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View Poll Results: Vote For The Next WZ Hall Of Famer
Harley Race 13 52.00%
Gorgeous George 5 20.00%
Antonio Inoki 7 28.00%
Voters: 25. You may not vote on this poll

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  #1  
Old 08-15-2015, 12:24 AM
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Default Hall Of Fame Class Of 2015: Group 2

It's time for the second half induction into the WrestleZone Hall Of Fame, Class of 2015. For this class, the 3 choices will be veteran innovators who in their own way revolutionized pro wrestling. Whether it's by influencing other wrestlers and/or by creating a movement that is still felt to this very day. Without further adieu, here are your 3 potential inductees for this group:



1) Harley Race

He didn't get his "tough guy" reputation as a gimmick. As a teen, Harley was expelled from high school when his principal kneed him in the head stopping a fight involving him. So he also beat up the principal. That was the start of the 8 time NWA Champion. An early record of World titles that would go unbroken until Ric Flair. Harley is credited with inspiring many a wrestlers including Triple H and CM Punk . As well as amazing feuds with the likes of Dory Funk Jr., Terry Funk, Jack Brisco, The Shiek, Dusty Rhodes, the true first to bodyslam Andre The Giant and headlining the first ever Starrcade against spiritual successor, Ric Flair.




2) Gorgeous George

Ever wonder why there's so many bleach blonde pretty boys in wrestling like Ric Flair, Dolph Ziggler, Johnny B. Badd, Tyler Breeze, Adrian Adonis and on and on and on? Easy. Because in the 1940's, as TV was making it's way into the world, one man discovered the untapped potential of a pro wrestling "character". Gorgeous George decided to forgo the expected "sportman" character of a pro wrestler. Instead opting to create the persona of an overly flamboyant cheating wrestler. This was so innovative at the time it became a massive heat magnet. He was the first to make wrestling relevant and transcend into pop culture. To the point that the likes of Muhammad Ali and James Brown said to draw heavily from the original wrestling superstar.




3) Antonio Inoki

Rikidozan is the father of Japanese pro wrestling, but it is Antonio Inoki who defined the meaning of "Strong Style". Adapting from Karl Gotch's shoot wrestling lessons, Inoki is the founder of the well known NJPW. Inoki is also known for his excursions in WWF and WCW. He drew 150,000 and 190,000 fans in Pyongyang, Korea for the WCW/NJPW events Collision in Korea, headlining against Ric Flair. As well as facing none other than Muhammud Ali as he innovated what would now be known as MMA by adapting his wrestling and martial arts along with a desire to promote fights between different disciplines in Japan, regardless of them being worked or shoots.


You have three great innovators of the business to choose from. Only one can go in and the choice is yours. Feel free to post your reasoning you may have and any argument for why others should vote for someone. But be sure to remember that your post must not be spam. Voting will be open for 2 weeks (From 8/14/15 to 8/28/15), at which point the wrestler with the most votes is inducted into the WZ Hall Of Fame. Have at it.
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  #2  
Old 08-17-2015, 05:34 PM
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So here we have 3 great legends of the industry, but we can only choose 1 for the HOFame. So I guess I'll dissect this using similar criteria that I do in the WZT...

Drawing Power - Defined in a nutshell as putting butts in seats and selling tickets. Marketability such as merch sales and TV ratings and whatnot are thrown out here, because those aspects cannot be normalized when comparing these three. All of them were big draws for their time period, which makes this category fairly even.

George probably drew the most in the shortest amount of time, inflation adjusted, but he lacked the longevity of Race or Inoki. Inoki probably drew the most in raw monetary value, but the Japanese promotions have a history of charging higher ticket prices than promotions in the States like the NWA would have. Adjust that, and Race probably drew the most.

So it really just depends on what you fancy. If quality over a short amount of time is what you value, then George is your man. If you're basing this category on raw monetary value over an entire career, then Inoki is the winner. If you normalize all the values then Race is your man.

I'm more biased towards longevity and raw monetary values, so I'm giving Inoki the point. Even with bloated ticket prices and a much smaller pool of venues to wrestle in, he still managed to draw many huge gates over his career.

Charisma - All of these guys had that in spades. George the flamboyant heel that defined an era. Race the cool badass that carried the NWA during a period where the whole industry was in the doldrums. And Inoki the stoic and calculating shooter whose presence alone inspired millions.

The point for this category is probably quite subjective, but I'm leaning George because not only did he revolutionize the industry with his gimmick, but he's probably become the most imitated man in the history of the sport. And mostly due to his charisma and persona being so captivating.

There were heels just like Race that worked years before Harley did, and there were Japanese wrestlers that captivated audiences before Inoki, but George was the first to really bring his type of gimmick to the mainstream and make it successful. To the point where so many have tried to recapture the lightning he caught in a bottle.

Accolades - Also a difficult category to determine. Race is a former 8 time NWA champion, and has held a vast plethora of other champions to attest to his skill and dependability as a workhorse. Antonio Inoki as well, is also a decorated champion. When he founded NJPW he used the American based National Wrestling Federation championship as his top prize, held the belt 4 times for a longer duration than Race as the the NWA champion, and drew allot of money with it in the process. Inoki also had dominant showings in the tournaments that NJPW held annually, also drawing allot of money with those as well. George wasn't well known as a world champion, because he was treated as more of a novelty, but he did hold the Boston version of Tony Stecher's and Wally Karbo's AWA championship. Which was a historic title as it was considered to be the title that Strangler Lewis predominately held during his prime.

Difficult choice but in sheer impressiveness I'd be tempted to give the nod to Race, but when you consider Inoki's dominance while caring the NWF world title in Japan, and the level of importance that he elevated it too, as well as his domination of the many tournaments that NJPW would run and their level of importance in the wrestling culture backed up by how much money those tournaments drew, I'll give the point to Inoki.

Longevity - Both Race and Inoki had 30+ year careers in the industry. Except, while Race is still very well known in wrestling circles, not many younger casual fans will recognize him, while Inoki has reached genuine recognizably as a pop culture icon in Japan. Much like Hulk Hogan in the States. George probably wrestled longer than either Race or Inoki, as like many youngsters prior to WW2 he got his start as a teen working carnivals. IMO longevity refers to prime, and George probably had a prime that lasted longer than either Race or Inoki, as he caught fire with his Gorgeous persona and remained hot for a good 15-20 years. Race had far less success in the WWE, and Inoki spent several years paying his dues in JWA and the States before catching fire. Though call, but I'm leaning George. Had a long wrestling career and a very long prime.

Consistency - Race, as great a champion in the NWA as he was, didn't find the same level of success in the WWE. Even if it was the twilight of his career. Nonetheless that was a blemish on his consistency. Though he did find success internationally. Inoki was always given super strong booking in Japan and his international record was almost as impeccable. But George, once he hit his prime, remained a huge star even up to his retirement. It's a toss up between Inoki and George, but I'm leaning Inoki, because of all the years he spent as a solid main eventer and his dominance.

In ring ability - Mostly subjective category. Inoki was a fine shooter who could adjust his strong style to a more showier style when need be, and George, well known as a showman due to his persona, was actually a highly skilled shooter and grappler according to Lou Thesz. Race also received praise for his grappling abilities from Thesz, and was a staple performer once sports entertainment became the norm... I think in all honesty I'll give this category to Race.

Overall impact - Also a difficult category. Race is known for being one of the most dominant NWA champions, and carried the promotion during a low period. George, whose gimmick and persona spawned countless imitations and revolutionized the industry the way wrestlers could be portrayed. And Inoki, who is known as perhaps Japan's greatest pro wrestler, and one of the most successful international stars ever. I'm leaning Inoki, because in addition to his success as a wrestler, he was also a very successful promoter, and launched the careers of several well known superstars. his influence extends out of pro wrestling and into modern MMA as well, as many current fighting promotions are off shoots of his original strong style.

So of the 3 choices I casted my vote for Antonio Inoki. For his massive popularity, successes as a champion and promoter, his longevity and consistency as a top talent, and his presence in politics and popular culture. And his influence on pro wrestling and mixed martial arts. The man is a bonafide icon, and deserves to stand with the rest of those that have already been inducted.
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  #3  
Old 08-21-2015, 07:06 PM
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Gorgeous George, hands down.. He's the first true heel the business has ever seen. One of the all-time greats, but same can be said about all 3 of those guys.
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