WWE is running into an epidemic with its recently revitalized Hall of Fame. With class after class loaded with legitimate legends, none of whom drove Vince McMahon’s limousine, the promotion can only outdo itself so many times.
This year, Jake “The Snake” Roberts, Lita, The Ultimate Warrior, Paul Bearer, Mr. T, Carlos Colon and Razor Ramon have been scratched from what is becoming an endangered list of eligible legends.
Razor Ramon is unique in that he is expected to go in as Scott Hall soon, according to PWInsider (via Wrestling Inc). Hall had his own legendary (by WWE’s standards) stint in WCW as the original member of the New World Order.
Expect the theme of double-booking the Hall of Fame to become as rampant as it is obnoxious. The pickings are getting slimmer by the year.
With The Rock and Randy Savage being two of the limited potential inductees, in another three years WWE’s Hall of Fame Ceremony will come off more like Employee of the Month.
WWE can combat this inevitable dilemma while maintaining the Hall of Fame as both a revenue center and a prestigious honor.
The answer is simpler than the asinine idea of inducting matches or stables. That plan would inevitably christen the likes of Sean “X-Pac” Waltman as a two-time Hall of Famer through his contributions to the New World Order and Degeneration-X.
Instead, it would behoove WWE to limit future inductees to one or two individuals per year.
In order to justify selling tickets to a Hall of Fame ceremony, an exhibition wrestling card can be booked during WrestleMania week. Tag team matches pitting WrestleMania foes against one another, or midcard feuds that didn’t have a chance to fully develop on television, could be featured.
The Hall of Fame inductee, or a posthumous inductee’s family, could be seated ringside. If each competitor (yes, even the heels) paid his or her respects prior to stepping into the ring, it would uphold the theme of an entire wrestling card being held in a legend’s honor.
Few greater honors exist as far as WWE is concerned.
At the end of the card, the inductee would give their speech inside the very squared circle that fostered their legacy.
A Hall of Fame wrestling card is akin to Tribute to the Troops. A made-for-television special may have a bigger impact on ratings. Guaranteed action is always more provocative than an hour of speeches, regardless of who’s speaking.
Building interest through in-show interviews with the inductee—a spot suited for an export like Maria Menounos or Michelle Beadle—would also enhance the production.
The legend in question in an angle, or dare I say one more match, would give wrestling fans the comfort food that they’re eternally starved of.
It’s a logical answer to a very awkward quandary. A quandary that may end up compromising what it means to be a Hall of Famer.