It appears that WWE has given an advance preview of one (if not two) more Hall of Fame inductions for the 2018 WWE Hall of Fame Class. First, they debuted a new “retro” T-shirt on Shop WWE this week for rumoured posthumous inductee Bam Bam Bigelow. Then today, Bodyslam.net‘s Brad Shepard posted a Tweet of a photo of the inside of the official WWE WrestleMania magazine, that features an interview with Mark Henry about his Hall of Fame induction into the WWE Hall of Fame this year. Neither induction has been formally announced by the WWE as of yet.
Bam Bam Bigelow has long been considered one of the industry’s true pioneers of what a big man could do in the wrestling ring, showing an athleticism in the 1980s underheard of by a man of his stature could accomplish. At 6’4″ and nearly 400 lbs., Bigelow defied the odds and utilized such aerial moves as his Bam Bamsault (rolling moonsault) and Wham Bam Thank You Ma’am (flying headbutt). Debuting in 1986 with Jerry Lawler and Jerry Jarrett‘s Continental Wrestling Association (CWA), Bigelow’s unique character was an instant hit. He joined the WWF in 1987 as a babyface monster (although he was initially courted by all the heel managers), but only lasted a year. He would appear with both WCW and NJPW from 1988 through 1992, before returning to the WWF. He had a stronger and longer run with the WWF, main eventing WrestleMania XI in 1995 against NFL star Lawrence Taylor, but ultimately departed for the final time late 1995. He spent two years with ECW, as part of the Triple Threat with Shane Douglas and Chris Candido, where he won his first major titles in the ECW World Heavyweight Championship and ECW World Television Championship. He returned to WCW in 1998 and remained with the company until WWE’s purchase in 2001. He remained under guaranteed contract with Time Warner instead of taking the buyout to return to the WWE. When his Time Warner deal expired, he returned to the independent circuit, before passing away in 2007. He was 45 years old.
From the official WrestleMania magazine, confirming Mark Henry will be inducted into the Class of 2018 #WWE Hall of Fame. Thanks to Chris for sending this to me. pic.twitter.com/SQGqVDY9Vt
— Brad Shepard (@ItsBradShepard) March 18, 2018
Mark Henry enters the Hall of Fame following one of the lengthiest careers with the WWE by any performer. A World record powerlifter, Mark Henry signed with the WWF just before the Attitude Era began, in 1996. Through a 22-year career, Mark Henry played everything from Nation of Domination enforcer to the comedic “Sexual Chocolate”, and found redemption and respect with his heralded Hall of Pain gimmick that saw him finally win a World title in the WWE when he beat Randy Orton for the World Heavyweight Championship at Night of Champions ’11. While his in-ring commitments with the WWE have diminished over the past few years, he’s become an invaluable member of WWE’s backstage team, helping with wrestlers re-invent themselves (such as his work with Neville‘s King of the Cruiserweights gimmick) to scouting new talent like Braun Strowman, Apollo, and Bianca Blair.
The two names would round out the WWE Hall of Fame Class of 2018, that currently features Goldberg, The Dudley Boyz, Ivory, Jeff Jarrett, and Hillbilly Jim in the performers category, as well as Warrior Award winner Jarrius “JJ” Robertson and Celebrity wing inductee Kid Rock. The WWE has also still got to announce this year’s Legacy Wing inductees, which honors wrestlers and personalities from the early days of television wrestling (and prior).