WWE Hall of Fame 2018: Early Projections for Next Year's Class of Legends

Ryan Dilbert@@ryandilbertWWE Lead WriterMarch 31, 2017

Credit: WWE.com

It will hard for the WWE Hall of Fame 2018 class to be as stacked as this year's, but there are still some impressive inductees waiting for their name to be called.

Batista, Rob Van Dam and Vader are among those likely to need to shop for tuxes around WrestleMania time next year. Championship gold and lasting memories will be their ticket in.

Kurt Angle heads 2017's Hall of Fame class. Diamond Dallas Page, Rick Rude and Teddy Long are among those who will join him during Friday's ceremony in Orlando, Florida. That group in many ways follows a recent pattern WWE has followed.

The company has inducted a top-level star, a team, a women's wrestler and a name from the late '80s or early '90s. The following group of potential Hall of Famers fill out those categories, have ample accomplishments on their resumes and would excite the WWE fanbase should they get the nod next year. 

Let's take an early look at who might be honored in New Orleans ahead of WrestleMania 34. 

Demolition

The leather-clad face-painted bruisers known as Demolition were consistently one of WWE's top tag teams during the late '80s. They clubbed their way through battles with the likes of The Rockers, The Hart Foundation and The British Bulldogs.

Ax and Smash held the record for the longest WWE tag team title reign in history until The New Day surpassed their mark last December. 

Demolition thrived during a strong period for tag team wrestling. Ax, Smash and Crush were colorful, memorable characters. And the fact that WWE chose to put them in the tag title match at three consecutive WrestleManias is a sign of their standing.

Their Hall of Fame induction is long overdue.

WWE dipped into the '80s to secure its 2017 tag team inductee when it chose The Rock 'N' Roll Express to enter the Hall of Fame. It's likely to do the same in 2018, as there are a plethora of deserving squads from that era.

The Rockers and The Hart Foundation are both deserving, but they each have a member already in the Hall as a singles stars (Shawn Michaels and Bret Hart, respectively), so Demolition getting enshrined would be bigger news.

Cyndi Lauper 

It's baffling that WWE's celebrity wing doesn't already include the pop singer.

Lauper was involved in an onscreen feud with Hall of Fame manager Captain Lou Albano. She served as a valet for Wendi Richter at the first WrestleMania. And she was instrumental in the success of The Rock 'N' Wrestling crossover being a success.

Not only did she appear for WWE a number of times, including most recently on Raw in 2012, she helped get more eyes on the product as it expanded from regional territory to national powerhouse.

While Lauper isn't as well-known to young fans as celebrities who made their mark on WWE more recently, WWE will eventually want to fill out its Hall of Fame with the stars who helped WrestleMania get off its feet, namely Lauper and Mr. T.

The longer the company waits, the wider the gap between her prime and the present become.

Vader

Should the towering, unsettling beast that is Vader get the nod in 2018, it wouldn't be the first time a wrestler who had the bulk of their success with WCW got in. Vader would be following the lead of Sting and Diamond Dallas Page in that regard.

Vader won the WCW World Heavyweight Championship three times as he served as one of the company's top heels through the early '90s.

He headlined events like Starrcade and Slamboree before moving to WWE and challenging the marquee stars there. He never captured gold in his new home but battled the big names, from Undertaker to Shawn Michaels.

Vader's considerable success in Japan adds to his resume.

And it's his recent medical issues that may speed up his induction. The big man has been vocal about his declining health on social media. WWE would much rather honor him while he's still around than induct him posthumously as they have had to do for so many great wrestlers.

Rob Van Dam

Innovation would be one of the main reasons RVD walked into the Hall of Fame.

The high-flying star hit opponents with moves they had never seen before. With things like the split-legged moonsault and Rolling Thunder in his arsenal, Van Dam thrilled audiences throughout his career.

As one of the biggest names in ECW, Van Dam is a lock at some point. WWE has absorbed that company's history in many ways, and starting to welcome its key stars into the Hall is a natural step.

Plus, Van Dam flourished with WWE, as well. He won a heap of titles, including the WWE Championship.

Mr. Monday Night is contemporary enough for his induction to excite the current generation of fans, too. He would fill the same niche in the Hall of Fame class that Rikishi and Booker T have in recent years.  

Sable

Now that WWE has inducted some of its best female in-ring performers like Trish Stratus, Lita and this year, Beth Phoenix, the company will likely seek out women who made their mark in different ways.

Sable was never a real wrestler. She was a marquee attraction, a burst of sex appeal, a compelling figure on the stage.

She managed Marc Mero, A-Train and Brock Lesnar, among others. She won the women's title and figured into a number of high-profile stories. And when the Attitude Era moved WWE into the world of the tantalizing, the raunchy, Sable led the way.

Her marriage to Lesnar has to help with the politics side of the Hall of Fame process, too.

Batista

Every Hall of Fame class needs a headliner, someone with the star power to be the main draw for the ceremony. Batista is a good fit to do just that, even if he's not a true megastar.

The Rock and Undertaker will fill that role someday, but both men might not be done wrestling. Batista has seemed happy to keep out of the ring after his 2014 return. He's grown into an increasingly big star in Hollywood after a breakout role in Guardians of the Galaxy.

WWE would love all the mainstream press that would come with Batista's induction.

And he has done plenty on the canvas to deserve the honor. The Animal reigned as both WWE champ and the world heavyweight titleholder. He was a part of a notable group in Evolution and headlined two WrestleManias.

There's a good chance Ric Flair or Randy Orton will be drafting an induction speech for their formal stablemate at the close of the 2018 WrestleMania season. 

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