The WWE Hall of Fame is the established group of the greatest of the great. The lineup of the most elite wrestlers to ever compete in the squared circle. The most iconic names in the history of pro wrestling. And the most legendary men to ever grace sports-entertainment. If you are in the Hall of Fame, then you are a legend in the business. If you are a known as a future Hall of Famer, then you are without a doubt one of the best, and one of the immortals.
On the night before WrestleMania, it is tradition to induct these legends into the Hall of Fame for their incredible accomplishments and their impact on wrestling. With WrestleMania 27 approaching, so is the annual Hall of Fame induction, which will be held in Atlanta, Georgia on April 2nd.
The two men currently announced to be inducted for the Hall of Fame are the Heartbreak Kid, Mr. WrestleMania, Shawn Michaels and the first ever Royal Rumble winner, Hacksaw Jim Duggan. Both of these men truly deserve it, especially Shawn Michaels, but there is one man who should be inducted more than ever!
His name is...Diamond...Dallas...PAGE!!
There is no better time and place than April 2nd, 2011 at Atlanta, Georgia, the birthplace of WCW and the 10-year anniversary of it's death. He is a WCW legend, one of the few men to make a star and legend of himself in the company without heading over to WWE/F to make themselves bigger. His accolades in the business truly speak for themselves, as he was a three-time World Champion, two-time US Champion, former TV Champion and four-time Tag Team Champion in WCW. If that's not enough, he was one of the most popular wrestlers ever in his time, received many pops and also popularized one of the greatest finishers of all time, the Diamond Cutter, and all in his 40s no less!
First making an appearance at WrestleMania IX as the driver in a pink Cadillac, he went to WCW and started off as a heel manager for tag teams, with teams such as the Fabulous Freebirds before breaking off and becoming a wrestling competitor. But in the year 1996 was where he began his rise began. Despite being a heel, people were cheering him greatly, getting massive pops anywhere he went. In fact, he was so great, he was voted the PWI Most Improved Wrestler of the Year in 1996.
He introduced to the world during this time to his famous finisher, the Diamond Cutter! Originated from Johnny Ace as the Ace Crusher, he popularized it with the amazing concept of being able to hit it anywhere. When his opponent had the upper hand and the match was running smoothly, DDP would out of nowhere hit Diamond Cutter, the crowd going crazy as he got the pinfall. With this concept, his popularity only grew and the finisher was awarded the Best Finisher Award from the Wrestling Observer Newsletter in 1997!
In January 1997, he turned face after refusing to join the NWO, and that only made him even more popular. His character was that of a resilient, never-give-up man who fights through odds and was always for the people, and the fans ate it up! He even came up with the catchphrase "You want some, come get some!" What propelled DDP to the top was his feud with Savage. The battle the two had over the year was one of the greatest, being voted PWI Feud of the Year in 1997. It gave us some of the most unforgettable moments, including DDP dressing up as La Parka to beat Savage! If it weren't for this feud, he would never have gotten to the level he was in WCW!
At Starcade 1997, he defeated Curt Henning to win the US Title, his first major title in WCW. He held the title for five months until losing to Raven, but had a successful reign. At Fall Brawl 1998, he won the WarGames to earn a shot at the WCW World Title, to the delight of many. And at Halloween Havoc, he faced Goldberg in one of the most memorable matches in wrestling history, arguably the best match in Goldberg's career. While he lost, he made his impact, for the crowd made the match even more epic, showing the out-of-control popularity he had. He was so popular, that he was known as the People's Champion, before the Rock earned that moniker himself!
DDP's time finally came in 1999 at Spring Stampede as he won the World Title in a Four Corners match against Sting, Flair and Hogan. Not too long after, he turned heel, shocking the world. No one thought that such a thing would happen, but he was so good at it, he was voted PWI Most Hated Wrestler of the Year in 1999! With this new heel character, he brought about a famous catchphrase...
"You love me. You hate me. You'll never forget me."
And without a doubt, we never forgot him. He stayed loyal to WCW until it finally folded in 2001, ending his tenure with it as a three-time World Champion. I will not go into his time in WWE as I know how most people feel about it, but this is what I will say about DDP.
His impact on the wrestling world was very profound. He was one of the most over and popular characters to ever come out of the wrestling world, people watching WCW just so they could see someone get nailed with a Diamond Cutter out of nowhere! He was so instrumental to WCW that his match with Goldberg that was televised on WCW the night after the PPV gave Nitro their last ratings wars over Raw!
Diamond Dallas Page was the precursor and inspiration to many wrestlers that came after him in the business. If it weren't for his Diamond Cutter, we wouldn't see the RKO from Randy Orton. If it weren't for his never-give-up character, we wouldn't see the John Cena character of today. And if it weren't for him being the original People's Champion, the Rock would probably never be known by the title!
DDP was the man that many characters and such are based and inspired off of today. He was one of the few men to make himself a star in WCW without being one in WWE or going there to become one! His finisher, character, mic skills and overwhelming popularity shook the wrestling world to its very foundation! A man who started wrestling in his 40s overcame all odds to become one of of the best in the business.
He is Hall of Fame material for sure, but this is the perfect year for him to be inducted. His impact is still felt to this day and quite deserves to be the WCW representative for the 2011 Hall of Fame Class. In my humble opinion, this year, the Hall of Fame should...
"FEEL THE BANG!!"
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