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Re: 2016 WON HOF Ballot & Discussion

Posted: Sun Sep 18, 2016 12:32 pm
by mlev76
Brandon Howard wrote:
Non-wrestlers: I'd strongly consider Gene Okerlund. Interested in arguments for Finkel, either Crockett, Jimmy Hart, Don Owen, Apter.
Finkel: If we consider ring announcers as an essential enough part of the wrestling experience to warrant HOF inclusion, Finkel would be the 1st in line. House ring announcer in MSG from the mid 70s through the end of it being the hub of WWWF/WWF/WWE and then transitioned into being the face of WWF/WWE pay per views for the first two decades of their existence. Still remains a part of the company today during each Wrestlemania announcing the new Hall of Famers.

Hart: Great run in Memphis including involvement in one of the most famous feuds in modern wrestling history, Lawler/Kaufman. #2 manager in WWF behind Bobby Heenan for his whole run including being a key part of the rise of Bret Hart and the longest IC title run. Composed many of the best entrance songs in WWF and WCW. Continued to have involvement in the business in WCW, TNA and again in WWE.

Apter: Public face of the "Apter mags" during the 80s when they were at the peak of their circulation and popularity. Actually made stars out of certain wrestlers before promotions themselves did. Opened up local wrestling fans to promotions outside their region and served as a good alternative to the purely kayfabed WWF Magazine.

If I were to order them, I'd probably go Apter, Hart, Finkel.

Re: 2016 WON HOF Ballot & Discussion

Posted: Sun Sep 18, 2016 8:21 pm
by kjharris
BAHU responded to my Hayabusa drawing post on TwitLonger ( see: ) so I'm pasting here, so people can see an alternative viewpoint and judge for themselves:

"I'm not sure anyone could have followed Onita as a draw, but Hayabusa was really a worse failure in that regard than Jun Akiyama in following Misawa/Kobashi."

I like to talk about what I know about and I don't know about the Jun Akiyama as a financial failure for NOAH but I know Hayabusa was not a failure for FMW. No, he was not going to be the draw Onita was. Nobody was like you said. But FMW literally was a brand new company that Arai started up following Onita's FMW closing following his retirement that started from scratch. The fact that those May 1995 shows did so horrible shows where the company had to start from scratch pretty much with a new style and a new star. It took just a couple of months for the promotion to begin a brand new fan base that was not the size of Onita's FMW but also not something where you can call it a failure considering it did make a profit.

"- The 1994 FMW Year End Sensation card drew a sellout of 11,085 for Onita vs. Pogo, whilst in 1995 they ran the much smaller Yokohama Bunka Gym (capacity is around 5,000, but they claimed a sellout of 5,500)."

Like you said it's two different buildings so it's not really a fair comparison. I wouldn't consider WrestleMania 20 a box office failure even though it did 36,000 less fans than WrestleMania 19 did. It's also not a fair comparison to use Onita 5 years in to a promotion that he has built around him and he was in the Hall of Famer right away a big reason because of his drawing ability against his top rival during his retirement tour with a show built around a 6 man main event with Hayabusa.

"- Even though 33,231 fans is an impressive figure, particularly with 2016 eyes, the Anniversary Kawasaki stadium in 1996 was still 16,000+ fans down from the prior year, despite support from Cactus Jack, Terry Funk and the first ever woman's No Rope Explosive Barbed Wire Death Match."

Yes, it did not draw what was a retirement show that was built up for a year for the guy that the entire company was based around. But Onita main evented Kawasaki Stadium a year later with Kenta Kobashi, Terry Funk, and Vader and it drew 36,000 fans. It was just what FMW was going to do. No, FMW did not reach the levels of the peak of FMW in 1994-1995 with Onita ever again but no one was going to draw under the FMW name like that again including Onita himself.

"It should also be noted that Hayabusa wasn't always in the main event during this period. He had a lot of time off due to injury in 1996. Indeed, Funk vs. Pogo headlined FMW's biggest show of the summer 1996, which drew an SRO crowd of 3,580 paying $250,000, instead of Hayabusa's comeback from injury match against Koji Nakagawa. Meltzer, who was at that event live noted how Hayabusa "got almost no reaction coming out which was scary" and gave him a DUD rating."

The show was taped. You don't have to use 20 year old Wrestling Observer tidbits and just use them as information instead of seeing for yourself.
Fans are chanting his name before and after the DUD match.
- 44:23 is Hayabusa's entrance and 1:01:39 is his exit. It's an opinion based statement that Meltzer made but I don't hear a scary no reaction from the fans chanting his name personally. Also, he was not in the main event because 1) The main event was a Exploding Barbed wire Death Match and they never had an explosion match be followed with a straight match and Hayabusa after coming back early due to severe injuries was not doing a Death Match. 2) His opponent was Koji Nakagawa and Koji Nakagawa in a singles was not going to main event that show with anyone.

"Big show attendance bounced back when Onita returned in late '96, and the company started struggling more again after Onita left. Probably the most impressive houses Hayabusa drew was in this second post Onita era, as the 10th Anniversary show at the Yokohama Arena drew 11,000 fans for a main event of H vs. Fake Hayabusa with Shawn Michaels as special guest referee and Kawasaki Legend 2001 at Kawasaki Stadium parking lot drew 10,500 fans for a main event of Hayabusa & Great Sasuke vs. Tetsuhiro Kuroda & Mr. Gannosuke in an "octagon cage electric bomb death" match, but such mega events were much rarer in this era, as FMW's largest shows were largely held in Korakuen Hall or mid-sized arenas like Komazawa Olympic Gym and Yokohama Bunka Gym. I need to check if those were legit numbers though."

If Onita was drawing for the company so much better once he came back than they would not have gone through all the drama of getting rid of him. Onita was not a huge draw once he came back and Shoichi Arai's book even states he was a negative overall because it upset a lot of fans that he came back so soon and he was taking in more money for his shows than he was bringing in. He also only main evented one big show according to your statement since you used Komazawa as a mid size building as he only main evented Kawasaki Stadium in 1997 and again that did around 3,000 more fans than the Hayabusa tag team main event match.

Here's the thing about Hayabusa as a draw. He was a legitimate draw that during a good time was able to bring in a new audience and good numbers following Onita retiring and them having to start over although obviously never reached Onita pre-retirement drawing wise especially his one year retirement numbers. He was able to get sponsors for FMW. He is all over ads in Pro-Wrestling Weekly in the 90's and was even in a national commercial as well for a time period. The Pro-Wrestling bubble busted in the late 90's about 3 years in to Hayabusa's run and the Entertainment route was something that FMW was needed to survive but it shrunk the company and Hayabusa was the main thing keeping the company going at that time. He had to take time off for 6 months in late 2000 and you can see what his lack of being on the shows did. Just watch the Korakuen Hall shows from 2000 with Hayabusa on top and then the first half of Korakuen Hall shows from 2001 with Hayabusa out and the difference is significant. Hayabusa being out during that time is actually a main reason what lead to FMW dying a year later because of all the financial issues it caused that Arai was never able to recover from among other bad decisions that were made.

Re: 2016 WON HOF Ballot & Discussion

Posted: Sun Sep 18, 2016 10:26 pm
Since I see it was brought up again I can't believe people are still talking about Akiyama as this great failure of a draw. He was essentially in the position Nakamura was in New Japan post 2010, except the disparancy between him and Misawa/Kobashi was about five hundred times bigger than that of Nakamura and Tanahashi/Okada. Misawa and Kobashi pretty much never lost-Akiyama was putting over Tamon Honda and Sano so they'd get a win before challenging Kobashi. He was never the top guy. He did fine when put in the position to draw. If you don't think he was enough of a star or influential enough to get in that's fine. I'm not really convinced someone like Kensuke Sasaki was a bigger deal in terms of selling tickets to wrestling shows (Sasaki's 2008 GHC reign bombed heavily, Akiyama's Kobashi Dome match drew almost ghe same number with a far weaker undercard and actually main evented unlike Kobashi-Sasaki) than Akiyama but he's in because he's a celebrity.

Re: 2016 WON HOF Ballot & Discussion

Posted: Mon Sep 19, 2016 2:25 pm
by rovert
Not that anyone is arguing for Chyna. But Ivory has some interesting words assessing her:

Re: 2016 WON HOF Ballot & Discussion

Posted: Mon Sep 19, 2016 8:54 pm
by Buzz Sawyer
Bolded would be my finalists, I narrow my list down later.
Red Bastien
Brute Bernard & Skull Murphy

June Byers
Domenic DeNucci
Cowboy Bob Ellis
Don Fargo
Pepper Gomez
Archie "Mongolian Stomper" Gouldie
Dick Hutton
Rocky Johnson
Killer Karl Kox
Mark Lewin
Pedro Morales
Blackjack Mulligan
Kinji Shibuya
John Tolos
Enrique Torres
Von Brauners & Saul Weingeroff
Johnny "Mr. Wrestling II" Walker
Tim "Mr. Wrestling" Woods
Bearcat Wright
Ron Wright

Bryan Danielson/Daniel Bryan
Junkyard Dog
Curt Hennig
Randy Orton
C.M. Punk
Sgt. Slaughter
Kerry Von Erich
Ultimate Warrior

Jun Akiyama
Yoshiaki Fujiwara
George Gordienko
Volk Han
Masahiko Kimura
Satoshi Kojima & Hiroyoshi Tenzan
Yuji Nagata
Shinsuke Nakamura
Mike & Ben Sharpe
Minoru Suzuki
Kiyoshi Tamura
Akira Taue

Brazo de Oro & Brazo de Plata & El Brazo
Cien Caras
Ultimo Guerrero
Karloff Lagarde
Blue Panther
L.A. Park
Huracan Ramirez
El Signo & El Texano & Negro Navarro
Villano III
Dr. Wagner Jr.

Spyros Arion
Johnny Barend
Jim Breaks
Big Daddy
Horst Hoffman
Billy Joyce
Mario Milano
Kendo Nagasaki
Jackie Pallo
Steve Rickard
Rollerball Mark Rocco
Johnny Saint
Ricki Starr
Otto Wanz

Bill Apter
Lord James Blears
Jim Crockett Sr.
Gary Hart
Jimmy Hart
Ed Francis
Don Owen

Re: 2016 WON HOF Ballot & Discussion

Posted: Tue Sep 20, 2016 1:28 pm
by Brandon Howard
I know it's kind of moot, but what do we know about the 1996 selection process?

Did Dave decide the inductees unilaterally or was there any kind of committee or voting?

Re: 2016 WON HOF Ballot & Discussion

Posted: Tue Sep 20, 2016 2:04 pm
by Rich Kraetsch
Brandon Howard wrote:I know it's kind of moot, but what do we know about the 1996 selection process?

Did Dave decide the inductees unilaterally or was there any kind of committee or voting?
Did some digging today through the Observer archives and I can't find anything about a voter base, just the list of initial inductees and an explanation on the criteria. It appears the actual 1996 Hall of Fame issue isn't up or I simply can't find it as all I can see is an announcement that there will be a HOF issue and reaction to said issue.

I did find this fun nugget though:

Re: 2016 WON HOF Ballot & Discussion

Posted: Tue Sep 20, 2016 2:51 pm
by Brandon Howard
Looking through 1996 inductees and was mildly surprised Bret Hart was put in already. Not that he really did that much after 1996, but I think there'd be skepticism if Bret was an active candidate today at that point in his career due to being on top while business cooled off, 1992-1996. Kind of comparable to Punk in that both are arguably excellent workers and both were one of the top guys at a time when business was just okay. If anything, business was stronger in Punk's era. Although Punk's run on top was shorter than Bret's.

I say that as someone's whose favorite wrestler growing up was Bret.

Re: 2016 WON HOF Ballot & Discussion

Posted: Tue Sep 20, 2016 2:59 pm
by Brandon Howard
Considering Kerry Von Erich. I would consider the Von Erich family as a whole, or since Fritz is already in, as brothers. The Dusek Family is in as a whole as a family, so there's precedent. I don't think any of the sons individually are HOF worthy, but obviously together they were the key to setting World Class on fire in the early 80s and seem like an easy candidate to vote for.

Re: 2016 WON HOF Ballot & Discussion

Posted: Tue Sep 20, 2016 5:01 pm
by DylanWaco
The initial class was picked by Dave with the advice of one or two other people. It appears that the plane to Japan story of origin JDW has told for years is basically accurate as Dave backed it up on an audio show in the last year or two. Basically they were on a plane to Japan, an HoF concept came up, and flipping through the pages of a magazine they talked about who would be in and who wouldn't.

I agree that Bret is an odd first year addition. There are several fiat inductees from that year who I think should have been put up to a test on the ballot.

On The Von Erichs, The Freebirds were the catalyst for the business explosion in World Class, but I wouldn't be opposed to them as a group on the ballot. The problem is how you would frame it.

Re: 2016 WON HOF Ballot & Discussion

Posted: Tue Sep 20, 2016 5:08 pm
by Buzz Sawyer
Here' s who I have:
Pepper Gomez
Pedro Morales
Tim Woods
Jun Akiyama
Mike & Ben Sharpe
Dr. Wagner Jr.
Akira Taue
Steve Rickard
Rollerball Mark Rocco
Johnny Saint
Willie Apter
Jim Crockett Sr.
Don Owen

Re: 2016 WON HOF Ballot & Discussion

Posted: Tue Sep 20, 2016 7:31 pm
by Brandon Howard
I could see some taking issue with "The Von Erich Brothers" being on the ballot to mean you'd be voting for Mike and Chris too. Of course I'm thinking of David, Kevin and Kerry. So do you put them on the ballot as "David, Kevin and Kerry Von Erich" instead? Whether you should group three individuals like that together as a single candidate seems arguable on either side. As mentioned though, the Dusek family was put in in 1996, and I don't think anyone considers worked family members and more minor figures in wrestling history, Wally and Frank, to have been inducted.

Re: 2016 WON HOF Ballot & Discussion

Posted: Tue Sep 20, 2016 7:33 pm
by Empiresk
Just seen a the fella who runs Inside The Gate, a pretty infrequent Dragon Gate podcast, about CIMA's status as and Hall of Famer. His point was that CIMA and his efforts to bring young, Western guys to the Dragon Gate dojo and has created the modern Crusierweight style.

Think of the guys who he has handpicked and trained over the years. Ricochet, Matt Sydal, Sami Zayn, Adrian Neville, The Young Bucks, Apollo Crews, Jack Evans, Rich Swann, Mark Haskins, Johnny Gargano. That could easily fill up a PWG card and there are a few more guys with big names who he brought over and never clicked.

Considering his role in being the leader in the formation of Dragon Gate and it's Ace for a decade, could his influence in training elite Western talent be seen similar to the was Ultimo Dragon the lynch pin of the Toryumon system? He has quite the legacy on the business in retrospect. I am very interested to see how other people view this. Is Dragon Gate a big enough promotion? Did he actually draw significantly in comparison to other promotions? Did he make a big enough impact in the US with PWG, ROH and DGUSA? Does a 5* match matter?

Re: 2016 WON HOF Ballot & Discussion

Posted: Tue Sep 20, 2016 7:40 pm
by kjharris
Dave is against the Von Erichs being treated as a group on the Hall of Fame ballot because they worked more singles matches than tag matches together as a group. I asked him about it last year via email.

Re: 2016 WON HOF Ballot & Discussion

Posted: Tue Sep 20, 2016 8:04 pm
by Joe Lanza
As I recall, Bret Hart was a controversial selection, but after 1997 nobody really had a problem with it anymore. Certainly nobody does today.

The one I still don't fully understand, is Dibiase. Workrate pick? Am I forgetting a big run as a top guy run somewhere? His 1988 WWF run was fine, but there were probably a half dozen others who had good runs with Hogan in that time period. Paul Orndorff immediately comes to mind as someone who had a better run with Hogan. Maybe the best.