Welcome to the beginning of Last Word on Mania month at Last Word on Sports! All month long we will be doing articles to build up for Wrestlemania 31 on March 29, 2015. Be sure to read everything this month by clicking this link. Enjoy!
Wrestlemania fever is upon us! Not only are we counting down the days, but during this time all speculations are ended when it is finally announced which matches will be included on the card and who we can expect to deliver an outstanding performance during the ppv. Also during this time, WWE honours its legends within the Hall of Fame. Big names are being included within the class of 2015, but I have decided to look at the possible candidates who should be included within the class of 2016!
Complying this list was never easy as there are MANY worthy candidates including but not limited to: Owen Hart, Kevin Nash, Luna Vachon, X-Pac, Mark Henry, Tatanka, Slick, Bam Bam Bigelow, DDP, Sid Vicious, Chyna and Vader. These are all worthy candidates, but I have decided to pick the below six because I feel 2016 will be the right time for these legends to be part of the Hall of Fame – class of 2016.
WWE Hall of Fame: Undertaker
Who should induct? Kane or Vince McMahon
This article could easily be dedicated to an entire story as to why the Undertaker should be inducted into the Hall of Fame. There are no doubt many reasons. Undertaker has been part of WWE’s most explosive storylines, gripping matches, introducing us all to a whole set of new gimmick matches and providing us with one of wrestling’s most legendary and infamous characters. If there was one word to describe why the ‘Dead Man’ should be inducted into the Hall of Fame it would be down to his… commitment. Undertaker has remained committed to WWE during its toughest times, including the 1992 steroid scandal and the Monday Night Wars. But yet he played a pivotal part in reforming the company during the attitude era, giving other wrestlers a chance including the controversial streak ending at last year’s Wrestlemania against Brock Lesnar. He may not have always been part of the main event or title picture in previous Wrestlemania’s, but yet he somehow always stole the show. It is inevitable that Taker deserves and will go into the Hall of Fame; however 2016 may be the most the appropriate year for him.
Reason? Seeing that Undertaker nowadays only wrestles annually at Wrestlemania with his undefeated streak on the line, adding to the suspense on who would be the ‘one to the beat the one to become the one’. We saw this occur last year with Taker being defeated by Lesnar. Where does this render Taker? Surprisingly, this year he is booked against Bray Wyatt, Veteran vs. the Future. Smart booking, but how many years can we see the Dead Man doing this? Regardless of whether Taker wins or not, making sporadic appearances throughout the year for certain matches would not do justice to his career at all. He would be in a better position to have his stand-out match with Wyatt at Wrestlemania 31 or participate in a dream match against Sting and then let his legacy be honoured in the Hall of fame. All these years of physical abuse in the ring may have taken its toll on Undertaker’s health and it is clearly evident Undertaker is not physically in the same health frame as he was a few Wrestlemania’s ago. With Wrestlemania 32 coincidentally being held in Taker’s home state of Texas, another added incentive to include the Dead Man at next year’s Hall of Fame? I should think so.
WWE Hall of Fame: Sable
Who should induct? Brock Lesnar or Stephanie McMahon.
Sable was brought initially to be a valet and support Triple H’s (or Hunter Hearst Helmsley’s) aristocratic gimmick. But those within WWE had noticed that Sable had more capabilities than just being a manager. During this time, WWE was to embark in the Monday Night Wars with rival competition, WCW. WWE had to deal with several obstacles including their top stars defecting to the competition, the sudden up rise of the NWO and of course the battle to keep ahead of the ratings. WCW stepped up their game by introducing the Nitro Girls. WWE had to think out of the box and shake up their non-existence divas division. Sable was given the opportunity to become the face of the reformed Womens division and feuded with the likes of Jacqueline and Luna. It is fair to say Sable was given the ball and she most definitely ran with it. Since the days of Miss Elizabeth, there was no real diva that had the glamour appeal and the ability to capture the fans attention. Sunny came close to this but was limited to the fact she was a heel diva.
Sable brought the much needed glamour appeal during this time coupled with her brilliant athleticism. The vacant Women’s championship was brought back and she was involved in some great feuds during this time. She was not limited to grappling with women during this time, but was also involved in working with her male colleagues including Marc Mero (who could forget Sable delivering the awesome Sable Bomb to Marc Mero?) Sable also played a substantial part in the Attitude Era and contributed to a whole new meaning of bringing sex appeal to the wrestling industry.
Sable deserves her place in the Hall of Fame as she was given an opportunity to change the depiction of WWE diva’s and did justice to it. Sable should be commended for her part in making the Divas/Women’s division a success and paving the way for the likes of Trish Stratus, Stacy Keibler, Michelle McCool and The Bellas.
WWE Hall of Fame: Demolition
Who should induct? Road Warrior Animal.
The tag team consisting of Axe and Smash (later joined by Crush) was a force in the eighties. As soon as their music hit, you would know the Demolition would take no prisoners. Dressed in studded leather outfits and fierce face paints, their appearances as well as their aggressive performances sent a clear message to their opponents, they were here to demolish them! (No pun intended)
The Demolition enjoyed a three time stint as tag team champions and hold the records for both the single longest tag title reign and the most combined days as reigning champions. During the times when the tag team title division had a meaning, the Demolition were a successful team that had a great sense of mystery, power and aggression to them. They played a pivotal part in the tag team division within 1980’s and early 1990’s and rightfully deserve their place within the Hall of Fame along with former manager Mr. Fuji.
WWE Hall of Fame: Davey Boy Smith
Who should induct? – Diana Hart-Smith, Georgia, Tyson Kidd and Harry Smith.
The British Bulldog is described as one Britain’s greatest exports to WWE. Nowadays, we have the likes of UK’s finest wrestlers ranging from Paige, Drew McIntyre, Finn Balor, Sheamus and William Regal. However back in the 1980s, it was never easy for British wrestlers to make the crossover to a reputable wrestling organisation such as WWE, as it is now.
Davey Boy Smith overcame this obstacle when he entered WWE as part of the successful tag team know as The British Bulldogs alongside his tag team partner, Dynamite Kid (and of course not forgetting Matilda). It was not until the Bulldog entered the next phase of his career as a singles competitor where people really began noticing him and he achieved great recognition. When the Bulldog is remembered, you would immediately recall Summerslam 1992. Not only was this WWE’s only and first-ever major ppv in London England, but also one of the rare moments where the Intercontinental championship would be involved as part of the main headline match. The match in itself had tremendous hype, brother in law vs. brother in law, the fan favourite versus the nation’s favourite and lest we forget the admirable Diana Hart torn between siding with her partner or brother. The match was unforgettable and we saw The British Bulldog win the Intercontinental championship to a sell out crowd at Wembley stadium.
The Bulldog went on to winning further titles including European, Tag Team and Hardcore championship and went on to creating a reputation for himself. He was part of the infamous Hart Foundation stable and played a pivotal part in being one of WWE’s most hated heel stable at the time.
It is clearly evident Davey Boy Smith had a uniqueness and had a powerhouse physique but yet was so agile. During his time in WWE he was adored by the fans, loathed as a heel and remembered by many for being UK’s favourite wrestling son.
Georgia Smith provided an in depth interview regarding her father being inducted into the Hall of Fame which can be found here.
WWE Hall of Fame Celebrity Wing: Muhammad Ali
Who should induct him? – Hulk Hogan or Roddy Piper
Each year, WWE recognises not only those that have made an impact within the wrestling circuit but also honour celebrities who have used their cult status to make positive contributions within WWE. Past celebrities include, Mike Tyson, Mr T, Pete Rose and not forgetting this year’s inductee Arnold Schwarzenegger.
For 2016, WWE should induct Muhammad Ali. Now just the name in itself deserves ample amount of recognition, however placing his credentials and reputation with the boxing ring aside, we must remember how much of a pivotal part Ali played at Wrestlemania. Today, Wrestlemania has gone on to celebrating 30 years of giving us ground breaking matches, memories to fill a life time, dreams made/dreams shattered and it is no doubt that it is described as ‘the super bowl of wrestling’. But on March 31 1985, WWE launched its big extravaganza Wrestlemania. Now, no one knew at that time that this closed circuit event will lead to becoming one of wrestling’s most recognised big event in years to come. It was clear McMahon had a vision, but to others, this project would still be deemed risky. Vince knew the collaboration of his stars with the entertainment industries finest would create ratings. Vince did just that with introducing one of the legendary names in with the boxing world to the wrestling fraternity, that was none other than Muhammad Ali. Ali was advertised as the special guest referee with the main event of Mr T and Hogan v Roddy Piper and Paul Orndoff. In true wrestling fashion, no guest referee (including celebrity) remains partial without having an impact in the match and Muhammed Ali did just this by laying one of his infamous punches to Roddy Piper.
If Wrestlemania had not been successful, one has to wonder whether we would see a 31 to this very day, but the truth to the matter is it has led to becoming one WWE’s finest creations and very much changed the concept within sports entertainment. Nowadays, celebrities would love to capitalise on being part of wrestling’s grandest ppv, however in 1985 it was Ali (along with other celebrities who attended the ppv) who assisted in making it a successful commendable ppv. Ali is also important to wrestling history with his wrestler versus boxer match in Japan against Antonio Inoki.
With Ali’s recent health problems, it would be great to see the legend inducted sooner rather than later in order for the universe to witness first hand him being inducted into the Hall of Fame – class of 2016.
WWE Hall of Fame: Mabel/Viscera/Big Daddy V
Who should induct? Robert “Bobby” Lawrence Horne – aka Mo.
Nelson Frazier Jr. made his WWE debut in 1993 as Mabel alongside his partner Mo, and formed the tag team Men on a Mission. Immediately the tag team stood out, but not due to the chemistry between the partners, but mostly due to the immense size and giant features of Mabel. Dressed in colourful gold/purple attire and coming out to live rap music, the crowd did not get to see the true potential of Mabel. All was set to change in 1995 when Mabel won the King of the Ring tournament during that year and went on to main event for the title match against Diesel at Summerslam of the same year. Following this, King Mabel (as he was known as then) was involved in feuds with Diesel and the Undertaker, two of WWE’s top stars at the time.
Frazier returned to WWE years later as a repackaged heel working under the name of Viscera. Viscera was a part of the infamous Ministry of Darkness and Corporate Ministry factions. This time his character was more intriguing but still intense. Viscera shared success as part of WWE’s hardcore division and had a successful stint working part as “The World’s Largest Love Machine” with likes of Trish Straus and Lillian Garcia.
Viscera should be honored for the creativity he displayed during his time within WWE and recognise his ability use his big posture to give us some memorable moments within WWE.
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