The 2013 WWE Hall of Fame class has been announced, well the headliners at least. Mick Foley, Bob Backlund, Trish Stratus, and most importantly, Bruno Sammartino are set to be inducted in Madison Square Garden before Wrestlemania 29.
Sammartino is the biggest name in the upcoming class. He has been dead-set against being inducted, but finally accepted the induction. He believes the current state of professional wrestling feeds the bottom denominator. He has been vocal about the vulgarity in “sports entertainment” and vowed to never accepted an induction invitation. I don’t know what changed, but I’m glad he will finally be in.
Here is a list of ten wrestlers, or wrestling factions, that need to be in the WWE Hall of Fame and the likelihood of their inductions happening in the next five years.
The likelihood number of these wrestlers being inducted in the next five years is rated between 1 to 10 (10 being a sure thing and 1 being extremely unlikely).
The Steiner Brothers – I’m not sure how likely it is that the WWE will make this happen, but they deserve to be in. Scott Steiner is a wildcard and has a strained relationship with both WWE and TNA. Rick and Scott Steiner brought the tag team division into the next generation. They took the baton from tag teams like the Rock N Roll Express and the Midnight Express. They won championships in WWF, WCW and New Japan Pro Wrestling. (3)
New World Order – The NWO faction revolutionized sports entertainment. When Kevin Nash and Scott Hall appeared on WCW Nitro no one could figure out if it was scripted or the two wrestlers sabotaging the television show. The left the WWF where they were known as Razor Ramon and Diesel, so them going by their real names was a kayfabe moment. Hulk Hogan’s transformation into “Hollywood” Hulk Hogan will go down as one of the biggest heel turns into history. The NWO deserves to be in the WWE Hall of Fame, but since most of the WCW roster was part of the faction at some point, they will need to narrow the entrants down to a handful of the original members. Since this induction would involve Hogan, it isn’t likely anytime in the near future. (1)
Rick Rude – As one of the early members of the New World Order and Degeneration X, he helped push professional wrestling into the next generation. Before being a part of those factions, he was one of the best technical wrestlers in the business. His “Rude Awakening” finisher was one of the best moves at that time. He was a great heel with a gimmick of being a ladies’ man. I could see this happening soon. (9)
“Macho Man” Randy Savage – The Macho Man’s induction is long overdue. Vince McMahon and Savage had a long-standing beef rumored to involve his daughter and/or his departure to WCW. He suffered a heart attack while driving and we lost him too soon. His posthumous induction is in limbo, since his father said Randy wanted the entire Poffo family inducted, instead of just putting by himself. McMahon is rumored to be against that idea, so I don’t see it happening unless he warms up to the idea. (1)
Owen Hart – The last of the famous Hart family to jump into pro wrestling, he died in an accident occurred in Kansas City while entering the ring from the rafters. The line failed and he fell and died instantly. He was an innovative wrestler and made a name for himself outside the shadow of his family name. Owen’s widow came out and said she will never agree to a WWE Hall of Fame invite, but would leave it up to their children to decide much later. After watching the Hart Family documentary, Owen’s death is a divisive issue in their family to this day. (0)
Ultimate Warrior – Even though the WWE released a very anti-Warrior DVD in the mid-00’s called “The Self-Destruction of the Ultimate Warrior”, they now seem warm to idea of inducting him. He was a beast in the late 80’s and most of the 90’s, but will never be known as a good wrestler, but he was entertaining as hell. Most of his matches would last a minute, but the way he sprinted to the ring and insanely ramble during his promos, will make him infamous. He defeated Hogan for the WWE Championship is his most iconic match at Wrestlemania 6. (7)
John “Bradshaw” Layfield – JBL didn’t have much success in his first act as a professional wrestler, but after he joined Ron Simmons and formed “The Acolytes”, his path to success in the WWE was easier to see. The Acolytes, later known as the APA, was the most entertaining tag team during “The Attitude Era.” After Ron Simmons retired, Bradshaw went on his own. He embraced his real-life success in the stock market and created a “Texas Billionaire” character called “JBL”. He had a nice run on Smackdown winning the championship on many occasions. A back injury cut his career short, but he kept his name in WWE fans mouths by turning into one of the best color commentators in recent memory. JBL’s induction is a lock. (10)
Lex Luger – Luger is the only wrestler who was once a member of the Four Horseman and the New World Order. He had most of his success outside of those factions. The negative on Luger is that he never fully embraced being a professional wrestler. He is a former football player and many ponder if he felt disappointed that he ended up in wrestling. The other major knock on him was his prescription drug arrest in the early 00’s and is often blamed indirectly for the death of Miss Elizabeth. If Sting was retired, I would like him more than Luger, but since he’s not, Luger should be in. Luger was a big part of his era and he deserves a nod. (7)
Jake “The Snake” Roberts – If you asked me if he deserved to be in the Hall of Fame immediately after watching “Beyond the Mat”, I would have said, “Hell no!”…but a lot of time has passed. He was one of the most methodical wrestlers in wrestling history. His demons have over-shadowed his wrestling ability over the years, but it has finally come full-circle. He has cleaned up his life and is currently living with Diamond Dallas Page while doing his DDP Yoga program. I see his induction happening in the next couple years and I hope he stays clean. (8)
William Regal – Regal is regarded as one of the best pure wrestlers in history, especially by guys like CM Punk and Daniel Bryan. He had some of his best work before arriving in the WWF/WWE, but was great at enhancing younger wrestlers. He is still employed by the WWE, so the likelihood of this happening is plausible, but it could be much later. He is still dabbling in wrestling, so he may need to be officially retire for a few years before he’s considered. (3)