It’s time to submit my annual Wrestling Observer Hall of Fame ballot. It’s basically the same as last year’s. No one I vote for ever gets in. Shows what I know about fake wrestling: More than anybody else, obviously.
Here’s my ballot:
Historical performers: The Assassins, Von Brauners w/Saul Weingeroff.
Modern performers: Ivan Koloff, Brock Lesnar.
Non-wrestlers: Jesse Ventura.
Addressing the “no” votes first, it’s not the Hall of Very Good. Most of the guys listed were merely very good.
Had Hart lived, he would have reached that pinnacle. But, sadly, he didn’t. Sting got devalued in TNA and hasn’t worked in WWE. I don’t think Ultimate Warrior is even a notable “no,” but I feel compelled to mention him in the wake of his passing this past April 8. Warrior was a big draw, but for a very short time. In-ring, he was bad beyond description.
I’m a big Punk fan. Great story. But his window of excellence didn’t last long enough. To make the Hall, Punk would have to come back and add to his resume. And if Punk ever returns, it won’t be to make some kayfabe Hall of Fame. I’m certain he doesn’t care at all about that.
I took Gene and Ole Anderson off my ballot. Ole’s a jerk, and I’d hate to see him ever get the satisfaction.
I added the Von Brauners w/Saul Weingeroff. Nazi heels, Jewish manager: That is so wrong on so many levels. But they were a good act. Major heat. Drew money. I’m intrigued by the fact that there were two Kurt Von Brauners. They subbed in another guy. Serious question: Did anyone notice?
I’m tired of campaigning for the Assassins. Big draw, solid work, menacing promos, longevity at or near the top. I’m tired of campaigning for Koloff. Best Russian ever. Credible enough to beat Bruno Sammartino for the WWWF championship. I’m tired of campaigning for Lesnar. He was on top with WWE, went to UFC, won the REAL CHAMPIONSHIP, then came back to WWE and was on top again. A unique career arc that shouldn’t be denied. And Lesnar w/Paul Heyman is currently the best act in WWE. Ventura became GOVERNOR OF MINNESOTA. That, alone, gets my vote.
Dave Meltzer does a great job with the Observer Hall of Fame. It’s really all-encompassing.
I don’t feel qualified to vote for Domenic DeNucci. I know he was one of Australian wrestling’s biggest stars. But I didn’t witness it, or even see video. DeNucci was a solid mid-card performer in WWWF when I was growing up. Good guy, fantastic wrestling teacher. But on the other side of the world he was a huge draw. What an odd, random business wrestling can be.
Follow Mark on Twitter: @MarkMaddenX
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