We'll skip the usual preamble, and jump right back into the list. Coming in at number five is one of my favorite tag-teams/factions of all-time ...
#5. Fabulous Freebirds
There are very few factions, or tag-teams, whatever you want to call the Birds, that are a bigger favorite of mine in the history of professional wrestling. Growing up, few factions or teams were cooler than the Freebirds. They would come to the ring wearing the stars and bars, with Lynard Skynard's classic song playing. Some claim they created the music intro in the wrestling business, although Gorgeous George and Sgt. Slaughter could actually lay claim to the same thing. Regardless, few dispute the fact that the Freebirds were the first to do the rock-n-roll musical entrance, something that is a major part of the modern wrestling presentation.
If the Birds don't get the nod as a faction, Michael Hayes should still be a candidate for his role in wrestling history. Along with coming up with the musical entrances, he went on to have a very substantial career behind-the-scenes in WWE. He has been a large part of the creative team in WWE for many years now, and has proven in his few swings at the plate in front of the camera, that he is still one of the best talkers of all-time.
In my opinion, it's long overdue. I hope 2014 is the year The Fabulous Freebirds get the recognition they deserve.
#4. Rick Rude
This is another one that surprises me. I'm almost shocked that "Ravishing" Rick Rude is not a WWE Hall Of Famer already. When you look at some of the classic top-of-the-line mid-carders in the WWE in the 1980s, you have to include Rude on that list. He was such a great heel for his time, and was really a multi-talented performer. He had the good's on the mic and in the ring, and had the look to go with it. He was the complete package from the word "go."
The only thing that I can think of that may have kept him out of the WWE Hall Of Fame this long is the way he conducted business. For those unaware, Rude was, to my knowledge, the only guy in history to appear on both WWE and WCW during the infamous "Monday Night Wars" at the exact same time. He was also the only person outside of Sean "X-Pac" Waltman that was a part of both the nWo and D-Generation X factions.
While working for WWE as a part of the D-X group, Rude, who had given his word to WWE that he would re-sign with the company, left at the last minute without giving notice, and signed a deal to return to WCW. WCW, who had a history of doing these types of things, decided to take advantage of the fact that RAW was a taped show at the time. So when Rick Rude's segment, which had already been taped, was set to air during RAW that week, they debuted Rude on their live Nitro show at the exact same time. Basically, you could flip on either the USA Network or TNT, RAW or Nitro, and see the exact same guy at the exact same time.
Regardless of all that, Rick Rude is the man, and is completely deserving of a spot in the WWE Hall Of Fame. Let's hope 2014 is his year.
#3. Jake Roberts
If the rumors are true, this is a guy that actually will be inducted into the WWE Hall Of Fame this year. As we recently reported here at eWN, the word going around WWE following Roberts' return to the company at "Old School RAW" this past Monday night is that he is considered a "lock" for a spot in this year's WWE Hall Of Fame class.
Jake "The Snake" Roberts, along with "Rowdy" Roddy Piper, was one of my absolute favorite wrestlers as a kid. Much like Rick Rude, who I just spoke of, Roberts had a top-of-the-line mid-card spot in WWE, and it was almost his job to get guys ready for Hulk Hogan. If WWE wanted to push a guy up the ladder to work with Hogan, they usually had to work a program with Roberts first. The reason is simple, Roberts was an amazing performer. If you talk to many of the wrestlers from his era they will all say the same thing, Roberts had ring psychology in the wrestling business down to a science. Some will say it looks like wrestling came easy to Roberts, and the reason is -- he was so good at it, and it almost looked effortless on his part.
Jake Roberts has been a controversial figure with a lot of admitted demons in his past. The last year or so he has been working with Diamond Dallas Page on getting rid of said-demons, and if his physical appearance at "Old School RAW" was any indication, he seems to be on the straight and narrow. He seems clean, happy to be alive, and excited to still be a part of the wrestling business in some form or fashion.
2014 is the year that one of the biggest and most recognizable legends of the WWE 1980s boom period gets his day in the spotlight. Jake Roberts in the 2014 class of the WWE Hall Of Fame ..it's long overdue, but I'm just happy it's finally going to happen.
Many people will probably say The Undertaker is still an active performer and that is why he shouldn't be inducted into the WWE Hall Of Fame just yet. I say that WWE has inducted Superstars previously that were still active, albeit near the end of their runs, and if anyone else is deserving of that honor, it's the Dead Man.
I almost don't even know where to start with this guy. Do I really need to run down the accomplishments achieved... (Continues on next page)