There are so many names not in the WWE Hall of Fame that very well might be included someday. On the flip side, there are people who should be in the WWE Hall of Fame, but never will be because they don’t belong there. On the other hand, a few people have been shut out of the WWE Hall of Fame, but they very well could have been inducted if things would have worked out differently for them.
Whether the reason is a political, creative, bad timing, or tragic circumstance these people have been excluded from the hallowed halls of Vince’s acclaimed arsenal of athletic accomplishment. These people very well could have been members of the WWE Hall of Fame if fate, timing, or opinion had been a little bit more on their side.
We’re not saying that it will never happen for these guys. Because after all, where WWE is concerned you can never truly say never. Stranger things have happened because fans thought Macho Man and Ultimate Warrior would never make it to the WWE Hall of Fame. We’re just saying that it doesn’t seem likely at this point.
Before we get going, here are a few “notable mentions” even though there are way more that belong on this list: Dynamite Kid, Jeff Jarrett, Ryback, Val Venis, The bWo, Terry Sullivan, Mike Awesome, Bruiser Brody, and Chyna (even though some of those people are hopefully on their way soon).
Also, before we get going, this writer wants to point out Vader, British Bulldog, and Lex Luger should be in the WWE Hall of Fame as well.
There, now let’s carry on.
#10 – Andy Kaufman
Andy Kaufman was a huge television star in the 70’s and 80’s. He was a recognizable face on the smash-hit tv show “Taxi” and one of the most innovative minds in entertainment history. Andy revolutionized the idea of performance art and took everything to a whole new level.
Kaufman performed a sketch on television and live shows in honor of one of his favorite sports: professional wrestling. After delivering a masterful chauvinist male heel promo, he would invite a female volunteer into the ring and proceed to beat her up in the most comedic way possible. Sometimes Kaufman even got the sense knocked out of him, and that was even better.
Andy wanted to branch out into legitimate professional wrestling and contacted Vince McMahon Sr. offering his inter-gender wrestling gimmick to the WWWF, but McMahon said no. So, Andy called Jerry “The King” Lawler in the Memphis territory, and the rest is history.
Kaufman was even instrumental in getting Jimmy Hart his famous nickname during that time. There have been rumors of inducting Kaufman in the past, and although it might be a no-brainer for some reason it still hasn’t happened.
During Kaufman’s run in Memphis, he delivered some of the best heel promos of all time, outright desecrating the audience watching at home in a way that was both parts comedy and insulting.
Viewers were so upset that they called the television station in mass numbers which caused Memphis Wrestling to only air 3 of the 5 promos Andy shot during the feud.
He had major heat.
Kaufman’s days in Memphis are superbly portrayed by Jim Carrey and Jerry Lawler in the film, “Man on the Moon.” Unfortunately, so was Andy’s battle and ultimate loss to cancer.
The world lost Andy Kaufman way too soon and if he would have lived longer, we’re sure he would have made it up to the New York territory eventually to later be enshrined in the WWE Hall of Fame.
#9 – Paul Burchill
When fans of British wrestling heard that Burchill was finally coming to WWE after spending three years in Ohio Valley Wrestling they were excited. Unfortunately, his character on television was merely used to parody a popular Disney pirate franchise.
He had so much more ability than they allowed him to show, and although he gave that damn pirate gimmick his all, fans quickly soured on the Johnny Depp cosplayer.
WWE attempted to revitalize his character when they put him in their watered down version of ECW. However, they didn’t quite hit the mark on the repackaging for Burchill as they paired him up with a kayfabe sister named Katie Lea and mixed in a ton of straight up incestual connotations. Okay, they weren’t just connotations it was more obvious than a redneck putting on more cologne before going to a family reunion because he intends on finding another baby momma.
Needless to say, it went over like a fart in church.
After ECW was cut loose, so was Burchill because after you’ve failed at being a pirate and a sister-lover, where else is there to go?
#8 – Darren Drozdov
There are few stories about a superstar getting his career cut shot like Darren Drozdov. The multi-sport athlete competed in the NFL with the Jets and Broncos before bringing his charismatic personality to the ring.
He was famous for vomiting on command, and that was just one aspect of his appeal. He learned very quickly and could cut a promo that matched seasoned professionals. He was placed in Legion of Doom partly because Hawk was having some “personal issues” and officials weren’t too sure how much time they had before Hawk self-destructed. Whether or not his appointment in the Road Warriors was due to unfortunate instances in the first place is beside the point because Droz excelled.
He was even featured in the famous documentary, “Beyond The Mat” where cameras followed him through the interview and pitch phase leading up to his WWF debut. He’s a part of one of the best scenes in the movie too as Vince McMahon hovered over him and screamed for him to puke in a wastepaper basket using his iconic announcer voice.
That’s why they called him, “Puke.” Cute, right?
Sadly, Drozdov’s career was cut short when he took a running powerbomb incorrectly from D-Lo Brown during a Smackdown taping in Long Island. Darren’s shirt was too loose and Brown’s grip slipped causing him to hit the mat on his neck.
He was paralyzed and still suffers the effects of that disastrous botch to this day.
He certainly loved professional wrestling and continued working with WWF on Byte This and wrote for WWF Magazine.
Droz held the ability for a long run in professional wrestling and if he were still wrestling he would be a veteran going towards his 20th year in the business.
That’s why he made the list.
#7 – Test
Andrew Martin was a talent who never reached his full potential as a WWE superstar, that is for sure. He fell victim to backstage politics and lackluster angles that never gave him the chance to garner any real fan attention.
Vince has always loved big guys with athletic ability, and Test had the ability to spare. But, the casual fan probably never knew this because Test was relegated to being hidden inside of stables and minimized stories. He even had his fiancé stolen from him by Triple H without ever getting his heat back.
While we’re on the subject of Triple H burying talent, the rumor and innuendo at the time would lead one to believe that Test was made to cut his hair. The logic was that Trips didn’t want another long haired blonde on the roster, especially one that was bigger than him. Although Test was given a few singles titles, he seemed to only fill the spot as a placeholder before another talent took his strap.
Test tragically died way too soon of an apparent overdose in 2009, just four days after his 34th birthday. Some might know him as Andrew, Test, or even the Nazi Boxer from the movie “Grindhouse” but we know him as someone who had loads of ability that he was never permitted to truly display.
#6 – Chris Benoit
Do we really need to explain our reasoning here? Benoit is one of the greatest of all time, but he will never be in the WWE Hall of Fame. If you don’t know who Chris Benoit was, please do some research (although you’ll have to figure out a clever way to search for him on the WWE Network because his name doesn’t garner much of a result).
WWE has strategically erased as much of his memory as possible, even going as far to ignore the fact that WrestleMania XX had a triple-threat main event at all.
He is however, in Pro Wrestling Illustrated’s Hall of Fame and was inducted in 2003, a mere four years before the awful events surrounding his death.
Please note that we here at Still Real To Us do not condone murder/suicides in anyway, all we are saying is Benoit should be in the WWE Hall of Fame but he never will be.
#5 – Bruce Prichard
Whether he is inducted as Brother Love or Bruce Prichard, the man with the best professional wrestling impersonations we’ve ever heard will probably never grace the WWE Hall of Fame. Prichard has stated on several occasions that he is blackballed from the company, even though he apparently keeps a friendly relationship with Vince McMahon as the two still have drinks together (albeit rarely).
Prichard has come to terms with this ostracizing and is currently putting his steel-trap memory to good use with a weekly podcast that we all know and love.
But, you would be hard pressed to find a name that is as synonymous with some of the biggest angles during his 22-year run with the company than Prichard. He was an instrumental part of WWF’s picture not only as Brother Love but in his backstage duties as well.
The fact he’s currently working for Impact Wrestling probably means he’s even farther away from the WWE Hall of Fame as well. It really is a shame because Bruce’s talents could still be greatly utilized as a creative mind on Raw or Smackdown.
Unfortunately, legend has it that Stephanie wasn’t too keen on Bruce and pushed him out of the company. Seeing that Stephanie and her hubby seem to be the apparent heirs to the WWE throne, Bruce will probably never find his rightful place in the WWE Hall of Fame.
#4 – Eugene
Sometimes the success of an angle is all about timing, and this angle was well timed, to say the least. Eugene was able to sneak in just as the WWE began to find themselves regretful of their past insensitive transgressions, but hadn’t really found a happy-medium quite yet.
The fact is that Nick Dinsmore was a great talent, but he was stuck in Ohio Valley Wrestling, WWE’s developmental territory at the time. He found himself in a class of people like Randy Orton, John Cena, Brock Lesnar, and Shelton Benjamin just to name a few. But, while Dinsmore saw all of his peers being called up to the main roster he found himself still in OVW.
Then Nick came up with his own way to get to the big time, he would just have to knock a few IQ points in order to pull it off.
Therefore, Eugene was born. He was special, to say the least and a practical wrestling savant. It didn’t hurt his gimmick that he had the added bonus of being Eric Bischoff’s nephew which would explain why WWE was willing to put a special needs man at risk of permanent injury.
Although Eugene had what some would consider a good run while it lasted, he will probably never find himself in the WWE Hall of Fame. WWE now buys kids with speicla needs tickets to their shows, and they don’t promote characters that used mental handicaps as a gimmick on their programming.
#3 – CM Punk
Okay, this one is a given.
Phil Brooks is one of the greatest professional wrestlers that ever lived. His ring psychology was second to none, his move-set was thoroughly entertaining, and he could talk better than just about anyone on the planet. But then Royal Rumble 2014 happened and that was the straw that broke the straight-edge camel’s back.
CM Punk walked out of the WWE to pursue other passions and in a roundabout way removed his amazing wife AJ Lee from WWE’s landscape as well. Punk then appeared on Colt Cabana’s podcast for two revealing episodes where he not only slammed WWE’s creative process but alleged outright disregard for their medical safety.
Punk is now being sued by the company that he used to represent and things don’t seem to be getting any better for Mr. Brooks and WWE’s relationship. Stephanie McMahon recently threw a verbal missile at the Straight-Edged Superstar by making a comment about how short his first UFC match was, so you can tell that they’re still not fans of the Best in the World.
#2 – Jim Cornette
It would be almost impossible to form a list of the best wrestling managers without including Jim Cornette’s name. He was years ahead of his time and his promo work was on point. Everyone he was paired with had a certain something extra, and that was mostly thanks to Corney.
However, his name has yet to be spoken in regards to the WWE Hall of Fame unless someone is writing an article much like this one.
Due to the current political climate, Cornette very well might have separated himself from the powers-that-be even further due to his outspoken political opinions. His Twitter is a liberal-agenda minefield, and although there might not be anything wrong with that, the McMahon family might feel otherwise.
Although Cornette and WWE differ on other fronts, Jim’s outspoken disapproval of the current presidential administration might very well be a chief reason why The Rock ‘n’ Roll Express are on their way to Orlando for an induction.
Some would say Jim Cornette’s inducting the Rock ‘n’ Roll Express into the WWE Hall Of Fame might mean he’s on the way to the HOF himself. As realistic and awesome as that might be, it still could be a long-shot.
Our only point is that he should be in the WWE Hall of Fame, and he really could have been if he could only let go of his convictions.
#1 – Owen Hart
This writer will never forget the night Owen Hart died. Watching live on television. Fans couldn’t tell what was going on due to the fact that kayfabe was being used for everyything during the era, it was hard to tell what was a shoot. But the next day when Owen Hart’s death was on the news, it was plainly clear how serious the situation was. This writer even got detention the next day for throwing his biology book at a kid’s face when he mocked him for being sad about a “fake death.” Nothing was fake about Owen Hart’s death, but it was indeed sad.
Not much has been forgiven since Owen’s death where his family is concerned either. Owen’s wife Martha launched a wrongful death lawsuit against Vince and company a mere three weeks after Hart’s death and settled out of court for a reported $18 million. Unfortunately, the trouble didn’t stop there.
Martha has constantly confronted WWE to claim appropriation of Owen’s likeness being used in any way. That is why you don’t see elite Owen Hart action figures by Mattel, why The Black Hart hasn’t been featured in a 2K video game, and more importantly why he still isn’t in the WWE Hall of Fame.
Even Bret Hart has spoken out against how harsh and somewhat unreasonable Martha’s opinion of WWE is. The fact of the matter is that fans might see every other name on this list inducted into the WWE HOF before Owen’s name is called simply because of the lingering resentment his late-wife holds.
We here at Still Real To Us miss Owen Hart to this day and believe that the irresponsible and tragic circumstances surrounding his untimely death are appalling and could have been avoided. We also hold fast to the idea that if Owen would have survived the Over The Edge pay-per-view in 1999, then there would be a totally new history of WWE to tell filled with Hart’s involvement.
But, we would also love to see Martha lighten up a little bit and realize that fans need to be reminded how spectacular Owen Hart was by immortalising his name and inducting The Rocket into the WWE Hall of Fame. Because he wasn’t a nugget, he was one of the greatest wrestlers to ever lace his boots.