Monday, May 5, 2008

Mr. T for the Hall Of Fame

Mister T deserves to be inducted into WWE's Hall Of Fame.

No, I'm not joking!

Vince McMahon Junior's juggernaught wrestling promotion partially began its national expansion by incorporating mainstream celebrities into wrestling shows. Mister T was right at the forefront of that movement, gaining the WWF press it wouldn't have otherwise gotten thanks to his star power back in the 80's. Now, as we approach a major milestone, I believe the time has come for Mister T to get what's owed to him by the wrestling business.

2009 marks the 25th anniversary of WrestleMania I. The main event of that historic pay-per-view was Hulk Hogan and Mister T versus "Rowdy" Roddy Piper and "Mister Wonderful" Paul Orndorff. Here's a fun fact for all you wrestling trivia buffs: Everyone involved in that famous match has been inducted into the WWE's Hall Of Fame, with the exception of Mister T. When I say everyone has been inducted, I mean from Hogan and Piper all the way down to heel cornerman Bob Orton and ring announcer Howard Finkel. Think about that for a second. Mister T, an actual participant in the match that started Wrestle-freaking-Mania, was deemed less worthy for a HOF spot than "The Fink"! As Gorilla Monsoon used to say, I consider this a travesty of justice. Many would argue that Mister T didn't deserve a spot anywhere on a WrestleMania card, let alone at the top of it. They would point out that Mister T didn't work his way up in wrestling. That he only got such a placement on the WrestleMania show because of his celebrity status and not a love for wrestling or excellent in-ring skills. In all fairness, those people would be correct. For better or worse though Mister T fought and won alongside the then-WWF champion. History cannot erase that fact and T deserves to be acknowledged for it.

Let's also not forget that the mighty T made more than one WrestleMania appearance. His worked boxing match against Roddy Piper at WrestleMania II is still talked about today (mostly by Roddy Piper). That "match" was also a main event-in this case the main event of the New York portion of WMII. The show was held in three cities that year. You could certainly argue that fans went to see any of the other matches that night, but the headliners of a show are the ones that promoters believe can draw the most fans in. That, of course, is what makes them the headliners. As a result the main eventers-in this case Piper and Mister T-get the credit for the capacity crowd. Once again T was on the top of one of the biggest cards in wrestling history and receives no credit for it. Oh, and for what it's worth, Mister T won that boxing contest by disqualification, making him undefeated in WrestleMania matches. The Undertaker just better hope T doesn't dawn the gold jewlery and come out of retirement.

Mister T also had a brief stint in World Championship Wrestling in 1994. While there he scored a victory over veteran wrestler Kevin Sullivan at WCW Starcade-which was WCW's equivilant to WrestleMania. T hasn't wrestled since, making him undefeated in wrestling matches period! How many people can say that? Yet another reason T is Hall Of Fame worthy today. On paper alone he's clearly done more in wrestling than other HOF inductees such as William Perry or Pete Rose.

Last but not least, let's also not forget T's role in the legendary Rocky series as Clubber Lang. T was a natural heel, and the underdog story of Rocky Balboa is something wrestling fans can all relate to. Vince McMahon will be the first one to tell you that his performers are just as much actors as they are athletes. T transcended pro wrestling, much like Hulk Hogan (who can forget Thunderlips?) and the Rock.

I pity the fool who doesn't select Mr. T for the Hall Of Fame!

Agree? Disagree? Let me know!

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