The WWE HOF, wrestlers #s 21-40 who should be inducted.
by, 01-13-2012 at 12:01 PM (4011 Views)
A follow up to my original Top 20 wrestlers who should be in the Hall of Fame I posted a few days ago, I present here the second top 20 (#s 40-21). Special considerations were made to The Rock N' Roll Express, Killer Khan, Psycho Sid, Sean Waltman, John Tolos & John Barend. There is a long storied history in pro-wrestling and the WWE with many more names to consider. If I made a list including #s 60-41 they would all be included.
Special consideration was also given to The Steiner Bros., The Dudleys and Brock Lesnar. Although Brock might be done due to his diverticulitis issues I still hold out hope he'll return to the ring. I still consider the Steiners and Dudleys as active as well. So none included.
I must also add that I feel Jim E. Cornette, Eric Bischoff and Paul Heymon all deserve to go in. But considering that they were never wrestlers and somewhat still active in the business, not fully retired, I haven't included either of them on either list of wrestlers. Miss Elizabeth should also be included one of these years - but again, seeing as she was never a performer I have not included her. Goldust is also someone I still consider active, and as much as I believe he is a future Hall of Famer he is not included.
Finally I must add that although he is on bad terms with pretty much all of anyone associated with pro-wrestling, Ole Anderson should go into the Hall of Fame with the 4-Horsemen. I believe Barry Windham to be a Hall of Famer as well, but when I think of the Horsemen I think of Ric, Arn, Tully & Ole. Not Ric, Arn, Tully & Barry.
That all said, I present #s 40-21...
40. Dino Bravo
A great powerhouse of a wrestler under utilized by the WWF. Suffering from his own success in the Quebec region of Canada while in the WWF (Execs didn't want Bravo getting pops over Hogan), Bravo was as professional a heel as I've ever seen. He rarely had screen time but when he did he knew how to maintain the heat he had and was therefore a valuable commodity. He did win tag team gold with the company early on in one of his multiple runs with the WWF so there shoud be no doubt of his credentials. Dino should be in the Hall of Fame.
39. Ken Shamrock
A former WWF IC and Tag Team Champion Ken Shamrock was the one wrestler who truly lent credibility to the attitude-shoot era-brand the WWF was ushering in to combat the rise of the WCW. Though Steve Austin hit the home run in the 3 hole of the attitude-era, I view Shamrock as the leadoff man who got on base. His run in the WWF only lasted 3 yrs, but in those years he was a top draw and a tremendous performer. In my opinion he's a WWF Hall of Famer. Put him in.
38. "The Yukon Lumberjacks" Yukon Pierre Lafleur & Yukon Eric (aka Scott Irwin)
An immediate sensation in the company, the Yukon Lumberjacks were the talk of the WWF tag team's scene in 1978, quickly winning tag team gold under Capt. Lou Albano. Yukon Pierre has already had a decorated tag-team past in the WWA as a member of the Legionnaires while Yukon Eric would go on to have tremendous success in the tag ranks across the country with the likes of The Super Destroyer and a member of The Long Riders with his brother Bill. Put them both in.
37. Masa Saito
One of the great journeymen of professional wrestling, Mr. Masa Saito held gold in almost every major territory he wrestled in, be it in Japan or the U.S. A former AWA World Champion, Mr. Sato was a two-time tag team champion in the WWF with the devious Mr. Fuji in the early 80s. Put him in.
36. Tiger Mask
Okay, so the WWF Jr. Heavyweight Championships he won in EMLL in Mexico as well as in New Japan were no longer titles the WWF officially recognized, even if they were still were referred to as WWF titles. Nevertheless Tiger Mask remains an indelible and unique wrestler in the annals of the WWF Title histories. He did perform for the WWF a number of times in the early 80s. His feud with The Dynamite Kid which spanned over two continents is legendary, resulting in what I consider to be the 2nd greatest match in pro-wrestling history (behind only Savage-Steamboat) in late April 1983 for the vacant WWF Jr. Heavyweight Championship. If not for the fact that the match ended in multiple draws it would be the best. Tiger Mask is a Hall of Famer. Put him in.
A legend in terms of his toughness behind the scenes, Haku is perhaps the most under-appreciated wrestler who ever lived. This man was bad ass all the way. Even one of his many tag-team partners, The Barbarian, was afraid of him in the locker room. He was a former tag-team champion with Andre The Giant, doing much of the heavy-lifting for that team since Andre was done at that point, and a staple of the Bobby Heenan family in the WWF. Put Haku in.
34. Billy Gunn
A wrestler who probably should have had more success in the WWF than he did. He retired as the most decorated WWF tag team competitor of all time (I believe Edge has since surpassed him) as well as a former IC title holder. With the right angle I feel Gunn could have gone further. It never happened, but just the same Gunn is a Hall of Famer. Put him in.
33. Red & Lou Bastien
One of the great early tag teams during the old WWWF territory days of the NWA. Red & Lou Bastien were 3-time tag team champions in the Northeast before Vince Sr. broke off from the NWA. Put them in.
32. The Dynamite Kid
A magnificent exhibitionist, the Dynamite Kid was the prototype for what Chris Benoit would become later on in the ring. Between his success with New Japan in Japan, Stampede Wrestling in Canada and the WWF in the U.S. there is no doubt The Dynamite Kid belongs. He was a tag team champion with Davey Boy and I already mentioned his legendary feud with Tiger Mask, no need to rehash it, just put him in.
31. Adorable Adrian Adonis
A former tag team champion in the WWF and AWA, Adonis will probably be remembered most for his work after his runs with his Jesse The Body & Dick Slater tag teams as a singles competitor. He was a great heel and had a great career before an untimely death - Adonis is a Hall of Famer. Put him in.
30. Mike Rotondo
One of the all-time tremendous tag-team competitors in the WWF as well as a successful singles wrestler when he needed to be. Technically sound and athletically gifted Rotondo is credited with five WWF Tag Team Championships. Rotondo should also be commended with highest honors for the work he did with a terrible gimmick. Put him in.
29. Jacques Rougeau
In my Top 20 list I referred to Rick Martel as the greatest French Canadien talent the WWF ever featured. While Martel may have been number one, Jacques would be a close second. He has one of the greatest WWF careers nobody remembers. Along with his brother Raymond, the Rougeau Bros. put on some of the very best matches the WWF had to offer with Shawn Michaels and Marty Jannetty during their feud in 1989. Across the continent the teams would carry the card wrestling in 60-Minute Iron Man Tag Team Matches. Due to the fact that these were live event arena shows, nobody saw them nor remembers them. His work did not go unnoticed with the brass as he'd go on to have a run as the IC Champ and followed up his run as a singles competitor as a multiple-time tag team champion as a member of The Quebecers. Put him in.
28. Jake "The Snake" Roberts
A staple of any WWF card during its heyday in the Hogan-Savage-Warrior era, segments with The Snake were always must-sees. His DDT is one of the great finishers in industry history. Memorable feuds with Ravishing Rick Rude as the face and with the Macho Man as the heel lay testament to how versatile a personality Roberts was. He's a Hall of Famer no doubt, put him in.
27. Professor Tanaka
One half of one of the most dangerous tag-teams the WWF ever featured along with Mr. Fuji, the professor is a two-time WWF tag team champion and of course was the Buxton Butler in the great Tim Burton film Pee Wee Herman's Big Adventure. In fact, his acting career was almost as distinguished as his wrestling career. Put him in.
26. The Honkey Tonk Man
Still the longest reigning IC Champion of all-time. He was a great heel and a solid worker deserving of being remembered for his 5-6 year run with the WWF. Put him in.
25. Ron Simmons
A while back I compiled a list of the greatest wrestlers in the WWF not to win the world title. Regretfully I failed to consider Ron Simmons on that list. Despite never having won the WWF world title Ron did win the NWA World Title and followed that reign with a memorable run in one of the WWF's best ever tag teams. He was a great wrestler and I'm sure will be honored with a Hall of Fame induction sooner rather than later.
24. Trish Stratus
The top female wrestler of the 2000s. I know it's only a matter of time, but put her in.
23. "The Fabulous Kangaroos" Al Costello & Roy Heffernan
The first great tag-team of the modern era - and some would argue the greatest ever - Al Costello & Roy Heffernan were the Northeastern US NWA Tag Team Champions (a title whose lineage would ultimately evolve into the WWF Tag Team Title) three times. Their impact on the industry cannot be overstated. They belong in the Hall of Fame. Put them in.
22. Scott Hall
One of my personal all-time favs, I debated long and hard about including him in the top 20. Ultimately I left him off but we all know what Scott Hall meant to the business and to the WWF. I hope he cleans his act up because I'd love to see him back in the WWE again as a manager or broadcaster. Either way he's a sure-fire Hall of Famer. Put him in.
21. (a tie)
21A. Lex Luger
One of the great stars of Crockett's NWA and WCW and a top draw for the WWF in the early to mid 90s. His career is more than Hall of Fame worthy. Put him in.
21B. "The Fabulous Freebirds" Michael "Pure Sexy" Hayes & Terry Gordy (and maybe even Buddy Roberts & Jimmy Garvin)
One of the greatest stables in the history of wrestling the Freebirds garnered virtually all of their fame in territories outside of the WWF. While I've tried to keep these lists oriented towards peerformers who specifically worked for the WWF at some point, I'm really walking the wire with this selection. That said, Terry Gordy did appear with the WWF shortly as Mankind's Executioner and Michael Hayes has worked as an announcer and writer for the WWF/E for years. I will even mention the fact that in August 1984 the WWF brought in all three original Freebirds to compete as a tag team. They only wrestled as a team a handful of times before leaving in the Fall due to the company wanting to break them up. So with their reputation firmly established and the ties they do have to the WWF there is no doubt they belong. Put them in.
For #s 20-1 check out my previous blog posting