The 2019 WWE Hall of Fame ceremony took place on Saturday night before WrestleMania. Here’s my recap of the speeches and moments.
WWE Hall of Fame 2019
Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York
April 6, 2019
The WWE Hall of Fame video package aired covering this year’s inductees. They had Triple H and Shawn Michaels encourage the narrator guy to have some attitude in the open, so that was unique.
The setup for the WWE Hall of Fame was different this year. They had a ring in the middle of the arena where the superstars will make their speeches. Here’s a good look at the set.
The hosts were Corey Graves and Renee Young, who stood on the stage to set up the show. Graves had a funny line about Hillbilly Jim still continuing his speech from last year’s Hall of Fame.
HONKY TONK MAN INDUCTION
Honky Tonk Man’s video package aired because he was the first inductee.
Jimmy Hart did the induction speech for Honky Tonk Man. He kept it short and sweet, so the rumors of shorter speeches are true.
Honky Tonk Man arrived with a guitar in hand, his classic HTM suit and he looked like he was doing well. There was a screen with the speeches on them as Honky read his speech facing the camera.
Honky thanked Jimmy Hart for helping him so much during his career. Honky admitted that this is the one dream he thought would never happen. Fans chanted “you deserve it” for him as he tried to talk. He said “never say never” in WWE because you never know what’s going to happen and he is living proof of that.
Honky said he enjoyed the journey and he wouldn’t change a thing. Honky mentioned his son that’s there as well as his daughter that told him to lose weight, so he joked that he took doctor’s orders. Honky spoke about his idea for his character, he knew he needed a name for it, then he heard a song and it was “I’m a Honky Tonk Man” while saying that the words in that song described that character he was trying to create. Honky talked about how a promoter asked him if he could play a guitar, he said no and the promoter said that would make it better (that drew laughs). That’s when the Honky Tonk Man was up and running. He spoke about developing that character in Calgary. From there, he was recommended to go to WWE and he got hired on the spot.
Honky talked about how WWE gave this character life by presenting this character all over the globe and made this character a household name that will never die. Honky made a good point saying that’s the power of WWE. Honky said that it’s an honor to be part of an incredible family.
When it appeared as if Honky was done, Jimmy told Honky to sing his song. That led to Honky singing his theme song. The current WWE wrestlers were enjoying it including Ronda Rousey and the New Day guys were dancing like crazy too. Seth Rollins was beside Beth Lynch. There are rumors about them, so let’s just say there might be some truth to those rumors. Anyway, Honky went singing up the ramp and that was it.
— WWE (@WWE) April 6, 2019
Analysis: That speech was about 15 minutes. It was a solid speech from Honky talking about how when you’re a WWE star you are a household name and it’s true. That’s the legacy that the superstars can leave. It was weird that he didn’t even mention the Intercontinental Title reign, which is what he is most known for. When he referenced “never say never” it was because he trashed WWE a lot over the years, yet here he is. That does happen a lot in the wrestling business.
There was a shot of Seth Rollins sitting by the ring. They did not show Becky Lynch beside him, but she was there as mentioned.
There were some clips of Degeneration X moments including Mike Tyson joining the group in March 1998 and then Hunter/Shawn doing the Vince/Shane impressions. They also showed the DX reunion in July 2012 at Raw 1000.
TORRIE WILSON INDUCTION
The video package aired for Torrie Wilson as the next inductee.
Stacy Keibler did the introduction for her. It’s her first time in a WWE ring in a long time and she’s gorgeous. Stacy talked about how they started together in WCW around the same time, they became good friends, they lived together and she was proud to be able to induct Torrie. Stacy also talked about how great it was that Ronda, Becky and Charlotte are main eventing WrestleMania on Sunday.
Torrie Wilson looked great as usual in a red dress. She started off with a story from when she was a kid, she liked a boy and then when she put on weight, the boy insulted her weight. She didn’t want to be a shy, weird, fatso and she made a vow that “Terry” was going to eat his damn words.
Torrie talked about her first day in WWE (it would be 2001) when she saw Steve Austin and The Rock in a hallway, so she walked around the long way to the locker room where she saw Bubba Ray Dudley mean mugging her. Torrie said she was shy, she was not confident and she wondered what she was doing there. Then she remembered that she decides those feelings. She spoke about how fear can scare us all, but fear only has one enemy and that is a confident persona. Torrie said thanks to her near 10-year wrestling career, she could face her fears and the fans helped her find her confident persona. Torrie said you don’t have to be a WWE superstar to have a confident persona.
Torrie offered some life advice saying you don’t need permission for who you want to be. Torrie said her intention was to show up for the fans and play the role of a strong, confident woman who is unafraid of being sexy and being a badass. Torrie said that you had to forget the failure while joking that she wasn’t hired for her wrestling skills. She said that she made mistakes, but she had the courage to keep coming back for more because she forgot the failure. Torrie spoke about how you should summon your swagger where you can envision that confidence badass and tell her it’s time to come out to play.
Torrie mentioned Judgment Day 2003 when she had a pose off thing against Sable. She put over Sable as a confident woman. She said that she closed her eyes and she survived while adding that they’ve come a long way since then. (That was like a bikini contest where they were wearing very little clothing, by the way.)
Torrie said she was grateful for everybody that worked with her along the way. She thanked Kevin Nash and Hulk Hogan for giving her an opportunity in WCW while saying she would be forever indebted. Torrie mentioned Fit Finlay, she said sorry for all the times she cried and said he is the most patient man that wants nothing more than to see women crushing it. Torrie said Fit Finlay is a huge reason why we’ll get to see women main eventing WrestleMania tomorrow. Fans chanted “Thank You Finlay” for him. Torrie mentioned Pete aka Billy Kidman, who was her ex-husband. She thanked him for teaching her how to function in this world, she thanked him and she loved him. (Billy works for WWE backstage and was not shown.)
Torrie talked about how Stacy Keibler and her were two clueless blondes when they started while adding that Stacy understands her journey so well. Torrie joked about how she had Michelle McCool as her road wife before Undertaker got his hands on her, which led to laughs. Torrie said she’s so grateful for Michelle. Torrie mentioned Victoria/Lisa saying she was one of the craziest people, one of the funniest people and they were friends before they were in wrestling. Candice Michelle was there beside Victoria and Torrie thanked her for becoming a Women’s Champion that pushed Torrie to be fearless.
Torrie spoke about her family. She was in tears saying it’s been a really hard week. She thanked them for coming. Torrie mentioned her dad Al Wilson that passed away two days ago and she was so blessed to have had this experience with him in WWE. She loved the time they got to spend together and she joked that Dawn Marie made his dad laugh with that storyline. She was emotional talking about her dad, which is understandable. Torrie thanked the WWE Universe for being so hardcore and thanked them for being a small part of her life. She joked that for many of you guys, she was a part of their puberty…which drew a lot of laughs and cheers. Big E and Xavier stood up to cheer. That was funny. Fans chanted “Thank You Torrie” for her. She said that if you have the opportunity to face your fear, check the box yes and the next ring you step into might change your life like it has changed her life.
Analysis: It was a nice speech that included a life pep talk from Torrie. I know her a bit she’s one of the most positive thinking people I’ve ever met. The line about puberty was really funny and led to a lot of laughs. It must have been very difficult for her to do that speech just a few days after her dad died, so I give her a lot of credit for getting through it.
After a commercial for Miz & Mrs, there was a shot of Miz and Maryse in the crowd leading to cheers. There was a shot of Shane McMahon leading to boos, so the camera kept going back and forth leading to cheers and boos. Each guy kissed their wife as well with Miz laughing at the Shane kiss. That was funny.
There was a video package in the WWE Hall of Fame Legacy: Bruiser Brody, Jim Barnett, Hisashi Shinma, Luna Vachon, “Playboy” Buddy Rose, Primo Carnera, “Professor” Toru Tanaka, “Special Delivery” (S.D.) Jones, Wahoo McDaniel and Joe Cohen. Here’s the video about the Hall of Fame Legacy group.
The hosts Corey Graves and Renee Young introduced Joseph Cohen, who saluted the crowd. He was a driving force behind USA Network and MSG Networks. He was seated beside Ronda Rousey and Travis Browne in the front row. The crowd cheered.
THE HART FOUNDATION INDUCTION
The Hart Foundation video package was shown featuring Bret “Hitman” Hart and Jim “The Anvil” Neidhart, who passed away last August. They were two-time WWF Tag Team Champions that were also brothers-in-law since Neidhart married Bret’s sister. They were together in the WWF from 1985 to 1991.
Bret Hart entered along with Natalya, who is his niece and The Anvil’s daughter. It made a lot of sense for her to be out there representing her father. Some of the wrestlers in the first few rows were wearing Hitman shades, so that was cool to see.
Natalya said that she thought about what her dad might say and she thanked her mom for having her dad’s back every step of the way. She thanked Bret for helping Jim realize the potential he never knew he had. Natalya thanked the WWE Universe for showing the Hart Foundation unconditional love since 1985. Natalya mentioned that her dad’s favorite tag team to wrestle were the British Bulldogs (loud cheers for that) and she knows that Davey, Dynamite, Owen, Stu and her dad are together watching tonight. She also noted that her dad’s favorite place to wrestle was in New York City. Natalya mentioned a lot of current superstars, plus Edge and Christian, Tyson Kidd, Teddy Hart, Harry Smith, Sheamus and Cesaro that were all inspired by the Hart Foundation. She mentioned last year her dad was approached about writing a book, but her dad said that the greatest thing he ever did besides being a daughter to three girls was being in the WWE. That was one of their last texts to eachother. That was his greatest accomplishment and being a wrestler is what he loved the most. She passed it over to Bret.
Analysis: Natalya did well in speaking about her dad. She did get emotional a bit, but she was able to hold it together and I like what she had to say.
Bret said that he is so incredibly proud of the Hart Foundation – the pink and black attack. Bret said it hurts because they lost Jim last summer, he loved Jim and he was the best friend he ever had. Bret joked that Jim was the most hilarious cellmate you could have and said that every day was an adventure. Bret talked about how he had been toiling in the WWF, then they said he would be “Cowboy” Bret Hart where he would have a horse and he would ride into the city. Bret said Anvil and Adrian Adonis joked with him about it. Bret said he didn’t want to be a cowboy. Bret said shortly after that he suggested teaming with Neidhart with Jimmy Hart as the manager and call them the Hart Foundation. Bret noted that when they wouldn’t do it, he nearly quit and then they became the tag team in 1985. Bret noted that in that moment, he forgot to ask Jim about any of this.
At this point, something crazy and unplanned happened as some guy went into the ring and tackled Bret in the ring. The camera went to black and then they showed the crowd for about 30 seconds while order was restored. Here are some clips from the crowd.
ENRAGED SEEING THIS
SO much love 4 @shanemcmahon @travisbrowneMMA
1st on the scene@NatbyNature @DBSmithjr for sticking by their family @BretHart@DashWilderWWE #ECW style
BOO venue security for slow response after wrestlers did their job#WWEHOF pic.twitter.com/LhRHztK9cH
— Tommy Dreamer (@THETOMMYDREAMER) April 7, 2019
— dRAIL2k3 (@dRAIL2k3) April 7, 2019
Fan tackles Brett Hart at the Hall of Fame awards and gets destroyed by wrestlers and Rhonda Rousey’s husband. Nothing fake about this! pic.twitter.com/WKdE6KVLlB
— Danny Albers (@daboss00701) April 7, 2019
As you can see in the video, several wrestlers jumped into the ring to save Bret with Shane McMahon as the first guy in there. Travis Browne, who is Ronda Rousey’s husband, is the bald guy that unloaded on this moron fan with punches. The New Day guys also jumped in quickly. As the guy was being taken from the ring, you can see Dash Wilder of The Revival absolutely nail the guy in the face with a punch. Good for you Dash along with Shane, New Day, Travis and everybody else that got involved.
Analysis: It was a crazy, chaotic situation that never should have happened. I’m just thankful that this fucking idiot of a fan only tackled Bret and didn’t hurt him with a punch or something bad like that. It’s not a smart situation to go in a ring surrounded by so many badass wrestlers and then get your ass kicked by them. I don’t know what possessed this fan to do it. I don’t know where security was, but it appeared as though there were no security personnel around the ring because I doubt they expected something like that to happen. An incident like that taking place could also lead to WWE going away from this new set for the Hall of Fame and put the speakers on the stage instead of in the ring. They should do that or have more security personnel around the ringside area.
Analysis x2: According to CBS News, the attacker’s name is Zachary Madsen and he actually has fought in MMA before. Madsen faces two counts of assault, one count of trespassing and a misdemeanor charge of violation of local law. His twitter account is here and he’s got a lot of weird messages there.
Natalya tweeted about it after the show.
I’m so proud of my uncle @BretHart tonight during our HOF ceremony. Bret is a cancer survivor, a stroke survivor and one of the greatest wrestlers of all time. He didn’t deserve to be attacked or have his moment or my dad’s diminished. We got it back on track. Thank you, guys🙏
— Nattie (@NatbyNature) April 7, 2019
The show continued with several people checking on Bret and Nattie in the ring. The dumbass that went into the ring was taken away. Fans chanted “Asshole” at the fan. Drake Maverick said: “Pay no attention to that man and let’s keep this going.” The show continued as Bret saluted the fans to let them know he was okay.
Bret talked about how Jim liked the idea of teaming with him, so that’s how it started. Bret joked that being a heel tag team in the WWF in 1985 was sort of like that just now, which drew laughs including laughter from Natalya too. Bret thanked the Killer Bees, Rougeau Brothers, The Islanders, Demolition, British Bulldogs and Strike Force to name a few. Bret spoke abut their brilliant matches with the British Bulldogs. Bret talked about a MSG match he had with the Killer Bees. Bret even joked about being a heel saying “you shut your face you old bag” at his own mom because he was a heel. He said that they got the first of many standing ovations from the boys backstage. He joked that it was the first time Vince noticed him.
Bret told a funny story about some hijinks he got involved in with the late King Kong Bundy and Jim Neidhart. There were fans shaking their car, nearly flipped the car over and a cop saved them. Bret said that when he got away, he lost a hubcap as Anvil was reading a map upside down. Bret realized he had ended up on the same street again as he mentioned he had never driven in New York before. They laughed their heads off and Bret thanked King Kong Bundy, who died recently.
Bret also thanked Jimmy Hart for being so fun and they always loved him. Bret said that Jimmy belongs up there with them right now. Bret also thanked ex-referee “Dangerous” Danny Davis for helping them get the titles. Bret also thanked the teams they worked with as babyfaces: The Brainbusters, Powers that Be, Rockers, Legion of Doom (they only wrestled them once) and the Nasty Boys with Bret putting over their WrestleMania 7 match. Bret said that great wrestlers don’t always stand facing eachother, sometimes they stand together facing the world.
Bret talked about how the best thing that happened to Jim was the love that blossomed between Jim and Bret’s sister Ellie. He said if anybody deserves a medal for being a bottomless pit of love it’s his sister Ellie and Nattie seconded that. Bret said he knows Natalya has made Jim proud. Bret said that he loved Jim more than a brother.
Bret talked about how they broke lots of rules and made new ones. Bret spoke about how one of the saddest lessons he’s learned is that not everybody is going to grow old with you. Bret noted that he never had a disagreement or argument with Anvil. Bret added that they’ll always be proud of being two-time Tag Team Champions, but they’ll be most proud of their friendship. Bret talked about some rules he had in the Hart Foundation while adding that they got to live and fulfill their dreams together, so he thanked WWE for that.
Bret said that now they are officially in the WWE Hall of Fame, he can say with pride they are the best there is, the best there was and the best there ever will be. A clip played of Anvil laughing to end it. Bret and Natalya hugged in the ring as the Hart Foundation music played to end it.
— WWE (@WWE) April 7, 2019
Analysis: That was a very good speech because Bret has an outstanding memory about the big moments from his career and his life. It’s nice that they were able to get through it after the fan got in the ring to tackle Bret. Sadly, people are always going to remember The Hart Foundation’s speech for that fan interruption and not the actual speech, which is a shame. I enjoyed the fun stories, I liked the tribute that Natalya paid to her father and The Hart Foundation are always going to be one of my favorite tag teams.
There were more Degeneration X clips shown.
BRUTUS “THE BARBER” BEEFCAKE INDUCTION
The video package aired for Brutus “The Barber” Beefcake as the next Hall of Fame inductee.
Hulk Hogan did the induction speech for Brutus. Hogan spoke about the different names that Brutus had in his career until he became Brutus “The Barber” Beefcake. (Hogan even mentioned some of the WCW names the Brutus had like Zodiac, Booty Man and The Butcher, which was well after the Beefcake run.) Hogan said when that when he would team with Brutus, he was great at selling and the crowd was into it, so it helped the match. Hogan said that Brutus had wrestling in his blood, he went through a lot when his parents died, he had a parasailing accident and he came back. Hogan said it’s only fitting that Brutus is in the Hall of Fame.
Brutus said he’s standing there tonight saying that his life has been crazy. Brutus thanked WWE for taking a chance on him and helped him put food on the table for his family. Brutus said he’s honored to receive this award. Brutus talked about how he’s been in the ring for 41 years or at least that’s when he started. Brutus spoke about how Hulk Hogan became his best friend, he said he loved him and thanks for the good times. (In the second half of 2017, Brutus publicly trashed Hogan a lot and then they made up in 2018 at some point.)
Brutus claimed that WWE’s initial idea for him was to be a butler named Baron Beefcake – then he said he wasn’t digging the name Baron, no offense Baron Corbin. That led to boos for Corbin, so that was funny. Brutus talked about how he became Brutus Beefcake with the new look. Brutus said that Pat Patterson assigned him The Barber gimmick and he didn’t know about it at first, but then Hogan suggested the sleeper hold where Brutus cut their hair after the match. Brutus thanked Patterson for making his life. Brutus thanked his wife in the crowd, his family that’s there, his family at home and his grandson Gino and daughter Alanna. Brutus also thanked former tag team partner Greg Valentine. He mentioned DDP, Marty Jannetty and baseball player Wade Boggs for contributing to his book.
Brutus talked about memories like SummerSlam 1989 with Hulk Hogan against Randy Savage and Zeus in the main event. The match sucked because of Zeus, but it’s right for Brutus to mention it since it was the main event. Beefcake also spoke about how at WrestleMania 6 he beat Mr. Perfect for Perfect’s first loss and then he cut the hair of The Genius while saying poor Lanny (Poffo) had no idea he was supposed to get a haircut. Macho Man wanted to fight Beefcake for Brutus cutting Lanny’s hair, but then he calmed down.
Brutus gave thanks to God for sparing his life during that scary boating accident. He said it gave him a second chance at life and the fans cheered that.
Brutus mentioned Shawn Michaels putting Marty Jannetty through the Barber Shop Window and joked that he shaved Shawn’s head. Brutus said that he’s thankful for being the Barber and thankful for cutting and strutting his way to the WWE Hall of Fame. That ended the speech.
Analysis: Solid speech. Brutus was popular in his prime and a pretty good talker as he showed here. I’m still pissed off that he beat Mr. Perfect at WrestleMania 6 too! Kidding. Maybe.
After some commercials, there was a shot of the lovely Alexa Bliss in the crowd beside her mom. That drew cheers from the crowd.
SUE AITCHISON WARRIOR AWARD INDUCTION
The Warrior Award was next for long time WWE employee Sue Aitchison. A video package was shown. She worked for WWE for over 30 years as they put over Sue’s work that she did with WWE working Make A Wish and clips were shown with Sue.
Dana Warrior did a speech to introduce Sue. She mentioned her husband Ultimate Warrior talking about people behind the scenes in WWE and their efforts in the company. Dana introduced John Cena because of his work with Make A Wish that Sue has been a part of.
John Cena made his entrance in a suit as some fans sang “John Cena Sucks” for his theme song. There were some fans chanting “face Kurt Angle” because that’s what they wanted at WrestleMania. Cena joked that he’s wandered into the audience participation part of the program.
Cena talked about things he has learned from Sue over the years. Cena said he met Sue very early in his career as fans chanted “Let’s go Cena, Cena sucks” at him. Let the man talk as Cena thanked them for their energy. Cena said that Sue’s philosophy was “how can I help?” and she said she is a reason WWE has a relationship with Make A Wish and why Make a Wish gave him some of the best moments of his life – he owes that to her. Cena said now that he knows there is energy in the building, he asked the fans to welcome Sue.
Aitchison walked out to a nice ovation from the crowd with Cena greeting her in the ring. Aitchison read her speech off paper saying all of her family is here. Aitchison thanked the McMahon Family for believing in her and providing her with a job she loves. Aitchison talked about the motivation she gets from the children. She told stories about Make A Wish including Connor meeting Daniel Bryan. Aitchison said that these children will have a bigger impact on this world that some of us will never know or ever see while saying that Connor has left an impact. She spoke about WWE raising over $3 million for Connor’s Cure to help care for many of these wonderful kids. Aitchison said that in her 32 years she has coordinated over 6,000 wishes. That’s impressive. Good for her.
Aitchison spoke about the WWE team that helps make it happen in arenas all around the world. Aitchison thanked the WWE superstars like Triple H, DX, Undertaker, Randy Orton, Roman Reigns, Seth Rollins, Dean Ambrose, the ladies like Bella Twins, Charlotte, Sasha and those superstars who aren’t with us today like Ultimate Warrior and Randy Savage. Aitchison said that she’s proud to say that WWE leads the pack of wishes granted while mentioning Hulk Hogan, Jesse Ventura, The Rock and John Cena have all been granted awards. She mentioned Cena is currently at 619 wishes while noting that nobody has beaten that while Justin Bieber claimed he had done more. She said she’s sorry, but this honor goes to WWE and John Cena, which led to laughter from Cena. Sue joked she might make TMZ with that remark. Sue said that many of the children do recover and go on to live happy and successful lives.
Sue talked about a former wish child that met The Rock over 15 years ago, he’s now a grown man with two small children of his own and he’s doing well. Sue asked for this man, Jody Phillips, to stand up and he stood up in the crowd. He walked into the ring with Sue. She thanked WWE for this honor, she said that wishes do come true and to keep on wishing. Well said.
Analysis: That was nice. You can tell how much Sue was liked by the wrestlers in the crowd and how Cena spoke about her so fondly. Her speech was pretty good too.
A WrestleMania video aired letting us know WrestleMania is tomorrow (or today as you read this).
There was a shot of Daniel Bryan and wife Brie Bella in the crowd. The fans booed Bryan. Then they showed Kofi Kingston, Xavier Woods, Big E, Kofi’s kids and the fans booed Bryan while cheering Kingston. That was funny. Kofi’s son was into it too.
More DX clips were shown. Giving Michael Cole a wedgie is something I liked a lot.
HARLEM HEAT INDUCTION
The video package aired for the Harlem Heat brother duo Booker T and Stevie Ray. They were 10-time WCW Tag Team Champions, which was the most Tag Team Title reigns in WCW history. Now can you dig that…sucka. It was a fun catchphrase.
Booker T and Stevie Ray made their entrance, so there was nobody that inducted them. It was pretty cool that they talked into the camera on their way to the ring because that’s what they did in their WCW days.
Booker said that they wish their mother was there to see them go in the Hall of Fame, but they know she is (watching from above). Booker talked about wanting to grow up wanting to be like his older brother because his brother was always watching his back. Some fan yelled “spinarooni” and Booker said you can forget that, which drew laughs. Booker mentioned that he made mistakes, then he got arrested, his brother had his back and when they would talk, it would always be about wrestling. When Booker came home from prison, his brother had his back. Stevie told Booker to do a job to the best of his ability and Booker said to this day, he’s doing that job to the best of his ability. Booker said he would not be a professional wrestler without his brother because it’s what Stevie wanted to do. Booker talked about having belts made that said “Mr. Ebony 1” and “Mr. Ebony 2” and he spoke about how he was living his brother’s dream.
Stevie said that they had no inclinations of ever being a tag team. He wanted to be a wrestler, so his brother said that he would do it too and they went to WWE Hall of Famer Ivan Putski. They were trained by Scott Casey. Stevie talked about wrestling in Houston, then they were noticed in an independent wrestling magazine and got a tryout for Global Wrestling Federation in Dallas. Stevie said that Booker had a trench coat that was like a wrestling version of John Shaft. Eddie Gilbert asked Stevie about Booker, then came up with an idea and they became a babyface tag team. Stevie admitted that they had never tagged before even though they told Eddie they had. Stevie said that the name Stevie Ray came from Stevie Wonder and Ray Charles. They became the Ebony Experience, they gave them the worst tag team to work with, Gilbert was fired and Booker said that it was over before it started, which he had said before. Stevie said that Booker helped make these guys they were against look better than ever. Stevie said one month later, the place was sold out for them.
— WWE Universe (@WWEUniverse) April 7, 2019
Booker said after that, they headed up to WCW and it all started with this lady right here, Sister Sherri. An image was shown of the three of them. Booker said you gotta give Sherri her props as an important woman in wrestling history. Stevie told a story about having a match with Sid Vicious and his friend that ended up being a pretty good match.
Stevie talked about how they got hired by WCW with Ole Anderson telling them to go back to Texas, Booker thought it was over before it got started (the running joke during the speech) and Ole believed in them. Stevie said that they were working with top talent that taught them a lot.
Stevie said that Hulk Hogan spoke up for them saying that they were WCW’s best tag team, then Sherri got with them and ten Tag Team Titles later, here they are. Stevie spoke about so many guys in the business that he really wanted to give a shoutout to was a guy that helped them a lot and he said Arn Anderson welcomed them with respect. Stevie said without respect, this business is nothing and Arn taught him that. Stevie said before Booker finishes up, he said don’t get slapjacked and suckas got to know.
Booker talked about the current stars of today like The Usos taking the tag team division to the next level, guys like The Revival, those young boys the Street Profits (they are in NXT) representing Harlem Heat and he gave a shoutout for The New Day. Booker said “KofiMania” as well leading to Woods pointing at Daniel Bryan, who shook his head. Booker said Daniel Bryan is going to get an ass whooping, so Bryan stood up and fans chanted “yes” for that. Booker thanked his beautiful wife, his kids, his other family members and said that now he’s a two-time Hall of Famer. Booker ended it with his “now can you dig that sucka” catchphrase to a big pop from the crowd.
Analysis: Solid speech from the brothers. Stevie focused on the stories about their way up in the business while Booker had some fun, especially at the end. You could see how happy they were and how far they had come in the business. They really were one of WCW’s best tag teams ever. It wasn’t necessarily because of the best matches, but more because of the presence they had and their ability to consistently get over with the crowd.
A commercial was shown plugging WrestleMania and the triple threat women’s match main event.
There was a shot of Charlotte Flair, then Ronda Rousey and there was Lynch seated beside Rollins as I mentioned earlier.
The hosts Corey Graves and Renee Young asked us if we are ready for the DX induction.
DEGENERATION X INDUCTION
The video package aired for Degeneration X showing a lot of funny clips from their original run in 1997 through 2000, then the reboot in 2006 and a few times after that too. They were very entertaining and I think they’re the best group in WWE history in terms of their longevity as well as their impact in WWE during the Attitude Era.
Degeneration X members Shawn Michaels, Triple H, Road Dogg, Billy Gunn and X-Pac arrived on a jeep and they threw some glowsticks into the crowd while DX graphics were shown on the screen. Kofi Kingston’s son got two glowsticks along with his Hitman shades. There were a lot of crotch chops too. Triple H gave glowsticks to his daughters too. Road Dogg dared somebody to hit the ring on DX. Shawn had on a black hat to cover his bald head.
They started off with Triple H saying they used to break the rules, but he’s got a job now and he’s an Executive VP of Talent, Live Events and Creative. Hunter said that he doesn’t know what it means, but it feels important any time you’re a VP of something. Hunter joked about you can’t say Vince McMahon, so Road Dogg said it, X-Pac asked, Hunter said do not talk about Vince, Billy Gunn asked about it, Shawn just said “Vince” and said Kennedy (Vince’s middle name). Hunter told them not to do it. Dogg asked him who told them not to say it, so Hunter said Vince McMahon. The comedy bit continued with Dogg asking what if the fans said Vince McMahon, so the fans did it and Hunter said “don’t say thank you Vince” leading to “thank you Vince” chants. Hunter said that Vince will come out there, he will authorize him to give them jobs and fire them. Shawn hilariously said that he will never, ever thank Vince McMahon. Gunn: “He can’t fire me!” (Gunn works for AEW now). Hunter: “Billy, let’s be honest, he will buy that pissant company just to fire you again!” That led to loud “ooohhh” reaction from the crowd.
Analysis: That pretty f’n funny, I gotta say. The bit about Vince followed by the punchline by Hunter referring to AEW as a pissant company was golden. The delivery was key. I hope AEW succeeds and I will be watching it. That was still a great setup with Gunn and Triple H’s line that followed was hilarious.
— WWE Universe (@WWEUniverse) April 7, 2019
Michaels said that it’s time to recognize the biggest and most important member of Degeneration X that is not out here this evening, which led to “Thank You Chyna” chants. That also led to a standing ovation. Michaels called her a trailblazer as fans chanted “she deserves it” for Chyna. Shawn said they wouldn’t be where they are without Chyna.
"We wouldn't be where we're at or who we are without the contributions of the 9th Wonder of the World #Chyna." – @ShawnMichaels #WWEHOF@TheRealXPac @RealBillyGunn @WWERoadDogg @TripleH pic.twitter.com/gs27mPTev3
— WWE (@WWE) April 7, 2019
Road Dogg had a guy hand him his speech, which was a stack of about 100 pages with Dogg making a crack about it being Hillbilly Jim’s long speech. Hunter had glasses with eyes out of place, then said it must be Shawn’s (since Shawn has a bad eye) and Shawn had glasses with a big nose to make the “Triple H has a big nose” joke. Dogg: “It’s funny because he had a huge friggin’ nose.” That drew laughs.
Dogg said that the relationships he had with these guys is real. Dogg thanked God for his sobriety because without it he has nothing and he thanked God for being in the same Hall of Fame as his dad “Bullet” Bob Armstrong. Dogg said he didn’t have a ton of friends, but most of them were in the ring with him. Dogg thanked his wife Tracy James while saying he’s put her through hell, he’ll pay her back for the rest of his life and said that he loves her with all his heart. Dogg cued up a video that aired about DX followed by a dog humping a person’s leg with Dogg saying they didn’t mean to put that in there. That was funny.
Billy said this was the part where they let him talk and Hunter joked saying don’t make him regret this. Billy thanked Ron and Don Harris, he thanked Bill DeMott and he thanked his wife and two sons. Gunn also thanked his mom as well as his sister while adding his mom is really his #1 fan. Gunn pulled out some water gun soaker that barely sprayed any water, Hunter said that at our age it happens and no matter how many times you pump it, it just dribbles off the tip. That drew a lot of laughs. Gunn was laughing about it too. Shawn followed up saying we can always count on Billy Gunn to over promise and under deliver. Shawn said they appreciated him being there and being All In…leading to more “ooohhh” reactions from the fans.
Analysis: That was another funny bit and Hunter with a great line to react to it. There’s another AEW reference since the AEW guys ran the All In show last year and Gunn now works for AEW. Well played.
X-Pac took over as fans chanted “1-2-3” with Hunter saying they were going to have him out there as the 1-23- Kid and shave his eyebrows. X-Pac said he didn’t think he’d be alive to see this and he’s so grateful to be here. X-Pac mentioned his mom, sister, nephew and his two children Jesse and Caitlyn are there. He got emotional saying he loved them so much, he’s so grateful to have a relationship with them and he said he’s so nervous right now. The fans cheered to support him followed by “you deserve it” chants. X-Pac thanked Ric Flair and Dusty Rhodes because the first show he went to featured them when he was 10 years old and he knew that’s what he wanted. He thanked his trainer the Great Malenko along with his two sons Joe and Dean and they taught him how to wrestle. X-Pac thanked his buddy Jerry Lynn and said he’s one of the best wrestlers to ever step foot in the ring. They came up in the business together. X-Pac thanked the bad guy Razor Ramon, who stood up to receive a big ovation. He said that Razor made the 1-2-3 Kid and said that he is one of his best friends. X-Pac said that the Kliq gave us DX and NWO, then mentioned Kevin Nash, who stood up. X-Pac teased making a torn quad joke, but didn’t. X-Pac also thanked Bret Hart because he gave him the best singles match of his career and it’s one of the best matches in Raw history. X-Pac thanked Eric Bischoff for hiring him for the NWO, then firing him to join DX to help win the Monday Night Wars.
X-Pac thanked his DX buddies while telling the story of when he superglued Billy Gunn’s hat to his head. X-Pac said he thought it was Billy who shaved his eyebrows, but it was actually Mr. Perfect. X-Pac thanked Maria Menounos and Kevin Undergo for giving him a show X-Pac 123-60 on Afterbuzz TV. X-Pac pointed out his girlfriend Angela in the crowd. X-Pac finished up talking about Chyna saying that Joanie was the magic ingredient in the DX recipe. He said that they should call the women’s battle the Chyna Memorial Battle Royal. The fans cheered and chanted “yes” to that idea. X-Pac asked if they can say boobs, then Hunter asked if they can say boobs, so they kept saying “boobs” and the fans cheered. X-Pac joked that he still keeps in touch with some of them. They showed an image of a girl flashing her boobs to DX…then they joked that she looks like this now and it was an older woman. Hunter joked that was Michael Hayes and did the “doot doot doot” too. A really older woman was shown too with boobs and faces blurred out. It was over the top, gross-out humor. Hunter told X-Pac he needs to be done.
Analysis: X-Pac was emotional through that and the fans helped him, so that was cool to see. He spoke a lot longer than Dogg and Gunn did. I doubt the battle royal is named after Chyna due to her history doing porn, but it could happen. I don’t know. It’s hard to predict that sort of thing.
Shawn Michaels took over saying that he wants to thank his loving family, but he said they didn’t come. He said that his wife and kids didn’t come. Shawn joked that his wife and children are embarrassed by some of the stuff they did. Hunter said that they are embarrassed by him because he wore a hat with assless chaps while pointing out that even Bret Hart knows better than that. Shawn went to the side.
Analysis: That was quick by Shawn. He had his Hall of Fame induction in 2011, so I guess he didn’t feel the need to say more than what he already said earlier.
Triple H took over as fans chanted “NXT” at him with Hunter joking that will make Shawn feel better (Shawn coaches at NXT). Hunter thanked Killer Kowalski for training him and making him Terra Ryzin. Hunter thanked the talent in this room, anybody that has stepped in the ring before them and those that will step in the ring in the future. Hunter said you are nothing without the person that steps in the ring with you. Triple H thanked Kevin, Scott, Kid, Shawn and said that the Kliq was the NWO and DX before they were a thing. He said often imitated and never duplicated. Some fans chanted “too sweet whoop whoop” and Hunter replied with: “Honestly, that’s stupid, I hate that thing, but whatever.” That drew a lot of laughs. Hunter said their stuff was cool, but that ain’t.
Hunter said that being with Degeneration X was the best time of his life. He said that they were brothers to him. Hunter said that they were mostly trying to make themselves laugh leading to Hunter thanking them. Hunter mentioned Chyna saying he wouldn’t be where he is without her in his career, DX wouldn’t be where he is and it’s fitting that the women will headline for the first time in history (shot of Rousey, Flair and Lynch in the crowd) and that the night before that, the most impactful woman (Chyna) gets inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame. Hunter pointed out that Chyna’s sister Kathy was sitting in the crowd. She looked like Chyna a bit. Hunter told Kathy that “she’s here, the real her.” That led to more “Thank You Chyna” chants. Hunter said that the real her would love this and Chyna loved the fans.
Hunter talked to his daughters Aurora, Murphy and Vaughn in the front row. Hunter said he only has one more thing to say to them: “I love you more than you love me.” He said it really fast in a goofy dad kind of way. Hunter mentioned Vince and Linda McMahon, then joked that she might audit his taxes in the government. Well played although she’s no longer working for the White House. Hunter talked about his wife Stephanie saying “forever” and that was it as she said “I love you” back at him. Hunter mentioned his nephew, his niece that wasn’t there, his sister and his mom and dad sitting beside Stephanie. He said he would be nothing without them and he loves them.
Analysis: Good speech by Hunter. We don’t see that side of him that much talking about his family and they showed his daughters on screen. His parents were beaming with pride. It was cool to see that.
They went back to the comedy with Hunter talked about how they showed too many body parts, Kid had no butt cheeks, they had to shave Shawn and they made a lot of references to juvenile humor. Hunter joked that his mom wrote most of that stuff. Hunter said that his mom is the master of the penis joke. Shawn joked that there’s a whole generation out there that they corrupted. Hunter asked how many people got suspended and got in trouble because of them. There were cheers. Shawn joked that the whole other generation is disgusting. Shawn said they owe the world a heartfelt apology.
— WWE Universe (@WWEUniverse) April 7, 2019
A special DX podium was brought onto the stage. X-Pac said, “your ass is grass and I’m gonna smoke it.” He asked the crowd to make some noise. Road Dogg did the New Age Outlaws introduction that he always did very well, the fans joined in and chanted along with him. Hunter did the “Are You Ready?” bit to fire up the crowd leading to the “let’s get ready to suck it” line. I wonder how he explains that to his daughters. Oh well, it made the family a lot of money at least. Gunn did the “if you’re not down with that” bit leading to the “suck it” chant.
The DX music played to end it and then the five DX guys used water guns to spray onto the crowd. Hunter specifically went into the crowd to spray a lot of water on Baron Corbin, so that was funny.
Analysis: That was one of the most fun Hall of Fame speeches I can ever remember. It went over 30 minutes, so it was long, but they had a lot of fun moments that I enjoyed. They set up the numerous jokes well, they shared some good memories along the way and the crowd was really into it even though they were three hours into the show. X-Pac’s speech was a bit of a struggle because he was emotional, but other than that they got through. Even with X-Pac taking a bit longer to get through it, I’m happy for the guy beating his addiction and being there for this moment. I also liked their tribute to Chyna and I wish they would have inducted while she was alive
The Hall of Fame ceremony went 3:39:13 on WWE Network. Long show.
Thanks for reading. I’ll be back tonight for the live WrestleMania review.