As a fan, the Hall of Fame allows you to experience this monumental moment with your favorite athletes or stars of any sport or platform. It’s something to behold when your favorite personality makes it into immortality where they “belong”.
With the WWE Hall of Fame approaching its induction ceremony coming up the night before WrestleMania XXX, it allows me to reflect on certain things with the WWE Hall of Fame and Hall of Fame’s in general.
The WWE Hall of Fame has as of this writing 113 inductees are in with four more so far to be inducted this year. I can look through the list of individuals, tag teams, groups and celebrity inductees and hold a certain sense of pride of the many names inducted; such as Hulk Hogan, Stone Cold Steve Austin, Andre the Giant, Bret Hart, Mr. Perfect, Mick Foley and Edge. These are names that I have grown up with and watch grow in front of my eyes. However, you also have names that I unfortunately couldn’t watch in their time but was fortunate to be able to view old footage of theirs and see how they paved the way for the future of the sport. Mil Mascaras, Harley Race, Killer Kowalski, “Nature Boy” Buddy Rogers, and Bruno Sammartino are only a few of the legends that personify this list.
Although said names all deserve the honor of being called Hall of Famers, there’s definitely a lot of politics that goes on for these inductions. The best example I can think of is Bruno Sammartino. Bruno, prior to his induction, had spent many years away from the WWE because of professional and personal differences of opinion between the two parties. They finally put those differences aside and made the long awaited induction of the face of WWE’s top name of wrestling’s Golden Era in 2013. It was nice to see many years later that he could still pack the house as he did for his induction at Madison Square Garden as he did several decades ago!
Now, we get to the names that have yet to be inducted. Many fans around the world are pleading for these names, yet they will never be inducted due to either personal or professional issues. Names such as Owen Hart, Randy Savage, Kurt Angle, Chris Benoit, The Outsiders, The Hardy Boys, The Dudley Boys, Goldberg, Sting and Chris Jericho are prime examples of what I mean. The way I see it, any Hall of Fame should be inducting those who not only sold tickets and got over with the fans, but induct those who shaped the way the wrestling business is the way it is now. All said names just mentioned you can’t deny that they shaped the way wrestling is viewed today and how things are the way they are. Like their predecessors before them, they made their mark in wrestling. But because of the many professional and personal reasons behind the scenes they will be denied…for now.
Like Bruno Sammartino proved and what Ultimate Warrior will prove. there is always room for compromise. WWE recognized that these names are needed to be in their Hall of Fame. Will WCW greats such as Goldberg, Sting and Lex Luger or WWF/E stars like The Hardy Boys, Kurt Angle, and Chris Jericho be honored? Only time will tell but I can assure one thing: if it’s meant to be, it will be and WWE will get at least this right!