The WWE Hall of Fame has been the source of a lot of debate among fans. Many see it as a vanity piece that ignores a lot of great performers and is mostly political. Others, however, see it as truly meaning a lot, especially to those who manage to get inside. It is seen as a true honor, a way to favor a legacy and adds a lot to WWE being able to call someone a “Hall of Famer.” It’s been an annual tradition for years to have a big ceremony to honor these guys and they truly seem to like it. It’s also led to a push among fans for an actual WWE Hall of Fame museum, just like the NFL or MLB have, to pay tribute to these guys.
There’s been talk for years but it sounds like WWE is finally getting around to building one in Orlando. Naturally, there’s talk of what will and what won't go in and expect the usual for any Hall of Fame; busts of major stars, re-living huge events and no doubt quite a lot of Vince McMahon making himself look a massive genius. That’s to be expected but there are other things one can hope this Hall of Fame has. Some are major, some minor, some focused on a single guy, others capturing more of wrestling’s history. But all told, they can offer something unique and make this a place to check out for fans. Here are 20 things a WWE Hall of Fame can use to make it a must-see for any wrestling fan.
20 Celebrity Section
Some might grouse about this one but celebrities in wrestling have always been a major thing and thus it makes sense to have a section paying tribute to that. WrestleMania would have the most obvious ones with the very first having Liberace and Billy Martin to more of the star-studded events of later years. One can easily see Vince putting a special section to feature how a certain future President took part in WWE events and Muhammad Ali’s involvement would get a highlight as well.
You can have the gear Lawrence Taylor wore at WrestleMania XI or some of the dresses by hot ladies like Pamela Anderson and Jenny McCarthy, plus, some of the worst involvements like WCW World Champion David Arquette. Video screens can highlight things and it'd be nice to have a segment on “remember them?” for celebrities who are pretty much forgotten today. It'd be a fun wing to show how wrestling has always been “sports entertainment” and a reminder of how much stars love to take part.
19 Territory Tribute
While the focus is going to be on WWE, it would be nice for the museum to also pay tribute to the classic territories. You can have a huge map showing the areas before Vince began his expansion and who owned what. Some deserve a big spotlight like World Class, Memphis, Florida and Portland, noting the major stars from these areas and some iconic ring gear (like the Von Erich robes and Jerry Lawler’s crowns).
Get some classic video segments to play and note how each helped shift wrestling in that time and it can be a fun look back at how things were. True, Vince ended up crushing them all in his rise to power but any look at wrestling history should include an area dedicated to how the business rose from humble roots.
18 Vehicle section
You’d need a pretty big garage for this one but it would be an awesome display of the variety of great vehicles used in wrestling over the years. Stone Cold Steve Austin can provide his truck and his ATV. You can also have Eddie Guerrero’s Lowrider, JBL’s limo with the horns on the front and the jeep DX used to “invade” Nitro back in 1998. You can throw in other bits like Vince McMahon’s Corvette that Austin once filled with cement or the burnt-out DX bus. Imagine seeing the “Lex Express”, Hogan’s Monster Truck, the beer truck Austin sprayed the McMahons with or the milk truck Kurt Angle used mocking that segment all on display.
With plaques explaining the history of each and their place, this would be a large but still very fun area to showcase how revved up wrestling could get.
17 Ladies Wing
This is a truly obvious section and one that's well deserved. Women in wrestling have had ups and downs but this would be a great way to pay tribute to them. Obviously, there’d be tributes to the beauty of valets like Elizabeth, Sunny, Sable and Sherri Martel, but then we would see the evolution to the “Divas” like Trish, Lita, Victoria, Stacy Keibler and others. Then they can end with how they have become serious wrestlers with Charlotte, Sasha Banks and more.
A collection of classic outfits on mannequins is a must (Elizabeth’s gowns, Sable and Chyna’s leather suits, Trish’s outfits, etc) and you can have a special look at some of the “costume challenges” they’ve taken part in. Focusing on their beauty but also showing how they’ve shifted to become a key part of the business, this would be a great way to show women in wrestling changing over the years.
16 Video Game Display
This can be a really fun display for fans to spend some time. Video game fans would get a kick seeing the evolution of graphics, going from merely blobs to highly detailed subjects. From the old 1980s arcade games to the home systems of the 1990s and more, this could be terrific. Instead of just screens and such, you can have areas where fans can actually play these games, from the 1990s Genesis and Super Nintendo ones to the latest of Xbox and PS4. If they can throw in stuff like the “Wrestlefest” arcade games and more, this would be fun, even the bad ones like some of the WCW games.
Fans could kill hours in these areas, a reminder of how they love to play out their old stories, try out some classic characters and just how damn fun these classic video games linked to wrestling can be.
15 Action Figures
Another idea for a display that would be interesting, this would be an evolution of how action figures in wrestling have shifted. You can have the old massive “dolls” WWE produced in the 1980s in replicas of the classic rings. If they can find some of the older toys from other areas like AWA or even those old Muscle figures, it would be a real bonus. Then they could shift to more detailed action figures and how they have changed, including the various ring sets. It would be fun seeing some of this classic merchandise and how the wrestler looks have changed over the years.
Obviously, a bonus would be an area to buy replicas of these figures as more than a few fans would love to have those classic figures to have in their homes. If nothing else, it shows how WWE’s merchandising arm has changed so much and it's another look at the way the company has grown.
14 The Big Guys
WWE has always loved big guys and this would be a good display for them. Andre would be the key with his massive boots and you can toss in other ones like Yokozuna’s robes and bucket as well as the horrendous outfit for Giant Gonzales. A fun bit would be a chart showing the various heights to determine who really is the biggest of the biggest. Also, a comparison between the weight of some big guys with real life objects (say, the photo of four midgets in Abdullah the Butcher’s pants or “how much Big Show can push”).
A collection of other bits can include some wilder outfits (like Jon Tenta’s “Shark” motif from WCW) and even a bit where guests can “test their strength” on recreations of these workers’ epic feats. Given all the huge men in wrestling, a segment like this is a natural and would highlight how much impact these guys make in wrestling.
13 Animals Tribute
This may be offbeat but it could be fun as so many animals have had some moments in WWE history and there might be a fun way to pay tribute to them. The most obvious would be Jake Roberts’ pet python Damien and how Roberts used it to earn his nickname of “the Snake” several times. There’s also Mathilda, the British Bulldogs’ pet and Frankie, Koko B. Ware’s bird. A bonus can be Sting’s “vulture” or Ricky Steamboat’s komodo dragon and Torrie Wilson’s dog. For added fun, toss in characters like George “The Animal” Steele’s “Mime” or Jack Swagger’s “Soaring Eagle.” Hell, you can even throw in Terry Taylor as “The Red Rooster” just to show how out of control the whole thing could get. It’s offbeat but still a fun idea and would be an interesting display for the Hall.
It’s a must for any Hall of Fame; statues of some of the major luminaries inside. It’s easy to imagine a section of busts of some workers who have been named Hall of Famers but it's still interesting to think of statues. Many have suggested the idea of the entranceway to the museum being statues of Hulk Hogan and Andre facing each other from WrestleMania III and that would be a cool sight. But other guys deserve some statues: Bruno Sammartino, Sting, Ric Flair, Steve Austin, The Rock, the list goes on and on. Have them be in good poses to enhance excitement and showcase them in their glorious prime and fans will love to take photos with them. Naturally, Vince would insist on a statue of himself somewhere but it would still be good to have a great display for fans to enjoy.
11 Classic Sets
This would take a lot of space, but it would still be fun to replicate some of the classic sets of wrestling television. This could include the huge stages for RAW and SmackDown with the latter containing that giant fist. You could have the original RAW sets including that huge “RAW” display sign that guys would walk through. How about recreations of the classic “Prime Time Wrestling” sets with stands and interview centers? You can also throw in some interview segment sets like the Snake Pit or “Flair For the Gold.”
Indeed, it would be fun to see recreations of WCW’s old studios from the cheaper ones to the funky studio with the ring on a rotating platform. Plus, if they could recreate some of those awesome sets from WCW PPVs like Halloween Havoc and others, it would be terrific. It might require space but it'd still be fun to see recreations of these classic sets to walk through and feel like a superstar.
10 Iconic T-shirts
It was actually Verne Gagne and his AWA who began the push for personalized T-shirts for major stars (like catchphrases for Baron Von Raschke and The Crusher). WWE just made it even bigger and other companies followed suit. Thus, a display of some of the best and most popular t-shirts would be a great one. Hogan’s red “Hulkamania” shirt; “Austin 3:16”; the variety of ones for The Rock and his catchphrases; Randy Savage’s “sunglasses” shirt; the classic New World Order ones and the Blue World Order parodies; the variety of John Cena ones and so many more.
From Bret Hart to Goldberg, t-shirts have been a major part of wrestling and this would be a fun display, complete with the ability for fans to buy their own copies at the gift shops and bring some of the fun home with them.
9 Belt Display
This is an obvious one but it would be great. A huge display (you can easily see it as a large corridor with wall cases) showcasing the various title belts from WWE’s history would be awesome. Replicas can abound of the original World Wide Wrestling Federation title belt, the classic belts of the 1970s and ‘80s, the “Winged Eagle” of the ‘90s, Steve Austin’s “Smoking Skull” belt and The Rock’s “Brahma Bull” belt and the variety of designs for the IC and tag team titles.
You can also have deactivated belts like the Divas title, European and Hardcore belts. That’s just WWE as you can also put in title belts from ECW, WCW, the older territories and many more. The designs would be fun to look at with cards talking of each belt’s history and major titleholders and be a key showcase for any wrestling hall of fame.
It is one of the single most important nights in wrestling history. The 1997 Survivor Series was home to the greatest “Screwjob” WWE has ever seen as Vince McMahon conspired to cost Bret Hart the WWE title to Shawn Michaels. An event this massive deserves its own display with plaques and video clips from all parties discussing what happened and why. Items can include the tights Bret and Shawn were wearing that night and even the bell Vince demanded be rung. A recreation of the smashed announcers table would be a plus but the focus should be on why the whole thing happened.
If they can get Bret and Shawn to do some new interviews to focus on the timeline leading to it, that would be something and while it remains a harsh bit for those involved, it’s still a critical moment in WWE’s history and deserves a focus of its own.
7 Mysterio’s Masks
There have been slews of masked wrestlers in history. El Santo put them on the map and it carried over with Mil Mascaras and others. Yet Rey Mysterio still ranks as one of the greatest of all time and his masks helped boost him majorly. A display of them would be astounding. Once he goes into the Hall of Fame, Mysterio would no doubt be happy to lend some of his old masks and costumes. Highlights would include the purple outfit from his classic Halloween Havoc ’97 match with Eddie Guerrero, his debut outfit in WWE, the variety of wild movie-inspired outfits he wore at WrestleMania and so many more.
Throw in highlights of the best matches he wore them in and a video of his moves and this would be a good tribute to “the biggest little man” and a spotlight on how Mysterio made his mark so well in WWE.
6 The Streak Tribute
Imagine a section designed like a graveyard, spooky lighting and music about. As you walk, you see each “tombstone” is a display with a video screen showing each one of the Undertaker’s WrestleMania victories. The Streak is part of The Undertaker’s legacy. Even though it's over, it was still an amazing ride that included some truly classic matches with amazing workers as 'Taker took on slews of stars. You can add in interviews with guys on how it felt facing Undertaker at the biggest show of the year, the pressure, the match itself and the outcomes.
Naturally, the loss to Brock would be a special display on its own but it’s still a great showcase for one of The Undertaker’s best bits. It would showcase his evolution from merely a gimmick to a massive star, his various character transformations and cement his wonderful legacy as one of the greatest in WWE history.
The sheer number of choices here would make this a great area. Put together various famous weapons used in wrestling, some more famous than others but all showcasing the fun ways wrestlers would break them out. Among the options: Hacksaw Jim Duggan’s 2X4, Freddie Blassie and Mr Fuji’s canes, Jim Cornette’s tennis racket, Jimmy Hart’s megaphone, The Sandman’s Singapore cane, Triple H’s sledgehammer, The Big Boss Man’s nightstick, Honky Tonk Man’s guitar, Hulk Hogan’s slapjack and many more.
You can throw in random ones like brass knuckles, chairs, ladders, salt bags, even the cattle prod Nash used to beat Goldberg at Starrcade 98. Plus, some “costume” weapons like D’Lo Brown’s chest protector or the Road Warriors’ spiked shoulder pads would be a nice touch. This would be a great example of how wild wrestling can get and would be a cool display.
4 Piper’s Pit Set
It was the segment that inspired numerous copies but remained one of a kind. When WWE gave Roddy Piper his own interview segment, they had no idea how it would change things. Piper’s Pit was home to great moments from Piper smashing Jimmy Snuka with a coconut to various clashes with other workers and showcasing Piper’s classic interview style and promos.
Having the classic Pit set with the Scottish designs, background, the old “family shield” and more would be great. Let fans sit and do their own interviews and videos of great Pit moments and highlights of Piper’s career. If anyone deserves his own exhibit, it’s Piper. This would be a great way to remind folks how the Hot Rod was one of the wildest talkers and performers WWE or any promotion.
3 Randy Savage Outfits
Flair was great with his outfits but Randy Savage was a guy who deserves his own display as well. From the start, he had a great look with headbands and the cool sunglasses to get attention in WWE. He added in a slew of fantastic robes and those deserve looks as well. Add in the crown he had as The “Macho King” with his scepter and bonus points if they add in the great “throne” he would ride on carried by a pack of jobbers.
That could then lead to his wilder 1990s outfits with the variety of multi colored/styled cowboy hats and even wilder glasses. Top it off with his rough but cool New World Order look and this is a tribute to one of the flashiest men to ever step into a ring and can show why the Macho Man remains a favorite with so many fans today.
2 'What Were We Thinking?' Display
This could be a fun bit, an entire wing devoted to some of the nuttiest characters/angles of all time. Photos and costumes can display some crazy stuff; the Gobbeldy-Gooker, Mantaur’s mask, Max Moon’s outfit, the Katie Vick dummy, Mae Young’s “son” and videos of crazy vignettes. It can’t be just WWE either, you can work in tons of stuff from WCW; Glacier, The Dungeon of Doom, The Ding Dongs, The Shockmaster’s helmet and more.
Even the territories gave some zany stuff that can be shown and it’d be hilarious to look back at some of dumbest ideas and angles wrestling has ever had. Bonus points to note who came up with what and a video of some of these nutty angles and even a few botches would be funny. This would be a fun exhibit to show how crazy wrestling can be and WWE can admit they’re not always right.
1 Hogan Wing
Yes, his reputation isn’t quite as sterling today. And there are issues regarding his relationship with Vince McMahon. But make no mistake, Hogan is the key reason WWE became so huge and a wing dedicated to him is needed. Tracking his rise from California to the AWA to WWE, this would be a notable bit and would include time in WCW with his epic heel turn that rocked the entire industry.
Expect photos of him growing up, some bits of his movie roles but the focus would be on his amazing stardom and would show how Hogan really did change wrestling as we know it. It might be a rough choice but then again Ty Cobb (a man who was an utter SOB in real life) is in the Baseball Hall of Fame so putting Hogan into a physical WWE HOF is only natural to pay tribute to the man who helped boost the company to such massive success.
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