This week I wrote here how WrestleMania was shaping up to be the worst ever due to a build-up that stinks of complacency. Well I'm not finished yet and next up I want to ask what is going on with the Hall Of Fame. If you don't have legitimate legends to induct then simply don't do a Hall of Fame, all that is happening is the honour is being devalued, something the WWE has perfected recently with the Intercontinental and Tag Team titles.
Apart from "The Macho Man" Randy Savage and of course Connor "The Crusher" Michalek (who managed to reduce this cold hearted cynic to tears AGAIN on Raw this week) this year's inductees reek of mediocrity. If it is a struggle to fill the slots with people worthy of being there a) do it every other year or b) just induct what you have. The issue here is there are lots of worthy candidates but for one reason or another (in most cases a personal reason and in most cases probably bitterness) Vince just isn't picking them.
Rikishi was a popular mid-carder towards the end of the “Attitude Era” in 2000 when he was using his infamous "Stink Face" move on Trish Stratus, Lita, Terri Runnels and pretty much any other female WWE could convince, incredibly even Stephanie McMahon. As much as seeing the humiliating scenes of a gigantic, wrinkled, cellulite riddled bottom, completely exposed other than a badly fitted thong, being rubbed on the faces of women every week may be entertaining for some people, I'm sure they can locate such footage elsewhere on the internet (in a similar place to where you can see Chyna's "adult art"). Call me old-fashioned but I'm more of a traditionalist when it comes to my wrestling/sports entertainment.
He was given an opportunity as a main event performer but his heel-turn that facilitated it was as disastrous in reality as it should have been on paper. I am fully aware that Rikishi, or Saolofa Fatu Jr. has been around for longer than a few years at the beginning of that decade but he will be best remembered for his dancing, "that" signature move and being the person responsible for running over the most popular superstar in WWE history. He is not a Hall Of Fame standard performer in my opinion, nowhere near. Unless we are just going to eventually include anyone who has ever won a title, in which case Grand Master Sexay will need to get his tuxedo fitted and speech prepared this time next year.
The Bushwhackers were similar to Rikishi in that they were popular with fans, but not for reasons that should grant you entry to the Hall Of Fame in my opinion. They were a comedy act who licked each other's faces, ate sardines and accomplished feats such as being awarded the “Worst Tag Team” in wrestling by the Wrestling Observer in 1992 and 1994. Needless to say the clowns never won the WWE Tag Team title. Again I'm full aware they operated as a tag team for 300 years and not just the few they were in WWE, but they are hardly Sting or Antonio Inoki and had a significant impact on the wrestling business as a whole if not in WWE. Who is next Doink and Dink?
WWE have achieved three strikes and are out for me, as far as I am concerned Alundra Blayze isn't of the quality to be in there either. She wasn't anything to write home about as a wrestler and definitely not as a talker. She was brought in and made champion after the belt had been vacated for three years so had next to no competition. Blayze is best known for throwing the WWE Women's title into a trash can on Nitro, a clip that was used on every episode of "The Monday Night Wars" and in her Hall Of Fame video. What is never mentioned in these videos is that she had been fired by WWE and her new employer WCW had forced her to do that with the replica belt.
I can name a heap of wrestlers or people involved in the wrestling business who deserve to be in there, but in order to maintain the value of being in the WWE Hall Of Fame and it's prestige it should be one person per year going in, maximum two. Off the top of my head The Dynamite Kid, The British Bulldog, Lex Luger, Christian, Rick Rude, William Regal, Genichiro Tenryu if we are only inducting (currently) retired wrestlers. Chris Jericho, Kane, Big Show and The Undertaker have done enough already to guarantee entry and I’d rather see them go in now than picking people not worthy just because they were on TV in the 80's and don't get out much anymore.
Worst ever WrestleMania build up, worst ever Hall Of Fame line up, lets hope that Raw really gets going on Monday and something can be salvaged from the wreckage. If WWE carry on being complacent with the fans, then maybe fans will be complacent about paying that “$9.99”.