Is Rikishi HoF Worthy?, Concerns Over Kevin Owens' Look

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Welcome to Ask WNW on steroids... the 372nd installment of the WNW Premium Mailbag. This installment features questions that were sent from Tuesday, February 3, 2015 to Sunday, February 15, 2015.

This feature is exclusive to WNW Premium Members and your answer is guaranteed. If you have a question that you would like to be included in the next installment of the WNW Premium Mailbag, click here to send now.

Send all Premium Mailbag questions to:Premium@wrestlingnewsworld.com

I know you always warn us that the WWE Hall of Fame is a promotional tool for Wrestlemania, but still, should Rikishi be in the Hall of Fame? Does his body of work warrant the honor?

While there is a promotional component to the WWE Hall of Fame, everyone in it will tell you it’s very much an honor. While there is no formal voting process or criteria for one to be inducted, being inducted is still one of the highest honors a pro wrestling personality can accomplish. The inductions of Bruno Sammartino, Ultimate Warrior and “Macho Man” Randy Savage over the past three years have taken it a long way in helping legitimize it.

As for Rikishi, below is an overview of his accomplishments in WWE:

  • 1 time WWE Tag Team Champion (w/Scotty 2 Hotty)
  • 2 time World Tag Team Champion (1 w/Samu 1 w/Rico)
  • 1 time WWF Intercontinental Champion

While that may seem “thin” to some readers, Koko B. Ware was inducted in 2009 and never held a title in WWE.

Some people get confused with the Celebrity Wing and think because people like Drew Carey are in, anyone can get in. It’s important to remember the Celebrity Wing is considered separate and provides WWE a mainstream tie-in to honor celebrities that have been part of the company’s history.

I believe if we look at Rikishi’s longevity, how well he got over, in addition to his body of work, he’s worth an “undercard” WWE Hall of Fame induction. It would be one thing if he was “headlining” or if he held nothing more than an enhancement role but neither of those scenarios are the case.

Are there any concerns about Kevin Owens' look? Even with a shirt on, his belly is very noticeable and that's been an issue before with other talent.

Kevin Owens has an endomorphic body type. That’s just how his body is and how it has always been. WWE knew that when they signed him, everyone that’s a fan of his work knows that and I don’t see it being a big issue. Triple H in particular is very high up on how well developed Owens is and sees him as one of the company’s top prospects.

Dusty Rhodes has an endomorphic body type and is one of the greatest of all time.

Having said that, we know Vince McMahon is traditionally more hesitant when it comes to giving someone that doesn’t look like The Incredible Hulk a viable main event push. For years, many of us have wondered why Samoa Joe hasn’t received an opportunity in WWE. Look is the best possible explanation but truly, it’s difficult to dissect and/or understand the WWE mindset (proof (the Santa explanation not the overall point)).

I personally feel all aspects of a worker should be evaluated before a determination is made on their career. Thankfully, in 2015, that seems to be more realistic than it’s ever been before.

Would WWE seriously turn Roman Reigns heel and Brock Lesnar babyface? If so, what happens to Seth Rollins and his Money in the Bank briefcase?

Yes, I believe WWE would turn both Roman Reigns and Brock Lesnar if they feel that’s the best way to get the most out of both performers. It’s interesting to monitor Roman Reigns in this program with Daniel Bryan but I believe he’s going to be fine.

As for Seth Rollins and his Money in the Bank briefcase, his title shot gives WWE options. These options do not hinge on any other performer and add a compelling aspect to any program for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship.

I will use this opportunity to boast on the development of Seth Rollins since winning the Money in the Bank briefcase. While I knew Rollins had great potential as Tyler Black in Ring of Honor, I don’t know if I saw him coming this far this quick. He’s a bonafide top star and I believe WWE’s developmental system deserves a lot of credit for that.

Do you ever foresee another debut like that of which we saw with Brock Lesnar, or do you see any and all future debuts going through NXT first before coming up? I believe that a debut of an unknown guy could really be fresh and unpredictable instead of always knowing who is debuting now and their story right off the bat.

Brock Lesnar went through WWE’s developmental system in Ohio Valley Wrestling before he was called up to the main roster in 2002. Prior to NXT, WWE used to sub-contract independent promotions as “official developmental territories.” These promotions were subsidized by WWE to help with talent development.

In Triple H’s rise to power, he pushed for WWE to takeover talent develop on their own and create NXT. This coincides with the Performance Center, NXT the brand, etc.

What WWE has now is a way to sign promising prospects, develop them their way and even test them out on the WWE Network (through NXT the brand) before calling them up to the main roster. It’s brilliant. The more hardcore fans — like you and I — get to know the performer before they ever make it to Raw. This helps familiarize a portion of the audience with a performer, which keeps the company from having to start cold.

As we’ve seen, sometimes it works (Bray Wyatt) and sometimes it doesn’t (Adam Rose).

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