The 2017 WWE Hall of Fame is shaping up to be one of the best all-around versions of the event in WWE history. During the announcements for other years, the headliner is usually worthy of his billing, but some of the other inductees are highly questionable to many wrestling fans. Seemingly, the list of credible talent is fading away, especially since there have not been many stars built in the WWE over the past 15 years. During this era, names such as Steve Austin, Edge, Eddie Guerrero, and Booker T are already inducted, while others such as Chris Jericho, The Rock, The Undertaker, Goldberg, and John Cena are shoo-in inductees as soon as their professional wrestling careers are over.
As of now, Kurt Angle, The Rock ‘n’ Roll Express, Teddy Long, and “Diamond” Dallas Page have been officially announced as Hall of Fame inductees. In 2016, Sting, Stan Hansen, Jacqueline, The Fabulous Freebirds, The Big Boss Man, and The Godfather were all inducted, making the total of five singles competitors and one team. The year before, six singles competitors (Randy Savage, Kevin Nash, Alundra Blayze, Larry Zbyszko, Tatsumi Fujinami, and Rikishi) and one team (The Bushwhackers) were inducted. This is not including the Celebrity or Legacy Wing.
Based on these figures, two to three more names are expected of be inducted into this year’s Hall of Fame. Over the past few months, names such as William Regal, Christian, Mike Rotunda, and Beth Phoenix have all been rumored to be added to this year’s class.
Along with the wrestling talent who get inducted, fans also anticipate who will be inducting them. With the recent announcement of DDP going into the Hall of Fame, Jim Ross stated on his blog that the person who will induct him is expected to be Eric Bischoff. He stated that he was told that Bischoff would be the one inducting him, and it “makes for a nice story.”
Over the years, there have been very poignant speeches given from the ones who are inducting, as well as a good way to see them return. Names such as Vader, The Honky Tonk Man, Stevie Ray, and Carlito all made WWE returns at the WWE Hall of Fame to induct their respected class members. In 2007, Cody Rhodes put himself on the map with his poignant speech while inducting Dusty Rhodes into the Hall of Fame.
DDP gave a very emotional speech in 2014 while has inducted Jake “The Snake” Roberts into the Hall of Fame. He told a passionate story about Roberts giving him such sound advice and opportunity when he was trying to establish himself as a wrestler and helping his recovery from addiction was a way to return the favor.
“I was lucky enough to actually live with Jake ‘The Snake’ Roberts back in 1994. I had just got let go from WCW because I tore my rotator cuff. Well, let’s just say I got fired. Hey, sometimes a negative turns into a positive. Plus, they didn’t believe in the 36-year-old rookie either. But that guy did, Dusty Rhodes, and so did Jake Roberts.”
Page would go on to tell how Roberts stayed with Page and his then-wife Kimberly for a period of time, and he learned so much from this time together with him.
Throughout the time DDP was in WCW, it has been widely reported that he had a strong friendship with Eric Bischoff, who was the president of the company. However, as Page stated in his Hall of Fame speech inducting Roberts, many did not believe in his ability to succeed in wrestling since he spent so many years in the business as a manager and color commentator. However, he was able to prove the naysayers wrong and win his first WCW World Championship at the age of 43.
If Bischoff is indeed the one who will induct DDP into the WWE Hall of Fame, it will be interesting to see his thoughts on Page achieving so much in a stage of his life that would be the end of many wrestler’s careers.
[Featured Image by WWE]