This weekend, the WWE will hold its annual Hall of Fame ceremony on the eve of WrestleMania. The event will bring out WWE Superstars and Divas – past and present – along with their families and friends, looking their best and on hand to support the incoming inductees.
The Hall of Fame was first introduced in March of 1993, shortly after the passing of Andre the Giant, who would be named the first official inductee and only member of said year. In 1994 and 1995, the Hall of Fame would coincide with the King of the Ring event. In 1996, the ceremony was moved later down the calendar and would take place along side the Survivor Series event. Following this, the Hall of Fame would go on hiatus for nearly a decade before returning in time for WrestleMania XX.
Over the years, we have witnessed our favorite wrestlers be inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame. The nostalgia trip is nice and it is always good to see some of our childhood heroes receiving the recognition they deserve. In some case – for that brief shinning moment – an old time wrestler is afforded one last sparkle of light on the big stage.
However, there is much about the Hall of Fame that is questionable and simply ridiculous. After all, this is a Hall of Fame designed for wrestlers. Even as a wrestling fan, it sounds weird – as a sports fan. it sounds completely absurd but alas, the WWE Hall of Fame is a spectacle all its own regardless of whether people take it seriously.
The following article will examine some of the reasons why sports fans may look down their noses at this event or why some wrestling fans simply don’t care about the concept. These are the top 10 reasons why the WWE Hall of Fame is a joke:
Professional wrestling is something that can be hard to understand. Who wants to watch grown men, oiled up and wearing tights, push each other around for a predetermined amount of time before the eventual conclusion of the chosen winner emerges?
Those who are not fans cannot quite grasp the concept of the squared-circle circus. Therefore, an actual Hall of Fame for these oddball, off-the-wall, so-call professional athletes … what is that all about? That which you do not understand can lead to mockery and malice.
As alluded to in the introduction: the WWE Hall of Fame went on hiatus following the year 1996 – making it a forgotten concept for the better part of a decade. This is not a usual occurrence with other reputable sports.
The fact that the WWE Hall of Fame just disappeared devalues the entire concept. Why bring it back at all if it wasn’t good enough to remain during its eight year absence? Was the reincarnation of the WWE Hall of Fame in high demand? Not likely.
8. Active Inductees
Let’s begin this entry with a hockey reference: Gordie Howe, Guy Lafleur, and Mario Lemieux; three men who were inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame but came back to the game. Upon their comebacks, they each looked good on the ice.
How many wrestlers who have been inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame have come back and looked good in the ring? Not many. These old-time wrestlers cling at that last chance of glory but they should really just remain retired.
7. Making Money from Memories
There are certain ex-WWE superstars who were never expected to be seen within the company again. Bret Hart and The Ultimate Warrior are primes examples of this. However, both men have been inducted into the Hall of Fame and with no argument from fans as both played massive roles in WWE during their tenure.
What is troubling about these situations is the money which WWE stands to make of the memories of these past superstars. Merchandise sales and DVD releases are all lined up once former stars are back on board with the company. Bringing back the boys to earn another dollar is a little shady.
6. No Sports Media Coverage
You know when you’re sitting on your couch watching SportsCenter and catching up on all the daily highlights from around the world of professional sports and then the focus shifts to the latest baseball/hockey/basketball/football Hal of Fame inductees? This doesn’t happen with wrestling.
Sure, WWE will find ways to make headlines and grab air time on channels like ESPN. The exposure of Brock Lesnar really helps with this but the latest class of WWE Hall of Fame inductees are never brought to the forefront of any sports media outlet and you know why? Because these outlets don’t care.
5. Mid-Card Inductees
The Bushwhackers are among the Hall of Fame class of 2015. C’mon, really? The Bushwhackers? There is no denying that these two were entertaining during their stint in WWE but did they really make that big of an impact on tag team wrestling?
The most memorable thing about these guy is the walking and the licking. The Bushwhackers were a mid-card comedy act who certainly can’t be compared to tag teams like The Road Warriors or Edge and Christian. You don’t see Joe Juneau being inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame.
4. Fake Statistics
Wrestling statistics are impressive when you forget about how they are accumulated. The Undertaker’s undefeated streak at WrestleMania. Goldberg’s winning streak in WCW. Ric Flair’s sixteen World Championships. Great numbers but numbers that were meant to be as such.
Wrestlers just don’t win all these championships on their own. The results are determined before they ever walk the aisle. Therefore, when you compare wrestling statistics to other sporting statistics, they don’t exactly hold up, as they could very well draw laughter.
Pete Rose, William “The Refrigerator” Perry, Bob Uecker, Drew Carey, Mike Tyson, Donald Trump, Mr. T, and Arnold Schwarzenegger (this year) have all been inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame “Celebrity Wing.”
Is an explanation needed here? There is no way to look at the WWE Hall of Fame in a serious light when the accomplishments of its performers are degraded by the inclusion of celebrities into what is supposed to be a sacred hall of recognition.
2. Selection Committee?
How does one decide who should be inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame? Are there first-ballot inductees? Unanimous inductees? There must be some sort of process involved with these selections, right?
Regardless of the sport. any Hall of Fame should have a selection committee of sorts. The committee involved with selecting the wrestlers for Hall of Fame induction is seemingly invisible or perhaps is a committee of just one: Vince McMahon.
1. Not a Real Sport
The debate on whether or not professional wrestling is a real sport has long been argued from both sides of the spectrum but let’s be honest here: professional wrestling is not a real sport.
For this reason alone, the WWE Hall of Fame can be labeled as a joke. The performers do risk real injury and are clearly athletic but wrestling is its own world and real world athletes will always look down on a professional wrestling Hall of Fame.
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