As much as some hate to admit it, the best way for a wrestler to be immortalized is with an induction into the WWE Hall of Fame. You can have several Intercontinental Championship reigns, WrestleMania moments and all that jazz but something will always be missing from your resume if you can’t boast about a hall of fame ring. Barring a few exceptions (yes I’m looking at you Koko B.Ware), WWE has done a good job of reserving their Hall of Fame for elite superstars.
This makes it all the more baffling as to why certain names have yet to be given their due into WWE’s still invisible Hall of Fame. Whether it be for bad blood between the company and the performer, refusal by the performer or sheer ignorance, the following 15 names have yet to be given their due. Whether or not they will ever be inducted is besides the point. In wrestling fans’ minds, these performers deserve their spot alongside names like Bret Hart, Stone Cold Steve Austin, Rowdy Roddy Piper and so many more.
Before continuing on, I must address the elephant in the room. That elephant being one Christopher Michael Benoit. Yes, he is one of the most technically gifted wrestlers of any era. Yes, he is a former World Heavyweight champion but there are certain things that occur outside the cartoon world of wrestling which can take all his accomplishments away. Just to put what Chris Benoit into perspective, allow me to show this comparison. Ray Rice became public enemy number one this year for punching his wife in an elevator and dragging her around the hotel floor. Chris Benoit murdered his wife and son and proceeded to commit suicide. Whether he was mentally disturbed or not doesn’t excuse what he did and I refuse to put him on this list. This is probably one exception where you can say never in wrestling.
Well after that downer, you must need something happy to get your spirits up. Why not read this list?
Note: Superstars currently employed by the WWE (which would include Sting) will not be included in this list. Don’t worry, we all know Sting belongs and will go in there.
Regardless of the controversies surrounding her possible inclusion, when looking at a list like this, we need to evaluate the wrestler’s time with the WWE. Chyna was a prominent female wrestler during WWE’s Attitude Era and was different from the rest of her female peers. Rather than being there to look pretty, Chyna was there as a powerhouse and bodyguard. She made her debut as Triple H’s enforcer before joining his legendary stable, D-Generation X. She had a lot of firsts in the WWE, including being the first female competitor to enter the Royal Rumble, the first female number one contender for the WWE Championship, and the first (and only) female to win the Intercontinental Title.
Due to the complications involving her relationship with Triple H and X-Pac, she likely won’t be inducted anytime soon. However, if Alundra Blayze can be forgiven for throwing WWE’s Women’s Championship belt in the trash on Nitro, perhaps Chyna will make into the Hall after some more time passes.
14. Davey Boy Smith
In a career plagued by injuries and steroid abuse, the British Bulldog still lived up to the Hart family legacy. Smith bounced around various promotions throughout his career, but his most famous work came under the WWE banner, the pinnacle of which was his SummerSlam 1992 encounter with Bret “Hitman” Hart. The match, which still holds up to this day, was the main event of the highest attended non-WrestleMania event ever with 80,355 fans filling London’s Wembley Stadium to watch their national hero capture his first singles title with the company. His lack of mic skills might have kept him from the top, but Smith’s SummerSlam performance secures a spot in the WWE Hall of Fame.
13. Cyndi Lauper
Girls just wanna have fun eh, Cyndi? How does a Hall of Fame induction sound? While purists may scoff at this entry, the fact is that the WWE has already inducted several celebrities. Hell, if WWE wants to have a celebrity wing for their Hall of Fame, why not include Lauper? She was instrumental in bringing the WWE into the mainstream due to her feud with Roddy Piper and her appearance at WrestleMania I. Bringing in the MTV audience of the 80’s to the WWE undoubtedly helped the company for years to come, making Cyndi Lauper a definite candidate for the WWE Hall of Fame.
12. Ultimo Dragon
Pardon the pun, but it’s time to enter the dragon. While his time in the WWE was way too brief, Yoshihiro Asai has no doubt cast a tremendous shadow over the professional wrestling landscape. Ultimo Dragon still holds the record for holding the most championships at one time with… 10! Airports must have been a nightmare for the masked superstar. Metal detectors aside, Ultimo Dragon is also the innovator of several maneuvers including the Asai Moonsault (think Chris Jericho’s lionsault, but to the outside of the ring). While the Dragon spent less than year in WWE, his influence is enough to get him in the hall of fame. Only if he wears his totally awesome costume though.
11. Miss Elizabeth
There are two periods for women in professional wrestling; before and after Miss Elizabeth. No disrespect to Mae Young, but nobody truly cared about women in wrestling until this Kentucky bombshell wowed the minds of every audience member in the 1980s. The ying to Randy Savage’s yang, Miss Elizabeth brought class and grace to the brutish yet charming Macho Man character. Serving as a sign that women can make an impact in the WWE, Miss Elizabeth more than deserves to be the next woman in the Hall of Fame.
10. Ken Shamrock
He isn’t in his zone… yet. When this berserker arrived to the WWE in 1997, he could very well have been the World’s Most Dangerous Man as he claimed. Coming from the then no holds barred world of MMA, Shamrock brought tons of notoriety to the mild product of mid 90’s WWE. The closest he ever came to the world championship was at In Your House: D-Generation X where he defeated Shawn Michaels by disqualification, which of course meant Michaels kept his title. Still, Shamrock’s devastating ring work and multiple Intercontinental title reigns should assure his spot in the hall.
P.S, if you say Ken Shamrock into a mirror five times, Shamrock appears and traps you in an ankle lock. True story.
9. Diamond Dallas Page
BANG! For the most part, past WCW stars haven’t quite gotten their due in the hall of fame, unless they had a significant run in the WWE. It’s time for Diamond Dallas Page to get his due, as he was a pioneer in some ways, proving that one could follow their dream of being a pro wrestler even if they have more miles on the odometer. Page was close to 40 when he debuted as an active wrestler in WCW, yet still carved out a great career for himself.
DDP should also be honored for what he has done for the business, helping save the lives of hall of famers Scott Hall and Jake The Snake Roberts with his DDP Yoga program. He helped them rid their bodies of the harmful substances they had abused their bodies with for so long. It’s hard to hate a guy like DDP, and judging from some of the inductees we’ve seen, there’s no way you can justify that he doesn’t deserve a spot himself.
8. Jim Cornette
This one should amuse the IWC. Jim Cornette may be known mostly for his gloriously angry shoot interviews nowadays, but once upon a time Cornette was one of the most respected managers in the wrestling business. Managing most notably the Midnight Express through the 1980’s, Cornette garnered much of his heat in NWA with the help of his whiny voice and tennis racket. To WWE fans though, Cornette should be inducted due to his role in developing modern superstars such as Randy Orton, Brock Lesnar and oh yeah, John Cena. Just don’t mention Vince Russo during his speech. They don’t get along.
It’s time! For Vader to be inducted that is. Horribly under used in WWE but a tremendous star in Japan and WCW, Big Van Vader is one of the most agile super-heavyweights to ever lace up a pair of boots. The 400-plus pound former NFL offensive lineman was infamous for having some of the hardest hitting strikes in wrestling and being able to perform a moonsault, a nigh impossible feat for a man his size. His legendary brawls with HOFers Mick Foley and his Mortal Kombat esque entrance helmet earn Vader’s time in the sun of the WWE Hall of Fame.
6. Rob Van Dam
That’s right, ‘The Whole F’n Show’ is one of our personal favourites and absolutely worthy of the WWE HOF. While he still has short stints in the company, RVD’s status as a full time performer is definitely finished, but my oh my, what a body of work he’s left behind. Arguably the greatest performer of the Frog Splash, Rob Van Dam’s list of accolades is almost too long to mention. Rob Van Dam is the only superstar in WWE to hold the Hardcore, European, Intercontinental, Tag Team and WWE championships. And that’s not even including his work in ECW. While his mic skills were never elite, his innovative offense and longevity in the industry is a testament to his skill, nabbing him a spot in the HOF.
5. Rick Rude
Keep the noise down, the Ravishing one is taking his spot with the immortals. On the surface, Rick Rude doesn’t seem much different from many other WWE superstars of the late 80’s due to his ridiculous physique but my friends, there is so much more to this athlete. Rude practically sweated charisma as he can make a crowd eat out of the palm his hand with just his words. In terms of wrestling ability, let’s put it this way; he managed to pull good matches out of the Ultimate Warrior. With oodles of charisma, timeless wrestling ability and some of the most creative tights in wrestling history, Rick Rude is long overdue for a spot in the WWE Hall of Fame.
T3. D-Generation X
The Attitude Era, flaws and all, was the highest point of financial and mainstream success the WWE ever had. Only a fool would deny that D-Generation X was a significant part of that success. Whether it was led by Shawn Michaels or Triple H, DX was always a staple of WWE programming in the late 90’s. The group provided such classic moments like the Nation of Domination Parody, the WCW “invasion” at Norfolk Scope and the impersonation of Vince and Shane McMahon. The groundbreaking group could be considered a more juvenile and humourous version of another iconic stable…
T3. New World Order
Before D-Generation X was even a thought in the minds of Shawn Michaels and Triple H, Hulk Hogan, Kevin Nash and Scott Hall were running wild all over WCW. Stripped of all colour and left with just black and white, this trio of superstars were doing everything in their power to keep WCW fans’ eyeballs glued to their television every Monday night. They were perceived as such a threat to the company that security officers with guns were needed to hold them back. This trio sure was iconic.
What’s that dear reader? The nWo had several other members and iterations? I have no idea what you’re talking about.
2. Owen Hart
With all due respect to hockey icon Maurice Richard, Owen Hart was the only “Rocket” to wrestling fans. The youngest member of the legendary Hart family, Owen Hart could do it all in the ring and in some ways was even better than his brother Bret. High flying, brawling, techincal or submission wrestling, Owen was a master of it all. A category in which he trounced all his family members though would be in charisma, with which he can weave comedy into serious stories and make it work. Despite his death being the most tragic in all of wrestling, Hart’s legacy lives on and deserves the grand stage of the WWE Hall of Fame.
1. The Rock
What is it with wrestlers taking hockey players’ nicknames? Anyway, “The Great One” may still have a match or two in him but as it stands now, The Rock’s final match took place at WrestleMania 29. Even if the match was a stinker, The Brahma Bull has still left behind a nearly insurmountable body of work. The greatest rivalry in WWE history with Stone Cold? Check. Multiple world title reigns? Check. Co-headliner of the most purchased event in professional wrestling (WrestleMania 28)? Check. Because of his amazing athletic genes and infinite charisma, The Rock is surely a lock for WWE’s Hall of Fame.
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