Thursday, March 30, 2017
Wrestling MarketWatch: WWE Hall of Fame 2017
This is not the first time that the WWE Hall of Fame and our recurring Wrestling MarketWatch feature have come together. The last time was in 2013 for the Hall of Fame ceremony that I had the honor of attending in person. I'm still biased toward that class, headlined by Bruno Sammartino, as being the best, but 2017 is very solid. The names include Kurt Angle, The Rock N Roll Express, Teddy Long, Diamond Dallas Page, Ravishing Rick Rude, and Beth Phoenix. All of the stars have plenty of memorabilia, and as always in MarketWatch we're about to take a look at the recent auction selling prices for some of those items.
*Holla Holla Holla! Teddy "Peanuthead" Long has had a long career in the business performing just about every duty aside from being an actual wrestler. I was always a fan of Long as a manager in WCW. When his run there came to an end, I never imagined that he would almost completely restart in WWE, but after a return to refereeing Long once again became a villainous manager. Arguably, Long's biggest fame came as the long-reigning general manager of Smackdown. His best piece of merchandise commemorates that run, in the form of a Mattel WWE Build-A-Figure. That figure, with all pieces included, has been selling for an average of $30.
*When you're talking the tag team ranks, you have to mention Ricky Morton and Robert Gibson. The Rock N Roll Express have been thrilling fans for over three decades with no end in sight. If you haven't heard a pop for the "R N R X" with your own ears, what are you waiting for? Their battles with the Midnight Express are legendary, but it always seemed that manager Jim Cornette was their true nemesis. One of the biggest highlights of Mania weekend will be seeing, and hearing, Cornette induct Morton and Gibson into the Hall of Fame. As for merchandise, the Express saw loads of it. Their only action figures came under the Jakks WWE Classic Superstars banner. Notorious for having the boys hair colors swapped, the figures are still high in demand. A carded set recently sold for $140.
*A long time coming, the WWE Hall of Fame is about to get a Rude Awakening. Posthumously, Ravishing Rick Rude will be inducted this year by WCW nemesis Ricky "The Dragon" Steamboat. Rude is still rather underrated in my book. Do enough searching and you can watch his work in and out of the ring get better and better as he floats from the territories, Jim Crockett Promotions, WWF, and WCW. His WWF-era promos were as believable as any wrestler to come along, despite the over-the-top gimmick. That gimmick has given way to a number of great action figures. Even though the first was more of a statue than a figure, it's part of the infamous WWF Wrestling Superstars '89 series, the last group of the legendary LJN line. That figure recently sold out of package for $87.
It's a stellar group of names that actually fills some gaps that fans have complaining about for awhile now. Will Cornette's return open the door for a Midnight Express induction in 2018? Will Angle make an impact on WWE's future? Will Theodore R. Long book a tag team match? There's only one way to find out, playa.