Planet Kayfabe: My NoDQ Hall of Fame Selections
November 11, 2023
Hello everyone and thank you again for reading Planet Kayfabe. It has been a while and it has been a busy year for me. My real job is picking up, which is good, but it keeps me busy and my spare time is spent on watching my baby who will be a year old soon, and I wouldn’t change a thing. Yes, I wish I could dedicate more time to writing, but this is a free gig and I do out of love of wrestling and writing just like I do with my music blog for the few of you who know about that. Real life has to come first.
Now that I have a moment at 5 am sipping last night’s stale coffee I figured that I would give my take on this year’s NoDQ Hall of Fame which is great for me since while I do stay regular with the current product, I’m not as deep into everything as I once was. However, this just requires me to tap into my memory, so let’s go.
Male Superstar: Triple H, Ric Flair, The Rock, Hulk Hogan, CM Punk, Roman Reigns
There are some deserving names there, but one is absolutely more deserving than the others and that is Hulk Hogan. Whether you like him or not, a responsible voter would put personal feelings aside and look at who is the biggest star here and who made the biggest impact on the wrestling business. That is Hulk Hogan. You can’t even argue against it. There is no argument for voting for CM Punk over Hogan. Unfortunately, these things turn into a popularity contest and not just any popularity contest, but a popularity contest of internet fans.
Situations like this are why I don’t think this or any Hall of Fame should be 100% fan-voted. Fans can have a voice, but it’s pretty ridiculous that we are, what, five years into this and Hulk Hogan still isn’t in? Hogan currently sits a 4th place, so I doubt he makes it this year. It is a tight race between Triple H and The Rock. Triple H has the edge right now and I’d vote for him over The Rock, too. Rock was a bigger star even just in wrestling, but Triple H has longevity and was a star in his own right. You can argue DX got even bigger when he was leading it and he was the heel of a generation in late 1999 into 2000. Plus Evolution was a thing if you’re into that period. I wasn’t, but I know many of you were. Hey, he made Batista a star. Can’t take that away.
Female Superstar: Victoria, Sable, Charlotte Flair, Bayley, Saraya, Rhea Ripley
Okay, can I suggest another rule that unless you’re over the age of 35 that current talent shouldn’t be eligible for this? Rhea Ripley? Look, she’s my favorite female talent right now and has had a hot run and gets superstar reactions everywhere she goes, but she is 27 years old and has been on the main roster for 2 and a half years. Big fan, but I’m not voting for her.
Sable you can make an argument for, but I feel like she might fall in the Hulk Hogan category of just not being cool enough because she didn’t do moonsaults like Lita and wasn’t into Anime or whatever people look for in a female star these days.
Charlotte Flair is a current talent that you can make a good argument for based on her title runs, but that’s all booked by the company. I could be wrong, but I always felt like Charlotte’s stardom is a bit artificial. She’s Ric Flair’s daughter and boy do they make no secret about it by giving her his music and his robes, his signature “Woooo”, his strut on occasion, and his finishing move. On top of that, she’s been given a thousand short little women’s title runs that no one can even remember because she was clearly just given title runs to pad her fake stats in wrestling.
Charlotte has had great matches and is a better wrestler than most women of generations past in America but even in that area, I felt she was a bit overrated. Her selling is shit. The one thing she should have stolen from Ric is his ability to sell. He’s one of the best ever at that, but Charlotte is one of the worst among her peers. Some will find it baffling, but I can’t consider you a great wrestler if your selling is poor. Selling is half of being a wrestler. Just look at Shawn Michaels. Look at Bret Hart. Two names right there that you probably think of high workrate first, but they were also some of the best at selling.
Given the choices, I voted for Victoria. She wasn’t a huge star, but she spent a decade in WWE and was a champion. I feel the pool is a bit thin here. Maybe I should have just voted for Sable. She was the most over of all the names listed.
Tag-Team or Faction: The Shield, Evolution, The New Day, The Elite, The Bloodline, The Dudley Boyz
They are all deserving names. Even though I wasn’t a big fan of this period for Raw, I went with Evolution. The stable continued Triple H as a mega heel. Made Ric Flair relevant again. The stable also made big stars out of Randy Orton and Batista. As great as some of the other selections are, I don’t feel like it compares to Evolution, although, every other stable and team had more longevity.
The Dudleyz would be my next choice. Obviously, they are deserving as well and will get in, I’m sure. The Shield was big and spawned three future superstars… one of whom had to leave WWE to become a star, but whatever. The New Day was super hot for much of the later 2010s. They got a bit stale, but every great act gets stale sometimes. I don’t know what the future holds for Big E, but if this team ever reunites they need to change it up. Get away from the nerdy pop culture humor that spread like a viral disease in the 2010s. It may be too late for another heel run, but they need to change it up. The whole colorful unicorns and retro 90s gaming references and action hero nods just come off as very dated to me now. I hate to say it, but that shit just isn’t cool to reference anymore. It was fun when former 90s kids were like 25 years old and reminisced about Animaniacs, Sailor Moon, Final Fantasy 7, and Dunkaroos, but it’s not as cool when you find yourself at 35 now and still talking about that shit.
Non-Wrestler: Jim Johnston, Howard Finkel, Renee Paquette, Joey Styles, Tony Khan, Tony Schiavone
What? No Roman Reigns? Hur hur hur.
The choice here was easy for me. Howard Finkel. The greatest ring announcer in WWF history and no, I do not think it is even close. WWE has had some good ring announcers. Lillian Garcia. Tony Chimel. Some terrible ones like Justin Roberts who sucked ass. However, they’ve never had another ring announcer who made matches feel as important as Howard Finkel. Not only did his voice bring an air of class to the program, but he was also over as a star. Has any other ring announcer been over quite like that since in WWE? I don’t think so.
Deceased Superstar: Dusty Rhodes, Roddy Piper, Brian Pillman, Mr. Perfect, Bray Wyatt, Yokozuna
I find this to be the silliest category. All these wrestlers will be dead one day. I mean, look at these names. I think Dusty Rhodes should just be a Hall of Famer. Not just be under the “dead wrestler” category. What happens if one of the male or female inductees dies, are they moved here? I don’t get it.
If it were up to me, I’d change this to something like a legacy induction where the wrestlers that qualify are from the pre-80s boom period that seems to go forgotten that way there is some spotlight on an era that most of today’s fans don’t know about.
I’m voting for Dusty Rhodes, but I think he deserves better than “best dead guy”.
Here are all my selections for this year’s NoDQ Hall of Fame. I don’t know what 2024 will bring but I’m hoping to be able to post more shortly. I like columns like this, but I have more fun talking about relevant news than this nostalgic stuff.
How about Vince McMahon selling his TKO stock? Hmm… I wouldn’t be surprised if Vince just starts a new wrestling promotion next year or in 2025. He has the money and the connections in TV to make it possible, just like how he brought back the XFL. If he can partner with a network and lure some talent over who want in on a new Vince McMahon project that they know will get a lot of attention, then it’s very much possible. It wouldn’t hurt WWE at all but such a move could cause headaches for AEW.
Speaking of AEW, I hope they have a good 2024. 2022 and 2023 have not been great years for them from a public perception standpoint. Of course, most of their shows, and especially their PPV’s have been great, but they have had problems and many of them stem from Tony Khan’s mouth both in interviews and on Twitter.
My suggestion is addition by subtraction. Tony can do what he does, but stay off Twitter for a year and don’t do so many interviews. Don’t even take part in these post-PPV media scrums. Just take a step back from the public eye for a bit. Make people forget about all those Tweets and awkward moments on the mic. Don’t go on TV. No “special biggest announcement ever” segments. None of that. Just be the booker and once the heat dies down, peek your head out and everything will be ok.
That’s all for me. Thanks again for reading. For NoDQ I am Paul Matthews. I’ll see you next time. Happy Veteran’s Day and if I don’t hear from you again have a merry Christmas.