The Official 2021 Wrestling Observer Newsletter Hall of Fame Ballot

It’s that time of the year again, ladies and gentlemen! Wrestling communities, journalists, historians are now voting for the annual Wrestling Observer Newsletter Hall of Fame and the 2021 ballot is officially out!
The criteria for entry into the WON HOF is “a combination of drawing power, being a great in-ring performer or excelling in one’s field in pro wrestling, as well as having historical significance in a positive manner.” Candidates should have something to offer in all three of the categories mentioned or be so outstanding in one or two that they deserve inclusion.

Go ahead and make some fantasy picks, guys!

MODERN PERFORMERS IN U.S/CANADA CANDIDATES

Tully Blanchard & Arn Anderson w/J.J. Dillon
Nikki Bella
Junkyard Dog
Bill Dundee
Edge
Charlotte Flair
Bill Goldberg
Matt & Jeff Hardy
Kamala
Rick Martel
Jon Moxley/Dean Ambrose
Paul Orndorff
Randy Orton
C.M. Punk
Seth Rollins
Sgt. Slaughter
Trish Stratus
Rick & Scott Steiner
Ultimate Warrior

JAPAN CANDIDATES

CIMA
Satoshi Kojima & Hiroyoshi Tenzan
Yoshiaki Fujiwara
Hayabusa
Kota Ibushi
Kyoko Inoue
Tomohiro Ishii
Naomichi Marufuji
Tetsuya Naito
Kazuchika Okada
Meiko Satomura
Katsuyori Shibata
Takashi Sugiura
Akira Taue

MEXICO CANDIDATES

Los Brazos (Brazo de Oro & Brazo de Plata & El Brazo)
Sangre Chicana
Psycho Clown
Los Hermanos Dinamita (Cien Caras & Mascara Ano 2000 & Universo 2000)
Dorrell Dixon
Pirata Morgan
Mistico/Caristico
Octagon
La Parka AAA
Huracan Ramirez
Rito Romero

EUROPE/AUSTRALIA/NEW ZEALAND/PACIFIC ISLANDS/AFRICA

Sypros Arion
L’Ange Blanc (Francisco Pino)
Big Daddy
John Da Silva
Roger Delaporte & Andre Bollet
Dominic DeNucci
Billy Joyce
George Kidd
Killer Karl Kox
Kendo Nagasaki
Jackie Pallo
Rollerball Mark Rocco
Johnny Saint
Ricki Starr
Adrian Street
Jose Tarres
Otto Wanz

NON-WRESTLERS

Lord James Blears
Dave Brown
Bobby Bruns
Bob Caudle
Jim Crockett Jr.
Bobby Davis
Joe Higuchi
Jim Johnston
Takaaki Kidani
Larry Matysik
Stephanie McMahon
James Melby
Don Owen
Reggie Parks
Morris Sigel
Tony Schiavone
George Scott
Mike Tenay
Ted Turner
Stanley Weston
Grand Wizard

HISTORICAL PERFORMERS ERA CANDIDATES

Ole Anderson
Bob Armstrong
Hollywood Blonds (Buddy Roberts & Jerry Brown w/Sir Oliver Humperdink)
Jerry Brisco
June Byers
Buddy Colt
Wild Bull Curry
Cowboy Bob Ellis
The Fabulous Ones (Stan Lane & Steve Keirn)
Pampero Firpo
Black Gordman & Great Goliath
Archie “Mongolian Stomper” Gouldie
Rocky Johnson
Sputnik Monroe
Blackjack Mulligan
Johnny Rougeau
Enrique Torres
Von Brauners & Saul Weingeroff
Johnny “Mr.Wrestling II” Walker

The following candidates will be dropped from next year’s ballot unless they are elected in or garner 50% of the vote:

Don Owen
Sgt. Slaughter
Jim Crockett Jr.
Enrique Torres
Johnny “Wrestling II” Walker

Punk deserves to get in this year. The Last Dance was the icing on the cake. Dude sold out an arena not run in years on just being rumored to be there.

1 Like

Another year, another ballot, another time for me to ask why Hayabusa isn’t on this damn list already?

Maybe its because I’m conditioned to the HOF structure of sports like NFL, NHL etc. but I have always found it weird that people in the prime of their careers are on the ballot.

1 Like

Also true for the WWE hall of fame. It does seem to me that putting people in before their career is over is odd. Then again there isn’t a actual “Hall” (unless I’m wrong) for this own just the recognition so why not.

Same thought initially , but I’ve come to believe it’s appropriate to have a service time/age decide eligibility in a sport where no one ever really retires in a verifiable way like they do in baseball where they transmit retirement papers to the commissioner, etc, it’s an outlier, but it makes sense given that a wrestler can decide to return to active competition without any notice, need for training camp, etc.

What’s the difference between historical and modern performers? Didn’t Arn, Tully, JYD work at the same time as Ole or Rocky Johnson?

I’ve always felt the me way about the WWE hall as well, but at least in the WWE hall, when they do it the person is typically either a part timer, or thought to have been retired (ie. Edge).

This is like if the NHL inducted Ovie and Crosby into the Hall right now.

With that said, wrestling is a very unique “sport”, so sure.

For me, its not really that weird if its a guy or woman in their 50’s who’s a part timer. The one that seems weird to me is Charlotte. She’s wrestled for under 10 years, is in her 30’s, and doesn’t seem close to being retired. But again, its wrestling, not exactly a traditional sport. Maybe I need to look at it like the Hollywood walk of fame.

Well if I was able to vote I’d go with Edge, the Stiener Brothers, Kota Ibushi, Tetsya Naito, Kazuchika Okada, Meiko Satamura, Jim Johnson, Reggie Parks, Tony Shavonie and Mike Tenay …. You get 10 right? Lol

1 Like

Going by the same thought process as @kliq, I would say Hayabusa, Trish Stratus and Mike Tenay if I could vote.

2 Likes

I believe historical is before 1985. More Harley Race time.

If I had a vote, as for the North American wrestlers (I just dont know enough about Japan and Mexico), I’d vote for:

Tully Blanchard & Arn Anderson w/J.J. Dillon
Junkyard Dog
Kamala
Paul Orndorff
Trish Stratus
Rick & Scott Steiner
Tony Schiavone
Mike Tenay
Grand Wizard
Sgt. Slaughter

This assuming I have to pick 10. One thing Im not sure about, does a tag team count as 2 or 1? Is it 10 individuals? Or is it 10 “acts”?

Or Connor McDavid already going into the hall of fame.

2 Likes

I agree with you, MJ. He even had historical significance while sitting out of wrestling. Even if he didn’t sign with the company until a couple of years into its existence, the formation of AEW cannot be separated from the popularity of Punk in spite of Vince McMahon’s booking biases. AEW was formed as an alternative to what WWE has been over the past five years. While Punk was part of WWE, he always felt like an outlier, someone who was pushed in spite of what he was rather than because of it. Once he left the company, chanting his name became a sort of rebellion against the more mediocre aspects of WWE. There’s an argument that there isn’t a wrestler who is more central to the idea of AEW than CM Punk.

CM Punk checks every box for a Hall of Famer – in-ring ability, drawing power, and historical significance. He’s deserving of induction sooner than later, and hopefully it’ll be this year.

1 Like