Posted April 18th, 2015 by jshannon

Crystal Ball—WWE Hall of Fame, Class of 2016

Jay Shannon draws upon all his predictive skills to try and figure out a major wrestling event.

So, Wrestlemania is going to my old hometown, Dallas, next year. Technically, it will be in Arlington, Tarrant County but that’s just splitting hairs. Anyway, I thought I’d give my early predictions of who just might be going into the WWE Hall of Fame, next time around. Let me know what you think.

The Undertaker

The native of Houston, Texas will likely lead the class. Taker’s formative years took place in the old World Class/USWA territory. In fact, a masked Undertaker was the first opponent of Steve Williams, later known as “Stone Cold” Steve Austin. To be honest, the WWE is running out of Top Tier talent to put in the Hall of Fame. Undertaker has been a force in WWE since 1990 and truly deserves his spot in the sun. Kane would be the obvious one to induct his “Brother”.


Dustin Runnels got his training, under the legendary Skandor Akbar, in the Dallas area. I remember meeting the young man in the late 80s in Denton, Texas. Dustin had a decent career before he headed to the WWF. Once he arrived, he completely reinvented himself into one of the most controversial and unique characters in wrestling history. As Goldy’s career finds itself winding down, it is a perfect time to include him with the elite of the industry. Dusty Rhodes would likely induct his son. If for some reason Dusty could not be there, the honor would likely go to Goldy’s former tag partner, Booker T.

The Fabulous Freebirds

When you think about tag teams in the Dallas area, two names come to mind: The Von Erichs and the Fabulous Freebirds. The von Erichs went in several years ago and now it is time for their arch-rivals to get their due. While I have always been a huge fan of Jimmy Garvin, this honor should not include him. He should get his own spot. The Freebirds that worked the WWF, under the management of Cyndi Lauper and David Wolfe, were the originals: Michael Hayes, Terry Gordy and Buddy Roberts. Sadly, Bam Bam and Buddy Jack are no longer with us. There can only be one person to induct this incredible team into the Hall of Fame…Kevin Von Erich. It was Michael Hayes that inducted the Von Erichs, so it just seems logical that he would return the favor.

JBL (John “Bradshaw” Layfield)

John Layfield started his career in the Dallas area. He was first a cousin to the Windham/Mulligan family. He stared as “Big” John Hawk. Then he became Justin “Hawk” Bradshaw. From there, he became Bradshaw and later Blackjack Bradshaw. Eventually, he changed identities to become John ‘Bradshaw” Layfield. It was shortened to JBL. JBL held tons of titles during his career. After retirement, JBL moved into commentary. He has been outstanding behind the microphone. Ron Simmons, JBL’s APA partner, would have to be the person to induct JBL.

Vickie Guerrero

The native of El Paso, Texas was one of the most colorful characters in WWE history. She turned tragedy into success. After the untimely death of her husband, Eddie, Vickie was brought into the WWE. She worked as a manager for several stars, as well as being one of the most infamous General Managers to ever work for the company. Her catch phrase (Excuse Me), while irritating, became iconic. Her feuds with Santina Marella (Santino’s “Sister) was epic, due to the comedic aspect of it. Her various storyline romances provided some of the best entertainment during her run in the company. There are several people who could induct Vickie but I think the honor should go to her former “husband”, Hall of Famer, Edge.

Bruiser Brody

Frank Goodish battled in World Class, the AWA, the old WWF, Japan, Puerto Rico and a million small territories, around the world. Brody’s style influences dozens of stars, over the years. His murder, which happened almost 30 years ago, is still a subject often spoken about at conventions and other gatherings of wrestling fans. Brody was trained by Hall of Famer member, The Sheik (Ed Farhat). There are three men that I could see inducting Brody: Terry Funk, Abdullah the Butcher or Jimmy “Superfly” Snuka. All three had fantastic feuds and/or teamings with the man from Santa Fe, New Mexico. He would perfectly fit in with the Legends Era inductions of recent years.

Stan Hansen

Stan “The Man” Hansen is a former AWA World Champion, as well as holding multiple regional titles. He is a legend in Japan. But he is probably known best for breaking Bruno Sammartino’s neck in 1976. Hansen was trained by the Funk family and paired up with Bruiser Brody, early on. Hansen, who is already in the Texas Wrestling Hall of Fame, has been honored all around the world. Dory Funk, Jr. should honor his former student by inducting him into the Hall of Fame.

Susan G Komen – Warrior Award

This non-profit organization was started, in Dallas, in 1982. It was founded by Nancy Goodman Brinker in memory of her sister, Susan Goodman Komen. Susan died of Breast Cancer in 1980. The Warrior Award is meant to represent the spirit of the Warrior. He believed in life and hope, which is the message presented by the Susan G. Komen organization. The award should be accepted, if possible, by founder Nancy Goodman Brinker. John Cena would be the obvious choice to present the award.

Chuck Norris – Celebrity Wing

The star of Walker, Texas Ranger was actually born in Ryan, Oklahoma. A student of the late, great Bruce Lee, Norris has had an amazing film and tv career. He has also been involved with the WWF, directly and indirectly, for decades. Triple H will likely do the induction but it would make more sense to have Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat to induct a master of martial arts into the Hall of Fame.

In Conclusion:

There were several others that I considered for my picks for the Hall of Fame. Kamala, “Gentleman” Chris Adams (who trained “Stone Cold” Steve Austin), Jose Lothario, Michael Cole, King Kong Bundy and a few others came to mind. Cole will likely go in the following year on the 20th anniversary of being in the WWE. I tried to think of people that truly represented the Lone Star State of Texas.


–Jay Shannon

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