If reports are to be believed (and in pro wrestling, they always are, without fail) (that is sarcasm), there are already two names virtually locked in to be inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame as part of this year’s class over WrestleMania 33 weekend. There is also some feeling that a groundswell of posthumous support could finally get Chyna inducted, albeit several years too late.
Well, there’s a new batch of names reportedly being considered for induction this year, and it’s an extremely interesting mix of past stars and champions. On Tuesday’s episode of Wrestling Observer Live, Bryan Alvarez listed the names that are being bandied about for the 2017 class of inductees.
“These names are not confirmed, but among the names that are being suggested for the Hall of Fame this year — and I’m pretty sure that Rick Rude is going in, which is a wonderful choice. But a couple of other names being bandied about include Christian, William Regal, IRS, and the Natural Disasters.”
That’s certainly a mix that casts a wide net and covers both nostalgia for the 80s/90s generation and recognition for acclaimed performers that diehard fans (and newer fans) will appreciate. And all of them would be worthy of induction on their own merits.
Christian, who has never officially retired since his final match in 2014, would join his longtime tag team partner Edge in the Hall of Fame. Christian (AKA Christian Cage) is a WWE Grand Slam Champion, including two reigns as World Heavyweight Champion, four Intercontinental titles, and nine stints as tag team champ. He is also a two-time NWA World Heavyweight Champion.
William Regal currently serves as the onscreen general manager of NXT, and is heavily involved with both domestic and international scouting and recruiting for WWE. He was a four-time WCW Television Champion, and held the WWE Intercontinental, Tag Team, European, and Hardcore championships on multiple occasions, in addition to winning the 2008 King of the Ring. He is widely considered to be one of the very best wrestlers of his generation.
Irwin R. Schyster, also known by his real name Mike Rotunda, inexplicably often billed as Mike Rotundo and served in the nWo as Michael and V.K. Wallstreet, is a former NWA tag and television champ, and held the WWF Tag Team Championship five times, three reigns with Ted DiBiase and two reigns with Barry Windham. He’s best known to 1980s wrestling fans as being part of the U.S. Express and the Varsity Club, and is best known to 1990s fans as suspenders aficionado IRS.
The Natural Disasters of Typhoon and the late Earthquake held the WWF Tag Team Championship one time, but Earthquake (John Tenta) was one of the last and biggest villains for Hulk Hogan in the Hulkamania era. Tenta was a legitimate sumo champion before moving into professional wrestling. In his later career, he was known as The Shark in WCW and returned to WWE as Golga, one of the members of the Oddities stable. He passed away in 2006 after a battle with bladder cancer. Typhoon, meanwhile, began his WWF career as Tugboat and had an infamous run in WCW as the Shockmaster.