The WWE Hall of Fame might not be as prestigious as, say, the Baseball HOF in Cooperstown, but in the world of professional wrestling, it’s one of the highest honors that can be bestowed.
Last year’s WWE Hall of Fame class was stacked with the likes of Kurt Angle, Diamond Dallas Page, and Rick Rude. The 2018 inductees should also be full of some of great names from WWE’s past. For longtime fans, the induction ceremonies are an awesome way to visit with the greats of the 80s and 90s (if only from afar). They’re also a fantastic way to feel old.
The 2018 Hall of Fame induction ceremonies will coincide with Wrestlemania 34 (April 8th) and will be televised on the WWE Network.
Usually, each class includes a top-level star (i.e. a first- ballot Hall of Famer), a female wrestler, a tag-team duo, a celebrity, and a name from the late 80s or early 90s (dead or alive).
With that paradigm in mind, who’s likely to be inducted next year? Below are a few worthy candidates and their odds of getting the call to the hall.
2018 WWE HALL OF FAME ODDS
Normally Dave Bautista wouldn’t be at the top of my list, but there have been some rumors that the man who played Drax in Guardians of the Galaxy could be inducted in 2018.
One thing Batista has stated in the past is that he would love to have one more match against longtime friend and mentor HHH. Could that happen at Wrestlemania 34? It’s a distinct possibility, and it would tie in well with his HOF induction. Whatever happens, the former WWE Champion is now firmly entrenched in Hollywood so a place in the Hall makes sense as he is quasi-retired.
I’m not sure of Goldberg’s status in regards to making a return to the WWE ring and competing again. I know the former champ stated that he and the company are on great terms and not to rule out a return to action. That said, it’s highly likely that he could get his spot in the WWE Hall of Fame sooner than later. There is also an apparent documentary that the WWE shot while Goldberg went on his recent run, that could coincide with a HOF induction.
“It’s Time! It’s Vader Time!” When it comes to the HOF, that’s certainly true.
Leon Allen White, or Vader to wrestling fans, is a shoo-in for the Hall at some point. Although the bulk of his career was spent in WCW, he did have a good run in the WWE, too. With former WCW greats like Sting and Diamond Dallas Page already inducted, it would make sense to have Vader in as well.
This might have to happen sooner rather than later due to Vader’s declining health. I’m sure the WWE would love to induct him while he’s still around and can appreciate the adoration.
The Dudley Boyz: 3/1
Predicting what tag team will be inducted into the HOF is tough. There are many teams that deserve to be there like Demolition, The Hart Foundation, The Rockers, The British Bulldogs to name a few. That said, I believe the Dudley Boyz are the most likely to get the nod at this year’s festivities.
The Dudleys won multiple titles over their WWE careers, not to mention their accomplishments in ECW and TNA, and they were part of some of the most entertaining and innovative tag-team matches we have ever seen.
D-Von currently works for the WWE as a producer and the team has a great relationship with the company. If their induction doesn’t happen in 2018 will likely come in 2019.
The Undertaker: 4/1
Another great who just retired, or did he? Ostensibly, “The Dead Man” wrestled his final match at Wrestlemania 33. That would be a fitting end for the legend, who can barely move in the ring.
The Undertaker is a first-ballot Hall of Famer and it would be cool to see him inducted in 2018 in the same place (New Orleans’ Superdome) where his streak of 21 Wrestlemania victories ended at the hands of Brock Lesnar at Wrestlemania XXX back in 2014.
Rob Van Dam: 17/3
Rob Van Dam is another Hall of Fame lock at some point. Innovation, alone, makes this former ECW and WWE champion deserving of a place in the HOF. The high-flying star hit opponents with moves that we had never seen before. “Mr. Monday Night” thrilled audiences for years and he would be a welcomed addition to the Hall, but will it be in 2018? Odds are against it.
The Rock: 17/3
Speaking of being firmly entrenched in Hollywood, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson still hasn’t been put into the WWE Hall of Fame. It’s probably up to the greatest sports entertainer of all time on when he wants to go in, so maybe he’ll wait until Wrestlemania goes back to his home state of Florida. The seven-time champ always has to be up near the top of these lists, because it’ll happen when The Rock says it will happen. If you smmeeeeellllllll what the …. nevermind.
Cyndi Lauper: 9/1
The WWE likes to throw celebrities into the Hall of Fame. President Donald Trump is in, so anything is possible.
One of the big glaring omissions in this category is Cyndi Lauper, who not only feuded with Captain Lou Albano but worked as a valet for Wendi Richter at Wrestlemania 1. She went on to make numerous appearances in the WWE and, in the 80s, she helped bring more eyes to the promotion, helping it grow from a regional show to a national powerhouse. Girls just want to have fun, but that shouldn’t stop them from being inducted into the Hall.
If there is one person who revolutionized women’s wrestling, it has to be Chyna. Unfortunately, Joanie Laurer passed away a couple of years ago, so her induction would be posthumous, which is unfortunate.
There was some bad blood between Chyna and the WWE, and her post-wrestling foray into porn didn’t help. The story of Chyna is a tragic tale, but that shouldn’t take away from her accomplishments. Her induction will happen at some point. The longer this omission goes, the more the HOF loses legitimacy.
It’s time to recognize the greatest female wrestler of all time. Please don’t let Sable get in before Chyna!
Speaking of Sable, there was a time when WWE divas weren’t really “wrestlers” per se. They were sex objects who came to the ring as a valet and shook their money makers. Thankfully, we are past that — and the women of WWE are showcased for their remarkable athleticism — but there were some notable standouts from the old days of the Attitude Era.
Sable is the most memorable. The former women’s champ never really wrestled much, but she was a marquee attraction for her … umm … assets? She managed Marc Mero, A-Train and Brock Lesnar to name a few. Eventually, she married Lesnar and they’ve been together ever since living on their ranch in Saskatchewan.
You tell Brock Lesnar that his wife doesn’t deserve to be in the HOF because I’m not gonna.
I want this to happen and it needs to happen. Considered to be one of the greatest tag teams of all time, Ax and Smash were colorful and memorable characters in the late 80s who regularly took part in the big matches at Wrestlemania. Eventually, they added a third member (Crush) and they once held the record for the longest reigning tag team champs in WWE history. They shouldn’t be shunned any longer.
One problem, Bill Eadie (Ax) and Barry Darsow (Smash) are part of a lawsuit that is suing the WWE for negligence in regards to repeated head trauma. There are 50 former WWE wrestlers involved in the case, which is a massive headache for the company. Oy, bad choice of words. Sorry.