The WWE Hall Of Fame is without question, the premier Hall for sports entertainment. Yes, wrestling fans also have places like the Cauliflower Alley Club, but there is nothing else with more brand recognition. As a huge part of WrestleMania weekend, fans flock from all over the world to bear witness to seeing their favorite superstars of the past get their just due and stand in the spotlight one more time.
The format is simple - a tag team from any era, a couple of guys from the Hogan era, a trailblazing female wrestler, an Attitude Era superstar, whoever is the headliner, a celebrity, a Warrior award, and a partridge and a pear tree. As with everything else in wrestling, fickle fans comb over the list of inductees with a critical comb and question why is such-and-such superstar getting such an honor.
The short answer is because the Chairman decreed it. The long answer is because while a guy like Dean Malenko was a phenomenal wrestler, a guy like Koko B. Ware had the ability to entertain us with a few silly moves and charisma. There’s a place in Hall Of Fame for both of these superstars. Hopefully, Dean will get there one day, but for those who aren’t deserving - this is your moment. Here are seven undeserving wrestlers who will make the HOF, seven who won't make it there, and another seven current HOFers who don't belong there.
21 Will Make It - Sycho Sid
You’re going to find a lot of hot takes on this list. Remember, no matter how great a talent was, we’re talking were their careers worthy of being considered a Hall Of Famer. Both of those opinions are highly subjective and Sid is the first name here that will most likely get a moment in the HOF sun. Provided there’s no softball, of course.
Sid is sure to be a Hall Of Famer one day; he’s a former two-time WWE and WCW Champ, not to mention, a member of the Four Horsemen. The lack of complete dedication to the WWE (he had several stints) not to mention several incidents of Sid not behaving like a model employee should be enough to keep him out of the Hall, but it won't - Vince loved the big guy.
20 Won’t Make It - The Powers Of Pain
The Warlord and the Barbarian, aka the Powers Of Pain, are one of the lesser known, but still popular painted-face tag teams of the early nineties. They feuded with The Road Warriors in Crockett Promotions and were brought over to feud with Demolition. The two giant teams would square off as part of WrestleMania V.
Shortly after, their contracts were sold to Slick and Bobby Heenan respectively and effectively ending the team. Thankfully without entering a plodding feud between the two powerhouses. Their WWE careers weren’t much to speak of besides that. They were never true favorites of Vince's so it's likely they'll remain out of the hall.
19 Doesn’t Belong - Hillbilly Jim
The Rock n' Wrestling / Hulkamania era of WWE was filled with dozens of colorful characters meant to entertain the masses and help take the industry out of smoke-filled bingo halls. Who better than to do that than a hick from Mud Lick, Kentucky? Hillbilly Jim was all over the company for several years as Hulk’s friend who was training to be a part of the show himself.
Is being a memorable character all you need to be a Hall Of Famer? After all, that’s all that Jim was. That’s not a bad thing at all, but to be part of the elite Hall Of Fame class? That’s a very debatable bucket of slop to chew on.
18 Will Make It - Lex Luger
If Hall Of Fame inductions were given just based on physique and pushes given, then no one is more deserving than the Total Package, Lex Luger. That being said, the guy was not that great in the ring - just another muscle-bound athlete whose feats of strength were marveled at. The in-ring work was the basic move set at the time.
What made Lex work and seem Hall Of Fame worthy was his luck. Ric Flair left the NWA and Luger was anointed. Hogan left WWE and the company tried to anoint him amid cheers of “let’s go Bret.” Then there is the Total Package’s infamous surprise debut on Nitro. He had a decorated career, but is he worthy of an induction?
17 Won’t Make It - Francine
Every promotion had their top female star. The WWE had Miss Elizabeth and early WCW had Missy Hyatt. WCW had the Queen Of Extreme, Francine. She actually was the best compared to both of the other two stars. She was able to hold her own against so many of ECW’s top stars, while managing several of the promotion’s top stars, most famously The Franchise, Shane Douglas.
However, her WWE career wasn’t much of anything at all. Francine was already semi-retired by the time they brought her on board. She might get a mention if Paul Heyman or the ECW brand ever gets inducted, but there are far more deserving women throughout history that deserves the nod more than Francine.
16 Doesn’t Belong - Cowboy Bob Orton
Other than being Randy Orton’s dad, having a proverbial broken arm, and eventually being Roddy Piper’s sidekick, did the Cowboy have any decent matches or programs? No, he too like several other Hall Of Famers just happened to have been there when history happened. Ace was in the main event of WrestleMania in Piper’s corner and had a role in the match's ending.
There’s nothing wrong at all with being a cornerman, but THAT was Ace’s biggest moment ever, and he didn’t get to do a whole lot of wrestling in it. His induction seems to have been done for nostalgic purposes, rather than one of the really deserving ones.
15 Will Make It - Al Snow
With the amount of low mid carders that have now made their way into the Hall of Fame, despite never really having many memorable moments, nor being a true technician in the ring. Al Snow was a part of the Attitude Era and of course, he had his mannequin head that always sparked a good reaction from the crowd, Snow would never be confused with being one of the greats of his era. To his credit, Al Snow hasn't really lobbied for himself to be an inductee. However, the WWE seems to reward longevity and Snow has certainly had that in the wrestling business. It's only a matter of time before he gets a call from WWE.
14 Won’t Make It - Virgil
As the Rosencrantz and Guildenstern of the wrestling industry, Virgil has been a part of several of the top angles or acts of the past 30 years or so. While he might tell you he was a major part of all of them at the Lonely Virgil table, all of us fans know better. He was nothing more than a background player.
For fun, find him at a convention and let him talk your ear off about it. Unless his meat sauce is good enough to sell on WWE.com, we’ve likely seen the last of Virgil in a WWE ring.
13 Doesn’t Belong - Goldberg
Here’s the hot take - Goldberg was a bad wrestler. For all the flak John Cena and the Five Moves of Doom get, big Billy only had the spear and the jackhammer. The kick that ended Bret Hart’s career could be counted as a third move if you wanted to stretch Goldberg’s abilities. Intensity for a fourth move, too.
Take away the pyro and the intimidation and you have zero. The spear and the jackhammer were a sight to behold, but someone in WCW forgot to teach the guy how to actually work and not steamroll guys. The best thing the guy ever did was put over Brock Lesnar and make up for their stinker of a WrestleMania XX match, but still, Brock didn’t need to be put over.
12 Will Make It - The One Man Gang / Akeem
During the monster factory days of the Hogan era, the One Man Gang was brought in to do battle with the Hulkster. The business model was different then and based more on house shows, so the two grapplers worked the circuit together but didn’t headline any major PPVs, although they were across the ring from each other at the first two Survivor Series, the first as the OMG and the second as Akeem.
Whether or not it was a rib on Dusty Rhodes is debatable and both gimmicks were memorable. But other than being part of the angle to set up WrestleMania V, Gang’s career wasn’t anything phenomenal. He’ll still probably get in based on both of his characters, but that’s the only reason to induct him.
11 Won’t Make It - The bWo
For the most part, the bWo was a runaway success story for ECW. Nova, Stevie Richards, and the Blue Meanie have been doing parodies of KISS and The Blair Witch Project. A rip on the nWo seemed like a complete no-brainer. Then the trio took off and there was no turning back on the bit. It even helped propel Stevie to a title opportunity.
While it's highly unlikely that the HOF ceremony is in danger of being taken over by the Blue World Order, stranger things have happened during the ceremony. Seeing as how the group was never part of the WWE, there’s a better chance of Right To Censor getting inducted than the bWo.
10 Doesn’t Belong - Sunny
For all intents and purposes, Sunny is heralded as the original Diva. Considering how the Women’s Evolution is going down, she doesn’t exactly seem like the trailblazer she once seemed like. Plus, the more and more fans learn about her, the more that turns some fans off.
As she wrote in her autobiography, by her own admission, she wasn’t the nicest of people, but we were all young once. However, going by Triple H’s Google defense he once used for the reason Chyna wasn’t in, Sunny being in, while other woman from this time period not being in (Sable, Terri, and Luna) is a little questionable at best.
9 Will Make It - Val Venis
Val Venis is a memorable superstar from the Attitude Era. To be fair though, just about every superstar from the Attitude Era was memorable. That’s something that -gulp- Vince Russo should be praised for, bro. For all his faults, he did his best to make sure that every wrestler had something to market themselves by.
Val was no different. But strip (no pun intended) away everything Russo had given the guy and he had that great ability in the ring. Chief Morley, Right To Censor Venis...none of these characters were anywhere near as good as the original, and Val dwindled for the rest of his WWE career because of it.
8 Won’t Make It - The Sandman
With the Dudleys getting inducted last year, they were the first to have spent a good chunk of their careers in ECW. If that means that the floodgates of extreme are opening, then look for Tommy Dreamer, Tazz, and Rob Van Dam to get the nod in the next few years. On the other hand, there are plenty of extreme devotees who might think that other members of the tribe are Hall-worthy.
Those people would be wrong. The Sandman was a huge part of ECW. We all think back fondly, but the reality is that they were an Indy fed with a huge amount of buzz. The Sandman became a household name because of that buzz and eventual signing in WWE. No disrespect to the guy or his career, but there was nothing really Hall-worthy about the Sandman.
7 Doesn’t Belong - Paul Orndorff
Paul Orndorff had a tremendous look and that raspy gravely voice to help add to how intimidating he looked. He also had a sick looking piledriver. For six months, he had a big feud with Hulk Hogan, which also included one of the first ever “photo finish” cage matches in history.
Does anyone else remember anything noteworthy about Mr. Wonderful, except for a backstage skirmish with Vader in WCW...? If an injury sidelined the guy and made one of his arms atrophy and force him to an early end, there’s no telling how far he could’ve gone. But there shouldn’t be awards for could-have-beens.
6 Will Make It - Tiny “Zeus” Lister
The celebrity wing of the WWE Hall Of Fame is filled with questionable personas that leave fans scratching their heads debating the merits of their induction, almost as much as they debate superstars. It’s actually surprising that Deebo himself, Tiny Lister is nowhere in the Hall.
He starred in the first ever WWE movie. He main evented the second SummerSlam, and he had “The Eye Of The Madness!” That being said, Zeus was only over because of the different ways that Hulk and Savage put him over, not for his (in)ability to learn how to do it in the ring. Still, with all of the celebrity inductees we've seen, it won't be a surprise to see Lister get in too.
5 Won’t Make It - Crush
As the Lon Chaney of the WWE, Crush is one of the few wrestlers that somehow always changed gimmicks, but never his name. Demolition, a babyface from the tropics, a foreign heel heel, biker, the guy did just about everything except being a postal worker. It wasn’t until he headed to WCW that he started using his own name (Brian Adams) as part of the nWo, and then Kronik.
All of those gimmicks and being a decent performer in the ring do not a Hall Of Famer. Perhaps if he were still with us to accept the nod, there’d be a different story. It’s highly unlikely that a guy who wasn’t a top guy would get a posthumous induction.
4 Doesn’t Belong - Hacksaw Jim Duggan
Jim Duggan and Ted DiBiase had some memorable feuds in Mid-South. They were enough to get him into the WWE. But up north, Hacksaw was pretty much immediately released for a backstage fiasco. Luckily, he was brought back and became a beloved babyface, but thanks to the prior infraction, Vince was leery about giving him a real push.
So, the question would be: did he deserve a nod? The guy was known for wagging his tongue and carrying a 2x4 Walking Tall-style and getting crushed by Yokozuna. If that's all it takes to get in the Hall, then who's to say anyone with a catchy schtick couldn't get in?
3 Will Make It - The Brooklyn Brawler
If anything, journeyman carpenters like Barry Horowitz, Duane Gill, and Iron Mike Sharpe belong somewhere in the Hall Of Fame. After all, they were all semi-permanent fixtures on WWE TV Saturday mornings for several years. But only one, The Brooklyn Brawler, would be a fixture backstage as well.
Should the WWE ever induct the guy, it might cause a collective head scratch in the fandom community. His career, while memorable, was nothing more than that of a journeyman jobber, which to most fans meant bathroom breaks all those years ago. His possible induction might mean a shift in paying homage to backstage guys.
2 Won’t Make - Kevin Sullivan
Kevin Sullivan will forever remain an unsung hero of WCW. A backstage presence and actually one of the first shorter than average workers to get over, Sullivan helped shape a lot of pre-nWo WCW. It seems hokey now, but the Dungeon Of Doom had some colorful characters. Somehow, Sullivan's gimmick as The Taskmaster was the craziest one of them all.
Between never working for WWE, some of his storylines being completely ludicrous, and most importantly who his ex-wife was, could open up a whole heap of worms should he ever get the nod. That's certainly something WWE doesn't want.
1 Doesn’t Belong - Mike Tyson
If we were to go back in time and wash over the accomplishments if anyone that ever did wrong, there would be a lot of achievements that would go unnoticed. Inducting Mike Tyson was probably something the company shouldn’t have done. He might have helped usher in the Attitude Era, but he also had that little incident in his fight against Evander Holyfield, not to mention a history of other issues outside the ring.
The WWE has always operated as its own universe, which is why even in today’s flip-flop opinionated climate certain Hall Of Famers haven’t been stricken from the record. But considering some of the names still in the Hall are still there, clearly WWE doesn’t seem to mind they have people like Tyson being recognized. Perhaps we should just appreciate these performers on their WWE merits when discussing them in terms of their WWE runs?