5 Biggest Snubs of the WWE Hall of Fame Class of 2019
The WWE Hall of Fame may have doubts regarding its legitimacy from bitter ex-wrestlers, former employees with grudges and critics who dispute who has been honored in the past, but it is still widely considered the endgame for professional wrestling.
In many ways, an induction in the WWE Hall of Fame is how Superstars and their fans alike feel closure on a particular career.
When someone doesn't have that stamp of approval that so many feel is deserved, it almost comes off as a slight against that performer—an insult to what they did in the business.
The class of 2019 has some big star power in it so far, with D-Generation X, Torrie Wilson, The Honky Tonk Man and Harlem Heat confirmed so far, but there is still room for some others to be added into the lineup.
However, time has pretty much run out for more announcements, leaving a void that could have been filled by plenty of names.
While there are tons of deserving future Hall of Famers, here are five candidates who feel especially strange to not be set to receive inductions into this year's class.
One of the names thrown around as a possible inductee this year that hasn't panned out is Peter Senercia, better known as Tazz in WWE and Taz elsewhere.
As far as credentials for an induction, Tazz held gold four times in WWE, winning the Hardcore Championship three times and the WWF Tag Team Championship once alongside Spike Dudley.
ECW is where he shined in this respect, as he won the FTW Heavyweight Championship, ECW World Heavyweight Championship and World Television Championship twice per belt, as well as the ECW World Tag Team Championship three times.
Tazz also carved a spot for himself in WWE on the commentary team from 2001 to 2009, giving him a rather long stretch as one of the voices of the product.
This year in particular made sense as a time to induct Tazz given the location, as Tazz is not only from Brooklyn, he would also act as the representative of ECW for this year's class.
Given the brand's strong ties to this area, it's odd that there are no standout inductees who can cater to that side of the industry and give credit where it is due toward the twisted promotion.
Since he's returned to WWE for guest spots on WWE Network programming, there doesn't appear to be any bad blood, which makes it even more curious why he hasn't been inducted yet.
Bam Bam Bigelow
For years, Bam Bam Bigelow's name has been circulated as a potential inductee, but the ceremonies keep happening without bearing any fruit.
Billed from Asbury Park, New Jersey—part of the New York City Metropolitan Area—Bigelow skyrocketed to the top of the list of assumed honorees once WrestleMania 35 was announced for the New York-New Jersey region.
It's such an obvious perfect place to pay tribute to him that it seemed like a guarantee WWE couldn't possibly ignore, yet here we are.
This goes double for how Bigelow had a presence in ECW, as that promotion has strong ties to this part of the country.
While Bigelow did not win any titles during his time in WWE, ignoring his Slammy Award for Best Head in 1987, he was a major player for many years who main-evented WrestleMania 11 and stood the test of time as a memorable character and performer.
As part of WCW, he won the Hardcore Championship once and was a two-time tag team champion. He also won the ECW World Heavyweight Championship and the World Television Championship.
Perhaps WWE doesn't want to have too many posthumous inductions this year, but a wrestler passing away shouldn't be held against them for future inductions, and Bigelow has waited long enough.
Continuing on the trend of bringing up ECW and those connected to the New York area, if WWE didn't want to put Tazz or Bigelow in this year, Paul Heyman is always a top-tier name who must be inducted at some point.
Even setting aside the obvious impact he had on professional wrestling as the head of ECW—an understatement, to say the least—Heyman's reach extends far beyond just that one promotion.
Heyman's career reaches back to the mid-80s when he was a photographer for publications like Pro Wrestling Illustrated and his own newsletter, The Wrestling Times Magazine. He worked his way through various companies and eventually became a manager in 1987 with some coaxing from Bigelow.
Managing talent has always been one of his strong points, which has been exemplified with his work alongside Brock Lesnar as his mouthpiece and the glue that holds The Beast Incarnate and WWE together.
But Heyman's work doesn't end with being an advocate. On-screen alone, he's also been an authority figure as well as a commentator and even a performer, although the latter would never be a reason to induct him.
Even more influential is his work behind the scenes on the creative side of the business as a writer and producer. There's no telling how much he's been responsible for over the years and how important his input has been to WWE and the business as a whole.
If not just to put extra heat on Lesnar heading into WrestleMania in what has been a rather weak build to his match against Seth Rollins, a Heyman Hall of Fame induction this year would have driven the New York crowd in attendance wild and made the ceremony a madhouse.
The good thing is that while it isn't happening this year, there's nothing stopping WWE from inducting Heyman in the years to come, and it must happen somewhere down the line.
King Kong Bundy
In terms of credentials, King Kong Bundy has few tangible accolades to his career in WWE. He never won a single championship, with his only gold being two Slammy Awards.
However, Bundy headlined WrestleMania II against Hulk Hogan in a steel cage match, which was a huge deal at the time.
That was easily the highlight of Bundy's career, but he still managed to have some moments from time to time, such as being in the finals of the 1987 King of the Ring tournament before losing to Randy Savage and facing The Undertaker at WrestleMania XI.
Granted, what has likely held Bundy back from an induction was his lack of a good relationship with WWE over the years, not the least of which being his part in a class action lawsuit filed against the company in 2016.
That case has since been dismissed last September, and there was likely still bad blood that never was resolved, which is a shame for a multitude of reasons, particularly as Bundy passed away earlier this month.
Even if WWE felt inclined to pay tribute to him following his death, the short notice likely prevents that from happening this year, although a video package can't be that difficult to create over the course of an entire month. An induction still could happen rather easily, given that's all that would need to be done.
WrestleMania isn't in Madison Square Garden, but as it's in the general area, it would have been interesting to call attention to WrestleMania II, as it's so often lost in the shuffle when talking about the history of the event, and an induction for Bundy could have served that purpose well.
With no announcements yet regarding the celebrity wing of the WWE Hall of Fame for this year's class, one name stands out as the given that should be going in this year more than any others, and that is Cyndi Lauper.
The pop star was a figurehead of the Rock 'n' Wrestling Connection and one of the most featured celebrities during the first WrestleMania, as she accompanied Wendi Richter for her big win in Madison Square Garden.
Lauper returned to WWE over 25 years later at Raw 1000 to take part in humiliating Heath Slater.
Few celebrities had as much impact in WWE as she and are still in the discussion for a potential Hall of Fame induction, so there's no reason Lauper shouldn't be one of the go-to names to be honored.
Of course, there are dozens upon dozens of men and women who could be on this list, but for this particular year, these were just a handful who stood out. If you have any other suggestions of people you'd like to see inducted in the WWE Hall of Fame, keep the discussion going by leaving a comment!
Anthony Mango is the owner of the wrestling website Smark Out Moment and the host of the podcast show Smack Talk on YouTube, iTunes and Stitcher. You can follow him on Facebook and elsewhere for more.