In a fun little twist to end WWE's recent spate of Hall of Fame announcements, the pro wrestling media managed to snag the solid evidence needed to confirm the final 2018 inductee before WWE's chosen mainstream media partner was able to announce it. For months, we've watched as, always on a Monday ahead of Monday Night Raw, some mainstream sports outlet "reports" on WWE's latest Hall of Fame inductee, from Goldberg to the Dudley Boyz to Ivory to Jeff Jarrett to Kid Rock. WWE then posts an announcement on their own website claiming that such and such major media outlet has gotten the scoop on the inductee as if mainstream media outlets were champing at the bit to uncover who WWE will honor in their annual Hall of Fame ceremony which is, like everything else in WWE, predetermined by Vince McMahon.
Of course, the wrestling media, a subgenre of media that actually is devoted to investigating and reporting on the goings-on in the pro wrestling world, often have the names long before they're "first reported" by mainstream media outlets, but lack of concrete evidence relegates those reports to dirt sheet rumors. However, the final name going into the Hall of Fame this year has bucked the trend, as reports over the weekend by PWInsider that Mark Henry will be the final inductee were confirmed by BodySlam.net reporter Brad Shepard, who obtained a photo of a leaked page from the official WrestleMania magazine with a story titled "From the Hall of Pain to the Hall of Fame," confirming from WWE's own printed material that Henry will be joining the 2018 Hall of Fame class.
It remains to be seen how WWE will handle this. Will they go ahead with revealing the news through a mainstream media outlet and pretending the dirt sheets don't exist? Will they have Hulk Hogan make a dramatic return to the company to set fire to a copy of the Observer on live TV? We'll have to wait and see, but whatever the case, we congratulate Mark Henry on his incredible career and induction in this year's Hall of Fame class.