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Posted in: Mr. Tito
MR. TITO STRIKES BACK - The 3 People Who SHOULD Be in the WWE Hall of Fame Immediately
By Mr. Tito
Dec 3, 2017 - 1:11:14 AM

Follow Mr. Tito on Twitter.com: @titowrestling

Bookmark Mr. Tito's Column Archive to read the current and past columns.

The guy who delivers a Christmas each and every week with a free column is back, it's Mr. Tito exclusively here at LordsofPain.net / WrestlingHeadlines.com. Man, I think they should rename "Christmas" as "Chri$tma$". Isn't Christmas about the birth of a major religious figure? No, let's commercialize it with a fat guy in a red suit who puts presents under everyone's trees. I figured that I'll write a column here on late Saturday night just to stay away from the damn Amazon, eBay, or other online sites.

BUT - I don't want to talk about the current WWE product. I want to take a break for at least 1 column.

What I want to talk about is the WWE Hall of Fame, notably the 2018 class. Usually, the induction class is met with some controversy because there's always someone that the WWE leaves out each and every year. It's hard for the WWE, too, because they have some heat with a few wrestlers. Take Demolition, for example, which is one of the best WWE tag teams of all time. Both wrestlers have joined the class action lawsuit against the WWE regarding brain injuries... Of course, both wrestlers continued to wrestle beyond their WWE tenures beyond 1993 (last time Repo Man wrestled full time), even through 2017... WWE won't induct someone who might say something derogatory about the company with a live mic (not that they would, but they are part of a lawsuit). That's why Ultimate Warrior didn't get in for years and maybe why they held out on Macho Man Randy Savage.

Let's discuss the OBVIOUS additions that should happen sometime soon:

- The Rock
- The Undertaker
- Vince McMahon
- Triple H
- Bill Goldberg

But let's be honest here, the MALE side of the Hall of Fame is pretty good right now with several long-time holdouts recently being added. Sting, Bruno Sammartino, Macho Man Randy Savage, and Ultimate Warrior helped complete the WWE Hall of Fame.

However, what I'd like to talk about to day are the Women... There are THREE glaring omissions from the WWE Hall of Fame that needs addressed ASAP. These 3 are unique and HIGHLY influential on how the WWE used and marketed females moving forward. It is completely baffling to me why none of these 3 are included:

- Miss Elizabeth
- Sable (Rena Mero, Rena Lesnar now)
- Chyna

In fact, I'd argue that those 3 are the most significant female contributors of all time for the WWE and mostly for their NON-WRESTLING roles. Sure, Sable and Chyna wrestled, but it's what did as non-wrestlers that oddly made them great.

#1 - Miss Elizabeth
She was the ground breaker for women in the WWE. Sure, WWE tried to have female wrestling multiple times... It just never drew no matter how much WWE tried it. It wasn't until Trish Stratus arrived on the scene and did it well that women's wrestling in the WWE became serious. Miss Elizabeth brought CHARACTER to the WWE for females. She wasn't a wrestler but a manager for "Macho Man" Randy Savage. Her job was to not only look great at ringside, but sell the "victim" role for an aggressive Macho Man character. As you can see by the recent headlines, the heated problems of a male dominated workplace has put many women in compromised positions to not speak out about what's happening to them. Well, WWE exploited that over 30 years with Miss Elizabeth. No matter how much Randy would yell at and belittle her, she stayed with him no matter what...

It wasn't until Macho Man turned babyface during 1988 that things changed a bit... Randy Savage became WWE Champion at Wrestlemania 4 and became on-screen friends with Hulk Hogan to form the Mega Powers. There, she was more of a cheerleader until the WWE began forming plans for Wrestlemania 5... Before the Mega Powers were to explode, check out the first SummerSlam from 1988. Complete jaw dropping moment when she tore off her skirt to appear in panties that made Ted Dibiase and Andre "the Giant" pause and become distracted enough to lose their match against Hogan & Savage. You didn't see something like that from the squeaky clean WWE from that era not just in wrestling but in television. Things tightened up during the 1980s...

Mega Powers exploded when Macho Man Randy Savage's character thought that Hulk Hogan's character was getting a little too close to Miss Elizabeth. It all exploded when Hulk Hogan left a tag match to care for an ailing Elizabeth and left Randy Savage to take a beating from the Twin Towers. Macho was irritated by Hogan's actions and attacked! That set-up Wrestlemania 5 and HUGE PART of that match was the simple question of "which corner will Elizabeth be in?". Sadly, Savage lost that match but it began a longer storyline arc where Macho Man remained a heel until the Ultimate Warrior retired him at Wrestlemania 7 during 1991. Savage took on Sensational Sherri as a heel manager back then and it was good times... After that Wrestlemania 7 match, the wrestling world cried when Savage and Elizabeth finally reunited after Sherri was upset at Savage being retired. Then, we enjoyed their Wedding at SummerSlam 1991, the HEATED feud with Jake "the Snake" Roberts who interrupted their Wedding Reception, and then the famous Ric Flair "she was mine before she was yours" feud.

Sadly, Elizabeth left the WWE after the Flair stuff and in real life, Savage and Elizabeth's marriage was ending as well. BUT... World Championship Wrestling (WCW) would bring her back and she played a role in the Ric Flair vs. Randy Savage WCW feud and then add heat to Hulk Hogan vs. Randy Savage during the New World Order feud. She was a NWO member... From there, WCW deteriorated and she was a manager of Lex Luger's "Total Package" character which had awful writing behind it. WCW closed during 2001 and sadly during May 2003, she died from mixing pain killers and alcohol together.

The WCW stuff was just living off nostalgia but it was important memories from the past. Her run from 1985 through 1992 was seriously important. You felt bad for her when Savage berated her, was amazed by her beauty, and then was excited that she reunited with Savage during 1991. Her role for setting up Wrestlemania 5, in my opinion, helped make that the biggest Wrestlemania of all time at that point (highest Pay Per View buyrate held for 8 years). The fact is that she drew EMOTION out of you as a wrestling fan. It's much like how television or movies could make you cry. You know that it's scripted but the acting is so convincing that you fall for it anyway. Well, that was Miss Elizabeth. You believed that she was legitimately a victim with Randy Savage but then rejoiced in 1991 when she reunited with him. On top of all of her character traits, she was incredibly beautiful. WWE had a beauty to market and sell just based on looks. That would become very important for the women that followed, namely Sunny, Sable, and Marlena who would further bust down that door.

Speaking of Sable...

#2 - Sable
I don't understand the badmouthing of this one. Maybe too many of you are listening to Jim Cornette's rants about being on the Creative Team when Sable was around? That's not fair as Cornette is a guy born from Southern territories who didn't know how to grow national appeal of their product. That, and the person behind Sable, then Rena Mero (now Rena Lesnar) was a very independent woman and seemed to have aspirations beyond pro wrestling. Getting back to Cornette, Jim trained Tammy "Sunny" Sytch who opened a few doors for Sable. Sunny was a beauty herself but she got over by charisma and a great speaking ability. She was trained well as a wrestling performer. Sable didn't have such training... BUT, her role wasn't to wrestle...

Her role was to be HOT. If you go back to the 1990s, the person that grabbed everyone's attention was Pam Anderson who was in Playboy multiple times during that decade. Who else was in Playboy? And who was it that had her issues sell as well as Anderson's issues? Oh yeah, Sable... She was stunning. Rena just has that "look" that turns heads when she walks into the room. WWE couldn't have Pam Anderson or Jenny McCarthy as full-timers (both appeared at Wrestlemania 11) but they had the next best thing with Sable. That, and she knew the wrestling business better than she's given credit. As seen by the Divas Search competition, just being HOT and Playboy ready doesn't guarantee that you'll draw eyeballs for WWE television. Sable moved ratings, bigtime, for her segments. There was more to Sable than just her looks, is what I'm saying.

Of course, those bikini contests didn't hurt... Holy cow.

I liked her little run as a heel and Women's Champion. Most rip her promos as being corny with the "for those who want to be me and for those who came to seem me", but it worked. With the WWE's midcard being somewhat thin during 1997-1998, storylines involving her were needed to captivate attention. During those early Attitude Era days, she was very important and her existence helped push boundaries on what WWE could exploit with women to get more male fans to tune in. I think Sable's success convinced the WWE to give fitness model Trish Stratus a spot on the roster and with Trish taking to her craft to become a legitimate wrestler, it was an amazing investment.

With Sable, she just felt like a "larger than life" comic book super hero female coming to life... The way she carried herself as an independent yet sexy woman was the kind of charisma that you cannot teach. On top of that, she was stunning as a beauty and very few celebrities could sell a Playboy as much as she could during the late 1990s. Then, when those who followed Sable could actually wrestle, WWE had something. Trish Stratus in particular.

#3 - Chyna
This one is the biggest tragedy of them all because she left the WWE while still in her prime and her personal life took over what was one of hell of a professional wrestler. You cannot make another "Chyna". You'll never find someone who is (a) trained wrestler, (b) female body builder for bulk, and (c) has the natural charisma to appear legitimately tough. Seriously, her role for much of her early career was as a female BODYGUARD. And she was FEARED on the outside. If you were tossed out during a Degeneration X match, fans knew trouble was on the horizon when Chyna walked your way. She was born for that role...

And then, you begin to care about her character and get invested in her personal story. There was a human being behind all of that muscle. She did have some plastic surgery and had a thinner, more athletic build during 1999 that I thought made her beautiful as well. Chyna would boldly wrestle in matches against men... Sure, maybe they weren't barn burners of matches, but she remains the ONLY female that could appear credible to wrestle heavyweight based male wrestlers. One of a kind...

I legitimately get emotional when I watch clips from the January 1999 Monday Night RAW episode where they had the "Corporate Rumble" which would determine spots in the 1999 Royal Rumble. Vince McMahon THOUGHT that he won the Corporate Rumble but the horn sound happened... Degeneration X's and Chyna was the last entrant into that Rumble. Vince McMahon looks terrified! Pat Patterson and Gerald Briscoe attempt to beg Chyna not to enter but she wants to. Then, Steve Austin's music hits and Vince McMahon is distracted as Chyna enters the ring and tosses Vince McMahon over the top rop (sick bump to Vince as the bottom rope catches him, ouch!!). Chyna won the Corporate Rumble to one of the loudest pops in RAW history (with Austin). That moment was probably her finest in the WWE and fans believed in her. It legitimately puts tears in my eyes because she's gone and that moment shows you the potential of that character.

After that, she'd endure changing storylines, several singles runs against men, and then finally being inserted into the Women's Division. In my opinion, the WWE should have kept her around and paid her. She was worth it because again, there was nobody like her. If the WWE could have built up to an eventual Trish Stratus vs. Chyna match, damn... $$$$! Instead, her high asking price probably got in the way of some personal heat with the Creative Team Lead, Stephanie McMahon was dating Triple H. Prior to 2000, HHH and Chyna had a strong relationship. Whether or not it ended before or after Triple H began courting Stephanie is to be debated, but Chyna was in a difficult spot with the WWE with that relationship occurring. I believe that several Hollywood agents probably gave her bad advice, too, that WWE was holding her back.

So she left the WWE and there wasn't much for her... Except Hollywood and its party atmosphere which can gobble up someone naive. She had major personal problems following the WWE which I believe were a result of disappointment on her part for life after WWE. Opportunities dried up. It was honestly sad to see her on Vh1 shows or adult films. She was born to play that wrestling character and unfortunately following 2001, there were limited places to be that character. Didn't help that she was quite bitter about how both her relationship to HHH and the WWE both ended.

There was nobody like Joanie Lauer... That mold was broken because she had the look, toughness, charisma to appear legitimately tough in a man's world, and was fully trained as a wrestler on top of all of that. As you see Brock Lesnar destroying opponents now, that could have been Chyna destroying the female competition in the WWE Women's Division. That untapped potential was there during 2001 but her contract came up and it just wasn't meant to be. Sadly, there wasn't a good 2nd career for her to continue that momentum. Still, her contributions from 1997 through 2001 are outstanding. If you look now, Nia Jax (who oddly sounds like Chyna on the mic, haunting!) is acting like that bulldozer to the Women's Division that Chyna should have been if she remained in the WWE.

IN CONCLUSION, it's a CRIME that 3 of the biggest females to ever grace the WWE rings and screens are not in the WWE Hall of Fame. All 3 brought great characters and opened many doors for other females to follow. What's even worse is that 2 out of the 3 are actually dead and died before the age of 50. Thankfully, it was Rena Mero's independent attitude (along with winning a WWE lawsuit for harassment) that kept her out of trouble. That, and Sable actually returned to the WWE during 2003 unlike Elizabeth and Chyna who were done with the WWE after their first runs. Rena began dating WWE wrestler Brock Lesnar and they were married in 2006. They remain happily married to this day and with Brock Lesnar's contract running out, it's time for Sable (or Rena) to get the credit that she deserves.

For Triple H, he needs to think about the Ultimate Warrior and Bruno Sammartino. Both had MAJOR HEAT with Vince McMahon, said many awful things about him... Granted, they didn't have personal relationships in which domestic violence was alleged, but it was toxic none-the-less. Vince and Bruno/Warrior were able to make-up. Oddly with Chyna no longer with us, she won't continue her accusations and the WWE can just focus on her WWE career for the WWE Hall of Fame induction. That, and I think Triple H could deliver a good induction speech. He was with her every step of the way from 1997-1999 in the WWE and would know personal details about her life. While Stephanie would probably dislike it, I could imagine some curiosity of HHH's daughters to his life "before mom". Triple H has more than proven himself as a professional lately and I think he could accomplish a good speech rather easily on his former love.

WWE should have put in Miss Elizabeth with Macho Man Randy Savage. They were a package and associated with each other throughout their wrestling careers. The 1985 to 1992 storyline arc between Randy Savage and Miss Elizabeth remains my favorite storyline of all time and her character is what helped sell Randy as both a "Savage" and a "Macho Man".

Just induct all 3 in to the WWE Hall of Fame and STOP THIS NONSENSE of just 1 female inducted per year. Put in all 3 ladies for 2018 and let this year's Hall of Fame to become the "year of the woman". Why not? All 3 are legitimately qualified to get in and it's not just playing up a gimmick. They deserve to get in and they are worthy of breaking the "1 female per year" idiotic rule.

------------------------------------------------

THE LAST WORD

Let me just reiterate what I keep saying... If you like New Japan Pro Wrestling (NJPW), go enjoy it. Don't let my opinion ever get in the way of you enjoying anything. I'm just 1 voice among many... If you think that my column carries a certain influence, well, that's your impression. I'm critical of the WWE but I don't think they directly read my column for advice (although I believe they took my Shield reunion advice to "save" Roman), so why let anything I say about your favorite New Japan promotion matter?

Actually, I never badmouth New Japan... Usually, I just let my silence do the talking... I have tried New Japan multiple times throughout the years... The internet usually feeds you information on when a great match or event happens and you just use the wonders of technology to check it out. I've tried it... They have good matches and I won't deny that... It's just that the presentation, language barrier, and the availability of their shows turn me off as a wrestling fan. For me, there's more to pro wrestling than the in-ring product and that's where I think New Japan falls off. That said, the Bullet Club stuff has helped delivered what I'd want in New Japan and Kenny Omega is a major star.

That said, where is New Japan's growth in the United States despite its major year?

I always enjoy when I discuss a good WWE show and the New Japan hipster's response is "well, I just watched 3 NJPW matches today that were better than any match on that show". Huh? Well, good for you... Can't wrestling fans enjoy BOTH WWE and New Japan? Fact is that WWE still has a stranglehold in the United States and actually makes more money in Japan than New Japan makes in the United States. That's a fact.

My thing with New Japan, though, is that if it was a more complete promotion with its presentation to complement its stronger in-ring product, it would be bigger in the United States. Why do you think that Chris Jericho's joining of New Japan feels so big? It's like a WWE invasion, so to speak, as Jericho is still fresh off of his good WWE run with Kevin Owens. A few months ago, New Japan ran a few shows and many loyal fans bragged to me about those shows selling out. Then, you look at pictures of the venues... Yeah, that was just a few thousand at best. Talk to me when New Japan fills an arena that hosts NBA or NHL games, ok? Let me know when they are on a channel that matters besides AXS TV. Let me know when their big events are easy to acquire and watch here in the United States.

Fact is that they SHOULD be bigger. As I've said in the past, younger Americans love Japanese pop culture. Video games from the 1980s and 1990s were mostly Japanese based yet the gaming industry exploded in growth during those periods of time. Nintendo is a Japanese company and has many, many loyal fans. Nintendo Switch is exploding with growth along with other Nintendo products. Then, you have Pokemon which is red hot right now with 10 million plus selling games recently and wild success of the Pokemon Go app. Japanese Anime continues to draw well. Dragon Ball Z (or as an old friend used to call it, "dragonballs") is another major franchise that youngsters buy up like hotcakes here in the United States. And on and on and on...

New Japan had several wrestlers as members of WCW's New World Order stable... WCW tried to showcase them and it didn't work.

Again, what it boils down to is STYLE... Japanese wrestling is more in-ring based whereas WWE is more production based. WWE is more of television show company whereas New Japan acts like a legitimate combat company (but scripted). Two entirely different shows and worlds. That said, if you have been fed the WWE product for years upon years upon years, you won't like New Japan one bit unless a cool stable (Bullet Club), a major superstar rises (Kenny Omega), or a known wrestler joins the promotion (Chris Jericho). Otherwise, we need help from the likes of Dave Meltzer and Jim Ross to help sell New Japan. That said, usually with those guys, I usually want them to "get to the WWE stuff already" because that's what I've been constantly fed for almost 30 years now and that's my preference.

You can like what you like, however... Continue to watch New Japan. I'll join you when it's easily accessed and when something like Jericho vs. Omega is so fascinating that I cannot resist.

But respect that it's not "my cup of tea" and be grateful that I'm mostly silent on New Japan. I could just badmouth your favorite Japanese promotion. Instead, you should laugh that I'm heavily critical of the WWE... I'm not the one spreading pro-WWE propaganda and my columns could be used for advertising someone to try New Japan.

Most of all, if I get excited about a WWE event or match, can you please stop with the "I just saw a New Japan match/event recently that was better". So? How about this instead? SHARE where you saw that match/event and let me decide for myself... If I agree, I'll tell the next guy... If I don't like the match/event, at the very least, you got 1 other person to watch. Shouldn't that be your goal?

Just realize that I'm an old man here with limited time... WWE forces RAW, Smackdown, NXT, and Pay Per Views down my throat to watch... I'm tired after that. Additionally, I don't want to have to work to see events. Make it accessible to me and I want quality video to watch.

After all of these years, this promotional "d*ck measuring contest" is getting old. Ohhh, you're wrestling promotion is better than my favorite one. You got me. You do realize that I was around when WWE, WCW, and ECW (plus Japan) and I heard all of the debating then as to which was better. Doesn't help to keep fighting on which is better...

Wrestling communities should share good matches with each other but also help make them easily accessed as well.

SO JUST CHILL... 'TIL THE NEXT EPISODE!

Comments and feedback are welcome. Follow and Tweet me @titowrestling or login in below to post comments.

Bookmark Mr. Tito's Column Archive to read the current and past columns.

© Mr. Tito and LordsofPain.net/WrestlingHeadlines.com - 1998-2017

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