Who’s Next? 25 Picks For The WWE Hall Of Fame Class Of 2014
On April the 6th, in the hallowed halls of Madison Square Garden, Mick Foley, Bob Backlund, Trish Stratus, Booker T, Bruno Sammartino and Donald Trump were officially inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame. They joined 84 men and women, from ten different countries, including six tag teams, one faction and an entire family.
Despite these new additions, there’s still always room for new members, and there’s always worthy candidates waiting for induction. Here, we put forward 25 names from five categories of people we believe have done enough to earn a spot in the WWE Hall of Fame.
WWF / NWA
Jake “The Snake” Roberts
Jake wrestled for the WWF between 1986 and 1992, and then again between 1996 and 1997. Alongside with his pet snake, Damien, Roberts was one of the company’s most popular workers during his original run. His influence on professional wrestling can still be felt, from simple things like popularising (and, perhaps, even perfecting) the DDT, to introducing a more mature, more adult promo-style and psychology to the famously child-friendly world of the WWF’s Golden Era.
After his departure from full time wrestling, Jake became famous for his slow and sad decline, shown in the heart-breaking documentary Beyond The Mat, but Roberts has since turned his life around, breaking his addictions and regaining his fitness. He is now helping others do the same alongside fellow ex-wrestler and ex-addict Diamond Dallas Page.
Should Be Inducted By: “Stone Cold” Steve Austin
The grandfather of American wrestling, Thesz was the biggest name in the business in the 1940s and 1950s, and was arguably the first man to hold the undisputed NWA Heavyweight Championship. Added together, Thesz held the NWA Title for an incredible 3749 days. Thesz was popular with early bookers due to his ability to genuinely beat up and defeat corrupt wrestlers who tried to go off script and steal Thesz’s titles. Along with his incredible title history, Thesz was the inventor of several common wrestling holds, including the STF, the power bomb, the German suplex and, of course, the Lou Thesz Press.
Thesz passed away in 2002 at the age of 86.
Should Be Inducted By: Ric Flair
The Ultimate Warrior
After Hulk Hogan, it was supposed to be The Ultimate Warrior. Although Vince McMahon’s chosen one never reached the expectations the company had for him, it’s important not to overlook Warrior’s importance in the late 80s and early 90s. Warrior wrestled for the WWF between 1987 and 1991 and again between 1992 and 1996. In that time, he became a two time WWF Intercontinental Champion and a one time WWF World Heavyweight Champion, defeating Hulk Hogan in the main event of WrestleMania VI, setting the still unbeaten paid attendance record of 67,678 for the iconic Rogers Centre, then known as the Toronto SkyDome.
Should Be Inducted By: Triple H
“Ravishing” Rick Rude
Rude wrestled for the WWF from 1987 to 1990, before returning as a manager in 1996. One of the greatest natural heels in wrestling history, Rude made his mark by helping to push the WWF’s baby-face upper midcarders into the main event. Managed by Bobby “The Brain” Heenan, Rude helped make stars out of the likes of The Ultimate Warrior and Jake “The Snake” Roberts by feuding against them, and also played his part in the creation of D-Generation X, working as manager to Triple H and Shawn Michaels in the faction’s original incarnation.
Rude passed away in 1999 at the age of 40.
Should Be Inducted By: Shawn Michaels
Since his in-character debut in 1997, Kane has always been one of the most exciting, entertaining and captivating characters in the WWE. His larger than life gimmick has lasted the tests of time and the growing trend for realism. His returns, his masks, his fireworks and his signature moves are among the most crowd pleasing in WWE’s history.
Kane is one time WWF Champion, a one time World Heavyweight Champion, an eleven time WWF/E Tag Team Champion, a one time Hardcore Champion, a two time Intercontinental Champion, and a one time Money in the Bank Winner. He is also WWE’s eighth ever Triple Crown Champion, and it’s third ever Grand Slam Champion. To put that Grand Slam into perspective, there have only been twelve Grand Slam Winners in the company’s entire history.
Should Be Inducted By: The Undertaker