Jake Roberts has called on WWE to induct Kamala, real name James Harris, into the Hall of Fame.
As part of WrestleMania 38 weekend, The Undertaker, Vader, The Steiner Brothers and Sharmell were inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame as the Class of 2022.
The Hall of Fame ceremony is something which always sparks debate among fans and former wrestlers alike, as everyone comments on who they believe is deserving of recognition.
Speaking on a recent edition of his DDP Snake Pit podcast with Diamond Dallas Page, Jake Roberts opened up about who he believes is deserving of a spot among WWE’s greats. Roberts explained that he feels that Kamala should be inducted, although he also concedes his negative comments about the company following his retirement could count against him.
“There’s another guy who I think should definitely be in there,” Roberts said. “And I’m sure because of things that were said and done he’ll probably never get there, and that’s Kamala. Kamala was a great character and he made a lot of money. James Harris was a sweet, sweet man. What a voice he had as a singer. He could sing like a bird. You would never have thought a country and western singer, he’d made you cry, man.
“He had some really bad health problems and he became very bitter. He just wanted help and he said some things that, of course, are going to stick and will probably keep him out of the hall, but I would have loved to see James there.”
Harris was forced to retire from in-ring competition in 2011 after he had his left leg amputated, due to complications from diabetes. His right leg was also amputated the following year, and the former WWE star ran into financial difficulties.
In 2016, Harris was part of a class action lawsuit against WWE which alleged that wrestlers had not only sustained traumatic brain injuries during their time with the company, but that WWE concealed the risk of injury.
During the conversation, Roberts also broke down what he would change about how the Hall of Fame operates. The now AEW star said that there should be a voting system in place, as there are people who have been honoured who don’t deserve it.
“I still had a little sore spot in the back of my mouth that it should have happened years before [being inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame],” Jake said. “Because I’ve seen so many people that went in who I feel shouldn’t have gotten there. That’s my only beef with the Hall of Fame, is that there are people in there that shouldn’t be. I think it needs to be taken to the people, maybe given a vote.
“Maybe the guys in the Hall of Fame should vote for who comes in next. The system they’re using now stinks. Whether it be Hunter or whoever, I just don’t like the system they use and they put people in there who have nothing to do with wrestling. You know wrestling, there should be something out there just for wrestlers.”
Furthermore, Roberts said that any prospective inductees should have wrestled for at least five years.
“At least five years,” Jake Roberts stated. “At a point where, you don’t have to be the main event, but you would have to be someone who shook the business. That went out and did the work. That’s the thing, gotta be one hundred percent in. Popularity has to be a part of it. You know, if the fans gravitated towards you, or rose you up, definitely. There’s so much to be considered
Jake Roberts was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2014 alongside The Ultimate Warrior, Lita, Paul Bearer, Carlos Colon Sr and Scott Hall as Razor Ramon.
H/t to Wrestling Inc for the transcription.