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With WrestleMania 36 less than a month away, the WWE Universe is on full alert. The anticipation is phenomenal and the WrestleMania card is going to be remarkable this year with female wrestlers possibly having some fantastic encounters at the showcase of the immortals. With every WrestleMania comes WrestleMania weekend. This also means that WWE Hall of Fame 2021 will be happening as well a day before WrestleMania.
The WWE Hall of Fame has had its notable inductees and there are those that are completely out of left field. There are WWE Superstars who may never get into the Hall of Fame because of ongoing legal disputes or for leaving on bad terms with Vince McMahon. But Mr. McMahon has always found a way to let bygones be bygones and bury the hatchet. And as the Adele 'Hello' song goes, 'Time is supposed to heal ya,' Vince seems to believe in this and has proven it time and again.
Some would say he has done it for business reasons, others say its good public relations for the WWE. Some of the inductees are baffling, to say the least. The criteria for getting into the WWE Hall of Fame has never been made clear. With that being said, here are 10 WWE Superstars fans didn't expect to see in the WWE Hall of Fame.
#10 Macho Man Randy Savage
The Macho Man has been a large part of WWE History and he was very much part of the WWE golden era of wrestling in the 1980s. He had legendary feuds with Hulk Hogan and Jake 'The Snake' Roberts and was a great WWE heel as well as a face. His match with The Hulkster at WrestleMania 5 was considered as one of the highlights of WrestleMania history.
After WrestleMania 7, Randy Savage was regulated to color commentary. This led to Randy Savage leaving WWE in 1994 for WCW as he felt he had more to offer in the ring. This led to a strained relationship with Vince McMahon as well as an absurd urban rumor regarding him and Stephanie McMahon.
Meanwhile, Macho Man didn't officially make amends with Vince, having died on May 20, 2011. But in due time, WWE inducted him into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2015. For years, the WWE Universe didn't think it would happen but the induction was well deserved.
If Shawn Michaels was Mr. Wrestlemania, Sting was Mr. WCW. For years, the icon Sting refused to join WWE for reasons that several people of the WWE Universe are aware of. Sting along other wrestling legends was the foundation on which WCW was built.
After WCW closed its doors, Sting resisted signing with WWE, instead opting to grow Impact Wrestling aka TNA in 2003. He stayed with Impact Wrestling till 2014 and eventually signed with WWE. While the dream match with The Undertaker never happened, he fought his one and only WrestleMania match against HHH at WrestleMania 31.
Sting is a wrestling legend for all the right reasons. Like The Undertaker, he evolved his character over time in WCW, TNA, and WWE. He was entertaining and really lived the Sting character in all its forms. While him being in the WWE Hall of Fame was not a surprise, at one point, some WWE fans never thought it would ever happen.
There were also rumors arising that the real reason Sting made his WWE debut in 2014 was so that he could be familiarized with the current crop of fans and added to the WWE Hall of Fame.
#8 Jake 'The Snake' Roberts
Several fans in the WWE Universe will remember one of the most famous and infamous WWE legends of all time. He is considered by some to be the best in-ring psychologist of his generation. He had some of the most amazing feuds with the likes of The Undertaker, The Ultimate Warrior and Macho Man Randy Savage to name a few.
He was on the receiving end when Steve Austin first used the phrase 'Austin 3:16.' While Jake The Snake is a living legend, he has struggled with years of drug addiction, alcohol abuse, and other vices. He's almost the epitome of the real-life version of 'Randy The Ram' from the film 'The Wrestler.'
With the help of fellow wrestler and current fitness guru, Diamond Dallas Page, he has been able to turn his life around. If WWE fans ever thought he would ever go into WWE Hall of Fame, it would be posthumously. It's a testament to his willpower that he overcame his addictions and reconquered life.
#7 Bruno Sammartino
Bruno Sammartino was one of the greatest physical specimens ever to set foot in a WWE ring. He was one of the longest reigning WWE champions to come in at a grand total of 2803 days or close to 11 years.
Before Hulk Hogan came on the scene, Bruno Sammartino defined the WWE or WWF as it was known back then. He was a traditional wrestler who had the body to pull it off. But much like some of the others in this list, he had a falling out with Vince McMahon. It was a feud that lasted over 25 years.
Bruno was overtly critical of the direction that WWE took in the 1990s especially during the attitude era. The sexual content and poor language went against everything he had learned and helped build. Thanks to Triple H, he buried the hatchet with Vince McMahon and was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2013. He died in 2018 at the age of 82.
Bruno inspired a generation of superstars and WWE legends.
#6 Koko B. Ware
Perhaps one of the biggest head-scratchers in recent memory, Koko B. Ware was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2009 by the Honky Tonk Man. It's hard to justify Koko's induction into the Hall of Fame.
He was never really a phenomenal wrestler. He was better known for his 'Birdman' gimmick with colorful sunglasses and clothing alongside a parrot named Frankie he would carry to the ring with him. He was also in a shortlived team known as 'High Energy' alongside Owen Hart back in 1992.
Their choice of wardrobe was more fitting for an MC Hammer music video than inside a WWE ring. Koko was probably representative of what professional wrestling saw through the eyes of Vince McMahon, which was essentially sports entertainment. He is also notable for some of the WWE inductees who never won a WWE title during their time in the WWE.
Koko was popular with fans, however, and his colorful personality added to the WWE's locker room. He may just pave the way for more such midcard talent to achieve a Hall of Fame Status.
#5 Diamond Dallas Page
Diamond Dallas Page or DDP as most WWE fans have come to know him, was one of the mainstays of WCW. If anything, he was the people's champ in WCW and was probably the most over champ in the history of WCW. Having started his career as a manager, he made his in-ring debut at WCW Starrcade in 1991 at the age of 35.
He would go on to become a 3-time WCW World Heavyweight Champion. When WCW folded in 2001, he walked away from his guaranteed AOL-Time Warner contract to jump onboard on The Invasion storyline. DDP would go on to say he regretted that decision. His feud with The Undertaker was a bust and he essentially became a mid-carder before retiring from wrestling in 2002.
Since then, he became the originator of DDP Yoga and has helped other wrestlers overcome their own afflictions. Because of WWE's treatment of DDP when he first debuted, it was one of the more 'interesting' additions to the WWE Hall of Fame in 2017 most of the WWE Universe didn't expect. But perhaps it's also rewarding him for all the good he's done outside the ring with Jake 'The Snake' Roberts and Scott Hall.
#4 Jeff Jarrett
It would have been unheard of if you told any WWE fan that Jeff Jarrett would be inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2018. Most of the WWE Universe remembers Mr. McMahon actually firing Jeff Jarrett on the air in 2001 on the last episode of Monday Nitro.
Moreover, there have been rumors that Jeff Jarrett blackmailed Vince McMahon for $300,000 right before he dropped the title to Chyna and his WWE contract was expiring. After WCW folded, he created TNA/Impact Wrestling which was a good alternative but didn't prove to be a game changer in the wrestling industry.
He is no longer part of the organization and was recently seen in the WWE Royal Rumble 2019. He even wrestled a match with Elias as well. Like others on the list, those once scorned by Vince have a way to come back into the fold. It would not be incorrect for Double J to say 'Ain't I Great.'
Jarrett also possessed a strong wrestling mind and has helped revolutionize the industry.
It finally happened. Chyna was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2019. While it was as a group in Degeneration-X, it still took a while for it to happen. Because of her real-life love triangle with Triple H and Stephanie McMahon, she left the company in 2001.
Chyna achieved remarkable things in the WWE and her evolution from valet to wrestler was amazing. She was one of the first women wrestlers to be in the men's royal rumble. She was the first female WWE Intercontinental champion which she won twice.
She was one of the first active women's wrestlers and WWE divas to engage in inter-gender wrestling. While her achievements outside the ring didn't match her WWE accolades, she truly made a long-lasting impact in the company that is still talked about today. Sadly, Chyna passed away on April 20, 2016, but her WWE legacy will live on in the years to come.
She was called the ninth wonder of the world owing to her exploits in the ring and her hall of fame inducted was indeed well deserved.
#2 Ultimate Warrior
The man from parts unknown. The warrior who ran to the ring with high-voltage music. The man who shook the ropes and steamrolled over his opponents. The Ultimate Warrior was one of the most popular WWE Superstars at one time, only eclipsed by Hulk Hogan.
His promos were nonsensical at times but were awesome as it only heightened the mystery of The Ultimate Warrior. He is also one of the few people who held up Vince McMahon for money right before a WWE live event.
This was further explained in the WWE documentary, 'The Self-Destruction of The Ultimate Warrior.' But fences were mended between Vince and Warrior. He was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2014 but sadly passed away 3 days later on April 08, 2014. While tragic, WWE introduced the Warrior Award in 2015 in his memory. Connor "The Crusher" Michalek was the first recipient.
The Warrior had a blow-hot, blow-cold relationship with the WWE. But the fans were always in his corner.
#1 Bret Hart
Bret 'The Hitman' Hart will be always be remembered as one of the greatest WWE Superstars of all time. His moniker of 'The Best There Is, The Best There Was and The Best There Ever Will Be' still stands the test of time.
Some of his WrestleMania matches could easily feature on any WWE top-ten list. His status as WWE Legend will never be challenged. But his legacy will always be tarnished by the Montreal screwjob. Most of the WWE Universe knows about it.
It marked the end of Bret Hart's run in the WWE but really was arguably the true beginning of the attitude era. Bret Hart's run in WCW was forgettable, which resulted in him receiving a concussion, ending his wrestling career. It took a while, but Bret Hart was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2006.
He eventually returned to the WWE in 2010 and got engaged in a feud with Mr. McMahon, resulting in a match at WrestleMania 26, which Hart won. Bret Hart coming back into the WWE fold was what every fan wanted but never thought it would ever happen. Sometimes, dreams have a way of coming true.
Are there any other inductees you didn't expect to go in? Comment below, let me know.