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WWE Hall Of Fame 2012: Yokozuna expected in, Randy Savage out

Our friend Mike Johnson at the pro wrestling site with spyware has recently reported that the next big name likely to be announced for WWE's Hall Of Fame class in 2012 will be the late Yokozuna, joining the already announced names of Mil Mascaras, Edge and The Four Horsemen of Ric Flair, Barry Windham, Tully Blanchard, Arn Anderson and J.J. Dillon.

Yokozuna is another worthy pick, as he was the top heel in the promotion for fifteen months from winning the Royal Rumble in 1993 until dropping the WWF title to Bret Hart at WrestleMania X after 280 days in his second run as champion. He also formed a fun little and large heel tandem with Owen Hart in 1995 that held the WWF Tag Team Championships twice, and had a memorable babyface turn and feud with Vader in the first half of 1996 before his weight problems spiralled out of control, which eventually led to his premature death at the age of 34 in the year 2000. Given his ties to the Anoi'a family, The Rock would be the favourite to induct him. If not, then his most famous career rival, Bret Hart, would likely be chosen to do the honors.

What this also means is that it is highly unlikely that Randy Savage will be inducted this year, despite his death eight months ago. According to Dave Meltzer in this week's Wrestling Observer Newsletter, this year's Hall Of Fame class has already been completely chosen and Lanny Poffo has claimed that he has not been contacted by WWE about a possible induction (or even offered any condolences when he passed away). Lanny may have irked WWE management with his public insistence that due to his late brother's wishes that his family would only accept Savage's induction into the WWE Hall Of Fame if he and his father Angelo were inducted at the same time too.

However, it is more likely that Vince McMahon still holds a grudge against Randy Savage even after his death for reasons that have never been adequately explained, although no-one has ever debunked the rumours that Savage slept with an 18-year-old Stephanie McMahon before leaving the WWF in late 1994. Indeed, the reason why Lex Luger is believed to have been passed over for induction as part of the Four Horsemen is due to remaining heat over the circumstances surrounding his late girlfriend's Elizabeth Hulette's death. Vince McMahon apparently still blames Lex for corrupting Miss Elizabeth and getting her involved in a drug fuelled lifestyle that led to her eventual tragic overdose on alcohol and prescription painkillers. There's also the fact that he turned up on the first edition of WCW Nitro while working for the WWF on a handshake agreement.

Speaking of wrestlers turning up on a rival promotion's TV show, TNA has yet to make a decision on what action to take about WWE's announcement that Ric Flair will be inducted into their Hall Of Fame for a second time as part of the Four Horsemen. Flair has insisted he'll be there on stage for the induction ceremony, which seems to be an attempt to force TNA's hand into letting him appear. As Meltzer reported, privately he's not 100-percent sure for the obvious reasons:

Privately he has admitted it's not a done legal issue but referred to getting TNA's approval as a technicality. But Flair always looks at things in the most positive manner when it comes to these type of situations.

Flair is probably right, just because it would make both WWE and TNA look bad if he didn't attend the ceremony, but it's far from a guarantee as TNA would be well within their rights to block the appearance.

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