WSU Hall of Fame Ceremony
Women Superstars Uncensored
Reviewed by Joe Babinsack
Hall of Fame: three words that bear a lot of debate, a lot of interest, a lot of animosity, depending upon who you talk to.
There are fans who are overwhelmingly for or against the concept of a Hall of Fame for professional wrestlers. Those that love the concept want their heroes to get their justice and appreciation and accolades. Those who are cynical and jade and like yours truly, find the flaws, explode the weaknesses and yell and scream and laugh at the notion of certain facades of marketing gimmicks that call themselves a Hall of Fame.
But more about that later.
Are there “real” Halls of Fame for professional wrestling? Sure. One’s in Amsterdam, NY, there’s one in Iowa that blends amateur and professional, and then there’s this one that is being created by WSU.
I love the concept of a Women Wrestling Hall of Fame. I hope that WSU eventually makes it “real” by building some sort of physical representation of it, or some web site, or something more than just a reason to release a DVD each year.
I also hope there come about a set of criteria that can be debated, instead of debating whether it really exists or not.
But with this one, the thought counts, and the entrants have been worthy.
This year, those honored are Jana, Cindy Rogers, Georgiann Makropoulos and Dixie Carter.
Debatable? Yeah, and we can play Sesame Street alright, but let’s put the debate off until we extol the merits of the first three ladies.
Jana is the kind of talent that any legitimate, company Hall of Fame can tout. She is a veteran of WSU, a promotion that began in 1996. The Hall of Fame began in 2009. I know Jana to be a solid wrestler, someone who exudes toughness in the ring, someone who has been built up by the promotion with a killer finisher (the Jana-lock), and who recently held the WSU Tag Team Championship with Latasha (as The Soul Sisters). Latasha had the honor of inducting her tag team partner.
As a veteran, as a long time and integral member of the WSU roster, Jana deserves the nod.
Cindy Rogers is another long time talent, and has retired from in-ring action. She continues to provide color for the promotion, and is presented by Mercedes Martinez.
Rogers had a ten year career, had appeared across the indy world, has won various Championships, and had some brutal matches but has been best known for her in-ring skill. She was touted as the “Definition of Technician” and held that reputation in various promotions, and especially in WSU.
In terms of longevity, meaning to the company and reputation, she’s a worthy addition to the Hall.
Next, we have a lady who never wrestled, but was easily the world’s greatest professional wrestling fan.
Georgiann Makropoulos is the distinctive member of this Hall of Fame class. She was a positive force in the industry for some fifty years, never had a detractor, always helped others in the business, and her Chatterbox newsletter and associated efforts of promoting talent can never be replaced.
“Georgie”, as I’ve known her name, from many talks with Bruno Sammartino, was a rare personality who inexplicably was the President of Fan Clubs for both Buddy Rogers and Bruno. But that’s merely one part of her industry credentials, along with her years of prominent placement at Madison Square Garden and other arenas, and her behind the scenes efforts on so many levels.
I will always remember her as the person who got me my first Bruno call (don’t tell Chris Cruise!) and I know her presence and influence from personal emails, Bruno and Dave Meltzer.
There’s no question that a Women’s Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame needs Georgie, and April Hunter did a great job of introducing her, and her husband (George) was distinctly moved when accepting the gracious honor.
And then there’s the controversy….
WSU Announcer Jon Harder introduces Dixie Carter as a top executive in a top professional wrestling company.
Well, yeah, who can argue that?
We’re told that this wasn’t a gimmick, wasn’t a way to get Dixie Carter to appear (she didn’t) and was a deserving choice. I’m not so convinced, but WSU has used a lot of TNA talent, and if Dixie approves, there is a sense of business going on that makes sense.
Her public acknowledgement defers to the Knockout Division, so she does make it all about the ladies she has wrestling for her. For that, I’m avoiding any unnecessary harshness, but to do so I need to avoid reflecting upon TNA’s track record on so many things, not the least of which is the latest hiring to head that very division that was touted.
The rest of the DVD contains a sampling of the talents of Jana and Cindy Rogers in the ring, allowing the viewer to experience some great matches and some great looks at why these ladies are part of the ceremony.
As a feel-good DVD, the price is right and it shows a lot of class for WSU to continue to establish itself as a top indy promotion for Women’s Wrestling. For that reason, and for the inclusion of Georgie, I couldn’t pass up talking about it.
As for Hall of Fames, I had a conversation with Bruno last night, and his take on Hall of Fames is that he’s in the real Hall of Fame for Professional Wrestling, so that ends all controversy!