Wrestling Rumblings #7
March 20, 2009
By: Jose Marrero of WrestleView.com

There has been a lot of debate as of late with the recent inclusion of Koko B. Ware into the WWE Hall of Fame. I don?t think I have come across one person who has argued why Koko should be included in this year’s or any years Hall of Fame class and I am pretty sure I won?t get a single one. Rest assured I am not going to argue why or why not Koko belongs in the WWE Hall of Fame because the one thing I think I wholeheartedly understand about the WWE Hall of Fame that some fans and even insiders really don?t understand or lose sight of at times is that the WWE Hall of Fame is a work. After all what legit Hall of Fame has no voting criteria what so ever? What Hall of Fame pays it inductees to be inducted? When you look at it in this perspective I strongly support anyone who gets the call to go ahead and take the payday because that is all the WWE Hall of Fame really is. Don?t get me wrong I attended last year’s WWE Hall of Fame and will attend this years as well but you have to take it all into context and when you do you really can?t get upset about it. I mean it is pro wrestling after all but let’s just say for a moment that it was a legit Hall of Fame. Without taking the honor away from any of its members or soon to be members who would we induct? Many people would say the easy choices from Randy Savage to Bruno Sammartino but what about those guys who fly under the radar but had excellent careers? The next five listings will have wrestlers that I think should be included in a legit Hall of Fame but you don?t necessarily always hear their names because fans tend to think too much of the obvious omissions. You are reading ?Wrestling Rumblings?.

Tony Garea– I often find it funny how everyone always puts guys like Arn Anderson and Bobby Eaton in this class of guys who could sort of take any partner along and always omits Tony Garea the man who I feel was the quintessential tag team partner. I am not going to sit here and act like I always followed Mr. Garea’s career after all when I became a fan he had sort of become a high profile enhancement talent and would soon transition into the front office as an agent/producer a position in which he still occupies today. He was the ultimate professional a guy who had a very good fan following but knew his position at the time was to help bring other guys along and when you take a look at some of his partners who he won championships with guys like Larry Zybszko, Haystacks Calhoun and Rick Martel he obviously knew how to do his job. Truly one of the pioneers of what was then early WWWF tag team wrestling as his then record of 5 tag team championships would hold for 17 years. He may not be a known flashy choice but this guy is indeed a Hall of Famer.

Mad Dog Vachon– To tell you the truth considering how friendly WWE was with the Vachon Family over the years I am somewhat surprised he has not been inducted. I always thought even if WWE had to induct the whole Vachon Family Mad Dog should be in there. Before Nick Bockwinkle became the ultimate heel in the AWA you had the Mad Dog who was easily one of Verne Gagne’s greatest opponents back in the 60’s he also had a very prolific career in the territories having won several singles and tag team titles throughout the US and Canada. A 5 time AWA World Champion and a 2 time AWA World Tag Team Champion to boot and yet I can think of no more deserving under the radar candidate to be considered for the WWE Hall of Fame than Mad Dog Vachon.

Masa Saito– In order to have a legit Hall of Fame you should respect not just those that plied there trade in the US but those of the orient as well. While most fans would tell me about maybe Antonio Inoki and the Great Muta I would say first off you have to be somewhat realistic and understand that while those men may make better choices Vince McMahon is going to want guys who he owns most of their career footage and well neither of those men would cut it. Plus this is about men that are under the radar and I think the last thing anyone would say about Muta and Inoki is that they are under any fans radar. Saito on the other hand was a big WWE star back in the day and here is a little known fact him and Mr. Fuji are the only all asian tag team to ever hold a world tag team title in the WWE/WCW/NWA/ECW and that has to count for something right? He also had a pretty good territorial run which capped off with him winning the AWA World Title in the 90’s. He might not have been the most charismatic, the flashiest or the most well known but I would consider him a worth candidate for any legit pro wrestling hall of fame.

Lou Thesz– It’s funny how this legend makes this list for guys that would be under the radar candidates for the Hall of Fame. He is a 6 time NWA World Champion after all and despite what WWE would have you believe he is in fact the youngest World Heavyweight Champion of all time and is the last man before Chris Jericho to become the undisputed world champion not to mention the first undisputed champion since Frank Gotch. However due to wrestling not being than what it is today it is easy to see how a man like Lou Thesz can be forgotten and almost erased from the history books here in the US. However a true fan of wrestling cannot deny him. After all we are talking about the man who helped usher in the era of puroresu in Japan with legendary matches with Rikidozan. As a matter of fact one of the titles that make up the All Japan Triple Crown is the NWA International Title that was created when Lou Thesz decided to wrestle in the orient and decided to drop the NWA World Title. So to say this man would be a first ballot hall of famer in any legit pro wrestling hall of fame is an understatement.

Stu Hart– While not as known as his offspring or even some of his trainees there are not many pro wrestling trainers more renowned than the master of the legendary Hart family Dungeon than Stu Hart. For those that would dispute that statement I would ask this simple question: How many wrestlers or wrestler’s trainers have had their homes or schools considered a historical site? While his in ring accomplishments are not well documented Stu’s time as a promoter makes him a very influential figure in the sport of wrestling. Much in the same way that Rikidozan bought professional wrestling to Japan Stu Hart with his Stampede promotion bought that same love for wrestling to Canada and truth be told we wouldn?t have many of today’s stars such as Edge, Christian, Chris Jericho and others were it not for the influence and teachings of Stu Hart. While it is true that Owen Hart his son may be a more crowd pleasing choice Stu Hart would have to be a surefire candidate for anyone’s legit pro wrestling hall of fame.

So there you have it 5 great legendary professional wrestlers who I would dare anyone to argue don?t belong in anyone’s Hall of Fame. Bear in mind there are many who could easily make this list but these are the 5 I have chosen for this piece. I am sure after reading this you will have 5 or more of your own of guys who many fans don?t remember but could easily fit the bill for the WWE Hall of Fame if it was legit. These were the 5 I have chosen and well one idea that I am currently working on constructing is a balloting process for the first WrestleView Hall of Fame and it is very fair to say that these men could be recognized if and when that gets off the ground.

Of course if you like or hate this week’s column or just want to get in touch with me you can do so by emailing me at wrestlingrumblings@hotmail.com or you can go on ahead and check out the myspace to read some of the older columns, check out some pictures and just get in touch and put a face to the column by checking out www.myspace.com/wrestlingrumbling and well that’s it for this week; next week I will try to do better and until then I am out.