The current incarnation of the WWE Hall of Fame has been active since 2004, when the Hall was unearthed to coincide with the twentieth edition of WrestleMania. It had originally been set up in 1993 to mark the passing of Andre the Giant, who had died in January of that year. Created three decades after the company’s formation, the timing appeared to have been perfect to establish the Hall. Andre was the only inductee in 1993.
WWE is virtually free to induct whomever it chooses, which begs the question, why are there so many legends yet to be inducted? Here are three (actually 4) long overdue names that are yet to be inducted but should have been enshrined years ago.
Demolition, Owen Hart and Ivan Koloff.
During the 1980’s one tag team dominated the global wrestling scene. That was Hawk and Animal, better known as the Road Warriors. When Vince McMahon was unable to sign the tandem away from the NWA, he decided to create his own version instead. Thus Demolition was born.
To their credit, Ax and Smash were far from a cheap knock off. Their act was a sensation and the team became an incredibly talented and popular duo in their own right. Demolition would win the Tag Team Championships three times while other top teams, such as The Rockers and The Killer Bees, never won one.
The “Russian Bear” Ivan Koloff actually hailed from Canada, but despite his true heritage he was one of the most feared “foreign” menaces in American wrestling history – particularly during the 1960s and 1970s.
The most famous moment of Koloff’s long career was his WWE Championship winning effort that ended the legendary, record breaking seven year title reign of no other than Bruno Sammartino. That incredible event took place in front of a 20,000 sold out crowd at Madison Square Garden on January 18, 1971.
Owen Hart was the youngest of Stu and Helen Hart’s 12 children.
Like his brother Bret, Owen achieved international stardom in wrestling. They were the only two of the Hart children to do so.
Owen was never as famous as his elder brother, but he was every bit his equal in the ring, evidenced by the pair’s classic bouts at WrestleMania X and SummerSlam 1994. Owen upset Bret at ‘Mania but failed to capture the WWE Championship from Bret inside the blue barred steel cage at SummerSlam.
Hart never did win the WWE Championship but he won every other major title in WWE. He reigned as Intercontinental, European and Tag Team Champion in a glittering career which was tragically cut short at the age of 34 in a horrific accident that occurred at the 1999 Over The Edge pay per view event.