Predictions for WWE's 2014 Hall of Fame Class
WWE is on the verge of WrestleMania season, which can mean only one thing. Yes, it's time to start making predictions for the official 2014 Hall of Fame class.
As usual, there is no shortage of deserving candidates for the spot. Many fans may assume that all the “big names” have already went in (Steve Austin, Bret Hart, Hulk Hogan, etc.), but, really, there are several notable stars who have so far been omitted.
So, in order of just how likely they are to actually be inducted, here are my top five predictions for the Hall of Fame.
5. Bill Goldberg
OK, Bill Goldberg and WWE haven't had the easiest relationship over the past decade. Indeed, the former WCW wrestler has frequently taken shots at the company—Triple H, in particular—on his official Twitter.
But recent reports (F4Wonline via WrestlingInc) have surfaced that WWE has contacted the star about a potential match with Ryback at WrestleMania XXX. If Goldberg does agree to return for the show, it would also be an ideal time to induct him into the Hall of Fame.
Some would argue his WWE efforts weren't anything special—he had a lukewarm year-long stint in 2003-2004—but it's difficult to argue with the star's overall contributions to the business, particularly his phenomenal run in WCW in 1998. He absolutely deserves to go in.
However, as long as he and the company struggle to stay on the same page, an induction still remains only a distant possibility.
Arguably WWE's most famous stable ever, it seems obvious DX will go in at some point. For many, Triple H and his pals single-handedly defined the Attitude Era in the late '90s. It's almost unthinkable to suggest they would never be inducted.
Reports (PWInsider via Lords of Pain) surfaced earlier this year that the company had even reached out to Chyna about potentially appearing at next year's Hall of Fame to be inducted with the rest of the DX crew. Considering the star's well-documented problems over the last decade, WWE wouldn't have reached out to her unless it was truly serious about this.
Of course there are issues: As noted, inviting the deeply troubled and controversial Chyna back to the company may not be the best idea—and it's difficult to see her adult film career going over well with PG sponsors. It's also possible the company may want Triple H to go in as an individual first, rather than as part of a group.
WWE, of course, inducted Trish Stratus into this year's Hall of Fame. With this in mind, why doesn't the company induct her most famous rival into the 2014 class next year?
Lita is absolutely a deserving recipient. For many, she redefined what a WWE Diva could be. She wasn't a glamorous Playboy model nor did she ever look particularly comfortable strutting around in a bikini. She was the fun relatable tomboy who could also wrestle up a storm in the ring. Many current Divas—particularly A.J. Lee—owe her a great debt.
One thing working against her is there’s no real buzz, online or otherwise, about her being inducted. WWE may wonder what the rush is and put it off until 2015 or 2016.
On Friday, the news of a potential Dave Batista return got fans and critics all over the internet abuzz.
As WrestleZone mentions, the star—who hasn't been seen in the company since 2010—is being advertised for a WWE live event this February.
Assuming this is accurate, and Batista is returning to the company for a time to participate in some sort of WrestleMania program, why not induct him into the 2014 class too? It would be as good a time as any.
Then again, WWE, as well as Batista, may feel that someone who is still an active wrestler has no place in the Hall of Fame.
1. The Ultimate Warrior
Things between WWE and Jim Hellwig have smoothed over considerably since the company released the scathing Self-Destruction of The Ultimate Warrior DVD in 2005. The star agreed to appear as a character in the video game WWE 2K14 and even appeared at a few PR events to help advertise it.
He also participated in an interview with the company’s official site earlier this year. As WrestlingDVDNews mentioned two weeks ago, a new Ultimate Warrior DVD set is due out in 2014 too. Presumably it will be far more flattering of its subject than the first DVD was.
In an interview with Digital Spy, the retired star indicated he was very open to the idea to going in, but he wanted it to be done correctly and treated like a major deal. He certainly can’t be ruled out.