WWE Hall of Fame: This Year’s is the Greatest Class

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Like years past, the WWE will be holding their Hall of Fame (HOF) ceremony the night before WrestleMania. Each year the lists of names that enter are of legends, icons and immortals.

While each class is often highlighted with one name that stands out amongst the rest, the five names that are set to enter this year could each be billed as the marquee attraction.

Just when it seems that there aren’t many wrestlers left to be labeled as a hall of famer, the WWE puts together the best class to date.

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Mick Foley

As a three-time WWE champion, there aren’t too many wrestlers who have given their body to the business like Mick Foley. Known for his brawling styling, Foley showed that appearance doesn’t always play a factor in deciding who holds the greatest prize in the WWE.

“Hardcore” is one word that describes this jack-of-all-trades. From barbered wire matches to being thrown off the “Hell in the Cell” structure and refusing to have the match stopped, Foley’s durability is unheard of.

If one is to look past his torn ear and body riddled with scars, there’s an individual who doesn’t fit that mold associated with being a champion. He ignored that philosophy, along with the pain, and became a fan favorite for always going out there and putting on a show.

Outside of the ring, he represents a life where wrestlers can still make a living. From writing is own biography to penning children’s books, Foley didn’t allow stardom to get into his head. He didn’t squander his money and probably still drives the same beat-up 20-year-old car that he talks about in his book as he looks to provide for his family.

Call him Dude Love, Mandkind or Cactus Jack, as it doesn’t matter. Under all those gimmicks is Foley, a man who gave his body for this business.

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Bob Backlund

Somehow in the course of WWE history, fans seem to have forgotten Bob Backlund. It’s tough to understand, since he holds the second-longest WWE championship reign in its 50-year history.

He didn’t have the glitz and glamour like others, but that was never an issue. He went out there and performed as good as any other top wrestler. Before anyone praised the likes of Kurt Angle for his gifted wrestling skills, there was Backlund.

After his first title run ended, Backlund slowly disappeared, only to return eight years later and win the prestigious title once again. He had morphed from the poster child to a loose cannon who demanded respect. It was a complete 360 from his previous run, and introduced a new generation of wrestling fans to what he had to offer.

Love him or hate him, he did his job. Some say he was boring in that first run, but he proved those doubters wrong upon his return.

Closing in on senior citizen status, Backlund hasn’t let age slow him down. He looked great when he returned for the buildup for Raw 1,000, and looks remarkably the same. Age is just a number and Backlund’s ability to still deliver a show is proof.

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Trish Stratus 

For the longest time Mae Young was the top female wrestler. Then a blonde model named Trish Stratus came along and changed all that.

She started out as a manager and was simple eye candy. But outside of her appearance was someone who would revolutionize the wrestling business.

No longer would females in the wrestling world be considered only suitable as mangers or to show off the latest t-shirt. They were to stand next to the male wrestlers, and show that this form of entertainment belonged to two different sexes.

Stratus was a pioneer who wasn’t afraid to break some bones to improve the status of women in the WWE. With a record seven women’s title reigns to her name, including the final one that she retired with, there is no diva out there that belongs in HOF more than Stratus.

She shattered barriers as she ushered in a new dynamic of wrestling. Stratus went from manager to champion to trend setter for the current divas. As she enters the HOF as the youngest inductee ever, she does so on her terms and is a role model who deserves all the credit for turning heads in a once male-dominated sport.

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Bruno Sammartino

Now that Bruno Sammartino is going into the HOF, all seems right in the world. Before he was announced as going in, the HOF was packed with names that changed the business, but there was always a gap. Sammartino fills that void and now the HOF is legit.

With the longest WWE championship run ever, Sammartino is a piece of history. Few momentous accomplishments will ever be duplicated, and his 2,803-day reign is a candidate for the top of that list.

For someone who sold out Madison Square Garden more than any other wrestler, this is long overdue, as Sammartino carried the WWE for two decades. He might not be as well-known as everyone else on the list, but he’s a living legend. He carried the WWE title with pride and took this business to heart after giving it his all.

Sammartino was present before wrestling became a global phenomenon. He’s that missing link who propelled others to attempt to follow in his footsteps.

It might have taken more time than it should have, but Sammartino is finally a WWE hall of famer and it’s worth the wait, as many thought this day would never come to fruition.

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Donald Trump

The WWE has taken heat ever since they started to induct celebrities into the HOF. There are valid points on both sides if it’s right for non-wrestlers to become part of an elite group, but if the WWE is going to induct celebrities, Donald Trump fits.

He is responsible for hosting several WrestleManias in the early days of the pay-per-view, and has been a supporter of the WWE for what seems like forever. He wasn’t a one-trick pony. He’s also not a regular on WWE programs, although he has made for some memorable moments.

Trump “purchased” Raw at one point and hosted the only edition of the show to never feature commercials.

Then there’s his most memorable moment from WrestleMania 23 when he put up that comb over of his against Vince McMahon in a hair vs. hair match. It gave the WWE tons of publicity, and McMahon has never donned the same hairstyle since he was shaved bald in the middle of the ring.

Of all the celebrities that have entered the HOF, Trump could be the biggest name as he brings more exospore to the product.

 

If the WWE decides to add more names to the current HOF class, it’ll be difficult to top the five that have been announced. When looking back at the past years of wrestlers and celebrities who have gone into the hallowed HOF, the class of 2013 will be remembered as the most star-studded.

 

 

  • http://twitter.com/LisnowjMMA Joseph Lisnow

    Are there any other wrestlers who belong in the WWE Hall of Fame ahead of these wrestlers? Celebrities?

    • Sean Patrick

      I would say Savage, but I know his brother is holding that up. Would be nice to see Warrior to stay on his meds long enough to get in. Would also be nice to see an nWo induction once Hall is healthier and Hogan can be there. I expect Booker T in a few years too. But I can’t really argue with the choices of this year’s class. Even Trump fits if they are intent on doing a celeb each year.

      • http://twitter.com/LisnowjMMA Joseph Lisnow

        Booker T goes in when they hold a WrestleMania in Texas, I predict. Glad to see him back in the WWE. His TNA run was dreadful.

  • Dalathan

    Four legends and a fucking business man, all seemed good till Trump got inducted. Going to enjoy all speeches and video packages but I’m totally fast-forwarding when Trump shows up, and to top it off, he will most likely be inducted by his daughter, who shouldn’t even be mentioned in the wrestling world. I hope it was just a silly rumor/report though.

    • http://twitter.com/LisnowjMMA Joseph Lisnow

      What celebrity would you want to see inducted, if any?

      • Dalathan

        To be honest, I think this whole celebrity wing shouldn’t exist in the hall of fame. I understand its purpose, and why wwe does this. Business-wise it’s understandable, but I’m not the hollywood/celebrity type of guy and I’m sure a lot of passionate wrestling fans don’t want these celebrities being inducted either. In my opinion wrestling should be all about wrestlers and people who truly share passion in this industry. Not about those who temporarily popped their ratings.

        TL;DR – I’d like to see the celebrity wing gone. Wrestling legends is what it’s really supposed to be about.

        • James

          WWE wouldn’t be anything if it wasn’t for Wrestlemania. And whether you like it or not Celebrities such as Cyndi Lauper Mr. T helped McMahon create Wrestlemania and what you enjoy. Wrestling in general has always used mainstream celebrities to help make it popular.

          • Dalathan

            You haven’t said anything new, I understand why they do this, don’t get me wrong. Mainstream publicity did help a lot, in the past it was much more necessary than it is now. But do these people seriously deserve to be in the hall of fame? In my world loyalty and dedication earns you respect, not financial contribution or making few appearances. It’s a materialistic world we live in, I understand. But it’s still hard to accept for a non-materialist like myself who always enjoyed wrestling since his childhood. I do appreciate that they helped to put more eyes on the WWE, but that doesn’t mean those eyes were there to see wrestling, most likely only a small minority of those people started liking it. At the end of the day it was about what’s best for business.

            Basically to sum it up, I know how business works, absolutely. But I don’t like it, I’m an artist, who despises how world is so materialistic, that’s why I formed such an opinion. Awareness doesn’t guarantee acceptance.

          • http://twitter.com/LisnowjMMA Joseph Lisnow

            I think Mr. T could go in. He has two WrestleMania matches under his name and was the main event of the first card.

        • Sean Patrick

          I have to disagree with you here… It’s a sports entertainment company. The entertainment is an unavoidable part of the history of the company. If this was for straight Olympic/college style wrestling you’d be dead on, but its the WWE HOF not the Wrestling HOF. The “Hollywood” aspect is as much a part of WWE as any body slam.

  • Chelsii

    > No Macho Man
    > No British Bulldog

    9/10 Not the greatest class ever.

    • http://twitter.com/LisnowjMMA Joseph Lisnow

      Since you mentioned the Bulldog and Macho Man, how about Owen Hart or Miss Elizabeth?

      • Chelsii

        Them as well.

      • Sean Patrick

        They can’t induct Owen because of his widow. And Elizabeth doesn’t get in until Savage. That’s like inducting Virgil before DiBiase.

        • http://www.facebook.com/people/Atremus-Kline-Coniferious/1151599450 Atremus Kline Coniferious

          induct The Blue Blazer, kayfabe style, no one knows who was The Blue Blazer, but we know who was.. frankly, Koko B. Ware is already there, Blackman was a short lived character, JJ, meh whatever, but it gets Owen in, f*** Martha and her ‘I own Owen’s memory and no one can share it’ BS..

    • http://twitter.com/LisnowjMMA Joseph Lisnow

      What class was the greatest if you had to pick one?

      • Chelsii

        2005 & 2006 so far.

  • Danny Morgan

    the celebrity is cringey but doesnt bother me, its part of the entertainment world of prowrestling that creates money and grand stages for the performers to showcase their talents (although we often get some quality talent snubbed much like the oscars) if people really care about the ‘wrestling part so much I don’t hear many names from the british world of sport programmes and puerto rico wrestling which had solid wrestlers through the 60s and 70s, we just hear so called marks asking for the ‘wrestlers’ who were as much as into the entertaining part as the celebrities but obviously had some great wrestling ability,
    I personnally want to see the snake inducted next year

    • http://twitter.com/LisnowjMMA Joseph Lisnow

      Who from England and Puerto Rico belongs?

      • Danny Morgan

        Carlos Colon sr more so for his career and work outside wwe
        as far as english I don’t think davey boy smith is in there yet, and the dynamite kid should be in there too, both legends of prowrestling whodid so much for the sport outside america.
        regal i feel is deserving of a place. I feel wrestlers like big daddy and giant haystacks should be acknowledged maybe in a different part of the hall of fame or promoting the sport which could include stars from all over the world that may have never been part of wwe but put it on the map in their country

        • http://twitter.com/LisnowjMMA Joseph Lisnow

          I’m a little shocked Colon isn’t in. I think Dynamite Kid’s life outside of the ring will never land him a spot in the HOF. He’s become a sad story and shows the ugly in someone.

          • Sean Patrick

            Didn’t Carlos Colon kill Bruiser Brody? I’m think that could have something to do with it.

  • http://twitter.com/IAmRaphaelDiniz Diniz’

    I have a dream, the dream is that one day, Chris Benoit will be inducted into the WWE HOF.

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