Tossing Salt Presents:
WWE Hall of Fame (Part 1 of 2)
July 29, 2018
The WWE Hall of Fame. Who belongs and who doesn’t? That’s a question that everyone loves to debate about their favorite wrestling superstars. A loyal reader, Eric, and I were having a debate of sorts the other day about the role of Chyna and if she’ll ever be inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame, where she rightfully deserves to be. Eric says no way and I think that she will eventually, but not as a solo star, but instead under a group induction for DX along with HHH, HBK, X-Pac and the New Age Outlaws (also making HBK the second, after Ric Flair, double Hall of Famer). Anyhow, after that spirited debate, I knew that Eric would be asking me about others and their Hall of Fame worthiness. And when I checked my e-mail yesterday morning, he did not let me down. Twenty-eight names listed and with one simple question. WWE Hall of Fame: Yay or Nay? And some of these names? Oh vey! I think someone has been looking through their old wrestling mags. But I’ll go down the list, look at each person listed and give my opinion if they’ll one day become WWE Hall of Fame Inductees or not. I’m going to make this a two-parter with fourteen names in each piece. Let’s do this…
Do the following people belong in the WWE Hall of Fame? Yay or Nay?
Tugboat: With the induction of Hillbilly Jim a couple of years ago, Fred Ottman, the man known as Tugboat and also Typhoon, is pretty much a lock for an induction one day. Putting aside his terrible debut and run as The Shockmaster in WCW, the man had a solid career as an ally of Hulk Hogan and then, after turning heel and joining partner John Tenta (Eathquake) as The Natural Disasters, a run that even included being managed by Jimmy Hart and a run as the WWF Tag Team Champions. With Ottman, it’s not a question of if he’s going in, but just when.
Dan Spivey: Spivey had two runs with the WWE, first as a replacement for Barry Windham, teaming with Mike Rotundo as the U.S. Express and then as the crazed Waylon Mercy. Spivey was also one of the original Skyscrapers in WCW, along with Sid Vicious so his wrestling resume is stacked and packed. Currently, the long retired Spivey has been working for WWE as a “Wellness Counselor” as well as working as a spokesman for a chain of breakfast restaurants and doing charity work. Like Tugboat, it’s not if, but when.
Sid Vicious: Despite heat with a great deal of people, Sid is a former WWF and WCW Champion, a former member of the Four Horsemen and has long been one of the top guys in professional wrestling until an unfortunate accident at a WCW event led to an ankle injury and early semi-retirement. I can see a great deal of people objecting to this induction, but Sid was brought back by WWE for the RAW 1000 show a few years ago and I don’t think Vince McMahon has any real heat with the stabber of Arn. He’s in.
Brian Pillman: Should Pillman go in? Absolutely. Will he? It might happen, but isn’t really very likely. First off, he’s dead and WWE doesn’t like to include too many dead people, especially when they were as young as Pillman when he passed. It highlights the large number of early death’s by wrestlers. Secondly, unless Pillman’s son, Brian Pillman Jr. comes to the WWE at some point (he’s started wrestling), there is no one to accept the award on Pillman’s behalf. His former wife Melanie is, according to her daughter, dealing with drug issues and that could be problematic for WWE as well. Pillman was a trendsetter and his whole “Loose Cannon” gimmick, as well as his run as a member of both the Horsemen and the Hollywood Blondes with Steve Austin are definitely Hall of Fame worthy. Pillman will eventually make it in, but I think it’s more likely as a Legacy Induction instead of the actual main roster HOF honors.
Tommy Dreamer: Dreamer is an ECW Icon and true hardcore legend of this business who is currently working with Impact Wrestling as well as running his own House of Hardcore events and definitely going into the WWE Hall of Fame at some point. Dreamer worked with WWE for a while as one of the top talent scouts and one of the men in charge of talent relations so he’s on great terms with Vince and the WWE management so there won’t be any kind of issues there. Dreamer has proven himself time and time again and it’s not a question of if, but just when.
Missy Hyatt: Missy is an interesting person. On the one hand, in Memphis alongside Eddie Gilbert, she had a great career as manager / valet and really made a great name for herself. She had a good run in WCW as an announcer and also as the manager of the Nasty Boys. Then there is the reputation of her behind the scenes antics, her lawsuit against WCW that resulted in her being fired from the company and her later career in the adult industry. While she’s still on good terms with Paul Heyman, there are few others in the top tier of WWE that would support her or have her back as to a possible induction. She was a groundbreaker as a manager and based on her career alone, deserves a Hall of Fame induction. But it won’t happen… ever. Trust me on this. Missy is definitely a big “Nay!”
Christian: A two-time World Champion and multi-time tag team champion for WWE, as well as a former NWA World Champion for TNA, Christian has had a career that is second to none. Now alongside former partner and best friend Edge, Christian has a show on The Network as well as a weekly podcast that totally reeks of awesomeness. Christian is Hall of Fame bound to be sure. Of that, I have no doubt.
The Great Khali: While Khali seems to be a big favorite of Vince McMahon, he will not be going into the WWE Hall of Fame anytime soon. Well maybe if the Hall of Fame ceremony was being held in India or maybe if Khali was able to pull off a “Princess Bride / Andre the Giant” type acting job and win himself an Academy Award. Either of those two things might result in Khali being inducted, but on the merits of his wrestling career? It just isn’t going to happen.
Eric Bischoff: The man who led WCW to almost two years of domination over the WWE, changed the face of wrestling and how business was done, and served as the General Manager of RAW for several years resulting in some of the best television in WWE history? He’s a lock. Period!
Hornswoggle: Swoggle is an interesting subject because while he was with the WWE for nearly ten years and had a decent career, is he really a viable candidate for the WWE Hall of Fame? I can can see it maybe happening somewhere way down the road when the WWE has started to run out of names and wants to use Swoggle as a special attraction and novelty to draw fans, but that would be at least ten to fifteen years away if that. I like Swoggle and think he’s a cool dude, butI don’t think we’re going to be seeing him with a Hall of Fame ring on his hand anytime soon. He’s going in at probably the same time Zack Gowen is.
Tony Schiavone: WWE is not really big on doing announcers as Inductees for the HOF, with the exception of Jim Ross, long the voice of WWE and Howard Finkel, but I can see Schiavone, the face and voice of the NWA and then later WCW eventually getting in. While even he would be the first to admit that some of his work in the latter years of WCW was less than epic, Schiavone has cemented his legacy as one of the top play-by-play guys in the history of the business. Now he’s back, after over a decade away from wrestling and doing some of his best work ever with MLW and, along with co-host Conrad Thompson, has one of the most entertaining wrestling podcasts out there. If Schiavone does get the call, it will be somewhat of a surprise, but it should happen and he’s definitely worthy. It’ll be a few more years down the road though before Schiavone’s name comes up for any serious consideration.
Michael Cole: Aside from Jim Ross, Cole has long been the most prominent face and announcer on WWE for almost two decades. While some fans might find his style kind of less than spectacular, he’s a long time favorite of WWE boss Vince McMahon and much valued and trusted by the WWE Chairman. With Cole, he’s going in. That’s not a doubt in any manner. It’s just a matter of when it happens.
Hardcore Bob Holly: A long time loyal WWE performer with a solid career including several reigns as the Hardcore Champion as well as time spent working as a trainer on Tough Enough. Holly is a strong mid-card talent that is exactly what the WWE looks for to fill out their Hall of Fame roster. He also though has a reputation as a bully and ass-clown backstage and may have burned a few bridges with some of the other talent because of that. So I think he’ll get into the Hall of Fame at some point? Probably, but it’ll be a long ways down the line and many others will come first.
The New Age Outlaws: The fans love these two and so does WWE management. Road Dogg is currently one of the top guys in creative and helps put together their programs each week and Billy, while currently not with the company, has been fired and rehired several times, he’s always welcomed back. While not actual members of the Kliq, both Road Dogg and Gunn are close to Triple H and are long time members of Degeneration X so they have that going for them. Did I mention that they’re “six time WWE Tag Team Champions of the World”? Well, they have that too. The New Age Outlaws will be inducted and there really isn’t any question about that. The only question in regards to the Outlaws is will they be inducted as a tag team or will it be part of a “DX Package” which would allow the WWE to also include Chyna and X-Pac, two talents who have too much baggage to be inducted on their own merits. I think we’ll see it as part of a DX package so that HBK can become a double HOF’er, HHH can get a ring as well and The Outlaws, X-Pac and Chyna will all be part of the deal. It doesn’t matter how though. The Road Dogg Jesse James and the “Bad Ass” Billy Gunn will be WWE Hall of Famers. And if you’re not down with that, two words for you.
And there you go. That’s the end of the first part of Eric’s list. I’ll be back tomorrow with Part 2 to wrap this up. Thanks for reading. So what do you think? Am I correct in my assumptions of who is and who isn’t Hall of Fame worthy? Let me know. All questions, comments and thoughts welcome and appreciated. And now, I’m down and gone. I have to go to Wal-Mart. Just please shoot me now. Have a great one and take care.