The WWE Hall Of Fame Class of 2013
I’ve been saving these bad boys for weeks. Finally, we have all of the 2013 inductees announced. Honestly, who could argue with any of them?
Mick Foley, when announced as being an inductee, was huge. Not just for me, but for everyone. When you hear about a guy like Foley who has sacrificed his body time in and time out, you watch this guy go through so much angst, so much pain, and so much sacrifice and you think “Now THIS… THIS is wrestling.” You see somebody who has literally given every single thing that they are to the fans, and you have to appreciate them. It’ll ring true forever, that Foley Is Good!
Bob Backlund is a guy who has been overlooked for so long, and it’s nice to finally see him get inducted. It was a shock to most fans that he already wasn’t in the Hall Of Fame, but the WWE is smart. They knew they couldn’t pass on putting someone so talented who withstood the ages and captivated an audience by just being that good. Even when Backlund’s “good old boy” gimmick wore out, he STILL stayed relevant as the guy who wanted to keep “wrestling” in sports entertainment. It’s no question that he deserves to be in this year’s class.
Trish Stratus is a no-brainer. For years, the WWE had a Divas Division soaked in talent that wasn’t defined by one single athlete. Sure, there was Ivory, Tory, Luna Vachon, Debra McMichael, Miss Kitty, Nicole Bass (I can’t let you forget that), Jaqueline, and for a while, Sable (whose memorable WWF run lasted a short 3 years). But in that time, there wasn’t anyone who made people stop and say “Wow, now there’s the top gal.” Trish Stratus WAS that top gal. She was the hot blonde with the bangin’ body who wasn’t just a nice sight to look at, but also a competitor that made anyone pay attention. For once, men didn’t hop up and run to the bathroom during a women’s match, they were excited to hear Trish’s music blast over the PA system.
Bruno Sammartino is not a guy who I call a favorite. Still, the man’s legacy went unmatched for years - 11, for example, since Sammartino held the WWWF championship for a total of 11 years. Bruno defined the company through the 1960’s and 70’s, giving the WWWF and Vincent Kennedy Sr. a top guy to rely on. When Bruno wrestled against somebody, that guy could have been the top guy anywhere else but it didn’t matter, until he worked against Bruno. In the territory days, Bruno Sammartino was still one of the top guys in the United States, much like our Cena and CM Punk would be today.
Donald Trump has been a part of the WWE for a long time. Most people bitch about celebrities being part of the Hall Of Fame, and for the most part, I agree, it’s fucking annoying. However, Trump is one guy who actually cares about wrestling. Whether he was buying Raw and making it commercial free, shaving Vince McMahon’s head at WrestleMania, or if it was WrestleMAnia 5 being held at Trump Plaza, The Donald had always had a kinship with the WWE programming. I can remember back to about 2000 or so, when I read a headline that Gangrel, while doing his entrance, spit blood up and it all landed on Trump’s date. From what I recall, Trump’s date was furious but The Donald could be seen laughing his ass off.
Booker T… come on, dawg. Out of every acquisition that the WWE made from ECW, few had as big an impact on the company as Booker T. Booker T came from Harlem Heat, one of the most successful tag teams in the WCW ranks, to being a 5-time WCW World Heavyweight Champion. When you think about the looong list of tag teams in history, how many can say that one single member went on to be successful in single competition? Not many. Booker T is a prime example of someone who has pure talent going from being a great tag team specialist to being an incredible singles competitor. Whether it was Harlem Heat, teaming with Goldust, being the 5x WCW Champion, King Booker, or even the bullshit stints with the nWo and his time as G.I. Bro, Booker T has been a strong athlete for over 2 decades, and will continue to be known as one of the greats, as he’s the final inductee into the 2013 WWE Hall Of Fame class. Hall Of Fame, we comin’ for you… well, you know the rest.
Mick Foley is being inducted by Terry Funk, which really, who would make more sense to do so? Foley and Funk are to each other what Triple H is to Ric Flair, what Chris Jericho is to Shawn Michaels. Trish Stratus is being inducted by Stephanie McMahon, which is a little odd to me. I think everyone that has ever watched pro wrestling expected it to be Lita, but instead, Stephanie… okay. Bruno Sammartino is being inducted by Arnold Schwarzenegger, due to the fact that the two are very good friends, that Arnold is a WWE fan, and the WWE has a hard-on for celebrities. Speaking of which, Bob Backlund is being inducted by Maria Menounos. This… puzzles me, to say the very least. I understand that Menounos is a fan of wrestling and yeah, she wore a Bob Backlund shirt to one of the events, but seriously, what?! I would have expected Harley Race, or Nick Bockwinkle, or even Peter Maivia. Any of them would have made sense as they had an impact on Backlund’s career, and since well, Arnold Skaalund is dead.
To date, Donald Trump and Booker T haven’t announced their inductors, but if I’m guessing, I’d say Trump is getting inducted by his friend Vince McMahon and Booker T is getting inducted by his brother, Stevie Ray. I’d be shocked if either of them were inducted by someone else.
According to WrestleZone, Bruno Sammartino, Trish Stratus, and Donald Trump are the inductees who’s inductions will be featured on the WWE Hall Of Fame TV special. I’m sorry, what?! Not Mick Foley, but Donald Trump?! Not Booker T but Bruno Sammartino?! Oh, wait, I figured it out. Vince’s daughter Stephanie is inducting Trish, a celebrity is inducting Bruno, and Donald Trump is a celebrity. So of course, that makes sense. I’m sorry, but, fuck that. I would rather watch Foley’s induction speech than ever look at Donald Trump again. I would rather see Booker’s acceptance speech than see what Stephanie has to say about Trish, and I would damn sure rather see Backlund’s speech than see anything about Bruno Sammartino.
But, that’s just me. If it were up to me, the inductors would be cut from the TV special and all we would see is the video package and the acceptance speeches from the inductees. You know, that makes more sense. After all, it wasn’t Donald Trump who traveled world, wrestling miles and miles away from home for $20 on a Tuesday in front of 15 fans. No, that was Mick Foley. It was Foley who was living in his car while Donald Trump was a gazillionaire with his own fucking arena. It was Bob Backlund who was busting bloodvessels cutting promos while Bruno sat on his ass for decades talking about how McMahon fucked up pro wrestling.
In the end, I’m glad that all of the inductees are being inducted. They all make sense. They all did something to change pro wrestling. At one point or another, when you go through the annals of time, you think about a select few members of the wrestling world who have actually made it worth watching, and every member of this year’s Hall Of Fame class has done just that. I applaud all of them as well as the WWE for inducting them, and look forward to seeing the full event on the WrestleMania blu-ray.
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