PARKS'S TAKE PARKS'S TAKE: Possible presenters for 2013 WWE Hall-of-Famers
Mar 26, 2013 - 3:59:53 PM
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By Greg Parks, PWTorch columnist
With presumably all of the 2013 WWE Hall-of-Famers locked in at this point, I thought I’d take a look at possible inductors for one of the most deserving classes, top to bottom, of inductees. We already know two inductors, one revealed yesterday, that being actor and Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger for Bruno Sammartino.
In interviews, Sammartino had mentioned longtime friend Schwarzenegger as a possibility, as well as Larry Zbyszko, his opponent at the famous Shea Stadium WWF show in 1980. Zbyszko had been persona non grata in WWE for the longest time, but that has changed as of late, making him a possibility. It also depended on how flexible WWE wanted to be with Sammartino as far as allowing him to choose anyone he wanted to induct him, rather than go for a big name (of which Zbyszko, to today’s wrestling fans, is not).
Triple H was also floated in some circles as a possibility, simply because it was he who facilitated Sammartino’s return to WWE after a long and contentious feud between wrestler and company. Without Hunter, this induction would not have been possible.
Mick Foley was the first class of 2013 inductee announced, and while there are a host of presenters who make sense for him, none would be as perfect as his longtime frienemy, Terry Funk. Funk is a Hall-of-Famer himself, so there’s nothing stopping him politically from participating. In fact, within the last few hours, Funk was officially named as Foley's presenter.
WWE could've wanted a bigger name (to this generation of fans) to induct Foley. The Rock, who will be wrestling at Wrestlemania anyway, would've made sense given their history. Triple H, “Stone Cold” Steve Austin, and even Jim Ross have strong connections to Foley as well. But to me, none of them are on Funk’s level.
Trish Stratus will be the Divas representative inducted in 2013. Her greatest feud in WWE was against Lita, and they made history by actually main eventing Raw in a one-on-one match-up. WWE has in the past wanted current-day Divas to be involved with the induction of women, so perhaps a top star in today’s division (Kaitlyn? A.J?) would be another option. Otherwise, it would be quite a stretch to get anyone else.
Donald Trump is the celebrity induction for this year. His WWE connections span a few decades. WWE could choose to select someone from the era where his Trump Plaza housed Wrestlemanias IV and V. Or, they could choose someone who was involved in his recent exploits, where he engaged in a hair vs. hair match with Mr. McMahon at Wrestlemania 23 and “purchased” Monday Night Raw.
Bobby Lashley is the wrestler who represented him in the hair vs. hair match, but public speaking isn’t exactly his forte. Mr. McMahon would be a good choice, but aside from inducting “Stone Cold” Steve Austin, he tries to stay out of the limelight for these. Austin himself would be a choice, to not only get Austin for Wrestlemania weekend (since he’s not scheduled for anything else Wrestlemania-related, and it would be a nice deal to have him do something) but because Austin was the special ref for Trump’s “match” with McMahon at Wrestlemania.
Bob Backlund’s Hall-of-Fame inductor, according to the Wrestling Observer, was at one time going to be Maria Menounos of Access Hollywood. I don’t think there has been another presenter-honoree pair with so little in common. Of course, this came out at a time when Menounos was penciled in to wrestle as she did last year, but that may no longer be the case.
There is a short list of nominees to induct someone like Backlund, which is why WWE was rumored to go the Menounos route. Geraldo Brisco or another WWE amateur wrestler could induct him, given his credentials in that arena. Many of the men associated with him (Arnold Skaaland, Iron Sheik) are not options to induct him. With Backlund’s resurgence in the 90s in his feud with Bret Hart, Hart may be a solid choice.
Booker T. was the last name announced to round out an already loaded lineup. There really isn’t a stand-out feud from his days in WWE. His brother and Harlem Heat tag partner Stevie Ray would be an obvious choice, but their success occurred in WCW, and while WWE didn’t ignore that in Booker’s video package, they may prefer someone to represent his WWE run. Names like Edge or Goldust are possibilities to look out for here.
Greg Parks has been a columnist for Pro Wrestling Torch since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @gregmparks for live Tweeting during Raw, Impact, and PPVs, as well as other bits of wisdom. Comments, questions and feedback are welcome, and can be sent to email@example.com.
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