This time every year, WWE announces a new member of their Hall of Fame. Thousands complain while noting the people who haven't yet been inducted.
That train is never late.
Ivory, a former WWE Women's Champion, was announced Monday as a member of the 2018 class. I've seen less-congratulations to Ivory and more complaints about who isn't in. This is because too many don't really understand or want to acknowledge what the WWE Hall of Fame ceremony is.
It's another booked wrestling show.
No public and consistent criteria to get in or be eligible. Nobody other than Vince McMahon has the ability to dictate who goes in. No fan voting. No media input.
It's booked like a wrestling show with spots to fill. The first spot is the main event name. One other semi-big name who had some main event matches in their career. A female. A tag-team. Then there's either a manager or mid-carder spot. Finally, let's not forget the celebrity wing. There's also the attraction from the stories and speech given by who is chosen to induct them each member of the class.
That's all there is to it. A wrestling show where everyone is in tuxedos.
If WWE inducted based on top to bottom popularity and accomplishment—the well would run dry quickly. By 2025, if not sooner, there wouldn't be much left with enough drawing power to sell tickets and interest to watch.
I wouldn't be shocked if eventually, WWE shoots an angle at the ceremony. You know, someone stands up and cuts the speaker off and then the speaker's son or daughter gets up to defend their honor. It's inevitable.
The official Pro Wrestling Hall of Fame does it the best if you're looking for a standardized format. They induct someone based upon a division. They have the TV era, modern era, referee division and more which at least gives you more rules by who is applicable.
They also have a physical Hall of Fame. When it was still in upstate New York, I had the honor of traveling there in a group of legends in the business in a few cars leaving Pittsburgh. In this group, I was with Dominic Denuicci and Bruno Sammartino (this was a few years before he went to WWE's HOF). What an experience walking through rooms of documented tradition with tradition walking beside me. Mick Foley even snuck in to the small ceremony surprise DeNucci, who broke him in to the business.
That Pro Wrestling Hall of Fame has since moved to Wichita Falls, Texas. I encourage you to check it out if ever in the area. They can afford to do their inductions the way they do because their ceremony isn't expecting huge revenue. It's not meant to sell out an arena as part of the kickoff to the biggest 5 consecutive days in one town like WWE's is.
Despite the arbitrary nature of WWE's Hall of Fame, being inducted still means something. For the talent going in, it means it's at least one more time the company and McMahon are relying on them to draw.
It's one more payday. One more spotlight. One more entrance to the music. One more promo on the mic.