2019 WON HOF Ballot & Discussion

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JML
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2019 WON HOF Ballot & Discussion

Post by JML » Tue Sep 24, 2019 9:13 pm

Since there wasn't much talk online about the Observer Hall of Fame this year, I wanted to start a thread about this year's ballot.

Personally, I"m rooting for Meiko Satomura since she's finally on the ballot.

Here is the complete ballot if you haven't seen it:

It's time for the 2019 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 2019.

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 1989. So if the last year the person was a headliner, or was a key figure in the industry, was prior to 1989, 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 2005. 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
Don Owen
Villano III

Please return this ballot by October 20th. You can e-mail the ballot back to dave@wrestlingobserver.com 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
June Byers
Wild Bull Curry
Cowboy Bob Ellis
Don Fargo
Archie "Mongolian Stomper" Gouldie
Chavo Guerrero Sr.
Rocky Johnson
Jose Lothario
Sputnik Monroe
Blackjack Mulligan
Johnny Rougeau
Dick Slater
George Steele
Enrique Torres
Jimmy & Johnny Valiant
Von Brauners & Saul Weingeroff
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
Matt & Jeff Hardy
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
Tomohiro Ishii
Tetsuya Naito
Kenny Omega
Meiko Satomura
Akira Taue

I FOLLOWED WRESTLING IN MEXICO CANDIDATES
Los Brazos (Brazo de Oro & Brazo de Plata & El Brazo)
Caristico
Ultimo Guerrero
Karloff Lagarde
Los Misioneros de la Muerte (El Signo & El Texano & Negro Navarro)
Huracan Ramirez
Villano III
Volador Jr.
Dr. Wagner Jr.

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

NON-WRESTLERS
Lord James Blears
Dave Brown
Bob Caudle
Jim Crockett Jr.
Jim Crockett Sr.
Gedo
Jim Johnston
Larry Matysik
Stephanie McMahon
James Melby
Don Owen
Morris Sigel
George Scott
Naoki Sugabayashi
Ted Turner
Stanley Weston
Grand Wizard

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Murcatto
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Re: 2019 WON HOF Ballot & Discussion

Post by Murcatto » Wed Sep 25, 2019 1:51 pm

I wonder if Stephanie will even get a single vote.

Meiko is interesting. It's hard to track down joshi from the 2000s/early 2010s and I think that hurts her case. She has probably been a great worker for 20+ years but I've only seen a handful of her matches from 1995-2014 and I'm guessing many voters would be in the same boat. It's hard to vote for someone for whom workrate is a big part of her candidacy when you haven't actually seen a lot of her matches.

I'm curious about Taue's case. Does he have a record of being an individual draw? My impression was always that Misawa and Kobashi (and to a lesser extent Baba and Kawada) were the big draws for AJPW during their 90s hot streak. I'm not saying Taue should get zero credit for main eventing SUPER NO VACANCY Budokan houses, but as far as I'm aware it was always his opponent who was the primary draw and that matters, so he can't get in just on drawing power and needs to be strong in another area. In regard to work, I've always thought of him as a good but not great wrestler. He was in some of the best tag team matches of all time but he was clearly the fourth best worker in all of those matches, and I can't think of many Taue singles matches which I'd rate four stars or above. I think he is well below the calibre of worker who would get in based on match quality. If you compare him to e.g. Kota Ibushi, who has a good record of drawing over the last decade and is a far better worker, I can't really see a compelling reason to vote for Taue over Ibushi, other than an aversion to voting for active wrestlers. But I've recently seen people talk about their ballots in which they voted for Taue and not for Ibushi. I'd be interested to hear why they think Taue has a better case.

I'm not a voter, but Akiyama, Ibushi, Omega, Naito, Ishii and Gedo would be on my ballot if I was. None of the modern US/Canada candidates strike me as Hall of Famers, and I don't know enough to vote in regions other than modern US/Canada or Japan. Ishii, Ibushi and Omega are three of the ten best in-ring wrestlers I've ever seen and that by itself is enough to get my vote, plus Ibushi and Omega have some drawing credentials. Akiyama has been a star and top wrestler for 20+ years and, as Lanza has said, it's hard to make the case that Nagata is a Hall of Famer but Akiyama isn't. Naito has been a very good worker for a decade and is now in his fourth year as one of wrestling's biggest draws, and I think that's just enough to get him over the line.

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JML
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Re: 2019 WON HOF Ballot & Discussion

Post by JML » Thu Sep 26, 2019 11:44 am

Murcatto wrote:
Wed Sep 25, 2019 1:51 pm
I wonder if Stephanie will even get a single vote.

Meiko is interesting. It's hard to track down joshi from the 2000s/early 2010s and I think that hurts her case. She has probably been a great worker for 20+ years but I've only seen a handful of her matches from 1995-2014 and I'm guessing many voters would be in the same boat. It's hard to vote for someone for whom workrate is a big part of her candidacy when you haven't actually seen a lot of her matches.

I'm curious about Taue's case. Does he have a record of being an individual draw? My impression was always that Misawa and Kobashi (and to a lesser extent Baba and Kawada) were the big draws for AJPW during their 90s hot streak. I'm not saying Taue should get zero credit for main eventing SUPER NO VACANCY Budokan houses, but as far as I'm aware it was always his opponent who was the primary draw and that matters, so he can't get in just on drawing power and needs to be strong in another area. In regard to work, I've always thought of him as a good but not great wrestler. He was in some of the best tag team matches of all time but he was clearly the fourth best worker in all of those matches, and I can't think of many Taue singles matches which I'd rate four stars or above. I think he is well below the calibre of worker who would get in based on match quality. If you compare him to e.g. Kota Ibushi, who has a good record of drawing over the last decade and is a far better worker, I can't really see a compelling reason to vote for Taue over Ibushi, other than an aversion to voting for active wrestlers. But I've recently seen people talk about their ballots in which they voted for Taue and not for Ibushi. I'd be interested to hear why they think Taue has a better case.

I'm not a voter, but Akiyama, Ibushi, Omega, Naito, Ishii and Gedo would be on my ballot if I was. None of the modern US/Canada candidates strike me as Hall of Famers, and I don't know enough to vote in regions other than modern US/Canada or Japan. Ishii, Ibushi and Omega are three of the ten best in-ring wrestlers I've ever seen and that by itself is enough to get my vote, plus Ibushi and Omega have some drawing credentials. Akiyama has been a star and top wrestler for 20+ years and, as Lanza has said, it's hard to make the case that Nagata is a Hall of Famer but Akiyama isn't. Naito has been a very good worker for a decade and is now in his fourth year as one of wrestling's biggest draws, and I think that's just enough to get him over the line.
If you want to look at Taue's case, here is Chad Campbell's piece from a couple of years ago https://www.voicesofwrestling.com/2014/ ... fame-case/

As for Meiko, I might do what Alan4L did on Twitter and make a thread of her great matches stretch from 95 onward in the next couple of days. (I can't do it now cause of work and other stuff) It might not reach a lot of WONHOF voters but it will reach some who come to this board and are legit interested in researching her. Some people will dismiss her altogether cause of sexism so it's not for them anyway.

I said this on the PWO board that Meiko is in the conversation for greatest women's wrestler of all time. The only ones I can think of in the same conversation are Akira Hokuto, Devil Masami, Aja Kong, Bull Nakano, Jaguar Yokota, Manami Toyota, and Chigusa Nagayo. All of them are in the Observer Hall of Fame.

If Dave continued to cover joshi like he did in the 90s, HOF voters would watch her matches but her missing the AJW/JWP 90s boom hurts her chances.

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