This year’s Wrestling Observer Hall of Fame inductions added Henri Deglane (historical inductee) along with voter selected Dr. Wagner Sr.AtlantisKensuke SasakiHiroshi Tanahashi and All Japan Women’s Pro Wrestling promoters Takeshi Matsunaga and his brothers into the elite ethereal HOF.

While only one of my picks (Matsunaga) was elected, most of my other picks (Rock & Roll Express,Brock LesnarDick Murdoch, EdgeGene OkerlundJimmy Hart) finished respectably on the ballot. There was one exception – Big Dave Ba(u)tista received less than 10% of the vote and (sadly) is going to be dropped off next year’s ballot.

Probably the most interesting induction was current NJPW star Hiroshi Tanahashi and his quick ascension into the WON HOF.  His election places an interesting spotlight on other young, modern wrestlers that will soon join the ballot.  Last year, John Cena was a logical 2012 inductee (after all, he was the top star in the world’s largest and most successful modern pro-wrestling company for many consecutive years).  Upcoming candidates for future WON HOF include a trio of guys currently wrestling for WWE: CM PunkDaniel Bryan (f.k.a. American Dragon/Bryan Danielson) and possibly Mistico (Sin Cara).

As voters (like me!) try to examine the record of these wrestlers, we’re challenged to consider factors such as drawing power, working ability and promo skills.  One source I’ve been referencing is the results from the annual Year-End Wrestling Observer Awards (1980-2012).  My theory was that many benchmarks for the career of a HOF candidate could be captured in how they finished in the WO Awards spotlight – especially when you’re looking at young, modern candidates like Punk, Bryan and Mistico.

Side Note: I’ve been working on aggregating as many of the results (not just winners, but also the runner-ups) for the annual Wrestling Observer Awards since 1980 through 2012 on my pro-wrestling statistics webpage: https://sites.google.com/site/chrisharrington/mookieghana-prowrestlingstatistics/wo_awards_history

While not every single WON Award category is offered every year (for instance, “Best Three Man Team”), there are many important categories (with positive connotations) which have very rich histories:

Top Tier

WRESTLER OF THE YEAR: 33 years
TAG TEAM OF THE YEAR: 33 years
BEST ON INTERVIEWS: 32 years
MOST CHARISMATIC: 33 years
MOST OUTSTANDING WRESTLER: 27 years
BEST BOX OFFICE DRAW: 16 years

Mid-Tier

BEST TECHNICAL WRESTLER: 33 years
BEST FLYING WRESTLER: 32 years
BEST BRAWLER: 33 years
ROOKIE OF THE YEAR: 33 years
MOST UNDERRATED: 33 years
MOST IMPROVED: 33 years
BEST GIMMICK: 27 years
BEST HEEL: 17 years
BEST BABYFACE: 17 years
READERS´ FAVORITE WRESTLER: 20 years

Non-Wrestlers

BEST TELEVISION ANNOUNCER: 32 years
BEST NON WRESTLING PERFORMER: 28 years
BEST BOOKER: 27 years
PROMOTER OF THE YEAR: 25 years
BEST COLOR COMMENTATOR: 11 years

Information

– Data covered 1980-2012 looking at the top 5 finishes (winner + 4 runner-ups) whenever possible.
– Points were awarded as follows: 1st place = 10 points, 2nd place = 4.64 points, 3rd place = 2.78, 4th place = 1.98 and 5th place = 1.58.
(This seemingly arbitrary relationship was designed so that each sequential value was the cuberoot of the former place squared; i.e. 2nd place = (10*10)^(1/3) = 4.64. )
– To the best of my ability names were combined over years (i.e Dustin Rhodes = Goldust = Black Reign).
– TOTAL was calculated as TOP*2 + MID + OTHER.

NAMETOPMIDOTHER TOTAL HOF?
Ric Flair312.1 pts (56 awards)181.2 pts (31 awards)7.1 pts (3 awards)     812.5YES
Steve Austin134.7 pts (20 awards)86 pts (17 awards)10 pts (1 awards)     365.4YES
Jim Cornette69.2 pts (11 awards)0 pts (0 awards)220 pts (40 awards)     358.4YES
The Rock161.3 pts (27 awards)34.9 pts (8 awards)0 pts (0 awards)     357.4YES
Kenta Kobashi161.2 pts (30 awards)27.7 pts (9 awards)0 pts (0 awards)     350.0YES
Hulk Hogan106 pts (19 awards)105.9 pts (13 awards)0 pts (0 awards)     317.9YES
Mitsuharu Misawa116.7 pts (19 awards)49.3 pts (11 awards)27.6 pts (11 awards)     310.4YES
John Cena140.5 pts (24 awards)16.6 pts (3 awards)0 pts (0 awards)     297.6YES
Chris Benoit48.3 pts (13 awards)198 pts (40 awards)0 pts (0 awards)     294.5YES
Bryan Danielson72.8 pts (13 awards)104.6 pts (16 awards)0 pts (0 awards)     250.1NO
Jushin Liger46 pts (8 awards)135.9 pts (21 awards)16.2 pts (3 awards)     244.1YES
Chris Jericho90.7 pts (23 awards)59.3 pts (14 awards)0 pts (0 awards)     240.7YES
Mick Foley49.1 pts (9 awards)132.1 pts (20 awards)5.5 pts (3 awards)     235.7YES
Paul Heyman24.7 pts (9 awards)0 pts (0 awards)181.8 pts (35 awards)     231.3YES
Kurt Angle70.9 pts (13 awards)87.7 pts (18 awards)0 pts (0 awards)     229.5YES
Vince McMahon1.6 pts (1 awards)4.6 pts (1 awards)220 pts (53 awards)     227.8YES
Jim Ross0 pts (0 awards)0 pts (0 awards)186.3 pts (26 awards)     186.3YES
Shawn Michaels68.8 pts (17 awards)35.6 pts (12 awards)0 pts (0 awards)     173.1YES
Eddie Guerrero74.7 pts (15 awards)15.3 pts (7 awards)0 pts (0 awards)     164.7YES
Bobby Eaton41 pts (7 awards)69.1 pts (15 awards)0 pts (0 awards)     151.1YES
CM Punk54.8 pts (14 awards)32.6 pts (7 awards)2.8 pts (1 awards)     144.9NO
Rey Mysterio Jr20.6 pts (5 awards)101.6 pts (16 awards)0 pts (0 awards)     142.7YES
Riki Choshu22.2 pts (5 awards)6.3 pts (3 awards)83.7 pts (16 awards)     134.4YES
Brock Lesnar46.8 pts (8 awards)37.8 pts (6 awards)0 pts (0 awards)     131.4NO
Toshiaki Kawada59.2 pts (15 awards)1.6 pts (1 awards)0 pts (0 awards)     119.9YES
Roddy Piper43.2 pts (7 awards)29.1 pts (6 awards)2.8 pts (1 awards)     118.4YES
Manami Toyota35.8 pts (9 awards)44.9 pts (14 awards)0 pts (0 awards)     116.6YES
Sting32.7 pts (8 awards)49.3 pts (11 awards)0 pts (0 awards)     114.6NO
Akira Maeda35.3 pts (8 awards)18.5 pts (7 awards)25.3 pts (7 awards)     114.5YES
Giant Baba0 pts (0 awards)0 pts (0 awards)111.4 pts (19 awards)     111.4YES
Hiroshi Tanahashi53.4 pts (10 awards)4 pts (2 awards)0 pts (0 awards)     110.8YES
Great Muta36.9 pts (14 awards)29.9 pts (7 awards)4 pts (2 awards)     107.7YES
Mistico39.2 pts (9 awards)29 pts (5 awards)0 pts (0 awards)     107.3NO
Atsushi Onita26.7 pts (5 awards)46.1 pts (9 awards)2 pts (1 awards)     101.5YES
Terry Gordy36.7 pts (7 awards)26.5 pts (7 awards)0 pts (0 awards)     100.0YES
Bob Sapp43.9 pts (6 awards)11.6 pts (2 awards)0 pts (0 awards)       99.4NO
Dana White4 pts (2 awards)0 pts (0 awards)84.6 pts (9 awards)       92.6NO
Edge39 pts (11 awards)13.6 pts (4 awards)0 pts (0 awards)       91.6NO
Ted DiBiase12.7 pts (6 awards)63.7 pts (14 awards)1.6 pts (1 awards)       90.6YES
Jerry Lawler17.6 pts (6 awards)11.3 pts (5 awards)41.2 pts (10 awards)       87.7YES
Bruiser Brody2.8 pts (1 awards)82.1 pts (10 awards)0 pts (0 awards)       87.6YES
Samoa Joe23.4 pts (6 awards)39.9 pts (8 awards)0 pts (0 awards)       86.6NO
Shinjiro Otani26.9 pts (8 awards)28.1 pts (8 awards)0 pts (0 awards)       81.9NO
Jun Akiyama33.6 pts (5 awards)14.4 pts (3 awards)0 pts (0 awards)       81.5NO
Mike Tenay0 pts (0 awards)0 pts (0 awards)77.7 pts (13 awards)       77.7NO
Michael Hayes19.5 pts (6 awards)20 pts (2 awards)18.7 pts (6 awards)       77.7YES
KENTA35.6 pts (7 awards)6.3 pts (3 awards)0 pts (0 awards)       77.6NO
Road Warrior Hawk30.3 pts (7 awards)15.9 pts (4 awards)0 pts (0 awards)       76.5YES
The Undertaker3.6 pts (2 awards)68.3 pts (10 awards)0 pts (0 awards)       75.4YES
Vader15.9 pts (4 awards)43.5 pts (11 awards)0 pts (0 awards)       75.4YES
Terry Funk16.7 pts (4 awards)40.8 pts (10 awards)0 pts (0 awards)       74.2YES
Davey Richards29.3 pts (4 awards)14.8 pts (4 awards)0 pts (0 awards)       73.4NO
Road Warrior Animal28.7 pts (6 awards)15.9 pts (4 awards)0 pts (0 awards)       73.3YES
Stan Hansen12.8 pts (2 awards)46.6 pts (11 awards)0 pts (0 awards)       72.2YES
Naomichi Marufuji32.2 pts (7 awards)7.5 pts (4 awards)0 pts (0 awards)       71.8NO
Bobby Heenan2 pts (1 awards)0 pts (0 awards)67.1 pts (14 awards)       71.0YES
Steve Williams15.5 pts (4 awards)36.3 pts (6 awards)0 pts (0 awards)       67.4YES
Tatsumi Fujinami17.4 pts (3 awards)32 pts (4 awards)0 pts (0 awards)       66.8YES
Owen Hart9.3 pts (2 awards)47.7 pts (10 awards)0 pts (0 awards)       66.3NO
The Miz19.4 pts (4 awards)26.6 pts (4 awards)0 pts (0 awards)       65.4NO
Dynamite Kid11.6 pts (2 awards)42.1 pts (6 awards)0 pts (0 awards)       65.2YES
Rick Steiner20.2 pts (5 awards)24.6 pts (3 awards)0 pts (0 awards)       65.0NO
Triple H21 pts (5 awards)22.6 pts (7 awards)0 pts (0 awards)       64.6YES
Bret Hart17.2 pts (6 awards)29.8 pts (10 awards)0 pts (0 awards)       64.2YES
Jimmy Snuka17.5 pts (5 awards)25.5 pts (5 awards)0 pts (0 awards)       60.5NO
Gabe Sapolsky0 pts (0 awards)0 pts (0 awards)60.4 pts (11 awards)       60.4NO
Lance Russell0 pts (0 awards)0 pts (0 awards)58.5 pts (11 awards)       58.5YES
Brian Pillman10 pts (1 awards)38.5 pts (9 awards)0 pts (0 awards)       58.5NO
Arn Anderson29.2 pts (8 awards)0 pts (0 awards)0 pts (0 awards)       58.3NO
Tiger Mask7.5 pts (3 awards)42.8 pts (5 awards)0 pts (0 awards)       57.9YES
Sabu11.3 pts (3 awards)34.9 pts (11 awards)0 pts (0 awards)       57.4NO
Stan Lane26.2 pts (4 awards)1.6 pts (1 awards)0 pts (0 awards)       54.0YES
Jesse Ventura0 pts (0 awards)0 pts (0 awards)53.9 pts (7 awards)       53.9NO
Scott Steiner20.2 pts (5 awards)13.4 pts (5 awards)0 pts (0 awards)       53.7NO
Kevin Steen11 pts (4 awards)31.6 pts (4 awards)0 pts (0 awards)       53.5NO
Christian14.4 pts (3 awards)23.3 pts (6 awards)0 pts (0 awards)       52.0NO
Hiroshi Hase7.4 pts (2 awards)26 pts (6 awards)10 pts (1 awards)       50.9YES
Joe Silva0 pts (0 awards)0 pts (0 awards)50.3 pts (9 awards)       50.3NO
Jay Briscoe21.3 pts (6 awards)6.7 pts (3 awards)0 pts (0 awards)       49.4NO
Jeff Hardy15.5 pts (4 awards)18.2 pts (4 awards)0 pts (0 awards)       49.2NO
Jimmy Hart12.8 pts (2 awards)0 pts (0 awards)22.8 pts (3 awards)       48.3NO
Shelton Benjamin6.6 pts (2 awards)34.8 pts (5 awards)0 pts (0 awards)       48.0NO
Mark Briscoe21.3 pts (6 awards)4.8 pts (2 awards)0 pts (0 awards)       47.5NO
James Storm23.8 pts (6 awards)0 pts (0 awards)0 pts (0 awards)       47.5NO
Joey Styles0 pts (0 awards)0 pts (0 awards)47.3 pts (9 awards)       47.3NO
Santino Marella11.3 pts (3 awards)23.6 pts (4 awards)0 pts (0 awards)       46.1NO
Nobuhiko Takada9.4 pts (3 awards)24.1 pts (7 awards)1.6 pts (1 awards)       44.5YES
Christopher Daniels15.9 pts (4 awards)12.2 pts (4 awards)0 pts (0 awards)       44.1NO
Matt Hardy10.9 pts (3 awards)21.9 pts (6 awards)0 pts (0 awards)       43.6NO
Dusty Rhodes10 pts (1 awards)12.8 pts (2 awards)10 pts (1 awards)       42.8YES
Koji Kanemoto17.9 pts (5 awards)5.1 pts (3 awards)0 pts (0 awards)       41.0NO
Juventud Guerrera1.6 pts (1 awards)37.3 pts (9 awards)0 pts (0 awards)       40.5NO
Art Barr10 pts (1 awards)19.4 pts (4 awards)0 pts (0 awards)       39.4NO
Kota Ibushi0 pts (0 awards)39.3 pts (5 awards)0 pts (0 awards)       39.3NO
AJ Styles5.6 pts (2 awards)27.5 pts (6 awards)0 pts (0 awards)       38.6NO
Shane Douglas12.1 pts (3 awards)14 pts (4 awards)0 pts (0 awards)       38.2NO
Perro Aguayo10.2 pts (3 awards)17.4 pts (3 awards)0 pts (0 awards)       37.8YES
Gedo2.8 pts (1 awards)0 pts (0 awards)31.8 pts (6 awards)       37.3NO
Yuji Nagata11.3 pts (5 awards)14.3 pts (6 awards)0 pts (0 awards)       37.0NO
Jado2.8 pts (1 awards)0 pts (0 awards)30.2 pts (5 awards)       35.8NO
Tatsuhito Takaiwa12.8 pts (2 awards)10 pts (1 awards)0 pts (0 awards)       35.6NO
Goldberg11.4 pts (4 awards)12.8 pts (2 awards)0 pts (0 awards)       35.5NO
Gordon Solie0 pts (0 awards)0 pts (0 awards)35.1 pts (6 awards)       35.1YES
John Morrison12 pts (2 awards)11 pts (4 awards)0 pts (0 awards)       34.9NO
Homicide10 pts (1 awards)14.8 pts (3 awards)0 pts (0 awards)       34.8NO
Chael Sonnen17.4 pts (3 awards)0 pts (0 awards)0 pts (0 awards)       34.8NO
Dean Malenko0 pts (0 awards)34.6 pts (7 awards)0 pts (0 awards)       34.6NO
GSP17.2 pts (6 awards)0 pts (0 awards)0 pts (0 awards)       34.4NO
Eddie Gilbert0 pts (0 awards)12.8 pts (4 awards)21 pts (5 awards)       33.8NO
Chavo Guerrero Sr10 pts (1 awards)13.4 pts (5 awards)0 pts (0 awards)       33.4NO
Eric Bischoff0 pts (0 awards)0 pts (0 awards)32.9 pts (7 awards)       32.9NO
Nigel Mcguinness5.9 pts (3 awards)16 pts (5 awards)4.6 pts (1 awards)       32.5NO
Prince Devitt10.3 pts (5 awards)11.8 pts (4 awards)0 pts (0 awards)       32.4NO
Chris Harris16.2 pts (3 awards)0 pts (0 awards)0 pts (0 awards)       32.4NO
Vickie Guerrero0 pts (0 awards)0 pts (0 awards)32.1 pts (5 awards)       32.1NO
Ultimo Guerrero16 pts (5 awards)0 pts (0 awards)0 pts (0 awards)       32.0NO
Rey Bucanero16 pts (5 awards)0 pts (0 awards)0 pts (0 awards)       32.0NO
Joe Rogan0 pts (0 awards)0 pts (0 awards)31.9 pts (7 awards)       31.9NO
Ultimo Dragon0 pts (0 awards)25.2 pts (6 awards)6.3 pts (3 awards)       31.6YES
Ricky Steamboat14.4 pts (3 awards)2.8 pts (1 awards)0 pts (0 awards)       31.5YES
Dragon Kid0 pts (0 awards)31.1 pts (7 awards)0 pts (0 awards)       31.1NO
Takeshi Morishima1.6 pts (1 awards)27.9 pts (6 awards)0 pts (0 awards)       31.1NO
Harley Race14.8 pts (3 awards)0 pts (0 awards)1.6 pts (1 awards)       31.1YES
Kazushi Sakuraba15.5 pts (4 awards)0 pts (0 awards)0 pts (0 awards)       31.1YES
Evan Bourne0 pts (0 awards)31 pts (6 awards)0 pts (0 awards)       31.0NO
Satoshi Kojima14.4 pts (3 awards)1.6 pts (1 awards)0 pts (0 awards)       30.3NO
Chris Sabin9.3 pts (2 awards)11.6 pts (2 awards)0 pts (0 awards)       30.1NO
Hernandez10 pts (1 awards)10 pts (1 awards)0 pts (0 awards)       30.0NO
Akira Taue14.8 pts (4 awards)0 pts (0 awards)0 pts (0 awards)       29.7NO
Terry Taylor0 pts (0 awards)26.7 pts (5 awards)2.8 pts (1 awards)       29.5NO
Dolph Ziggler0 pts (0 awards)29 pts (5 awards)0 pts (0 awards)       29.0NO
Alex Shelley9.3 pts (2 awards)10.3 pts (5 awards)0 pts (0 awards)       28.9NO
Tony Schiavone0 pts (0 awards)0 pts (0 awards)28.8 pts (7 awards)       28.8NO
JBL4 pts (2 awards)10 pts (1 awards)10.9 pts (3 awards)       28.8NO
Brad Armstrong0 pts (0 awards)28.7 pts (6 awards)0 pts (0 awards)       28.7NO
Buzz Sawyer0 pts (0 awards)28.7 pts (6 awards)0 pts (0 awards)       28.7NO
Marty Jannetty14.4 pts (3 awards)0 pts (0 awards)0 pts (0 awards)       28.7NO
Perro Aguayo Jr9.1 pts (4 awards)10 pts (1 awards)0 pts (0 awards)       28.2NO
Marc Mero0 pts (0 awards)27.8 pts (5 awards)0 pts (0 awards)       27.8NO
Dan Kroffat7.8 pts (3 awards)11.6 pts (2 awards)0 pts (0 awards)       27.2NO
Jumbo Tsuruta12.8 pts (2 awards)1.6 pts (1 awards)0 pts (0 awards)       27.1YES
Kazuchika Okada7.4 pts (2 awards)12 pts (2 awards)0 pts (0 awards)       26.8NO
Larry Zbyszko0 pts (0 awards)22 pts (3 awards)4.8 pts (2 awards)       26.7NO
Necro Butcher0 pts (0 awards)26.7 pts (6 awards)0 pts (0 awards)       26.7NO
Chigusa Nagayo7.1 pts (4 awards)6.2 pts (2 awards)5.9 pts (3 awards)       26.4YES
Genichiro Tenryu10.3 pts (6 awards)4.6 pts (1 awards)0 pts (0 awards)       25.2YES
Captain Lou Albano10 pts (1 awards)0 pts (0 awards)4.6 pts (1 awards)       24.6YES
Antonio Cesaro10 pts (1 awards)4.6 pts (1 awards)0 pts (0 awards)       24.6NO
RVD3.6 pts (2 awards)17.2 pts (6 awards)0 pts (0 awards)       24.3NO
Tito Ortiz12.1 pts (3 awards)0 pts (0 awards)0 pts (0 awards)       24.1NO
Dustin Rhodes0 pts (0 awards)24 pts (4 awards)0 pts (0 awards)       24.0NO
Dennis Condrey12 pts (2 awards)0 pts (0 awards)0 pts (0 awards)       24.0YES

Note, this list contains some MMA personalities either because of cross-over to pro-wrestling, joint categories (such as biggest draw, best on interviews or best promoters) or related to years when pro-wrestling and MMA were not split.
Observations
* Some members of the HOF had their peak years outside of the context of these awards, so it’s not surprising to see them fare poorly on this list.

* Voters seem more likely to reward strong performances by North American territories than Mexican or Japanese companies.  (For instance, HOF member Aja Kong only has two appearances on this list: 1990’s #5 Best Brawler and 1991’s #4 Best Heel where non-HOF member The Miz finished in the top five for most improved three times, most charismatic once, best on interviews once, best gimmick once and twice among the tag team of the year contenders.)

* One element stressed in HOF eligibility is demonstrating value over a longer period time (as opposed to single short, hot period).  It may be important to balance both total points with years achieving top status.

UNIQUE YEARS APPEARING WITHIN EACH CATEGORY OF AWARDS 

NAME
TOP
MID
OTHER
HOF?
Ric Flair
21
16
3
YES
Hulk Hogan
14
12
0
YES
Kenta Kobashi
13
8
0
YES
Toshiaki Kawada
12
1
0
YES
Jim Cornette
11
0
24
YES
Chris Jericho
11
8
0
YES
Chris Benoit
10
19
0
YES
Mitsuharu Misawa
10
10
7
YES
John Cena
10
2
0
YES
Paul Heyman
9
0
21
YES
Shawn Michaels
9
7
0
YES
The Rock
9
5
0
YES
Bryan Danielson
8
12
0
NO
Sting
8
9
0
NO
Arn Anderson
8
0
0
NO
Mick Foley
7
10
3
YES
Steve Austin
7
9
1
YES
CM Punk
7
7
1
NO
Terry Gordy
7
7
0
YES
Great Muta
7
6
1
YES
Jerry Lawler
6
5
10
YES
Mistico
6
5
0
NO
Eddie Guerrero
6
5
0
YES
Naomichi Marufuji
6
4
0
NO
Edge
6
3
0
NO
Kenta
6
2
0
NO
James Storm
6
0
0
NO
Kurt Angle
5
11
0
YES
Jushin Liger
5
7
3
YES
Atsushi Onita
5
6
1
YES
Shinjiro Otani
5
5
0
NO
Akira Maeda
5
4
4
YES
Brock Lesnar
5
4
0
NO
Scott Steiner
5
3
0
NO
Road Warrior Hawk
5
3
0
YES
Rick Steiner
5
2
0
NO
Jay Briscoe
5
2
0
NO
Jun Akiyama
5
2
0
NO
Genichiro Tenryu
5
1
0
YES
Mark Briscoe
5
1
0
NO
Ultimo Guerrero
5
0
0
NO
Rey Bucanero
5
0
0
NO
GSP
5
0
0
NO
Rey Mysterio Jr
4
13
0
YES
Bret Hart
4
8
0
YES
Bobby Eaton
4
8
0
YES
Steve Williams
4
6
0
YES
Manami Toyota
4
6
0
YES
Roddy Piper
4
5
1
YES
Michael Hayes
4
2
6
YES
Jeff Hardy
4
3
0
NO
Road Warrior Animal
4
3
0
YES
Koji Kanemoto
4
3
0
NO
Kevin Steen
4
3
0
NO
Hiroshi Tanahashi
4
2
0
YES
Stan Lane
4
1
0
YES
El Generico
4
1
0
NO
Akira Taue
4
0
0
NO
Ted DiBiase
3
7
1
YES
Riki Choshu
3
2
11
YES
Yuji Nagata
3
6
0
NO
Samoa Joe
3
6
0
NO
Christian
3
5
0
NO
Matt Hardy
3
5
0
NO
Christopher Daniels
3
4
0
NO
Davey Richards
3
4
0
NO
The Miz
3
4
0
NO
Perro Aguayo
3
3
0
YES
Jimmy Snuka
3
3
0
NO
Shane Douglas
3
3
0
NO
Prince Devitt
3
3
0
NO
Naoya Ogawa
3
1
0
NO
Bob Sapp
3
1
0
NO
Dan Kroffat
3
1
0
NO
Doug Furnas
3
1
0
NO
Harley Race
3
0
1
YES
Chael Sonnen
3
0
0
NO
Tom Prichard
3
0
0
NO
Chris Harris
3
0
0
NO
Bobby Roode
3
0
0
NO
Matt Jackson
3
0
0
NO
Marty Jannetty
3
0
0
NO
Kazushi Sakuraba
3
0
0
YES
Quinton Jackson
3
0
0
NO
Nick Jackson
3
0
0
NO
Stan Hansen
2
10
0
YES
The Undertaker
2
8
0
YES
Vader
2
6
0
YES
AJ Styles
2
6
0
NO
Terry Funk
2
6
0
YES
Owen Hart
2
5
0
NO
Sabu
2
5
0
NO
Shelton Benjamin
2
5
0
NO
Alex Shelley
2
5
0
NO
Dana White
2
0
9
NO
Randy Savage
2
4
1
YES
Nobuhiko Takada
2
4
1
YES
Nigel Mcguinness
2
4
1
NO
Jake Roberts
2
4
0
NO
Tatsumi Fujinami
2
4
0
YES
Santino Marella
2
4
0
NO
Randy Orton
2
3
0
NO
RVD
2
3
0
NO
Dynamite Kid
2
3
0
YES
John Morrison
2
3
0
NO
JBL
2
1
3
NO
Chigusa Nagayo
2
2
2
YES
Johnny Grunge
2
2
0
NO
Rocco Rock
2
2
0
NO
Chris Sabin
2
2
0
NO
Bubba Ray Dudley
2
2
0
NO
Ultimate Warrior
2
2
0
NO
Tiger Mask
2
2
0
YES
Jimmy Hart
2
0
3
NO
Perro Aguayo Jr
2
1
0
NO
Ryusuke Taguchi
2
1
0
NO
Naruki Doi
2
1
0
NO
Kensuke Sasaki
2
1
0
YES
Samson Fuyuki
2
1
0
NO
Satoshi Kojima
2
1
0
NO
Takao Omori
2
1
0
NO
Goldberg
2
1
0
NO
Ricky Steamboat
2
1
0
YES
Jumbo Tsuruta
2
1
0
YES
Tatsuhito Takaiwa
2
1
0
NO
Mirko Cro Cop
2
0
0
NO
Anderson Silva
2
0
0
NO
Cibernetico
2
0
0
NO
Ole Anderson
2
0
0
NO
D-Von Dudley
2
0
0
NO
Jimmy Del Ray
2
0
0
NO
Davey Boy Smith
2
0
0
NO
Wanderlei Silva
2
0
0
NO
Masato Yoshino
2
0
0
NO
Sid Justice
2
0
0
NO
Ashura Hara
2
0
0
NO
Tully Blanchard
2
0
0
NO
John Laurinaitis
2
0
0
NO
Yamato
2
0
0
NO
Dennis Condrey
2
0
0
YES
Mima Shimoda
2
0
0
NO
Toshiyo Yamada
2
0
0
NO
Randy Couture
2
0
0
NO
Etsuko Mita
2
0
0
NO
Vince McMahon
1
1
25
YES
Bruiser Brody
1
8
0
YES
Juventud Guerrera
1
7
0
NO
Brian Pillman
1
7
0
NO
Bobby Heenan
1
0
11
YES
Masato Tanaka
1
6
0
NO

I took all of this information (x-variables: years in each category, points in each category, total awards) and ran a regression on the y-variable is whether a wrestler is currently in the HOF (zero=no, one=yes).

Looking at the top 450 wrestlers among these metrics, the sample has 83 WO Hall of Famers.

The prediction equation was compared against all of the wrestlers.

HOF wrestlers have a median prediction score of 0.33 and an average of 0.43 (25th quartile is 0.16 while 75th quartile is 0.58).
Non-HOF wrestlers have a median prediction score of 0.10 and an average of 0.13 (25th quartile is 0.05 and 75th quartile is 0.16).

There are 18 non-HOF candidates who have prediction score over 0.33 (which was both the median for the HOF wrestlers as well as equal to twice the average of non-HOF plus two standard deviations)

Non-HOF People with Prediction Scores above 0.33

Those strongest candidates (based on 1980-2012 WO Awards) were wrestlers Bryan Danielson (0.76), CM Punk (0.61), Sting (0.60),Shinjiro Otani (0.45), Edge (0.42), Mistico (0.41), Samoa Joe (0.38), Sabu (0.37), Brock Lesnar (0.37), Naomichi Marufuji (0.35), William Regal (0.33), Yuji Nagata (0.33), Owen Hart(0.33), and Eddie Gilbert (0.33) whose awards were split between five Best Booker nominations (including one win in 1988) and best heel/brawler/most underrated nods. The non-wrestlers Mike Tenay (WCW/TNA announcer, 0.44), Dana White (UFC promoter, 0.35), Joe Silva (UFC booker, 0.35) and Gabe Sapolsky (ROH/DGUSA booker, 0.38).

Some of these people are already on the ballot (StingBrock LesnarYuji NagataOwen Hart,Edge) and will return next year.  Others will be eligible in upcoming years including the trio mentioned at the start of this piece (Bryan DanielsonCM PunkMistico).  Sabu was originally eliminated from the ballot in 2000.   He was brought back but again failed to achieve 10% and was again eliminated in 2011.  Both Sting (1998) and Yuji Nagata (2003) have already been removed from the ballot due to achieving less than 10% of votes, but were later brought back due to requests from voters and new developments in their careers. At this time, it’s seems less likely that OtaniSamoa JoeWilliam Regal or Eddie Gilbert will be added to the ballot soon.

There have been several wrestlers who were eliminated from the ballot, but later come back to be inducted (Hans Schmidt, Curtis Iaukea, Bill Miller, Masa Saito, Dr Death Steve Williams, Lou Albano, Masa Chono, Masa Funaki, Konnan, and most recently 2013’s inductee Atlantis.)

As for current HOF wrestlers who have been inducted but have prediction scores 0.33, they were an eclectic mix.

HOF Wrestlers with Prediction Scores under 0.33

  • Joshi legends: Aja KongAkira HokutoBull NakanoChigusa NagayoDump Matsumoto
  • Bookers/Promoters: Antonio PenaBill Watts, Paco Alonso, Pat Patterson
  • Managers:  Captain Lou Albano
  • Former Champions: Bob BacklundHarley Race, Dusty RhodesAntonio Inoki, Nick Bockwinkel
  • Announcers:  Dr Alfonso MoralesGordon Solie
  • Iconic tag teams:  Midnight Express (Dennis Condrey, Stan Lane), Road Warriors (Road Warrior Hawk & Road Warrior Animal) and Buddy Roberts (from the Freebirds)
  • Japanese StarsGenichiro TenryuHiroshi HaseJumbo TsurutaMasa SaitoShinya HashimotoTatsumi Fujinami, Tiger MaskMasa Chono
  • Mexican Legends: Dos Caras, Perro Aguayo
  • 80s StarsRandy SavageRicky SteamboatDynamite Kid

Remaining Characters (not categorized above)

  • 2005 induction: Triple H (0.29) = continues to play major storyline (and real backstage) role in WWE along with occasional big match wrestler
  • 2004 induction: Ultimo Dragon (0.28) = induction included his legacy as a trainer (Torymon)
  • 2013 induction: Hiroshi Tanahashi (0.28) = after a huge year in NJPW, his score may dramatically rise when 2013 results are included
  • 2013 induction: Kensuke Sasaki (0.12) = has held IWGP, GHC and AJPW Triple Crown titles; at age 47, continues to wrestle for various groups in Japan
  • 2004 induction: Kazushi Sakuraba (0.14) = the famed “Gracie Hunter” prominently achieved MMA success (especially in Pride) alongisde his Japanese pro-wrestling
  • 2009 induction: Konnan (0.15) = continues to have a major role in running AAA along; inducted for legacy of his major success in mid-90s Mexico

My takeaway from this is the three people who seem to be strongest future candidates are:

BRYAN DANIELSON

  • MOST UNDERRATED: 5. American Dragon [2001]
  • READERS´ FAVORITE WRESTLER: 5. American Dragon [2002]
  • BEST TECHNICAL WRESTLER: 4. Bryan Danielson [2003]
  • BEST TECHNICAL WRESTLER: 2. Bryan Danielson (253) 1838 [2004]
  • MOST OUTSTANDING WRESTLER: 3. Bryan Danielson (52) 617 [2004]
  • BEST TECHNICAL WRESTLER: 1. Bryan Danielson (321) 2,240 [2005]
  • MOST OUTSTANDING WRESTLER: 1. BRYAN DANIELSON (401) 2,646 [2006]
  • BEST TECHNICAL WRESTLER: 1. BRYAN DANIELSON (593) 3,266 [2006]
  • WRESTLER OF THE YEAR: 4. Bryan Danielson (83) 947 [2006]
  • MOST OUTSTANDING WRESTLER: 1. Bryan Danielson (434) – 2,646 [2007]
  • BEST TECHNICAL WRESTLER: 1. Bryan Danielson (529) – 2,928 [2007]
  • WRESTLER OF THE YEAR: 2. Bryan Danielson (77) – 928 [2007]
  • MOST OUTSTANDING WRESTLER: 1. BRYAN DANIELSON (325) 2,042  [2008]
  • BEST TECHNICAL WRESTLER: 1. BRYAN DANIELSON (582) 3,231  [2008]
  • MOST OUTSTANDING WRESTLER: 1. BRYAN DANIELSON (218) 1,838 [2009]
  • BEST TECHNICAL WRESTLER: 1. BRYAN DANIELSON (401) 2,478 [2009]
  • MOST OUTSTANDING WRESTLER: 1. DANIEL BRYAN (269) 2,037 [2010]
  • BEST TECHNICAL WRESTLER: 1. DANIEL BRYAN (370)2,765 [2010]
  • BEST GIMMICK: 2. Nexus 79 [2010]
  • BEST TECHNICAL WRESTLER: 1. DANIEL BRYAN (263) 1,829 [2011]
  • MOST UNDERRATED: 2. Daniel Bryan (112) 840 [2011]
  • MOST OUTSTANDING WRESTLER: 3. Daniel Bryan (104) 948 [2011]
  • BEST TECHNICAL WRESTLER: 1. DANIEL BRYAN (391) 2,513 [2012]
  • TAG TEAM OF THE YEAR: 2. Kane & Daniel Bryan (124) 1,219 [2012]
  • MOST OUTSTANDING WRESTLER: 3. Daniel Bryan (153) 1,273 [2012]
  • MOST UNDERRATED: 3. Daniel Bryan (56) 357 [2012]
  • BEST GIMMICK: 3. Daniel Bryan Yes/No 111 [2012]
  • WRESTLER OF THE YEAR: 5. Daniel Bryan (5) 204 [2012]
  • MOST CHARISMATIC: 5. Daniel Bryan (67) 539 [2012]

CM PUNK

  • BEST GIMMICK: 2. CM Punk [2003]
  • BEST ON INTERVIEWS: 5. CM Punk [2003]
  • BEST ON INTERVIEWS: 5. C.M. Punk (43) 619 [2004]
  • BEST GIMMICK: 5. C.M. Punk straight edge 44 [2004]
  • BEST ON INTERVIEWS: 2. CM Punk (82) 830 [2005]
  • BEST GIMMICK: 4. C.M. Punk 39 [2006]
  • BEST GIMMICK: 1. C.M. PUNK STRAIGHT EDGE SOCIETY 287 [2009]
  • BEST ON INTERVIEWS: 2. C.M. Punk (205) 1,836 [2009]
  • WRESTLER OF THE YEAR: 4. C.M. Punk (53) 714 [2009]
  • BEST TELEVISION ANNOUNCER: 3. C.M. Punk (59)525 [2010]
  • BEST ON INTERVIEWS: 3. C.M. Punk (85)920 [2010]
  • BEST GIMMICK: 3. C.M. Punk Straight Edge Society 47 [2010]
  • BEST ON INTERVIEWS: 1. C.M. PUNK (338) 2,594 [2011]
  • BEST GIMMICK: 1. C.M. PUNK 160 [2011]
  • WRESTLER OF THE YEAR: 2. C.M. Punk (248) 2,102 [2011]
  • MOST CHARISMATIC: 3. C.M. Punk (81) 978 [2011]
  • BEST BOX OFFICE DRAW: 4. C.M. Punk (2) 273 [2011]
  • BEST ON INTERVIEWS: 1. C.M. PUNK (365) 2,668 [2012]
  • WRESTLER OF THE YEAR: 2. C.M. Punk (294) 2,325 [2012]
  • MOST CHARISMATIC: 4. C.M. Punk (107) 1,032 [2012]
  • MOST OUTSTANDING WRESTLER: 5. C.M. Punk (34) 469 [2012]
  • BEST GIMMICK: 5. C.M. Punk all year as champion 58 [2012]

MISTICO

  • BEST BOX OFFICE DRAW: 2. Mistico (106) 1,303 [2005]
  • BEST FLYING WRESTLER: 2. Mistico (310) 2,420 [2005]
  • WRESTLER OF THE YEAR: 4. Mistico (62) 795 [2005]
  • WRESTLER OF THE YEAR: 1. MISTICO (220) 2,245 [2006]
  • BEST FLYING WRESTLER: 1. MISTICO (346) 2,957 [2006]
  • BEST BOX OFFICE DRAW: 1. MISTICO (377) 3,112 [2006]
  • MOST CHARISMATIC: 5. Mistico (7) 611 [2006]
  • BEST FLYING WRESTLER: 1. Mistico (162) – 1,394 [2007]
  • BEST BOX OFFICE DRAW: 3. Mistico (133) – 1,603 [2007]
  • BEST BOX OFFICE DRAW: 2. Mistico (118) 1,525  [2008]
  • BEST FLYING WRESTLER: 3. Mistico (115) 1,510  [2008]
  • BEST BOX OFFICE DRAW: 5. Mistico (16) 227 [2009]
  • BEST FLYING WRESTLER: 5. Mistico (41) 502 [2009]
  • BEST BOX OFFICE DRAW: 4. Mistico (3)348 [2010]

In terms of stock, certainly Bryan Danielson has had a stronger year, though he looks to be receiving a recent card repositioning following the disappointing SummerSlam PPV numbers. Similarly, CM Punk has moved from being part of the top title picture to an extended feud with former manager Paul Heyman to a program working alongside Daniel Bryan against the Wyatt Family.  Mistico, a strong Mexico candidate, has languished in WWE as Sin Cara through his combination of injuries, suspension and disinterest or distrust (for perceived attitude problems) from the company to make him a major player. 

Clearly, the stock for many people will change once we know the results of the 2013 year-end awards.

All Analysis by Chris Harrington ([email protected])