Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Don't Pity Him, Fools

Mr. T vs. Roddy Piper
Photo courtesy: WWE
By Kevin Hunsperger
@kevinhunsperger & @my123cents on Twitter

WWE has announced Mr. T will be going into the Celebrity Wing of the Hall of Fame.  Obviously, this is a good choice in terms of celebrity inductions.  Mr. T was one of the big draws for Wrestlemania as his star power from the A-Team helped bring wrestling into the main stream or the main stream to wrestling.

Boxing at Wrestlemania II
Photo courtesy: WWE
At that first Wrestlemania, Mr. T and Hulk Hogan teamed up to beat Roddy Piper and Paul Orndorff.  According to Piper, there is legit hard feelings between he and the actor, as Piper feels T didn't respect the business.  When the two met a year later in a boxing match at Wrestlemania II, the heat was still there.  

Mr. T made a few more appearances with the WWF in the late 80's.  I remember him serving as an enforcer referee during the Honky Tonk Man-Jake Roberts feud.  I believe he was even doing that on the house show circuit at a match in St. Louis.  He also went on to support Hogan when he moved to WCW and beat Ric Flair for the heavyweight title.

Hogan, Snuka, & Mr. T
Photo courtesy: WWE
Mr. T then faded away not just from wrestling, but it seemed the main stream too.  I know he had some health issues at one point.  There's also the rumor that he refused to be inducted in the Hall of Fame earlier because he wasn't happy with the payday.  I'm glad those issues (if they exist) have been resolved.

I've talked about it before, I'm not a huge fan of the celebrity wing, but it obviously serves a purpose.  The WWE is about sports entertainment, and the men so far inducted have proven they're not making a mockery of wrestling.  I do think that Cyndi Lauper needs to be the next (and first woman) inducted into that celebrity wing.  But for now, props to Mr. T, a well deserved honor for the 80's icon.

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