When it comes to professional wrestling, there are several Hall of Fames. Some represent the entire sport while others pay homage to contribution given to either a region or a company. Without question, the most famous of these Halls is the WWE Hall of Fame. Opinions vary on this Hall of Fame. For every thankful inductee, there is a vocal opposer like Scott Steiner. Nonetheless, WWE’s Hall of Fame remains the most visible of them all.
As we move closer to WrestleMania and Hall of Fame weekend, there is always a call for those who have yet to be inducted into it to be recognized and bestowed the honor. Everyone has an opinion on who is in there, who isn’t, and who should be the next in line. Here are our top five potential nominees (in no particular order or ranking) who have yet to be inducted into the hallowed halls.
• “BRITISH BULLDOG” DAVEY BOY SMITH. It is impossible and somewhat disrespectful to have a conversation about who should go into the HOF without mentioning the name Davey Boy Smith. One-half of the famed and legendary British Bulldogs tag team, the duo captured the World Tag Team titles way back at WrestleMania 2. After the tag team ended, Smith went on to have a spectacular career. He’d capture several more World tag team titles with Owen Hart, become the first-ever WWE European champion, and win a legendary match against Bret Hart for the Intercontinental championship in front of a sold-out crowd at Wembley Stadium. Smith not being in the Hall baffles many.
• DEMOLTION. Ax and Smash held WWE’s original World Tag Team championship longer than any team in history. The team had an amazing run from 1987 through 1991. During this time, the WWE’s tag team roster was unbelievable. Night after night, Demolition upended some of the greatest teams in the history of the sport. Three reigns saw them take on and defeat all comers until their final reign was ended by The Hart Foundation at SummerSlam 1990. Pain and destruction was truly their middle name.
• MIKE ROTUNDO. The father of Bray Wyatt and Bo Dallas shouldn’t be solely remembered for gimmicks like Irwin R. Schyster and V.K. Wallstreet. Long before the record setting number of reigns by Billy Gunn, Christian, and Edge, Rotundo captured five WWE World Tag Team titles with two different partners. And with the recent revival of the NWA World TV championship, Rotunda’s 11-month reign should not be ignored. With NWA World Tag team and Florida Heavyweight championships under his belt, Rotundo deserves this honor that’s long overdue.
• STEVE LOMBARDI. The Hall of Fame probably will never have a wing for preliminary wrestlers. But if they ever did, Steve Lombardi should be the first inductee. Long before he was the Brooklyn Brawler, Lombardi was a familiar face on WWE television in the early 1980’s as an enhancement talent. He was the first televised match-up for most of the greatest stars of that decade. Lombardi never won a championship in WWE but his loyalty to the company for 30 years should count for something.
• KEN SHAMROCK. Shamrock – a former UFC champion – paved the way for many of the pro wrestlers who made the transition from mixed martial arts. Furthermore, Shamrock helped to convert wrestling fans into MMA fans. Shamrock thrived during WWE’s Attitude Era and captured the King Of The Ring tournament, the Intercontinental title and the World tag team titles. His fits of rage and multiple belly-to-belly suplexes were always a sight to behold. Matt Riddle, Ronda Rousey, Shayna Baszler, and countless others owe a huge debt of gratitude to “The World’s Most Dangerous Man”
Of course, we’d be foolish not to mention the underlying causes for some of these nominations being wishful thinking. Legal issues between WWE and Demolition could be the reason the record-setting tag team has not been inducted. No one is certain about the relationship between Shamrock and WWE since his exit over a decade ago. But in a perfect world, all these nominees would have been considered. While this world is not perfect, neither is the Hall. Inducting these contributors to pro wrestling culture will definitely bring it closer.