Former World Champion Edge and the Four Horsemen were unveiled last night as the first inductees into the WWE Hall of Fame for 2012.
The Four Horsemen (Ric Flair, Arn Anderson, Tully Blanchard, Barry Windham and manager JJ Dillon) were one of the most influential stables in wrestling history. I was not fortunate enough to see them when they were at the height of their success in the mid 1980s in NWA. Each member had a defined role and Flair, of course, was their leader.
The only modern-day stable that I can equate to The Four Horsemen was what the WWE tried to do with Evolution (Flair, Triple H, Randy Orton and Batista). The Four Horsemen became the measuring stick for all future stables. Today, stables are rarely used and if so, they don’t last as long.
Edge had a brilliant but short career compared to his peers in the Hall of Fame. Yet, in such a short time he accomplished so much: 11-time World Champion, five-time Intercontinental Champion, 14-time Tag Team Champion (seven times with Christian), 2001 King of the Ring, winner of the 2010 Royal Rumble and won Money in the Bank twice.
He was one of the founding fathers of bringing the ladder match back into the WWE. Before Edge, Christian and The Hardy Boyz came along, there was no memorable ladder matches on WWE programming. You have to go all the way back to Wrestlemania X in 1994 for Shawn Michaels vs. Razor Ramon.
As great of a heel Edge was, he was just as good as a face and there are not many guys who you can say that about. His career was abruptly ended following Wrestlemania last year after years of neck trauma finally caught up to him. Edge underwent three surgeries on his neck during his career forcing him to miss extended periods of time. As much as the ladder matches made his career, they also took years away from him.
So far this is a brilliant Hall of Fame class. It will be interesting to see if Flair shows up for his induction as he is a member of TNA. Flair was selected to the Hall of Fame in 2008 for his singles career. He was on hand for last year’s event to see Michaels’ induction and he was under contract at TNA.
The WWE doesn’t like to stagger too many big names for one class so I don’t anticipate anymore A-list names. Edge and the Horsemen are two pretty big names thus far. With Wrestlemania 28 in Miami it’s very possible The Rock could be announced at some point. Yet, another reason for fans to boo John Cena. Randy “Macho Man” Savage would be a great selection but the
WWE might not want to go there less than one year after his death. The company did induct right Eddie Guerrero right away, but he was on the active roster when he passed away.
Hey, Brock Lesnar is free.