The crowd chanted thank you and he said no thank you. He said he feels like the fans are family. He thanked all his brothers and sisters for coming, learning the game and how to get through life.
He said only one thing can make this night complete and it's not the spinaroonie but his mother...but he's content and happy to have this night and share it with everyone.
He started telling some stories, noting that right after Eddie Gilbert was fired they fired them. He told the story of Gary Michael Cappetta bringing up Mick Foley's ear on Booker's first Germany tour and wondered what the hell he got himself into.
He thanked several from his WCW days...Arn Anderson, Ric Flair and Greg Gagne. He said he wanted to thank Dusty Rhodes. Booker said he was a match once and rocked it and knew it because Dusty told him he wouldn't be put on first anymore.
He said Harlem Heat was off and running was missing something...and that was Sherri Martel. She legitimized Harlem Heat and made them who they were. Sister Sherri made them worldwide.
Once an agent told Stevie that he doesn't work like Booker and his response was that no one in the locker room did that. Booker said he was inspired to do something special and had the chance to win his WCW World TV champ. Rick Martel was supposed to win but didn't have his gear. So Booker went from walking out to winning the belt from Disco Inferno.
He was only supposed to go and drop it to Martel but that was their plan not his. He started the journey and followed in the footsteps of Ron Simmons. He beat Jeff Jarrett and closed WCW going from the bottom to the top.
Then, WWE came calling. He remembers David Penzer asking him if he was sad and had tears in his eyes. Penzer asked Booker what he was going to do. Booker said he didn't know about the rest of these guys but he was going to WWE.
Booker said that he remembers Linda McMahon telling him he finally got him and now he's in the WWE family forever. He thanked Blackjack Lanza, Pat Patterson, Michael Hayes, Johnny Ace and more.
Booker thanked Steve Austin and mentioned the grocery store fight. He thanked Goldust and Boogeyman making him learn and grow as a performer.
Booker thanked Undertaker. His first Wrestlemania, Taker told him to feel the moment and he is right now too.
Booker thanked Jim Ross, the first person to get Booker to tell his story because it could help someone else.
Booker thanked Michael Cole for being there for him and calling his matches and being as a great friend.
Booker said that like WCW he went from the bottom to the top as World champion and the greatest King of all time, King Booker.
Booker thanked the fans for supporting him through 35 years all the way back from raising the roof in the old days through today. The fans chanted for a Spinaroonie and he told them to wait and if they pull a Trish on him, he will whoop all their asses.
He thanked his wife Sharmell and said that he loves her, will come running for her always and will say "I Do" a thousand times over. He said tonight was a toast to their love.
He closed with his trademark Can you dig that sucka? And hit a spinaroonie.
Huge Booker chant.
Maria Menounos inducted Backlund. She said that to induct anyone into the WWE Hall of Fame is so special and praised wrestlers for all they do as entertainers and doing it while taking bumps.
She explained how much she loved Bob Backlund growing up and how they became friends on the set of her first movie. She said that there is no better friend to have than Bob Backlund.
She told a story of the Iron Sheik's Persian Clubs and how Backlund was the only man who could do it and Backlund told her how if you could believed you could do something you can. She then told a story of Backlund doing the Harvard Step Test for 8 hours.
She said that when she was on Dancing with the Stars, when she wrestled at Wrestlemania and making it in Hollywood, Backlund's advice and words helped her.
She noted that after losing the belt, Bob refused to turn heel because it would let down the kids who looked up to him. Then years later he came back and reestablished himself as a top heel for a new audience.
Maria told a ton of unknown facts about Bob. She said he was a top shootfighter but intentionally never squashed an opponent because it could hurt them in the future. The crowd was turning on her because it was so long.
Backlund came out and thanked Maria. He said that he's known her a long time and she's a lady's lady and he has the utmost respect for her.
Backlund said being put in today is an honor because of who's being put in with him. He talked of meeting Bruno Sammartino for the first time in 1977. He said he respects Bruno because he paved the road for guys like Bob. He got to know Bruno very well and Bruno works hard and never gives up like John Cena gives up. He said the crowd boo but if you want to be successful, you can't give up.
He asked if anyone thinks Vince McMahon made excuses when he wanted to control the world of wrestling, they are wrong.
Backlund told the story of how he thought he was family when Vince McMahon Sr. wanted an All American Boy. He said growing up, he had an outhouse in Minnesota. He said they didn't have much but they had each other.
Backund said he got into amateur wrestling in fifth grade and lost every match he had. He was mad at himself and the coaches wanted him to quit. He showed them. He got excited when he learned that when you lose, you never lose unless you quit. He began questioning why he lost and bought his first exercize machine.
Backlund began telling all these zany stories about workout machines and routines he created. He was really really animated and awesome.
Backlund said he was still losing but got better little by little. He said his last match, he worked really hard. Verne Gagne mentioned his name on TV and everyone told him he was gonna win. He... (Continues on next page)