TJR: WWE Hall Of Fame 2023 Recap

wwe hall of fame class 2023

The 2023 WWE Hall of Fame ceremony was headlined by Rey Mysterio along with others like The Great Muta and Stacy Keibler honored during the ceremony.

This is a recap of the WWE Hall of Fame ceremony that aired on Peacock/WWE Network. I’m not going to do a detailed recap of everything except maybe for Rey Mysterio. It started about 25 minutes after Smackdown ended.

The Hall of Fame ceremony was hosted by WWE announcers Kayla Braxton and Corey Graves. The podium was in the ring with a black carpet in the ring. They removed the ropes from one side of the ring so the people that needed to speak could get into the ring.

For each Hall of Famer, there was a video package telling their story.

As you can see in the photo above, Triple H was seated right beside Cody Rhodes in the front row on the stage.

Stacy Keibler

Mick Foley and Torrie Wilson were both there to induct Stacy Keibler in to the Hall of Fame. Foley suggested Stacy having a match with Molly Holly as the nicest person in WWE history. Foley talked about women like Stacy and Torrie as amazing ambassadors of WWE.

Torrie Wilson talked about meeting Stacy Keibler when she won a competition to be a WCW Nitro girl dancer. Torrie talked about how Stacy was a leader that led us to the superstars of today. Torrie said that despite always getting offers, Stacy stepped out of the limelight to be the best wife and mom that she could be. Torrie welcomed Stacy to the stage.

Stacy Keibler made her entrance looking like she hasn’t aged a day even though she’s been away from WWE since 2006. Stacy said that it felt so good to be home and sucked up to the fans saying they were the greatest fans in the world. They showed Stacy saying she was a superfan while showing her holding a Bret Hart sign. She saw an ad to become a WCW Nitro Girl and she would end up winning it, which led to her career in pro wrestling.

Stacy talked about how she was proud to be inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame. She spoke about how much pain she went through, she managed to find the grit she had and the pain went away because the fans loved her. Stacy thanked women that she worked with in WWE along with The Dudley Boyz, who she managed. She also thanked Shane Helms. Stacy spoke about her friendship with Torrie Wilson.

Stacy thanked her husband Jared and mentioned their three kids, who were seated at ringside with their dad. Stacy also thanked her parents. Stacy wrapped it up thanking the fans again.

Analysis: Stacy did a nice job. She was always one of the most likable women in WWE history that grew up as a fan of the pro wrestling business. While she wasn’t known for being a great in-ring performer, she was always entertaining on camera and could certainly get reactions from the crowd. Congratulations to Stacy.

Andy Kaufman

The video package for the late actor Andy Kaufman covered his early 1980s feud with Jerry “The King” Lawler. It led to their famous spot that happened on the David Letterman talk show. A friend of Andy said that he got to live his childhood dream. Andy died in 1984 at 35 years old due to lung cancer.

Jerry Lawler was shown at his home. Lawler said he wished he could be there in person, but Lawler had a stroke recently. Lawler said he asked his good friend Jimmy Hart to help Kaufman.

Jimmy Hart, who never seems to age, spoke about how Andy Kaufman knew how to get heat so well in pro wrestling. Jimmy told some stories about how Andy would do anything for the pro wrestling business. Jimmy said that we loved Andy and what he did for this business.

There were three women and one man that went down to the ring to accept the award for Andy. They didn’t mention the names, but the man said that Andy was his brother. He thanked Jerry Lawler for what he did. He spoke about how Andy got into wrestling because he was a fan. Andy’s sister spoke about how Andy saw the beauty in this world. Andy’s daughter spoke at the end saying that her father would be thrilled, said thank you and that was it.

Analysis: Jimmy Hart told some entertaining stories about how Kaufman genuinely loved the wrestling business. It was good to see Lawler getting better after his health scare recently. I liked hearing from Andy’s brother and sister about how much he loved pro wrestling.

The Great Muta

Ric Flair inducted The Great Muta while saying a lot of kind things about him. Flair joked about running too long and how Triple H will have to tell him to stop if he keeps going. Flair praised Muta saying he was good as the best guys he’s ever wrestled like Ricky Steamboat and Shawn Michaels.

The Great Muta made his entrance with a mask on. He hugged Ric Flair, who said that ten years ago, Muta watched Ric’s son for him when he was in Japan and Ric will love him forever.

The Great Muta did a sport speech since he doesn’t speak English that well. Muta said he was honored to be in the WWE Hall of Fame and thanked the fans. Muta spit out some green mist to end it. They showed Asuka celebrating that because she also spits out the mist during her career as well.

Analysis: Muta didn’t say a lot, but he did just fine with what he said. Flair really put him over heavily and it seemed genuine, so that’s good to see.

Warrior Award: Tim White

The APA tag team of John Bradshaw Layfield and Ron Simmons did the induction for the late, great Tim White. Ron and JBL are both WWE Hall of Famers. Simmons said “DAMN” at the sight of the APA being back together. The fans loved that.

JBL spoke about how Tim White was a great friend of everybody in WWE while mentioning Andre The Giant and other stories that Tim liked to tell. Simmons joked about how White used the APA to improve things in his “Friendly Tap” bar. JBL talked about how Tim got a digital jukebox after JBL broke an old one that didn’t work. They both spoke about how nobody ever said anything bad about Tim White.

Tim’s brothers Tom and Pat White entered the arena to accept the award. One of them (Tom) looked exactly like Tim as JBL pointed out. Pat thanked WWE for inducting his brother Tim into the Hall of Fame. Pat said that Tim had a great ride to the WWE Hall of Fame.

Analysis: You could tell that JBL and Simmons thought highly of Tim as a fun guy that was liked by everybody. Since Tim was part of WWE for so long, he had a lot of connections in the company. Tim’s brother Pat was very nervous, but him and his brother were very grateful that Tim was honored. Congrats to the White family on the honor.

Rey Mysterio

I will be more detailed with this review. There was a fantastic video package covering Rey Mysterio’s legendary career noting all of his championships while showing some of the crazy moves that Rey could do in his career. Rey talked about how the mask made him feel like a superhero. The video covered Rey’s close friendship with Eddie Guerrero. That led to the 2006 Royal Rumble, which was two months after Eddie’s death. Rey won that Royal Rumble from #2 and won the World Heavyweight Title at WrestleMania 22 as well while dedicating it to his late friend Eddie.

Konnan made his entrance to induct Rey Mysterio. The fans gave him a good reaction. Konnan was well known in WCW and is a Mexican wrestling legend that is close to Rey. Konnan talks about how things have changed in pro wrestling in the last 35 years because you can see superstars that are different sizes. Konnan made Rey at 12 years old, he was very scrawny and probably weighed 115 pounds. They showed a photo of Rey as a kid. Konnan talked about how he would take Rey to wrestling matches when Rey was just 15 years old and he was impressing people. Konnan mentioned taking Rey Mysterio to Los Angeles, then Mexico and next was Paul Heyman in ECW. Konnan said that Paul understood that Rey was a talent regardless of his size. Konnan talked about WCW where he had to try to sell Kevin Sullivan and Eric Bischoff on Rey while making a short joke about Kevin. Konnan said that he told WCW that Rey was a generational talent and if they don’t sign him then WCW will regret it. Konnan mentioned Dean Malenko wrestling Rey, then said that Rey was out there and said he loved him. Konnan talked about how the entire WCW locker room was so impressed that they gave Rey a standing ovation in the backstage area. Konnan said that Rey won the Cruiserweight Title a few weeks ago. Konnan talked about how Rey kickstarted the movement of lucha libre and superstars wearing masks.

Konnan spoke about how Rey was such a good human being. Konnan said that thanks to Rey and his wife Angie, he is alive today because of Konnan having an illness. Konnan said that talent ain’t nothing if you ain’t disciplined. Konnan spoke about how it’s Rey’s time to give him his flowers while he is still active. Konnan called Rey a legend, an icon in real time and he is an angel. Konnan joked that maybe he could be adopted in Rey’s family and he could replace Dominik. They showed Dominik on the stage not even reacting to it.

Konnan spoke about how if he was reincarnated he would want Rey to be his best friend again. Konnan did an incredible introduction for Rey to finally go out there with the fans popping big.

Analysis: Konnan did an incredible job with that speech and that introduction. Konnan has always been a great talker, so that’s not a surprise that he would nail this talking about his best friend. I loved that speech from Konnan.

While Rey made his entrance on the stage, everybody was standing and clapping on the stage except for Dominik, Rhea Ripley and Damian Priest of The Judgment Day. Rhea’s boyfriend Buddy Matthews (Murphy) was sitting behind her earlier, but he was not seated at that point because WWE knew the cameras would be there. Rey Mysterio hugged his parents and other family at ringside. I know they are his parents from watching the A&E Biography about Rey’s life. Rey greeted Konnan with a big hug in the ring.

Rey finally spoke with the fans saying, “you deserve it” and cheering for him. Rey thanked Konnan for such a beautiful introduction. Dominik Rhea Ripley and Damian Priest walked off the stage and went backstage with the fans booing them. Rey said “I’ll take care of business tomorrow” referring to his match with Dominik at WrestleMania.

Analysis: It was a way to let Rey have his moment without Dominik there to react to it. Keep the story alive.

Rey spoke about how grew up in this business in Tijuana and grew up around his uncle Rey Mysterio Sr. Rey said that’s where he fell in love with lucha libre for the first time. Rey said he knew he wanted to be a part of that world. Rey spoke about how he was 8 years old and was training in a wrestling school while saying that he would start crying after his uncle was chopping him too hard. Rey spoke about how he would make his way back to the class to keep learning. Rey said on the ride home, his uncle would say it was a rough business, but Rey knew he wanted to be a part of it. Rey talked about how Konnan learned how to wrestle from Rey’s uncle with Rey saying he was like Konnan’s little brother. Rey spoke about taking a test before he could have a real match and he passed the test when he was 15 years old. Rey recalled how they would never give a wrestling license to a kid under 18 years old, so his parents had to sign a waiver if something went wrong. Rey spoke about how he was so small that it was hard for him to get booked. Rey said his first match was in the parking lot of a church in Tijuana, but he had no idea that his journey was just beginning.

Rey talked about competing in the auditorium in Tijuana. Rey recalled watching Andre The Giant appear in that arena when Rey was just 9 years old. Rey spoke about how he had met Angie (his wife) by then and he knew he had to invite Angie to his first match in the auditorium. Rey spoke about how Konnan wanted him to work for the AAA promotion with Rey saying Konnan was going to talk to Rey’s parents about it. Rey talked about how Angie stuck by him in those days and now she is his wife.

The speech continued with Rey talking about how when he was 18 years old, there were times when he wanted to quit and Angie told him to stick it out. Rey spoke about how when he was struggling to make it, Angie got a job and she would send him money to help him pursue his dream. That led to a huge ovation and cheers for Angie. Rey spoke about how his career in AAA was off and running.

Rey continued by talking about how he jumped to ECW. Rey said there would be no Rey Mysterio without Psychosis. Rey said ECW opened doors for him and he jumped over to WCW. Rey talked about how his tryout match was on live pay-per-view at the Great American Bash 1996. Rey said Dean was there, he thanked him, he loved him and he appreciated all his help. They didn’t show Dean.

Rey said during that WCW time, he reconnected with somebody he met when he was 12 years old – Eddie Guerrero. Loud “Eddie” chants as Rey looked up to the heavens. Rey spoke about how Eddie always had the same heart. Rey spoke about his Halloween Havoc 1997 match with Eddie Guerrero as the match that put Rey on the map. The fans cheered.

Rey spoke about how when WCW was bought out by WWE in 2001, he took some time off because his daughter Aalyah was born. She was there and Rey said he loved her. Rey didn’t know if WWE wanted him, but then in 2002, Jim Ross called him asking if he wanted to do business. Rey said, “hell yeah.”

Rey talked about how for 20 years, the company has invested time in him and gave him an opportunity of a lifetime. There were a lot of random chants and cheering from the crowd, so Rey would often pause for the fans. The fans did a “thank you Rey” chant. Rey thanked WWE for breaking the mold of what a superstar should look like. Rey thanked WWE for letting him represent lucha libre to the world and allowing him to introduce his family to the WWE Universe. Rey spoke about how he did things in WWE that he never thought would be possible like winning the Royal Rumble and moving on to becoming World Champion.

Rey thanked anyone that had anything to do with his life, his story and his success. Rey thanked God, he thanked mom & dad for conceiving him and correctly said without them he would not be there. Rey thanked his three brothers, his uncle Rey Mysterio Sr. who is like his second father and his coaches that trained him in Tijuana. Rey spoke about how the veterans would whip his ass every night. Rey told Konnan how much he loves him while saying that without him, none of this would be possible. Rey spoke about how they would always thank God first for the life they had and then Konnan second. Rey talked about how back then it was about who you knew that could break you into the business and Konnan did exactly that for him. Rey thanked Paul Heyman for giving him the opportunity in ECW. Rey thanked Eric Bischoff & Kevin Sullivan for getting him started in WCW. Rey mentioned WCW wrestlers like Dean Malenko, William Regal, Kevin Nash, Scott Hall, the agents that were part of his matches and he thanked them for the knowledge.

Rey mentioned some top WWE guys like Batista, The Undertaker, Edge, JBL and joked about retiring him. Rey mentioned Kurt Angle, who they showed on the stage. Rey also brought up Randy Orton, John Cena (big pop) and of course, Eddie Guerrero. Loud “Eddie” chants again.

Rey said last but not least, he wanted to thank the WWE Universe. Rey said that none of this would be possible without the fans. Rey said that the WWE Universe made the name Rey Mysterio immortal. Rey spoke in Spanish as well. Rey thanked the guys that made his gear and his mask. Rey thanked us all for inducting him into the WWE Hall of Fame. Rey’s music played to end it as the fans cheered loudly for Rey. They played Rey’s music as he hugged some more family and friends at ringside. The broadcast ended there at 12:36 A.M. ET.

Analysis: Rey Mysterio did a good job with the speech. He covered a lot of his life by talking about his early days in wrestling as well as some the hardships he went through. I liked the story about how his wife Angie was there to help him financially when he needed it early in his career. That’s a good woman and they have been married for so long. I thought Rey could have said more about his WWE run because just summed it up quickly. Other than that, I liked it quite a bit. The fans were really behind Rey, they were respectful and it was well done overall.

That’s all for me. Thanks for reading.

John Canton


Twitter @johnreport