Ahh the Hall of Fame, long heralded as the pinnacle of a WWE Superstar's career. First set up with the ambition of hailing the very best that WWE has to offer, the Hall of Fame has started to go just a little bit downhill in the last few years. Although the greatest WWE wrestlers of all-time are in there, those years of hard work have been slightly tarnished by the fact relative nobodies have been able to waltz into it. The celebrity wing of the HOF has definitely put a bit of a stain on what should be just a collection of the most loved stars of all-time, however, some of the athletes inducted have been a little questionable at times too.
This list of the 15 stars we don’t want to see is full of Superstars or celebrities who will most likely make the Hall of Fane at some point in their careers. Some are included because they really don’t deserve to be there in terms of wrestling, others because they offered nothing in their cameo appearances. But there are also some inclusions who do deserve a spot in the HOF, but as is the case with our first entrant, an entry to the hall would be far too much of a publicity stunt at this point.
The death of Chyna earlier this year was a truly harrowing and tragic moment for anyone associated with the WWE. Having regularly updated fans on social media and via YouTube, everyone knew the one thing she truly wanted was to be recognized again by the company she served so well.
The former Intercontinental and Women’s Champion was a pioneer for female wrestlers, holding her own against male wrestlers like Chris Jericho. But following her departure from the company, Joanie Laurer’s life took a very different turn. Although Chyna absolutely deserves to be a part of the Hall of Fame, it would be done now purely as a publicity stunt by the WWE. During her later years, the company steered clear of showing any clips of Chyna on TV and refused to induct her due to her time in the adult film industry. An induction the year after her death would be too little, too late and done entirely for the wrong reasons.
14 The Great Khali
Like Hornswoggle (who we'll see shortly on this list), The Great Khali will be inducted into the HOF due to the fact he has a strange figure and because WWE loves marketing to different markets. A behemoth of a man, the former World Heavyweight Champion made up for his lack of English and wrestling ability with his height and that is probably going to be enough to get him into the hall, along with the fact that WWE wants to bring in fans from India.
For years though, it was painful to watch him struggle inside the ropes as health got the better of him, meaning any ability he did have was being overrun by conditions related to his size. At first he was different in an entertaining way. But as his character wore off and he became a joke figure, the joke ran thin and he was eventually released. Yet as a favorite among the decision makers in the WWE, we think he’ll be in the Hall within five years.
13 Stephen Amell
You know things are looking bleak when a SummerSlam match revolves almost entirely around another television show. The focus here is that the WWE is a TV show and as such it’s insane that they would put over another program. They wouldn’t have done it with WCW…
Stephen Amell’s induction depends entirely on how his career progresses, but the more his star rises the more likely he is to get a spot. After all, he had a real feud with Stardust (poor Cody Rhodes) and was actually decent in the ring. But that doesn’t excuse the fact that he is not a trained wrestler and, as such, his place on the card should go to people who spend their entire lives training for such an opportunity. But if you’re famous, that trumps all with Vinnie Mac.
12 The Bella Twins
Thankfully for us all, the Bella’s have improved over the last couple of years and have been far more bearable than in years before. Another example of the changing times in the WWE that has turned many hardcore fans away, Nikki and Brie are the two standout stars of the Divas era. They're also the two standout stars of Total Divas, the McMahon’s attempt at a scripted reality show.
Admittedly they do have a strong fanbase, but the problem is that they aren’t great wrestlers. Nikki may have racked up a long Divas Championship reign but that came before the influx of NXT stars, a time where decent female wrestlers were pretty hard to come by. Brie is also now gone from the company, but claims to want to come back one day. When all is set and done, the two will be remembered for dominating an era that had little to no other talents in the division.
X-Pac is good friends with Triple H, in the same way that Shawn Michaels, Kevin Nash and Scott Hall are good friends with Triple H. The difference? X-Pac’s the only one (aside from Trips) not to be in the HOF. The conclusion? X-Pac will inevitably make his way into the HOF.
Sean Waltman has been a loyal servant of the WWE for years, in addition to his time with the nWo back in WCW. The only man to have been in the original nWo and D-Generation X, X-Pac played his part in the two biggest factions in professional wrestling history. However, that doesn’t mean he was especially liked. Hated by many of the audience due to his character’s lack of change over the years, the term ‘X-Pac heat’ is still referred to today for a wrestler who fans simply hate, regardless of whether they are face or heel.
10 Shaquille O’Neal
Next year, Shaquille O’Neal will likely face off against Big Show at WrestleMania in a match that is sure to go down in history* (*it won’t go down in history). You have to take your hat off to Show, who has consistently taken on people who aren’t wrestlers on The Grandest Stage Of Them All. Floyd Mayweather Jr. was a big one - that match against the sumo dude wrestler (Akebono) was not.
The build up for this came at this year’s Mania, where Shaq and Show faced off as a part of the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal. Previously Shaq has even hosted and made appearances on Raw, during the time where anyone with even the slightest bit of fame would get the call. Although it might get a few more people watching, the match won’t be anything memorable and Shaq will probably become another entry in the celebrity wing because of it.
9 The Boogeyman
As unlikely as it is, The Boogeyman may very well one day find himself in the HOF. Having been entertaining during his original run, the worm eating/clock breaking horror film character didn’t even push for any titles. As such, his run didn’t last for too many years and we all thought that was that.
However, over the past couple of years, he has started to appear infrequently both on and off TV. With showings at the Royal Rumble, it was easy to think this was just an ex-star brought back for a cameo. And yet, on three or four occasions a year, the social media channels promote fresh content with him representing the company. There are some questionable people in the Hall already, but a Boogeyman spot would be just too much.
8 Stephanie McMahon
The Billion Dollar Princess has certainly given her all to the WWE over the years and one day, she will become a part of the Hall of Fame. It can definitely be argued that she deserves it for the work she has done backstage and it’s most likely she will take over once Vince McMahon steps back from his position. Having done the dirty work earlier in her in-ring career (sarcasm?), Steph is now happy being a part of The Authority and appearing on TV every now and again.
The problem is that every now and again actually translates to “every week” and it's McMahon overload. Having made us sit through downright boring episodes of Raw since the draft, and the years leading up to the split were painful to watch too, it seems Steph doesn’t know what the audience wants and therefore, the audience don’t really like her at times. In addition, she really has no wrestling experience whatsoever, so we question, is she really that worthy of a spot?
7 CM Punk
Ok, so CM Punk and the WWE aren’t exactly on speaking terms right now. But this doesn’t mean he will never make amends with the company. When you consider Bret Hart, who literally spat in the face of Vince McMahon, came back to programming years later, Punk will likely do the same one day.
One of the best all-round wrestlers of the last 20 years, Punk has aired his issues with WWE pretty loudly since quitting. Having been fired on his wedding day, he clearly has no ambitions to return to wresting, something most fans have now completely realized. But ultimately, we don’t want to see a Punk induction due to the fact he left the WWE and the fans who adored him abruptly. It would take some doing to get that fan-base back on his side and it may be a task too big for him and his ego.
6 Flo Rida
There are some celebrities for whom a spot in the Hall of Fame is richly deserved. Arnold Schwarzenegger for instance gave time to the WWE despite being one of the most famous men on the entire planet, adored by fans in his brief appearances. But for the likes of Flo Rida, the same can’t really be said.
Having given a couple of his songs to PPVs, he’s had some pretty forgettable segments. One of those included being out-rapped (really) by Bo Rida, better known as Bo Dallas. Like the other celebrities on this list, Flo is someone who epitomizes the celebrity obsession that the WWE has wrongly built up over the years. Big names in a certain field come into the company, get a decent paycheck and offer absolutely nothing to the quality to the show.
5 Jeff Hardy
Insanely popular amongst many teenage girls, the shining star that Jeff Hardy had has well and truly faded with the wider audience of regular WWE viewers. With his best days coming as part of The Hardy Boyz in the late 90s and early 2000s, Jeff couldn’t get himself in order and was unable to properly kick his drug habit. This made him a real liability, as shown in recent years where he has been in a different world with TNA.
Seemingly now back on track, people still push for a return for the high flyer. If he was to return, be clean and impress, you have to assume he would be inducted along with Matt. But this seems too easy, because for too many years he let down the audience when he could have done so much more.
4 Michael Cole
In reality, Michael Cole has the perfect job. He’s been lucky enough to work in the WWE for more than two decades, is a household name in millions of homes and gets paid very nicely to sit behind a table and do what no end of people do; watch TV. Sadly for Cole, he’s not very popular at what he does.
Having progressed from backstage reporter to SmackDown announcer, he was perfectly fine at first alongside Tazz. That was before it started to turn into "The Michael Cole Show," as the lead commentator became embroiled in his own storylines and even had a WrestleMania match. While he’s been a loyal servant to the WWE, he will constantly be living in the shadow of those who came before him, in particular, Good Ol' JR.
Having spent the best part of a decade failing to escape from the mid-card and tag team scene, John Bradshaw Layfield transformed from a long haired bruiser to the money driven, suit wearing, limousine riding champion of the mid 2000s. It’s hard to know how exactly this change came about, without Bradshaw seemingly set for little chance of reaching the very top before that.
But since then, he has taken his opportunity with both hands and is still a key part of the WWE today as an announcer. However, his inevitable addition to the Hall of Fame won’t be greeted with joy by all. A rumored backstage bully, JBL’s style of commentary has seen him irritate fans on a regular basis. For those he is supposed to have belittled backstage and for the millions who have had to listen to his ridiculous stories, a HOF spot doesn’t seem deserved despite his long run with the WWE.
2 Jon Stewart
Over the years (and even throughout this list) there have been some interesting celebrity appearances in the WWE. Luckily, most of the time they do their own thing, promote their own brand and don’t get shoved too far down the throats of the audience. Whenever Jon Stewart turns up however, WWE becomes The Daily Show for a few minutes.
Stewart was, in comparison to others, a big name for the WWE to have on their show, but what should have been a cameo appearance instead resulted in him ruining SummerSlam 2015. And then the next night, he ruined Raw. And recently, he danced with New Day and ruined what should have been a Stewart-less evening. Considering the fact he is a big name, it seems inevitable he will be in the HOF in the next few years, despite being one of the most unwanted celebrities in WWE history.
Hornswoggle was successful in the WWE due to his look, because there wasn’t really much else going for him. A relative mute for the first couple of years, he went from being Finlay’s little leprechaun to Vince McMahon’s illegitimate son. And then he was the anonymous Raw GM, the worst possible conclusion after months and months of build-up. And then he was in 3MB.
It’s probably going to be a few years down the line until we see Hornswoggle make his way into the illustrious HOF, but it will indicate everything that is wrong with the annual ceremony. The Hall of Fame should celebrate the best of the best, the people who consistently entertain, amaze and inspire. Hornswoggle didn’t do any of those things and as such, he does not warrant a place.