Future WWE Hall of Fame: Who's In, Who's Out
Over the years, we've seen dozens of superstars who have had us on the edge of our seats. They could put butts in the seats, tell a story in and out of the ring and put merchandise on our backs. These special wrestlers are deemed Hall of Famers.
This year's class may be one of the strongest yet. It features one of the most influential families in wrestling, The Funks, another cowboy named Watts, a dragon and a rattlesnake. All of them had fans lined around the block to see them do their thing.
But a WWE Hall of Fame nomination should regarded as the most rewarding thing one could achieve in a career. Not title belts, not victories, not paychecks.
And although it's hindered by inductions like Pete Rose, who's made only three or so appearances. And William Perry, who most notably fought in a battle royale.
And it's left off legends like Randy Savage and Antonio Inoki, who had a great battle with then-champ Bob Backlund.
No sport's HOF is perfect. But if we could do things right, here are the stars who are missing that should be in, followed by the future stars who will make it and the future stars that won't make it.
Should Be in the WWE Hall of Fame Already
Some describe him as Macho, others as a King, but everyone should describe him as a Hall of Famer. Randy Savage's impact is undeniable. He's a two-time WWE champion, former IC champ and King of the Ring.
Randy was one-half of the hottest ticket in the early 80s as he teamed and feuded with Hulk Hogan. Savage also had a match with this year's inductee Ricky Steamboat that is hailed by many as one of the best matches ever (WMIII).
And after his wrestling stint in the WWE was over, he continued to rock the fans on the mic as a color commentator on Raw. Savage has all the credentials and is deserving of his seat.
Inoki is a worldwide wrestling legend. Trained by the renowned Karl Gotch, Inoki used his hooking style to preserve a sense of realism during a time in which the business was transitioning to characters.
He garnered mass media coverage with his fight with boxing great Muhammad Ali, not to mention his battles with many of the WWE's finest champs.
He was the inaugural holder of the WWE's now-defunct WWWF World Martial Arts Heavyweight championship, the WWE's attempt at MMA before it was named MMA.
He is one of the most famous and most influential wrestlers to ever come out of Japan, and his time is well overdue.
As I scanned the list of WWE HOF inductees, it baffled me not to see Bob Backlund on this list.
Less than a year after Bob Backlund entered into the WWE he won his first world title. He would hold the belt twice, with both title reigns lasting over two years a piece.
As quirky as he may have been, his in-ring skills were not questioned. He battled Harley Race to a draw in one of the very few WWE vs. NWA, champion vs. champion matches.
His tenure in professional wrestling lasted for over 30 years, where he would go on to claim multiple Match of the Year and Wrestler of the Year titles by PWI magazine. Hall of Famer is the only title missing from his great collection.
Also missing out, Bruno Sammartino.
Current Stars: Future Hall of Famers
There are some stars that need no lobbying or explanation. Their work should and does speak for themselves. They are listed here.
Triple H, Undertaker and HBK
Others who should have no troubles getting in:
If you're over 13, you probably hate him, but there's no denying his talent. He's the WWE's biggest cash cow and his title reigns will add up to more days than any other champ in modern-day wrestling history.
The youngest world heavyweight champion in WWE history, he will have no problems following his father's footsteps into the hall.
The first Undisputed Heavyweight champion, he revitalized what it meant to be a heel this year and cemented his status forever with two more title runs.
In the year of the heel, how could you leave his name off the list? Although his world title reigns are always short, he's been setting the wrestling world on fire since his revolutionary TLC days.
The Hardy Boyz
This one's closer than you think. Neither one would make it without the other, but no one can stop the tag team's bid to enter the Hall. One of the most popular duos ever, the only question is will Lita accompany them there?
Also in: Rey Mysterio, Trish Stratus and Teddy Long
Probably, but too soon to tell: John Morrison, Ted DiBiase Jr. and Tazz.
No HOF For You
There a couple of stars who had good careers, but not quite HOF-worthy.
Unfortunately more like Big Disappointment. Show had the size and the charisma, yet the numbers don't add up.
He was sent down to the minors to deal with weight issues and even quit the biz for a while. Neither time on his return did he live up to his true potential.
Vince McMahon may love the big men, but they shouldn't get in on friendship alone. Batista may be multi-time world champ, but it was more due to his size and look than on his skill.
Don't get me wrong, like Cena, he puts in 100 percent, but it doesn't always equal good matches. His mic skills are okay at best in a day where entertainment is key. This day's Ultimate Warrior will be a few title wins short of the HOF.
Here's a sad case of identity problems at its worst. Everyone cheered at the idea of Kane's mask being removed, but it turned out to be the worst move of his career.
When Kane lost his mask, his intimidation and his career went with it. Unfortunately for him, Kane never obtained the chemistry that he had with Taker nor with any of the other top stars.
Sorry, just not going to make it: Shelton Benjamin, Carlito, Umaga, Mr. Kennedy
To find out more, listen in to Hit the Ropes Radio. This week's special guests: Booker T and former WWE Tough Enough Winner Daniel Puder.
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