On Saturday, April 5th at the Smoothie King Center in New Orleans, Louisiana, seven new members will be inducted into the WWE Hall Of Fame.
This year’s class includes Ultimate Warrior (being inducted by Linda McMahon), Jake “The Snake” Roberts (being inducted by Diamond Dallas Page), “Razor Ramon” (aka Scott Hall, who is most likely being inducted by either Kevin Nash or Shawn Michaels), Paul Bearer (being inducted by his sons Michael and Daniel), Lita (being inducted by Trish Stratus), Carlos Colon (being inducted by Carlito, Diego and Fernando) and Mr. T (being inducted by Hulk Hogan).
Not since Koko B. Ware was inducted in 2009 can I remember a more controversial year for the WWE Hall Of Fame. The controversy mainly surrounds two of the aforementioned inductees — Ultimate Warrior and Carlos Colon.
In the case of Ultimate Warrior, much like Koko B. Ware, many people simply feel he doesn’t deserve to be in the WWE Hall Of Fame. They feel he wasn’t nearly the quality of performer that warrants Hall Of Fame status. Many have gone on the record, such as “Million Dollar Man” Ted DiBiase, and made this point clear in a public forum. Others, due to their WWE-loyalty, are quietly disgruntled over the fact that a guy who has screwed over WWE so many times in the past, is being brought back and being honored.
For those who find Warrior’s induction controversial, I say get over it. If anyone honestly feels that WWE’s Hall Of Fame is a legitimate Hall Of Fame, you’re out of your mind. It’s simply another business venture by WWE, and a smart one at that.
When it comes to Carlos Colon’s induction, that’s a different story completely. As a 26-time WWC Universal Heavyweight Champion, as well as the promoter of the territory (which stands for World Wrestling Council) Coloon certainly has the credentials needed to deserve a Hall Of Fame honor. He’s arguably one of the biggest names in the history of pro wrestling in Puerto Rico, and because he’s about to sell the video tape library of his promotion to WWE, he’s about to get inducted into their Hall Of Fame.
Like I said, WWE’s Hall Of Fame is a business first and foremost.
The controversy surrounding Colon’s induction is mainly due to the tragic death of pro wrestling legend Bruiser Brody (aka Frank Goodish).
Brody was one of the many big name athletes to come out of West Texas State University and become a huge draw in the sport of professional wrestling. He, along with Stan Hansen, who started off as his tag-team partner, helped pioneer a brawling style of wrestling in the 1980s.
On July 16, 1988, Brody was stabbed to death in a shower by fellow pro wrestler José González (aka The Invader). The incident took place in Puerto Rico, and when the situation went to court, Colon actually testified against Brody.
Years later, Colon actually promoted an angle that capitalized on the situation, something that many found despicable at the time, and equally as distasteful when looked back on today.
At the end of the day, however, the WWE Hall Of Fame is a business. Is it an honor to be inducted into WWE’s Hall Of Fame? Absolutely. But the key focus of the Hall Of Fame is centered around business, not honoring the legends of the sport of pro wrestling.
Despite some of the controversy leading up to Saturday night, I am jacked up and very excited, as I am every year, to see this cast of legends get their moment in the spotlight. I think Scott Hall is going to have a great speech and along with Jake Roberts, I think the story behind those two cleaning up their lives and capping it off by being inducted into a Hall Of Fame is an amazing story, one that should, and I believe is actually planning on being made into a movie.
It all goes down on Saturday night, and for the first time ever, will air live on the WWE Network. The taped and edited version of the ceremony airs on the USA Network immediately after the post-WrestleMania XXX edition of WWE RAW this coming Monday night.
What do you guys think about this year’s WWE Hall Of Fame class? Leave your feedback in the “Comments” section below. You can also chat with me directly at Facebook.com/MattBooneWZR.