09th Oct2019

Opinionated: Who Should be the WWE Hall of Fame Class of 2020?

by Chris Cummings

hall-fame-opinionated

Every year on the lead up to WrestleMania we get bursts or rumours and announcements about which wrestlers and/or personalities will be inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame during WrestleMania weekend. It’s become a big part of the weekend each April, and many fans enjoy the show, seeing former superstars getting a chance to shine once more as they deliver a speech in front of their peers and adoring fans. It’s bloody lovely, quite frankly.

So, I thought, as seen as WrestleMania is a good few months off, it would be a good time to make some half-predictions, as well as talk about who I think SHOULD be in the Hall of Fame. There are, after all, some huge names missing from that place, and it’s always fun to discuss this stuff. I will likely talk about WAY too many people for one single class, but regardless, let’s look at who should be inducted into the Hall of Fame in the future, including the 2020 Class next April.

In 2019 we saw a great selection of names head into the WWE Hall of Fame, with The Hart Foundation, D-Generation X, Harlem Heat, Sue Aitchison, Torrie Wilson, The Honky Tonk Man and Brutus “The Barber” Beefcake, all taking their places among the legends of immortality in the prestigious hall. I mean, say what you will about the WWE Hall of Fame, but it’s a nice thing really. Seeing names from wrestling history given respect, thanks and love from the company, peers and audience is heart-warming, and while it may be a bias Hall of Fame, and may mean very little to some wrestlers, it obviously means a hell of a lot to many of them.

So, who isn’t in there? Well, the list is a bloody long one. There are smaller names, names along the lines of current members of the Hall of Fame like Koko B. Ware, who aren’t in there. Guys such as Mike “IRS” Rotundo, Marty Jannetty, The One Man Gang and John “Earthquake” Tenta aren’t in there, and should be. I mean, Jannetty was a part of one of the most popular WWF Tag Teams of the 80s in The Rockers, Tenta had a long and successful run as Earthquake, where he worked main events with Hulk Hogan and won tag belts with Typhoon. IRS was a mid-card heel who won tag gold with the great Ted DiBiase as part of Money Inc. and had a strong run across the wrestling business under his real name too, including time in WCW. One Man Gang was a big name heel in the 80s, and had a strong run as Akeem too, teaming with Hall of Famer Big Boss Man as part of The Twin Towers. Really, these guys should be induced, and that’s just a tiny handful.

When it comes to tag teams, there’s a whole bunch yet to get that lovely golden ring around their fingers. Demolition, Ax and Smash, are yet to receive an induction into the Hall. One of the best teams of the 80s, they were Tag Champs and super-over with fans. They had a long run, and separately, under other gimmicks, they had storied careers too. I mean… Repo Man? Come on now. Edge & Christian (as a team, because Edge is in on his own) and The Hardy Boys are also yet to see an induction, and while it’s coming eventually, surely, they belong to be here. Heck, The Dudleys are, so they should be. The Nasty Boys, former WWF and WCW Tag Champions are missing from the Hall. The Quebeckers, both as a team and on their own (The Mountie surely deserves to be in here), and The Fabulous Rougeau Brothers too, another team featuring Jacques that isn’t in the Hall. What an omission that is. Female team of the 80s, The Jumping Bomb Angels aren’t in there, and it would be a nice relevant induction considering the new-ish WWE Women’s Tag Team Championships that are being promoted these days. The Steiner Brothers? I mean… come on! Scott and Rick were a massively successful team in wrestling in the 80s and 90s, working in WCW and WWE among other places, and winning titles all over the shop. I mean, the speech alone would make that one worth it, holla if you hear me. The Midnight Express, The Public Enemy. The British Bulldogs. The Killer Bees. The list goes on and on (and on).

There are some other mid-card omissions who should really be in here by now, guys who had really long and successful careers, guys who were winning mid-card belts, jumping into main events from time to time, and generally kicking arse on shows across the world. Owen Hart and “The British Bulldog” Davey Boy Smith stand out to me here. Owen, a former multiple-time Intercontinental Champion, multiple-time Tag Team Champion, former European Champion and one of the best technical wrestlers of the 90s, he was incredible. Now, I know why he isn’t in the Hall of Fame, but his not being there needs to be pointed out. Same with Davey. The guy was phenomenal, winning belts across the world, and having a hugely successful run in WWE and WCW. He was part of two great teams, with Owen and Dynamite Kid. He should be in there by now. Aside from those guys, we have Rick Martel still missing. A former tag-team Champion in WWE and Television Champion in WCW, Martel was a main-event star in AWA in the early 80s. Lex Luger, a guy who saw main event success in the 90s in WWE and was a star in WCW too. Christian, a former tag, Intercontinental and World Champion, his not being in the Hall of Fame is a strange one, and surely he’s going in soon. Brian Pillman, Dustin “Goldust” Rhodes, Bam Bam Bigelow and William Regal are another few guys who deserve to be in there, but aren’t yet.

Each year we see a woman from wrestling enter the WWE Hall of Fame. We’ve had some legendary female personalities take their place in there, from Sensational Sherri to Trish Stratus, but there are some big names missing. Chyna went in as part of D-X in 2019 but hopefully she’ll get a chance to posthumously go in alone one day. Miss Elizabeth was a huge deal in wrestling in the 80s and into the 90s, managing “Macho Man” Randy Savage among other things. “The First Lady of Wrestling” deserves a chance to be posthumously inducted as well. Molly Holly, a women’s champion during one of the most popular times in wrestling is missing, with many of her peers in there now. Put Mighty Molly in the Hall, please. Sable, one of the biggest starts of WWE’s Attitude Era, is also missing. Maybe she’s been asked and turned it down, but either way, for better or worse, she belongs to be in there due to her massive popularity in the late 90s. Bull Nakano, one of the greatest female pro-wrestlers in history, who worked a little with WWE in the 90s, should also certainly be inducted. Her influence on many of today’s women is huge. Leilani Kai, Vickie Guerrero, Victoria and Akira Hokuto to name a few more should one day find their place among the legends of the Hall of Fame, for sure.

As well as tag-teams, mid-card talent and women, we usually get a celebrity induction. This is something I rarely find interesting, and it’s often a bit of a media-ploy, a way to get more eyes on the show, but there are actually some deserving celebrity names who would be added to this “wing” of the Hall. Cindi Lauper is not in there yet, and she really should be. A vital and huge part of the Rock n Wrestling Connection of the 80s that helped fire WWF into the entertainment stratosphere, Lauper should definitely be inducted one day. Other celebrities have been an important part of WWE programming in various ways, though few were as important as Cindi was. Still, names like Floyd Mayweather, who worked an actual match with Big Show at a WrestleMania event, and Lawrence Taylor, former linebacker for the New York Giants, was in the main event of a WrestleMania show against Bam Bam Bigelow. These two guys aren’t in the Hall of Fame yet, but they should be. They contributed to WWE programming much more than some of the people who have been inducted in this “wing”.

I’d also like to see guys from backstage get inducted more, people who have worked in various departments of WWE for years, or decades, without much of a nod or credit. We saw Sue Aitchison inducted this year, which was a step in the right direction, and hopefully we’ll see more. Jim Johnston, the guy who gave us so many of the amazing WWE entrance themes through the years, belongs in there, for sure. He gave a lot to both the company and the fans. Referees, such as Charles Robinson, Earl Hebner, Mike Chioda and Tim White worked for so long in WWE, and should be given the honour of being in there, among many other officials. That would be a nice addition each year, a different referee being given a ring and a chance to tell their stories. Basically, more of this, because it’s pretty damn cool and well deserved.

Paul Heyman, Eric Bischoff, Bruce Prichard, Jerry Jarrett, Sam Muchnick and of course, Vince McMahon. There we go. These names need mentioning and inducting one day, but I don’t really need to say why.

Jim Cornette is a manager who isn’t in there yet, and he should be, regardless of the questionable things he says nowadays. There are a few other managers yet to be inducted too, such as Gary Hart, Terri “Marlena” Runnels, Lanny “The Genius” Poffo and others. I like to see guys inducted who were perhaps wrestlers at one stage, maybe even bookers too, like “Dirty” Dutch Mantel, but made names as managers afterwards. Cornette is the big one. He should be in there.

Now, the main event folks. I’m missing SO many names out here, but there are hundreds and hundreds of men and women who are deserving of a spot in the Hall of Fame, and so it’s impossible to name them all. We get headliners each year, be it Steve Austin, D-Generation X, Bret Hart of Hulk Hogan, and there are a whole ton of guys yet to go in. The Undertaker, one of the biggest WWE stars of all time, The Rock, a mega-star who has transcended wrestling as we all know, Triple H, as a singles star, Batista, another major name. The list goes on. John Cena, one of the faces of WWE’s entire history, will go in without a doubt, probably soon. Kane, another guy who had a hugely successful and long run in WWE. Big Show, Chris Jericho (although that one will have to wait for now), Big Van Vader, John Bradshaw Layfield, Sid Vicious and Kenta Kobashi and many other main event wrestlers should be in the WWE Hall of Fame, and most, if not all of them, will be eventually, I’d imagine.

So, if I were to put together MY pick of the Class of 2020, what would it be? Well, let’s do a bit of fantasy booking shall we? Also, I’ll throw in who I’d have induct them, because… why not? Here’s my pick for the WWE Hall of Fame, Class of 2020;

  • Headliner: The Rock
    Inducted by – “Stone Cold” Steve Austin
  • Headliner 2: Kane
    Inducted by – The Undertaker
  • Female Inductee: Miss Elizabeth
    Inducted by – Lanny Poffo
  • Mid-carder: Christian
    Inducted by – Edge
  • Mid-carder: British Bulldog
    Inducted by – Natalya, Harry Smith, Georgie Smith, Diana Smith
  • Warrior Award: Jim Johnston
    Inducted by – Jimmy Hart
  • Celebrity: Cindi Lauper
    Inducted by – Charlotte Flair
  • Posthumous Wrestler: Bam Bam Bigelow
    Inducted by – Bret Hart
  • Other: Bruce Prichard
    Inducted by – Vince McMahon

So, there we have it. Perhaps a couple too many there, and that was a hard pick. I think you could reach out and grab an amazing class however you do it, because so many legendary talents are yet to be inducted but hopefully it will happen eventually for them. It’s a hard job for WWE to induct so many worthy people. Perhaps they need to make it something that happens during SummerSlam weekend too, because eventually certain people will be left out, and that’s a shame.

Anyway, thanks for reading. Who would you like to see inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2020? Let us know in the comments below!

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