A couple of years ago, over on Wrestling View, I created my very own Hall of Fame. By the time this gets posted, I will have created a nice WV HOF Page over here on Big Cal’s World so you can view previous entries in the Hall of Fame with ease. Last year, I claimed that to keep it as special as possible, I would be putting only 1 person per year in my Hall of Fame. Well… that lasted a whole 1 year, as this year I’m back to 3 because sticking to just ONE name a year would mean I’d never get the chance to put a whole bunch of people in there before I bloody die lol. With that out of the way, lets get started and talk about the first inductee into the 2016 Wrestling View Hall of Fame!
Big Van Vader
Well its time. Its time. Its. Vader. Time!!! Its about damn time Vader got the recognition he deserves and gets placed into the Hall of Fame! WWE have yet to do it, so I’m taking it upon myself to add arguably one of the single greatest “big man/super heavyweights” ever in the professional wrestling business! At over 400lbs, Vader was a huge man, yet still had the agility most lightweights would envy. As if a man of his size crashing down on you with a splash wasn’t enough, unlike other super heavyweights, Vader would splash down on you from the TOP ROPE. With a fucking MOONSAULT. A 400+lb Moonsault. Insane. And with this agility it also enabled him to take tremendous bumps that made his opponents look better than ever, such as Sting or Cactus Jack. When he wasn’t performing insane feats of athleticism though, he was more than likely trying to cave his opponents face in with some of the most vicious punches in the business. If someone was unlucky enough to get caught between Vader and the turnbuckle, you’d better believe he knew he was about to become a punching bag. However, one of the most notorious moments in a match featuring Vader and brutal punches happened at the EXPENSE of Vader, with Stan Hansen accidentally poking his eye out of the socket during a punch exchange. Vader showed his toughness by continuing the match anyway! While some people today may only really remember Vader from his WWF run in the mid to late 90’s, his time in Japan and WCW in the early 90’s is where you will find his greatest matches and moments. Japan was known for its Strong Style, with the Japanese wrestlers relying heavily on hard kicks and strikes. Not many outsiders could match up to this style, but Vader could easily go toe to toe with any of them and match them strike for strike with those massive punches. In WCW, he held the World Title for almost a full year and absolutely dominated the competition in WCW. His rivalries with Sting and Cactus Jack provided the fans with some of the best series of matches at the time that didn’t include the likes of Ric Flair. Following his successful WCW run, Vader would end up in the WWF, debuting in the Royal Rumble match in 1996, and being involved in a huge angle when he attacked Gorilla Monsoon. He began a feud with Shawn Michaels over the WWF title, but failed to capture the belt when plans changed and Sid took what was to be Vader’s spot. He moved on to battle with The Undertaker in 1997, but half way into the year he was seemingly being pushed aside, and unfortunately was rarely used to his full potential while there. After leaving the company in 1998, Vader returned to Japan to raise hell once again. He continued to wrestle on and off again in the US, making the occasional appearance at TNA and even WWE again, while working the independent scene every now and then. His career has been filled with many, many classic matches and moments, against some of the industries greatest talent. While he never got to quite be VADER during his WWF run, his time spent in Japan and WCW makes him more than qualified to enter any wrestling Hall of Fame on the planet. And so, here is his going into my Hall of Fame this year!
Randy “Macho Man” Savage
OOOOOOOOOOOOOO YEEEAAAAHHH!!!! Born into wrestling, Randy Savage was one of the most natural performers ever. Unmatched charisma and promo skills meant he always rose to the top, and his incredible wrestling talent kept him there no matter which promotion he was in, or what age he was. He started out in Georgia, before his father became frustrated with how Randy was being used and created his own organisation known as ICW, and would compete against the Memphis territory before joining up with them and Savage would begin his first major push and proved to everyone that he was worthy of it too. His matches with Lawler are some of his most notable matches from that time, before he was finally picked up by Vince McMahon and the WWF, and from there he became the biggest babyface in the company along with Hulk Hogan, and then the biggest Heel in the company to go against Hulk Hogan. Despite winning the WWF Championship at WM 4, and main eventing WM 5 against Hogan, going to WM 7 against Warrior in a retirement match, then returning for WM 8 and beating Ric Flair for the WWF Championship one more time, Randy Savage will forever be remembered for his WM 3 match against Ricky Steamboat. For many people, both fans and wrestlers, that match is still the greatest match in history. Following a great career in WWF, Savage wasn’t happy with being used in a non wrestling capacity, and decided to go to WCW where he could not only still wrestle, but get paid more money than ever before to do what he loved to do. During that time, he battled with the likes of Hogan and Flair again many times in main events, but also made sure to help out younger talent (or in this case, newer talent lol) such as DDP. A series of matches against DDP helped solidify Page as a major player for the company and lead him to 3 World Titles, all because Randy Savage believed in him and went out of his way to make him look better than ever. The Macho Man had one hell of a career, being capable of putting on the best match of the night any time he wanted, then going backstage and cutting the best promo too. Despite not being the biggest man, he was so believable as a “mad man” with how he wrestled. Sure, he could be smooth and look great, but when it came down to it, he could fight and look like the craziest bastard in the world and not even the biggest giants in wrestling looked like they could match up to him when it mattered the most. Heel or Face, young or old, Randy Savage could still do what he loved to do and do it better than almost anyone else there. He unfortunately passed away in a car accident in 2011, but he will never be forgotten!
The headliner for the 2016 Wrestling View Hall of Fame is none other than TERRY FREAKIN’ FUNK! WrestleMania 32 takes place in TEXAS this year, and nobody is more TEXAS than Terry Funk! Like Savage, Funk was born into the business and was also as natural as it comes. His early career saw him as a great “technical” wrestler, just like his brother Dory Jr… but he also had a little something extra that differentiated him from Dory. As time went on, Funk would do less of the “technical” wrestling and embrace more of what made him different; insanity. I said Savage was crazy, but nobody comes close to Terry Funk! He could brawl and fight, he could wrestle, and he could make an arena full of people believe he would do ANYTHING to his opponents. And often he DID do anything. Terry Funk was Hardcore long before Hardcore was even a thing in wrestling. He worked the territories in the US, winning the NWA World Title at one point, making him and Dory Jr the only brothers to win the NWA championship. Most of his career was spent in Japan, mainly wrestling in retirement matches (:p), but no matter the location, no matter the year, Terry Funk was putting on spectacular matches, providing historic moments, and producing epic promos. Be it a wild empty arena brawl with Lawler or piledriving Flair through a table or competing in crazy explosive barbed wire death matches against Foley, the FUNKER gave us something to remember every single night. Despite being 71 now, he wrestled his last match in 2015 at the age of 70!!! Well… his last match TO DATE. Remember, nobody retires more than Terry Funk! And nobody puts over more talent than Terry Funk. Some wrestlers, especially main eventers, were very protective of their position and would hate putting over anyone without a lot of convincing and money. Terry? Terry would lose in 10 seconds to a 5 year old if he was asked, because Terry didn’t care. He was always out for having fun, and winning and losing just didn’t matter, because the next week all he had to do was cut a promo and be the most credible wrestler on the planet once again. In 1989 WCW, Terry Funk was working a program with Ric Flair for the World Heavyweight Championship. He was building himself up as “middle aged and crazy”, making sure he was known as a dangerous SOB. Yet during this time, he worked a match with a young Eddie Guerrero. Despite the fact Funk was able to still keep his dangerous persona during the match, at the same time he was able to make Eddie Guerrero look like a million bucks in an attempt to get him hired by the company. That is the kind of wrestler Terry Funk was. While in Japan in the Early to Mid-90’s, he nearly killed himself along with Mick Foley as they tried to put a new promotion on the map. Then back in the states, Funk continued to work himself nearly to death in ECW to try and give the wrestling world something new as well as putting over as many new guys as possible in order to keep the business he loved alive for another generation. For the longest time I considered Ric Flair to be the best of all time, but comparing him to Funk today makes my opinion change completely. Nobody deserves a place in a wrestling Hall of Fame more than TERRY FUNK!!!