EJ Moreno fantasy books the first ever AEW Hall of Fame class…
All Elite Wrestling creating its own Hall of Fame is inevitable. If IMPACT/TNA can have a Hall of Fame and they’ve been on the brink of death hundreds of times, then AEW can rightfully have one…eventually.
When crafting this piece, this writer doesn’t want to will this into existence right now. This is simply an idea and a conversation starter that will hopefully bud into fans clamoring to see what AEW could do with a Hall of Fame.
Before going into the picks for their hypothetical Hall, there’s some baggage to unpack. WWE’s Hall of Fame always sees criticism, and many newer generations will never take Dave Meltzer’s WON Hall of Fame seriously. The Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame and Museum is known for some rather essential picks, crafting a solid collection of some great wrestlers since 1999. And you can’t forget the historic Cauliflower Alley Club, started by Mike Mazurki and now headed by Brian Blair. AEW entering the Hall of Fame game allows for another mainstream wrestling program to honor legends.
Here are my predictions for what would be the first-ever class for the AEW Hall of Fame. Not every legendary wrestler will appear here, and no, there’s no Chris Jericho. We’d need headliners for other years in this, and I don’t see the man stopping anytime soon.
If there was ever a spot for people in AEW who have a significant impact but no in-ring or on-screen work, Miss Sandra deserves it. One of the most well-known seamstresses in wrestling, Miss Sandra Gray, is a blessing.
The senior referee of All Elite Wrestling has a great history in the business. Working since 1998 and starting in ROH in 2002, he’s a great name to include if AEW wanted to focus on all ends of their company.
Listen to any of the AEW wrestlers in interviews, and they’ll credit Jerry Lynn for something. A member of the Hardcore Hall of Fame, Lynn deserves more recognition in Hall of Fame’s all over wrestling for what he’s done. Lance Storm has infamously called Jerry Lynn wrestling’s “Academy Award-winning supporting actor.”
But you can’t deny when he’s had the fleeting moments to be a top guy; he’s shined. Lynn holds World titles in ECW and ROH and helped multiple titles through TNA’s history. In AEW, though, it feels like he’s found his best thing: being a mentor and passing along his wisdom.
Commentator. Analyst. Senior advisor. That’s what Jim Ross is doing for a wrestling company in 2021 as he nears the age of 70. It’s incredible to see Ross continue to put in great work these days, and it feels like he’s found a home that respects him. While this writer feels he could work better as a special guest commentator rather than a full-time, you can’t deny hearing him make great calls is still refreshing.
This induction would serve as a great transition from the full-time level to making him feel like an honored guest at the booth. There’s a gaggle of great voices in AEW, and they all feel inspired by what Ross has done throughout his history. Let them take over while Good Ol’ JR takes a much-earned lighter schedule.
A female wrestling legend and this writer’s favorite wrestler of all time. Awesome Kong was a massive moment at the company’s first event, Double or Nothing, surprising fans with her appearance in a fatal four-way match. From there, she served as an enforcer for Brandi before taking time off to work on Netflix’s series GLOW.
We all know Awesome Kong is a great person for the women’s locker room, being a fun on-screen personality while also helping out backstage as a coach. Honoring her as the first inductee in the AEW Hall of Fame will show admiration for her history in the 00s women’s wrestling world and be a considerable part of AEW’s birth.
It blows me away to see how much Tully plays a factor in AEW’s current product, given he’s only wrestled one time in fourteen years. A match he won on AEW Dynamite! Tully Blanchard is a gift in pro-wrestling, playing his part in some of the biggest tag teams and factions of all time. But something about AEW Tully feels special; it feels like he’s getting to shine in this Emperor Palpatine-like manager role.
Tully Blanchard is already in the NWA Hall of Fame and the WWE Hall of Fame, so this will be another achievement in his long, storied career. As a fan of Blanchard from back in the day, it’s lovely to see him fit into the modern landscape so well. There are not too many working legends quite like this.
If you need a headliner for the first AEW Hall of Fame class, it has to be Dustin Rhodes. He’s part of AEW’s first “classic match” when he faced his brother Cody at the first Double or Nothing, he’s shined in a training/manager role, and Dustin simply deserves it after all these years. WWE will likely never include him as his Goldust character now that he bleeds the black and gold, but the future AEW Hall of Fame would welcome him.
Dustin Rhodes has seen and done it all in pro-wrestling. He’s had the worst of times and the best of times, and he’s proved he’s a powerful assist to any roster. The thing I adore most about Dustin now is how proud the worker seems of the younger generation in AEW. It shows when he takes the time to put them all over. For his wrestling and masterful AEW time, Dustin deserves the honor of being the first headliner.
Who would be your picks for the first ever AEW Hall of Fame class? Let us know on our social channels @FlickeringMyth…