Starting with Andre the Giant, every year since 1993, the WWE has inducted those who put together some of the finest careers in the history of pro wrestling. Presently, their Hall of Fame consists of 95 wrestlers, nine groups (25 wrestlers in those groups), eight celebrities, and one fan, for a total of 129 inductees.
Each one of these men and women achieved something noteworthy during their wrestling days to allow them to receive this honor, but not all contributions are equal. Not every inductee has transcended pro wrestling, like Gorgeous George, “Stone Cold” Steve Austin, and Antonio Inoki. Some were simply absolutely amazing at their craft, and deserved to be enshrined, like Bobby “The Brain” Heenan, Bret “The Hitman” Hart, and “The Nature Boy” Ric Flair.
This list isn’t for the best of the best though; this is about ten people who are the least deserving among the group to call themselves a WWE Hall of Famer. How exactly did wrestlers like Koko B. Ware and The Bushwhackers make it alongside Shawn Michaels?
The criterion for this list was pretty simple; look at their wrestling career as a whole, and in particular, their time with the WWE. Also, since this is focusing on wrestlers and managers, no one from the celebrity wing will be considered; apologies to the Donald Trump haters.
10. The Bushwhackers
Wrestling for almost 40 years, Luke and Butch were most widely known as the WWE’s Bushwhackers. A strange duo that loved to march to the ring, with their arms going up and down, saying “Woah! Yeah!”, and licking their opponent’s face. Pretty much the jobbers of WWE’s tag division; they were mainly used for comedic value, and not much more.
Before the WWE, they were known as the Kiwis or The New Zealand Sheepherders, bringing a much more violent approach to their matches that was rarely seen at the time (late 70’s-early 80’s). Most fans today remember them for their appearance on the TV show Family Matters and their work in WWE, so a Hall of Fame (HoF) induction is a bit of a head scratcher.
9. “Baron” Mikel Scicluna
Who? Not going to lie, when going through the entire list, basically every name is recognizable, except this one. From Malta, Scicluna wrestled from 1953 until 1983, winning just a handful of titles, and being mainly know as the master of the “foreign object”. He was inducted in 1996, so it’s possible WWE was still trying to figure out what it took for someone join the Hall of Fame.
His most notable achievement was being Gorilla Monsoon’s opponent the night Monsoon had an impromptu fight with Muhammad Ali. Scicluna was knocked out of the ring and left the match, losing via count-out, and Ali eventually made his way into the ring. Interesting career moment, but WWE was really reaching with this induction.
Her biggest claim to fame is being the WWE’s first “Diva”, being first is great, but bringing on the reign of Divas that WWE has exploited – mostly sexually – isn’t really that great of an accomplishment when you think about it. Her career included mostly jumping from tag team to tag team depending on who was booked as champions. Again, great story for a heel manager, but is that really worthy of the Hall of Fame?
Her sketchy personal life included drug use and posing nude on adult sites, which just adds to why Sunny probably could have been left out, especially when WWE has been so critical of Chyna. Although Sunny debuted in 1993, she’s jumped around to multiple promotions, only being in the WWE full-time for three years. She may have brought more attention to the induction ceremony, but her overall resume and impact is pretty weak.
7. Ivan Putski
Known as “The Polish Hammer” and a former Strongman, Putski got into pro wrestling in 1968, winning a tag title here and there before finally making it to the WWE. He had some longevity within the WWE being with the company for over 10 years, before moving on to other smaller promotions.
Throughout his career he feuded with some big names; Bruiser Brody, Roddy Piper, and “Superstar” Billy Graham, although, for the most part, he would come up on the losing end of these feuds. Having a few tag title reigns, and an impressive physique is admirable, but ultimately pretty forgettable.
6. Junkyard Dog
There’s no doubt the Junkyard Dog was immensely popular during his days with Mid-South Wrestling and the WWE, as he was completely over with the crowds across the U.S. The JYD won 20 titles outside of the WWE, and won exactly zero with them.
As a premier mid-carder, he really didn’t find much success outside of being a fan favorite with the WWE. Although, his prop fit his gimmick, and used it for basically his entire career; an African-American man coming to the ring with a “dog chain” around his neck, looks a little weird by today’s standards. Was he a fun, charismatic character? Absolutely, but if he is supposed to be with the cream of the crop, he’s not really a contender.
Initially, Rikishi was in a tag team known as The Samoan Swat Team, eventually joining the WWE, and becoming The Headshrinkers. After a failed solo run as The Sultan, he returned as Rikishi, where he gained most notoriety. Rikishi was known as a highly athletic big man, who danced alongside his buddies, Scotty 2 Hotty and Grandmaster Sexay, also known as Too Cool.
Although he became the Intercontinental champion, and had a short run in the main event scene, his character was mostly remembered for dancing, performing the “Stinkface”, and hitting Stone Cold with a car. He also loses points for not even mentioning Tool Cool in his acceptance speech, it’s rumored they had a falling out with Rikishi over an independent booking, but still, not even a “thank you”?
4. The Valiant Brothers
Individually, Jimmy, Johnny, and Jerry Valiant had respectable careers, but WWE decided to put them in as “The Valiant Brothers” instead. This group only lasted six years (1974-1980) winning a few tag titles –including one that lasted 370 days – along the way.
This dominate heel team took on most of the top competition in the country, but ultimately aren’t remembered by most of today’s audience. Jimmy Valiant was the true star of the group, and when he left in 1978, the new team of Johnny and Jerry just didn’t compare. File this group under having a nice short run, but not leaving much of a long term legacy.
3. Kevin Nash
Looking over his achievements, some would say this is a silly pick, but Kevin Nash’s greatest ability was to make friends with the right people, and put himself in the best situation to achieve that success. Whether it was teaming up with Shawn Michaels, Triple H, and Scott Hall to form “The Kliq” in the WWE, or buddy up with Hulk Hogan during the initial days of the n.W.o. Having powerful friends led to powerful places, at one point Nash gained booking power with WCW, which for a wrestler, it doesn’t get much better than that.
He was nothing special in the ring, passable on the mic, and was not bashful about people knowing he was in the business mainly for the money, partly due to his working-class upbringing in Detroit. If anything, Nash should be awarded for being one of wrestling’s best backstage politicians.
2. Johnny Rodz
Johnny Rodz worked with the WWE for about twenty years, and that alone is a proud achievement for anyone in the wrestling business. So, guess how many titles he won during that long run, exactly zero. Johnny’s claim to fame was being one of the first “Jobber to the stars”, which basically meant he lost to other, more popular wrestlers to get them over.
A noble career achievement indeed, but it’s tough to rank him very high, when comparing him to the other Hall of Famers. If anything, it’s what Johnny did after wrestling, by becoming a trainer to wrestlers like Tommy Dreamer, Bill DeMott, Tazz, and Matt Striker.
1. Koko B. Ware
Koko must have been a really nice guy backstage, because how he made it to the Hall of Fame is one of wrestling’s biggest mysteries. He had a modicum of success in his early years, enough to get him in the WWE, where he stayed for eight years. Flapping his arms down the ring with his macaw, “Frankie”, Koko toiled in the mid-card for his entire career, never winning a title.
Eventually being paired up with Owen Hart as “High Energy”, Koko was used mainly to enhance other talent for the rest of his WWE run. One interesting achievement is he was in the first match ever on Raw, losing decisively against Yokozuna.
Fans could probably argue about every other wrestler/manager on this list, but Koko is one that nearly all fans question his induction. When discussing potential future Hall of Famers “The Koko Scale” is a baseline to figure if they should even be considered or not, and that alone is enough to make Koko B. Ware number one on this list.