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Author Topic: 2018 WON HOF Ballot
Steve Yohe
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It's time for the 2018 Hall of Fame elections.

This ballot is being sent out to major wrestling stars, past and present, major management figures in the industry, writers and historians.

If you are getting this, you are being asked your opinion on who should be inducted into this year's Hall of Fame class. The criteria for the Hall of Fame is a combination of drawing power, being a great in-ring performer or excelling in ones field in pro wrestling, as well as having historical significance in a positive manner. A candidate should either have something to offer in all three categories, or be someone so outstanding in one or two of those categories that they deserve inclusion.

The names listed below are those under consideration for this year. To be eligible, a performer must have reached their 35th birthday and completed ten years since their debut as a full-time performer, or be someone who has been a full-time pro wrestler for at least 15 years.

Longevity should be a prime consideration rather than a hot two or three year run, unless someone is so significant as a trend-setter or a historical figure in the business, or valuable to the industry, that they need to be included. However, just longevity without being either a long-term main eventer, a top draw and/or a top caliber in-ring performer should be seen as relatively meaningless.

The election is broken down into a number of categories. You should check each category for wrestlers that you feel you are familiar enough with based on geography that you've either traveled or are familiar with, and based on the time you have followed pro wrestling. You do not have to vote for a wrestler in every category you've checked.

The ballot is also broken down to wrestlers and those who are not pro wrestlers but have been valuable parts of the industry.

The maximum number of wrestlers that you can vote for all the categories is ten. You can pick as few as zero if you don't believe anyone on this list deserves inclusion.

For wrestling executives, managers, announcers and other outside the ring performers, you can vote for them and they are not counted against the ten. You can vote for as many as five of them.

All responses are confidential. There is nothing to worry about politically about any involvement in this process. Your selections will not be revealed unless you choose to do so yourself.

Anyone who receives mention on 60% of the ballots from the geographical region and time frame (broken down as Continental United States & Canada; Mexico; Japan; and the rest of the world) will be added to the Hall of Fame in the class of 2018.

If you are unfamiliar with any of the candidates due to geography of having never seen them, that is fine. Ballots are sent to many people from all over the world and from different wrestling cultures so that everyone has as fair a shot at possible.

The breakdown for modern and historical performers is 30 years ago, or 1988. So if the last year the person was a headliner, or was a key figure in the industry, was prior to 1988, they would be in the historical class.

All performers who receive mention on 10% to 59.9% of the ballots from their geographical region or era will remain on the ballot for consideration next year. All those who receive less than 10% of the vote will be dropped from next year's ballot. They can return in two years based on if there is significant feedback from voters who say they will vote for them. This is mostly for wrestlers who are still active who may improve their career legacy, but can be for retired wrestlers if voters believe they should be put on or returned to the ballot.

In addition, in following the lead of the baseball Hall of Fame, which is the model here, we have a 15-year-rule. The following candidates have been on the ballot since 2004. In baseball, this would be their last year of eligibility. Here, if they don't get at least 50% of the votes in this year's election they will be removed from the ballot. If they are modern candidates, they can be brought back in the historical performers era in two years if it is more than 30 years since their career as a Hall Fame level performer is up:

The following candidates will be dropped from next year's ballot unless they are elected in or garner 50% of the vote:

Jun Akiyama
Red Bastien
Cien Caras
Jerry Jarrett
Blue Panther
Kiyoshi Tamura
John Tolos
Johnny "Wrestling II" Walker

Please return this ballot by October 20th. You can e-mail the ballot back to dave@wrestlingobserver.com or fax it to 408-244-3402 or mail (please do so by October 15th) to Wrestling Observer, P.O. Box 1228, Campbell, CA 95009-1228.

Please check by every category you are familiar with

I FOLLOWED THE HISTORICAL PERFORMERS ERA CANDIDATES
Johnny Barend
Red Bastien
June Byers
Wild Bull Curry
Cowboy Bob Ellis
Don Fargo
Archie "Mongolian Stomper" Gouldie
Chavo Guerrero Sr.
Rocky Johnson
Paul Jones
Sputnik Monroe
Blackjack Mulligan
Johnny Rougeau
George Steele
John Tolos
Enrique Torres
Von Brauners & Saul Weingeroff
Johnny "Wrestling II" Walker
Bearcat Wright

I FOLLOWED THE MODERN PERFORMERS IN U.S/CANADA CANDIDATES
Tully Blanchard & Arn Anderson w/J.J. Dillon
Junkyard Dog
Edge
Bill Goldberg
Samoa Joe
Rick Martel
Randy Orton
C.M.Punk
Sgt. Slaughter
Trish Stratus
Kerry Von Erich
Ultimate Warrior

I FOLLOWED WRESTLING IN JAPAN CANDIDATES
Jun Akiyama
Cima
Satoshi Kojima & Hiroyoshi Tenzan
Yoshiaki Fujiwara
Hayabusa
Kota Ibushi
Yuji Nagata
Tetsuya Naito
Kenny Omega
Kiyoshi Tamura
Akira Taue

I FOLLOWED WRESTLING IN MEXICO CANDIDATES
Los Brazos (Brazo de Oro & Brazo de Plata & El Brazo)
Cien Caras
Caristico
Ultimo Guerrero
Ruben Juarez
Karloff Lagarde
Los Misioneros de la Muerte (El Signo & El Texano & Negro Navarro)
Blue Panther
L.A. Park
Huracan Ramirez
Univero 2000
Vampiro
Villano III
Dr. Wagner Jr.

I FOLLOWED WRESTLING IN EUROPE/AUSTRALIA/NEW ZEALAND/PACIFIC ISLANDS/AFRICA
Sypros Arion
Big Daddy
Dominic DeNucci
Horst Hoffman
Billy Joyce
Killer Karl Kox
Mario Milano
Kendo Nagasaki
Jackie Pallo
Rollerball Mark Rocco
Johnny Saint
Ricki Starr
Otto Wanz

NON-WRESTLERS
Bill Apter
Lord James Blears
Dave Brown
Jim Crockett Jr.
Jim Crockett Sr.
Howard Finkel
Ed Francis
Gary Hart
Jimmy Hart
Jerry Jarrett
Larry Matysik
Don Owen
Steve Rickard
George Scott
Stanley Weston

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Steve Yohe
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My ballot:

Chavo Guerrero Sr.
John Tolos
Enrique Torres
Bearcat Wright
Akira Taue
Cien Caras
Karloff Lagarde
Villano III
Billy Joyce
Johnny Saint
 
NON-WRESTLERS

Lord James Blears
Howard Finkel
George Scott

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Crimson Mask from FL
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I FOLLOWED THE HISTORICAL PERFORMERS ERA CANDIDATES
June Byers
Enrique Torres
Johnny "Wrestling II" Walker
Bearcat Wright

I FOLLOWED WRESTLING IN JAPAN CANDIDATES
Yoshiaki Fujiwara
Kiyoshi Tamura

I FOLLOWED WRESTLING IN MEXICO CANDIDATES
Cien Caras
Villano III

I FOLLOWED WRESTLING IN EUROPE/AUSTRALIA/NEW ZEALAND/PACIFIC ISLANDS/AFRICA
Billy Joyce
Johnny Saint

NON-WRESTLERS
Gary Hart
George Scott

Made defensive votes for Caras, Tamura and Walker to keep them on the ballot.

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So long from the Sunshine State!

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francescofuoco
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Steve, Crimson, I noted that you voted for both Johnny Saint and Billy Joyce.
Did you vote for them because of work, or do you think that they influenced a lot of wrestlers?

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Crimson Mask from FL
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Influence mostly.

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So long from the Sunshine State!

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Steve Yohe
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Billy Joyce is a major historical figure, involved with Wigan. Pure wrestler. Had a lot of influence in my mind.

Johnny Saint I've loved for over 20 years on tape. Major wrestler in a true wrestling style. Rare performer who can make true wrestling entertaining. His history is hard to follow without good records, but there is a time limit now on how long he can be on the ballot, so you can't wait around until you get more info. And I'm a fan.

Too early for Kota Ibushi,Tetsuya Naito and Kenny Omega. Careers are just starting....who knows what's in store for Omega. It would be a crime to put them in so soon.

Enrique Torres is the only wrestler in the history of voting to be on the ballot with the highlight of his career being before 1950...when he was CA world champion. Shows that the people who put him on the ballot didn't understand his career. Gorgeous George didn't have to be voted in., and Wagner was never world champion.

Dave should put Baron Leone on the ballot.

He didn't put any historical figures in the HOF last year. Wondering if he has stoped doing that.

Cien Caras is a performer who isn't going to make it, because he had a bad rep as a worker...late in his career. I think it's a mistake. One of the great draws in lucha history and a rare heavyweight. Good person.---Steve Yohe

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Steve Yohe
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Frank who would you vote for?--Yohe
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Steve Yohe
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George "The Animal" Steele...really...who talked Dave into putting him on? Hope he doesn't last long. Looks bad.(Sorry George if your reading this.)---Yohe

[ 09-21-2018, 03:00 PM: Message edited by: Steve Yohe ]

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francescofuoco
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quote:
Originally posted by Steve Yohe:
Frank who would you vote for?--Yohe

If I were a voter, I would vote for:

Bearcat Wright
Enrique Torres
CM Punk
Cien Caras
Karloff Legarde
Los Misioneros de la Muerte
Blue Panther
L.A. Park
Villano III
Johnny Saint

Don Owen
Howard Finkel
Jimmy Hart
Gary Hart

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Crimson Mask from FL
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quote:
Originally posted by Steve Yohe:
George "The Animal" Steele...really...who talked Dave into putting him on? Hope he doesn't last long. Looks bad.(Sorry George if your reading this.)---Yohe

He croaked a couple years ago.

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So long from the Sunshine State!

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francescofuoco
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George Steele entered in the ballot last year, after his death.
He got the 20%.

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Ethan Tyler
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How did you guys view Yukon Eric when he was on the ballot in 2010?
I'm busy as we speak trying to convince Dave to re-introduce him into the next ballot. His credentials far exceed plenty on the current list.

He was removed after getting less than 10% of the vote and never came back. Despite Bearcat Wright, Cowboy Bob Ellis and Dr Wagner Jr doing the same thing and being re-introduced to much greater popularity now.

The guy ticks both boxes for drawing power and longevity - huge star in the 50s. His in-ring work was also solid (I've seen enough footage to know he wasn't a big stiff). He deserves recognition and another chance in my opinion.

I don't get the lack of recognition - would love to hear what his major flaw was. Is it purely the fact that he worked a strongman gimmick? Just a general lack of awareness? Or something else I'm missing?

[ 09-21-2018, 06:22 PM: Message edited by: Ethan Tyler ]

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Ethan Tyler
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Dave was originally impressed by his drawing power & longevity, highlighted by the Aug 5th 2009 issue of the Observer, which is why he added him onto the ballot. Those numbers got better when Matt Farmer re-analyzed them in 2010 on this board and are even stronger now that we have some more data from Canada (Montreal in particular).

The original numbers had him with 6 top-10 drawing years in the 50s (only HOFers beat him in this category). That placed him 6th/7th for the decade depending on how you value co-main events, etc.
This didn't include the incredibly strong numbers from the early 50s in Montreal. This included challenging Thesz for the NWA title in 1950 & a legendary feud with Kowalski in 52-53 that helped established Kowalski as a top guy and lead to the first ever televised wrestling match in Canada.
So, when it comes to drawing power & longevity, he ticks both boxes easily. One of the major stars of the 50s.

He was the no.2 babyface in Toronto behind Billy Watson for the first half of the 50s and, everywhere else, an attraction. He didn't need a title to draw big crowds - similar to other attractions like Andre.

With the drawing power & longevity boxes ticked off, if we look at in-ring work thit is were he may be unfairly punished.
Yes, he had a strongman gimmick. But he isn't a stiff from what I've seen. He could move very well for his size and was more than willing to bump for his opponents - the match with Gagne in Chicago shows this. Hell, the guy pulled off a GERMAN SUPLEX vs Kowalski in another Chicago match. This isn't Primo Carnera, Maurice Tillet or Big Daddy.

Historical significance, his claim to fame would be the feud with Kowalski. It helped establish the "Killer" moniker and made him into one of the greatest draws of his time. It doesn't surprise me that Kowalski's drawing power went up considerably from 1952 - when that incident and the subsequent matches occurred.
No, he didn't win any major titles, but does that really matter if he was a top draw? A champion who doesn't draw well is meaningless to me personally. He didn't need it - that's my view.

His suicide should be irrelevant. We've inducted plenty of guys with horrible pasts (really horrible) so the idea that suicide is the line in the sand is..ridiculous. I don't think much of the voting base who hold this against him.

Can I write the history of pro wrestling without Yukon? Yes, probably. The same goes for a lot of inductees and those on the ballot looking to be inducted. Context matters.

Worse case scenario, he scores 2-2 and is debatable. If we consider all the categories as equal. For me, the strength of the drawing & longevity numbers gets him in.

I made a case for him on the F4W board and it did at least get some interest. Dave said the key was a complete lack of support from his peers in 2010. I think he'll do better this time round with some campaigning.

[ 09-22-2018, 12:50 PM: Message edited by: Ethan Tyler ]

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The Satanic Slayer
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Should consider voting for:

Trish Stratus-- biggest female star of her day and women are under represented in the HOF, or at least North American women.

Villano III-- Hey he died last month, he's deserved to go in and if this isn't the year it never will be!

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The Satanic Slayer
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Oh and why doesn't Rocky Johnson ever get voted in? He had a terrific twenty year+ career and was a trailblazer as one of few black wrestling superstars in the 60's/70's He was a great worker. If he wasn't pushed enough in some places it wasn't his fault, it was the color of his skin
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carpetbeggar
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I think Bill Apter and George Napolitano should go in over a guy like Howard Finkel.

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闘魂 ビンタ FTW

Inoki is less than or equal to 一番 Baba, who is greater than Ichiban Hogan

"I just love seeing people beat with chains, and whips."- Johnny Valentine


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Steve Ogilvie
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There are a lot of strong nominees in the Mexico section, you could almost spend all ten votes there.

In Europe, i'll be voting for Billy Joyce, Johnny Saint and Horst Hoffman.

I don't see any nominees for New Zealand, Pacific Islands or Africa in that section.

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"Mr 100%"

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Stephen Gennarelli
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Howard Finkel was a fantastic ring announcer. Dave Meltzer himself has acknowledged that many a time.
Whether it was dramatically announcing next month's MSG show or announcing stuff like WrestleMania III or even in recent years announcing this year's Hall of Fame recipients...The Fink is a remarkable voice talent.
I will give guys like Bill Apter and George N. credit for the allure and mystery that they helped capture and cultivate over the years with their various magazines.
For instance, the Battle Royale's. All of us growing up on the magazines imagined these insanely crazy, exciting bouts because of the photos in the magazines, especially the ones that made the cover. Now sadly, we all know that Battle Royale's for the most part suck and are or boring and they've been creatively replaced with the Royal Rumble which brings back some of the best elements of the Battle Royal and adds more to it.

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Steve Yohe
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Finkel was the voice of WWF wrestling for years. He was very good & kind of set some standards. Also Jimmy Lennon made it into the HOF, so why not.

Apter & Napolitano told lies to fill in the spaces between photos. The WON set standards for journalism in pro wrestling & writers are still trying to follow the guide-lines set by Dave. Meltzer brought truth & intelligence to pro wrestling, that wasn't there before him. I see no reason to honor someone who was lazy & made things up. I'd rather see Wade Keller go in or a major writer of the reason past.---Steve Yohe

[ 09-26-2018, 11:35 AM: Message edited by: Steve Yohe ]

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Matt Farmer from WA
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quote:
Originally posted by The Satanic Slayer:
Should consider voting for:

Trish Stratus-- biggest female star of her day and women are under represented in the HOF, or at least North American women.

Villano III-- Hey he died last month, he's deserved to go in and if this isn't the year it never will be!

Trish, while being very attractive and a better than average wrestler for the time frame. Was really not much more than a mid-carder for her short career. We shouldn't set lower standards for women wrestlers simply because they are women wrestlers. If Trish had the same exact career, but was a male wrestler she would be a less talented Christian.
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Matt Farmer from WA
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quote:
Originally posted by The Satanic Slayer:
Oh and why doesn't Rocky Johnson ever get voted in? He had a terrific twenty year+ career and was a trailblazer as one of few black wrestling superstars in the 60's/70's He was a great worker. If he wasn't pushed enough in some places it wasn't his fault, it was the color of his skin

He had a good career, but we can't vote on "what if's." Rocky was pushed strong in some territories while not in others. Being black didn't stop Ernie Ladd and others from getting in.

I'm sure being black hurt him. At the same time, I would be willing to bet it helped him get booked into territories at times. I think Bearcat Wright has a stronger chance of getting in as he drew some major money and was World Champion.

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Steve Ogilvie
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Rocky might have done in the Pacific Islands/New Zealand section, but then even categorising some wrestlers like that doesn't really define their career.

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"Mr 100%"

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Phil_Lions
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I checked my e-mail the other day and I was quite pleasantly surprised to get a ballot from Dave. Rookie voter here so I'm pondering my options carefully right now. The more I think about it though, the more I'm starting to think at least half of my ballot will go towards the lucha guys. A lot of those guys seem like no-brainers to me due to their box office success and personally I value success at the box office before anything else.

Also, it feels very weird having the option to vote for guys who got their start in the late 90s/early 2000s. Feels too soon.

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Steve Ogilvie
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If you have twitter check out the tweet made by Dave where he asked who people thought was the strongest candidate on this year's ballot:

Who is the strongest candidate on the ballot, according to Twitter

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"Mr 100%"

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Crimson Mask from FL
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Lotta his followers don't seem to grasp 'on the ballot'.

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So long from the Sunshine State!

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Crimson Mask from FL
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To answer the question I will be shocked if Villano doesn't get in.

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Steve Yohe
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My LA HOF actually was a experiment in creating a HOF that would be run by the voters. To me, it would have worked if you could find serious voters, who would abide completely.

I think the LA HOF results have been very good, so far. More voters would help, but the final results are great picks.

Dave seems to think less candidates makes for a better process. But I don't see that.

I think he should set a number of candidates in each section. And that number would not change. Holes created by guys going into the hall or having to leave, by the "Less than 10%" rule or the "over 15 year rule", would have to be filled each new voting period. I would set the number at 25 for the major section & maybe 20 or 15 in the more minor sections. To replace the ex-candidates put a write in section to the ballot for voters to suggest new candidate, who would have to be approved by Dave.

A historical figure should be admitted each year. This is the "admitted by Dave" section. Once again Dave should have a committee of people to pick candidates and then vote. (some good member who be Matt, Mask, Lions, Tim, Laprade, Joe, Sims, Stein, Me, and there are others who know history & wouldn't mind serving.) Have one vote to put together a candidate ballot & then they could vote until over 60% agree on someone & then send the list to Dave. Dave could still control who goes in or how many. Not admitting someone like last year & this year violates the spirit of the hall. It's saying I don't know or don't want to take the time. He should ask someone. To me the "Dave put on" section is the most important thing each year. It's what I care about & with anyone before 1950 not having a chance to be voted it....you got to do it.

On the Observer web site, there should be a section for the HOF listing all the previous winners & the vote totals. I know there may be other sites that serve this function, but it should be on the official Observer site. Dave should have some one do it for him.

That section could also give any news or topic being discussed by voters or thoughts by Dave as the year continues. He could tell us when he plans to send the list out or announce the planed HOF issue.

It could print messages by people, like we do here. This should be a official place for voters to go over the ballot & talk. HOF's are political. Everyone should read the different arguments.

Dave should have someone else do the major work.

Steve Yohe

[ 10-08-2018, 09:27 PM: Message edited by: Steve Yohe ]

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Dan Cerq TEXAS
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My ballot. I think. I may still do one more pass...

Kiyoshi Tamura
June Byers
Enrique Torres
Bearcat Wright
Karloff Largarde
Los Misionares de la Muerte
LA Park
Villano III
Cien Caras
Johnny Saint

Been voting for Largarde, Tamura and Torres for years. Sadly I just don't think any of them will make it. I agree with Yohe above. Folks like Naito have years ahead of them, so why rush to vote for those folks now?

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Now in Oklahoma City!

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OSJ from NM by way of WA
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Steve:

A panel of voters to nominate historical figures makes a great deal of sense as do your other suggestions. The problem with hosting discussion on Dave's site is that you get an awful lot of noise/sound ratio from his readers who aren't voters, aren't knowledgeable, and think they're funny. See the responses Dave got to a very reasonable question...

I don't know what the answer is, create a facebook page or e-mail list for voters only where one has to be approved by Dave or whoever he tasks with the job? I suppose I could do it, though I'd much rather not. I'm sure there's someone far more computer savvy than me that would be a much better choice. But the idea of a dedicated e-mail list or message board to discuss the nominees with other voters would be a great thing. Even if it's just you and me banging the drum for Enrique Torres to an indifferent crowd. ;-)

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"What you say sounds reasonable enough," said the man, "but I refuse to be bribed. I am here to whip people, and whip them I shall!")
-Franz Kafka - The Trial

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Steve Yohe
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Do it thru email.

The WON site has always been terrible. So your right.

I deleted my facebook thing.

Yohe

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OSJ from NM by way of WA
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Just realized that I never posted my actual ballot. Here it is:

I FOLLOWED THE HISTORICAL PERFORMERS ERA CANDIDATES

Enrique Torres

Bearcat Wright


I FOLLOWED WRESTLING IN JAPAN CANDIDATES

Jun Akiyama

Akira Taue


I FOLLOWED WRESTLING IN MEXICO CANDIDATES

Cien Caras

Karloff Lagarde

Los Misioneros de la Muerte (El Signo & El Texano & Negro Navarro)

Blue Panther

Villano III


I FOLLOWED WRESTLING IN EUROPE/AUSTRALIA/NEW ZEALAND/PACIFIC ISLANDS/AFRICA

Rollerball Mark Rocco


NON-WRESTLERS

Bill Apter

Howard Finkel

Stanley Weston

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"What you say sounds reasonable enough," said the man, "but I refuse to be bribed. I am here to whip people, and whip them I shall!")
-Franz Kafka - The Trial

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