to get our teeth into – Christian. If his in-ring career is indeed over, then is he worthy of a spot in the HOF? I certainly think he is.
Craig: I think Christian’s actually said he’s not retired after all. I’m sure I read something about that. Can’t disagree with Demolition – mainly because I’m a huge Demo mark!
There’s talk of Bray Wyatt versus The Undertaker so I guess we have to postpone the Deadman’s entry for another year.
Owen Hart and the Bulldog are both sure fire entrants but unlikely to do another posthumous entry. Maybe they’ll induct the Hart Foundation in its entirety…
Maybe one for Brian, what about older school territory wrestlers with a strong California connection? It’s the sort of thing that the WWE like to do after all. That said, Vader is from California…
Jamie: To contradict my own argument – and support Brian’s theory – Sting is from Venice Beach, California…
Brian: The Guerreros are from California….but Eddie is already in and I seriously doubt that Chavo, Mando and Hector are getting in anytime soon…unless they think the Gobbeldy Gooker is worthy of a nod.
Christian is adamant that he isn’t retired…so who knows…ultimately though….he was a decent hand…Hall of Fame worthy….perhaps..but only in a tag team with Edge…just my two cents.
Jamie: Even as a massive Christian fan it is hard to make a strong case for his induction as a singles wrestler. However, this isn’t just any Hall of Fame, this is the WWE Hall of Fame. The same Hall of Fame which features Koko B. Ware and Drew Carey. On that basis, the CLB should be a lock… when he does actually retire.
What about Michael P.S. Hayes and/or The Freebirds? Probably better suited for a ‘Mania in a southern state mind you.
Brian: The Freebirds should be a lock in ANY Hall of Fame….but I agree, it would make sense if they were inducted when Wrestlemania was in Atlanta, Georgia…or Texas…which is next year I believe…Hmmmmm?
Craig: Yeah, there’s lots of talk about Wrestlemania 32 being in Texas so it would make sense for a group like The Freebirds to be saved for then, I guess.
Whilst not a huge fan of the notion of having a celebrity wing, if there has to be one then surely Cyndi Lauper is quite a glaring omission from it. She was a significant player in the early 80s in getting the then WWF exposure on MTV ahead of Wrestlemania. She’s also been back on TV from time to time through the years so relations clearly aren’t too bad there.
I imagine if Wrestlemania finds its way to Atlanta or Georgia any time soon then it’ll lead to some big name WCW figures being inducted. I wonder about Lex Luger, he’s had a long term tie in with the WWE, I believe, based on advising with drug policy stuff. His entry would be based largely on his NWA/WCW run but was a big star in the late 80s/early 90s and made a memorable “redebut” in the WCW during the Monday Night Wars which, unlike other such moments such as with Alundra ‘Madusa’ Blayze, didn’t appear to cause too much long lasting damage between the performer and the WWE.
Jamie: Cyndi Lauper isn’t already in? Glaring omission is an understatement!
Brian: Cyndi Lauper deserves a nod and makes a lot of sense…the only other celebrity I can see that is deserving right now is Andy Kaufman. As for Lex Luger, if you base it on his WWF days..then I would say no way considering he was a big flop. Overall though….his career was up and down in WCW….perhaps…but he’s not a guy I’d be dying to see get inducted.
Craig: Nor am I dying to see him in but you can’t have six absolute superstars every year or they’ll quickly run out.
Brian: I agree, but there is nothing that says there has to be so many inducted every year. What about women wrestlers? Mickie James? Lelani Kai? Sherri Martel (If she isn’t in already) Luna Vachon?
Craig: Martel is in. I agree with the others, Mickie James is a very good shout. A better wrestled and performer than Trish Stratus.
What about Victoria? Always thought she was undervalued and underused. There will be a diva though, that’s standard.
Brian: I just thought about this…what about Sable? I know she pissed off quite a few people in the WWE during her days…but there is no denying that during the “Attitude Era,” she was the biggest diva on the roster…at times…her popularity rivaled some of the biggest names in the company. Considering she is married to Brock Lesnar and Brock’s contract with the WWE runs out after Wrestlemania 31…it might make sense.
Craig: He’s in similar grouping to Lex Luger, I’d be in no rush to see him there. A career that burned bright but for only a short time. That said, or depends more on what relationship he has with the WWE rather than ability per say.
Russ: I don’t think Goldberg is in the Luger league personally. Goldberg being the first undefeated World Champion is accolade enough in comparison to some of the more “questionable” inducties over the years. I agree his WWE career was patchy, but he was still made the champion, so his name does carry.
Brian: I’m with Craig on Goldberg…he just doesn’t do it for me. A flash in the pan, who certainly had his moments…but overall didn’t last long and fell flat. I’m not saying he won’t get in…but the urgency just isn’t there from anybody…including Bill Goldberg himself.
Russ: Fair point Brian, Goldberg will get in there one day. We could go on all day about who could go in the HOF. Kurt Angle for me is a future HOF’er for me.
Brian: No doubt that Kurt Angle is a WWE Hall of Famer and when he finally does get in…he may be the first to be both a WWE and TNA hall of fame member…that is if Sting doesn’t beat him to it.
All previous Sunday Sermons can be read here.