The pinnacle of a wrestler's career is when he or she is inducted into the World Wrestling Entertainment Hall of Fame. Many have had the privilege of proclaiming they are the best of the best.
Starting from Andre the Giant and currently with Edge, Mil Mascaras and the Four Horsemen, the enshrinement encapsulates each legend in a moment of grace and divine spirit.
A wrestler positions him or herself with the best of the best to learn from the masters at their craft. Daniel Bryan trained with Shawn Michaels. Tyson Kidd worked with Bret Hart, two of the best who ever stepped foot in this business.
Those are only a few examples of greatness rubbing off on a younger wrestler.
Trying to predict a hall of famer is near impossible. Without pointless elaboration, it might take years to generate a resume worthy of such an honor.
It's all about the intangibles that cannot be taught. Countless articles have focused on dwelling in the non-teachable acts of wrestling. They consist of many things like passion, heart, determination, the eye for the sport and presumable destiny.
Among other things, the headline "acts" in the league of champions have the ability to use those intangibles and portray them every single night without missing a beat.
This piece tries to filter the good from the great while depicting an image similar to a hall of fame spreadsheet. Reverting back to passion and heart, I feel that in order to be a legend, you must have....
What I consider the holy trinity of pro wrestling, passion, heart and determination, constantly make their presence felt in the fathoms of a professional wrestling match or promo.
Passion: Defined as, "any powerful or compelling emotion or feeling, as love or hate," by dictionary.com. Its words fulfill a being as his or her trademark in the company. Many wrestlers strive to have this piece of the puzzle mastered, but only a few have been successful.
Edge, Shawn Michaels, the Undertaker, John Cena and Bret Hart are only a few examples of this passionate affection brought forward. A match, promo, media event and even a simple tweet can display a person's emotional sentiments.
You can hear it in the voice of that person whenever they speak. 93 percent of communication is showed through non-verbal actions. Passion is mostly non-verbal, as it is brought forth when the time is right.
Heart: Defined as, "the center of the total personality, especially with reference to intuition, feeling, or emotion," by dictionary.com. Its words surround a hidden power, just like passion, which only a select number can bring forward.
The names I mentioned above also fit the bill along with others such as Jericho, RVD, Mick Foley and others. You can have passion without heart, but there is no way to have heart without passion. A defining moment in a wrestler's career is when the heart prevails and creates a masterpiece.
Determination: Defined as, "firmness of purpose; resoluteness," by google.com. It relates to the lengths a wrestler will go to do his job and entertain the crowd.
This is a key element in improving as a wrestler and person in whatever you do. Watching Bryan win the World Heavyweight Championship after getting fired a year prior is a story only brought by the holy trinity of wrestling.
A high spot, an iron-man match, a ladder match or a contest at the grandest stage puts determination to the test and is more or less a spectacle in the wrestling industry.
The holy trinity of wrestling provides an insight of the wrestler's intuitive personality and being. Without question, a hall of fame wrestler must have...
The image of Undertaker alludes to an absolute in the wrestling business. From top to bottom, nobody has excelled in such a position, but John Cena is creeping mighty close to that stature. Taker insists on being a respected human being, as well as a wrestler.
Not once have you heard any shortcomings or examples of unprofessionalism from either man. In any industry or company, to have a lasting effect comes with great responsibility and maturity. Videos upon videos show instances where Cena or Undertaker cater to fans or are willing to push other wrestlers.
Given the fact that each man has accomplished many things as a professional wrestler, putting the younger stars over has a lasting effect on not just the fans, but upper management.
Shawn Michaels not winning the title in his last run, HHH's ability to get Punk over as a main event player and Cena helping Ryder become relevant are a few examples of respect within the industry. It is those actions, among other things, that get you remembered as a performer.
A person might be able to pull off the most extraordinary match of all-time, but ruin his or her reputation with one simple mistake.
Matt Hardy, Jeff Hardy, Chris Benoit (R.I.P) and many others were fantastic performers and will always be remembered for their contributions in WWE, but the inverse and more important side of the equation is tainted.
Hustle, loyalty and respect.
John Cena's life-following actions bring out the best in a man who loves the business more than himself, which provides an insight as to how a person displays respect and professionalism.
"With respect comes reward," might have been a quote I just created, but it also creates an image of success and latitude. Respect in the wrestling business grants one major thing...
Championships, defining moments and any such accolade address the success a wrestler accrued while performing for the masses. Winning that championship and grasping the gold belt has been a life-long goal for many in the industry.
Going back to the days of paper championship belts and displaying them in the back yard on the trampoline contains the true heart of a professional wrestler.
Although a career cannot be explained using only personal goals and brass rings, that gives an outlook as to the overall success and sustainability of a wrestler and his or her legacy. Each building block listed in the previous slides leads to this ultimate moment.
Streaks and belts galore accumulate and create this image set by the respect they have in the company. John Cena has won multiple titles, Undertaker is 19-0 at WrestleMania and Jericho is the first man to be the undisputed heavyweight champion.
Those are records that will never be forgotten and stabilize the hall of fame resume.
There are some instances however, where you do not have to win many big championships, but still hold a valuable and rich career. Rowdy Roddy Piper is the prime example, never winning the World Heavyweight or WWE title.
He made his mark using displaying other flashes of brilliance, most of which came from different areas of the professional wrestling way.
In essence, what do accolades mean in the grand scheme of things?
It is something to call oneself, as in being the WWE Champion, which is quite formidable and honorable. To carry such a prize comes with great responsibility and hard work. Not everyone can become a champion.
Winning a title, in most cases, sets up the...
A professional wrestling crowd is the one of the hardest to please, but easiest to entertain. While that last statement might be contradicting, consider some of the recent events to take place in the past year.
Triple H and CM Punk had what could have been a great feud, while developing history at the same time. Alas, it ended quite rushed and we as fans rushed to the internet to proclaim our feelings as to what WWE was thinking on this one.
After the ramblers rambled (including myself), I found all of those people watching it the next time with our eyes glued to the television.
It is the pure addiction of a wrestling fan to always tune in. Times of turmoil and pure brilliance will not be the case at every turn, but to be a true fan has the same meaning in any sport. With that said, professional wrestling does something that not every sport can attend to.
A swift second in time, and the fans are happy and passionate about what they watch. More like a blissful recognition of spirit, we as the stable of an entertainment forum keep going back because we love it.
Wrestlers must have that connection and chemistry with the crowd or it will simply not work. There are too many examples of that, we simply recognize it as "getting over." At Edge's debut in the company and for a couple of years to follow, Copeland was not popular.
Like I mentioned, with one event or sentence anything can change.
CM Punk pulled out the promo of the decade and changed WWE history for time to come. Macho Man, Hulk Hogan, John Cena, the Rock, Stone Cold, Jericho and the Undertaker knew how to become one with the WWE universe.
Nine times out of 10, the gimmick will not immediately get the man or woman over; it is the man or woman getting themselves over. The people listed above were and are the best of the best.
Now, connecting with the fans can give yourself the boost needed to advance the WWE ladder. At the same time, it has the potential to...
Creating a legacy. What needs to be done in order to make a legend?
The answer is daunting, but has been accomplished. CM Punk did that with his promo. Shawn Michaels kicked his way to the top of professional wrestling. Hulk Hogan bodyslammed Andre to form the legend we still watch today.
Instilling a memory in the minds of wrestling fans is difficult due to the multiple and various events we watch every week.
Those iconic moments in time when we know someone propelled himself or herself to the main event is spectacular and mesmerizing at the same time.
One moment does not always lead to an immaculate career, often one must leave his or her mark through hard work and dedication. Dean Malenko was the man of a thousand holds. Edge is the master manipulator and ultimate opportunist. Those nicknames were earned, not just given.
They follow that wrestler until the end of time and automatically leave a mark never to be forgotten. Creating a legacy combines the intangibles of wrestling, each accolade, the level of respect for the business and the fan support to combine and revolutionize the product and person.
Not just one person embodies such an enshrinement as the WWE Hall of Fame. It encompasses a whole unification of beings into one giant organism.
It starts with passion and ends with a legacy intertwined through many variables. A wrestler's dreams ultimately come true at the induction ceremony and the fairytale is complete. Pushing through adversity and overcoming challenges are a daily occurrence in the wrestling world.
Can we say that brutal stretches pay off? Is it even fair to say what belongs in the Hall of Fame after all?
As a fan, the ceremony is just like watching your child grow up, on a much lesser scale. Just like Edge, I witnessed him from day one and to see him start as something totally different to what he ended up as is a blessing in disguise. Each glorious moment and depressing still-shot of life came and passed, which will culminate the night before WrestleMania.
That is what every wrestler wants I imagine. To personify their artwork. The canvas, however, is professional wrestling.
Thank you all for reading my article today. It was something completely new and I wanted to try out a piece very important to me as a wrestling fan. If I missed a facet of hall of fame characteristics, please let me know, so I can grasp a better understanding in the future.
All of you have a wonderful day and I would love to have your feedback below on what you believe should be on a WWE Hall of Fame resume.
Until next time folks,
As none can see the wind but in its effects on the trees, neither can we see the emotions but in their effects on the face and body. –Nathaniel LeTonnerre