CM Punk, The Rock and other wrestling acts that should be in the WWE Hall of Fame
Now that the WWE Hall of Fame Class of 2018 is complete, here’s a look at 10 deserving acts who have yet to get the call.
The list is confined to those who wrestled for WWE at some point, going back to when the company’s national expansion began in the mid-'80s. Active performers (that includes The Undertaker and Triple H) were not considered.
Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson
Obviously, Johnson will go into the Hall of Fame whenever he decides to squeeze the annual ceremony into his busy schedule.
When he is inducted, Johnson — who has gone from being “The Most Electrifying Man in Sports Entertainment” to one of the most famous movie stars in the world — undoubtedly will be the biggest name in the Hall of Fame (yes, even bigger than Baron Mikel Scicluna and Johnny Rodz).
There’s no need to list his many accomplishments here. If you don’t know about The Rock, you must be living under one.
“The Ninth Wonder of the World’s” exclusion from the Hall of Fame is a controversial subject, especially this year, when two of the inductees — Jeff Jarrett and Ivory — had perhaps the biggest moment of their careers against Chyna and were never as over as she was.
Chyna, who died in 2016 at 46, broke the mold for women in WWE, as she became the first woman to win the Intercontinental Championship, enter the Royal Rumble and compete in the King of the Ring tournament.
When Triple H was asked why Chyna isn’t in the Hall of Fame during an appearance on “Stone Cold” Steve Austin’s podcast three years ago, the WWE executive — and Chyna’s former boyfriend — suggested it was because of her porn past.
Punk’s 434-day run as WWE Champion in 2011-2013 remains the longest world title reign in WWE since Hulk Hogan’s first reign ended in 1988. Known for his “pipe bomb” promos and superior in-ring skills, Punk hasn’t been in WWE since 2014 but fans still chant his name at live events.
Punk’s bitter split with WWE and his legal battle with WWE doctor Chris Amann have been well-documented, and it doesn’t seem like his induction will be happening anytime soon. But other estranged former WWE stars such as Bruno Sammartino, Bret Hart, Ultimate Warrior and Goldberg eventually buried the hatchet with WWE Chairman and CEO Vince McMahon, so never say never.
It’s hard not to get emotional when discussing the late Hart and the Hall of Fame. Hart was an outstanding in-ring performer who held several championships before he died tragically in 1999, falling from the rafters in a stunt that went horribly wrong during a WWE pay-per-view. Hart, 34, left behind a wife and two young children.
His widow, Martha, filed a wrongful death lawsuit against WWE that was settled out of court for a reported $18 million. She has refused to give her blessing to WWE for her late husband’s induction, and thus far WWE has complied with her wishes.
She wasn’t very good in the ring and her promo skills weren’t anything special either, but there’s no denying that the blonde bombshell was one of the biggest stars of the Attitude Era. Who could ever forget when she participated in a bikini contest on a WWE pay-per-view wearing nothing but painted-on hands?
The best argument for Sable — who also happens to Mrs. Brock Lesnar — being in the WWE Hall of Fame? If Tammy “Sunny” Sytch is in, Sable absolutely has to be there
Batista is a polarizing figure among WWE fans, but his credentials speak for themselves. “The Animal” was one of the biggest stars in the industry during his first run in WWE from 2003-2010. He won six world titles and had classic matches with the likes of The Undertaker, Triple H and John Cena, among others.
Although Batista — who last wrestled in WWE in 2014 — has transitioned into a successful acting career, the “Guardians of the Galaxy” star has not ruled out a return to the ring at some point.
He spent much of his career in the shadow of his best friend and tag team partner Edge, but Christian had a Hall of Fame career in his own right. He and Edge won the WWE Tag Team Title seven times, and their two TLC matches against The Hardys and The Dudley Boyz are regarded as classics. Christian also won a number of singles championships in WWE, including the World Heavyweight Title (twice), Intercontinental Title (four times) and ECW Title (twice).
Christian inducted Edge into the Hall of Fame in 2011, and he and Edge reportedly will induct The Dudley Boyz this year. It’s likely just a matter of time before the two-time inductor becomes an inductee.
Remember when New Day broke the record for longest WWE Tag Team Championship reign a couple years ago? The previous holders of that record were Ax and Smash of Demolition, who held the titles for 478 days in 1988-1989. Initially dismissed by some as a ripoff of The Road Warriors, Demolition carved out their own identity and actually ended up having a better career in WWE than the Warriors (who were inducted in the Hall of Fame in 2011). Demolition also had one of the best entrance themes back in the day.
Working against their induction is the fact that Ax and Smash were among the plaintiffs in a class action lawsuit against WWE in 2016 that alleged that wrestlers suffered traumatic brain injuries during their tenure and the company concealed the risk of injury.
The Honky Tonk Man
There are more than two dozen former Intercontinental Champions in the WWE Hall of Fame, but the longest-reigning Intercontinental Champion of all time isn’t among them. Honky Tonk Man held the title for a record 454 days in 1987-1988 and was one of the top money-drawing heels in the business during that span.
Still, the closest HTM has come to getting into the WWE Hall of Fame was when he inducted Koko B. Ware in 2009, although he claims WWE contacted him about induction several years ago and he turned it down due to a scheduling conflict.
The British Bulldogs
Before Davey Boy Smith and The Dynamite Kid came to WWE in the mid-'80s, WWE fans had never seen a tag team with such impressive athleticism and in-ring ability. The popular duo won the WWE Tag Team Title at WrestleMania 2 and held it for 294 days. Smith went on to have a successful singles career in WWE after the team disbanded.
Unfortunately, Smith and Kid both had their personal demons. Smith died in 2002 at 39, and Kid has had a number of health problems and is now confined to a wheelchair.