Not In WWE Hall Of Fame: 50 Wrestlers, Managers, Factions & Others


Happy New Year to you all! Around the lead up to the Royal Rumble, many of us think about who is left to induct in to the WWE Hall of Fame. There are many choices, with some being more likely than others. With that said, I will give a probability rating for the 50 entries, ranging from Very Likely to Impossible. There won’t be too much detail for each, otherwise this would take too long to read. I could have included more, so feel free to share anyone you think should get a mention.

#1. Andy Kaufman

Achievements: Improv Performance Artist 

Jerry Lawler and others often cite the comedy genius of Andy Kaufman as one of the greatest celebrity crossovers in wrestling history. In the early 80s, Kaufman was well ahead of the game as the “Intergender Wrestling Champion” in the Continental Wrestling Association. He would generate heat by offering a $1000 reward to any woman who could beat him in a match, along with marrying her. In an era when kayfabe was very much adhered to, Kaufman would often state that his matches were “real”, while other matches weren’t. This was blasphemy, especially to the wrestlers who did everything they could to protect the business.

Jerry Lawler came to defend the sport of wrestling against the evil Hollywood actor, which lead to a match between them. Lawler dropped Kaufman on his head twice with a “banned” Piledriver, and the actor had to be carried out on a stretcher. The feud gained mainstream attention because Kaufman wore a neck brace and talked it up on Saturday Night Live and Late Night with David Letterman. Lawler appeared on Letterman and pushed Kaufman off his chair, who retaliated by throwing coffee on him before storming out.

The heat between the two was so fierce that NBC Network executives felt uneasy about it. Many assumed they had actual heat, yet it was revealed well over a decade after Kaufman’s passing that it was a work. They were actually good friends, but they played their parts so well that even outside regular programming, their work was protected. Actor Jim Carrey revealed the truth behind their rivalry, before portraying Kaufman in the 1999 movie Man on the Moon. Promoter Jerry Jarrett said that he sent Kaufman huge cheques for two years, but he did not deposit them, showing that he wasn’t doing this for the money.

Jerry Lawler has called for Andy Kaufman’s induction in to the WWE Hall of Fame for years, but WWE has shown no interest. Why? Well, it’s likely that Vince McMahon does not see good business in honoring an actor who passed away at 35 back in 1984. What Kaufman did for the CWA did little for WWE, and his time in the business was short-lived.

That Kaufman vs. Lawler is still talked about is proof their work stands the test of time. It remains one of the top examples of how to use celebrities in wrestling. Kaufman had a love for the business, and as a character actor he reveled in playing the villain. It gave him a unique outlet to express his creativity. I’m sure he had a lot of fun working the fans in a way which was well ahead of its time.

Probability: Unlikely

#2. Bam Bam Bigelow

Achievements: ECW World Heavyweight Champion, ECW World Television Champion, IWGP Tag Team Champion, WCW World Tag Team Champion.

One of the biggest omissions from the WWE Hall of Fame is Bam Bam Bigelow. While he won nothing in WWE, he was in the main event of WrestleMania XI wrestling with Football star Lawrence Taylor. Outside of this, Bigelow was a household name, earning his recognition as one of wrestling’s most athletic super heavyweights. He was one of the first heavyweights to be seen performing the Moonsault in the United States. Bigelow achieved more success in WCW & ECW and was famous for his time in Japan teaming up with Big Van Vader.

Why is he not in the Hall of Fame? It’s a bit of a mystery. He passed away young, at 45, and spent much of his career addicted to OxyContin. The mixture of cocaine and tranquillizers, likely to dull the pain from his health issues, led to his accidental death. Still, there have been other wrestlers inducted with similar problems, so I believe it’s a matter of time. If WWE doesn’t want to talk about his career, they will eventually make him a legacy inductee. I like to think his career broke the mold by showing that even big guys can be athletic enough to fly.

Probability: Likely

Not In WWE Hall Of Fame

#3. Batista

Achievements: WWE Champion, World Heavyweight Champion, World Tag Team Champion, Royal Rumble 2005 & 2014.

I believe Batista is the only inductee to cancel his appearance for rescheduling purposes. With the outbreak of COVID-19, the class of 2020 had to be postponed til the following year. By then, Batista had other commitments, but is likely to be inducted when the time is right. I don’t think we need to go in to his career, because we’ll hear enough about that on the lead up to his induction.

Probability: Very Likely

#4. Big Show

Achievements: WWE Champion, WCW World Heavyweight Champion, ECW World Champion, WWE United States Champion, WWE Intercontinental Champion, WWE World Tag Team Champion, André the Giant Memorial Trophy (2015).

There is no doubting Paul Wight’s place in the WWE Hall of Fame. After jumping from WCW in the Monday Night Wars, the man formerly known as The Giant became the Big Show. He never looked back and became one of the most successful names in WWE history. Near the end of his career, WWE was hoping he would work backstage, but he felt it wasn’t time to be put out to pasture.

Instead, he jumped to AEW and returned to the TNT network where he first became famous. Working as an announcer for Dark: Elevation, along with rarely competing, Paul Wight found a new lease on life. There’s no heat though, he loved working for WWE, but it was time to try something different. When the time comes, I’m positive WWE will welcome him back and induct the Big Show in to a well-deserved spot in the Hall of Fame.

Probability: Very Likely

Not In WWE Hall Of Fame

#5. Brian Pillman

Achievements: NWA World Tag Team Champion, WCW World Tag Team Champion, WCW Light Heavyweight Champion, NWA United States Tag Team Champion.

WWE is weary about getting backlash over inductions, and Brian Pillman is one of these. Despite his popularity, he achieved little in WWE aside from a memorable (& controversial) feud with Stone Cold Steve Austin. Not only that, but WWE wants you to forget its Raw interview with his widow Melanie Pillman, which took place literally the day after his passing. Everything about that was in poor taste, and WWE does not want to remind people of this, or the controversial gun angle which played out on Raw.

Brian Pillman passed away in his hotel room bed in 1997, in what was originally reported to be a heart attack. Steve Austin later revealed it to be undetected atherosclerotic heart disease. With Pillman’s son currently wrestling for AEW, if the company was ever to introduce its own Hall of Fame, it seems more likely they would induct his Father. The chance of Pillman being added to the WWE Hall of Fame is unlikely, even as a legacy inductee, but it is possible if WWE and his family want it.

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