The official 2022 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 2022 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.

Here’s the official ballot:


Tully Blanchard & Arn Anderson w JJ Dillon
Jerry Lawler & Bill Dundee
Bill Goldberg
Matt & Jeff Hardy
Becky Lynch
Kevin Nash & Scott Hall
Paul Orndorff
Randy Orton
New Age Outlaws (Billy Gunn & Road Dogg)
C.M. Punk
Roman Reigns
Sgt. Slaughter
Trish Stratus
Rick & Scott Steiner
Kevin, Kerry & David Von Erich


Adrian Adonis & Jesse Ventura
Ole Anderson
Bob Armstrong
Jack & Jerry Brisco
June Byers
Wild Bull Curry
British Bulldogs (Dynamite Kid & Davey Boy Smith)
Cowboy Bob Ellis
Pampero Firpo
Black Gordman & Great Goliath
Archie “Mongolian Stomper” Goldie
Hart Foundation (Bret Hart & Jim Neidhart)
Rocky Johnson
The Rockers (Shawn Michaels & Marty Jannetty)
Sputnik Monroe
Blackjack Mulligan
Harley Race & Larry Henning
Dusty Rhodes & Dick Murdoch
Argentina Rocca & Miguel Perez
Johnny Rougeau
Kinji Shibuya & Masa Saito
Tiger Jeet Singh
Ricky Steamboat & Jay Youngblood
Enrique Torres
Mad Dog & Butcher Vachon
Von Brauners & Saul Weingeroff
Mr. Wrestling I & II


Riki Choshu & Animal Hamaguchi
Satoshi Kojima & Hiroyoshi Tenzan
Yoshiaki Fujiwara
Kota Ibushi
Antonio Inoki & Seji Sakaguchi
Tomohiro Ishii
Naomichi Marufuji
Tetsuya Naito
Meiko Satomura
Shingo Takagi
Manami Toyota & Toshiyo Yamada
Akira Taue & Toshiaki Kawada


Angel Blanco & Dr. Wagner
Sangre Chicana
Los Hermanos Dinamita (Cien Caras, Mascara Ano 2000 & Universo 2000)
Dorrell Dixon
Pirata Morgan
El Hijo Del Santo & Octagon
La Parka AAA
Huracan Ramirez
Rito Romero
Los Villanos


Sypros Arion
L’Ange Blanc (Francisco Pino)
Big Daddy
Dominic DeNucci
Billy Joyce
George Kidd
Killer Karl Kox
Kendo Nagasaki
Jackie Pallo
Rollerball Mark Rocco
The Royal Brothers (Bert Royal & Vic Faulkner)
Ricki Starr
Adrian Street
Jose Tarres
Otto Wanz


Lord James Blears
Dave Brown
Bobby Bruns
Bob Caudle
Bobby Davis
Joe Higuchi
Jim Johnston
Larry Matysik
James Melby
Rossy Ogawa
Reggie Parks
Morris Sigel
Tony Schiavone
George Scott
Sanshiro Takagi
Mike Tenay
Ted Turner
Roy Welch
Stanley Weston
Grand Wizard

It’s always interesting to see the list. I don’t know how many votes each voter gets in each category. But if it was me I would vote for:


  1. Trish Stratus (there hasn’t been a women inducted since 2006. Insane.)
  2. Nash & Hall
  3. Edge
  4. Hardy’s
  5. Bill Goldberg
  6. C.M. Punk
  7. Randy Orton
  8. Roman Reigns


  1. The Rockers
  2. Hart Foundation
  3. British Bulldogs


  1. Kota Ibushi
  2. Tetsuya Naito


  1. Jim Johnston
  2. Mike Tenay
  3. Tony Schiavone

I hate it how active performers are eligible. I get it that in wrestling some wrestlers go forever (ie. flair) but it feels weird having Becky on the ballot for example.

They should at least need to be over 40, or be on a part time schedule. No sport does this.

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I feel like I never have a grasp on the criteria. It’s just the WWE Hall of Fame but for wrestling snobs. Though I do appreciate that at least there’s legitimate voting by those snobs.

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Dave’s reasoning I’ve heard recently is that “no one really retires in wrestling” and it would just be a waste to not give candidates their proper due at some point. And it’s not a legit sport where there is a concrete point to retire.

For me I’d go…


  1. Stiener Brothers
  2. Edge
  3. Randy Orton and
  4. Paul Orndorff


  1. Tetsya Naito
  2. Kota Ibushi
  3. Meiko Satamura and
  4. Tomohiro Ishii


  1. Tony Shavonie
  2. Mike Tenay and
  3. Jim Johnson

But they aren’t asking me lol

I know you can be eligible if you have been wrestling for a certain amount of years.

It’s nothing like the WWE Hall of Fame. Lol thats just for an audience of one for so long.

You can laugh at the WWE hall of fame but I don’t hold the WON in much higher esteem either. The WWE HoF lets too many people in. The WON doesn’t let enough in.

Not a single woman inducted in 16 years? The most legendary groups in pro-wrestling not inducted? Some of the biggest draws in wrestling history not inducted? Because of the arbitrary rules put in place neither do a particularly good job of celebrating or examining pro-wrestling’s history.

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Ya I’ve heard him explain it, but I don’t agree with it. I don’t think they should have to “officially retire” but I also don’t think a 35 year old active performer should be on the ballot either.

Agreed, they both mean nothing. At least the WWE one actually gives the performers $$ and a night to be honored, but don’t get me wrong, the selection process has been so arbitrary.

Any hall of fame that has no woman for 16 years is BS IMO.

Ya, I think it would be “wrestling on a pro level for 25+ years, or you are older then 50” something like that.

I would say 15 years is enough. It would take 15 years and being consistent so that’s not everyone.

I would do 25 or once they are no longer an active performer, but I wouldn’t fight 15. But whatever, it doesn’t mean anything anyways. Without a location, its just a name added to a spreadsheet.

So Hayabusa is never going in the WON HOF?

Coming back here, I don’t think it’s fair to say a wrestling hall of fame means nothing. A lot of people take huge pride in having their work being recognized. I’d say both the WON HOF and the George Tragos/Lou Thesz wrestling hall of fames carry a ton of weight. @RedRaider07

And if the WON HOF mean nothing, why do prominent wrestlers and journalists participate in the voting like John Pollock, Brian Solomon, Mike Tenay, etc?

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I wrote that almost a year ago lol.

I believe my mindset was that Meltzer just arbitrarily assigns who can vote vs who can’t vote. I remember I was listening to a podcast years ago (I want to say Between the Ropes, but I could be wrong) and one of the hosts made a joke about how Meltzer just randomly out of nowhere sent them a vote. There were no credentials, no overseeing body, just Meltzer picks who he wants to have a vote. Doesnt mean some voters aren’t credible, but it seems very arbitrary.

There isn’t a place for the wrestlers to be enshrined like a normal HOF, there is no physical ceremony, and they don’t get paid.

Does that mean I don’t respect the voters? Of course not. I have a lot of respect for John and Dave and many others.

If there was a wrestlers union or a wrestling journalist association where some level of credentials are assigned by a governing board that would be one thing, but it’s one man deciding the rules and picking who votes. That’s why I said it means nothing.

To clarify, this is based on what I read years ago, maybe it changed. And for the record, I’m actually a fan of Dave, but I don’t think his HOF means much. Maybe I shouldnt have said it means “nothing”, but I think it means very little.

I know you are a Hockey fan, it would be like if Elliot Friedman just decided to create a Hockey Hall of Fame and picked and chose which other reporters were able to vote and just made up the rules as he saw fit. He has every right in the world to do it, but for me, it wouldn’t mean anything. And like Dave, I have a ton of respect for Elliot Friedman.

Now if it matters to you, thats cool. To each their own. I can only speak for me.

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I get you now, kind of misunderstood that aspect. If there were physical attributes, it would make it more sense. Hall of fames are subjective and it’s almost impossible to lay it down the middle.

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I don’t have any issue with the premise or the process but according to Wikipedia, the criteria is that:

Inductees must have at least 15 years of experience in the wrestling business or be over 35 years old and have 10 years of experience.

Kurt Angle was elected in 2004 (that’s 6 years from his first pro match and less than 5 years after his WWF debut. Would he get there? Yes. But 60% of the voters thought he had done enough after less than 5 years to get in? It baffles the mind.


To add to that, on the other end of the spectrum Shawn Michaels didn’t get in after his first retirement based on the fact that he was a prick. At that point he had wrestled from 1984-1998 and in 2000 turned 35 (ie. met the criteria). In I believe 2001 and in 2002 he didn’t get enough votes to get in despite clearly having a HOF career.

It wasn’t until he came back in 2002 and changed his attitude that he got into the HOF in 2003.