Several years ago I wrote a blog basically calling the WWE Hall of Fame a joke. This was due to the omission of three of the biggest names in company history – Bruno Sammartino, The Ultimate Warrior and Macho Man Randy Savage. The past three Hall of Fames have each been headlined by those great men. Now that they have been inducted, very few top names from the 80’s and 90’s are not yet in. The question is who will be the next main event star to get in at next years Hall of Fame ceremony in Dallas, TX.
Odds for 2016: Medium
Resume: 10x World champion (8 WWE, 2 WCW), 2x I.C. Champion, 5x tag team champion, 2000 Royal Rumble winner, cornerstone of the biggest boom period of wrestling – the Attitude era and one of the biggest draws in Hollywood over the last decade.
Why he’s not in: While the Rock has not wrestled the past two WrestleManias he certainly played a big role in both. After what happened just a few weeks ago when he and Ronda Rousey confronted Stephanie and HHH I think it would be safe to say the Rock’s in ring days are not done. That being said, the Rock would probably want to hold off on an induction until his career is officially finished. Besides, this is one of those you can do anywhere, anytime and it’ll be a huge deal.
Possibility for induction: Doors are wide open for this one. There are no issues on either side its just of matter of when.
Odds for 2016: Low-Medium
Resume: 9x World champion (NWA/WCW), 2x U.S. Champion (WCW), 1x World Television champion (NWA), 3x tag team champion (WCW), 1991 Battlebowl Battle Royal winner, WCW’s franchise, was so dedicated to crow gimmick he didn’t wrestle for well over a year, wrestled the final match in Nitro history, made WWE debut thirteen years after WCW closed and thirty years after entering the business.
Why he’s not in: Well that whole waiting thirty years before coming to WWE thing probably didn’t help. However, now that he has been introduced/re-introduced to WWE’s audience it should no longer be an issue.
Possibility for induction: Very similar to Rock’s situation. Doors are wide open for this one too, but it seems like a very business-like relationship where as Rock is very personal with the McMahons and is loved by everyone in the front office. I’m sure WWE will like Sting the more they do business together, but right now both seem to be starring each other down with one crooked eye waiting for the other to blink. Ultimately though it’ll happen at some point.
Odds for 2016: Very Low
Resume: 2x World champion (1 WCW and 1 World heavyweight) , 2x U.S. Champion (WCW), 1x tag team champion (WCW), amassed a streak of 173(approx)-0 to start his televised wrestling career before succumbing to Kevin Nash at Starcade 99, was the only new star WCW created during the Monday night wars.
Why he’s not in: I don’t think anyone in WWE is in a hurry to do business with Bill again. From everything I read, he seems to think he’s bigger than he actually is. WWE did a DVD on him which was barely promoted. Lets not also forget that Bill was not a Vince McMahon creation and that always seems to hurt guys trying to get in or even lessen guys status who are going in. The fans who had been pushing for guys like Savage and Warrior are not going to push hard for Goldberg. His legacy is not one that has really endured as a beloved wrestling character.
Possibility for induction: It’s going to happen, but much like his whole career he’s going to need the company’s help to hype it up. I can see something where someone bigger turns WWE down and they have a void to fill so they put the hype machine behind Bill and get the fans excited about him again.
Odds for 2016: Zero
Resume: 6x World champion (2 WWE, 3 World, 1 ECW), 1x I.C. Champion, 1x tag team champion, 2x Money in the Bank winner, amassed a streak of 434 days as champion during his second reign as WWE champion, famous “pipebomb” promo in Las Vegas lead to creation of what we now know as the “reality era” where the line between fiction and reality are blurred. This in turn turned Punk’s real walkout (in 2011) into a staged one.
Why he’s not in: Well I don’t want this article going on too long. If anything you can check out my last article on Punk or better yet ANY of the interviews he’s done since leaving and it’s pretty much all there. WWE has done little to refute the specific claims Punk’s made other than backing a defamation lawsuit brought on by WWE’s Dr. Amann. Punk has claimed he is never going to return to WWE in any capacity, but
Possibility for induction: As of this moment I would say never, but I said the same about Sammartino and he came around eventually. This is personal. It wasn’t initially, but over the last 8-10 months it’s become very personal and that stuff is harder to get around. With Warrior and Bruno it was mostly business. With Savage it was a little more personal, but this is different. Punk didn’t seem to be making this stuff up. Yes he was bitter, but he nothing to gain from being on Colt’s podcast and venting his frustrations. WWE has everything to lose if they admit even a quarter of what Punk said was right. This is going to take a good decade I think before things start to cool and maybe both sides warm up to doing business again.
Odds for 2016: Very High
Resume: 7x World champion (4 WWE, 3 World), 1x Hardcore Champion, 7x tag team champion, 2007 Royal Rumble winner, amassed a streak of 21 straight wins at WrestleMania.
Why he’s not in: Like the Rock, his in ring career seems to be continuing. Despite his poor showing against Brock Lesnar last year, he came back strong against Bray Wyatt this year. His one match a year schedule should allow him to continue wrestling so he, the WWE or both may decide to wait until he is completely finished with his career.
Possibility for induction: Undertaker like most of this list is a 100% no brainer. The Undertaker’s legacy speaks for itself. Company loyalty or outside the ring incidents have never been an issue. This is as close to a slam dunk as there can be. I see no reason Taker can’t go in this year. There is precedent for WWE inducting active performers. Not to mention WrestleMania will be in Taker’s home state of Texas. If I had to put money on a 2016 headliner Undertaker would be my pick.
Am I forgetting anyone? Am I talking out of my ass? Let me know in the comments below. Oh and thanks for reading and stuff. We should do it again sometime.