The WWE Hall of Fame opened its doors in 1993 with the inaugural induction of Andre the Giant. Since then, 129 men and women (mostly men) have been inducted, with another eight or so rumored to enter this year. Some inductions have been controversial, but by and large they earned their place in history through years of hard work and dedication to the wrestling industry.
That said, the WWE Hall of Fame is still a work in progress. Seven to ten names going in per year, one might think perhaps all of the important names would get covered by now, but then again there are those pesky controversial entrants taking up a heck of a lot of space. Your personal opinion may differ on whether or not these are indeed the most worthy names still snubbed, but at the very least we think everyone can agree these next 20 names are at least as Hall of Fame worthy as the Bushwhackers. Most of them are even bigger than Greg Valentine.
20 Mike McGuirk - Trailblazer For Women
19 Raven - ECW Legend
Only two former ECW World Champions are in the WWE Hall of Fame (and one has been removed from the web site). On one level, this isn’t that surprising, since ECW wasn’t quite on the same plane as WCW or WWE, influential as they were. At the same time, the biggest stars of ECW all pass the Koko B. Ware test, so at least a few more former champions should probably be represented. Our pick for most deserving ECW alumnus is Raven. Raven was a 2-time ECW World Champion and, perhaps more importantly, one of the main creative forces behind ECW during its peak. His feud with Tommy Dreamer is viewed on the same caliber as legendary feuds such as Austin-McMahon or Flair-Rhodes, and that was all based on Raven talking in the ring and writing with Paul Heyman behind the scenes.
18 Miss Elizabeth - The First Lady of Wrestling
17 Davey Boy Smith - Most Successful Englishman in WWE
16 Jim Johnston - The True One Man Band of WWE
15 Carlos Cabrera - Loyal For Decades, Voice of WWE to Millions
14 Georg Hackenschmidt - Wrestling's First World Champion
13 Cyndi Lauper - Most Important Celebrity in WrestleMania History
12 Chyna - Most Successful Female in WWE History
11 Demolition - Most Dominant Tag Team in WWE History
10 Tommy Young - Greatest Referee of All Time
9 Eric Bischoff - Vince McMahon's Biggest Enemy
8 El Santo - Most Popular Mexican Wrestler of All Time
7 7. Genichiro Tenryu - Japanese Legend With WWE Ties
6 The Great Muta - Greatest Foreign Star in the History of American Wrestling
5 The Steiner Brothers - Greatest Tag Team of All Time
4 Rikidōzan - Most Important Wrestler in Japanese History
3 Lou Thesz - Arguably the Greatest Wrestler of All Time
It’s hard to definitively name the greatest athlete in the history of any particularly sport, but if someone tried to do that with professional wrestling, Lou Thesz would be an extremely tough name to argue. Thesz became the youngest ever World Champion in 1937 at the age of 21, and his success only skyrocketed from there. Though not a TV star like Gorgeous George or a regional hero like Antonino Rocca or Verne Gagne, Thesz toured all over the country unifying titles into what would become the NWA World Championship. Though Orville Brown is the first recognized champ, Thesz legitimized the title by holding and defending it for nearly seven years. He continued wrestling for decades, and was considered one of the greatest wrestlers alive as long as he did.
2 Andy Kaufman - Greatest Celebrity Wrestler of All Time
The WWE Hall of Fame has a celebrity wing, which bothers certain wrestling fans who feel these celebrities often have an at best tenuous relationship to wrestling. There is at least one celebrity for whom nobody would make such a complaint, and bizarrely, he’s the one celebrity yet not inducted: Andy Kaufman. Kaufman was primarily an actor and comedian, or as he put it, “a song and dance man.” He was also a lifelong wrestling fan, and his goal in life was to be the world’s greatest heel. For a few years, feuding with Jerry Lawler in Memphis, Kaufman absolutely lived his dream.
1 Toots Mondt - Co-Founder of WWE, Innovator of Modern Professional Wrestling
Jess McMahon and a partner founded the Capitol Wrestling Corporation in 1952. After Jess passed away, the man partnered with Jess’s son, Vince, who would rename the company the World Wide Wrestling Federation. Vince couldn’t decide on a champion to base their company around, until his partner suggested Bruno Sammartino. It wasn’t just a coincidence he made such a great pick; this former partner is also credited with essentially inventing the format of a modern wrestling show. The McMahon’s call it “sports entertainment,” but he called it “Slam Bang Western Style Wrestling,” and his name was Toots Mondt.
For whatever reason, WWE has a pretty consistent history of being rather unforthcoming with both information and respect in regards to Toots. Vince McMahon and his living relatives clearly like presenting the idea they created WWE entirely by themselves, but even ignoring that part of Mondt’s contributions, the man basically invented pro wrestling as it’s still known today way back in the 1920’s. Inducting Toots Mondt into the WWE Hall of Fame would finally acknowledge the true mastermind of professional wrestling, and that’s why it’s unlikely he’ll ever be inducted.
Sources: WWE, Obsessed With Wrestling
Leave A Comment
Looking for an AD FREE EXPERIENCE on TheRichest?Get Your Free Access Now!