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THE RANT: A List of Women Wrestlers More Deserving of a Hall of Fame Nod Than Beth Phoenix

Posted By James Walsh on 01/17/17

As you probably heard either here hidden in a spoiler or elsewhere, the female inductee (assuming there is only 1 as in prior years) for the 2017 WWE Hall of Fame class is the iconic... Beth Phoenix... No, really. I'm not kidding. It is Beth Phoenix. So, I got to thinking, as I do, and I thought of a list of women who are more deserving than Phoenix for the WWE Hall of Fame. Because, the list of those more deserving is probably longer than the list of those not deserving. I'm sorry, but it is true.

I do want to note that this is NOT an insult to Beth Phoenix personally. I think she was an awesome worker. But, being good at something does not mean you're a Hall of Famer if the credentials do not support it. Her credentials are slight at best. She was not there very long! And, when she was, she was a valet to Santino in a comedy gimmick and the Divas Champion in perhaps the weakest era of the title since the 90's. Sure, she was in the Royal Rumble but what did she really do there? Flirted with a big Indian dude and then got eliminated? Is that Hall of Fame worthy? No, no it isn't.

So, I've borrowed Chris Jericho's paper from his 1,004 Holds list on Nitro and jotted down names and an explanation as to why they are more deserving than Beth Phoenix.

Here we go!

Miss Elizabeth - The First Lady of Wrestling who was the only real female in wrestling's first huge boom of the more modern era, the Rock and Wrestling era. She was the female face of the WWF circa 1985-1992 and a big part of WCW as a member of the Horsemen and the nWo in WCW. She added a great deal to the "Macho Man' Randy Savage's career as well as to the careers of Hulk Hogan, Ric Flair, Lex Luger, and others. Simply put, she ought to be in already. But, her death and the circumstances around it probably play a part as to why she is not in. I also have heard that her family is against her being recognized however they did permit an action figure a few years back and video game appearances in recent years as well. So, their opposition cannot be THAT strong.

Missy Hyatt - The First Lady of Wrestling in her own right. Missy had a career that saw her in regional territories, Georgia, World Class, WCW, and ECW. Her ditsy blonde character had her as the desirable woman in a different way than Elizabeth of the 80's and early 90's. In ECW, she played the seductive MILF type character. Nick named the "Walking Riot", she is every bit as controversial as she is popular. What keeps her out, in all likelihood, is her Wrestling Vixxxens and later Missy TV sites where she posed naked. Sure, Tammy Sytch posed naked as well for the Vixxxens site but if it makes any sense, Missy was more nude. Plus, Missy has done a "kiss and tell" kind of book which probably made some of the guys she calls out less than favorable of her and some of those people may be in positions of power right now to keep her out. But, her impact on wrestling is undeniable.

Sable - Like her or not, Sable was perhaps the most over female performer in the WWE's Attitude Era. She wore next to nothing and also learned novice wrestling moves to create the illusion that she knew how to be a bad ass. Her issue of Playboy was hugely popular. I mean HUGELY popular. Her split from WWE the first time was down right dirty and her return was a major turn of face by her creating questions of her integrity and rightfully so. But, for a good hot minute there, Sable was the biggest star in WWE. Now married to Brock, wouldn't that make a lot of esnse to put her in?

Luna Vachon - With a name like Vachon, she was destined to be tough. Luna was introduced to wrestling as a sweet sweet thing that got knocked :ass over tea-kettle", as Kevin Sullivan eloquently put it, by the Taskmaster himself and started her on the dark character she became known for. Her Halloween wedding to Gangrel was awesome during the Attitude Era and, earlier than that, her brutal encounters with Sherri Martel during the early days of RAW pushed the censors to the limits. Luna even beat up men in the ring before it was cool for women to be able to do that as she defeated, to name but one, Stevie Richards in ECW. Simply put, if Luna does not belong in, who does? RIP.

Kimberly Page - Kimberly was the Diamond Doll for DDP before she went babyface and became the Booty Babe and lets just say she owned that title well. She also became the leader of the Nitro Girls which was WCW's answer to sex appeal during the Monday Night Wars. Many are critical of the Nitro Girls but they added an element to the show that was necessary. Kimberly also was the first wrestling personality of the modern era to pose in any version of Playboy. A few years later, WWE was leaving Divas on Hugh Heffner's door step naked with a sign that read, "Please Put Me On the Cover." I'm exagerating. But, I'm not far off the truth... Am I?

Chyna - Chyna came in to the WWE with Triple H after having dated Brutus Beefcake. Though very butch, Chyna earned the respect of the wrestling fans. While her physical appearance changed to a more muscular female persona instead of a rather butch look originally, Chyna became a legitimate bad ass woman who looked good and could beat up the men. She took what Sable started and took it to the next level. After Triple H dumped her after cheating on her with Stephanie McMahon and landing the cushy spot of COO of WWE as a result, Chyna was fired unfairly. Her life after WWE was a trainwreck including a sex tape with Sean "X Pac" Waltman who she later claimed beat her and her eventual pornographic career where she banged 9 mock wrestlers dressed in WWE costumes including a mock Vince McMahon and a mock Stephanie McMahon ina 3-way. Offensive? Yes, it was. Frankly, that is likely the reason she will never go in to the Hall of Fame despite her death and contributions to wrestling. But, if you only base it on what she did in WWE, she should go in long before Beth Phoenix is considered.

Molly Holly - While Molly Holly's run in the WWE was up and down, she did some incredible things in her wrestling career. From being a member of Randy Savage's "Team Madness" to her WWE days as the sister of the Holly's, Bob and Crash all the way to being the first female I can think of to lose a Hair versus Hair match and ACTUALLY get shaved. All of this is memorable. More memorable than anything Beth Phoenix did.

Dawn Marie - Dawn Marie was a stripper who ended up in wrestling. In ECW, Dawn came in as Tammy Lynn Bytch which was a rip on Sunny who was off and on with ECW at the time as she was paired with Lance Storm against Chris Candido, Sunny's boyfriend. Dawn was even given a Motley Crue song called "Hell on High Heels" to be her theme song in 2000 but never actually got to use it because Paul Heyman forgot that Motley Crue actually likes to get paid for their works. Dawn learned tow restle and had some matches on the indy scene before making it to WWE where she played the love interest of Vince McMahon and later the love interest of Torrie Wilson's father who she killed... By accident! Dawn later created Wrestler's Rescue which was created to make money for the wrestlers that could not get health insurance or were down and out. The idea was good, the way it was operated was not. But, Dawn Marie too did far more for wrestling than Beth Phoenix ever did.

Francine - Though her WWE stint was quick, Francine was the sex symbol of ECW. The "Bestmaster", "Head Cheerleader", and "Queen of Extreme" brought a level of skin, violence, and sexual storylines that helped shape ECW as the underground wrestling company that was different from the rest. Sadly, the rest followed suit and stole ECW's formula. Francine was letting the "Pigeons Loose" as Velvet Sky called her ring entrance, cat fighting with all the girls, and taking sick hardcore bumps through tables like the Pitbulls' Super Bomb and kendo sticks to the face long before either WWE or WCW ever dreamed it up. She was hardcore when hardcore was underground cool, not mainstream bastardized.

Rockin' Robin - When your blood lines include Grizley Smith, Jake "The Snake" Roberts, and Sam Houston, you'd better know how to wrestle! Often a forgotten part of the WWE, Rockin' Robin was a former WWF Women's Champion in the late 80's and was one of few women performers to get regular TV time. Though her career ended quietly in smaller TV companies, Robin had her moment in the sun and did more for women's wrestling than Beth Phoenix.

Candice Michelle - Candice Michelle was a big player in WWE for a hot minute during about the same time as Beth Phoenix was there. She came in on the heels of a controversial Super Bowl commercial that saw her shake what she's got in a tight white T shirt. She went from literal T&A to being a capable in ring performer. At WrestleMania, the whole crowd chanted "Dirty Sanchez" at her and she did not let it bug her. Google the term if you're curious.

Ivory - You talk about a good worker with all the qualities that made the Attitude Era popular? She was not eye candy even though she was! What I mean is, she was a full blown worker who looked the part of a WWE Diva before there was such a thing. From appearances with the AWA all the way through her WWE run which included her being a part of Right to Censor as well as an on screeen host, she literally saw wrestling at all levels. Deserving of the Hall of Fame? You bet!

Stacy Keibler - While she is more a celebrity than a wrestler, Stacy Keibler's legs was a bright spot of the later days of WCW. WWE exploited that with a cover of ZZ Top's "She's Got Legs" by Kid Rock and put her legs, and where her legs end, on as many items as they could. While I can't name any match she had that was terribly great, her impact on wrestling was far greater than that of Beth Phoenix.

Tjere are SO many more, but I think my point is made. Beth Phoenix is going in because she is married to Edge. She might be well respected, and rightrfully so. But, so many have done more and mean more to the history of wrestling than this particular performer. That is nto to be mean, it is just being truthful!