Last year, I did reviews of the first six WrestleMania events as part of WrestleMania week. I complained a lot after that week about how bad WrestleMania V was. This year, I’m picking up where I left off, with WrestleMania VII – and the best part about it is, I don’t have to buy the individual events, I can just pull them up on the WWE Network! So, without further adieu, I review WrestleMania VII – Superstars and Stripes Forever!
With the induction of Drew Carey into the WWE Hall of Fame, most of us are embarrassed to call that a legitimate Hall-of-Fame. But let’s be honest. It’s not a Hall-of-Fame for the wrestlers. It’s a wing for the celebrities. Do I really think Drew Carey deserves a spot in the HOF? Of course not. But he’s not getting inducted as a wrestler. He’s going in as a celebrity. And he is the only celebrity to ever compete in the Royal Rumble. I understand he’s got something to plug, and I think it’s totally embarrassing the WWE is using a HOF induction to help him plug whatever crap he’s plugging. Maybe they could have named him the emcee of the event.
But in honor of Drew Carey getting inducted for giving Kane money, I have come up with a list of 15 celebrities that I feel deserve induction into the WWE HOF more than Drew Carey. These are not in order of priority.
1. Jenny McCarthy-A woman who started out as eye candy that moved on to being a child advocate against vaccines (even though she was wrong) and autism. She also was a very successful writer about books about pregnancy and motherhood. Maybe being inducted by Shawn Michaels, this would be a reminder of a big moment from Wrestlemania XI.
2. Pamela Anderson-The biggest part about the 1995 Royal Rumble was that the winner got to be escorted to the back by Pamela Anderson. And then at Wrestlemania, she escorted Diesel to the ring. This was a big moment as she was at the hottest her career got at that time. The WWE always likes to have their big celebrity moment. Inducted by recent returnee Kevin Nash? Nash on the mic is always great fun.
3. Regis Philbin-Regis has always had wrestlers on and never worried about his image. He’s freakin’ Regis. And then when Steve Austin propelled himself to superstardom, aside from the big Mike Tyson “shove heard round the world,” one of the watershed moments in his career was when he appeared on Regis & “the one before Kelly Ripa.” Austin wore his “Austin 3:16” and Regis had his “Philbin 911” t-shirt. And there was the moment when Austin got in his face and Regis rubbed Austin’s head and Stone Cold smiled. Stone Cold would be the perfect person to induct him.
4. Burt Reynolds-The guest ring announcer at Wrestlemania X, I don’t really think he has contributed THAT much. But he was a big name. And since WWE has always loved their Hollywood celebrities whenever they could get them, if they could get Burt Reynolds for this role, they would be in “We make movies” heaven. I’m sure HE has something he could plug. I could see him getting inducted by Bret Hart or Roddy Piper.
5. Joan Rivers-Is there anybody better at stirring up a buzz? And doesn’t she have some reality show or documentary to plug? And when has Joan Rivers ever turned down an appearance? Anywhere? I could see her getting inducted simply because she was Joan Rivers. Who would induct her? Take your pick. I’m sure any of the young lions would benefit from the rub: Ted Jr., Randy Orton, Zack Ryder.
6. Muhammad Ali-Arguably the greatest boxer ever, if not the greatest athlete ever. He was the referee at the first Wrestlemania. Plus, Ali makes news any time he goes to the grocery store because of the sheer legend behind him. Who would induct him? Again, take your pick. Any wrestler of Black or Muslim heritage would be great here. The Rock, Booker T, Kofi Kingston (I don’t know of any wrestlers who are of Muslim heritage or beliefs.), etc.
7. Dick Butkus-One of the greatest defensemen in the history of pro football and a man who appeared in several Wrestlemanias. I know that he has his charities that he takes care of. He definitely wouldn’t mind appearing to plug that. And who wouldn’t want to induct the great Butkus? Maybe somebody from Chicago like CM Punk. Maybe a college player like The Rock. I don’t see how they could go wrong.
8. Tommy Lasorda-A Hall-of-Fame baseball manager known for being very colorful on the mic. Of course, the Atlanta crowd may not warm up to a Dodgers legend. Any wrestler would love to induct him. It would get them on some MLB sites and I’m sure Tommy Lasorda would love to plug a charity.
9. Alice Cooper-Doesn’t he still put out songs and albums and stuff? I’m sure he’d love the chance to come back and speak to the fans. Who inducts him? Obviously not Jake “The Snake,” as that might require sobriety. But which wrestler wouldn’t want to induct a legend in the music world? Chris Jericho maybe?
10. Ozzy Osborne-A former figure in Wrestlemania 2, and one of the most-recognized music icons of all-time, Ozzy Osborne would be GREAT for publicity. The man can still draw, and he still must have some marketability as he was used for one of the biggest Super Bowl commercials this past year. Again, any wrestler would love to induct Ozzy freakin’ Osborne.
11. Mike Tyson-I’d just love to hear him say “My man Cole Stone” one more time. Wrestlemania XIV was one of the biggest moments in wrestling history. That was a watershed moment of the Attitude Era. Of course if he came back, we’d always be reminded of how great their product was back then and how it isn’t now. Who would induct him? Triple-H, Stone Cold, Shawn Michaels, Jim Ross, take your pick.
12. Chuck Norris-The possibilities would be endless. WWE Chuck Norris facts: Chuck Norris can defeat the Undertaker at Wrestlemania. Chuck Norris can cross the boss. Chuck Norris knew who attacked Edge. Any young wrestler would die at the opportunity to induct Chuck Norris.
13. Aretha Franklin-She sung at Wrestlemania III & XXIII. The Queen of Soul, who wouldn’t want to induct her? Of course, it could be a well-known Black competitor like Booker T, Ron Simmons (lots of “Damnnnnnnnnns” in that speech) or Kofi. Of course, the one who makes the most sense would be Lillian Garcia, whom I’m sure they could bring back for one night to induct Aretha.
14. Cyndi Lauper-The fact Drew Carey is going into the celebrity wing of the HOF before Cyndi Lauper is downright embarrassing. Cyndi Lauper has done more for the wrestling business than show up in a match to plug their show. Brawl to Settle It All, War to Settle the Score, Wrestlemania, she used HER name to get the publicity on these events. Again, Lillian Garcia would be a great fit to induct her. So would Roddy Piper, Edge or anybody who watched her as a kid and was inspired to get into wrestling because of her participation on these big events.
15. Motorhead-The group who has created one of the most iconic entrance themes in the history of wrestling. It is also arguable that is the most iconic entrance theme ever (with respect to “Real American,” Piper’s & Undertaker’s music and maybe Stone Cold’s and The Rock’s). From the first time you hear “Time to play the gaaaaaaaaaaame” you know that Triple-H is coming to the ring. Obviously, it’s kind of silly who would induct them. Triple-H, of course.
What are your favorites? Who do you think we should see?