Word around the campfire is that some legendary names are being considered for this year’s WWE Hall of Fame induction. Now don’t get me started on this topic because I could literally rattle of 50 names in 7.2 seconds flat that should be in or have been overlooked – but we’ll get to that another time – preferably on video.
But as we start to gear up towards Wrestlemania season, preparations, contacts and commitments need to be made. Now considering that the Hall of Fame induction ceremony is set to be held in Madison Square Garden, I personally think that the names selected should have some sort of connection and reverence to the Mecca.
Here are the names being tossed around:
Bruno Sammartino – A no-brainer. The fact that Bruno hasn’t been inducted already is crime in itself. On the flip side of that coin, Bruno hasn’t been inducted because he’s rejected all previous offers – so that puts just as much guilt on his shoulders. With the ceremony taking place in MSG – the hallowed halls that he sold out during an unprecedented seven-year reign – this grumpy old bastard needs to suck it up and get one last hurrah before someone else has to accept posthumously on his behalf.
The Freebirds – I really have no clue what the fascination is with the Freebirds. In my opinion, the are one of the most overrated groups in the history of the business. In their defense, I guess they lived the rock-n-roll lifestyle in the business that so many dreamed of. While their colleagues were kayfabing the world as serious athletes, these drugged up assholes were partying like rockstars. What the Horsemen did with class, these slobs did without a care. Because of their cult following, I guess they deserved to be remembered in the Hall, but why now? What’s their connection with The Garden? They barely wrestled there; never main evented there; and nobody ever bought a ticket to see them there. Save their induction for some hick location down south.
Larry Zbyszko – Another guy who deserves to be in the Hall of Fame because of what he achieved in the business, but not necessarily what he did for the WWE. Sure his feud with Bruno was white hot in its day, but then what? Outside of his rivalry with Sammartino, I’ve always associated his career as a flag-bearer for anything anti-WWE. He never returned to the WWE for another big run, nor did the fans want him to. He spent his twilight years successfully competing in WCW and later broadcasting for them, thus the anti-WWE stigma. And how can you consider putting him in before Bruno anyway? That’s like when they had one of the greatest Intercontinental champions in The Honkytonk Man induct KoKo B. Ware. Absolutely senseless.
Regis Philbin - Well, I guess they need somebody for the celebrity wing, and Regis has always been a WWE loyalist. Then again, with the Hall of Fame in New York and Wrestlemania taking place in New Jersey – why not induct Donald Trump instead?
Mick Foley – If anyone deserves to be inducted into the Hall at MSG, it;s Foley, His storied career started in the seats in that very building watching Jimmy “Superfly” Snuka take flight off the top of a steel cage. Foley is a hometown boy and recognition for his service is long overdue. Shawn Michaels is already in the Hall. So is Stone Cold Steve Austin. Shit, Edge is in there and he wasn’t even retired a year. It’s time to give Mick Foley his due!
Bob Backlund – Amazingly, here’s another legendary guy the WWE has bent over and said, “Enjoy this dick”! I was never a big fan of Backlund. Personally, I thought he was bore… and I’m not the only one. There are guys who probably fell asleep in the ring while working with him, but there is no denying his achievements and his lengthy reign as champion. Like him or not, there was a time Backlund was the company’s top draw. He was the face of the company and he did it with wrestling, not gimmicks. That alone deserves respect. And Madison Square Garden hosted a ton of his greatest moments!
Sid Vicious – I don’t think he ever lived up to the hype of “the man who ruled the world”, but it’s more than likely because he was lost in the shadows of being groomed as Hulk Hogan’s replacement, after the implosion of The Ultimate Warrior. Sid was unstable, but as he got older, he matured more and was finally granted the opportunity to be the man. Unfortunately, when that time finally came, the business preferred the smaller guys like Bret Hart and Shawn Michaels. Regardless of constantly dropping the ball, Sid is a performer who is always remembered and recognized as a pure beast. Guys like him were few and far between. Does he deserve a nod to the Hall? Hell yeah… but not at the Garden. Most people don’t even remember that he won his first WWE title there. So let’s save that shit for another time. Plus, there’s always the chance he might no-show if he has a softball game scheduled for that day.
Earthquake John Tenta – A great choice for induction. One of the few agile big men in the history of the business. A dominant force during his WWE run, and a “what-the-fuck” during his run in WCW. If we forget the second half of his career, Earthquake was easily one of the greatest monsters in WWE history. As much as I want to see him inducted in the Hall of Fame, I think the real monster that needs to go in first – especially at MSG – is King Kong Bundy. Bundy is a local New Jersey native who made history at the Garden in the first Wrestlemania and sold out main events against Andre The Giant and Hulk Hogan. Bundy actually paved the way for guys like Earthquake, and it’s only fair to let him go first.
Paul Heyman – I’ll make this one short and sweet. Should Heyman be in inducted at The garden. Abso-fucking-lutely! A New York native who changed the course of the business in neighboring Philly as the father of ECW – a property Vince McMahon so deeply wishes was his own creation. My concern is, now that Heyman is a semi-full time roster member who is associated to the world champion and the main events via CM Punk and Brock Lesnar – would his induction kill his heat and distract the storylines?
Triple H – I saved this one for last for a couple of reasons. First off, this fucking guy isn’t even retired yet. Yeah, he’s sold out The Garden over the last decade – if not more, but what real history did he make there? By the time he was selling the joint out, house shows were meaningless. When he was champion, it was the equivalent of the circus coming to town. Triple H is without a doubt one of the greatest of all-time, but does he really need to be honored now? Is he that much of a mark to push his own name just to say he was inducted at MSG? It’s not his time, especially when he keeps sticking that massive nose of his into the storylines and stealing the shine of the spotlight while main eventing with the top talent. You’ll get your day asshole. You pretty much own the company now. Keep it in your tights and focus on doing the right thing for those who deserve it NOW. Guess who have been passed over, blacklisted, and paved the way for you to get in the position you’re in right now. It was too soon for Edge to go in the Hall and the same goes for Triple H. Let your peers warrant your induction rather than you organizing it yourself for the mere reason that you can.
As I mentioned before, there are a TON of other names who should be up for consideration. They may not all have a connection to the Garden, but name is worth the consideration. And with that, I will follow it up with a series of videos in the near future. In the meantime, I’d be interested in reading your comments on who think should be inducted into the 2013 Hall of Fame class.