The 2019 class for the WWE Hall of Fame just has two names so far, but WWE seems to be selecting people from different eras to give this year’s class more appeal. The first announced inductee was Degeneration X from the Attitude Era and the latest name announced was Honky Tonk Man from the Golden Age of wrestling.
Honky’s heyday was over 30 years ago and we’ve yet to hear his thoughts on being in this year’s class. But Wrestling Inc. did conduct an interview with him in 2012 in which he talked about the Hall of Fame and inducting Koko B. Ware into it a couple of years earlier.
“I enjoyed it. I thought it was a great thing for Koko,” said Honky Tonk Man. “Koko and I had trained together and the call just came out of the blue. Normally, someone that inducts someone has already been inducted themselves. But, I didn’t mind it. I enjoyed being there. It wasn’t even about the pay day or anything like that because I got screwed on the rent-a-car and several other things I never got my money for. Going there and doing that for Koko was fine with me.
“We started together and trained for a year together. Even today, if they put he and I in a match together, we’d have the same match. It might not be as fast as it was back then, but we could have the same match that we had 30 years ago in training camp. I enjoyed being there and doing that for him. I didn’t care about being around the rest of the people. I didn’t work for the company, so I didn’t give a s–t.”
Honky inducted Ware into the Hall of Fame in 2009 and was asked why he hadn’t yet received a call for the hall at that time.
“Well, they called me the next year,” revealed Honky Tonk Man. “I was living here in Phoenix and they wanted to do it in Phoenix but I was already booked doing the Wizard World Comic Book Convention. I had a contract with those guys. I had a Toronto date the same weekend.”
Many, including Honky himself, have referred to him as the greatest Intercontinental champion of all-time due to his record 454-day reign. Yet he still hadn’t been inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame when we caught up with him for a 2018 interview.
In an interview with Andy Malnoske for Wrestling Inc. last year, Honky was critical of WWE’s Hall of Fame and said it was more of a TV show than anything of significance.
“The Hall of Fame, if it comes, it comes. It’s not something I pander for or I wait on,” stated Honky Tonk Man. “I’ve been critical of the Hall of Fame and some of the things they’ve done and how they do it. To the fans, I know that you’re gonna say I’m bitter, I’m hateful and all those things, but I’m not. It’s a TV show right now, it’s not a Hall of Fame.
“It’s not like you get a big $35,000 diamond ring like you see the Super Bowl guys wear… If you’re gonna do it, make it that kind of a thing. Don’t have the gimmicks go out and be the gimmick on TV. If they ask me to go out and say we want you to wear a jumpsuit I would just say, ‘If that’s what you want me to do, forget about it,’ because I’m not that character anymore. If you want me to be that character, put me on TV, give me a contract, use me full-time and I’ll do that.”
We’ve seen recent Hall of Fame inductees like Kurt Angle and Jeff Jarrett turn their enshrinements into in-ring appearances, so perhaps Honky got a contract and will be on TV after he goes into the hall.
At the very least, the longest-reigning IC champion in WWE history will get his rightful place in the Hall of Fame.
You can hear the full 2012 interview with the Honky Tonk Man in the latest episode of the WINCLY. The episode also includes a new interview with Sean Waltman, who discussed who should induct DX in the Hall of Fame, Sean’s full WINCLY interview in the embedded player below. In it he also discusses how it feels to finally be going into the WWE why WWE decided to induct DX this year, whether his son has plans to become a pro wrestler, Honky Tonk Man being inducted alongside DX and more.
You can check out past episodes of the WINCLY here.