Being inducted into the Hall of Fame is one of the most prestigious honors a wrestler can achieve and in this business there is no bigger Hall of Fame than that of the WWE’s. Over the years, many amazing superstars of the sport have enjoyed their night including three of wrestling’s most talented women. The Fabulous Moolah, Sherri Martel, and Mae Young have all enjoyed getting immortalized in the WWE Hall of Fame and this year, Wendi Ritcher will have the same privilege. Ritcher’s accomplishments certainly speak for themselves and every Diva fan will enjoy watching on Saturday as Wendi Ritcher takes her rightful place among wrestling’s elite. Wendi Ritcher isn’t the only one with the credentials to be in the WWE Hall of Fame. We’ve seen many women come and go over the years and quite a few have made enough of an impact to be considered Hall of Fame worthy. This column is going to take a look at who could potentially be the next four women to enter into the WWE Hall of Fame. Three of these should be a given, one is a bit of a long shot. All of them have reasons as to why they could be considered Hall of Fame material.
Joanie “Chyna” Laurer’s chances of getting into the WWE Hall of Fame range slightly higher than unlikely. With Vince McMahon proving he can bury the hatchet with people he’s had problems with in the past, Chyna could very well end up in the Hall of Fame someday. She was one of the biggest Superstars, male or female, of the Attitude Era, and she was the true definition of sexy, smart, and powerful. Chyna was one of the first WWE Divas to grace to pages of Playboy and she was also the first Diva to break down the gender barriers in World Wrestling Entertainment. She debuted for the company in February of 1997 after being pursued by both WCW and WWE. Chyna started off as a mere valet/bodyguard to Hunter Hearst Helmsley and eventually became a part of Degeneration X. When her DX days were over, Chyna emerged as a singles star and became the first woman to ever compete in the Royal Rumble, hold the Intercontinential Championship, and qualify for the King of the Ring tournament. She had memorable and feuds with Chris Jericho, the late Eddie Guererro, and Ivory. During her time in World Wrestling Entertainment, Chyna was embraced by fans, male and female, and looked to as a role model for her ability to never back down from a fight or challenge. She was also a one-time Women’s Champion.
Chyna departed the WWE for personal, real-life reasons, and those reasons are the ones that could stop her from achieving Hall of Fame status. Her post-WWE career has been less than memorable and it’s fair to say it’s sort of been a trainwreck. She’s had numerous substance abuse problems, a failed relationship with another trainwreck, Sean “X-Pac” Waltman, and a sex tape that the majority of us wish we could erase from our memories. It’s a miracle that Joanie Laurer hasn’t become another sad wrestling statistic and so many people hope to see this woman pull herself together. It’s never too late for a person to get their life back on track and for all we know Chyna could be doing just that. What matters to this article is that if any Diva or woman in wrestling deserves Hall of Fame status, it’s Chyna. She opened doors for women in the mainstream wrestling world that had never before been open. If not for Chyna and her determination to work her hardest to become a success, us fans may never have gotten to see Beth Phoenix compete in this year’s Royal Rumble. Chyna’s truly a trailblazer for the sport and it’s interesting to ponder of what could have been had she not left the WWE under such messy circumstances. Who knows how many more accolades we could have added to her Hall of Fame worthy career.
It’s probably pointless to even mention this next person because if anyone is a lock for the WWE Hall of Fame, it’s her. Does the phrase “seven-time Women’s Champion” ring a bell? Trish Stratus was the first of her kind and a true inspiration to so many young girls out there who aspire to become professional wrestlers. She was proof that attractive young women could get into that ring, take a beating, and still come out on top. Everytime she stepped into the ring you took notice of you. Her beauty was one thing, but Trish’s work ethic is why fans really took a liking to her. She began her career as a fitness model and that is what got her into wrestling. She started off not knowing a whole lot about the business but it clearly interested her enough because she turned herself into the most decorated Women’s Champion of all time. Trish was the WWE’s golden girl.
Throughout the course of her amazing career, Trish feuded with everyone. You name them, Trish more than likely had some type of confrontation with them. She basically worked with everyone who was hot at one time or another. Some of Trish’s more memorable angles include her amazing feud with Lita and their Monday Night Raw main event match, and the infamous segment backstage with Triple H where he taught her a few moves and pissed off Stephanie McMahon-Helmsley in process. Trish had great matches with Jazz, Stacy Keibler, Torrie Wilson, Mickie James, Melina and who can forget her shocking heel turn back at WrestleMania where she put Chris Jericho in his place and aligned herself with Captain Charisma? They shared a steamy, kinky kiss that is forever etched in the minds of the fans and is one of the greatest Diva ‘Mania moments in history. Love her, or hate her, Trish Stratus is a women’s wrestling icon. She was by no means an amazing wrestler, but she made the most of what she had and went above and beyond the call of duty on so many occasions that it’s hard to count. When Trish Stratus retired, a gap was left in the WWE women’s division and it shows no signs of getting fixed anytime soon.
Since retirement, Trish has gotten married, opened a yoga studio, and become involved in a countless number of charities and organizations helping people. She’s more than just a wrestler and a model, Trish is a humanitarian and an amazing role model for anyone. That alone makes her a lock for the WWE Hall of Fame and you can make a fair argument that no one is more deserving than she is.
Someone who isn’t such a safe bet for the WWE Hall of Fame and may never even get consideration is the original Queen of Extreme, Beulah McGillicutty. Most fans may know her as Tommy Dreamer’s wife, but when Beulah first broke into the wrestling business, she was just as inexperienced as a lot of the women today. What set Beulah apart from other women is the ground breaking angles she was part of. ECW was known for being rough, dirty, and extreme and she certainly fit in with that crowd. She shined a beautiful light on the little bingo hall promotion and the die hard ECW fans loved her for it. Beulah’s most memorable moments involve her debut alongside Raven and her developing relationship with Tommy Dreamer. Beulah had a pregnancy angle before pregnancy angles were cool in wrestling and she also got involved in a controversial lesbian angle with Kimona that culminated in both of them kissing Tommy Dreamer at the same time.
Beulah’s defining moment came against another non-wrestler in a match that Paul Heyman has gone on record in saying is one of the best ECW matches of all time. Beulah took on referee/manager Bill Alfonso in one bloody match-up! It’s groundbreaking in the sense that two non-wrestlers threw caution to the win and just went at in one of the best intergender matches ever. It’s a must watch on YouTube for any women’s wrestling fan and for those fans of Beulah who believe she deserves a spot in the WWE Hall of Fame. You can’t say she’s not worthy because she’s never been involved with World Wrestling Entertainment. Beulah has in fact been on WWE programming, twice, after becoming a mother to twin daughters. Both times took place at the Extreme Rules pay-per-view and each involved yet another memorable moment for Beulah. From her catfight with long-time rival Francine, to getting speared by Edge and pinned provocatively, Beulah was the it girl for ECW and she was about as extreme it gets. She took nasty bumps, asserted her authority in matches, and made damn sure people knew exactly who she was. Beulah is Hall of Fame worthy and hopefully people will see that one of these days.
This last one woman is someone who should already be in the Hall of Fame. Miss Elizabeth was the original Diva of the WWE and she defined the terms “class’, “beauty”, and “grace”. The 80s were a rough time in wrestling. The sport was really taking off and was starting to fill up with crazy, charismatic characters. Miss Elizabeth stuck out like a sore thumb but no one seemed to mind. She was breathtaking and brought a sense of calmness to the calamity that seemed to follow her love, “Macho Man” Randy Savage where ever he went. Miss Elizabeth was one of the first well known women in wrestling and one of the first successful female managers. She guided Savage to the WWE Championship and who can can forget the image of seeing Elizabeth sitting on top of Savage’s shoulders, holding the championship belt as Wrestlemania IV ended? Miss Elizabeth was “it girl” of the 80′s and early 90′s, and by all accounts she is the true queen of professional wrestling.
Miss Elizabeth stayed involved in wrestling for many years. But the latter years are more sad than anything. The greatest woman to ever grace the sport sadly passed away in 2003, which makes her nothing more than another wrestling statistic. Out of all the pro-wrestling deaths, this has to be one of the saddest. Miss Elizabeth’s fall from grace isn’t what she should be remembered for. She should be remembered for the success she helped Savage achieve, her beautiful SummerSlam wedding, and all the angles she participated in over the years. Not only did Elizabeth work with Savage, but she also rubbed shoulders with a countless number of Hall of Famers and amazing performers. The names don’t need to be listed because we all know how special that era of wrestling was. Miss Elizabeth remains an important part of the sport today because all you have to do is type her name into YouTube and countless tribute videos come up and many people are begging for her induction into the Hall of Fame.
On a personal note, everytime I write about Elizabeth I get teary eyed. She’s my personal wrestling idol and the whole reason I started following it as close as I do. Her death hit me very hard and it still bugs me to this day. There are rumors flying around that next year the Hall of Fame ceremony will have a WCW feel to it since WrestleMania is being held in Atlanta, and if that’s true, then I have to ask the WWE to please put your personal feelings aside for Randy Savage and induct him into the Hall of Fame. Miss Elizabeth is never going to get her spot unless Vince McMahon and co. can come to some agreement with Savage, and it’s so unfair to leave this amazing woman out on a stupid, personal, and ridiculous technicality like that. Sunny likes to run her mouth and claim she was the original Diva, but that’s wrong. If not for Miss Elizabeth, attractive women may never have broken into the business. Miss Elizabeth paved the way for women like Sunny and Sable, and she certainly paved the way for the Divas we watch on our television today. Miss Elizabeth is one of a kind. There will never be another woman like her in the business and I know that when she finally does go into the Hall of Fame, I’ll cry like a baby.
Well that basically wraps this up. This article would be way too long if I listed every Diva diva that deserve the recognition and why, but there are certainly other worthy ladies out there. Lita, Lilian Garcia, Molly Holly, Victoria, and Francine are just a few of the names we could talk about. Several current Divas are definitely future Hall of Famers: Mickie James, Melina, Beth Phoenix.
I would love to hear who else should be considered for the honor, so sound off in comments.