In the past couple of weeks, WWE has announced the first batch of this year’s Hall of Fame class. And while the merits of those names – Paul Heyman, Bull Nakano, and the US Express (Barry Windham and Mike Rotunda) – are indisputable, we here at think there are others that should also be considered.

We asked our writing team to name their choices in the following categories: Male wrestler, Female wrestler, Tag Team or Faction, a Manager or other Non-Wrestler, a Posthumous selection, and a Celebrity Wing inductee.

Here are our picks:

Male Wrestler

While a couple of our writers feel it’s finally time for Dave “Batista” Bautista to get his due. Batista was announced for induction in 2020, but when the ceremony was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the company tried again, but scheduling conflicts resulted in him asking for another deferral. It’s been three years, and he hasn’t been announced this year. Maybe the company will make it so he won’t walk alone into the Hall next year instead?


Slam’s producer Greg Oliver, on the other hand, thinks that Tatanka might also be a consideration, noting that “inclusion matters.”

Bob Kapur feels that the inductee should be someone from Philadelphia, this year’s WrestleMania host city, and from where the HoF ceremony will emanate. While Shane Douglas is a long shot given his very vocal criticism of WWE over the past couple of decades, and Philly-born John Laurinaitis is undoubtedly out – let’s just say for other reasons – Douglas’ fellow ECW alumnus Raven seems like a great option. He spent time in WWE both as a manager (Johnny Polo, anyone?), commentator, and wrestler, holding the Hardcore Championship multiple times, and also had several WCW and ECW Championships.  Plus, think about how great his speech could be.

Meanwhile, Jonathan Schwartz feels that Sid should be in there – of course, given his many names – Sid Vicious, Sid Justice, and Sycho Sid – maybe one day he’ll get a wing to himself.

Female Wrestler

While most of our writers thought of more modern wrestlers for the spot, our resident historian Greg Oliver felt that Lelani Kai was long overdue for an induction. As one of the participants in a key match at the first WrestleMania, and already an inductee in the Pro Wrestling Hall of Fame and the NWA Hall of Fame, a WWE HoF induction seems like a slam dunk at some point in time.

Meanwhile, several felt that Mickie James should be in there. Having appeared at last year’s Royal Rumble, it would seem that she remains on good terms with the company, so that would seem to keep the door open. The fact that her real-life husband Nick Aldis holds a prominent spot on TV as the GM of Smackdown, there’s also a logical person to induct her.

Of course, AJ Lee also has a celebrated husband in CM Punk, so the possibility of having be part of the ceremony may also tilt the odds in her favour – in addition to her deserving it based on her success as one of the most popular personalities of her time, and her 3-time Diva Championship run. That said, her important work in the National Alliance on Mental Illness could also put her in line for the Warrior Award which celebrates social activism and other good works.

Tag Team or Faction

Two of our writers – Matthew Byer and Bob Kapur – picked stalwarts of WWE’s tag team division from the 80s in the British Bulldogs (Davey Boy Smith and the Dynamite Kid) and Demolition, respectively. Arguably, any of the four members of the teams (we’re not including Demolition’s Crush in the consideration) could be in there for their singles careers as well. But as tag teams, both of them should probably have been inducted years ago.

This time, Josh Olsen and Jonathan Schwartz were the ones who thought that Philadelphia should be celebrated, choosing picks related to the ECW promotion which made Philadelphia its home. Josh went with the popular Blue World Order faction, which started off as a parody of the New World Order, but thanks to the charm and talents of the members – the Blue Meanie, Nova, and Stevie Richards – became one of the most popular and memorable legacies of the company… and the one that probably sold the most T-shirts. Schwartz went even bigger, though, and said that the company itself warrants induction as a whole.

Greg Oliver went a little more traditional with his choice of the Midnight Express, who have their own connection with Philadelphia – and one of this year’s actual inductees as an incarnation of the team was managed by Paul Heyman, then known as Paul E. Dangerously. It’s assumed that Greg meant the combination of Bobby Eaton and Dennis Condrey who were the most successful team to go by that moniker – though “Sweet” Stan Lane and Eaton also are synonymous with the team name. Of course, no induction of the team would be complete without manager Jim Cornette also being part of it. Cornette is no stranger to the WWE Hall of Fame ceremony himself, inducting the Midnight’s long-time rivals, the Rock ‘n’Roll Express in 2017.


Of the four writers who selected managers for this category, two of them felt that WWE made the perfect choice in inducting Paul Heyman. Of course, Heyman has had many more roles than simply a manager, but in recent years, his on-screen association with Brock Lesnar and more recently as part of the Bloodline, has really put him in the conversation for best manager of all time.

Someone else in that conversation is the aforementioned Jim Cornette, Matthew Byer’s pick for having worked for every major promotion imaginable in the 1980s and 1990s, being a consistent draw, and for his more recent years as a commentator, booker, and promoter in companies as varied as WWE, Ohio Valley Wrestling, Ring of Honor, and TNA, and maybe more famous now as one of the industry’s top podcasters.

Greg Oliver believes that Slick is another manager who deserves the accolades for his performances in WWE in the 80s and 90s as the “Doctor of Style” when his charge included several Hall of Famers themselves, including the Iron Sheik, Nikolai Volkoff, and the Big Boss Man, and a few others who should be there in the One Man Gang / Akeem, “The Natural” Butch Reed, and Kamala.

The only non-manager on our list, picked by Bob Kapur, is referee/wrestler “Dangerous” Danny Davis. As a corrupt referee, Davis was one of the most hated villains in the company when he aligned himself with the Hart Foundation to screw the British Bulldogs out of the Tag Team Championship prior to WrestleMania III. After his storyline suspension, Davis joined the Jimmy Hart stable as a wrestler, a role that he had played before, albeit, unbeknownst to the audience as he wrestled as the masked Mr. X. It is his legacy as one of the most infamous referees in history that is HoF-worthy.

Posthumous Inductee

With so many wrestling greats now gone, unfortunately the pool of candidates for this one grows every year. In recent weeks, for example, both Ole Anderson and Mike “Virgil” Jones were added to the list. Neither of them made the list for our writers this time, though.

A few of our writers feel that Bray Wyatt should be on the list, and if WWE does add him to the 2024 class, he would join his father Mike Rotunda and uncle Barry Windham, who are going in for their work as the tag team the US Express. Even though Josh Olsen picked Bam Bam Bigelow, he subsequently conceded that Bray might have been the better choice.

Greg Oliver said that while he thinks Ivan Koloff should go in – citing his multiple singles and tag team championship reigns during his career and inductions in other wrestling Halls of Fame – he believes WWE will go with the sentimental pick in Wyatt.

Meanwhile, Matthew Byer feels that it is time for the “First Lady of Wrestling” Miss Elizabeth to get the nod. “I’m not sure it is possible to fully appreciate how significant a figure Miss Elizabeth was in the 1980s and 1990s,” he said about her legacy.

Bob Kapur, on the other hand, is going for a less conventional choice in Brian Pillman. While the circumstances of his death may make it a hard sell for him getting in there, there’s no doubt that Pillman’s career warrants the honour. With his son now in the company, performing as Lexis King, even more reason to celebrate his life and legacy.

Celebrity Wing

Both Greg Oliver and Bob Kapur feel that singer Cyndi Lauper – who was as important as Hulk Hogan and Mr. T, or arguably even moreso, to the success of the first WrestleMania should finally get the gratitude she deserves with an induction.

Captain Lou Albano and Cyndi Lauper in "Girls Just Want to Have Fun"

Captain Lou Albano and Cyndi Lauper in “Girls Just Want to Have Fun”

A couple of our other writers’ choices were a bit more dubious in Fred Durst of the band Limp Bizkit whose contributions to WWE are pretty much writing and performing the Undertaker’s theme song Rollin’ and some other theme songs for various WWE PPVs. But perhaps he was rewarded enough when he became a playable character in a couple of WWE video games back in the early 2000s.

That all being said, he’s certainly more deserving than D-lister Kevin Federline who used his fame of briefly being married to Britney Spears to weasel his way onto some WWE programming.

Perhaps the most plausible choice is Matthew Byer’s pick of NBA legend – and unofficial US Ambassador to North Korea – Dennis Rodman, who actually did contribute some good to wrestling, unlike Durst and Federline. Having co-headlined several WCW PPVs as a member of the nWo, Rodman brought mainstream media attention to WCW that the company probably wouldn’t have gotten otherwise, and helped WCW compete during the Monday Night Wars.