Probability: Very Unlikely
#12. Earl Hebner
Achievements: Screwjobs, TNA Hall Of Fame, GXW Hall Of Fame.
If WWE ever inducts a referee, it’s going to be Earl Hebner. You know, I’m pretty surprised this didn’t already happen. He was inducted in to the TNA Hall of Fame before WWE’s, which makes little sense. Hebner was part of so many memories in WWE, good and bad, that he needs to be in there. You can’t think of the Montreal Screwjob without him. Earl Hebner was very loyal to WWE for so long. I think it’s just a matter of time.
Achievements: WWF Tag Team Champion, SWS Tag Team Champion, PWI Most Hated Wrestler Of The Year (1990).
Another who passed away too young. This time it was to bladder cancer. John Tenta became a household name as one of Hulk Hogan’s biggest rivals during his peak. While he achieved little else, there are less deserving names already inducted.
We can’t forget about his partnership with Typhoon, The Natural Disasters, who will be remembered as one of WWE’s biggest ever tag team champions. I only place this as unlikely because it’s surprising it hasn’t happened already. For some reason, WWE does not want to remember Earthquake.
#14. Fit Finlay
Achievements: WWE United States Champion, WCW World Television Champion, British Heavy Middleweight Champion, British Light Heavyweight Champion, CWA World Middleweight Champion, ASW British Heavyweight Champion.
Without a doubt, Finlay is going in there. He had a substantial career long before WWE, and the double act with Hornswoggle cemented him as a superstar. After retiring, he continued to serve as a trainer and producer. WWE will get around to inducting him eventually, and I wouldn’t be surprised if they throw Hornswoggle in there too.
Probability: Very Likely
#15. Giant Baba
Achievements: NWA World Heavyweight Champion, PWF World Heavyweight Champion, All Asia Heavyweight Champion, NWA International Tag Team Champion, All Asia Tag Team Champion, NWA International Heavyweight Champion, NWA International Tag Team Champion.
Giant Baba’s popularity in Japan was such that many say it rivalled Hulk Hogan’s in America. Not only as a wrestler, but as a promoter, Giant Baba brought an incredible amount of success to Japanese wrestling. He got people watching, and if WWE ever wants to look outside its universe for big names, Giant Baba is one of those.
Yet, knowing WWE, it’s more about business than respecting the history of professional wrestling. On that basis, and the fact Baba passed away in 1999, makes it seem unlikely. At best, it would be as a legacy inductee.
Achievements: WWF Intercontinental Champion, WWF Hardcore Champion, WWE Tag Team Champion, WCW United States Heavyweight Champion, WCW World Tag Team Champion, NWA World Tag Team Champion.
No one was anymore bizarre in WWE than Goldust. Dustin Rhodes broke down barriers by having a character so outlandish, it rivalled that of British wrestling legend Adrian Street. There’s so much we could say about the Goldust character, but Dustin Rhodes himself has been through a rollercoaster. His life has not been smooth sailing, and he has made mistakes. But through it all, Goldust will forever be ingrained in people’s memories.
The attire, the entrance, the way he moved. Goldust is a character you can’t overlook. With him going to AEW, unlike Big Show & Chris Jericho, I don’t think WWE will try too hard to induct him. Yet, one day, perhaps during retirement, WWE will throw him an invitation, and Goldust will put on the wig and suck in the air one last time.
Achievements: WWF Tag Team Champion, WCW Hardcore Champion, WWC Puerto Rico Heavyweight Champion.
Another name who I’m surprised isn’t already in there. Haku (AKA Meng) is known for being one of the legit toughest guys in the business. Even André the Giant wouldn’t mess with him, and we know how much Andre screwed with people.
Speaking of which, Andre respected him so much that they became tag team champions together. On that basis, The Colossal Connection is enough of a reason to induct Haku, before we even think about his singles career. He continues playing a part in the business as a member of the Bullet Club, mostly as a manager for his son Hikuleo.
Achievements: FMW Brass Knuckles Heavyweight Champion, FMW Independent Heavyweight Champion, WEW Heavyweight Champion, FMW Brass Knuckles Tag Team Champion, WEW Tag Team Champion, All Asia Tag Team Champion.
There is an exceptional career retrospective out there on Hayabusa, which I attempted to recreate once, but there’s no way anyone can beat that. It’s a highly recommended read if you have the time: Hayabusa
Eiji Ezaki had the respect of so many in the business, including the McMahon Family. He didn’t work for them, but they met and knew what the other had done. After being confined to a wheelchair in 2001, it didn’t look like he would ever walk again. In 2015, he could finally walk again, although still needed a cane. Tragically, he passed away the following year of a cerebral hemorrhage.
Like Jushin Liger, Hayabusa is credited for pioneering the junior heavyweight style of wrestling in Japan. His high-flying style inspired many of today’s wrestlers, including Chris Jericho, AJ Styles, Pac, Kalisto, and so many more. He should get a real induction one day. His contributions to wrestling deserve it, and I think it would be a little disrespectful to add him quietly as a legacy inductee.
#19. Irwin R. Schyster
Achievements: WWF Tag Team Champion, NWA World Television Champion, NWA Florida Heavyweight Champion, NWA World Tag Team Champion.
Perhaps not as popular as he could have been, IRS served as Ted DiBiase’s tag team partner in Money Inc. He’s also the Father of former WWE Champion Bray Wyatt and brother Bo Dallas. Much like Malenko and Finlay, IRS spent a great deal of time working backstage for WWE after his retirement. I’m sure Ted DiBiase would love to induct his former partner one day… for a price, of course.
#20. Ivan Koloff
Achievements: WWWF World Heavyweight Champion, NWA Mid-Atlantic Heavyweight Champion, NWA Mid-Atlantic Television Champion, NWA Television Champion, NWA World Tag Team Champion, NWA Florida Tag Team Champion.
While serving as a transitional champion, I think it’s important to remember Ivan Koloff as the man who ended Bruno Sammartino 7+ year title reign. Someone had to move the title from Sammartino to Pedro Morales, and Ivan Koloff played the part to perfection.
Yet, his career wasn’t just about that, he had many title reigns in the Mid-Atlantic and Jim Crockett Promotions. He often worked in a stable with Nikita Koloff and Krusher Khruschev as one of America’s most hated heel teams. Like Demolition and Dynamite Kid, it’s unlikely WWE will remember him because he was part of the brain injury lawsuit.