WWE HOF: The New Age Outlaws Deserve to Be in the Hall of Fame
Getting selected for the WWE Hall of Fame is a big honor. Thus far, this year's class includes Mick Foley, Trish Stratus, Bob Backlund and Bruno Sammartino—possibly the most prestigious class ever to enter the HOF.
Even with all of the stars that are deservedly in the HOF, there are some notable names missing, particularly from the tag team ranks.
Some of the teams that have yet to be honored include the Rock N' Roll Express, Demolition, the Fabulous Freebirds, the British Bulldogs, the Hardy Boys, the Dudley Boyz, Edge and Christian and the New Age Outlaws.
While any or all of these teams are deserving of consideration for the WWE HOF, it's the omission of the New Age Outlaws that stands out the most.
Road Dogg and Billy Gunn should be enshrined with the rest of the elite players in WWE history.
The New Age Outlaws deserve to be in the WWE Hall of Fame.
Click on to see why:
Compare Favorably to Teams Already Inducted
The NAO deserve to be in the WWE Hall of Fame because they compare favorably to the teams that have already been inducted.
There are six teams currently enshrined in the HOF: the Valiant Brothers, the Blackjacks, the Wild Samoans, the Briscoe Brothers, the Funks and the Road Warriors/Legion of Doom. The Four Horsemen and the Von Erichs have also been inducted, but they might be considered by many to be stables as opposed to true tag teams.
Most of the teams inducted made their marks outside of the WWF/WWE. Many of them rose to fame while working in the NWA, WCW or AWA. Only the Wild Samoans had their best years when working for the McMahon family, winning tag team gold three times. Even the Road Warriors only held the belts twice as a WWF entity.
The New Age Outlaws won tag team gold five times. The paring was formed in 1997, during the height of the Attitude Era, and while Gunn and Jesse James have since worked in TNA and some independent promotions, it's their WWF run that made them famous.
Still Connect with the Fanbase
As evidenced by the recent returns of The Rock, Brock Lesnar and Ric Flair, nostalgia acts are popular with the WWE Universe.
During the WWE's Slammy Awards last December, fans were treated to an appearance by the New Age Outlaws. The crowd response was intense. Few, if any, former tag teams still connect to WWE fans like the NAO.
The response was so favorable that many analysts predicted that Gunn and James would return to "active duty" in the WWE.
Alas, there are currently no plans to re-introduce the Outlaws to in-ring action, though both are under contract with WWE. Road Dogg will continue to be an agent, while Gunn is likely slated for a move to Florida to work with the developmental talent at NXT.
A True Team
The New Age Outlaws should be inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame because they are a true tag team.
While both had some limited success as singles wrestlers—Road Dogg won one Hardcore and one Intercontinental Championship and Gunn held the Hardcore belt twice, the IC belt once and was the 1999 King of the Ring—it was only as a pair that these two broke through in a big way.
Fans were treated to great tag team matches during the NAO's run. It could be argued that since the reign of the NAO, the Hardy Boys, Edge and Christian and the Dudleys in the early 2000s, tag team wrestling in WWE has never been terribly relevant.
Inducting Gunn and James into the HOF would demonstrate that WWE has an appreciation for its history, and for tag teams in particular.
Part of One of History's Greatest Stables
If the Von Erichs and the Four Horsemen are in the Hall of Fame as stables, Degeneration X shouldn't be far behind.
The New Age Outlaws were key members of DX. Along with Rock and Stone Cold Steve Austin, Degeneration X helped lead the WWF in the Monday Night Wars against WCW, a battle that Vince and company eventually won. TV ratings and pay-per-view buyrates skyrocketed to record levels during the AE era, and it wouldn't have been the same without DX.
The other primary members of the faction were HHH, Shawn Michaels (though he was out of action during a good part of the AE), Chyna and XPac. Michaels is already in the Hall, and the others are sure to receive consideration for future induction. HHH in particular seems to be a lock.
For their key role in one of the greatest stables in wrestling history, the New Age Outlaws deserve to be in the Hall of Fame.
The New Age Outlaws should be inducted into WWE's Hall of Fame. Since this year's class is so star-studded, it might be better to wait a year or two, but Road Dogg and Billy Gunn should be inducted in the near future.
The NAO was a true team. They were WWF born and bred. No team from the past still connects to the fanbase as strongly, and they were part of one of the greatest stables in professional wrestling history.
Picture the scene. It's the night before WrestleMania 30. The fans and wrestlers in attendance at the Hall of Fame induction ceremony are getting restless from all of the long speeches. Suddenly, a familiar voice booms from the speakers. "Oh, you didn't know?" The crowd goes insane, and HHH weeps with joy.
Should the Outlaws be in the Hall of Fame? Are there other teams that need to go in first? Should they go as a team or as part of DX? Or both? Speak your mind in the comments section below.