Why These Wrestlers Will Probably Never Be In The WWE Hall Of Fame

Introduced in 1993 with Andre the Giant as the inaugural inductee, the WWE Hall of Fame commemorates notable performers who've contributed to the company on-screen and off. Aside from the main wing dedicated to wrestlers, it features a celebrity wing and a "Legacy" section for abbreviated inductions. There is also the Warrior Award given to fans and ex-WWE employees, posthumously named after The Ultimate Warrior. Initially a novelty ceremony, the Hall of Fame was relaunched in 2004 to coincide with WrestleMania XX. Ever since, a new class has been inducted annually with the festivities taking place over WrestleMania weekend. Among those inducted into the Hall of Fame include former world champions, main eventers, and promoters. In 2006, groups such as tag teams and stables began being inducted.

Not everyone leads a career worthy of the Hall of Fame, but even those who have may still not be granted entry. Sometimes this is a matter of choice, outright refusing a nomination and the publicity that comes with being a Hall of Famer. Other times, the barriers preventing an induction come down to the legacy of the competitor, whether it's actions they've taken against the company or publicized incidents from their personal lives. To some, the WWE Hall of Fame simply lacks the prestige of others such as the George Tragos/Lou Thesz Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame. In wrestling, nothing is ever set in stone but the following names are unlikely to be on the marquee of the Hall of Fame anytime soon.

Chris Benoit

An internationally-seasoned technician respected by peers and fans, Chris Benoit was a trailblazer for his contributions in the ring. Benoit's life came to an end in July 2007, with his remains being found with his wife Nancy and son Daniel in their suburban Atlanta home. Police concluded that Benoit and his family were slain in a vicious double murder-suicide perpetuated by the Crippler. In the introduction to that week's "ECW" broadcast, Vince McMahon made a public announcement that Benoit would not be referenced by the company on-air. The controversy swept the news cycle for months, bringing the company to its knees as it put a magnifying glass over talent wellness and substance abuse in the sport. Benoit's likeness was edited out of old programming and the company worked hard to avoid mention of him ever again.

Since his passing, there is much discourse regarding how to remember Benoit without glorifying the actions that occurred in his last days. Sections within the wrestling fandom have called for Benoit's induction, citing that his in-ring innovations shouldn't be overshadowed by the events that transpired that summer weekend. Benoit's son David has commented on the situation, approving of his father's induction. Widow of his best friend Eddie, Vickie Guerrero has shown similar sentiment. Benoit's contemporaries such as Steve Austin are opposed to the idea, citing the shadow cast by the atrocities committed in his last 72 hours. During a Reddit AMA (via Sportskeeda), Chris Jericho gave one word on when asked if Benoit should be inducted: "Never." Either way, it doesn't look like it'll ever happen.

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Nancy Toffoloni broke into the wrestling business in 1984 for Championship Wrestling from Florida. As Kevin Sullivan's "Fallen Angel," she was a member of a faction of Satanists. Her and Sullivan married in 1985. Joining WCW in 1996, Woman offered her services to The Four Horsemen and later Chris Benoit. Beginning in kayfabe, the two had a relationship as Benoit feuded with Sullivan before turning into a real affair. She divorced from Sullivan in 1997 and married Chris in 2000, the year they had a son named Daniel. TMZ reported dissent in the Benoit household, with Nancy filing for divorce in 2003 citing Chris' temper and threats of physical violence made towards her. After three months, the divorce and an accompanying restraining order were dropped. In June 2007, the Benoits were found dead by local law enforcement during a wellness check. Nancy had been strangled to death by Chris at 43 years old.

In the "Dark Side of the Ring" two-part documentary covering the tragedy, David Benoit — Nancy's stepson — said "She deserves the recognition she doesn't get." Since the airing of that documentary, fans have been vocal in support of Woman's Hall of Fame induction. While Chris Jericho has opposed the induction of Chris, he advocates for Nancy's saying "She was a pioneer and one of the best in a role that doesn't exist anymore." Mick Foley is another advocate for her induction, but noting it'll be unlikely to happen anytime soon.

Dynamite Kid

Dynamite Kid (Tom Billington) was an agile and explosive wrestler who influenced a generation of future world champions. While not the biggest in the locker room, his speed paired with his physique made him a force to be reckoned with, especially alongside cousin Davey Boy Smith. While Smith joined the Hall of Fame in 2021, his partner wasn't so lucky. 

Billington's legacy is one laden with controversy, with stories of his locker room bullying among the most infamous of the 1980s. Jacques Rougeau of The Quebecers became a rival to Billington, a constant victim of his ribs and accused by the Brit of being a stooge to management. In retaliation for a previous altercation, Rougeau punched Billington in the face with a fist loaded with a roll of quarters. The Bulldogs would be out of the WWF after Survivor Series 1988, and Dynamite Kid never wrestled in the company again.

His bodily deterioration likely contributes to his exclusion from the Hall of Fame as well, as his inclusion would bring about discussions regarding the long-term consequences of the sport. For the last two decades of his life, Billington lived isolated to his home as spinal damage rendered him immobile. Billington died of a heart attack on his 60th birthday in 2018. Billington's daughter Bronwyne has campaigned for her father's induction, noting in an interview with SportsMattersTV that his exclusion likely comes from his reputation.

Marc Mero

Marc Mero entered the wrestling industry in 1990 with a background in football and Golden Gloves boxing, making him a prime candidate for the sport. As WCW's Johnny B. Badd, Mero was pushed as a flamboyant Little Richard-esque primadonna with three World Television Championship reigns. Defecting to the WWF in 1996 under his real name, Mero was managed by his wife Sable to Intercontinental Championship success. Mero suffered a knee injury which took him off television in 1997 and was repackaged as a "Marvelous" boxer. During his absence, Sable's star began to outshine Mero and he fell down the card. He left the promotion in 1999 despite having time left in the first guaranteed contract ever inked by Stamford. After a short return in WCW, Mero wrestled for XPW and TNA before retiring in 2006.

Mero made appearances on cable news networks following the deaths of the Benoit family, discussing substance usage in the industry with CNN's Nancy Grace. In a segment featuring fellow WWE alum Steve Blackman, Mero spoke of his drug abuse while under contract. Mero's comments were met with criticism by wrestlers like WWE coach Dave Finlay, who told Mero "You've got nothing [to do] with this business," during a forum moderated by Grace. On the "Such Good Shoot" podcast (h/t Sportskeeda), Mero believes his comments towards the company's wellness policy ruined his goodwill with them. He would say "I'm vilified from wrestling and blackballed, and probably will never be invited to a WrestleMania, whatever."


Joining the WWF at the same time as her husband Marc, Rena Mero debuted at WrestleMania XII to manage Hunter Hearst Helmsley as Sable. The two were paired together until Mero's knee injury in 1997. As a beautiful blonde bombshell, Sable became a popular act with her starpower crossing over into three appearances for Playboy Magazine. Jim Cornette described Vince McMahon and Vince Russo's infatuation for her on his podcast, saying she'd be more successful taking advice from someone not "panting over them and writing their scripts." 

Following her June 1999 departure, Sable filed a $110 million lawsuit against the organization, claiming she experienced sexual harassment and unsafe working conditions. When Linda McMahon joined the Trump Administration, documents from the case went public. Sable claimed to be booked in lesbian storylines and was asked to show her breasts in front of a live televised crowd. She also claimed to have had her luggage defecated in, which X-Pac has admitted to in later years. Out of court, the two parties settled for an undisclosed amount. Sable returned to WWE in 2003 but has barely been mentioned since.

Speculation regarding Sable's inclusion into the Hall of Fame has been floating for years. Mick Foley advocated for possible induction, saying on "Foley is Pod" (h/t TJRWrestling) that "she was one of the most over women of her generation." That said, Torrie Wilson planned on mentioning her former colleague during her own induction speech, but claimed during a signing at The Asylum Wrestling Store that producers told her she wasn't allowed to do so.


Nailz debuted for the WWF in 1992 as a prisoner with a vendetta against The Big Boss Man, claiming he was abused while incarcerated. The lumbering convict had an intimidating aura despite not being the most gifted in-ring performer, relying on chokes for offense. Nailz was primed for a big push, with matches against marquee talent such as Bret Hart, The Ultimate Warrior, and The Undertaker closing out his run in the company. In December of that year, Nailz was released from his contract after a physical altercation with Vince McMahon. Stemming from a pay dispute, Nailz demanded over $100,000 or he wouldn't perform at that evening's house show. McMahon refused, leading to both parties separating. Nailz accused McMahon of sexual assault, leading to a series of unfruitful lawsuits in the coming years.

When McMahon was tried for steroid charges in federal court in 1994, Nailz took to the stand. Under oath, Nailz made scathing accusations about the company, claiming — among other things — that they pushed their performers to partake in steroid usage. Besides an online fan club dedicated to him, Nailz is remembered as a flash-in-the-pan act towards the end of the Hulkamania era. He has done little since leaving wrestling in 2001 and now lives outside the public eye.

Jack Tunney

Born into the Tunney wrestling family of Canada, Jack Tunney originally partnered with Jim Crockett Promotions and the NWA. After the death of his uncle Frank, who was a founding member of Maple Leaf Wrestling, the Tunneys aligned with Vince McMahon. Swallowing the promotion in its conquest of North American domination, the WWF's Canadian outpost was headed by Tunney. Tasked with running the organization's northern interests, Tunney was successful in getting the WWF a foothold in Toronto. In 1984, Tunney was promoted to kayfabe President. While not having true authority backstage, Tunney was a talking head for major developments such as title matches and suspensions. Tunney was replaced by Gorilla Monsoon as President in 1995 and dismissed from the company due to cutbacks. He stepped away from wrestling and, in 2004, Tunney died of a heart attack.

Bruce Prichard discussed Tunney's exit from the company, wishing to focus on promoting Toronto rather than helping grow the business in neighboring provinces. Due to this rift between the WWE and the Tunneys regarding him being muscled out of a company he help grow internationally, he is rarely referenced. WWE didn't issue a statement mourning Tunney and no one from the organization attended his funeral. In spite of this, fans fondly remember Tunney, with Santino Marella referencing him during a "Raw" episode in 2009.

Bill DeMott

Among the tidal wave of WCW talent that came into the WWF after the 2001 acquisition, Hugh Morrus (Bill DeMott) was a lower-midcard pawn in the companywide Alliance angle. While he was injured in mid-2002, DeMott joined the cast of "Tough Enough" as a trainer. Due to injuries, DeMott worked as a full-time trainer for WWE beginning in 2004. Along with being tasked with forging the company's next generation of stars, DeMott was given the role of booker for Deep South Wrestling. DSW alum Kenny Omega claimed that DeMott's training style was based on toxic old-school toughness and caused legitimate injuries in an RF Video shoot. DeMott was released from WWE in January 2007, replaced by Tom Prichard.

DeMott returned to WWE in 2011 for the rebooted "Tough Enough" program. Claiming the role of FCW's head trainer, DeMott stayed in the promotion's evolution to NXT. Ivelisse Vélez, who signed in November 2011 as Sofia Cortez after a run on the program, claimed on Vince Russo's podcast that her release was in retaliation for reporting DeMott's misconduct. The Washington Post reported of DeMott's misdeeds gaining publicity, leading to his resignation in 2015. After his controversial departure, DeMott hasn't worked in the wrestling industry since, and as such it is a stretch to imagine the company putting him in the Hall of Fame and opening themself to public relitigation of the issues. 

DeMott has denied the accusations, with colleagues like JBL reportedly batting for him on Twitter. DeMott specifically denied Ivelisse's allegations in an appearance for "Monte & The Pharaoh," saying that the company used him as a scapegoat.

Billy Jack Haynes

Billy Jack Haynes's career didn't see the peaks of those who he shared the locker room with during his brief WWF spell beginning in 1986. Nonetheless, he was able to find a place in multiple territories across the United States. His debut feud in the WWF was against Intercontinental Champion "Macho Man" Randy Savage. Haynes was paired with Ken Patera in a low-card tag team, leaving the company in January 1988. Speaking to Rasslin Memories Online, Haynes claimed to have quit the company while strung out on drugs. It's worth noting that Haynes' story has changed over the years, with colleagues like Greg Valentine claiming Haynes' backstage misconduct led to his dismissal. In an interview with "Hannibal TV," Haynes gave his account of a backstage altercation with "Iron" Mike Sharpe at a TV taping.

In 2014, Haynes took part in a lawsuit against the WWE, claiming the company withheld knowledge of prolonged physical effects from wrestling. "Big" Vito LoGrasso and Evan Singleton filed similar suits the following January. Brought before a federal court, the plaintiff list swelled with names including Sabu, Road Warrior Animal, and Patera. The WWE Concussion Lawsuit was dismissed in 2021 despite plaintiffs like Jimmy Snuka and Mr. Fuji exhibiting CTE symptoms in autopsies. Haynes has taken the company to court claiming other forms of bodily harm such as allowing Abdullah the Butcher to infect him with Hepatitis C, as Uproxx reports from a 2014 lawsuit. Given this high profile action against WWE, it's unlikely he'll get any official recognition from them.


While not the most graceful wrestler, Nelson Frazier Jr. found work in an over decade and a half period thanks to his sheer physical presence. Billed at 6'9" and weighing nearly 500 pounds, Frazier had multiple stints with the company under various gimmicks such as Mabel, Viscera, and Big Daddy V. These stints saw him earn accolades such as the 1995 King of the Ring, a Tag Team Championship reign, and run with the Hardcore Championship. 

While taking a shower in his Memphis residence, Frazier died of a heart attack in February 2014. On the first anniversary of his death, Frazier's widow filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the WWE. PWInsider reported on the matter, with Frazier's estate claiming the promotion withheld information regarding the long-term cognitive effects of constant concussions. Frazier was reported to be suffering from symptoms of CTE, such as short-term memory loss, migraines, and depression. By the end of his life, medical treatment bills for his ailments left him in dire straits. Sportskeeda reported in 2016 that the judge threw out the case, citing lack of proof for CTE being the cause of Frazier's untimely passing. 411Mania reports that Frazier's former partner Mo didn't believe his death was the WWE's doing, saying injuries accumulated in other territories are just as culpable. Either way, this lawsuit means WWE likely won't want to honor him anytime soon, if at all.

Dick Murdoch

Roaming the territories in a career spanning 31 years, Dick Murdoch was an resilient brawler who took pride in his redneck roots. Paired with Adrian Adonis, the two clashed, with Adonis a yankee New Yorker and Murdoch a red-blooded Texan. In spite of their differences, the North-South Connection won the WWF Tag Team Championships in April 1984 from Rocky Johnson and Tony Atlas. Murdoch left the territory in the following year. His last WWF appearance occurred in 1995, as the 27th entrant in the Royal Rumble match. In 1996, Murdoch suffered a heart attack and died at the age of 49.

While never a world champion, Murdoch's colorful resume would seemingly make him worthy of Hall of Fame consideration. However, in the years following his death Murdoch has been accused of having racist beliefs. Johnson claimed Murdoch was affiliated with the Ku Klux Klan, stiffing him during their matches. A former heavyweight boxer, Johnson alleges to have knocked Murdoch out in the ring. Atlas, in a shoot with "Hannibal TV," recalled a story where Murdoch told him of a get-together where he'd be "the light of the party." Said party turned out to be patrolled by Klansmen armed with shotguns. When confronted by Atlas, Murdoch claimed he didn't think Atlas would actually go. Ex-WWE writer Alex Greenfield told a story of Murdoch's Texas Outlaws partner Dusty Rhodes accompanying Murdoch to a Klan meeting without being notified it was such beforehand. Jim Cornette has denied these claims.

Buff Bagwell

One of the NWO's midcard fixtures, Buff Bagwell had his roots in the promotion until its downfall. Bagwell's contract was among the earliest bought out by the WWF, in light of its 2001 WCW acquisition. Bagwell faced WCW World and US Champion Booker T in a disaster of a "Monday Night Raw" match in Tacoma. The two were victim to ill-timing, as the following week's tapings were in WCW's citadel of Atlanta – meaning had management waited a week they likely would've gotten a stronger crowd reaction. Upon arriving at next Monday's taping, Bagwell was released due to an altercation with fellow holdout Shane Helms.

Bagwell's dismissal has been subject to controversy, leading to a rift between himself and Jim Ross. Former VP of Talent Relations Ross claims he took no pleasure in giving Bagwell's pink slip on "Grilling JR." He noted Bagwell's history of substance abuse as a contributing factor, as the company was working towards shedding itself of that image. Helms has gone on the record regarding the altercation, claiming he was nursing an injury with a cold water bottle and threw it at a taunting Bagwell, drawing blood in the process. 

In December 2021, The Sportster reported of Bagwell rejecting a spot in the Hall of Fame reached headlines. He was contacted to join the founding three members of NWO and Sean Waltman, but declined the offer. Bagwell hopes for a solo induction, but even he has noted that this is unlikely.

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Inducting The Sheik into the Hall of Fame's Class of 2007 on his uncle's home turf of Detroit, Sabu has had a career that warrants a similar induction. Known most as the daredevil from "Bombay, Michigan," Sabu was ECW's second Triple Crown Champion and joined the WWE in 2005 during its brand relaunch. In the forefront of ECW's invasion, Sabu had a unique lumberjack match versus John Cena

During a traffic stop while on the road in Ohio, then-WWE and ECW World Champion Rob Van Dam and Sabu were arrested. Found within their rental vehicle were substances such as marijuana and painkillers like Vicodin. Jim Ross called the arrest "a stupid mistake and carelessness and selfish," something that put the company in a compromising position. Due to violating the company's wellness policy, RVD dropped both championships in succession and Sabu was fined. After pleading guilty in court, both men were gone from the company the next year.

While Sabu is in the 2300 Arena's Hardcore Hall of Fame, he has dismissed WWE's. During a chat with NonStop Wrestling Chat Sabu disclosed he doesn't see the merit of it. Believing that the company is only nominating names that'll sell tickets, he mentioned he would participate for a large sum of money. In light of the regional sentiment of incoming classes, it should be noted that WrestleMania XL will be in ECW's stomping grounds of Philadelphia. If the company forks over enough cash, perhaps they'll inducted Sabu.

New Jack

As one of the most brutal wrestlers of all time, New Jack's matches were weapon-laden brawls. While not a technician, he possessed an ability to elicit crowd reactions from anyone, whether they were working class rednecks or degenerate hardcore wrestling fans. Jack had a criminal record, with several reported matches turning into near homicides. 

In November 1996, Erich Kulas replaced Axl Rotten in a tag team match featuring D-Von Dudley and The Gangstas. Claiming to be of age with more seasoning than actuality, Jack felt disrespected by Kulas for trying to construct the match. On Kulas' request, Jack cut him with a surgical scalpel and severed two arteries, causing profuse bleeding. The Kulas family took Jack to court but the case was thrown out. In a tweet years later, Jack would say "I don't feel bad at all."

During an independent show in 2004, Jack was struck with stiff shots to the face by Hunter Red. Fed up, Jack gave his receipt in the form of stabbing Red with a metal blade and was arrested. On "Dark Side of the Ring" Jack revealed that Red dropped the charges on the promise that they would work an angle, with Jack ghosting him since. 

Later in his career, critics opposed Jack's active competition. Many Hall of Famers such as Terry Funk and Abdullah the Butcher pioneered the hardcore style, but none have had their body of work directly associated with criminal charges, and thus it's unlikely that — even posthumously — he'd get the call.

John Laurinaitis

In the United States, Johnny Ace (John Laurinaitis) was a midcard act for territories like WCW. Overseas, he was a mainstay gaijin for All Japan with reigns as both All Asia and World Tag Team Champion. After stepping away from in-ring competition in 2000, Laurinaitis worked on WCW's management team until the company shuttered its doors the following year. A carry-on in the WWF's purchase of WCW, Laurinaitis was a road agent before being promoted to Vice President of Talent Relations. After being referenced in CM Punk's iconic pipebomb promo, Laurinaitis was used as an on-air authority figure and stooge to Vince McMahon. Other contributions of Laurinaitis include the popularization of his signature move the Ace Crusher, which has since been utilized by DDP and Randy Orton.

In 2022, McMahon was reported to have wired millions of dollars from the company's coffers to a former employee he was having an affair with. Laurinatis faced accusations of partaking in the activities, being put on administrative leave with Bruce Prichard assuming his duties. PWInsider reported that Laurinaitis was terminated in August after two decades under the WWE banner. His tenure in management has been criticized, with numerous stories coming out over the years regarding his decision making. He's been accused of hiring swimsuit models instead of world-traveled wrestlers and sabotaging developmental booking developments with premature callups. While his brother Road Warrior Animal and daughters-in-law The Bella Twins are in the Hall of Fame, Laurinaitis' chances aren't looking good.

Owen Hart

The runt of the Hart family litter, Owen Hart was a beloved prankster and gifted performer who amazed crowds. As the goofy masked hero The Blue Blazer, Hart was booked to win the Intercontinental Championship off The Godfather at Over the Edge 1999. Before making his entrance, Hart plummeted from the rafters of the Kemper Arena to his death at the age of 34. Hart's family took the WWF to court, filing a wrongful death lawsuit leading to an $18 million settlement in their favor.

Since his death, a rift in Owen's estate has formed between his widow Martha and the Hart family. Martha has been very protective of her late husband's name, not wanting the company she blames his death on to profit from his image. Bret has said that his brother should be in the Hall of Fame, slamming Martha's opposition saying "she can't get over what happened," and is doing harm by erasing his legacy. Ross Hart has said he respects Martha's opinion, with her allowing Owen's joining of the Trago/Thesz Hall of Fame among others. On "Dark Side of the Ring," Martha and their son Oje condemned him ever being in the WWE's, saying a piece of silver with his name chiseled on means little compared to the contributions the Owen Hart Foundation has made to the lives of many.