Saturday, September 28, 2013

MY WRESTLING OBSERVER HALL OF FAME PICKS FOR 2013

ONCE again, I was honoured this year to be asked to give my selections for the Wrestling Observer Newsletter Hall Of Fame for 2013. Here are my selections: 

WRESTLERS
1. Ivan Koloff
2. Brock Lesnar
3. Rock & Roll Express (Ricky Morton & Robert Gibson)
4. Sting
5. Blue Panther
6. Big Daddy
7. Jackie Pallo
8. Spyros Arion
9. Mark Lewin
NON-WRESTLERS
1. Bill Apter
2. Jesse Ventura
3. Stanley Weston

Last year, two of my picks – Captain Lou Albano and John Cena – were selected in the Hall Of Fame.
This year, I again selected the other eight unsuccessful candidates. If you want to read my reasons why, check out my blog last year at:
http://docriot.blogspot.com.au/2012/09/my-wrestling-observer-hall-of-fame.html
For the remaining three, I’ll explain why:


Ivan Koloff
A former WWWF world heavyweight champ, a former NWA tag team champ, a top heel in the 70s and the archetypical Communist Russian heel, arguably the best of all time. To me, he was the perfect heel to pit against the likes of Bruno Sammartino, Dusty Rhodes, the Road Warriors, etc. He drew money, he was on top for two decades. A clear choice in my opinion.

Jackie Pallo
Next to Mick McManus and, later, Big Daddy, the most recognisable figure in British wrestling. Drew record ratings for his televised bouts with McManus. A massive ratings draw whenever he appeared on TV. Pulled crowds wherever he went. If McManus is in the Hall Of Fame, then his greatest opponent should also be there.

Spyros Arion
Graeme Cameron made a great argument for why Arion is the greatest grappler in the Australian wrestling scene (conversely, GC also argued against another of my picks, Mark Lewin, but he convinced me on Arion’s merits). Throw in his successful run in the WWWF and worldwide success and he’s a clear choice.  

Stanley Weston
The man behind the so-called Apter mags. Without Weston, there’d be no Apter. Without Weston, guys like Mil Mascaras, Dusty Rhodes and Lex Luger would never have been as big as they were. His magazines were incredibly influential right up until the late 80s. Another no-brainer.

What do you think of my choices (subjective as they are)? Let me know your thoughts.

– Dann Lennard

This is what Wrestling Observer editor Dave Meltzer wrote to me in his original email:

It's time for the 2013 Hall of Fame elections.
This ballot is being sent out to major wrestling stars, past and present, major management figures in the industry, writers and historians.
If you are getting this, you are being asked your opinion on who should be inducted into this year's Hall of Fame class.  The criteria for the Hall of Fame is a combination of drawing power, being a great in-ring performer or excelling in ones field in pro wrestling, as well as having historical significance in a positive manner.  A candidate should either have something to offer in all three categories, or be someone so outstanding in one or two of those categories that they deserve inclusion.
The names listed below are those under consideration for this year.  To be eligible, a performer must have reached their 35th birthday and completed ten years since their debut as a full-time performer, or be someone who has been a full-time pro wrestler for at least 15 years.
Longevity should be a prime consideration rather than a hot two or three year run, unless someone is so significant as a trend-setter or a historical figure in the business, or valuable to the industry, that they need to be included.  However, just longevity without being either a long-term main eventer, a top draw and/or a top caliber in-ring performer should be seen as relatively meaningless.
The election is broken down into a number of categories.  You should check each category for wrestlers that you feel you are familiar enough with based on geography that you've either traveled or are familiar with, and based on the time you have followed pro wrestling.  You do not have to vote for a wrestler in every category you've checked.
The ballot is also broken down to wrestlers and those who are not pro wrestlers but have been valuable parts of the industry.
The maximum number of wrestlers that you can vote for all the categories is ten.  You can pick as few as zero if you don't believe anyone on this list deserves inclusion.
For wrestling executives, managers, announcers and other outside the ring performers, you can vote for them and they are not counted against the ten.  You can vote for as many as five of them.
All responses are confidential.  There is nothing to worry about politically about any involvement in this process.  Your selections will not be revealed unless you choose to do so yourself.
Anyone who receives mention on 60% of the ballots from the geographical region and time frame (broken down as Continental United States & Canada; Mexico; Japan; Europe; and Hawaii/Australia/New Zealand/Puerto Rico) will be added to the Hall of Fame in the class of 2013.
If you are unfamiliar with any of the candidates due to geography of having never seen them, that is fine.  Ballots are sent to many people from all over the world and from different wrestling cultures so that everyone has as fair a shot at possible.
The breakdown for modern and historical performers is 30 years ago, or 1983.  So if the last year the person was a headliner, or was a key figure in the industry, was prior to 1983, they would be in the historical class.
All performers who receive mention on 10% to 59.9% of the ballots from their geographical region or era will remain on the ballot for consideration next year.  All those who receive less than 10% of the vote will be dropped from next year's ballot.  They can return in two years based on if there is significant feedback from voters who say they will vote for them.  This is mostly for wrestlers who are still active who may improve their career legacy, but can be for retired wrestlers if voters believe they should be put on or returned to the ballot.
Please return this ballot by October 5th.  You can e-mail the ballot back to dave@wrestlingobserver.com or fax it to 408-244-3402 or mail (please do so by September 28th) to Wrestling Observer, P.O. Box 1228, Campbell, CA  95009-1228.
Please check by every category you are familiar with

I FOLLOWED THE HISTORICAL PERFORMERS ERA CANDIDATES

Gene & Ole Anderson

The Assassins (Joe Hamilton & Tom Renesto)

Red Bastien

June Byers

Pepper Gomez

Rip Hawk

Dick Hutton

Ciclon Negro

Dutch Savage

Kinji Shibuya

Wilbur Snyder

John Tolos

Enrique Torres

Count Billy Varga

Von Brauners & Saul Weingeroff

Tim "Mr. Wrestling" Woods

 
I FOLLOWED THE MODERN PERFORMERS IN U.S/CANADA CANDIDATES

Bob Armstrong

Batista

Edge

Owen Hart

Curt Hennig

Ivan Koloff

Brock Lesnar

Fabulous Moolah

Pedro Morales

Dick Murdoch

Ken Patera

Rock & Roll Express (Ricky Morton & Robert Gibson)

Sgt. Slaughter

Jimmy Snuka

Sting

A.J. Styles

Johnny "Mr. Wrestling II" Walker

 
I FOLLOWED WRESTLING IN JAPAN CANDIDATES

George Gordienko

Gran Hamada

Volk Han

Masahiko Kimura

Yuji Nagata

Seiji Sakaguchi

Kensuke Sasaki

Mike & Ben Sharpe

Kiyoshi Tamura

Hiroshi Tanahashi
 

I FOLLOWED WRESTLING IN MEXICO CANDIDATES

Atlantis

Cien Caras

Hector Garza

Karloff Lagarde

Blue Panther

L.A. Park

Huracan Ramirez

Vampiro

Villano III

Dr. Wagner Jr.

Dr. Wagner Sr.
 

I FOLLOWED WRESTLING IN EUROPE CANDIDATES

Jim Breaks

Big Daddy

Giant Haystacks

Horst Hoffman

Billy Joyce

Kendo Nagasaki

Jackie Pallo

Rollerball Mark Rocco

Johnny Saint

 
I FOLLOWED WRESTLING IN AUSTRALIA/PACIFIC ISLANDS/PUERTO RICO CANDIDATES

Spyros Arion

Johnny Barend

Carlos Colon

Domenic DeNucci

Killer Karl Kox

Mark Lewin

Mario Milano
 

NON-WRESTLERS

Bill Apter

Dave Brown

Jim Crockett Jr.

Jim Crockett Sr.

Gary Hart

Jimmy Hart

Howard Finkel

Jerry Jarrett

Takashi Matsunaga

Gorilla Monsoon

Gene Okerluind

Don Owen

Jesse Ventura

Stanley Weston