On April 2, 2020, during WrestleMania 36 weekend, the latest gathering of wrestling legends will take place once more.
The WWE Hall of Fame Class of 2020 will step out on the grand stage to speak on their accomplishments and give their adoring fans a final bow. In 2018, that exact scenario played out for The Honky Tonk Man, Torrie Wilson, Brutus “The Barber” Beefcake, D-Generation X, Harlem Heat, The Hart Foundation, and Warrior Award recipient Sue Aitchison.
Looking forward to 2020’s installment of WWE’s honorary centerpiece for legendary wrestlers should give fans plenty of reason to get excited – the first two inductees, Batista and the New World Order, are worth the price of admission alone. More big names are on the way and they’ll all get their just due during WWE’s 2020 Hall of Fame ceremony. Let’s get into the entirety of the WWE Hall of Fame Class of 2020 and take a peek at the greatness each inductee brought to the wrestling business during their tenure.
THEY GAVE HIM WHAT HE WANTED! In all seriousness though, I’m overjoyed at the fact that Batista is finally entering the WWE Hall of Fame. To see him go from a violent church deacon to “The Animal” with that awesome Saliva theme song has been quite the wild ride. Batista’s best years definitely came in 2005 and 2009 – him coming out of the shadow of his Evolution stablemates and turning into an extra cocky version of himself during his grudge with John Cena were definite career highlights.
His tag team title run alongside Rey Mysterio was also one of Batista’s bigger moments as well. Even though I wasn’t the biggest fan of his career-ending feud with Triple H, Batista’s relatively short WWE run produced plenty of entertaining moments that warrant his Hall of Fame inclusion. Let’s all hope he brings out his Evolution family during his final WWE bow. DRAX THE DESTROYER’S FINALLY IN THE WWE HALL OF FAME!
New World Order (“Hollywood” Hulk Hogan, Kevin Nash, Scott Hall, and Sean Waltman)
Another major stable is getting WWE Hall of Fame honors. And what’s even crazier about this induction is the fact that it’s the second time each man within this legendary stable is receiving a Hall of Fame induction ring. The OG’s of WCW’s greatest stable are injecting their dose of poison into the WWE Hall of Fame.
“Hollywood” Hulk Hogan, Kevin Nash, Scott Hall and “Syxx” Sean Waltman are going to don those iconic classic black and white shirts for their “2 Sweet” speech. I hope and pray a few of the nWo’s less celebrated members come out on stage to honor their fellow brothers – Big Show, Ted DiBiase, referee Nick Patrick, and Scott Norton need to pop up for a surprise appearance, I say. The New World Order defined WCW in the mid to late 90s, so their group inclusion makes all the sense in the world.
The Bella Twins (Nikki Bella & Brie Bella)
Prepare to lose faith in humanity (even more) when you realize this – we live in a world where the friggin’ Bella Twins are getting into the WWE Hall of Fame before Miss Elizabeth, Victoria, Luna Vachon, Jazz, AJ Lee and countless other legit Hall of Fame ladies. It’s downright laughable that a pair of women who offered nothing more than horrible angles and forgettable matches are about to receive Hall of Fame rings in 2020. When Nikki and Brie Bella spring up during a conversation about wrestling, several terrible memories immediately come to mind – the unwelcome return of “twin magic,” the infamous “I wish you died in the womb! promo,” terrible theme songs from both women and Nikki wasting a WrestleMania 33 spot on a marriage proposal that ultimately led to a breakup.
I totally understand that the WWE Hall of Fame is clearly more of a promotional event that’s used to make money more than honor only legit wrestling luminaries. Even with all that said, it’s still unfathomable how the talentless Bella Twins are getting a Hall of Fame nod before countless other (and far more deserving) men and women. THEY EVEN GOT IN BEFORE CHRISTIAN OF ALL PEOPLE! This induction is honestly a waste of time and a bathroom break for everyone who’s going to be there live at this event.
John “Bradshaw” Layfield
“Because I…AM A WRESTLING…GOD!” When the financial guru/master of the Clothesline From Hell uttered those words, I got goosebumps every time. John “Bradshaw” Layfield is a fine pick for his year’s WWE Hall of Fame Class – his promo/commentary accolades speak for themselves, plus his WWE Championship run on SmackDown back in 2004-2005 was nothing short of legendary. He didn’t make much of a splash during his initial time spent in the company. But once he aligned himself with Farooq and turned the Acolytes into the APA, he became a weekly highlight on Monday Nights. I’ll never forget that “knock before you come in” rule the APA adopted during their Attitude Era stint.
Once John cut his hair low, started rocking custom made suits and donned a cowboy hat, his greatness was fully put on display. His promo game increased to amazing levels of egoism and his win over Eddie Guerrero for the title in 2005 was a genuine shocker. Even after he dropped the strap, JBL still managed to stay in the upper midcard with feuds against Batista, Shawn Michaels, John Cena, Finlay, etc. For a man once designated as nothing more than a Hardcore Championship contender, JBL pushed past the glass ceiling and transitioned into one of the best WWE Champions of all time. This Hall of Fame honor is well deserved.
“The British Bulldog” Davey Boy Smith
IT’S ABOUT DAMN TIME! This induction is long overdue. Davey Boy Smith has been on the tip of every wrestling fans’ tongue every time the WWE Hall of Fame’s next lineup of inductees comes around. I’m overjoyed at the fact that one of the U.K.’s greatest wrestlers of all time is finally getting his just due in 2020. Davey Boy Smith’s legacy is filled with championship victories, great runs in the WWF and WCW, and a collection of high-profile matches with other wrestling legends. Some of the highlights of his career include his time spent alongside the Dynamite Kid as a member of The British Bulldogs, his solo title reigns as Intercontinental and European Champion, and his noteworthy bouts against legends like Bret Hart, Owen Hart, and Big Van Vader.
Davey’s untimely passing in 2002 was incredibly unfortunate, which is why I thought he’d be inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame much earlier. But in this case, it’s better late than never. Fans of 80s and 90s wrestling have fond memories of everything The British Bulldog was ever involved in. While his late 90s return to the WWF was a letdown, Davey still has a collection of past accomplishments that supersede that down period of his career. Davey Boy Smith was one of the most athletic and visually impressive wrestlers of his time. And it comes as no shock that he’s finally making his way to the WWE Hall of Fame.
Jushin “Thunder” Liger
WWE loves to include an international wrestling legend at the Hall of Fame. If we’re specifically talking about Japanese inductees, then Antonio Inoki and Tatsumi Fujinami must be mentioned. Joining his fellow NJPW veterans is the junior heavyweight great known as Jushin “Thunder” Liger. At this year’s past Wrestle Kingdom show, Liger wrestled his final two matches and celebrated his retirement with the young boys and modern-day superstars he helped inspire to become wrestlers. Jushin’s long-running career spanned decades and included him competing in his native Japan and all over the world.
For 90s wrestling heads, Liger should be familiar to you all. If you have no clue who Liger is (first off, shame on you!), then do your Google’s and watch the man’s career highlights. He’s competed in amazing matches against Flyin’ Brian Pillman, Rey Mysterio, Dean Malenko, Juventud Guerrera, etc. In Japan, he ascended to legendary status as a Jr. Heavyweight and even competed against top-card heavyweights. He also made a splash in the US while competing for TNA, Ring of Honor, other independent wrestling feds and even NXT back in 2015. Liger is one of the greatest masked wrestlers of all time and is deserving of this Hall of Fame honor.