Monday, 3 July 2017

A look at The WWE hall of Fame 2007

Well it has been far to long since I have talked about the WWE hall of fame. Last time I talked about the inductions for 2006 so no prizes for guessing that today I will of course be talking about 2007. 2006 was a brilliant year in my opinion so I guess we will have to see if 2007 is anywhere near as close by looking at the individuals who made it in. Id like to add that as much as I do try and fact check everything if an error slips through then I apologise in advance, also I try not to go too in depth about wrestlers I don't have any major memory or feelings for , so if someone was an absolute star but there before my time or spent a lot of time in promotions I never had access to then forgive me for kind of quickly skipping over there accomplishments.

Ok so to start things off lets talk about one of the inductee's "The American Dream" Dusty Rhodes or to use his birth name Virgil Runnels Jr. You can talk about the mans accomplishments after all he was a three time NWA World Heavyweight Champion, one time NWA United States Heavyweight Champion two time NWA World Tag Team Champion, two time NWA World Six-Tag Team Champion, and a one time NWA World Television Champion but a wrestler is not defined by the belts he held there is so much more to look at than that. I had no idea who Dusty was before his stint in the WWE (at the time WWF) so I could be forgiven for just thinking of him as the big poka dot coverd guy who had a rivalry with the million dollar man, but lets stop and look right there Dusty was given the role of a working man and made to wear poka dots and yet he pulled it off he was an epic face loved by so many who lit the house on fire with his charisma, you followed him from feud to feud hanging on his every word wanting to support him and see him win. Throw on top of this his lengthy stint as lead booker for WCW, yes they were the WWE's rivals but it takes a good rival to keep a company truly on its toes. I personally think the guy is very deserving of the honour of being in the hall of fame. I will always remember the fact that my mum adored Dusty Rhodes, I have many a happy memory of being a youngster and hearing my mum scream at the TV for Dusty to get up or beat someone.

So next lets look at "Mr. Perfect" Curt Hennig, now I have to admit as a kid I thought he was a perfect dick, but as I have said in the past that only goes to show just how well he was playing his part, I wanted to see him get beat up and I would tune in hopefully that this would be the night it would happen so basically the guy did his job Perfectly. The truth is eventually even though he was a heel I started to develop a growing respect for Mr Perfect, I had to admit that he was a very talented athlete who performed perfectly executed moves in a way very few other wrestlers could. When I look back now and rewatch a lot of the pay per views from my youth I get very excited when they announce Mr Perfect because I just know I am going to see some real quality wrestling. Unfortunatly Curt Henning was a Posthumous inductee and so he was represented by his wife Leonice, his four children, his mother and his father the wrestler Larry "The Axe" Hennig. Curt Henning was a
One time AWA World Heavyweight Champion, two-time WWF Intercontinental Heavyweight Champion, one time WCW United States Heavyweight Champion, one time WCW World Tag Team Champion but he was so much more than just these reigns he was a fantastic perfomer both in ring and on the mic and he will never be forgotten. Like Dusty above him I love to see his Son wrestle because you can see there father through them as well as seeing the incredible wrestlers they have become (this is true for Curtis Axel, GoldDust and Cody Rhodes).

This year also saw the induction of Jerry The King Lawler who well to me he was just the King, when I was a kid he wrestled a little in the WWE (then WWF) but I would come to know him mostly as a commentator, a great one who despite being a heel commentator quiet a lot of the time would have me in fits of laughter, little did I know he was a One time AWA World Heavyweight Champion, a 35-time AWA Southern Heavyweight Champion, a three-time WCCW World Heavyweight Champion, and a 28-time USWA Unified Champion. I learned more about his past and his place in the industry later in my life and I appreciate the roll he played but have to admit I dont feel quite as much for him as I do fo the likes of Dusty and Perfect I still can more than understand why he belongs in the hall of fame and fully agree with it.

 Nick Bockwinkel was inducted in this year but I have to admit he was someone who I had only really heard of in passing, he was big in the AWA and apparently Hulk Hogan was annoyed by what he saw as Bockwinkels book room politicing. He was a Four-time AWA World Heavyweight Champion and three-time AWA World Tag Team Champion. Lots of people speak highly of him and credit him with helping them in one way or another but there is not a lot I can say about him as really due to my age and what I was exposed to he has largly flown under my radar.

Now back to someone I really appreciate and that is Mr. Fuji (Harry Fujiwara), Now Mr Fuji the devious one might have been a Five-time WWWF/WWF World Tag Team Champion but what I really knew him as was a manager and what a heck of a manager he was, he could get you to hate anybody he took under his wing, and the company could easily and convincingly make anyone a face by getting Fuji to turn on them.  I will always remember him with Demolition Axe and Smash, I will always remember the salt and his cane , unfortunatly he passed in 2016 but he is a very worthy entrant to the hall of fame both for his work as a wrestler and for his work as a manager.

This year also saw the induction of  The Sheik (Edward Farhat), seeing as he started in the 70's a lot of his stuff was quiet a bit before my time but he was one of the originators of what would go on to be known as hardcore wrestling and he was the uncle of the ECW legend Sabu. He didnt only wrestle in America he also did a lot of wrestling in Japan and trained several notable names including Rob Van Dam, and Scott Steiner.  He also trained Muhammad Ali before Ali`s famous boxer vs wrestler match with Antonio Inok. The guy certainly deserves to be in the hall of fame not for a long and wonderful WWF based career but more for his contribution to the world of wrestling in general.

One group made there way in to the hall of fame in 2007 and that was The Wild Samoans, Afa and Sika, who were Three-time WWF Tag Team Champions. Now if you ask me if these men deserve to be in the hall of fame as The Wild Samoans thats where things get a touch tricky. You see yes they worked togther as the Wild Samoans but they also worked as singles wrestlers, as managers, in diffrent teams (not togther)  both of them have quiet a long list of accomplishments and I am not sure if they should have gone in seperatly or as a team thats my only question about there place in the hall of fame. During the late 1970s, Afa Anoa'i opened the Wild Samoans Training Center, and the school's graduates include Paul Orndorff, Junkyard Dog, Luna Vachon, Michael P.S. Hayes, Yokozuna, Bam Bam Bigelow, Rikishi, Sherri Martel, Virgil, Billy Kidman, Gene Snisky, Chris Kanyon and Batista if you stop and take a look at that list even just as there trainer doesnt the guy deserve to be in under his own name instead of in under a team name?  In 1999, Sika started up XW 2000, an independent wrestling promotion based in Pensacola, Florida. From 1999 until 2008 and again since 2010, the promotion has run family-oriented wrestling shows. The point is that clearly both men have put a lot into the world of wrestling and I kind of feel they should have both gotten individual moments to shine in a hall of fame ceremony.

OK so I left Jim Ross till last, he was a longtime lead announcer for WWF/E, WCW and other regional promotions; he was the Head of WWF Talent Relations during the Attitude Era,and he signed many well known wrestlers. Good Old JR is often considerd one of if not the greatest wrestling commentators of all time and for good reason the man is a real head of his field. Is he my favourate not quiet I think I would have to give that honour to Bobby the Brain Heenan but I still hold a whole heap of respect for Ross. Ross is a legend not just in the WWE but in the world of wrestling in general. His career in the world of wrestling started in NWA Tri-State tettitory and stayed there from 1974–1987 (the name for this promotion changed to Mid-South Wrestling) he started as a referee and then became a commentator as well as there Vice President of Marketing. He was also a commentator for Crocket promotions, world championship wreslting, Smokey Mountain Wrestling. The majority of his career was spent as a commentator with the WWE though, and it wasnt just wrestling, when they tried to branch out with the XFL, a professional football league Ross, who had previously gained experience announcing for the Atlanta Falcons was used. Entire books could be dedicated to what the man did for both the fans and the business while in the WWE. The truth is that when Jim Ross was put in the Hall of Fame he fully deserved it but he didnt stop there he did so much after and id like to draw some attention to a little of that. In 2013, Ross began to coach and produce new announcers at the WWE Performance Center in Florida.The man wasnt content with having been possibly the greatest announcer of our time no he wanted to try and make sure that fans in the future would get to experiance exciting profesional commentery. Ross also went on to become an English Language commentator for New Japan Pro Wrestling and to also provided commentary for What Culture Pro Wrestling's iPPV Refuse to Lose, True Destiny and for some of WCPW's Loaded tapings.

I cant be very critical of this year at all, I think it was another very impressive set of inductees  any year that see's the introduction of talent on the levels of Dusty, Curt Henning, Mr Fuji and Jim Ross clearly has a lot going for it.

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