The WWE Hall of Fame: A Tarnished Entity
Wait a Minute, Who Are They Inducting into the WWE HOF?
Many great pop cultural entities have a hall of fame that legends of that industry one day become a part of. It is a way to etch in stone the accomplishments and popularity of that individual in that particular business. Whether it be the NFL, MLB, or Hollywood, the longtime standout stars of each industry eventually become inducted into that industry’s hall of fame and will always be associated with it. When you think of the NFL hall of fame you think of Joe Montana and John Elway. When you think of the MLB hall of fame you think of Babe Ruth and Hank Aaron. Why do you think of these men? Because they revolutionized their industry and made it what it is today. With that being said, World Wrestling Entertainment has a hall of fame of its own. Just like the others, it contains the biggest stars that business has ever known. Faces like Hulk Hogan, Ric Flair, and Andre the Giant can be found when checking out this HOF. There is one issue, however, with the WWE’s HOF. Standing alongside the aforementioned superstars (and countless other in-ring legends) is a handful of imposters. Pete Rose, Drew Carey and, most recently, “Iron Mike” Tyson have somehow infiltrated the prestigious realm of legendary WWE performers. That being the case, I can’t help but ask myself why. Yes it’s true that these men interacted with WWE at one time or another, but did they really do anything HOF worthy? Better than that, are they really even qualified to be in a wrestling HOF? Tom Berenger and Charlie Sheen starred in the classic baseball movie Major League but I don’t see either one of them in the MLB HOF. Rudy was a popular football film but we don’t see Sean Astin in the NFL HOF. So why do we have to accept the fact that it’s ok to put people in the WWE HOF just because they made a relatively moderate impact on the entire history of the WWE? I mean, is the NBA going to induct Bugs Bunny into its HOF just because he was in the highly entertaining movie Space Jam? No, he’s not, and that’s the way it should be.
So why is it exactly that Rose, Tyson, and Carey have been inducted into the WWE HOF? Well, we first have Pete Rose who once came to the ring and spouted off a bunch of derogatory crap to the crowd, only to have Kane come out and give him a tombstone piledriver. Kind of cool, but not enough of an impact to land him in the HOF. Then we have Drew Carey, the least deserving of them all. He, interestingly enough, participated in the 2001 Royal Rumble. All he did, however, was stand around watching the other wrestlers go at it until Kane made his entrance. Once the Big Red Monster entered the ring and confronted Carey, the comedian jumped over the top rope and eliminated himself. Wow. So here we are inducting someone into the WWE HOF who displayed a boring, gutless performance one time in a WWE ring. Aside from that, he’s not even a wrestler! As for Mike Tyson, I would say he had the greatest impact in WWE over Carey and Rose. His run-ins with Stone Cold Steve Austin provided a thrilling feel amongst WWE and boxing fans alike. The confrontation between the “Baddest Man on the Planet” and the “Texas Rattlesnake” was something different and compelling. Still, this is not enough for Tyson to have earned the right to stand beside wrestling legends in the WWE HOF. It was exciting and pretty darn sweet for a bit, but had a very short impact on the WWE as a whole.
Even more appalling than the fact that these three individuals were even inducted into the WWE HOF is the fact that they were inducted before several credible wrestlers. Where is the Macho Man Randy Savage? Where is Lex Luger? Even Razor Ramon is far more deserving of a spot in the WWE HOF. Other candidates include Bill Goldberg, JBL, and Jeff Hardy. Honestly, since the premature passing of Randy Savage last year I figured he’d be the first person the WWE would have inducted this year. Instead we get Iron Mike, a nutjob with a past that is just as tainted as it is glorious. I truly hope that the WWE will leave these types of stars out of its future inductions. Pete Rose, Mike Tyson, and Drew Carey are all good at their own thing, but that thing is not professional wrestling. Drew Carey belongs in a comedy HOF, Tyson in a boxing HOF, and Rose (questionably) in the MLB HOF. It’s simply about honor and integrity to the business.