2012 WRESTLING OBSERVER HALL OF FAME BALLOT
For several years, Dave Meltzer has asked me to vote for his Wrestling Observer Newsletter Hall of Fame. I’m honored. I abhor Halls of Fame, and the Observer’s has no physical location, but it has more credibility than anything similar. If you’re in the Observer HoF, you’re great. If not, you’re not.
I tend to under-vote when it comes to Halls of Fame. I think the Hockey HoF has about 50 inductees that just don't belong.
So, with this year's Observer HoF class, it's more about the guys who almost belong. Who fall just short.
It's tempting to vote for Brock Lesnar because of his crossover with UFC. But I don't think he's quite made enough impact in wrestling or MMA to merit induction. It's tempting to vote for Carlos Colon, because he IS wrestling in Puerto Rico. But how much significance does Puerto Rican wrestling have? It's tempting to vote for Kensuke Sasaki, because I'm a big fan. But I don't think he's quite at the level of Japanese performers that are in the Observer HoF.
So, my votes go to The Assassins, Ivan Koloff, L.A. Park and John Cena.
I can't believe the Assassins and Koloff aren't long since in. The Assassins were great heels, great draws. Koloff is the best "Russian". Problem is, most people saw the fat, bloated Assassins on national TV, not the feud with the Kentuckians. Most people saw old "Uncle Ivan," not the legit bad-ass who was a WWE main-eventer and transition champion.
I don't watch a ton of Lucha, but L.A. Park is a four-time Luchador Del Ano winner. His first came in 1994, his most recent in 2011. To excel that much over that span is amazing. Flair-esque. I've always enjoyed L.A. Park as a performer, and he's always been at or near the top of the card in Mexico.
Selecting Cena in his first year of eligibility will draw howls of protest from his detractors, and they are many. But truth be told, he's the easiest pick of the bunch.
Cena has been the top babyface in the world's biggest wrestling promotion since 2004. His run challenges guys like Hogan and Sammartino in that regard. He's a 12-time world champ, if that matters. He's not necessarily been the centerpiece of a period of boom popularity, but WWE business has been steady. His merchandise MOVES. Cena is loved by girls and kids, and those are two important demographics, one wrestling sometimes has difficulty holding.
Cena is IMPORTANT. Most nominees – heck, some Hall members – could have never wrestled one match, and the business wouldn't be any different for that. You can't say that about Cena. If Cena doesn't make it, it reflects worse on the voters than it does him.
A TALE OF THREE DIVAS
I just saw this website headline: KAREN JARRETT TAKING BOOKINGS. I’m going to have to get my tongue stitched up.
I’m a big fan of Tammy Sytch. The first diva. The ultimate diva. Nobody did it better than her when she was Sunny. I worked with her in WCW. Legit talent. Beautiful. Understands the business. Never the same after leaving WWE, but how many are?
Tammy recently got in trouble, as she too often does. She’s in rehab, as she too often is.
Tammy needs to get as far away from wrestling as possible. She’s been tangled in the web too long. Her domestic dispute involved some indie jobroni she’s been dating. I don’t know if ditching the biz would solve her troubles. I do know it’s worth a try. For Tammy, wrestling = pills + problems.
We are all responsible for our own actions. But we all need to give ourselves the best chance to thrive, or at least survive. In the context of professional wrestling, Tammy obviously has no chance. Never did.
I’m suddenly reminded of the time Kim Page got Tammy fired from WCW because of some nefarious women’s room dispute. Remember Kim’s dancing with the Nitro Girls? Great body. Danced like Elaine from “Seinfeld.” SPASTIC. And Kim was the LEADER of the Nitro Girls. Wonder how she got that job?
Mark Madden hosts a radio show 3-6 p.m. weekdays on WXDX-FM, Pittsburgh, PA(105.9) . Check out his web page at WXDX.com. Contact Mark by emailing wzmarkmadden@hotmail. com . FOLLOW MARK ON TWITTER: @MarkMaddenX