The WWE Hall of Fame gets a lot of flak but it’s still seen as something important to those who are in it. With WWE so dominant in wrestling and basically owning much of its history, having guys in their Hall is a major deal. The question of who goes in can be off as it’s filled with mega stars, jobbers, celebrities and one soon-to-be President of the United States. There are several names not in it due to politics and getting on Vince’s bad side but other guys can surprisingly be included. With a new class due to come, the question of who can get in is growing.
Some choices are obviously not in. No matter what, Chris Benoit will never be inducted into that hall. There are also plenty who have bad beef with Vince McMahon and vice versa so highly doubtful they’d get in. However, some are able to make up and can still have a chance. Many do have careers worthy of Hall of Fame while others are just favorites but they all showcase some terrific popularity to get in. Here are 15 wrestlers who should be considered for the next Hall of Fame class and elevate it for many fans.
15 The Steiner Brothers
Rick Steiner was already a good worker as he was TV champion while rising up the ranks in the late 1980s. But when he joined his brother Scott, they changed the way tag team wrestling could be. Their double-team moves were great. They were pulling off stuff like top-rope bulldogs and hurricanranas that fans had never seen before and were blown away by it. Their success was fantastic, holding the NWA, WCW, U.S. and WWE tag team titles multiple times and while having fantastic programs against so many of the best tin the business.
14 The Great Muta
13 Ray Stevens
12 The Crusher
11 Rey Mysterio
9 The Dudley Boyz
The numbers alone are Hall-worthy: In ECW, WWE, WCW, IWGP and even TNA, Bubba Ray and D-Von have amassed a total of 24 world tag team championships. From their humble beginnings as part of the huge and wild Dudley clan in ECW, they forged an incredible team that rose up well. While they’re famous for smashing guys through tables, they brought true skill to the ring to handle epic feuds with the Hardyz, Edge and Christian and so many more, backed by great promo work. Their singles work isn’t too bad as Bubba Ray did great as a heel champion in TNA. While WWE may not officially acknowledge that, it’s a consideration.
8 Rick Rude
A tricky one given Vader’s clashes with WWE management over the years. However, with Vader's sad announcement that he only has two years to live due to heart problems, it's time to let bygones be bygones. He should get in as the man set himself up as a fantastic worker in the ‘90s. A big and beefy strongman, he could take off the ropes well and his power bomb was truly devastating (even breaking the back of a jobber). He was a dominant WCW champion in 1993 and an incredible worker afterward. He was marred by a rough WWE run and his own attitude lead to numerous clashes and fights that pushed his stardom down.
They were the rip-offs who became just as big as the originals. When Ax and Smash debuted in 1987, fans dismissed them as WWE’s lame attempt to have their own Road Warriors. However, the Demos began to catch on as they were good in the ring, with Mr. Fuji as their manager giving them more heat. They would win the tag titles in March of 1988 and would hold them until June of ’89, the longest tag title reign ever (although The New Day may soon pass them). They would win the belts twice more as they were a fantastic team. The fact they dominated in arguably the most talent-filled era of the tag team division is a remarkable achievement.
5 The British Bulldogs
Given how he’s coming back for one more match with Brock Lesnar, Goldberg’s entry into the Hall makes a lot of sense. He was one thing WCW did right, as he was a good worker who erupted in 1998 as an unstoppable powerhouse smashing everyone in his way. He was on fire with the crowds chanting his name, an awesome entrance and WCW smartly booking him better and better to win the US title and grow in popularity. His beating Hogan for the WCW title was one of the biggest moments in the company’s history and set him on a road to immortality. True, WCW would blow it badly with Goldberg, as they would break the streak too soon. In the WWE, it didn’t do right by him with his poor run in 2003-04.
3 The Rock
Another major name seemingly ready for the Hall, The Rock has transcended wrestling. Dwayne Johnson overcame a bad start as Rocky Maivia to transform into one of the biggest stars the business has ever seen. An eight-time WWE champion, he has headlined WrestleMania multiple times with some of the biggest feuds around. A genius on the mic, his charisma could not be beat and led to more fantastic success. Since leaving WWE, Johnson has become one of the biggest names in Hollywood with multiple smash hit movies and a TV series “Ballers.” His return in 2011 was a massive deal to feud with John Cena and boost himself up even more.
This seems like a sure bet and one of the classic cases of how sometimes it takes a death to finally get someone into the Hall. Joanie Laurer really did change things when she debuted in 1997. This big, imposing woman who could hold her own and take down men was a sensation. She upped things as she changed with surgery to become hotter, more outgoing and a serious competitor in the business. She reigned as champion, posed for Playboy and became a key face of the Attitude Era. Of course, she’s known for her sad fall afterward, as her addictions and such unfortunately getting the best of her.
1 Owen Hart
This is a tricky one. According to reports, Vince would put Owen into the Hall in a second with the full backing of Bret. The issue is Owen’s widow is dead-set against it as she still blames Vince and WWE for Owen’s tragic death in 1999. It’s a shame as he deserves to have his career honored. A rising star in Stampede, Owen quickly showed he was even better in the ring than Bret, as he was a high flyer as well as brilliant technical worker. His early stuff in WWE was rough but he erupted to main event level with his feud with Bret in 1994. Owen was terrific in the ring and killer on the mic as he was an arrogant jerk. As a Slammy Award winner, IC and tag team champion, he was amazing and seemingly ready to rise up the card.
His sad death remains one of WWE’s greatest tragedies and one can hope Vince and Owen's widow come to a deal to give Owen his place in the Hall as he deserves.
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