UFC has honored some of the octagon’s legendary battles with induction into their Hall of Fame for several years. WWE should follow suit and add a Match Wing to their own Hall of Fame, where the most memorable bouts are recognized for their historical importance.
Adding a Match Wing would create a new and exciting element sparking a spirited debate over which matches get the nod. Pete Williams vs. Mark Coleman (1998) is one of six fights inducted into the UFC Fight Wing. However, it is not a Hall of Fame-caliber fight because it’s only known for Williams’ highlight reel head kick KO. It was a boring fight until the finish.
The same type of discussion would occur with a WWE Match Wing.
Looking at Hulk Hogan vs. Andre the Giant from WrestleMania III, some feel it’s a bad match. As far as WWE lore is concerned, it’s their David vs. Goliath, the irresistible force meeting the immovable object. It’s the match that shaped a generation.
The Undertaker and Vader were the first two inductees announced for this year’s Hall of Fame. Sid and The Steiner Brothers are rumored to join them. That’s a heck of a class right there. However, after this year, the only big stars remaining are The Rock, Batista, Lex Luger, The Great Muta, Bam Bam Bigelow, and Demolition.
Batista and The Rock will most likely headline their respective class while names such as Chris Jericho, Jeff Hardy, and Paul Wight won’t be inducted until they’re no longer in AEW.
The well is running dry for the moment.
A Match Wing would allow current Hall of Famers to participate in an official capacity. Shawn Micheals is two time Hall of Famer for his decorated singles career, and as a member of D-Generation X. No one would bat an eye if he became a three-time Hall of Famer for his match with The Undertaker at WrestleMania 25. It’s considered by many to be the greatest match of all time, and fans would relish at the thought of these two titans reminiscing about that legendary night.
If marketing is the goal, labeling a Hall of Fame match allows WWE to monetize the situation with video games, action figures, and other collectibles and goods. Tell me you wouldn’t love a Mattel Elite or Ultimate two-pack of The Rock vs. Steve Austin from WrestleMania 17?
Some of the inducted matches would be joyously revered, while others would be damned with faint praise. Some older matches may never get the recognition they deserve due to a generation gap or backstage politics. However, there are more classic matches than individual HOF candidates. Besides, many of the inducted matches would be from WrestleMania’s past, which creates an organic synergy with WrestleMania Weekend.
I’m going to list what I believe would be the first five matches inducted into the Hall of Fame if WWE added a Match Wing.
Hulk Hogan vs. Andre the Giant – WrestleMania III: Enough said
Hulk Hogan & Mr. T vs. Rowdy Roddy Piper & Mr. Wonderful Paul Orndorff – WrestleMania: The importance of this match and Mr. T’s involvement can’t be overstated
The Undertaker vs. Shawn Micheals – WrestleMania 25: The G.O.A.T.
Stone Cold Steve Austin vs. The Rock – WrestleMania 17: Besides Austin’s heel turn at the end, it was the crescendo of the Attitude Era.
Shawn Michaels vs. Razor Ramon – WrestleMania 10: The inaugural mainstream ladder match that revolutionized the business.