By Goose Mahler, Associate Editor
There are so many different debatable wrestlers and situations with regards to the WWE Hall of Fame it isn’t a joke. Some outright prove that the WWE Hall of Fame is more like a Hall of Shame.
With “Dark Side of the Ring” hitting a nice stride while the world sits at home looking for things to watch, it also brings out some very dark elements of wrestlers that I’m sure the industry as a whole doesn’t want people to know, think about or dwell on. Here’s the catch, these tragedies and controversies create cash and chatter.
One thing that showed after the Chris Benoit “Dark Side of the Ring” airing is, many people still like to debate whether he belongs in the WWE Hall of Fame or does not. In my opinion the answer is a resounding no. Regardless of all his in-ring accolades, his actions took that all away. Like Jericho stated he damn near tore down the business he loved.
The catch here is if you look at Benoit and say, he doesn’t belong. Then you better question why there are several others in that so-called Hall of Fame that also have very checkered pasts and are easily just as big of a public relations nightmare as the mentioning of Benoit.
Looking at the current list of people in the WWE Hall of Fame, four immediately stick out to me.
Jimmy “SuperFly” Snuka. Here’s a wrestler that was involved in the murder of his mistress or girlfriend, however you want to look at Nancy Argentino. All signs of the autopsy and the subsequent stories point to this being a homicide and not an accident. Snuka told several different people different stories along the way, yet detectives ignored all forensics and the stories and Snuka was never charged.
When the case was reopened Snuka charged with third degree murder and involuntary manslaughter. Although he never made it to trial because he was terminally ill and passed away, the evidence against Snuka paints a very disturbing picture against him. One that the WWE probably should not have ignored in their self-righteous stance against another murderer.
Instead of doing the right thing and getting him out of said Hall of Fame nothing was done. There is no removing Snuka from footage on the Network or mentions. Yet this is the same thing Benoit did and he remains erased from all things WWE. The total hypocrisy of this makes you wonder exactly what the WWE Hall of Fame stands for.
Tammy “Sunny” Sytch. Ms. Elizabeth can’t get into the Hall of Fame and Sunny got in. There is a huge problem with this. Elizabeth was the first lady of wrestling in the WWF. Tammy arguably the first sex symbol. The key word with Sunny is sex. You can add drugs, rock and roll, cheating, porn and a host of others if you really don’t try and overthink her career or antics.
She might have been on a lot of teenage boy’s wall and even some men. It doesn’t change the fact that she has had multiple arrests and jail stints for substance abuse and other unlawful acts. Then you listen to the stories from the locker room and her porn prowess after wrestling life. They just aren’t flattering for a company that claims to be family friendly.
Still, Sytch got into the Hall of Fame and here we sit Elizabeth can’t even get a nod from the McMahon’s. It brings out to the forefront, its not who ya know, but who ya blow. I guess Vince is the real one that got to see “Sunny days” too.
Carlos Colon Sr. People that are die hard wrestling fans know that Carlos is arguable the king of Puerto Rican wrestling scene. WWC was his territory, was his baby, and was his to rule. Unfortunately, Carlos is also involved in one of the greatest cover ups in wrestling history in the murder of Bruiser Brody. No Carlos did not stab or injury Brody, but the fact that it happened in his company under his watch and he did nothing is enough to question his integrity.
Tony Atlas and Dutch Mantell talk about Bruiser Brody and what happened in Puerto Rico decisively. Their stories have never changed over time. From Jose Gonzalez asking Brody into the shower to talk, to the stabbing, to the paramedic time frame of getting there, to getting the subpoenas after the court case. Their recollection of what happened to Bruiser Brody have never wavered. You can’t say the same for Colon and those that worked with WWC.
Colon and others seem to protect Jose Gonzalez when asked. Their memories of what happened and what they saw are never the same. It’s amazing when people work together how bad this cover up seems, except to Puerto Rican authorities and owners of the territory. To me, covering up for a known murderer and the murder itself is just as bad as being the people that committed the crime. That leads me to say, Carlos Colon should not be in the WWE Hall of Fame unless it’s for being the best at covering something up.
“The Fabulous Moolah”. This one gets to a lot of people. The WWE cancels the name of a battle royal in her honor because talk of her being abusive to other female talent and keeping women down did strike a nerve. But that’s all it did. It struck a nerve. The WWE didn’t honor her at WrestleMania with the women’s battle royal name sake. They also didn’t remove her from the Hall of Fame which would have made a bigger statement.
With Moolah, listening to the stories of abuse, racism and keeping other women down in the wrestling industry weren’t bad enough to remove her. Then it makes you question what would be needed? Talking to several people that said Moolah changed at the end, doesn’t forgive the fact that she robbed a lot of female talent from ever grasping the gold ring and better pay days.
It also cost a lot of fans the chance to see Wendi Richter ascend the women’s division to new heights when she was champ. People might throw that more on Vince McMahon not wanting to give Richter the pay raise she richly deserved. Any way you slice it Moolah’s inclusion is another one with a lot of bad questions surrounding the Hall of Fame. I mean if you want to question this call on my part, tell me one Moolah match you remember because it was so great. You can’t because her in ring was about as good as Vince McMahon’s. 27 years of rule and not one memorable match? Fishy isn’t it?
I’m sure there are more, but these are the four figures I find hardest to see why they are getting a bye from the WWE. Name recognition? Pay off? Backstage favors? Whatever the reason is, there is a reason a lot of people claim the Hall of Fame is nothing since there isn’t even a build to pay homage to these “supposed” legends.
Until next week, one bad apple can spoil the bunch. One bad spoiler can fool the casual fan. Stay safe.