Jump to content
Pro Wrestling Only
Dylan Waco

WON HOF 2016

Recommended Posts

Just got my ballot. Here it is in full.

 

It's time for the 2016 Hall of Fame elections.
This ballot is being sent out to major wrestling stars, past and present, major management figures in the industry, writers and historians.
If you are getting this, you are being asked your opinion on who should be inducted into this year's Hall of Fame class. The criteria for the Hall of Fame is a combination of drawing power, being a great in-ring performer or excelling in ones field in pro wrestling, as well as having historical significance in a positive manner. A candidate should either have something to offer in all three categories, or be someone so outstanding in one or two of those categories that they deserve inclusion.
The names listed below are those under consideration for this year. To be eligible, a performer must have reached their 35th birthday and completed ten years since their debut as a full-time performer, or be someone who has been a full-time pro wrestler for at least 15 years.
Longevity should be a prime consideration rather than a hot two or three year run, unless someone is so significant as a trend-setter or a historical figure in the business, or valuable to the industry, that they need to be included. However, just longevity without being either a long-term main eventer, a top draw and/or a top caliber in-ring performer should be seen as relatively meaningless.
The election is broken down into a number of categories. You should check each category for wrestlers that you feel you are familiar enough with based on geography that you've either traveled or are familiar with, and based on the time you have followed pro wrestling. You do not have to vote for a wrestler in every category you've checked.
The ballot is also broken down to wrestlers and those who are not pro wrestlers but have been valuable parts of the industry.
The maximum number of wrestlers that you can vote for all the categories is ten. You can pick as few as zero if you don't believe anyone on this list deserves inclusion.
For wrestling executives, managers, announcers and other outside the ring performers, you can vote for them and they are not counted against the ten. You can vote for as many as five of them.
All responses are confidential. There is nothing to worry about politically about any involvement in this process. Your selections will not be revealed unless you choose to do so yourself.
Anyone who receives mention on 60% of the ballots from the geographical region and time frame (broken down as Continental United States & Canada; Mexico; Japan; and the rest of the world) will be added to the Hall of Fame in the class of 2016.
If you are unfamiliar with any of the candidates due to geography of having never seen them, that is fine. Ballots are sent to many people from all over the world and from different wrestling cultures so that everyone has as fair a shot at possible.
The breakdown for modern and historical performers is 30 years ago, or 1986. So if the last year the person was a headliner, or was a key figure in the industry, was prior to 1986, they would be in the historical class.
All performers who receive mention on 10% to 59.9% of the ballots from their geographical region or era will remain on the ballot for consideration next year. All those who receive less than 10% of the vote will be dropped from next year's ballot. They can return in two years based on if there is significant feedback from voters who say they will vote for them. This is mostly for wrestlers who are still active who may improve their career legacy, but can be for retired wrestlers if voters believe they should be put on or returned to the ballot.
In addition, in following the lead of the baseball Hall of Fame, which is the model here, starting this year we have a 15-year-rule. The following candidates have been on the ballot since 2000. In baseball, this would be their last year of eligibility. Here, if they don't get at least 50% of the votes in this year's election they will be removed from the ballot. If they are modern candidates, they can be brought back in the historical performers era in two years if it is more than 30 years since their career as a Hall Fame level performer is up:
The following candidates will be dropped from next year's ballot unless they are elected in or garner 50% of the vote:
Cien Caras
Blue Panther
Seiji Sakaguchi
Villano III
Volk Han
Please return this ballot by October 15th. You can e-mail the ballot back to [email protected] or fax it to 408-244-3402 or mail (please do so by October 5th) to Wrestling Observer, P.O. Box 1228, Campbell, CA 95009-1228.
Please check by every category you are familiar with
I FOLLOWED THE HISTORICAL PERFORMERS ERA CANDIDATES
Red Bastien
Brute Bernard & Skull Murphy
June Byers
Domenic DeNucci
Cowboy Bob Ellis
Don Fargo
Pepper Gomez
Archie "Mongolian Stomper" Gouldie
Dick Hutton
Rocky Johnson
Killer Karl Kox
Mark Lewin
Pedro Morales
Blackjack Mulligan
Kinji Shibuya
John Tolos
Enrique Torres
Von Brauners & Saul Weingeroff
Johnny "Mr. Wrestling II" Walker
Tim "Mr. Wrestling" Woods
Bearcat Wright
Ron Wright
I FOLLOWED THE MODERN PERFORMERS IN U.S/CANADA CANDIDATES
Bryan Danielson/Daniel Bryan
Junkyard Dog
Edge
Curt Hennig
Randy Orton
C.M. Punk
Sgt. Slaughter
Sting
Kerry Von Erich
Ultimate Warrior
I FOLLOWED WRESTLING IN JAPAN CANDIDATES
Jun Akiyama
Cima
Yoshiaki Fujiwara
George Gordienko
Volk Han
Hayabusa
Masahiko Kimura
Satoshi Kojima & Hiroyoshi Tenzan
Yuji Nagata
Shinsuke Nakamura
Mike & Ben Sharpe
Minoru Suzuki
Kiyoshi Tamura
Akira Taue
I FOLLOWED WRESTLING IN MEXICO CANDIDATES
Brazo de Oro & Brazo de Plata & El Brazo
Caristico/Mistico
Cien Caras
Fishman
Ultimo Guerrero
Karloff Lagarde
Blue Panther
L.A. Park
Huracan Ramirez
El Signo & El Texano & Negro Navarro
Vampiro
Villano III
Dr. Wagner Jr.
I FOLLOWED WRESTLING IN EUROPE/AUSTRALIA/NEW ZEALAND/PACIFIC ISLANDS/AFRICA CANDIDATES
Spyros Arion
Johnny Barend
Jim Breaks
Big Daddy
Horst Hoffman
Billy Joyce
Mario Milano
Kendo Nagasaki
Jackie Pallo
Steve Rickard
Rollerball Mark Rocco
Johnny Saint
Ricki Starr
Otto Wanz
NON-WRESTLERS
Bill Apter
Lord James Blears
Dave Brown
Chyna
Jim Crockett Jr.
Jim Crockett Sr.
Gary Hart
Jimmy Hart
Howard Finkel
Ed Francis
Jerry Jarrett
Larry Matysik
Gene Okerluind
Don Owen
George Scott
Stanley Weston

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Some interesting things to note:

 

- Nakamura is on the ballot again even though he got in last year.

 

- Europe has been folded into the "rest of the World" category which I assume is related to Carlos Colon finally getting in last year.

 

- Hayabusa, Chyna, Lord James Blears, Ed Francis, Bearcat Wright, Don Fargo, Kerry Von Erich, Yoshiaki Fujiwara, Fishman, Mistico, Steve Rickard, Blackjack Mulligan and I think Archie Gouldie are all additions this year. Notable here is that Fujiwara is finally on the ballot after being previously laughed off, the lucha logjam issue has gotten worse, and Dave brought Chyna on while openly mocking my half joking Tommy Rich suggestion on Twitter

 

- Denucci, Lewin, Kox and Murphy/Bernard were moved from "rest of the world" to historical candidates. The Sharpe's however remain in Japan.

 

- Modern U.S. Candidates is the smallest region with only ten names. This is interesting for a variety of reasons.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The only thing more baffling than Chyna on the ballot is Chyna on there for non-wrestlers. She clearly can't be there for work or drawing, so the only thing close is historical important/influence. And whatever case she has there is for the fact that she normalised inter-gender matches, which is clearly something done as a wrestler. As a non-wrestler, she was a valet/bodyguard for less than two years.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Compare Chyna as a non-wrestler to say Sherri Martel. I would never vote for Sherri or advocate for on the ballot, but she was a vastly better performer, who worked higher up the cards at her peak, and was more memorable in the role. I suppose it is true that HHH never would have gotten over initially without Chyna and HHH has gone on to be one of the three or four most powerful figures in pro wrestling, but that has nothing to do with her. It's baffling to say the least.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I asked Dave this, but I'll see what peoples takes on here are; Should Terrible Ted be on the HoF ballot? Was he an actual draw to the point he'd be in the discussion? Is he simply overlooked or was his drawing as much to do with who he was working against?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The thing about considering Terrible Ted is there were other wrestling bears, I know there was a Ginger and I think one named Frank too. Seth Hanson has posted some cool posters from cards with wrestling bears on them and the promoters did stuff with them that I never knew about like having fans (or maybe "fans") wrestle the bear and even a match with Debbie Combs vs. the bear. Clearly the bear had drawing power though considering that the promotions that used wrestling bears used them over and over.

 

CpHYqFiWAAA0B1j.jpg

 

Cmt6SK4WYAEv820.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Steve Rickard being on the list amuses me.

 

Lord James Blears is a non-wrestler? I just watched him wrestle yesterday. Didn't he wrestle from 1940 to 1965? Is he really that important as an agent/commentator/booker/dude who read the formalities in English on All Japan shows? Seems weird.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Compare Chyna as a non-wrestler to say Sherri Martel. I would never vote for Sherri or advocate for on the ballot, but she was a vastly better performer, who worked higher up the cards at her peak, and was more memorable in the role. I suppose it is true that HHH never would have gotten over initially without Chyna and HHH has gone on to be one of the three or four most powerful figures in pro wrestling, but that has nothing to do with her. It's baffling to say the least.

 

Indeed. I'm amazed. What has Chyna done apart from being a truly efficient gimmicky valet for a year or two before becoming an atrocious in-ring worker ? Did she move any kind of needle like Sable did during the Attitude Era, which would be the *only* semi-valid criteria to event have her approach the ballot ?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

Compare Chyna as a non-wrestler to say Sherri Martel. I would never vote for Sherri or advocate for on the ballot, but she was a vastly better performer, who worked higher up the cards at her peak, and was more memorable in the role. I suppose it is true that HHH never would have gotten over initially without Chyna and HHH has gone on to be one of the three or four most powerful figures in pro wrestling, but that has nothing to do with her. It's baffling to say the least.

 

Indeed. I'm amazed. What has Chyna done apart from being a truly efficient gimmicky valet for a year or two before becoming an atrocious in-ring worker ? Did she move any kind of needle like Sable did during the Attitude Era, which would be the *only* semi-valid criteria to event have her approach the ballot ?

 

She died.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Mistico will be interesting. If you remember the list Dave did in 2010 working out the biggest draw each year (based on 10,000 crowds with bonus for 20k, 30k etc), then other than Miguel Perez as Rocca's partner, you have to go back to 1936 to find the last guy who isn't in the WON HOF.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Steve Rickard being on the list amuses me.

 

Lord James Blears is a non-wrestler? I just watched him wrestle yesterday. Didn't he wrestle from 1940 to 1965? Is he really that important as an agent/commentator/booker/dude who read the formalities in English on All Japan shows? Seems weird.

 

Gary Hart and Jerry Jarrett both wrestled for a good length of time, but that's not why they're on the ballot. I get what you're saying, but it seems a bit nitpicky to me.

 

Actually, that gets me thinking. Who had HOF-worthy careers as both a wrestler and a promoter? Baba, Inoki, Verne Gagne for sure. Eddie Graham? Bill Watts? Fritz Von Erich? Who else?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't like the fact he puts people on the ballot or back on the ballot immediately after they die. That's often the worst time for a clear-eyed assessment of someone's legacy (says the man who just finished writing an obituary).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I do not get why Europe is now being included in the mish-mash miscellaneous group after being separate up to now. It comes off as only paying lip service to there being wrestling outside of North America and Japan. This does not help any of those candidates. I think the better option would have been Europe staying separate and doing two miscellaneous groups (an Atlantic and Pacific group).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Part of the issue there is that Dave just saw that region as a way to get Colon in. He doesn't see anyone else in PR as worthy of consideration (I get the feeling that he sort of concedes that Invader 1 should be on the ballot at minimum but feels that he can't do it for the obvious reason) and I very much doubt he could be budged on this absent someone dropping dead. With Colon gone I suspect Dave looked out and saw a bunch of names he didn't feel super strongly about, in places where he himself isn't as knowledgeable, and decided to create one bucket.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I can just see the conspiracy theorists now seeing this as Dave putting another roadblock in the path of UK guys getting in the HOF.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'd say the goal was more taking the Other candidates and moving them to other groups since Other had served its purpose apparently. The ones that could be moved to US historical went there, while the rest got lumped with Europe. I'm pretty sure that was the reasoning behind the shifts and this is the end result.

 

It still comes off (whether intentional or not) as paying just lip service to any place that is not North America or Japan. I'd think you'd at least make more headway conversation wise if you went Europe, Atlantic (Central America, South America, Caribbean and Africa) and Pacific (India, Singapore, rest of Asia, New Zealand, Australia and Pacific islands). It would at least allow opportunity for research and education (regardless if in the end no one gets elected, which is a likely result).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think having the entire electorate vote on the European/Atlantic/Pacific/African candidates is probably a bad idea at this point. The Wrestling Observer, while doing an excellent job at covering the United States, Canada, and Japan, and at times doing a great job of covering Mexico and an adequate job of covering Puerto Rico, has not really shown that much of an interest in covering Europe, Australia, New Zealand, or Africa. Maybe if Dave can put together a panel of 3-5 people in Europe, Australia/New Zealand, Africa, and even Puerto Rico (I nominate El Boricua) to vote on candidates from these areas. Maybe some years somebody gets in, maybe some years they don't, but opening these areas up to an electorate that by and large, are only guessing as to whether or not these candidates are deserving, doesn't seem to be doing anybody much good.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I keep telling myself that I'll break down each candidate, but I'll never have time for that. Quick impressions...

 

Historical Performers: A lot of good performers. Some excellent candidates and a few that wouldn't stick out in a Hall of Fame, but it's awfully difficult to stand out in a field of 22 candidates.

 

Modern Performers: This is where a kind of reality check comes into play. There are 25-30 HOFers born in the 1960s. Seven were born in the '70s, one in the '80s. Eventually a lot of these performers are going to get in. If not guys on Edge and Randy Orton's level, then who? I wouldn't object to waiting a couple years on those guys and CM Punk and gaining a little perspective. Daniel Bryan should be a mortal lock. Sentimentally I would also support Sting.

 

Japan: I would like to hear the argument for CIMA. I don't know who separates themselves from the rest of the pack, though Volk Han seems like a strong candidate. Masahiko Tamura is intriguing as well because very few of Japan's pioneers are in. I'm far from an expert though.

 

Mexico: Villano III, Cien Caras and Blue Panther should all be in. Probably Dr. Wagner Jr. and Karloff Lagarde. The lucha trios are strong candidates though I don't know which is better and inducting both is a longshot. I'd listen to arguments for L.A. Park and Huracan Ramirez as well. That's nine before we start discussing Mistico, which is a sign that we probably need more perspective on him.

 

World: Big Daddy and/or Jim Breaks. I feel the U.K. should get at least another inductee this year. Electing either would make it easier to induct more British workers in the future. (Breaks because it sets a precedent, Daddy because it gets the literal elephant out of the way.)

 

Non-wrestlers: Howard Finkel, because he's clearly more visible in wrestling history than Jimmy Lennon, who is in. Jimmy Hart. I also think Jim Crockett Jr. doesn't get enough credit for 1983-86. He got buried by Vince McMahon, but EVERY promoter got crushed by Vince.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah, I hate how every discussion of promoters seems to end with "well in the end he went out of business, so he isn't HOF worthy" when that was literally the fate of everyone who wasn't Vince. It seems to be nearly forgotten how huge that early period was for JCP.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×