The hype around WrestleMania 29 is enough to get casual and hardcore wrestling fans alike excited about the weekend in New York City, but the 2013 WWE Hall of Fame ceremony and the class being inducted makes this event even more special.
Giants of the business like Bruno Sammartino, Bob Backlund and Mick Foley will all finally get the honor they deserve, and the rest of the 2013 class is just as impressive.
There is no doubt that this is the most decorated group of stars to enter the Hall of Fame at the same time, and this could easily go down as the greatest ceremony in the history of the WWE.
Where: Madison Square Garden, New York City
When: Saturday, April 6, 8 p.m. ET
Watch: The 2013 ceremony will not be aired live. WWE will air a special recapping the ceremony Tuesday, April 9 at 10 p.m. ET on the USA Network.
Tickets: SOLD OUT
Inductees (Their Inductors)
Mick Foley (Terry Funk)
While Mick Foley may not be remembered as the greatest champion of all time—he does deserve credit for his three WWE Championships, eleven tag team championships across three companies and so many more—the fans will always love him for giving his all every time he hit the ring.
Foley is a fan favorite and buildings explode when his music hits. Add in the fact that the Long Island resident will be in Madison Square Garden, and that place will come unglued for the hardcore legend and his inductor, Terry Funk.
Bob Backlund (Maria Menounos)
For the fans that love or despise John Cena, his All-American, good-guy persona was crafted to mimic the success of one of the first truly successful baby faces in the WWE, Bob Backlund.
After winning the WWE Championship twice in his career (his first reign lasted over five years), Backlund was heralded as one of the greatest stars not to be in the Hall of Fame.
With the help of celebrity inductor Maria Menounos, that injustice will end this year.
Trish Stratus (Stephanie McMahon)
As one of the greatest women’s wrestlers in the history of the business, it was just a matter of time before Trish Stratus was honored with a spot in the WWE Hall of Fame.
Stratus won the WWE Women’s Championship a record seven times during her career and was named Diva of the Decade, but it will be the induction from Stephanie McMahon into the Hall of Fame that caps off her legendary career.
Bruno Sammartino (Arnold Schwarzenegger)
The biggest snub of the WWE Hall of Fame in general since its first induction class was arguably the greatest champion the company ever had, Bruno Sammartino.
While Sammartino only won the WWE Championship two times, his seven-year reign is the longest in history and his 11-combined years as the title holder is a mark that will never be touched in today’s era.
Sammartino will be inducted by action hero and close friend Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Donald Trump (Vince McMahon)
Every year, the WWE adds another member to the Hall of Fame’s non-existent celebrity wing, and 2013 is no different.
With the magnitude of this class, the only celebrity worthy of the honor is Donald Trump.
Add in the fact that Vince McMahon himself will be inducting Trump, and this is a celebrity induction the WWE Universe can actually stomach. Not like Drew Carey.
Booker T (Stevie Ray)
Not only did Booker T win the WCW World Heavyweight Championship five times (insert spinarooni reference here), he is a former WWE World champion, four-time United States champion and an 11-time tag team champion.
While an inductor has not been named for Booker T, the two biggest candidates being speculated about are former Harlem Heat tag team partner and brother Stevie Ray or former WWE tag team partner Goldust.
Stevie Ray would be the safest bet.
Just like Bruno Sammartino before this year’s induction, there is a feeling around the wrestling world that Macho Man Randy Savage will never make it into the WWE Hall of Fame.
Despite that sentiment, the fact that the company swallowed its pride enough to induct Sammartino should be a sign that a possible Savage induction could be possible in the near future.
The company reportedly took Savage off the consideration list this year because of his brother Lanny Poffo’s unwillingness (h/t WrestleZone) to allow Macho Man to enter without Lanny and his father Angelo.
This injustice has to stop sooner or later, and hopefully Triple H’s Hall of Fame project for next year is getting Poffo to accept the honor like Sammartino.
There is no question that the Ultimate Warrior doesn’t have the title history alone to warrant an induction in the WWE Hall of Fame (one world title and two Intercontinental Championships), but his celebrity status in the 80s and 90s made him one of the biggest draws for the company.
While trying to control what the Warrior says on stage will be a nightmare for the WWE, the fans deserve to see one of the most intriguing stars in wrestling history inducted.
Maybe next year.
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