Rasslin’ Roundtable – WWE Hall of Fame

In this feature, we polled the Inside Pulse writers to see who they felt should go into the WWE Hall of Fame this year, keeping in mind that Steve Austin is already a lock and Bill Watts has also announced that he’s going in. After the names were collected, we voted as to whether or not they would go in this year. The results are below.

Arn Anderson

John Wiswell: Absolutely could and should. Ric Flair ought to induct Anderson and give the same speech he gives every interviewer who asks about him, explaining that Anderson was one of the best wrestlers he ever knew, and the more underrated simply because of his proximity to Flair. Anderson was the quintessential enforcer for the quintessential stable, a rugged power guy of a different sort of frame, a reliable champion, a mean talker and a heck of a hand. At the same time he’s so overlooked that he can be inducted as a “minor” induction, rather than the top name that an Austin or Flair is. If you put Flair’s induction for him on TV, I guarantee it will be special.
Final Vote – Yes

Mark Allen: Double A definitely has had a Hall of Fame career, but I just don’t see it happening this year in Texas. To me it seems as if this year is going to WWE grown talent and Texas guys.
Final Vote – No (not this year)

Raffi Shamir: They dropped the ball last year. What they should have done was dedicate the entire HOF to the Four Horsemen and induct the entire stable, with all its different members (Sadly, even mongo). Even if that idea is shot, at least the original horsemen should go in together and this isn’t happening in the year of Stone Cold.
Final Vote – No

Kurtis Osterlund: While Arn (and really the Four Horseman overall) are certainly deserving of being inducted and well over due for the full recognition, I don’t see it happening this year. Someday though and the sooner, the better.
Final Vote- No

David Brashear – Does Arn Anderson deserve to be part of the HOF? Absolutely. Is it going to happen this year? Probably not. I’m not sure how cozy the relationship between Ric Flair and the WWE is right now, and there’s nobody else who should induct the Enforcer. (Of course, an argument could also be made that Lance Russell is the only one who should have inducted Lawler, but that’s another topic.) I see Arn going in at some point in the future, but this just isn’t his year.
Final Vote – No

Bruiser Brody

Mark Allen: Brody was a big star around all the territories but never made it to WWE, which doesn’t mean he can’t end up in WWE’s Hall of Fame someday, but a dead Texan who never worked in the company? Not this year.
Final Vote – NO

Raffi Shamir: He’s a staple of wrestling in Texas but I still don’t think he’s really HOF material (And I know I’m in a minority here).
Final Vote – No

Kurtis Osterlund: Frank Goodish aka Bruiser Brody, aka King Kong Brody, is easily the greatest of the most over looked wrestlers of the past. He made money every where he went, both as a heel and a face and was always over. Few people had the success he did on the independent circle, rivaling only Andre the Giant as a guaranteed draw. His murder was one of wrestling’s greatest tragedies and with his history in Texas it is beyond time for WWE to pay him the homage he richly deserves.
Final Vote – Yes

David Brashear: At first glance, one wouldn’t think that Bruiser would go in. Still, he’s got strong ties to the Texas area (even booking World Class for a while) and when he was murdered he was actually scheduled to return to WCCW in a couple of weeks. I think we could see Brody go in as a nice nod to his Texas ties, even if he never really worked for the WWE.
Final Vote – Yes

John Wiswell: Sure. One of those wrestlers we know and admire, but whom only a tiny percentage of the WWE audience will have even heard about. To be cold, he’s a solid candidate and can be inducted during the non-televised part of the broadcast, and at the same time his induction will be a part of the DVD bonuses that hardcore wrestling fans will seriously appreciate. The precedents of the likes of Gagne and Bockwinkel make someone who was huge in Japan and important in non-WWF America makes him viable. If you are a little NWA-heavy with Arn Anderson, a Funk and the Freebirds, Brody will be right at home.
Final Vote – Yes

Demolition

Raffi Shamir: I know WWE would rather induct their own creations first, but I just can’t see Demolition getting into the HOF before The Road Warriors. It’s a matter of justice.
Final Vote – No

Kurtis Osterlund: While a great team in their heyday, I still see them ultimately as a rip off of the Road Warriors and there is no way they should make it in before Hawk and Animal.
Final Vote- No

David Brashear: No way the Demos go in this year. Vince likes to induct only one tag team a year, and I think that’s going to be the Freebirds this time. Demolition might make it in eventually, but I think it’s going to be quite a way down the road.
Final Vote – No

John Wiswell: No, as they like to do one big tag team per year, and the Freebirds are so much more likely to enter down south. Demolition also belongs in after the Legion of Doom/Road Warriors. If we’re being classy, admit they were imitators from the outset and then explain why they excelled despite it. You’re still talking about an important WWF tag team that had memorable runs with the Hart Foundation and that darned Road Warrior team. WWE tries to do a new tag team every year and they’ll be viable for the spot – later.
Final Vote – No

Mark Allen: My absolute favorite tag team of all time, but I don’t Vince and Bill Eadie ever made up about the whole Demolition gimmick, which is why Barry Darsow always shows up as Repo Man these days. I expect Demolition to show up in the Hall in a few years when/if Darsow’s son Dakota makes it big.
Final Vote – No

Ted DiBiase

Kurtis Osterlund: One of the greatest heels to ever work WWE. With his history in Texas and his son currently being the top rookie in the company I think his induction this year has to be a lock.
Final Vote – Yes

David Brashear: Let’s face it. Vince thought highly enough of DiBiase to give him the gimmick that he’d come up with for himself. Add in the facts that DiBiase rose to stardom in Watts’s Mid-South Wrestling and how well Ted, Jr.’s doing these days, and I’d say he’s about as close to a sure thing as we can get. The only disappointment is that Sherri Martel won’t be the one inducting him (I’m sure it’ll be Ted Jr.).
Final Vote – Yes

John Wiswell: Yes, though I hope not. Yes because WWF could throw him away on the non-televised part of this ceremony just like they undersold him for much of his career. I’m hoping not because he’s quite possibly my all-time favorite bad guy in wrestling. A distinct talker, a loathsome manager, a terribly overlooked wrestler and the most famous laugh in wrestling history – do it, but do it another year, specifically one where Steve Austin isn’t busy being inducted himself so that he can induct that guy that introduced him to the WWF. With Austin talking for DiBiase you will have a premiere-level induction another year.
Final Vote – A conflicted Yes

Mark Allen: This is finally the year that DiBiase gets in. Cody and Randy’s daddies are already in the Hall so it makes sense Ted’s daddy finally goes in. Plus DiBiase is a Texas boy too so it fits and would work as the semi-main on the USA Network below Austin’s induction.
Final Vote – Yes

Raffi Shamir: It’s about time he got in the HOF. And with Jr. probably making his Wrestlemania debut this year, I can’t think of a better opportunity.
Final Vote – Yes

Fabulous Freebirds

David Brashear: Absolutely. If the Von Erichs are going in, their top foes have to. Together, these guys defined what WCCW was all about and made it a worldwide phenomenon. End of story.
Final Vote – Yes

John Wiswell: Yes. With influences to the Triple Threat in ECW, Triple X in TNA, plenty of impersonators in WCW and the WWF, and essentially every rebel jerk heel that came afterwards on the continent, you’re talking about an insanely influential team. At the same time they can be inducted any year at any spot on the event that you like. Given that they were so southern, they make the perfect tag team of the year for the Texas Wrestlemania weekend.
Final Vote – Yes

Mark Allen: With Matt & Jeff Hardy at the top of their games this year it would be cool to have them induct their old mentor Hayes and his cohorts Roberts and Gordy. The question is do they acknowledge “Jesse” as Gordy’s son or do they just go ahead and induct Hayes solo? I’d say Hayes goes in solo so another family can go in.
Final Vote – Yes (but Hayes only)

Raffi Shamir: They are way overdue for a spot in the HOF. They changed tag-team wrestling and brought something unique that wasn’t seen before. This year seems like a good time.
Final Vote – Yes

Kurtis Osterlund- I can only guess that the reason they haven’t been inducted yet is due to them never being in WWE as the Freebirds. While I think they would be a great induction, I don’t see it happening this year.
Final Vote – No

Funk family

John Wiswell: No. As only Dory Funk Sr., Dory Funk Jr. and Terry Funk are truly notable, I would induct them each separately as parts of a legacy. Let members of the family induct each other, and if separated by a couple of years, each induction will be meaningful to the audience. If you’re trying to make an annual family induction, though, then the Funks are certainly respectable. Doing just one of these guys this year in Texas, possibly Terry Funk, would be huge. The Von Erichs are so much easier to do, too.
Final Vote – No

Mark Allen: I don’t think both The Von Erichs and The Funks will go into the Hall the same year. That being said I’d go with the Von Erichs this year as sort of a ying/yang with the Freebirds. Wait for the Funks when Mick Foley is back in their good graces to induct Terry.
Final Vote – No (not this year)

Raffi Shamir: I think it’s been reported all over the internet already.
Final Vote – Yes

Kurtis Osterlund: Yes, this needs to happen just so I can see Terry Funk’s drunken speech. I’m hoping for something along the lines of his 1997 Shotgun Saturday Night appearance. On top of that Dory and Terry are certifiable legends and the business. I can’t see this not happening.
Final Vote- Yes

David Brashear: While I’ll admit that the Funks deserve to be in the Hall, I really don’t think that this is the right year to do it. The Von Erichs and Freebirds would overshadow the Funks, IMHO. Plus, I expect Funk to be like Gerald Brisco – who went in as a single and as a part of a tag team. They may do it, but I’ve got to go with my gut.
Final Vote – No

Owen Hart

Mark Allen: Not this year while Martha Hart still hates Vince.
Final Vote – No

Raffi Shamir: I’m torn here. On one hand it’s ten years to his death so it is appropriate, especially if Bret inducts him and we get Bret and Austin together again. On the other hand, he might steal some of the Austin’s thunder because he might be too big for the midcarder slot.
Final Vote – No

Kurtis Osterlund: I sadly don’t think this will ever happen. With the animosity his widow Martha still holds against the WWE and wrestling as a whole, I don’t think she’ll ever sign off on it.
Final Vote – No

David Brashear: Does Owen deserve to go in? Yes. Will he? Highly doubtful. Even taking the personal feelings of Owen’s family into account, I think that the WWE would like to brush some aspects of his career over (especially his death). With the WWE starting to move past the Benoit incident and a possible steroid attack on the horizon, I think we’ll see them playing it safe. Plus, if Owen does go in, I expect it to be in Canada.
Final Vote – No

John Wiswell: No, because you’ve got plenty of more southern-centric candidates and if Wrestlemania ever goes back to Canada this will be a deal-maker for them. I’m betting they’ll induct him as soon as Bret Hart is willing to work with them again. His brother would give him a classy speech. Owen Hart was held back far too much at the end of his career to achieve what he should have, but his talent was amazing and he was still an enormously accomplished tag champion in addition to an excellent singles wrestler. More charismatic and technically flexible than his more famous older brother, he meant a lot to a generation of wrestling fans even before the tragic fall made him a legend. Let’s not induct him the same year as the guy who broke his neck and is likely to overshadow him when we have other people we can use in Texas.
Final Vote – No

Randy Savage

Raffi Shamir: I just looked out the window and didn’t see any flying pigs.
Final Vote – No

Kurtis Osterlund: Vince won’t let a DVD be released featuring his career or a videogame with his likeness, do you really think he’d invite him to be part of the HoF?
Final Vote – No

David Brashear: I think that Savage will go in one day, but it won’t happen while Vince is alive. When Vince dies, I expect he’ll go in the next HOF and Savage will follow a year later.
Final Vote – No

John Wiswell: No way. WWE has a bizarre grudge against him and if a legends DVD isn’t on the table, dropping him into the Hall doesn’t feel likely. On top of that, any long term thinking will tell them to hold him off to be the cornerstone entry in a few years, the way Austin and Flair have been recently. At one time he was Hogan’s only rival in the WWF, he broke into national recognition like few others such that “Ooooo yeah!” is still remembered as his catch phrase, his romance with Elizabeth is one of the top WWF storylines ever, and he was viable during the nWo era in WCW as well. His fame from Slim Jim commercials alone is greater than the fame from the entire careers of other people on this list. If Bret Hart can get it, so can Savage – but probably not right now.
Final Vote – No

Mark Allen: Keep dreamin’…
Final Vote – No

Davey Boy Smith

Kurtis Osterlund: I think his induction is inevitable, but not this year.
Final Vote – No

David Brashear: Davey Boy’s another one that I could see going in to the HOF for a team (the British Bulldogs) and as a single. I don’t see the Bulldogs going in while Dynamite Kid’s still alive, and I don’t think that Davey Boy’s going in this year either. He’s another one I could very easily see going in when Mania’s in Canada.
Final Vote – No

John Wiswell: Yes. If not as the tag team induction for a year with Dynamite Kid, then certainly induct him individually. Harry Smith can deliver the speech as a way to reintroduce him if you absolutely have to have an economic incentive. More reasonably have long time rival Shawn Michaels remember him as such an excellent opponent. But here you have a vital Intercontinental Champion and one of the only British wrestlers to achieve serious success in America. He could easily enter any year, and the best reason to hold him off is for another more retro-WWF-heavy ceremony with DiBiase, Steamboat, Savage et al.
Final Vote- Yes

Mark Allen: He doesn’t fit in with this year’s class, but I see it happening sometime down the line, either alone or as a combo pack with either Owen or Dynamite.
Final Vote – No

Raffi Shamir: He should go in with Owen, so not this year.
Final Vote – No

Ricky Steamboat

Kurtis Osterlund: I think that WWE blew it twice at WrestleMania 22 and WrestleMania 23 by not inducting him either time in cities that housed two of his most famous matches. I’m hoping they rectify this at WrestleMania 25.
Final Vote- Yes

David Brashear: Steamboat’s long overdue to go into the Hall. This year would be a perfect opportunity to put him in.
Final Vote – Yes

John Wiswell: Yes. It feels so possible, he’s in the company and it sounds like he has the rights to his name again. Like Savage, he could arguably be a top name for induction another year, especially as the years go along and the umpteen-time-world-champions peter out. You only have so many Flairs, Austins and Rocks to call on. Though a perennial Intercontinental Champion in the WWF, he was perhaps as beloved as Hogan for a period. In addition his matches against Savage (in the WWF) and Flair (in the NWA) inspired more wrestlers of a generation than perhaps any other two series, notably listed as favorites by the likes of Booker T and Edge. His influence alone deserves premiere billing. Does the Hall need him this year with Austin already in? No, but he was always a second-banana in the WWF’s crazy eyes.
Final Vote – Yes

Mark Allen: As the third part of the USA Network special, Steamboat would also fit, as he also ties into the Steve Austin theme as well.
Final Vote – Yes

Raffi Shamir: Why wasn’t he inducted with Flair last year? Let’s do it already
Final Vote – Yes

Road Warriors

David Brashear: The WWE’s got a history of only putting one tag team per year in, and I expect it to be the Freebirds this year. The LOD’s definitely HOF-bound, and I think they should have gone in when Wrestlemania was in Chicago. They’re going in eventually, but not this year.
Final Vote – No

John Wiswell: No, on the contingency that the Freebirds will be the only team they’ll induct and the Road Warriors are legitimately a TV-portion-worthy tag team. One of the most popular and important tag teams of the television era. Do it while Animal is still alive. Just do it a different year from Demolition.
Final Vote – No

Mark Allen: They really missed the boat by not putting these to in before WrestleMania 22 in Chicago, but Eddie got all the heat that year.
Final Vote – No

Raffi Shamir: With the Freebirds occupying the tag-team slot, I think Hawk and Animal will wait to 2010.
Final Vote – No

Kurtis Osterlund: I was surprised when they weren’t inducted at the WrestleMania after Hawk’s death and continue to be surprised every year since when their names don’t come up. Sadly, I’m no longer surprised at them being over looked and don’t see them getting in this year either.
Final Vote – No

John Tenta

John Wiswell: Yes. It would be good to see him in as a filler name. I loved Earthquake and his run with Hogan was memorable, but much of his career was sad with things like Golga and The Shark. He was a very good big man wrestler, likable and fearsome. You can put him in at any time.
Final Vote – Yes

Mark Allen: What? Where did this come from? I would say he hasn’t had a Hall of Fame worthy career, but that hasn’t stopped the company before thanks to inducting guys like Johnny Rodz or Baron Scicluna.
Final Vote – No

Raffi Shamir: I don’t see him as HOF material, not this year and not in the future, sorry.
Final Vote – No

Kurtis Osterlund: While Tenta was a highly respected veteran, I don’t see him being inducted any time soon.
Final Vote – No

David Brashear: My reasoning for Brody above is against Tenta here. Yes, he was (and is) highly respected. However, I don’t think that he’s going in this year. Like Brody in Texas, I could see Tenta going in when they’re in Canada (his home turf).
Final Vote – No

Von Erich family

Mark Allen: As I said earlier, it’s either Von Erichs or Funks this year and I’d go with Von Erichs as Kevin is currently in WWE good graces and would fit in with my prediction of the Freebirds (or Hayes at least) going into the Hall this year as well.
Final Vote – Yes

Raffi Shamir: Oh Hell Yeah. It’s Texas, they’ve been rumoured to enter the HOF this year and I’d love to see this as the year of Austin, the Funks and the Von Erichs. Besides, for us in Israel the Von Erichs WERE wrestling until the 1990’s, they’re cult heroes here almost as much as they are in Texas, so there’s nothing I’d love more than to be in the Toyota Center (I already have my tickets for the ceremony) and watch them get inducted.
Final Vote – YES!

Kurtis Osterlund: I think a great moment will be had when Kevin makes his acceptance speech. I’d be really surprised to see the Von Erich clan snubbed this year.
Final Vote – Yes

David Brashear: When they announced that Mania was going to be in Texas, the first words I said were that the Von Erichs had better be going into the Hall of Fame this year. They’re a legendary family and although they never did much in the WWF, they did heavily influence the way wrestling worked. Let’s face it – WCCW revolutionized the way that wrestling was broadcast on TV. They’re definitely worthy and they should definitely go in this year. Plus, as we saw from the crowd’s response when Kevin was shown in the crowd on Raw, Texas still loves the Von Erichs.
Final Vote – Yes

John Wiswell: Yes. If there was a year to do it, it’s this one. One of the most important families in wrestling, but most of them are dead. Rather than inducting them one-by-one and possibly omitting some of them, each year having another speech by someone who merely knew them, admitting them altogether is a classy way to respect their legacy. Could easily be that “second great induction” underneath someone like a Hogan, Austin or Rock – and hey, Austin’s going in this year.
Final Vote: Yes

Final Results

Arn Anderson – No (4-1)
Bruiser Brody – Yes (3-2)
Demolition – No (Unanimous)
Ted DiBiase – Yes (Unanimous)
Fabulous Freebirds – Yes (4-1)
Funk family – No (3-2)
Owen Hart – No (Unanimous)
Randy Savage – No (Unanimous)
Davey Boy Smith – No (Unanimous)
Ricky Steamboat – Yes (Unanimous)
Road Warriors – No (Unanimous)
John Tenta – No (4-1)
Von Erich family – Yes (Unanimous)

Are we right or wrong? Was there somebody we left out? Let us know below!