The kickoff to the Road to WrestleMania isn't far off, and already we're starting to hear rumblings of what matches we might see on the grand stage. However, one important part of WrestleMania weekend that most tend to overlook is the Hall of Fame ceremony that is set to take place Friday, April 6, 2018. We won't know for sure until January at the earliest who will be joining the hall of immortals, but you can bet that there will plenty of speculation regarding the 2018 class in the months ahead.
The favorites for induction into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2018 have shifted over the last couple months. Earlier this year, Batista was rumored to be getting the call, but those rumors were shot down, and he's no longer the co-favorite. In fact, some sports betting sources say that Goldberg (1/1) remains at the top, followed by Vader (2/1) and The Undertaker (4/1), who could fittingly be inducted in the city where Brock Lesnar ended his legendary WrestleMania streak (New Orleans). Here, we'll look at the aforementioned icons and their chances of getting inducted next April.
When Goldberg made amends with WWE in the spring of 2016 and was announced as one of the featured characters in WWE 2K17, it was only a matter of when and not if he would enter the WWE Hall of Fame. His return to the ring at Survivor Series last year, where he faced Brock Lesnar in the main event, came completely out of nowhere, though the assumption going into the event was that it would merely be a one-off and Goldberg would lose before headlining the Hall of Fame the following year, which FOX Sports detailed in a story soon after his comeback to the company.
Of course, that all changed when Goldberg upset Lesnar at the November classic and embarked on what would be a hot second stint for him in WWE that saw the former WCW star become Universal Champion at March's Fastlane pay-per-view. Considering he was involved in a marquee match with Lesnar at WrestleMania 33, it would have been odd for him go into the Hall that same weekend. He wrapped up his run on Raw, leaving the door open for another match down the road in the process. For now, though, a Hall of Fame induction two nights ahead of WrestleMania 34 seems like a lock.
How the heck is Vader not already in the WWE Hall of Fame? That's always my number one question around this time every year and I'm positive I'm not the only one. His long list of accomplishments between his time in Japan, WCW and WWE speaks for itself, and it isn't as if he's on bad terms with the company. He made his long-awaited return to Raw in 2012 (where he defeated Heath Slater in quick fashion) and even inducted his legendary rival Stan Hansen into the Hall over WrestleMania 32 weekend.
Mick Foley, another individual Vader has history with, wrote a brief blog (which can you read in full on Wrestling Inc) about how he also feels the WWE Hall of Fame is incomplete without Big Van Vader. This came after the former WCW World Heavyweight Champion said on Twitter that he was given "two years to live" by doctors. Now, it's unclear how accurate that prediction could be, but it's definitely concerning. WWE shouldn't induct him just because he may not have a long life ahead of him but rather because he should have been in the Hall years ago and 2017 is as good of a time as ever to pull the trigger.
Aside from Vince McMahon, The Undertaker is perhaps the biggest omission from the WWE Hall of Fame at the moment. That is obviously because he didn't retire from the ring until WrestleMania 33 this past spring... or did he? I guess that remains to be seen, as there is plenty of time between now and 'Mania season for him to say he's wrestling another match at next year's installment. I honestly hope that isn't the case, because his outing against Roman Reigns wasn't particularly great, but anything is possible.
Aaron Bower's Bleacher Report article from the day after WrestleMania 33 put it perfectly: Undertaker had a storybook ending at the event by leaving his hat, gloves and signature trench coat. How can you top that?! If it was up to me, I would have him call it a career and take his rightful place in the WWE Hall of Fame this coming April. According to the odds, he's the least likeliest to be inducted among these three men, probably due to the assumption he might wrestle again, and as previously mentioned, New Orleans is where his storied Streak was conquered by Brock Lesnar in 2014. That city would the ideal place for him to be forever immortalized with an induction, and it would undoubtedly be the most must-speech in the history of the Hall.