– The 2016 WWE Hall of Fame Red Carpet Pre-show opens up from the American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas. Byron Saxton welcomes us. He’s joined by Maria Menounos. Maria says she’s honored to be back with WWE. Saxton sends us over to Renee Young and she’s with WWE Hall of Famer Ric Flair. Renee asks about Charlotte defending the WWE Divas Title at WrestleMania 32 and Flair gets a bit emotional, saying it’s almost overwhelming. He talks about inducting Sting tonight and being at ringside with his daughter tomorrow, saying it can’t get any better. He teases Charlotte’s gear will be stealing the show tomorrow. Renee sends us back to Byron and Maria. Maria talks about new WWE correspondent Cathy Kelley and says she’s like a kid sister. They have worked together in the past and Maria is proud to introduce her. She sends us to Cathy on the floor with The Miz and Maryse. Miz talks about paying tribute to the ones who paved the way and because WWE is live, you never know what people are going to say. Cathy comments on how good they look and Miz shows his wife off. Cathy calls them the perfect couple and we go back to Renee.
Renee is with Sasha Banks on the floor. She says tomorrow night will be the fight of her life and she can’t wait. She talks about getting emotional over seeing the Divas front and center on AT&T Stadium. She says it wasn’t John Cena or Triple H, it was the Divas and they’re taking over. She also talks about how cool it is for Jacqueline to go into the Hall tonight. We go to Maria and Byron. They’re with Jerry Lawler, his fiance Lauren and her son Peyton. Lawler says there’s a really good video for the Legacy Award tonight. Lawler, tonight’s host, sends us to a break as we see Mark Henry being interviewed on the red carpet.
We come back to Renee and now she’s with WWE Hall of Famer Bruno Sammartino. He says tonight is going to be spectacular and he’s looking forward to it. Bruno talks about Stan Hansen going into the Hall tonight. Bruno gives some tips for keeping speeches short. Renee asks about the WWE World Heavyweight Title match on Sunday. Bruno says we’re in for a treat and both men are in great shape. He believes the audience is going to go wild for the match tomorrow. Maria and Byron are with Dolph Ziggler. Besides the Hall of Famers, Ziggler talks about how it’s cool to catch up with guys like Kevin Nash and Scott Hall backstage. He says he’s constantly butting heads with Michael “PS” Hayes backstage about what’s good and what’s not for the fans but apparently Hayes has something special planned for tonight. Cathy is with The Ultimate Warrior’s widow Dana and her daughters. She praises Joan Lundren and says she exemplifies what her husband talked about. She says she loves the choice and thinks it was a great one. Cathy comments on how much Warrior’s daughters have grown and they agree. Dana talks about how hard it was losing Warrior but says he raised them right from the time they were born and she knows her girls will grow into incredible Warrior women. We go to Renee with Ryback and his date Priscilla. Ryback talks about opening the show tomorrow and says they’re going to do it right. He says he’s taking the United States Title from Kalisto. Maria and Byron are with Randy Orton and his wife Kim. He says he’s about 2-3 months away and jokes about a possible RKO outta nowhere at WrestleMania 32. They talk about the inductions and joke around about Snoop Dogg being high. We come back from a break and Renee is with “Road Dogg” BG James, his wife and daughter. He talks about the Hall, WrestleMania and says Roman Reigns will bring it but Triple H has the experience. Cathy is with WWE Hall of Famer Lita and Corey Graves. Lita talks about her own induction and Graves says he’s really looking forward to Stan Hansen. Lita agrees. Graves says The Freebirds are going to steal the show. Everyone is excited about Hayes’ suit tonight. Byron and Maria are with The Usos and Naomi. They’re all in a good mood and talk about inducting Rikishi last year. They all do a Rikishi dance with a dab. Cathy is with Sgt. Slaughter. He says he’d like to give her some orders. Slaughter also talks about some of tonight’s inductions and mentoring younger WWE talents. He says he really pulls for the underdogs and hopes Dean Ambrose beats Brock Lesnar. They salute each other and we go back to Maria and Byron.
Sheamus is with Byron and Maria now. Maria offers to put the braids back in Sheamus’ beard for WrestleMania tomorrow. We hear the crowd erupt and it’s Hacksaw Jim Duggan making his entrance. Sheamus talks about Stan Hansen’s induction. Renee is with Sami Zayn next. She asks how he’s doing after the Shinsuke Nakamura match and he’s beat up but feels good. He says it’s rare that he’s still this amped about a match the next day. He says the fan response has been overwhelming and the post-match response from the NXT fans was overwhelming. Sami also talks about making his WrestleMania debut tomorrow and says it really hasn’t hit him yet but it will when he walks out and sees the people. We go to Cathy with Emma and Zack Ryder. They talk about being at Six Flags and WrestleMania. Big Show is with Maria and Byron next. He teases surprises for WrestleMania and says this really might be the biggest of all time. He also praises Sting. We go to WWE United States Champion Kalisto and his wife Abigail, who is wearing a mask. We get another break and also get interviews from The Dudley Boyz. Renee is with Dean Ambrose now. She talks about how he’s wearing a suit. He says Brock Lesnar disrespected him and needs to be punished. He says he might not look this good come Monday morning so he’s going to celebrate tonight. Byron and Maria lead us to a video on the Dusty Rhodes statue reveal at Axxess.
We come back to Steve Austin. He talks to Maria and Byron about how Dusty influenced his career. Austin talks about how tonight is special and how he traveled with Jackie. He also comments on Stan Hansen and how he paid money to see The Fabulous Freebirds when he was younger. Cathy is with Booker T and Sharmell. Booker talks about his 5 year old son wanting to fight at WrestleMania and says he would support his kids if they wanted to get in the business. Renee is with The Bella Twins. Nikki Bella, wearing her neck brace, talks about her recovery. Maria and Byron are with Roman Reigns and his wife. He says he’s rested and ready to go for tomorrow. He’s happy to be here, very blessed and happy to be here with his wife. Reigns says Michael Hayes has helped him so much and he’s looking forward to that induction, saying it will be top notch. Byron, Cathy, Renee and Maria all close the show together and that’s it for the pre-show.
– The 2016 WWE Hall of Fame ceremony opens up with a video package for tonight’s inductees. We’re live from the American Airlines Center in Dallas as the familiar voice welcomes us. WWE Hall of Famer Jerry Lawler makes his way out to the stage to host.
Lawler leads us to a video package for who he says was his idol, The Godfather. Lawler brings out “The APA” JBL and WWE Hall of Famer Ron Simmons to do the induction. Simmons says there’s no better way to kick off tonight than a reunion of The APA. JBL says there could have been a third member of the group, The Godfather. He says The Attitude Era wasn’t on Monday nights, it was the three of them seven nights a week. JBL goes on and Simmons interrupts him, joking that it wasn’t a character for The Godfather, it was real. They joke about a “train” and JBL jokes that Godfather had to dumb his character down to get on TV. They still have the munchies from riding with him. Most of the stories they can’t tell, like the one where he was naked with just the Intercontinental Title on… Simmons interrupts him again and reminds us it’s a family show. JBL says they used to help recruit for “the train” and Simmons tells his wife Meredith, if she’s watching, that none of this is true. JBL tells her he was just kidding. Simmons says if they had to do it all over again, they couldn’t ask for a better riding partner. Simmons says it’s an honor to stand with one friend and induct another friend. JBL talks about all the different gimmicks in the Hall of Fame and Simmons says now we have a pimp. They introduce The Godfather and out he comes strutting with his pimp cane. He stops and looks like he’s waiting for his train. Finally, four “hoes” come out and dance with The Godfather. He sends them on and makes his way to the podium.
Godfather asks what’s up and says once again, it’s time to jump on The Ho Train. He says he’s missed us so much. He thanks his parents first, saying they’re at home watching on TV. He thanks them for all their support. He thanks his 4 kids in the crowd. He gives a shout out to his grandson, who turns 7 today. He’s in the crowd but isn’t feeling good. Godfather asks everyone to help him wish the kid a happy birthday and they do. He says there will never be another Godfather but if you weren’t a part of The Attitude Era, check it out on the WWE Network. He says there was nothing like it. He thanks the powers that be in WWE for allowing him to be himself. He says Charles Wright and The Godfather are very close to the same person. He names Cheetah’s in Las Vegas. He says he always felt the love from people and says the love was given right back. He’d love to tell a lot of road stories but like The APA said, people will get in trouble. He says he won’t be out here long because he’s a part type of person and we’ll let some of those long-winded guys go. He tells the younger guys to cherish their time in the business because it won’t come back. He calls for everyone to hop on The Ho Train one more time as his music hits and out come the girls again. They all dance as we go to break.
We come back and Lawler leads us to a video package for Stan Hansen. Lawler tells us we can see Hansen’s Lariat on the WWE Network and asks what people are waiting for if they haven’t subscribed already. Lawler introduces Vader and out he comes with no mask. Vader taunts the crowd and gets them to pop. He slams his coat down and poses. Vader says he wanted to take his coat off in case Hansen came out with one of those famous lariats. He’s taken a few of those in his career and they don’t feel good. He brings up Hansen breaking Bruno Sammartino’s neck at Madison Square Garden and says it started there. We see Bruno nodding in the crowd. Vader talks about meeting Hansen in the AWA. He points out Scott Hall and others in the crowd. Vader says two things you need to be a pro wrestler are strength and power, you need to be an athlete of any kind. He says Hansen had plenty of both. He talks about how powerful Hansen was and how extraordinary his conditioning was. Vader says you couldn’t find a better mentor and friend. Vader says Hansen wasn’t just a big man, he’s a wrestler in every sense of the word and one of the best to ever step in the ring. And that’s the bottom line, because Vader said so. We see Steve Austin clapping in the crowd. Vader talks about more about the AWA and has Hall stand up. He says Hall had a small apartment and saved him a lot of money by letting him sleep on the floor. Vader thanks him and talks about teaming with Hansen in Japan. He says they created one of the best, most intimidating tag teams there’s ever been in Japan. He talks about working for All Japan Pro Wrestling and Giant Baba. Vader says he’s had requests to tell a story from the Tokyo Dome. He says it was sold out and they were going at it in a 30 minute match. They beat the living hell out of each other when his eye came out of the socket. He says somehow they put it back in and finished the match. The crowd pops. Vader brings up WWE Hall of Famer Antonio Inoki, who he says has a God-like presence in Japan, and how Inoki wanted his big Mastadon helmet in the ring. Vader didn’t think Hansen would allow him to bring it in. Vader says he was bringing it in the ring and Hansen swung the rope, breaking Vader’s nose. Vader knew then it would be a tough night. Vader says next thing he knew, the lights went out in the Tokyo Dome. Or so he thought – he got his ass kicked and his eye was hanging on his cheek. Vader says this nice man will come out smiling but he knows the truth, Hansen is dangerous. But he loves Hansen and that’s why he’s here. Vader stops to put on glasses but they’re red gimmick glasses with an eyeball hanging on a spring. The crowd pops. Vader introduces Stan “The Man” Hansen and tells fans to stand up.
Hansen comes out with a black cowboy hat on and a woman on each arm. He hugs Vader and they have a few words. Hansen says Leon is quite a man and his kind of man – big, strong, agile and stiff as a board. Hansen gives Vader more props and says it’s an honor to be here. He says this was unexpected and he appreciates being in this year’s Class. Hansen thanks God for giving him a set of lungs and legs. He jokes that he was short-changed on his looks but that’s OK, he’s come to live with that. Hansen thanks JBL for keeping his name out there while he’s been retired. Hansen appreciates JBL just mentioning his name. Hansen says there’s 1,000 opponents he would love to talk about because they are important. He says you’ll never be successful without an opponent. Hansen gets a little lost and apologizes for it. He says he’s going to start talking about what he’s supposed to. He praises his wife and says he was lucky enough to find her. She’s in the crowd and he says he tells her everyday how much he loves and appreciates her. We see her and his kids in the crowd. He thanks them all and says he’s proud of them for making their own decisions and not riding his coattails. Hansen thanks WWE Hall of Famer Terry Funk for breaking him in, mentoring him and being an opponent. He thanks the whole Funk family for breaking him in. He thanks others he worked with in Amarillo, Texas for helping him get in the business. He thanks WWE Hall of Famer Bob Backlund and we see him in the crowd. Hansen says Backlund is the best athlete in pro wrestling. Hansen says it was an honor to wrestle Backlund in Madison Square Garden. He talks about working with Chavo Guerrero in Texas in his early days. Hansen brings up the Sportatorium in Dallas and that gets a pop. He also names Friz Von Erich, The Rock’s grandfather Peter Maivia and Rick Martel. He praises Martel for knowing how to fight. Hansen talks about when Martel beat him in 9 seconds and says he’s putting that out there to tell everyone he’s done a few jobs. The crowd pops for that too. Hansen says his mother always brought up how Martel beat him in 9 seconds when she heard his name. He talks about ending up at Madison Square Garden at 25 years old against Bruno Sammartino, when he broke Bruno’s neck and put him out for 4 months. Hansen praises Bruno for being full of class and says Bruno never held that against him. Hansen says he calls Bruno every so often and thanks him. Hansen goes on and thanks Vince McMahon Sr. and Andre the Giant for his career in Japan. He talks more about his career and Texas before wrapping up. We go to a break.
Back from the break and Lawler leads us to a video package for Jacqueline. Lawler tells everyone to put any tables up before introducing The Dudley Boyz. Bubba Ray Dudley says it’s great for them to be back home in the WWE Universe and fans pop. Bubba says tonight is really cool because it’s special for Jackie. He recalls Mark Carrano telling them that Jackie wanted them to induct her. Bubba says they’ve done a lot in the industry and been blessed but they haven’t inducted anyone yet. He mentions Jackie being inducted in the city where she started. He says like The Godfather, there are a lot of stories they can’t tell about her. He says the one word that comes to mind is tough. Not just tough for a woman, a tough human being in general. Tough like The Fabulous Moolah and Mae Young tough. D-Von Dudley goes to talk but Bubba cuts him off. Bubba says D-Von only says testify. D-Von jokes that he might put Bubba through a table tonight. D-Von jokes that he’s sick and tired of Bubba so Bubba can get his own tables. Bubba says Jackie will always be one of the boys. D-Von says Jackie is probably one of the cheapest people he’s met. He jokes on her avoiding tolls on the road. Bubba talks about how she avoided paying her share of the rental car. D-Von talks about how Jackie has been extremely close with his family over the years. He’s happy to say Jackie is one of their few friends for life. D-Von says it’s an honor and a privilege to induct Jackie Moore. Out she comes with a few models but she doesn’t need them. She dabs at D-Von’s request and hugs them both.
Jackie says she’s honored to be inducted. She shouts back at a fan who loves her. She talks about being a big fan of The Von Erichs on TV when she was younger. She saw an ad for prospective pro wrestlers on a TV guide and she called it. She went to the tryout and met Skandar Akbar. He thought she had something and trained her. She says when she finally got a call from WWE, she was so excited because that meant she finally made it. She says she was fortunate enough to win the WWE Women’s Title and then hit her pinnacle when she won it a few years later. That’s the high point she will always remember and the rest is history. She’s thankful for her time with WWE and the people she met. She thanks the fans, her family and friends, Trish Stratus, Lita, Molly Holly, Terri Runnels, Victoria and Sable. She says there are too many guys to mention but it was a pleasure working with all of them. She thanks WWE for the opportunity and that’s it for her speech.
Back from a break and Lawler takes a moment to honor the pioneers that paved the way. He leads us to a Legacy Award video package and they welcome the following inductees into the 2016 WWE Legacy Hall of Fame: Ed “The Strangler” Lewis, Lou Thesz, Frank Gotch, George Hackenschmidt, Mildred Burke, Pat O’Connor and “Sailor” Art Thomas. Lawler leads us to a video package for The Fabulous Freebirds.
We come back and WWE Tag Team Champions The New Day are out to a pop. They’re wearing matching suits but do not have their titles. They dance around the stage before taking the podium. Kofi Kingston speaks first but the “New Day rocks” chants take over. Kofi talks about how good they look in their suits but says tonight is not about them, it’s about The Fabulous Freebirds. Kofi says people are wondering why The New Day is doing this induction. Kofi says the two teams have a lot in common. Xavier Woods says they love to sing and dance. Kofi says they’re both multi-man well-oiled units. Big E gets a pop for saying his unit is well-oiled. They do some comedy and Big E says both teams just like to have fun. They go on and Woods says what they learned from The Freebirds is that family doesn’t mean you’re related by blood. He says family is brotherhood, who you train with, who you ride with, your chemistry, your best friends. Woods says they apply that to their in-ring work and their everyday life. He says Kofi and Big E are his brothers just like The Freebirds are. He thanks them for teaching The New Day that. Kofi talks about how The Freebirds were innovators, being the first team to come out with rock music. Kofi gets a “Free Birds Rock” chant going until Lynyrd Skynyrd’s “Freebird” interrupts.
Michael “PS” Hayes and Jimmy “Jam” Garvin come out as “Freebird” kick in and the dance around like the old days. We see Triple H, Stephanie McMahon and their family in the front row watching. Hayes is wearing a fanny pack but does not have on a flashy suit, surprisingly. Fans chant again and Hayes says they need oxygen. Garvin agrees and says he hasn’t danced like that in a long time. They get fans to give it up for The New Day. Hayes goes to leave and they joke about working bets on how long the speech would go. Garvin can’t catch his breath. He talks about being put in a ring at 9 years old and it felt like home. Garvin says he became brothers with Hayes 37 years ago and it’s been a wonderful ride. Hayes joked about how he always stays in trouble in WWE. Garvin talks about setting an attendance record in Texas and says it will be smashed tomorrow at WrestleMania. Hayes tells a story about how they got a 2 bedroom apartment and the door was kicked off the hinges on the first day when nobody had a key. They had a pretty wild party and says that’s just one story that comes to mind. Garvin talks about how much they miss Terry Gordy and Buddy Roberts. He says they are still their brothers and he would give anything to have them here now. Hayes guarantees tonight we will feel their presence tonight, like always. Hayes to make it a little more special, we have their kids. He introduces Ray Gordy, known to WWE fans as Jesse, and indie wrestler Buddy Roberts Jr. They come out and hug Garvin and Hayes.
Ray says his favorite wrestler was always Kevin Von Erich but when he got into the business, he realized his dad was one of the best big man ever. Ray says on behalf of his sisters, he thanks WWE for honoring the memory of his father. He thanks the fans and says without them, none of this would be possible. Buddy is up next and he says everything he planned on saying is out the window. He thanks WWE, Hayes, Ray and Garvin. He says this means a whole lot. He says his mom is here and doesn’t want to be recognized but he asks her to stand up. Roberts says his dad had a great career for more than 2 decades, he traveled thousands of miles and loved every minute of it. He says traveling the road and being with his brothers was most important to him. Roberts thanks everyone and the Hall of Fame music hits. Ray says he would like to hear a few more Freebird stories and the music hits again. Garvin and Hayes come back to the podium. Garvin says this is a family show and they’re restricted on stories. Fans boo. Garvin says they’re going to push the limit because all that can happen is Hayes get fired. Garvin tells a brief story about Roberts urinating on him. He says they had a wonderful time and he misses him dearly. Garvin wants Hayes to tell a story now. Hayes talks about being taken to a strip club in the early days with the Von Erichs and he knew if he was to stay out of trouble, clubs were a bad idea. He says he tried to stay in the car but Kerry and David tried to carry him in the club. He ended up walking in on his own. He jokes about how this wasn’t your average strip club, one woman looked like she was someone’s aunt and fresh off her third baby. He says she looked good after some Jack Daniels & coke. He talks about being confronted by a member of a biker gang, asking what gang Hayes was in. Gordy saw the whole thing, came over and got slapped by the guy. Terry grabbed the man and Hayes grabbed his friend. Gordy realized the man had a wooden leg. Hayes was worried about getting stabbed in the back and Gordy was worried about taking down a guy with a wooden leg. Hayes says they went to let the guys up but one reached in his vest for a gun. Hayes and Gordy went for a back door but it was locked. They went through the front door and to the street. He says thankfully the guy had a wooden leg and couldn’t catch up. The guy fired a few shots with his gun and Gordy just laughed because the guy missed. The crowd pops at Hayes’ punchline. Everyone stands and chants “Free Birds Rock” again. Garvin thanks everyone and says everything he did with the boys was well worth it. He says being valet for a day with David Von Erich will live on in his mind forever because it was a lot of fun. He talks about his feud with “Gentleman” Chris Adams. Garvin praises his wife, who is at home, and says they have been together for 47 years. He loves her to death and will love her even more when he gets home. The “whooos” go out over the crowd and Garvin says that’s what he’s talking about. He talks more about his family and says he has been blessed in many ways but he was blessed to be a Freebird long before anyone probably knew it. He says it was a wonderful experience. He thanks the fans again and says he will forever appreciate the opportunity to party with Gordy, Buddy and Hayes. Hayes pays tribute to World Class Championship Wrestling and the world famous Sportatorium. He names Iceman King Parsons, Chris Adams, Precious and Sunshine. Hayes says there are so many people he needs to thank but he doesn’t have time and we don’t want him to. Hayes thanks God from the bottom of his heart, his mother who is at home watching live. He says she was his greatest motivator. He says she had a unique way of doing things with him. He thanks Pat Patterson, Gerald and Jack Brisco, everyone he works with in WWE, the producers and agents, “Hollywood John Tatum,” who he asks to stand up. Hayes thanks the WWE writers he works with and says fans aren’t going to like this. They boo. He says we have no idea how hard the writers and everyone else in the company works. From the people at the studio, to the mailroom and up the 4th floor… everyone works overtime to make sure we have a product that puts smiles on our faces. Hayes says he thought the “smiles on faces” campaign was stupid at first but he went to a live event and saw smiles on everyone’s faces. He gives a shoutout to The Wild Samoans, Afa and Sika. Hayes says to prove how crazy he is, he’s seriously going to thank his two ex-wives. His first, Claire, was the only one at the time to believe he could do this. His second ex, Lori, gave some of the best times he had. He thanks them both and says it was their fault they married him. Hayes says he’s found something out recently, because of the family in the front row – the McMahon family. We see Triple H and Stephanie. Hayes says when he was in a bad place, they reached out and helped him get in a better place. He says Stephanie has always had his back and been the sister he never had. We see Shane McMahon and his wife. Hayes says Shane keeps him up at night and says he needs to settle down. Hayes points out Linda McMahon, beside Triple H, and says she’s the only one in the family not crazy. Hayes wonders if he accidentally urinated on Linda on an airplane one time and says if he did, it was her fault. Hayes says his marriages didn’t work out because he already had a wife – he’d been married to the business since he was young. Hayes says he’s the last person you would think would b-e on a stage as a WWE Hall of Famer. He gives a shoutout to the WWE NXT “kids” he loves. Fans chant “you still got it” at Hayes. Hayes tells them to love this business and if they do, it will love them back. He says he had one love that turned out good, his dog. He introduces us to Jojo Hayes and shows her on the big screen. He says he misses her and she passed away two years ago, which crushed him. He recalls words from Kevin Von Erich and introduces the WWE Hall of Famer. Von Erich hugs them both and then they raise hands together. Von Erich talks about being brothers and accidentally calls The New Day “new gay guys” but gives them props. He gives props to Terry Gordy’s family and Buddy Roberts’ family. He says Gordy put his family first and he will never forget him. Von Erich says losing his own family gave him a chance to look at life differently. He says family is more important than fame or money. He points out his sons Ross and Marshall in the crowd and they stand up. He goes on about how lucky he is and congratulates The Freebirds.
Hayes and Garvin come back to the podium and Hayes leads us to a performance of their “Badstreet USA” hit. Hayes takes the mic to the crowd and shouts out The Iron Sheik. Hayes fist bumps with The Kliq and Diamond Dallas Page. He greets others and makes his way back to the stage. Hayes wishes Dallas a goodnight and makes his exit. We go to a break.
We come back and Lawler leads us to the video package for The Big Boss Man. Out next comes former manager and “The Dr. of Style” Slick to do the induction. Slick cuts a promo on about how he only wants $20’s and $50’s in the collection plate tonight. He starts talking about Ray Traylor and says people took notice when he walked in a room. He says Boss Man had a smile that could light up any arena. He knew Boss Man was the definition of a Superstar when he first saw him and his rise to the top was no accident. Slick credits Boss Man for his success and says the world lost a star, a hero, a father and husband but heaven gained a guardian angel. Slick says for a man that was always tough and strong, Boss Man was a humble man that loved his family. He says there’s no better way to pay tribute to the family he loved and the business he lived for than to induct Boss Man into the Hall of Fame. Slick introduces Boss Man’s wife Angela and his daughters, Lacey and Megan. Boss Man’s music hits and out they come. His daughter Lacey thanks the fans for keeping their dad’s memory alive for all these years. She wishes he could be here because he would be tickled. She says this is great and recalls attending WrestleMania in 2001. She says this all normal for her because she grew up in the business. She says her dad had a really cool job. She says seeing guys dressed like Warriors, Greek Gods and policemen was normal for her, as was guys in spandex. She recalls how some of the stuff her dad did in the Attitude Era embarrassed her and he made it clear he did it for the business, like taking Rikishi’s rear end to the face. She says it’s hilarious looking back now. She says Boss Man would be honored and she wishes he was here. She says it was awkward explaining to kids at school that her dad didn’t steal Pepper the dog and feed it to Al Snow. She jokes about it and some of his other moments. She says he was just a big sweetheart outside of the ring. She thanks everyone again for keeping his memory alive. Boss Man’s wife raises his legendary nightstick and gets a pop. She says he had the stick in the ring but he had his heart when he came home. She talks about how much Ray loved his family and gets emotional. She says no matter what mood he was in, he couldn’t stay mad at anyone. She says he enjoyed being funny and making people feel good. He loved kids and did so much for the community. The day he died he was out doing things for the community. She talks about how he loved his brothers in the business. She says they have had a great life and they will always remember Ray. They appreciate the legacy he left behind. They thank everyone again and Boss Man’s music hits. We go to a break.
Lawler introduces a video package for the next “inductizzle” and admits that sounded better in his head. Lawler says when it came time to induct Snoop Dogg, they had to find someone with a similar background, physique and interest. Lawler introduces John Cena and out he comes to a lot of boos and some cheers. Fans start singing their own version of his theme song. The crowd goes wild as Cena waits to speak. Cena speaks after a few minutes and touts Snoop’s many single albums, his millions sold, his movies, his high school football work, his new “Leafs By Snoop” business venture and more. Cena says he wants to show us some other career accomplishments. He says Snoop’s WWE career started two years before his. Cena says through 15 years, Snoop has been a very vocal supporter and proud member of the WWE Universe. Cena says the Celebrity Wing was created to honor those who contributed to WWE. Cena says Calvin Broadus, Jr. has done much more than that, he’s been a member of the family. Cena says Snoop is never a visitor when he shows up, he’s always at home and that will make for some very interesting drug test results tomorrow. Cena talks about how Snoop let him come record music early in his career. Cena is more thankful for Snoop’s constant support for what we always love, WWE. Cena introduces Snoop and out he comes with two women on each arm.
Snoop says he’s got to keep it hood and take a selfie with the whole crowd. Snoop thanks everyone and for allowing him to be in the Hall this year. He says he’s been a fan for so long and has watched wrestling become the #1 sport in the world, not just America. He thanks Cena for his great speech and some fans boo. Snoop says he and Cena share a few secrets in the studio. Snoop says Cena is a very good rapper and hints that he and Cena smoked weed together. Snoop says he’s also a fan of Randy Orton, Mark Henry, DX and especially, “HB Shizzle, my nizzle,” Shawn Michaels. He also names Steve Austin and The Undertaker but most of all, Snoop wants to shout out his little cousin – Sasha Banks. The crowd pops for Sasha. Snoop talks about taking her to WrestleMania in 2008 and he knew this was where she belonged, where she wanted to be. Her says to see the love fans give her and to see her face on AT&T Stadium, it means a lot to him as a family member. He says he loves her. He talks about his grandfather keeping him up late watching wrestling. He talks more about wrestling becoming #1 in the world and says everyone here should applaud themselves. He says some wrestlers influenced him including Tony Atlas, Rocky Johnson, The Junkyard Dog, Dusty Rhodes and Ric Flair. Snoop says wrestling has been good to him and he’s glad to be a part of the family. He says since he raps in his spare time, he put together a little rap. Snoop performs it and ends with a “peace” as the music hits.
Lawler leads us to a “Warrior Award” video package for Joan Lunden. Lawler introduces The Ultimate Warrior’s wife Dana Warrior and out she comes to his music. She brings a Warrior action figure with her. The music stops and fans start chanting “Warrior” with her. She thanks everyone for allowing her and her daughters to be part of their world. She thanks them for embracing them and holding them close. She thanks the Warriors and says they rock. Another chant starts up. She says fans are the reason Warrior will live on. Dana goes on about how important wrestling is to their lives and how much love and joy it brings them. She says this is a family business and once you know it, you love it and you’re hooked. She talks about how she will stick up for the business and how everyone in the business looks out for their own. She mentions Warrior’s daughter Mattigan making her run to the ring one day. She goes on about everyone welcoming her and thanks them. She talks about Joan Lunden next and says she willingly fought breast cancer publicly, putting a face on the disease. She calls Lunden an ultimate badass fighter. She goes on and talks about how much respect Warrior had for women. He had so much respect for Linda McMahon that she was his first and only choice to induct him. Dana is proud to name Lunden the second recipient of the Warrior Award. Warrior taught her to never stop swinging, scrapping, fighting or believing. She says these are the qualities Lunden exemplified with grace. She talks about some of the breast cancer work Lunden does. She says it’s time to find a cure and that real Warriors wear pink. Dana introduces Lunden and out she comes. They hug and share words before Dana leaves.
Lunden thanks everyone and says she never would gave thought she’d be standing at the WWE Hall of Fame, and that she would be following Snoop Dogg. She’s honored and said her credibility soared when she told her kids, who are serious WWE fans. She talks about being diagnosed with breast cancer and she did have feelings of sadness and defeat. Those feelings didn’t last long as she decided to fight. She says that changed her life completely and all of a sudden her life took on a new purpose. She realized she would be fighting for other women across the country. She dedicated herself to give a voice to women who don’t have a platform to stand on. She uses her connections made in 3 decades of broadcasting to fight for cancer patients and women’s health in Washington. She’s built a community on the internet for women to find support. She praises the WWE community for showing her support and says the energy she felt on RAW one year ago was palpable. She says the crowd gave her energy to go on that night. She says there are no fans like WWE fans and she can’t think of any other business like WWE. She says the respect and loyalty that she sees each Superstar and Diva has to the McMahon family is extraordinary and she doesn’t know if you can find it in any other business in this country. She thanks everyone from the bottom of her heart for reaching out to her. She says they really did heal her and lit a fire under her to get into Warrior mode. She thanks The Ultimate Warrior and Dana, and her daughters. She calls Dana his real life tag team partner. She thanks her own kids, all 7 of them, and her husband Jeff. She says Jeff is her rock. She feels fortunate to use her journey to help other women and she can only hope she’s offered inspiration to others fighting their own battle. Just as Warrior promised a good fight in the ring, she promises she will fight the good fight to help women outside of the ring. She thanks everyone and waves before leaving.
Back from the break and Lawler leads us to a video package for Sting. He comes back and introduces WWE Hall of Famer Ric Flair to do the induction. Flair noted how we lost two Hall of Famers this year – one being Dusty Rhodes. Flair asks Dusty’s wife Michelle to stand up and talks about the statue presentation at Axxess. He says the company hates it when you thank them but now is the time to give them recognition for making such great TV and telling the story of the great Dusty Rhodes and Roddy Piper. Flair wishes Piper’s wife was here. Flair says he knows Vince McMahon hates it but thank you. He thanks Linda, Triple H and Stephanie. Flair gives a shoutout to WWE Divas Champion Charlotte and there are some boos. Flair says if Snoop can recognize Sasha, he can do Charlotte. She finally stands and is a little embarrassed. Flair calls her genetically superior and pats himself on the back for raising her. Flair talks about The Icon, The Man Called Sting. Flair pulls out his speech and says the company censors him, makes him outline his speech. Flair says it’s better to follow the guidelines than not and then have to walk to the back. He knew Sting had it from the first day he walked in. Flair says he prides himself on conditioning and he wrestled 55 minutes with Sting. He says it was supposed to be an hour but something went wrong and that’s why the company didn’t go anywhere at that time. He says they went 55 minutes and Sting didn’t take one deep breath. Flair says Sting had the body and the haircut, he put money into his wardrobe and always looked the part. Flair always told Sting to go to WWE but he wouldn’t. He says Sting’s career speaks for himself. He talks about the chemistry he had with Ricky Steamboat but says they always competed to see who was better. He talks about how working with Sting was easier. He trusted Sting and Sting could do anything with him. Flair admits he has no offense, a chop, a whooo and a strut. He says that’s why he always liked being a bad guy. He did one dropkick in his career and didn’t even get to the knees but he can take bumps and he can talk. Flair talks about Triple H vs. Sting at WrestleMania 31 and says you have to be ready to go when you face Triple H, he’s not just saying that because Triple H is his best friend. Flair says the same about Shawn Michaels and says Shawn carried him through the entire retirement match at WrestleMania 24. Flair says he spent three decades wrestling Sting, Steamboat and Dusty, and they were three of the greatest rivalries in history. Flair says Sting didn’t even ask, he just knew about the personal sacrifice you had to make to be successful back then. Flair talks about wrestling twice on holidays. Sting sacrificed. Flair talks more about feuding with Steamboat and jokes around with him. Flair says he thinks the world of Sting as a person and can’t say enough about him. Flair says he didn’t see Sting for 10 years but they had the same chemistry and respect when they saw each other. Flair says they want him to wrap this up. He introduces one of the greatest of all time, saying he and Steamboat were just too nice to be wrestlers. Flair says he’s glad Sting had the chance to come to WWE because this is the place to be. Flair goes on and introduces The Icon, Sting.
Sting comes out to a pop and hugs Flair. Sting gives us a “whooo” and picks up Flair’s notes he left, saying Flair wings everything. Sting says he loves the fans too and talks about making his debut here a year ago. He talks about getting started in the business with Warrior. He says they were both jacked but he felt like a little kid compared to Warrior. He talks about how he didn’t have a father or uncle to help him get in the business but he was so close. He didn’t know God then but made a deal with him, he prayed for something to work out. He got into debt to get in the business but paid it off in a year, bought a house and was having main event matches against The Nature Boy. He says so many things happened, like winning the World Title from Flair the first time. Sting says he might be a 17 time champion, one-upping Flair. He talks about all the items companies made with his likeness, like Sting air fresheners. He jokes about Vince beating Ted Turner. He names Seth Rollins and talks about how Rollins came to the ambulance to apologize and check on him at Night of Champions. During the chaos with the ambulance trying to leave, Rollins blurted out how he dressed as Sting for Halloween. Sting says one of the highlights of his career was teaming with Robocop. He talks about “White Castle of Fear” with Vader, one of my favorites. Sting talks about how he was at the peak of his career and the nWo hit the ring, bodies were flying. Kevin Nash went down, Sting went down and Sting checked on him. They were both OK. Nash put a leg over him and asked if he could spoon for a minute. Sting says that’s a shoot. Sting says a lot of things happen behind the scenes and that’s where the money is. He talks about changing his looks over the years. He says, “should I say Joker Sting?” He says he had a lot of fun playing Joker, which was TNA of course. Sting talks about how he made bad choices in 1998 that left him with consequences. He says no matter what we saw on TV, his personal life was crumbling and everything was slipping through his fingers. He went through a dark time until he got “pinned to the mat” by God in August 1998. Sting talks about his faith and how he got his priorities right. Sting says he hasn’t looked back since and his life has been put back in order. He talks about his wife and kids, his mom and dad, nieces and nephews, others in attendance. Sting says he has bragging rights because so many people dream about performing at WrestleMania and he can say he did that, against a great opponent like Triple H. He calls it an awesome night. 30 years after his humble beginnings, he’s surrounded by friends and family and he’s officially a WWE Hall of Famer. He thanks The Ultimate Warrior for being intense and challenging him, if he hadn’t done that Sting might not be here now. A fan yells out “one more match” and a chant starts up. Sting says he really does love everyone, it’s unbelievable. Fans chant The Undertaker’s name now. Sting gives a special shoutout to Bryce at 2K Productions, Jeff his personal trainer in Connecticut, who worked with his wife, who is also a personal trainer, to get him ready for his recent matches. He thanks Jim Ross for giving him an inside scoop at the right time. He thanks Michael Hayes for helping him out years ago, as well as the rest of The Freebirds. Hayes also helped him out a lot in the past year. Sting has “Road Dogg” stand up and thanks him. Sting jokes that it was because of “Road Dogg,” he was reminded to bring his Life Alert device to the ring at Night of Champions. He thanks Flair for putting him on the map. He thanks his mom and dad for teaching him great work ethic. They loved him even when he didn’t deserve it. He has his brothers, sisters, in-laws, nieces, nephews and others in attendance. He says he wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for their prayers. He names his 4 kids and another kid who is like his son. He’s proud of the young men and women they are becoming. Sting says God gave him a second chance. He was re-married and will have his anniversary with wife Sabina soon. He thanks her and says he loves her. Sting thanks the fans and they pop. A “thank you Sting” chant starts up. Sting says no, the thank you goes to the fans and he means it. He says there wouldn’t be a Stone Cold or a Bruno or a Sting without the fans. He’s enjoyed entertaining for all these years. He says the only thing certain about Sting is that nothing is for sure, until now. On this very night, at this very moment… Sting’s going to finish his wrestling career under the WWE umbrella and he’s officially announcing his retirement. He says this is not goodbye, it’s see you later. He puts on the trademark shades and has his bat. Fans chant “thank you” again as Sting takes it all in and the Hall of Fame goes off the air.
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