Mr. T aught to pity the fool who took so long to convince him to go into the WWE Hall of Fame. According to the Wrestling Observer Newsletter (via Wrestlenewz), the wait may be over, as the television icon has reportedly agreed to be inducted into the 2014 WWE Hall of Fame.
Judging by fan support, WWE's celebrity inductions have been hit-or-miss over the past few years. Drew Carey and Donald Trump (via Jeremy Blacklow of Yahoo!) were booed mercilessly during their inductions in 2011 and 2013 respectively, while boxing legend Mike Tyson was welcomed with open arms during the 2012 ceremony.
In fact, the very presence of celebrities in WWE's hallowed shrine is hit-or-miss to begin with. Despite being a WWE superfan, even participating in WrestleMania XXVIII as a wrestler, television host Maria Menounos was skewered by wrestling fans for merely inducting her friend Bob Backlund. The unfound animosity inspired Menounos to respond with an open letter (via PWInsider), where she wrote:
It’s understandable as we are not pro wrestlers and the honesty of the WWE fans is what makes it fun. However, I did the speech mainly to tell the world all the amazing things about Bob and I fear some of those things were not heard.
Wrestling fans are a fickle bunch, especially when it comes to celebrities fraternizing with their idols. The select few celebrities who are given a warm welcome are usually associated with moments of immortality like Tyson's legendary confrontation with Stone Cold Steve Austin.
As WWE prepares to christen its 30th WrestleMania, the presence of Mr. T will be fitting given his major contributions to WrestleMania I.
It was the undeniable popularity of Mr. T in the '80s that helped make WrestleMania I—often described as Vince McMahon's biggest gamble—a success.
Of course, without WrestleMania I there would be no WrestleMania franchise to prop up WWE's business for one quarter out of the year, so in essence a standing ovation is the least wrestling fans can do for Mr. T.
Nostalgia will be a major part of WrestleMania XXX, with WWE obligated to look back at its embryonic phases as part of the celebration.
Back in January, PWInsider (via WrestlingInc) reported WWE had plans to induct the entire main event of WrestleMania I into the Hall of Fame.
The concept of main events in the Hall of Fame, not to mention two-time Hall of Famers, will only dilute an entity that WWE has done a good job of protecting over the years. At the same time, this would be a formidable tribute to WWE's original headliner on the eve of what should be its most significant main event to date.