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December 2016: My 2017 WWE Hall of Fame Picks


Keeping with tradition as we get into the holiday season once again, I will give my yearly predictions on who I think will be (or should be) considered for the 2017 WWE Hall of Fame.

January is host to my favorite WWE pay-per-view event, the Royal Rumble. This is not only one of the most looked-forward-to events on the calendar, but it also marks the beginning of the “road to WrestleMania”, culminating in pro wrestling’s biggest annual attraction, plus the yearly Hall of Fame inductions.

So without further ado, here are my choices for the 2017 WWE HoF.


Headline Induction - The Rock

Do you smell what I’m cookin’ with this induction? Sure, I know what you’re thinking “He’s not retired yet”! But hey, let’s face it, this 44-year-old Miami native is god-like in Florida and who says you have to be retired to be inducted into the HoF? And beyond that, how can you really top the last three years worth of headlining inductees (Sting, Randy Savage and The Ultimate Warrior)? It’s time for “The Great One” to take his rightful place in the WWE HoF.

When you think of the most iconic, biggest drawing, most popular wrestlers of all time, I think there are really only three guys on that list: Steve Austin, Hulk Hogan and The Rock. The People’s Champ is the only wrestler to ever completely transcend the somewhat pseudo-celebrity status that most wrestlers enjoy and become a legit A-lister. Yet despite being one of Hollywood’s top leading men, he still finds time to come back to WWE on a regular basis, whether it’s just to make a guest appearance or to have an occasional scuffle or match.

I don’t think I have to lay the smackdown on you for you to understand why Rocky should be in the Hall. Any jabroni can figure it out. He’s an eight-time WWE Champion, a Royal Rumble winner, he’s headlined some of the biggest WrestleManias of all time, he’s People Magazine’s 2016 “Sexist Man Alive” and he is even flirting with the idea of running for President of the USA.

So, do you think The Rock will be inducted into the 2017 HoF? IT DOESN’T MATTER what you think! That’s my pick for this year’s headliner, so know your role, and shut your mouth! If The Rock gets inducted this time around, it will without a doubt be the most electrifying induction in WWE HoF history. And if he doesn’t, I’m going to print out this blog, shine it up real nice and stick it straight up someone’s candy ass.


Female Induction - Sable

Until the mid-nineties, females in professional wrestling pretty much resembled grandmother-like figures in one piece bathing suits and the occasional eye-candy valet. Sunny changed all of that when the “most downloaded woman” made her debut in 1995. However, hot on her heels was Sable, the real life wife of wrestler “Wildman” Marc Mero. This busty blonde bombshell not only helped usher in the “Attitude Era” by pushing the limits of sexuality, but would also eventually go on to become WWE Women’s Champion. The former Playboy playmate is currently married to WWE’s biggest star, Brock Lesnar and is originally from Jacksonville, Florida.


Posthumous Induction - Bam Bam Bigelow

He seems to have been custom made for professional wrestling - the flame tattoos on his head, the no-nonsense demeanor etched on his face, the missing teeth. Bam Bam Bigelow is someone who has been everywhere and done just about everything in his career.

“The Beast from the East” was a huge star wherever he went and it didn’t take long to reach the WWE very early in his career, teaming up with Hulk Hogan at the inaugural Survivor Series in 1987 to take on Andre The Giant’s team. He also faced One Mang Gang at WrestleMania 4. After that short stint in the WWE he went on to face most of the top talent in Japan before returning in 1992. However, his next run would be less notable than his first with his biggest matches coming against the likes of Bastion Booger, Doink the Clown and American football star Lawrence Taylor.

New life was breathed into his career when he came to ECW in the late nineties joining Shane Douglas’ Triple Threat stable. He was famous for gorilla pressing Spike Dudley over his head and hurling him into the audience, falling through the ring with Taz on his back and capturing the ECW Heavyweight Championship. From there he spent some time in WCW, mainly in their hardcore division until the company closed.

In 2007 Bigelow was found dead of a drug overdose at the age of 45. The circumstances surrounding his death will certainly not expedite his entry into the Hall. However, if WWE do decide to induct him, they may wait until WrestleMania returns to the New York / New Jersey area again.


Celebrity Induction - Jon Stewart

The long time host of Comedy Central’s The Daily Show and actor in such films as Half Baked, Big Daddy, and Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back, Jon Stewart is also a huge fan of pro wrestling. He has hosted RAW a few times in the past few years and had a mini-feud with WWE Champion Seth Rollins in 2015.


Tag Team Induction - The Rock ‘n’ Roll Express

I’ve petitioned for the RnR before in my December blog and it’s always a head scratcher as to why these guys are passed up year after year. The fact is, there has never been a tag team as popular as the Rock ‘n’ Roll. At times their popularity was equal to if not even more so than the biggest stars in the NWA, like Ric Flair, Dusty Rhodes or Ricky Steamboat. They had huge success in a number of different territories throughout the 80’s and yes, they even had a few short appearances in the WWE in the 90’s. They influenced The Rockers and a number of other wrestlers and teams and will go down in history as the biggest tag team draw of all time, maybe only second to the Fabulous Freebirds.



Perhaps Haku is better known for being one of the toughest wrestlers ever in the business, than for his in-ring accomplishments, but let’s not underestimate what this guy has contributed to pro wrestling. He’s also currently living in Orlando, Florida.

Originally from the small island nation of Tonga, Haku was sent to Japan to be a sumo wrestler as a teenager. From there he got his start in All-Japan Wrestling where he learned his craft with the top Japanese talent and visiting gaijins. He made his WWE debut in 1985 as King Tonga, but had more success as a tag team wrestler as one half of The Islanders with Tama managed by Bobby Heenan and later capturing the tag titles, teaming with Andre the Giant as The Colossal Connection. After an eight year run in the WWE Haku spent seven years in WCW as Meng, joining the Dungeon of Doom and often teaming up with The Barbarian as The Faces of Fear. Towards the end of his time in WCW he grew out an enormous afro and competed in the hardcore division.

Oh yeah, and I forgot to mention, one time he literally bit someone’s nose right off their face. The stories of this guy’s out-of-ring fights and antics are legendary. I think it’s universally agreed that Haku is, without a shadow of a doubt, the most legitimately toughest wrestler ever.



There’s been a lot of talk recently about inducting Vader into the Hall. In November, Vader made it known that he was suffering from a heart condition and that doctors had given him only two years to live. Mick Foley has been one of the most outspoken wrestlers to voice his support for a Vader induction, and why not? We’re talking about one of the most agile big men ever and a guy who had great success in WCW, Japan and, to a lesser extent, the WWE. He seems to be on good terms with WWE as well, inducing Stan Hansen into the Hall last year and making a few sporadic appearances in recent years.

The stories of Vader are legendary. He was in the ring with Mick Foley when Foley’s ear was ripped off, his eye popped out of its socket in a match with Stan Hansen, he did the unthinkable and beat Antonio Inoki in his debut match in Japan and had one of the most talked about locker room brawls ever with Paul Orndorff. He even played professional American football for the Los Angeles Rams. During his time in the WWE he was most well known for his tag team run with Mankind and challenged on several occasions for the WWE Championship. For a man who was over 400 pounds, he was incredibly agile, often times doing top-rope moonsaults. He even attempted a shooting star press in a match with Hulk Hogan in 1995.

So, even though all of his accomplishments more than qualify Vader for induction, I think there is an issue that WWE needs to address more often, as there are lots of worthy guys out there who are suffering from serious health conditions that may not be around forever. Guys like Kamala, King Kong Bundy and Vader are all definitely Hall of Fame worthy inductees who are in failing health. The problem though, is that a lot of my choices for this year’s HoF were nixed due to an ongoing class action lawsuit for previous injuries by over 50 wrestlers, including King Kong Bundy, One Man Gang, Bill Eadie (Demolition Ax), Kamala, Ken Patera and many others.

Let’s not make the “Randy Savage mistake” again and put it off year after year until it’s too late. And even though Vader said recently on Chael Sonnen’s podcast that he has found a doctor who has given him a better diagnosis, let’s get this legendary big man in the Hall now and give him his due.

So what do you think of my 2017 WWE Hall of Fame class? Who would you induct? Feel free to hit me up on social media or send me an email and let’s see what WWE does starting in January. Happy Holidays and see you 2017.

- Daniel Austin (Don Roid) (blog) (podcast)




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