This year's Hall of Fame class may be one of the greatest of all time, but that means some huge names will be left off the television special.
WrestlingInc.com reported that only three inductions will be televised when the one-hour special airs:
This year's one-hour WWE Hall of Fame special will air next Tuesday, April 9 at 10:00 p.m. ET on the USA Network. Dave Meltzer noted on last night's episode of Wrestling Observer Radio that only the inductions of Bruno Sammartino, Trish Stratus and Donald Trump would be televised.
That means that Booker T, Bob Backlund and, most shockingly, Mick Foley will be left off the television special.
One of WWE’s choices for televised induction is questionable.
Bruno Sammartino is an obvious choice for a TV slot, especially being inducted by Arnold Schwarzenegger.
With WWE trying pathetically hard to appeal to mainstream audiences and sell itself as still being hip, cool and relevant, it also makes sense that it would air the celebrity induction of Donald Trump.
However, the logic of a Trish Stratus televised induction is flawed.
Trish is a seven-time Women's Champion and was named "Diva of the Decade" by WWE, but no one could possibly argue that she had a greater influence on the business than Foley (or Booker T or Backlund, for that matter).
Mick is a former three-time WWE Champion and, more importantly, was one of the reasons for WWE's massive surge in popularity in the mid- to late '90s
Stratus' impact on the business is certainly worth recognition, but it does not come close to matching Foley's.
Fans of Booker T and Backlund could rightfully argue the same thing; one is a six-time World Champion and the other has the third-longest streak of cumulative days as WWE Champion, behind only Sammartino and Hogan.
To be fair to WWE, it does also make sense that they wouldn’t televise both Backlund and Sammartino’s inductions, given that they both occupy similar “old school” positions in their class.
WWE obviously and rightfully want the third induction to be someone from the modern era of wrestling, one that all fans will recognize.
Again, Stratus' achievements shouldn’t be slighted, but they simply aren't as great as those of Foley or Booker.
It's possible that WWE was looking for variety when choosing which inductions to televise, but it's still staggering for Foley to be forgotten.
It's known, too, that Stephanie McMahon will be the one to induct Stratus. With the recent news that Vince McMahon himself will induct Trump, perhaps WWE is looking to emphasize the family-run nature of their business?
The ceremony takes place the night before WrestleMania and will be televised two days after; hopefully officials change their mind on this between now and then.
Follow Daniel on Twitter @dvanboom
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