Jump to content
Pro Wrestling Only
Sign in to follow this  
jushin muta liger

2019 Wrestling Observer Hall of Fame

Recommended Posts

Listening to Observer podcast & "trying to read the tealeaves" on what he's saying on here.  Sounds like neither Orton nor Edge made it, called them borderline picks.  Ibushi "should be in", Omega he called a "probable", said Naito should be decided after 2020 so sounds like he didn't get in.  So I'm guessing it's mostly older candidates.

He then defends the need to judge guys during their prime rather than in retrospect, claiming JYD and Slaughter look better in retrospect but no one would have considered them at the time.  He talks about how both guys went into coast mode once they became stars, tarnishing their legacies.

There is an interesting discussion where he seems to be questioning the need for the HOF in the future, feeling that once Okada is in, there won't be anymore quality candidates to even consider.  This talking point seems odd to me as I guess I always thought we would get to the point where people would just vote for less candidates as time goes by, which is totally valid based on the guidelines.  They talk about Reigns and Rollins as borderline candidates and how WWE's use of him has kind of killed Danielson.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, WrestlingPower said:

There is an interesting discussion where he seems to be questioning the need for the HOF in the future, feeling that once Okada is in, there won't be anymore quality candidates to even consider.  This talking point seems odd to me as I guess I always thought we would get to the point where people would just vote for less candidates as time goes by, which is totally valid based on the guidelines.  They talk about Reigns and Rollins as borderline candidates and how WWE's use of him has kind of killed Danielson.

Granted the WWE’s went dormant for about a decade, before they figured out how to monetize the induction ceremony, and found large enough niche audiences for HOF labels on home video collection and collectable items (figures and trading cards), but at least there are physical THINGS that they get as HOFers (never mind most of the most deserving candidates were either still active or had IRL heat with the company).  Plus there is always talk of a physical Hall coming to the Performance Center.

But nothing screams “why is a Hall that exists only on someone’s hard drive getting more attention than physical ones in Texas, St. Louis, etc” than the idea of “ceasing” it once someone gets in, because, according to ONE PERSON, going forward there will be a bit of a dry spell for candidates on his level.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, WrestlingPower said:

Listening to Observer podcast & "trying to read the tealeaves" on what he's saying on here.  Sounds like neither Orton nor Edge made it, called them borderline picks.  Ibushi "should be in", Omega he called a "probable", said Naito should be decided after 2020 so sounds like he didn't get in.  So I'm guessing it's mostly older candidates.

Thought the same in regards to Orton and Edge.  Dave was "trying" to not to give anything away with Garrett but then started talking and the implication was neither made it this time.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It will be amusing to read Dave's HOF bio for the guy he spent years calling "The Junkfood Dog" if he in fact did get in.  

Also the dwindling amount of newer candidates emerging should hopefully allow there to be a few years (like this one seems to be) where the backlog of older names gets whittled down to manageable levels. Maybe after a couple of years like that wrestling will be back in a position of having multiple promotions offering up HOF worthy names.

The Orton and Edge stuff is interesting. With Edge, there's always the thing with anyone who had to retire suddenly due to injury of "what if" that causes people to sell short what they actually did. You'd think he'd be a lock for being part of a defining era of tag team wrestling and for being a strong heel as a singles star. Orton on the other had always strikes me as the wrestling equivalent of the guy in real sports who racked up a ton of impressive stats because they played for a long time, rather than someone who was actually one of the greatest.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
22 hours ago, WrestlingPower said:

There is an interesting discussion where he seems to be questioning the need for the HOF in the future, feeling that once Okada is in, there won't be anymore quality candidates to even consider.  This talking point seems odd to me as I guess I always thought we would get to the point where people would just vote for less candidates as time goes by, which is totally valid based on the guidelines.  They talk about Reigns and Rollins as borderline candidates and how WWE's use of him has kind of killed Danielson.

Another point, I’d imagine this is being used by New York Yankee fans this year when it comes to their soon to be latest baseball Hall of Famer, Derek Jeter.

Never mind how overrated Jeter is, in terms of belonging in a discussion of all-time greats, but it is a silly argument by fans with Pinstriped Colored Glasses to suggest that since no one following Jeter is on his “level” in terms of being a “leader, winner, etc” so might as well close up the shop in the baseball Hall of Fame, and the Yankees’ Monument Park.

Also, this is an actual reason why a, thankfully, small handful of voters (members of the Baseball Writers Association of America) have only voted for Jeter (you can vote for a maximum of 10 players every year).  While their opinion of the others on the ballot might be fair, in their mind anyway, its a silly notion when thinking about voting for candidates that might deserve some more looks into their records, etc. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Not counting whoever gets in this year, there are 39 inductees who were born in the 1960s, eight from the 1970s and two from the 1980s. Either the quality of wrestling has fallen completely down the toilet in the last twenty years (possible), or we're using the wrong standards to judge Hall of Fame candidates. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

People born in the 80ies are still all under 40. There are even only six wrestlers on the ballot, that were born in the 80ies (Orton, Naito, Omega, Ibushi, Caristico and Volador Jr.). So that is not a fair comparison.

Plus there were more big promotions for guys born in the 60ies to be a star in (for US, that is). For 70ies and 80ies there was just WWF/WWE (in theory 70ies guys also had WCW, but there was only one 70ies guy, who got the heavyweight belt: Paul Wight (well, David Arquette was also born in the 70ies)), so the number of slots to be a star was pretty small.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I listened to the radio show, Dave brought up Sgt. Slaughter and that his AWA run keeps him out of the hall of fame. This was in the context of judging candidates while they're fresh rather than years after the fact. The thought occurred to me, if the Observer Hall of Fame had been around in the 1980s, Sgt. Slaughter would've been eligible in 1984. How many votes would he have gotten straight after the Iron Sheik feud when he was probably at his pure peak career-wise.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 12/9/2019 at 2:47 PM, WrestlingPower said:

Listening to Observer podcast & "trying to read the tealeaves" on what he's saying on here.  Sounds like neither Orton nor Edge made it, called them borderline picks.  Ibushi "should be in", Omega he called a "probable", said Naito should be decided after 2020 so sounds like he didn't get in.  So I'm guessing it's mostly older candidates.

He then defends the need to judge guys during their prime rather than in retrospect, claiming JYD and Slaughter look better in retrospect but no one would have considered them at the time.  He talks about how both guys went into coast mode once they became stars, tarnishing their legacies.

There is an interesting discussion where he seems to be questioning the need for the HOF in the future, feeling that once Okada is in, there won't be anymore quality candidates to even consider.  This talking point seems odd to me as I guess I always thought we would get to the point where people would just vote for less candidates as time goes by, which is totally valid based on the guidelines.  They talk about Reigns and Rollins as borderline candidates and how WWE's use of him has kind of killed Danielson.

This seems like an odd talking point on Dave's part. Surely if AEW is a sustainable long-term project then the likes of Cody and The Bucks have to be considered. If All Japan returns to prominence in the way that New Japan managed to less than a decade ago, that puts their top line acts in the discussion. Same with Stardom if their acquisition helps them reach new levels of popularity. In a business that now seems so variable and in flux, that's a harder argument to make than it would have been ten years ago. Like you said, the historical candidates might dry up. But that doesn't mean the whole thing is dead. I can even see a world where an uptick in lucha popularity for fans outside of Mexico could lead to greater evaluation of historical candidates in that region.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I kind of always assumed the historical candidates bucket was sort of intended to eventually go away.  To me that was more to re-evaluate borderline candidates or people overlooked in the original class.  To me, discussing a guy for up to 15 years in the current bucket only for him to then move to the historical bucket, potentially, for even more discussion seems like overkill.  In that exact scenario I would agree with the idea of needing to assess the guy closer to when his career is going on.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Al said:

I listened to the radio show, Dave brought up Sgt. Slaughter and that his AWA run keeps him out of the hall of fame. This was in the context of judging candidates while they're fresh rather than years after the fact. The thought occurred to me, if the Observer Hall of Fame had been around in the 1980s, Sgt. Slaughter would've been eligible in 1984. How many votes would he have gotten straight after the Iron Sheik feud when he was probably at his pure peak career-wise.

 

All of the votes?

I'm curious what Dave's fundamental point is here? That Slaughter belongs in? That Slaughter doesn't belong in? That waiting and judging a wrestler's career after the highpoint of their career is a better way to glean historical perspective than rushing to judgment during their peak and thus the voters are correct not to vote in Slaughter? Or the opposite? Its bizarre. I know "wrestlers never retire" but no other Hall of Fame works even remotely close to this. I will never understand why he thinks it is a good idea. And remember, the reason for the original 35 yrs old or 10 yrs experience was due to the forced early retirement for the 70s & 80s AJW wrestlers...so this major flaw was created for the sake of about 10 candidates...some of whom had already unretired and were regularly working again.

I also disagree with the idea that there won't be viable candidates moving forward. We could search through the wrestlingclassics WON forum and find quotes from 15 years ago of people saying the exact same thing, but at least one modern wrestler has been voted in every single year except for 2008. 

It also suggests that all the historical candidates are in. Mark Lewin, The Sharpe Brothers, Pedro Morales, the Assassins, Eddie Quinn, Ray Fabiani have all gone in over the past 4 years. Hans Schmidt didn't even make it on the ballot until 2007, when he was 82 years old. Historians noted him as a possibly overlooked candidate, did the research and built a case for him and he was eventually voted in.  Backlund went from 10 votes in 1998 to 110 votes in 2004 because more information became available, people considered it and voted for him. I think most people now would agree that Backlund absolutely belongs in. There has been successful and unexplored wrestling from all over the world. How many of us were familiar with Martin Karadagian in the years before he went in. 

If folks were really concerned with a lack of viable candidates going forward, they could start holding the historical candidates to the same low standard of the modern guys. When the Ultimo Dragon of the 1930s goes in, Dave should shut it down. :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, WrestlingPower said:

I kind of always assumed the historical candidates bucket was sort of intended to eventually go away.  To me that was more to re-evaluate borderline candidates or people overlooked in the original class.  To me, discussing a guy for up to 15 years in the current bucket only for him to then move to the historical bucket, potentially, for even more discussion seems like overkill.  In that exact scenario I would agree with the idea of needing to assess the guy closer to when his career is going on.

I think the historical candidates should be treated more like the veterans committee for the baseball HOF. A limited number of voters not open to just everyone. Bearcat Wright got 125 votes for 48%. That seems like a lot of people voting in the historical bucket. I agree the way it would work as you describe it is silly. Especially when people voting for historical candidates now could also just vote for Slaughter (for example) now too if they thought he was worthy.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

JYD was not a brilliant worker, but he was the biggest draw in the history of a really hot, successful territory, make New Orleans a wrestling town, and was the first black guy to be treated as the absolute ace of the promotion, no matter how much that pissed off local arena promoters. Surely, based on the last factor, he deserves to be in for historical influence alone?? Meltzer himself has written about how when the Dog became the number one guy in Mid-South, there were so many who thought it was a stupid idea making a black guy the franchise of a promotion. The fact that he became a huge draw and then, for a while, the number 2 baby-face in WWF after Hogan is certainly historically important.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 minutes ago, MoS said:

JYD was not a brilliant worker, but he was the biggest draw in the history of a really hot, successful territory, make New Orleans a wrestling town, and was the first black guy to be treated as the absolute ace of the promotion, no matter how much that pissed off local arena promoters. Surely, based on the last factor, he deserves to be in for historical influence alone?? Meltzer himself has written about how when the Dog became the number one guy in Mid-South, there were so many who thought it was a stupid idea making a black guy the franchise of a promotion. The fact that he became a huge draw and then, for a while, the number 2 baby-face in WWF after Hogan is certainly historically important.

JYD 100% is a HOF by any measure that's not 100% work based, it's just going to be amusing for me if/when he gets in since Dave spent most of the late 80s slagging on the guy.   I know he wrote a great obit, but I can just imagine how badly Watts beat Dave's ear about JYD leaving him for Vince*. 

 

(*which was kinda bullshit since he did the 80s Vince Maneuver of leaving without notice and leaving advertised dates unfilled)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The inductees:

Los Misioneros de la Muerte

Ultimo Guerrero

Villano III

Dr. Wagner Jr.

Gedo

Jim Crockett Sr.

Bearcat Wright

Paul Pons

 

Still no justice for Taue or Akiyama (although the latter came three votes short). On the plus side, the lucha logjam finally broke.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, sek69 said:

JYD 100% is a HOF by any measure that's not 100% work based, it's just going to be amusing for me if/when he gets in since Dave spent most of the late 80s slagging on the guy.   I know he wrote a great obit, but I can just imagine how badly Watts beat Dave's ear about JYD leaving him for Vince*. 

 

(*which was kinda bullshit since he did the 80s Vince Maneuver of leaving without notice and leaving advertised dates unfilled)

JYD was a good worker too, he was coasting in the WWF (although there is a huge list of good territory workers who sucked in the WWF), but all of the Mid-South stuff we have from him is pretty good, and some of it was really great

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, NintendoLogic said:

The inductees:

Los Misioneros de la Muerte

Ultimo Guerrero

Villano III

Dr. Wagner Jr.

Gedo

Jim Crockett Sr.

Bearcat Wright

Paul Pons

 

Still no justice for Taue or Akiyama (although the latter came three votes short). On the plus side, the lucha logjam finally broke.

 

Finally justice for lucha, but honestly everyone who got in deserved it (admittedly I don't know Paul Pons but he seemed like a pretty important historical figure for French wrestling based on the writeup he got).  When the worst you can say about it is "why'd it take so long" you know that's a pretty good HOF class.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've always been skeptical of Don Owen's candidacy, but he seems to me to be a stronger candidate than Crockett Sr. If Crockett is in, Owen should be as well.

Also, the HOF issue contains the following paragraph (emphasis added):

"Wrestlers are supposed to be judged on four major criteria, positive historical influence on the business, drawing power, in-ring ability as it pertains to having outstanding matches, and longevity. A Hall of Famer should be strong in all four of those categories, but if they were one of the dominant standouts of their era in the ring, or as a draw, they should be voted regardless of the other categories. Longevity without having any major positive historical impact, significant drawing power or a career filled with great matches, should be viewed as meaningless."

So there you go. Meltzer officially endorses Great Match Theory.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Interesting. In the past, he's categorically refused to put groups on the ballot if they had members who were already in as solo acts. Maybe seeing all the multiple inductees in the WWE HOF has changed his thinking. If so, we can actually have the Four Horsemen on the ballot rather than the cheap substitute of "Arn and Tully with JJ Dillon."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I mentioned this earlier in this thread but we talked about other stuff instead. But I've been thinking about it for a few days while stuck inside.

What do people think about Shinobu Kandori and Megumi Kudo as candidates for the ballot? I want to do more research on both of them especially in regards to mainstream success, but they seem like easily the biggest stars of Joshi's golden era that haven't been on the ballot. I know Kandori has been on TV shows for years and has done some MMA-y stuff that I don't give a shit about but WON folks might. LLPW actually has some fairly big drawing shows. 8000 for Kandori vs Bull. Almost 8,000 at Sumo Hall in 1998 when te Joshi scene was post-peak. Part of the most memorable match/feud of Joshi's golden era. Kandori was a name on some level starting in 1986 and her 50th birthday show in 2014 drew 8,000 at Sumo Hall (Tenryu & Fujiwara were in Kandori's match, because of course they were). That's a really long run, especially for a women's wrestler, to be a relevant name.

Kudo I know was a star of some magnitude, perhaps a magazine darling? She was the face of the FMW women's division which put her in the position of having featured matches on major shows drawing 20,000-50,000 fans. On an interpromotional show with all the biggest stars in Joshi that was up to that point the biggest women's wrestling card in history (DreamSlam 1), Kudo was part of the tag team main event. Her exploding barbed wire match with Toyoda at FMW's 7th anniversary show was 2nd from the top on a show that drew 33,000+ without Atsushi Onita wrestling, and is one of the most famous Japanese matches of the 90s male or female. Kudo's retirement show saw her main event against Shark Tsuchiya and sell out Yokohoma arena.

Opinions may vary on their in-ring ability, but no one would argue that they were less than good. Seems like there's room for them on a ballot that is adding Brian Pillman.

Gonna do some more research, maybe find some WON quotes I can quote back at Dave.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Funny, I was thinking about female HOF candidates just a couple days ago. There are eleven women in the WON HOF. Ten of those are joshi, the other is Mildred Burke. The last woman elected was Aja Kong in 2006. It has struck me as odd that while nearly all the women in are joshi, there hasn't been any others seriously considered. Logic would suggest that if there were ten deserving inductees, surely there were a bunch more on the cusp? 

 

So to tie this in with Elliott's post. Regardless of whether they're actually deserving of induction, who would you rate as the five best candidates not yet in the WON HOF? If you don't think Kandori and Kudo are HOFers, are they still your one and two? And a second side question. If no American women are in your top five, who is your best candidate?

So you don't need to open a tab and double check. Currently In: Akira Hokuto, Dump Matsumoto, Chigusa Nagayo, Lioness Asuka, Bull Nakano, Aja Kong, Devil Masami, Jaguar Yokota, Manami Toyota, Jackie Sato, Mildred Burke

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
Sign in to follow this  

×