Buddy Rose: A Radical Change for the WWE Hall of Fame

Each year, many deserving names are left out of the WWE Hall of Fame. Before his untimely passing, wrestling legend Buddy Rose felt this process needed to be changed!

Before his passing, Playboy Buddy Rose felt the WWE Hall of Fame needed to be changed.
Before his passing, Playboy Buddy Rose felt the WWE Hall of Fame needed to be changed.

Buddy Rose on the WWE Hall of Fame

If you wracked your brain, you could probably come up with a hundred solo candidates throughout wrestling history more than worthy of WWE Hall of Fame induction.

Dozens of wrestlers campaigned heavily in the old WWWF and WWF territory, warranting all the bells and whistles for the main induction ceremony.

These individuals were clearly on the radar of Vince McMahon as many worked for both Senior and Junior and should have gone in on day one back in 1993 when the tradition started.

Yes, some of them have shamefully been waiting nearly thirty years.

Sadly, many are gone and will never receive the honor in person.

For a while now, the WWE Hall of Fame has had five living and one posthumous induction a year.

There is, of course, the celebrity induction (how can we ever forget about Mr. T’s long-winded speech about his mother?), one Warrior Award, and since 2015, legacy and group inductions. But is this enough?

In an interview with In Your Head Radio two years before his passing, “Playboy” Buddy Rose gave his take.

“Basically, every wrestler who made a living from wrestling and was able to put food on the table and pay the rent or buy a house should be in the hall of fame. That’s my personal opinion.”

Rose continued, “Everybody that I wrestled helped make me, and I helped make them.

“It’s basically a fraternity of people that got together and tried to make it so we could work seven nights a week and make money every single night without hurting each other.

“No wrestler could be in the WWE Hall of Fame if he was in the ring by himself with a camera on him. You couldn’t do it – because you needed somebody to win and somebody to lose.

“What about all those guys that lost every night? How come they’re not in the Hall of Fame?

“You needed those guys. If you didn’t have ’em, you can’t build the pyramid.

“You gotta have somebody at the bottom of the pyramid to hold the top of the pyramid up… and if Hulk Hogan is at the top, what about all the guys who did jobs for him all the way up?

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Death of Playboy Buddy Rose

In a profession with chiseled bodies, Buddy Rose stuck out like the proverbial sore thumb. Regardless of his size, he was an excellent worker whose ring psychology was matched by few.

Rose was primarily used as an enhancement talent during his final run with the then-WWF in 1990, losing all of his televised matches to elevate other stars.

However, the "Playboy" once received a title shot against Bob Backlund at Madison Square Garden, was the co-holder of the AWA Tag Titles when it still mattered, and was a huge draw in the Pacific Northwest.

He had many more credentials than those who only remember him by his “Blow Away Diet.”

Buddy Rose passed away from natural causes on April 28, 2009.

Ten years later, he was inducted into the legacy wing of the WWE Hall of Fame.

Unfortunately, like many, it was an honor he could not experience while alive.

Hopefully, WWE will honor the many giants who so rightfully deserve entry.

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JP Zarka founded Pro Wrestling Stories in 2015 and is the creative force behind the website as editor-in-chief. From 2018-19, he was the podcast host and producer for The Genius Cast with Lanny Poffo, brother of WWE legend Macho Man Randy Savage. His diverse career includes work as an elementary school teacher, assistant principal, and musician, notably as a singer-songwriter with the London-based band Sterling Avenue. Zarka has appeared on TV programs like “Autopsy: The Last Hours of” on Reelz (U.S.) and Channel 5 (U.K.) and has contributed research for programming on ITV and BBC.