Tossing Salt Presents:
WWE Hall of Fame (Part 2 of 2)
July 30, 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?
Sable: For her over-the-top success as a WWE personality and major player during the Attitude Era, I would say yes. But then add in the factor that she sued WWE twice, made all sorts of allegations against Vince and WWE brass for sexual harassment and was in general just from all reports (and in my own opinion based on the one time I met her at anautograph signing in Fayetteville, NC), that she was a total bitch to be around, that would be a no. I think on this one, it all depends on how the WWE’s relationship is at any given time with her husband, Brock Lesnar. If he and WWE are on good terms come around Hall of Fame time and she wants to go in, she will, but if it’s one of those times where Brock and Vince are not on the same page, her possible induction can and would probably be used as a negotiating tool. But eventually, she’ll be going in.
Wahoo McDaniel: A former NFL player and wrestling legend who wrestled all through the sixties and seventies and was a major star everywhere he went, Wahoo should be a definite lock for any wrestling Hall of Fame. He was a mainstay in both the AWA and the Mid-Atlantic region and did do a very short run with the WWE, but walked out when there was a dispute over money. That probably won’t matter though. The only things that might prevent Wahoo from being on the main stage is that his career ended so long ago and that he’s deceased, but as a “Legacy Inductee”, I think Wahoo is a definite lock and will be inducted at some point.
Magnum TA: Terry Allen, aka Magnum TA is an interesting subject. His career and runs in the Mid-South region and then for Crockett and the NWA were very successful and he established himself as a top star quickly in feuds with Mr. Wrestling II, Tully Blanchard and The Horsemen. Then, as Magnum was being groomed for a run with the NWA / WCW World Championship, a car accident ended it all and Magnum career came to a screeching halt… literally. Magnum continued in wrestling occasionally working as a commentator and some managing, but never was able to perform in the ring again. People still talk about Magnum though and he’s definitely got a place in the hearts of long time fans. So is this worthy of the Hall of Fame? I think it depends upon one thing. Magnum’s stepdaughter is current Impact Wrestling star Tessa Blanchard (the daughter of Tully Blanchard). If Tessa eventually comes to WWE (which she eventually will), I could see using an induction for Magnum being used as a tool to keep her happy. Magmun also has a great story about being a star on the way to the top, losing it all and then rebuilding to a new life, which would make a great WWE Network type special. Magnum will be inducted at some point. I think he’s a lock and in.
Nikita Koloff: “The Russian Nightmare” Nikita Koloff is an interesting choice. His career as a wrestler, while relatively short, was as impactful and successful as can be with runs as both a top heel challenging Dusty Rhodes repeatedly and teaming with his “Uncle Ivan” to form a top team along with Krusher Krushev. Then he made the switch to baby-face after Magnum’s car accident and fought against The Horsemen and even did a short run in the AWA before retiring to take care of his sick wife and become a man of God. He never worked for WWE though and is considered an NWA wrestler. Is he Hall of Fame worthy? Absolutely. Will he be inducted? If the WWE has, for whatever reason, refused to induct Ivan Koloff for all this time, I can’t see them inducting his “nephew” to remind people of their oversight. Nikita won’t be in anytime soon. There’s no real reason for his exclusion, but I can’t see it happening.
Goldust: Dustin Runnels, aka “Goldust” has been fired and rehired by the WWE how many times? And he’s currently in their employ and good graces as he recovers from surgery on both knees. Dustin is a lock and it’s not if he’ll be inducted, but only a question of when. Goldust was a unique and revolutionary character in so many ways and definitely made a major impact on the wrestling world with his debut and even now is a heartfelt favorite of fans everywhere. Dustin, he’s definitely going in. There’s a big gold ring in his future.
The Midnight Express: If this had been five years ago, the answer would have been not only no, but “Hell No”, due to issues between the WWE and the Midnight Express’s long time manager, Jim Cornette, but now? After Cornette came to the WWE Hall of Fame and inducted long time rivals Ricky Morton and Robert Gibson, The Rock & Roll Express, I think the bridges were mended and all is now well and good. The team of the Midnight Express, regardless of which incarnation you’re speaking of, be it Dennis Condrey & Bobby Eaton or Eaton and Stan Lane, long established themselves as one of the most persistent and top tag teams in the world and had major success everywhere they went. The Midnights, along with Cornette, were a force to be reckoned with and truly belong in any and every Hall of Fame there is. And probably within the next few years, I strongly expect to see those three men, Eaton, Lane and Condrey, along with Cornette, up on that stage getting those gold rings. The Midnight Express as WWE Hall of Famer’s? Jimmy Cornette’s mama wouldn’t have it any other way.
Playboy Buddy Rose: Did you know that Buddy, under a mask, wrestled in the very first match at Wrestlemania I? This long time Portland legend and former AWA World Tag Team Champion established a legacy and career that ran for many years and was known to be a personal favorite of WWE owner Vince McMahon. Be it comedy (the Blow-Away diet skit), antagonizing the fans (demanding to be introduced at 217lbs instead of 271 or more), the feats of strength (one armed push-ups) or just damn good wrestling (Rose & Doug Summers versus The Midnight Rockers), Rose could and did it all. And if he was still alive, I think he was be a lock at some point for the Hall of Fame under card. But Rose passed away a few years ago and wasn’t a big enough national star to merit an induction from the afterlife unless it’s done in the “Legacy” wing. I can easily see that happening because “Playboy” Buddy Rose did establish a legacy, especially in the north-western states, that few will ever equal. He’ll never be forgotten, but the WWE Hall of Fame won’t be a major reason why.
Col. DeBeers: Ed Wiskowski was a fantastic performer and one of the top heels of his day, a true icon if there every was one. As a performer, is he Hall of Fame worthy? If you ask the fans of the AWA or the Portland, OR region, I’m sure that the answer would be a resounding “Yes!”. But here’s the catch. His best character was Col. DeBeers, an extremely racist bigot from South Africa. He regularly hurled racist insults at other wrestlers, refused to wrestle opponents of other races and was about as lowlife, un-politically correct as a person can be. And into today’s offended at everyone and everything world, that character can’t even be mentioned without everyone getting all crazy and upset. Forget that DeBeers was only playing a character and was, from all accounts, one of the nicest and most decent guys in the wrestling business. His gimmick was being a racist ass-clown and he did it well. Too well and for that reason alone, there is and will never be a shot at the WWE Hall of Fame in his future, not even as a “Legacy” inductee.
Bugsy McGraw: Bugsy was a top star in the Florida terrritory and also did an extended run in the Mid-Atlantic region as well. A very likeable man, Bugsy played the “simple minded, but dangerous” heel that could be manipulated by his “evil manager” and then would do the turn, being the crazy, but loveable figure who wants revenge for being treated so badly. A great character to be sure. But is he Hall of Fame worthy? McGraw was a favorite topic of the “Apter Mags” back in the day and had some good name recognition, but never really reached a national level of stardom. He was a good mid-card talent at best and unless it’s as part of a group and a Legacy induction, I can’t really see him ever getting the nod for induction. He’s a great guy from all reports and a talented performer, but a place on the big stage is not his to be.
Sir Oliver Humperdink: In the Carolina’s and Florida, there are few wrestling managers with a better legacy of being sneaky, lowdown and first rottten scoundrels than Sir Oliver Humperdink. This stout, red-headed heel would constantly change the roster in his “house” and do his best to destroy the top star of the area, be it Dusty Rhodes, Jimmy Valiant or whoever the fan’s flavor of the week happened to be. Then there was a short run with the WWE as the manager of Paul Orndorff and Bam Bam Bigelow, a time that saw Humperdink as a “face” manager, not his best role. Then it was back to the NWA / WCW as “Big Daddy Dink”, the road manager for the Fabulous Freebirds. Humperdink had a great career and was a very good performer who worked in the business as a referee, wrestler, manager, road agent, announcer, etc. But is he Hall of Fame worthy for the WWE? If he was still alive, I’d say most likely, especially with the WWE Hall of Fame inductions taking place in Florida where Humperdink made his biggest impact, but since he’s passed on, I don’t think it’ll happen. If Humperdink does ever get inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame, I’ll be pleasantly surprised. He deserves it to be sure, but without someone in WWE to push for him and also being deceased, it’s not very likely.
Loch Ness: Loch Ness, better known as Giant Haystacks in the UK and Europe, was one of Europe’s biggest wrestling stars of the 70’s and 80’s. He came to WCW for a short time at beginning of 1996, where he served as a member of the Dungeon of Doom and feuded with Hulk Hogan, but that was cut short when he was disgnosed with cancer and returned to the UK. Looking back on his career, with several runs as European Heavyweight Champion and British Heavyweight Champion in the UK, not to mention holding the Stampede International Tag Team Championship twice in Canada, with partners Dynamite Kid and Bret Hart, he is definitely Hall of Fame worthy. But since most American fans wouldn’t know who he is and are not familiar with the history of wrestling in the UK, it won’t happen. If by some chance, WWE was to ever hold a Wrestlemania and Hall of Fame ceremony in England or the UK, he’d be a definite first ballot pick, but in today’s WWE, I think we’ll see Ole Anderson and Nailz inducted before Loch Ness gets a shot.
Gary Hart: One of the greatest wrestling managers of all time and also one of the best “bookers” ever, Hart has left a legacy of a career behind that anyone would be proud to have. From runs in Texas to Florida to the Carolina’s and then WCW, Gary Hart was well respected for having one of the best minds in wrestling. He never worked, to the best of my knowledge, for WWE though and that could hurt him in this particular category. He was a solid and steady presence everywhere he worked, but was overshadowed as a manager by some of the louder or flashier men that also wore that title and that could hurt him as well. If he was still alive and had someone in the company working on his behalf, I could see Hart getting in, but since he passed away a few years ago, I don’t think that he’ll make the cut. If it’s under the “Legacy” umbrella, he’ll get a shot,but on his own behalf, I don’t see it happening.
David McLane: The creator and founder of GLOW, the Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling as well as Women of Wrestling (WOW). What a character he was to be sure. He worked as the owner, salesman, solo-announcer and writer for the GLOW product, following a dream and made it a success that had an impact on the sport of professional wrestling that is still felt even today. With the recent success of the GLOW series on Netflix, as well as the induction this past year of former GLOW Champion Lisa Moretti, better known to the world as Ivory, McLane would definitely be a coup and key figure worthy of bringing in as part of the Hall of Fame, perhaps in the celebrity wing along with a few more of the GLOW alumni or even under the legacy banner. I don’t think that he’ll be inducted though. McLane skipped the GLOW reunion that took place a few years ago, highlighted in the documentary that sparked the GLOW revival and hasn’t really said all that much about the recent success of the product that he helped to create and start. I think WWE might induct him if given the option, but in this case, I don’t think McLane is all that willing to come along for the ride.
And there you go. Thanks to Eric for this list of talents and the question. You made me have to work a little bit and for that, I appreciate it. Any thoughts, questions or comments, please feel free to drop me a line either here at the site or at my e-mail, Doug298352@yahoo.com. Thanks for reading. Until the next time, stay safe and have a great one. Take care.