The 2017 Hall of Fame looks to be shaping up as one of the best classes WWE has ever compiled. While there have been a number of names rumored, WWE shocked the pro wrestling community by announcing that Kurt Angle will be inducted this year. The Hall of Fame ceremony is always a pleasantly nostalgic trip down memory lane, showing video packages of the days of yesteryear.
So far, names such as Rick Rude, DDP, Christian, William Regal, and the Natural Disasters have all been discussed as 2017 WWE Hall of Fame inductees.
With this rumored class, according to Wrestling News, one more name looks to be on this list is former WWE General Manager Teddy Long.
Another Name revealed for #WWE Hall OF Fame? #TeddyLong is being talked about for this year’s WWE Hall Of Fame class, according to PWInsider Elite. His name has come up a lot in WWE within the past few days. Long began his career in the wrestling business as a referee for Jim Crockett Promotions in 1985 and he later transitioned into a manager role. His most memorable run from the late 80’s/early 90’s was as the manager of Doom (Ron Simmons and Butch Reed). He joined the World Wrestling Federation in 1998 where he worked as a referee and then as a manager. He may be better known for his run as GM of Smackdown from 2004 to 2012. As most of you know by now, Kurt Angle is the headliner this year and Diamond Dallas Page’s name has been reported as another name going in this year. Beth Phoenix is also expected to be inducted this year and “Ravishing” Rick Rude will be posthumously inducted. #Wrestleheads
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I had the opportunity to reach out to Teddy Long via text message to see if WWE has contacted him regarding a Hall of Fame induction. He responded, “[Know] nothing about it.”
Teddy Long is a true example of someone having a passion for the business and working his way up the ladder. During an episode of Legends of Wrestling, Long explained his arduous journey of his professional wrestling career. Desiring to make it in the business, Long started his career path being a gopher for Abdullah the Butcher, and then began taking jackets from wrestlers during their matches. He progressed to doing ring work for wrestling shows, setting it up and tearing it down.
“Dusty [Rhodes] gave me my first job. That was just amazing to me, too. Before I really got a job, I cleaned up the TV studio, I cleaned up the bathrooms, swept the floors after the tapings were over and everybody left. Started putting up the ring, taking the ring down. After five or six months after hanging around and doing stuff without any money, they needed someone to work the ring, put the ring up, take the ring down. I think I was making about 75 dollars.”
Despite his hard work, there were people in power who were having discouraging conversations with him.
Long explained in an interview that NWA promoter Jim Crockett called him the “N word” and told him to get off his plane. He explained in another interview that former Four Horsemen manager JJ Dillion booked him on a show in North Carolina, which is about a four hour drive. When he arrived, he was told by Crockett that he was no longer needed, sending him home without anything.
Long did not let these situations get the best of him, and kept marching towards his goal of succeeding in the business. In an interview on the Pancakes and Powerslams Show, Long stated that his ascension from the ring crew, to a referee, to a manager, was based on important figures backstage realizing that Long had an ability to talk. He then accompanied teams such as Doom, the Skyscrapers, and 2 Cold Scorpio & Marcus Alexander Bagwell, as well as a number of singles competitors.
This resume was strong enough to give Long a position in WWE as first a referee, and then a manager. This led to the General Manager of SmackDown, where he stayed in that position for the better part of 10 years, also being in charge of Raw and ECW for short stints during this time.
Teddy Long is well-deserved of a WWE Hall of Fame inducted, and has shown how successful someone can be if he or she sticks to the goal of being in a position that is desired. Starting off from very humble beginnings, it took 20 years for long to be in a prominent position, and Long would certainly agree that it was well worth the time if this reward will be given as a sign of thanks.
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