The 2020 and 2021 WWE Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony opens up with a Hall of Fame video package. We open up on Peacock and the WWE Network, live on a tape delay from the WWE ThunderDome at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida as the virtual crowd cheers. WWE Hall of Famer Jerry Lawler is introduced as the host of the show.
2020 WWE Hall Of Fame Induction Ceremony
Lawler is at the podium on the stage now. He welcomes everyone and says it’s his honor to celebrate those who didn’t get to receive their honors last spring. Lawler says the goal tonight is to double everything for the first time. He sends us to a video package for former WWE Champion JBL.
JBL – John Bradshaw Layfield
After a long, very well done video package, Jerry Lawler quips that JBL would take on and beat King Kong and Godzilla. JBL said if you are waiting for a wrestling God from Texas to cry, you will be let down. He said that he told his grandfather in Sweetwater, Texas that he would be a pro wrestler and those dreams came true. He went and trained under Brad Rheighans and they went to the Sportatorium and with no experience, he knocked on the door and asked James Beard for a job. Lou Perez wasn’t there and he was put in the ring sight-unseen for 20 minutes with Rod Price. That night, he fell in love with pro wrestling.
He told a story about a night he got so much heat in Germany, he knew he wasn’t going to make it back to the locker room and Fit Finlay saved him from someone who saw him coming and the guy was so scared he dropped a knife and ran. He said that he fell in love with getting that white hot heat and told the story of giving Eddie Guerrero’s mother a heart attack on mother’s day. He said without Eddie Guerrero he would not be standing here today and wished he was.
He then praised Ron Simmons for their run with APA, which was them “toned down” for TV. He said that John Cena ended his historic run and if you are going to end a run, you should do it with someone who is a credit to the business like John. He said WWE allowed him to go all over the world and work with charities. When he’s asked what he would do over again, he said every bit of it. He’d love one more time to stand in the ring and hear VIVA LA RAZA and watch Eddie Guerrero come out or feel the lights go out and DONG DONG and The Undertaker comes out. He’d like to be in some podunk town no one has ever heard of and getting into a car with Ron Simmons, The Godfather and Teddy Long with a bun ch of beer and go off enjoying the right.
JBL says to anyone who feels he has wronged them or said something to them backstage and made them feel bad – from the bottom of his heart he’d like to say… cry a river, snowflake, he’s JBL and he apologizes to no one, and he’s going into the WWE Hall of Fame because he is who he says he is, A Wrestling God! JBL’s music hits as he poses as a “JBL!” chant starts up in the virtual crowd.
— They went to the red carpet where Rhea Ripley and Peyton Royce are. Peyton said she’s happy to see the 2020 Class finally getting honored. Rhea said they are the ones who paved the way. Rhea said that she grew up watching the Bellas and she finally had the chance to meet them. She felt they welcomed her right away and told a story of meeting them as a fan and now getting to meet them as a Superstar.
— Randy Orton was interviewed. He said that he loves being here and points out his father is a Hall of Famer. He said he has a relationship with everyone in the Hall of Fame and is happy to see them honored.
— New Day was asked about the nWo going in. Kofi said he’s excited for them but he’s also excited for the Bellas, who he came up with. He said he’s never met a pair of harder working people. To see people getting their due is awesome. They brought so much change with the Women’s Revolution, the Evolution PPV, the first women’s Royal Rumble and Money in the Bank PPV. To see them get their due is awesome. Xavier teased that perhaps New Day will go in next year.
Davey Boy Smith, The British Bulldog
They had a tremendous video for Smith, focusing on his WWE exploits and the Hart family.
Accepting for Smith was his wife Diana Hart and their children Harry Smith and Georgia Smith. They had a bulldog with them which they said was the grand-daughter of Mathilda, the Bulldogs’ famous mascot.
Harry said they wanted to thank WWE for the induction and opportunity and thanked the fans for their years of support. Without them, nothing would have been possible. He said Davey was so versatile as an athlete. He could pull off unreal moves and be powerful and dramatic. He had a huge physique but what was truly huge was his heart and personality.
Harry said that his father had a great sense of humor and had him laughing, bending over all the time. He said that he believes Davey’s best match in WWE was Summerslam 1992 against Bret Hart and that’s a match no one is ever going to forgot. He said his favorite memory of Smith was that match and it’s a match he can watch over and over again and never be tired of.
He also praised Davey’s match against Owen Hart for the European title as something both were really proud of. He said The Bulldogs vs. The Hart Foundation evolved tag team wrestling. He mentioned Davey’s great matches with Dynamite Kid in Japan as having inspired his own wrestling style today. He is proud to carry on Davey’s legacy and knows that he is with him in spirit in the ring alongside Dynamite Kid. He feels that same spirit is with them tonight.
Davey was a great father, athlete and performer and will never be forgotten by his friends, family and the WWE Universe. He wanted to thank WWE and the fans from the bottom of his heart and thanked all the stars who shared the ring with Davey. He knows there was a delay but he wanted to welcome his father to the Hall of Fame officially.
— Nikki Cross was interviewed. She said tonight was exciting and amazing. They talked about The British Bulldog. She said Harry’s speech was wonderful and she had to fix her makeup. She loved getting to meet Diana and Georgia for the first time and everything was so emotional. She praised the Hart vs. Bulldog Summerslam 1992 match. He had an amazing career in WCW and WWE.
— Braun Strowman was asked what the Hall of Fame means to him. He said it’s one thing to travel the world and do what they can do for the company but the Hall cements your legacy. It’s the cherry on top. He praised the lineup.
— Drew McIntyre was asked what Davey Boy Smith going in means to him. He said it’s about time. He said growing up, everyone said no one from Scotland ever got signed to WWE but The Bulldogs were the representation for him. Seeing the flag fly made him believe he could get there too. He wants to inspire others and see that if he did it, so can they. That’s what Bulldog did for him.
Jushin Thunder Liger
On the screen, Liger introduced himself as from New Japan and accepted the honor. He thanked WWE for the honor and said he was excited and had goosebumps. It was rthe first time he has been nervoud to speak. He wa honored to receive his plaque and ring. He is glad he became a professional wrestler and thanked all his fans in WWE.
Shatner appeared from his home. He said he was born in Montreal and a lot of great wrestlers came from Montreal. He said he never wrestled but it eas a great honor to throw Jerry Lawler out of the ring. He said he is a big WWE fan and accepts the honor as someone who has the delight of following some of his greatest heroes.
— Miz and Morrison was interviewed backstage. Miz said it was amazing to see Shatner go into the Hall. He put over Shatner’s renditions of WWE themes. Morrison said that it makes sense Lawler and Shatner are friends as they have found the fountain of youth and look amazing.
— Mustafa Ali said that he’s come in peace tonight and he’s excited to see the NWO induction tonight. Retribution didn’t have the level of success of the NWO but that’s OK because he’s living and learning. To see them get the honor today is huge.
— WWE Champion Bobby Lashley and MVP were asked about JBL being inducted. MVP said he had influence on their careers. He deserved his recognition tonight. Hurt Business approved.
Legacy Wing inductees:
- Ray Stevens.
- Brickhouse Brown.
- Dr. Death Steve Williams.
- Baron Michele Leone.
- Gary Hart.
The Bella Twins
They did a comedy bit where they tried to speak at the same time.
Brie said it was an honor to be inducted alongside Nikki. They have shared everything from the womb to the soccer field to the wrestling ring. Nikki said they have changed the world. Show the world and they will kick it down. As twins, they fight for everything, to be the fastest, smartest, strongest Twin.
They showed up 2016 at the Diva Search audition and they weren’t picked but they wanted a taste of wrestling. They were sent to Georgia (Deep South Wrestling) and they found their place. Women were only in the margins in WWE at the time, so it was clear they would fight like they always had. They fought in the ring and backstage. They knew that with a special crew of women they could marshall the entire women’s scene and force it forward to the point it only made sense for WWE to make it the main event.
Throught Total Divas and Total Bellas, they were able to inspire young women, great new female fans and made it possible for women to always be in the ring and not just alongside it. They were in a world where they could be the SHE-RO or the villain and sometimes both. Nikki got to be the longest reigning Divas champion and they are proud to take part in the first ever WWE Evolution PPV and the first-ever Women’s Royal Rumble and now getting to see others continue on the battle.
They named a number of stars alongside them, male and female. They thanked Steve Keirn, Mark Carano, Tom Prichard, Dusty Rhodes, Johnny Ace, Scott Armstrong, Pat Patterson, among others. Nikki thanked John Cena for helping her to find her fearless side. They thanked everyone behind the scenes for everything they do for not just the Bellas but everyone who is part of the road family. Brie thanked Bryan Danielson for sacrificing their private life to show the world of women in wrestling. She thanked him for their children. Nikki wanted to thank Ardem and said in 18 years, Buddy and Mateo will be back as the next generation.
— Nia Jax backstage said the Bellas were so supportive backstage. Shayna Baszler said her actual company debut was on Total Divas as she was helping train Nikki some submission. She takes pride in seeing them as Hall of Famers.
— Mandy Rose and Dana Brooke were interviewed and put over The Bellas for their work in WWE and in building their brand outside of WWE.
— Lana and Naomi were interviewed. Lana said seeing the Bellas get inducted was incredible. Naomi said being in the locker room and the reality show with them allows them to know them in a different way. She said she is super proud of them and to see where they are is excited.
— Sheamus was interviewed about Titus O’Neil getting the Warrior Award. He said there’s not one person who could argue this and talked about what he’s done raising money locally in Tampa Bay. He’s always on his phone and working to help out as many charities as possible.
Warrior Award: Titus O’Neal
They had a tremendous video for Titus.
He said he grew up in poverty with a single mom who was the victim of a sexual assault. He was labeled as someone who would be dead or in jail at a young age. He ended up in a Sherrif’s Ranch in Florida. He heard the words there that changed his life forever – “I love you and I believe in you.” Many told him they loved him but their actions told a different story. Words are powerful and they led him to changing and going from being an underperforming student becoming the first in his family to graduate High School and College with honors.
This allowed him to work with charities inside and out of WWE and build a legacy with his own sons. He wants a legacy that can help others. There are kids who are labeled bad and are asked what’s wrong with you. Few will ask what happened to you. Providing moments and assistance has allowed him to change the experiences that others have dealt with. There’s no question that the WWE platform has allowed him to put smiles on faces and he’s eternally grateful for that but he wanted to always build a life that was signifigant.
Winning the Warrior Award means he’s lived a life of signifigance. He wants to continue that work with the help of his partners and sponsors to provide affordable house, transportation, clothing and food to those in knees. The honor is impactful. He truly believes we should be respectful to everyone we come into contact with. You don’t like to like or agree with them, but you can respect them. That’s what heroes of humanity do. He thanked his family, co-workers and friends helping him grow and prosper as a fan and worker. He thanked them and said “I believe in you,”
Hulk Hogan, Scott Hall, Kevin Nash, Sean Waltman – The nWo
Back from a break and Lawler sends us to a video package on the nWo – Hulk Hogan, Scott Hall, Kevin Nash and Sean Waltman.
Sean Waltman thanked his wife and thanked Nash and Hall for having his back for 30 years. He thanked Hogan for always being so cool. He credited hitting Hogan with a chair at Wrestlemania 18 after the match with The Rock as locking him into the main event for the rest of his run.
Scott Hall said he thought being inducted as Razor Ramon a few years ago was great but being alongside his best friends and the guy who made him want to be a pro wrestler is amazing.
Kevin Nash said that there were a lot of things that could have made the nWo work and a lot that could have made it not work. He said that had Vinnie Vegas and The Diamond Studd had moved to WCW as opposed to Razor and Diesel, it wouldn’t have worked. He said that if their contracts hadn’t expired six days apart, it wouldn’t have worked – if he had shown up 18 months later and said surprise, it wouldn’t have worked.
Nash said that the nWo thing is indeed for life as he gets to see 5 year olds give him the wolfpac symbol wearing a NWO shirt. He said that they might not have been the Beatles but the nWo was at least Led Zeppelin.
Hulk Hogan said that the nWo is still alive. Hulkamania had ended and was on a movie set making Santa with Muscles trying to figure out what was next. He saw Scott Hall jump. Eric Bischoff was in his ear about the nWo thing and he saw the heat and how real it was. It felt like WWE was invading WCW. He picked up the phone and said he was thinking about making the move. Eric said if he didn’t want to, it was going to be Sting. Hulk said, “Sting? Yikes! I am in. I am WWE from head to toe.”
Hogan said the nastier they became and the worst of bottom-feeders they became, the more WWE fans loved them. He said he sells tons of nWo merchandise every day at his store in Clearwater. Hogan claimed he was never beaten for the WCW World title belt. Hogan told them they needed to make another run and said after the first main event and the second main event goes down, the nWo should be waiting in the wings to teach everyone a lesson. Hogan said it was wishful thinking but everyone knows the nWo is 4 life and now in the Hall of Fame, they are 4 life. Relive the history of The nWo at this link.
This is all for the 2020 Class.
2021 WWE Hall Of Fame Induction Ceremony
Corey Graves and Kayla Braxton are the official hosts for the 2021 Class.
Rob Van Dam
Rob said it was amazing. He was experiencing a complete circle of life. 30 years ago, he was finishing up in the USWA in Memphis. He drove from Battle Creek, Michigan to Tampa because it was such a hotbed for pro wrestling. He drove down in a Ford Mustang that was held together with coathangers, no insurance and a stolen insurance tag on the plate. He said that the reason he’s standing here is totally because of the response the fans had for him. It’s because of the fans that he wanted to get into wrestling because he was a fan.
Rob said there was a night that his dad passed away. 20 hours after he got the news, he had a signing scheduled in Chicago and he thought about not dojng the signing. He chose not to tell anyone about what happened and just tapped into the fans’ positive energy. He felt so much love and excitement from everyone that it got him through. It helped bail him out of the hole that he was in. The energy exchange with the fans is a two-way street. He’s tickled to death to think that he could somehow improve people’s lives by just seeing him do his thing. We have things that we have an affinity for that pick our spiritual vibrations up.
It’s a tremendous honor to be put in the Hall of Fame and to be put in with prestigious legends who influenced him. He hopes that when people think about his story and journey, they think about individuality. Every step of the way, life is about choices. There were people who wanted to change him but he stuck to his guns.
He said he had so many people to think. He thanked his parents for letting him follow his dreams even though it must have seemed crazy to graduate High School, turn down a scholarship at Michigan State and fight the odds. He thanked Kit Likens, The Sheik for training him into the business and teaching him the lesson of when to listen to someone and adjust and when to ignore it. He told him don’t listen to anyone else, they don’t know what they are talking about.
He thanked every promoter who truisted him to be in the ring when he was yoiung and green with vets like Greg Valentine and Manny Fernandez. He thanked Sabu for helping train him and teaching him to be an individual. He said there was no greater high than standing on the top rope and ‘trust me, I’d know.” He said being here and inducted was a victory for “all of us” and that if he had the time to name every fan, he would, but he can’t, so he wanted to thank the WWE Universe.
No mention of ECW, surprisingly.
— Backstage, Sasha Banks was interviewed. She is looking forward to seeing everyone inducted but especially Molly Holly. She remembers seeing Holly at an indy show and being so shy talking to her. Holly asked her if she was a model and Banks was shocked and said that she wanted to get into the business. Molly spoke to her for 20 minutes telling her she was going to be a huge star. She got confidence and was so thankful for Holly.
— Big E was interviewed. He praised Molly Holly going into the Hall. She was the master of her craft. He praised her time in WCW.
— Carmella was interviewed, praising Molly Holly. She was ahead of her time and a trailblazer for women like Carmella. You didn’t have to just be one thing. She could be a babe, go in the ring and be talented on the mic. Holly could do it all and you can’t talk about the women’s evolution without talking about Molly Holly.
Holly said there were only two people who had their head shaved bald at Wrestlemania. One was the greatest talent ever and the other was Vince McMahon.
Holly praised the backstage crew and said if this was High School, they would have been the ones she wanted to have lunch with. She said that they were the ones who gave her a nod of approval and helped her be her. She would stay after shows and wrap cable just to be part of the world and give back a little more. She named a ton of backstage crew names from the past and present.
Molly thanked the fans for overlooking her shortcomings and focus on her good qualities and lift her up and cheer her on. She is eternally grateful.
That was way too short for someone of her importance and honestly, weird, as she hardly spoke about her career at ALL. She didn’t mention one person she ever wrestled.
— The Street Profits were interviewed backstage. They praised RVD’s induction.
— Rey and Dominik Mysterio were backstage. Rey said one of his favorite competitors to be in the ring with Kane. RVD was one of his favorite tag team matches and they created some moves together. Dominik said he had a ton of Kane and RVD action figures. He remembered being in the crowd and hating Kane’s pyro but loving Kane. Rey joked Dominik still hates pyro to this day.
The Great Khali
Khali appeared via video which is interesting as he was brought to Tampa. He said he was so happy to be inducted and was so happy when he was told by Ranjin Singh he was going in. He said “for some reason” he cannot be there today but his fans are in his heart. He thanked everyone on behalf of himself and his family. He asked the fans to take care of themselves and thanked them again for honoring him.
— Backstage, Ranjin Singh said that Khalki was an inspiration to everyone everywhere, not just India.
— Bianca Belair discussed being inspired by Molly Holly, breaking barriers. Belair said she was in the ring with her in the Royal Rumble and seeing her getting into the Hall of Fame feels like she was getting the flowers and crown she deserved.
Celebrity Inductee: Ozzy Osbourne
Ozzy appeared via video from his pool, thanking the fans, Triple H and Vince McMahon. That’s all.
2021 Legacy Wing inductees:
- Dick The Bruiser.
- Pez Whatley.
- Buzz Sawyer.
- Ethel Johnson.
- Paul Boesch.
They had a tremendous video package for Eric Bischoff.
2020 Class: JBL, The Bella Twins, Jushin Thunder Liger, nWo – Hulk Hogan, Sean Waltman, Scott Hall, Kevin Nash, “The British Bulldog” Davey Boy Smith, William Shatner (Celebrity Wing), Titus O’Neil (Warrior Award)
2021 Class: Kane, Eric Bischoff, Rob Van Dam, The Great Khali, Molly Holly, Ozzy Osbourne (Celebrity Wing), Rich Hering (Warrior Award)
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