Yes, I am throwing out some names for the Class of 2017, but also throwing the disclaimer out there that this is all in fun, and way too early. But, it should be fun, as there are a few notable names out there that may be seen as worthy of induction, so let’s see who we can come up with, shall we? Maybe we can bookmark this post and come check on it in early April 2017 to see just how bad my guesses were.
Goldberg is a strong choice here, in my opinion. There has been a lot of chatter about a Goldberg-to-WWE return, and while I don’t really care if we see one, I can see him doing the Sting route. Come back, be announced as playable in 2k17, maybe work a match and ultimately be announced as the Class of ’17 headliner.
However, I think a year after going really heavy on guys who’s best work was not done in WWE, I have a hunch the suits in Stamford will want to put a prominent WWE name (or two) in the Hall of Fame, especially the headliner. So who does that leave us to choose from? Who makes the most sense?
For me, I say why not Kurt Angle? Yes, the former Olympian may well think he’s got years left in the ring, but I bet Sting did too. I don’t know who WWE was going to induct as the headliner otherwise, but I have to believe that Sting’s career-ending neck injury drove his induction. Angle’s neck is probably just as bad, and he owes nothing to anyone. He’s someone I’d love to see come in for a final farewell tour, capped by his deserving induction into the Hall.
I will throw out one final wildcard option. WrestleMania is in Orlando, and there is a megastar who likes Florida. He was a standout football player at Miami, and headlined a ‘Mania not all that long ago in Florida. I don’t know that he needs to go in yet, but whenever WWE wants to pull major Hall ratings, The Rock will get the nod.
These guys would have been headliner-worthy, but fell short for one reason or another.
First on the list? Owen Hart. He falls just short of headlining because his would be a posthumous induction, but having a Hart-or Harts-tell stories of Owen? Sign me up. I just don’t know if Owen’s widow is ready to allow the induction, or if she ever will.
Second would be Rick Rude, also a posthumous inductee, and in his day, one heck of wrestler and really a great heel. I do wonder if Vince continues to avoid him because of what he did during the Monday Night Wars, showing up on a live Nitro and a taped RAW in the same night.
Third? Christian. While he did not enjoy nearly the success as did Edge, Christian was successful in his own right and is absolutely worthy of a spot in the Hall of Fame.
The tag team:
I have three choices here. The Steiners. The British Bulldogs. Edge and Christian. I can’t decide, and I think to some extent it depends on other people going in. If WWE manages to induct Owen, I say this one becomes the Bulldogs. The depressing fact? It would be a double-posthumous induction. I don’t think the Steiners go in any time soon, especially due to Scott still being a wee bit crazy. Edge and Christian would be interesting, especially since it would take the honor of being the only two time inductee away from Ric Flair. And because I think Christian deserves to go in solo.
The fan favorite/popular appeal/opening acts:
I could see someone like Santino going in, crazy as it sounds. But if the master of the Cobra is even being thought of, then someone like The Brooklyn Brawler ought to go in first. He was a jobber, of course, but in his day? He was the jobber.
The nods to WCW:
Vader was a presenter/inductor this year. I think he’d be a fine inductee for 2017. He didn’t do a lot in WWE, but his WCW resume alone speaks for itself.
In my opinion, Paul Heyman is long overdue for induction. He continues to be valuable and active within WWE, serving as Brock’s advocate. But whether it was his role running The Dangerous Alliance, or his influence running ECW, or anything in between? He will be inducted, sooner or later.
Hunter has been all about burying the hatchet, mending fences and such. This next one is going to require a ton of mending, but Chyna needs to be in the Hall of Fame. In my opinion, regardless of her sex tapes or relationship history, it’s almost criminal to put other women in until she’s in. I said almost, so I’ve left myself a bit of wiggle room. Wiggle room, in this case, allows me to say that if no reunion is to be had there, I would like to see Sable go in, because she was a pretty substantial figure in her day. I would honestly love to see Woman go in, but I do believe that she is tragically toxic. WWE wouldn’t go there, because it would dredge up the Benoit story, and they don’t want that.
There are a few choices. I really thought Motorhead should have gone in this year, but they will eventually, I think. Folks have said Maria Menounous, but I think it’s too early for her. Andy Kaufman is way overdue. But my favorite? Jerry Springer. Could be one very interesting presentation.
And, my soapbox:
I will have a longer piece about this, but unless Vince and his advisers totally consider ECW to be worthless, it’s time we start seeing some guys who are synonymous with that brand get recognized. Yes,¬† I know that people like Mick Foley, Eddie Guerrero and Terry Funk were all big names in ECW and are in the Hall of Fame, but ECW was just one of many stops along the way for them. I’m talking about the true ECW stars. But, I will dive into that in another piece.
WNZ readers, who do you see going in as a member of the Class of 2017?