Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Hall of Fame Heartbreak

Taking care of HBK at Axxess
The Hall of Fame is one of my favorite parts of Wrestlemania weekend.  It's a great time to see some of the old timers come back and talk about things way back when.  Luckily, my friend Chad and I have been able to attend the last several ceremonies.
And we'll be back this year.  When I heard last night that they'd be announcing the first inducted in the Class of 2011, I figured they'd be going for someone big to attract a big crowd, as tickets go on sale Saturday.  Then when the "King" said at the beginning of Raw that it was one of the greatest superstars of all time, I figured it would be have to be someone huge.

I think the WWE delivered with the announcement that Shawn Michaels is going in this year.  I'll admit I was surprised.  I had figured (based mostly on the online rumors) that it would be someone from WCW.  Perhaps Goldberg or Lex Luger or even the elusive Sting. 

My first reaction was also semi disappointment.  And not because I don't think Shawn has a spot in the Hall of Fame.  I've written before about the length of time a performer is done in the ring to the time they're inducted.  I guess there are no real rules here, as we saw Ric Flair get inducted the night BEFORE his "last" match. 

Saying good bye after Wrestlemania 26
The more I think about it, the more it makes sense for it to be Shawn.  He is still fresh in the minds of fans. Did you hear how they popped when he came out?  I think he'll definitely put "asses in the seats."  I also came to realize today that I've been there for some of Shawn's biggest matches.  At least the ones of the "second half" of his career.  We were at Wrestlemania 24 for his match against Flair.  Then at Wrestlemania 25 his first attempt to end the Undertaker's streak.  And finally at Wrestlemania 26, Shawn's final match.

I'd also like to mention that I was at the first Hell in the Cell encounter between 'Taker and HBK back in 1997.  It was the In Your House: Badd (yes two D's) Blood pay per view in St. Louis.

So Shawn deserves to be in the hall, no doubt.  Even when he left the first time in 1998, I think he'd accomplished more than enough to be inducted.  The second time around he raised the bar and solidified his legacy.  While the mark in me was hoping that this year's "1st Ballot" choice would have been "Macho Man" Randy Savage, I'm glad Shawn is getting inducted and can't wait to hear his speech in Atlanta.

Now, hit my music.

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