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WWE anounced HOF Class of 2005
By JON WALDMAN SLAM! Wrestling


"Cowboy" Bob Orton Jr. at the Cauliflower Alley Club reunion in Las Vegas in April 2004.
-- photo by Rose Diamond


On Thursday night's broadcast of Smackdown, World Wrestling Entertainment announced five entries into its Hall of Fame, all of which were heels in the promotion in the 1980s.

Among those that were named are The Iron Sheik, Nikolai Volkoff, Bob Orton Jr., Paul Orndorff and Jimmy Hart. These five competitors will be officially inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame on April 2nd, 2005 at a ceremony in the Universal Amphitheatre in Universal City, California. The induction is part of Wrestlemania 21 weekend.

During the broadcast, it was announced that the five wrestlers were only a partial list of the class of 2005. Speculation on Internet newsboards is that Hulk Hogan and Gordon Solie will be added to the list of inductees.

WWE Hall of Fame Class of 2005

Iron Sheik
The Iron Sheik was one of the most hated wrestlers of the 1980s. Hailing from Iran, Shiek was best known for his pointed wrestling boots, proudly carrying the Iranian flag to ringside and his devastating submission hold, the Camel Clutch. Shiek held the WWF Heavyweight championship and is a former Tag Team Champion. Along with his WWE career, Sheik had a brief stint in WCW, and also appeared in the WWF as Col. Mustafa.


Nikolai Volkoff
While he will be best remembered for his insistence of singing the Russian national anthem before his matches, Volkoff was actually a part of the Fed long before the '80s boom era. Volkoff first entered a WWWF ring in the late 1960s and would become a Tag Team Champion as part of the Mongols. Volkoff also held the tag titles with The Iron Sheik, capturing the bells at Wrestlemania I. Volkoff would later become a U.S. sympathizer in 1990, and would later re-emerge as part of Ted Dibiase's Million Dollar Corporation.

"Cowboy" Bob Orton Jr.
While he may be known now as "Randy's father", Bob Orton Jr. was a tremendous talent in his own right. A second-generation wrestler himself, Orton had a great run in many territories over the years. His tag team work with Dick Slater stands among his greatest stints. In the WWF, he will always be remembered for his trademark cast, which he claimed to need so his arm could heal over several years. Of course, Orton would utilize the cast whenever possible to score a victory in the squared circle. Orton is also credited as being one of the first superstars to use the superplex in North American wrestling.

Paul Orndorff
Orndroff, the self-professed "Mr. Wonderful", became one of the biggest heels in WWE history when he turned on Hulk Hogan in a spectacular moment in the 1980s. The feud between the two included a steel cage match that ended when both men were able to reach the outside of the ring at the exact same time and was part of the inspiration for the tag team main event at Wrestlemania I. While Orndorff never held a WWF title belt, he wore the gold in WCW as its Television Champion and as one half of the tag title holders with Paul Roma.

Jimmy Hart
While fellow Hall of Famer "Captain" Lou Albano is known as the manager of champions, that moniker could also easily apply to Hart. Best remembered for his trademark megaphone, "The Mouth of the South" came out of the music business into the wrestling world in Memphis. In the WWF, he guided several wrestlers to the gold, including Intercontinental Champions Greg Valentine and Honky Tonk Man and tag Team Champions such as The Hart Foundation, The Dream Team, The Natural Disasters and the Nasty Boys. Hart would also lead Hulk Hogan to the WCW Heavyweight title, and was instrumental (literally) behind the scenes in WCW, composing entrance music for several wrestlers.

Jon Waldman has been with SLAM! since 2000.