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The WON HOF THREAD


OSJ
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Okay, we wrestling fans don't have a physical HOF (and I'm not counting Texas), what we have that is meaningful is the WON HOF which has been the gold standard since 1996. In all fairness, the original inductees were decided on by Dave Meltzer and John D. Williams, but with one possible exception, I think their choices stand the test of time pretty well. 

This year's inductions pleased me with the exception of Kenny Omega. I'll admit that Omega has been in some of the best matches of the last decade, but he's still a young man and I sort of prefer waiting to eyeball a total career. Dave and I have discussed this, and his point (which is well taken) is that in wrestling no one ever retires unless they are completely crippled. This is probably true, I can't think of a major figure who was really done when they said they were done since Jack Brisco.

So, what do y'all think of the WON HOF and are there any glaring omissions (aside from Enrique Torres, and Yohe and I are working on that.) Any mistakes?

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46 minutes ago, OSJ said:

Any mistakes?

I'm sure if I looked hard enough I can find some omissions that were head-scratchers.  As far as mistakes go I still feel kind of weird that Benoit is still on the list.  His body of work is definitely HOF-worthy but with his actions at the end I just can't justify it.  I know it was put up to a vote years ago but I feel since it's essentially Dave's HOF he should have just taken him out and I bet there would have been little issue.

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1 hour ago, NikoBaltimore said:

I'm sure if I looked hard enough I can find some omissions that were head-scratchers.  As far as mistakes go I still feel kind of weird that Benoit is still on the list.  His body of work is definitely HOF-worthy but with his actions at the end I just can't justify it.  I know it was put up to a vote years ago but I feel since it's essentially Dave's HOF he should have just taken him out and I bet there would have been little issue.

I was (and am) one of the Benoit defenders. Despite his horrible actions, there is no way that anyone can say that he wasn't one of the best in the world for an extended period of time. You can argue that Misawa, Kawada, and Kobashi were better during much of his heyday and I don't think that I'd argue the point. Still, when you're arguably top-5 in the world for fifteen years, you're a HOFr.

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56 minutes ago, Ace said:

One of the big issues about people entering early is that 35 is frankly too young.

 

Word. Especially as we see careers lasting longer and longer due to better training, medicine, etc. Lots of guys are just hitting their stride at 35, I'd much prefer the age limit raised to fifty. I understand that Dave wants to honor people when they're around to enjoy it, but thirty-five is too young. Leaving aside freak accidents and early deaths (I'm thinking Perro jr.), there doesn't seem to be any real reason not to up the age limit. Hell, there are a ton of guys still wrestling well into their fifties and doing quite well. Fifty is the new thirty and sixty the new forty.

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I suppose that we should have the Gordy List close at hand. This is not a tool where x number of positives means you should be in and y number of negatives means no. It is simply a tool for organizing your thoughts about a candidate.


1. Was he ever regarded as the best draw in the world? Was he ever regarded as the best draw in his country or his promotion?

2. Was he an international draw, national draw and/or regional draw?

3. How many years did he have as a top draw?

4. Was he ever regarded as the best worker in the world? Was he ever regarded as the best worker in his country or in his promotion?

5. Was he ever the best worker in his class (sex or weight)? Was he ever one of the top workers in his class?

6. How many years did he have as a top worker?

7. Was he a good worker before his prime? Was he a good worker after his prime?

8. Did he have a large body of excellent matches? Did he have a excellent matches against a variety of opponents?

9. Did he ever anchor his promotion(s)?

10. Was he effective when pushed at the top of cards?

11. Was he valuable to his promotion before his prime? Was he still valuable to his promotion after his prime?

12. Did he have an impact on a number of strong promotional runs?

13. Was he involved in a number of memorable rivalries, feuds or storylines?

14. Was he effective working on the mic, working storylines or working angles?

15. Did he play his role(s) effectively during his career?

16. What titles and tournaments did he win? What was the importance of the reigns?

17. Did he win many honors and awards?

18. Did he get mainstream exposure due to his wrestling fame? Did he get a heavily featured by the wrestling media?

19. Was he a top tag team wrestler?

20. Was he innovative?

21. Was he influential?

22. Did he make the people and workers around him better?

23. Did he do what was best for the promotion? Did he show a commitment to wrestling?

24. Is there any reason to believe that he was better or worse than he appeared?

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I get the Omega is too young/full career/etc arguments, but I think if he had been forced to retire due to injury before AEW ever started, he would already have a rock solid Hall of Fame case, so it doesn't really bother me that it's now instead of waiting another five years or whatever.

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The last two episodes of the 6:05 podcast are with a bunch of voters going over their ballots, the year's inductees and various other topics, among others what changes should be made. Even if you aren't a fan of Brian Last, you get to hear a pretty nice range of long time voters and at least one first time voter.

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1 hour ago, paul sosnowski said:

Sorry everyone, I tried my best to get Enrique Torres in the HOF, in case you didn't get a chance to read this.   And he wound up going down this year from 42% to 28%....ugh.

 

https://www.f4wonline.com/other-wrestling/making-observer-hof-case-50s-and-60s-star-enrique-torres-321731

 

 

 

I don't get it... You, Yohe, and I have been banging the Torres drum for it seems like forever and I know Dave listens to us. It just doesn't compute. Dave is going to have to put him in by fiat and have done with it. I think part of the problem is that younger voters think HHH is "old school" and aren't interested in guys from before they were born. Sad, really.

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12 hours ago, The Natural said:

Kazuchika Okada will be a first ballot WON Hall of Fame inductee next year. Rightly so. I'm interested to see whether he can beat the record for highest percentage held by Kenta Kobashi on a whopping 98%.

Barring shenanigans, I don't see how Okada could fail to be a unanimous choice. Exactly what could be the arguments against him? That he's not in the WWE? C'mon.

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8 hours ago, Brian Fowler said:

I get the Omega is too young/full career/etc arguments, but I think if he had been forced to retire due to injury before AEW ever started, he would already have a rock solid Hall of Fame case, so it doesn't really bother me that it's now instead of waiting another five years or whatever.

I will admit that Omega has characteristics that bug the shit out of me... Pulling faces for no particular reason, looking at himself on the monitors, etc. still, he's assembled an awfully strong body of work and it would be foolish to keep him out. That said, he's a rare case, so is Okada, the truly elite tend to be unique in some way. I think that you can easily make the argument that both Omega and Okada are unique performers. I'd rather watch Naito than Omega, but that is simply a matter of taste, I'm not for a second going to say that a motivated Omega isn't one of the greatest in-ring performers to ever live. 

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27 minutes ago, OSJ said:

Barring shenanigans, I don't see how Okada could fail to be a unanimous choice. Exactly what could be the arguments against him? That he's not in the WWE? C'mon.

Agreed. There's none. Incredible back catalogue of matches, a box office draw with him and Hiroshi Tanahashi the faces of NJPW's global expansion.

Edited by The Natural
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2 minutes ago, The Natural said:

Agreed. There's none. Incredible back catalogue of matches, a box office draw with him and Hiroshi Tanahashi the faces of NJPW's global expansion.

I don't know how many WON HOF voters we have here, (I'm one), but to not vote for Okada is flat-out saying that you don't understand the wrestling business.

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10 minutes ago, The Natural said:

Be interesting to see if/when the current NJPW standouts in Tetsuya Naito, Tomohiro Ishii and Kota Ibushi join Kazuchika Okada (he's going in next year, as well he should), Hiroshi Tanahashi and Minoru Suzuki.

Granted I'm a Naito fanboy, but I sort of think that he's done enough to qualify. Ibushi, despite his tendency to do goofy shit, belongs. Ishii will probably get there eventually, I could be persuaded, but I think that the other two have much stronger cases.

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1 minute ago, OSJ said:

Granted I'm a Naito fanboy, but I sort of think that he's done enough to qualify. Ibushi, despite his tendency to do goofy shit, belongs. Ishii will probably get there eventually, I could be persuaded, but I think that the other two have much stronger cases.

We're mutual Tetsuya Naito fanboys. I think he'll get in, probably Kota Ibushi as well though I can see the goofy shit costing him votes. I agree that Tomohiro Ishii's going to have a harder time making it than Tranquilo and Golden Star.

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15 minutes ago, The Natural said:

We're mutual Tetsuya Naito fanboys. I think he'll get in, probably Kota Ibushi as well though I can see the goofy shit costing him votes. I agree that Tomohiro Ishii's going to have a harder time making it than Tranquilo and Golden Star.

If all of Omega's antics aren't sufficient to keep him out, then no one should hold Ibushi's penchant for doing stupid shit like riding a bike into a swimming pool and suchlike against him.

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Wait a minute.

23 hours ago, OSJ said:

I'll admit that Omega has been in some of the best matches of the last decade, but he's still a young man and I sort of prefer waiting to eyeball a total career.

 

1 hour ago, OSJ said:

Barring shenanigans, I don't see how Okada could fail to be a unanimous choice. Exactly what could be the arguments against him? That he's not in the WWE? C'mon.

If Omega is too young (37) to be in the HOF already, then Okada (33) should be too. Especially if your argument against the Omega pick is that you personally wait to eyeball a total career.

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Ishii has some swell matches but I don't think there is any argument for him being a hall of famer barring some surprising late career twists and turns. Unless the argument is that "this era of NJPW is so tremendous we are gonna just put everyone in" his accomplishments don't really exist and I don't know that there is any evidence of him being a draw in the least. 

 

Like... Samoa Joe isn't in and has little support. Taue isn't either and was a higher ranked member of a different golden age and was in quite possibly the match of the decade in the 90s. Those two are widely considered to be below the hall of fame cut-off (Taue gets a bum rap IMO) and both have much stronger arguments in their favor than Ishii. I still think all three of them own, but I don't think that's really enough to be a hall of famer.

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I've felt it's a serious flaw to the WON Hall of Fame.  It's a mistake because it doesn't give other wrestlers that are not in the HoF or have long retired the same benefit of being fresh in the voters' minds.  Bull Curry passed away in 1985 and last wrestled in 1979, 17 years before the WON HOF came out.  If the shoe was on the other foot and voters could not vote for Omega until 17 years after he last wrestled there's a good chance they wouldn't quite remember all of those great matches and have to consider how much he actually drew.  But with being able to vote for Omega now when he's was the 'hot topic' of discussion it skews the voting.  


I'm glad to see Akiyama get in there.  I've always been a huge Akiyama mark and I think booking really hurt him from being a megastar like Misawa, Kobashi and Kawada.  The late Bison Smith said he was the best in-ring worker he had ever been with and they just didn't push him enough as the top guy early enough in his career

 

 

HoC

 

 

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