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January 17, 2022 Observer Newsletter: 2021 Observer Hall of Fame issue, MLW sues WWE

New members voted into the Wrestling Observer Hall of Fame, MLW launches antitrust lawsuit against WWE, and more.

Kazuchika Okada, Los Brazos (Brazo de Oro & Brazo de Plata & El Brazo), along with promoters Jim Crockett Jr. and Don Owen were elected this year into the Wrestling Observer Hall of Fame.

In something unprecedented, the first three were named on 80 percent or more of the ballots from their region and time frame.

Okada, for obvious reasons, was a given. It could be argued that he was the strongest candidate in many ways at the time he was first put on the ballot since we started doing Hall of Fame voting in 1998. One could argue The Rock because of his record setting drawing power as the strongest but Okada would be in the very short list.

In baseball, which has similar voting, the top guys get higher percentage than here but even in that balloting there was always controversy regarding the absolute no-brainers not getting unanimous treatment. While pure unanimous will never happen because many voters don’t follow Japan, but if Okada didn’t get close to unanimous regional, I don’t think it’s possible. I really can’t come up with a reason to vote for a Japanese candidate and not vote for him. But you had people who simply won’t vote for a younger candidate and others who probably figured he’s getting in so let’s use our votes to help out others. This didn’t happen with Kenta Kobashi. Kobashi will likely be the person who historically ends up with the highest percentage in history at a mark that will probably never be broken.

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