#21. Jim Cornette
Achievements: PWI Manager of the Year (1985, 1993, 1995), NWA Hall Of Fame (2005)
I had to go there. Jim Cornette has always been a controversial character, which made him an exceptional manager for so many of wrestling’s greatest. You can find his amazing list of clients on this pro wrestling profile: Jim Cornette
While Cornette is one of wrestling’s most successful managers, he has also done a lot of creative writing and backstage work. Yet, despite everything he has achieved, it seems unlikely WWE will induct him during his lifetime. You likely know why, but just in case you don’t… they cannot trust Cornette with a live microphone for too long. If it’s something small, like inducting The Rock n’ Roll Express? Then sure, that’s fine.
A Jim Cornette induction would have to be handled with care. I’m not saying it’s impossible. I think if they gave Jim set guidelines on what he can and cannot say, he’d be professional enough to do it. Also, WWE could easily edit his speech if it went off the rails. It feels like WWE would rather avoid this though? I don’t know. We all know WWE steers well clear of anything controversial. Cornette deserves an induction, but it hinges on WWE having the balls to do it. Personally, I’d be all for it and wouldn’t mind his colourful language, but I’m not the one running a multi-million dollar business.
#22. Jim Johnston
Achievements: Wrestling Entrance Themes
He really should be. Jim Johnston composed some of the best wrestling themes ever. The Attitude & Ruthless Aggression Era wouldn’t sound the same without him. There appears to be some frustration on Johnston’s part, as he recently commented on the poor quality of WWE’s current entrance themes. He’d love to get back to composing, but for whatever reason, he has been lost in time. WWE does not traditionally induct people who weren’t on TV, so I feel it’s unlikely, but it could happen if they were to get the one-man band back together.
#23. John Cena
Achievements: WWE Champion, World Heavyweight Champion, United States Champion, Tag Team Champion, Money in the Bank, Royal Rumble 2008 & 2013.
The Invisible Man who everyone can see is here! I mean, does this need any explanation? It’s John Cena. If you’re needing me to explain why John Cena is on the list, I think you need to leave and do some research. He’s going in to the Hall of Fame whether you love, hate or don’t care for him. When? It depends on if Cena is done wrestling. When WWE knows he’s retired for good, they will get on the phone. Let’s hope his speech is as endearingly polarizing as his career.
Probability: Very Likely
#24. Ken Shamrock
Achievements: NWA World Heavyweight Champion, WWF Intercontinental Champion, WWF Tag Team Champion, King of the Ring (1998), Impact Hall of Fame (2020), MMA Record of 28 wins, 17 losses, UFC Superfight Champion, UFC Hall of Fame.
WWE has buried Ken Shamrock. You know, the actual term “buried”… as in not mentioning him in any form since leaving the company. Shamrock has talked about this several times, and he’s befuddled by WWE forgetting he exists. The Rock didn’t forget though, as he showed up via recording to induct him in to the Impact Wrestling Hall of Fame at their Bound For Glory PPV in 2020. Neither did Bret Hart or Mick Foley, who also appeared by recording.
Ken Shamrock did pretty well in WWE. Sure, he never became WWF Champion, but he was IC & Tag Team Champion, along with winning King of the Ring in 1998. Critics often praise him for his feud with The Rock, which helped to get The People’s Champion over. Dwayne Johnson respects him so much, because he and everyone else know what he did for his career. Why WWE skips this remains a mystery.
#25. Lex Luger
Achievements: WCW World Heavyweight Champion, WCW World Television Champion, NWA/WCW United States Heavyweight Champion, NWA/WCW World Tag Team Champion, Royal Rumble 1994 (with Bret Hart).
At one point, Lex Luger was a top name in the business. WWE wanted him to be the next Hulk Hogan. However, his career and life will forever be linked to his drug taking, playing a role in the death of Miss Elizabeth.
He clearly regrets it, and while some of his friends can forgive him, WWE knows there would be many fans who won’t appreciate an induction for this reason. It wouldn’t be about Luger’s career at that point, it would just be a storm of hate for being so irresponsible it cost Elizabeth her life. WWE wants no part of that.
Probability: Very Unlikely
#26. Lilian Garcia
Achievements: Years Of Lead Announcing
Following in the footsteps of Howard Finkel would be tough for anyone, but Lilian Garcia made it work. She was amazing; she had such great energy, and I’ve heard no one sing the US National Anthem better. I’d have her over any over-singing pop artist any day. I’m not even American, but it makes me feel patriotic for the United States when Lilian gets going.
Seriously though, Garcia is one of the best announcers of all time. Probably second, only behind Finkel, which I hope she would see as the biggest compliment. She’s by far the best female announcer ever… there’s no competition! It has to happen someday, and perhaps Lillian will give us one last rendition.
Probability: Very Likely
#27. Michelle McCool
Achievements: WWE Women’s Champion, WWE Divas Champion
Michelle McCool had it tough in the years following the retirements of Trish Stratus and Lita. How do you carry a division after that? Anyone would struggle. What made it worse was WWE not treating the Divas Division with care. If they were lucky, they would get 3-5 minutes a show, and usually it would be Michelle McCool and Layla defending the title against someone. She recently returned for a Royal Rumble and did very well. WWE now sees her as a legend of the women’s division, so I’m sure they will get around to an induction at some point.
#28. Miss Elizabeth
Achievements: The love of her fans
This one hurts because Miss Elizabeth was the first big female name in WWE other than Fabulous Moolah. She was so loved, I mean… it hurts just to talk about her. As emotional support for Randy Savage, it was a match made in heaven. Elizabeth played her role perfectly, but her life ended far too soon.