Credit: Mike Johnson & Pwinsider.com
Jerry Lawler is the master of ceremonies. He thanked everyone for the welcome and welcomed everyone to the Hall of Fame. He said its the night everyone comes together to honor the past. Then asked everyone to give a round of applause for all the current stars.
Jerry Lawler introduced a video on Ron Simmons.
JBL came out to induct Simmons. JBL said a writer came up to him to help him write the speech. He said since this isn’t the attitude era, he can’t repeat what he told the writer. He said the day he can’t talk about his best friend is the day you put him in the ground.
JBL talked about Simmons’ great college football career. He talked about Simmons’ owning and driving cars with his own picture painted on the hood. He then talked about Simmons’ strength. He said when Simmons came to WWE wearing a blue helmet, Steve Austin said he’s the only man who can walk in wearing that and no one will say a damn thing.
JBL talked about Simmons breaking the barriers by becoming the first African American WCW World champion. He said if there wasn’t a Ron Simmons, there wouldn’t have been The Rock. He said athletes have no barriers now because of what Simmons accomplished in wrestling.
He talked about the APA being put together and said he can’t tell us what he thought of the former head of creative but you saw what happened when he went to WCW. He said that the writer wanted to make it about one of them being black and one being white and Ron said absolutely not. He talked about getting a 8.6 quarter when they faced each other. He said if one of the guys can do that today, please tweet him.
JBL said that they were guys who loved the business and told some wild stories about being on the road during the Attitude era. He said that people love stories of wrestling but especially about Ron Simmons who had nothing growing up and earned everything he was.
JBL said the best thing in his life was Ron Simmons becoming his friend. He said Simmons gave an amazing speech as his best man and like his wife, his friendship with Ron is ’til death do they part.
Simmons came out and said the entire evening he has been sitting in the back trying to think of one word to say. The crowd chanted, “Damn.” He instead said, “Honored”. He thanked everyone and said over the last few years he’s had the fortunate luck of being honored in different Hall of Fames but this one was the one he treasures the most.
He said that he learned from a number of different generations, thanking Hiro Matsuda, Ric Flair, Junkyard Dog and Dusty Rhodes. He said that he looks back and wondered what his life may have been. He said that in his heart, the fans will always be brothers to him.
He talked about his run as World champion and how it led to runs like Booker T thanking him. He said it made the 27 years in the ring worthwhile. He said so many were on the journey but he has to thank the true Hall of Famer, his wife. He said he’s gotten all these awards but he’s never known fear until the day he came home at 5:30 in the morning and looked into her eyes…and he knew the meaning of fear.
Simmons thanked WWE and his family. He said he cannot remember a time where he had a problem and could not go to someone in the organization about it. He thanked everyone in the company on behalf of his family.
Simmons thanked the fans because without them there is no WWE. He finished off with damn!
Jerry Lawler pitched it to a video about Mil Mascaras.
Lawler introduced Alberto Del Rio. He bragged that he’s back but tonight he isn’t here to talk about himself. Del Rio said that his uncle was the first Mexican in WWE and MSG and now he’s the first in the WWE Hall of Fame.
He said his uncle has done movies and broken records and he’s led the way for other Mexican stars. He introduced his uncle.
Mascaras thanked everyone very much. He said that he didn’t know what to say to what his nephew said. He said that he paid the price and when you pay the price for what you do, you have to ask where you would be without everyone and everything. He said he gets asked about his longevity and said it was due to training, good food and a little wine here and there.
Mascaras thanked his family and his wife, saying he met an American woman in Chicago and she takes care of everything. He said he has a beautiful wife. He talked a little about touring Japan but I couldn’t really hear it well. He mentioned another wife…like he has more than one. I was totally confused.
He said he’s wrestled all over the world and started talking about beautiful places and beautiful restaurants. He thanked everyone and all the fans around the world. He finally thanked everyone.
Jerry Lawler introduced a Four Horsemen video. The video was off the charts. I literally had chills.
Dusty Rhodes came out to introduce them. How strange it is for a fan that loved the NWA in the 80s to see this. Rhodes said that the Beatles were a faction and they laid the foundation for the music industry. In the movies, The Rat Pack did the same. He said that wrestling has seen different groups blaze up and fade away, until the Four Horsemen rode the lightning bolt known as professional wrestling.
He said that this is the first time someone has been inducted into the Hall of Fame twice. He said he have loved and hated and partied and been tired with him, but no one in the business can accomplish what he has. He said Ric Flair is a national treasure.
Rhodes called JJ Dillon was a master strategist. He said today wrestlers want to get their bus but the Horsemen rode in limos and housed themselves in fancy hotels. Dillon was the man behind all that. He talked about Dillon breaking his shoulder in the War Games.
Dusty called Barry Windham was the best natural athlete who ever walked into the business. He said Barry is and was a Horsemen and a gift to the industry.
Dusty said that Tully Blanchard was a master powerhouse and never made a mistake. He truly believed he was the best and was the glue of the Horsemen.
Dusty said that Arn Anderson was the heart of the Horsemen who did anything and everything that needed to get done no matter the act, the beating or the time it took to do it right.
Dusty talked about how Arn Anderson has the heart for pro wrestling. He said that all Arn is and was is a pro wrestler but tonight he’s something more…a Horseman and a Hall of Famer.
The Horsemen came out to a looooong standing ovation. There was a huge “Thank you Horsemen” chant.
JJ Dillon said there was a day 25 years ago where all the exceptional athletes carried all the major championships. He said that all the planets and the stars were in the right position that day because something magical really happened. He said they never thought that it was something that would last the way that it has. He thanked Dusty Rhodes for being the catalyst. Dillon said that he is proud to wear his Hall of Fame ring and to have run with these guys. He said tonight is special because his three daughters and his son are here.
Ric Flair took the mic. He said this is emotional and is going to tell a story. He said that his ex- wife once asked him when he was going to grow up when he told her he was going to have a few drinks with John Cena and how could he have anything in common with someone 30 years younger. Flair responded you won’t find out tonight and slammed the phone down. He said once a Horsemen, always a Horsemen.
Flair said that he’s had the most wonderful career that any athlete could possibly have. He said that for the years this group ran together it was the best time of his life. They couldn’t wait to get to the Arena and wanted to show it. He broke down as he said they loved being the best at what they were doing.
Flair started crying as he began talking about Arn, Tully and Windham. He said Windham was the only person who could match him in a lot of ways. He said they were all JJ Dillon’s kids in a lot of ways.
Flair told a story of his ex-wife Beth trying to make him go home and Flair refusing so his wife threatened to take their daughter and leave. Flair told JJ to stake out his house only for JJ to fall asleep and miss her being taken. Flair thanked his children. No TNA mention.
Barry Windham said it all began for him in Florida and he said this honor means so much to him and is something he cant even begin to imagine. He met Ric when he was 14 years old driving him around and ripped the car up. He met Tully about the same time and then met JJ when he was refereeing in Texas. JJ’s car broke down while Barry was driving the ring truck and Barry thought he saw a ghost but it was JJ and he got to find out later. He said he had some of his best matches ever with and against Arn Anderson. They were the utility crew for Jim Crockett Promotions doing long matches to close the shows so others could shower and leave. He said his father is a Hall of Famer and is at home doing fine. He thanked everyone.
Tully took the podium and said he has stood behind this group every Saturday morning for years as they talked about the symbol of excellence and being the best at what they do. He said they used to have an internal competition to see which of them could steal the show and who could follow that. He said there is not anyone on the planet that the Horsemen cannot follow. He said they can talk about the way they all interacted but he remembers something his father told him. The wrestling business is the entertainment business and the job is to make everyone scream. He said to be in limos and jets every night and twice on Sundays to entertain you was amazing so fans could get what used to be ten dollars of entertainment. He said that he went on a different path and his children who are here did not know this part of his life. He said that they are the four people he loved the most in the world and he didn’t know what love was until they were born.
Blanchard thanked Pat Patterson and told a story of Patterson running into him and handing him a card, opening the door for the Brainbusters to come to the WWF. He said it was a great thrill for them to win the WWF titles with Bobby Heenan. Blanchard said he was told a few months ago and his son wasn’t impressed until he found out that his dad was getting a week.
Blanchard talked about his father passing away. He said he was best friends with his dad. He said that a week ago Thursday his father passed away. He said having the lowest low and the highest high in six days will take him a long time to process.
Blanchard said he wakes up with all sort of twinges in his back and doesnt want anything for it because he loved every second of it. He said the fans deserve every ounce of energy when they go into the ring. His speech was awesome.
Arn Anderson closed and received a standing ovation before he even spoke a word. The fans began chanting Double A. Arn said he was asked a few times about writing a speech but he’s just going to talk to the fans if that’s OK. It was.
Anderson talked about watching Nick Gulas when he was seven years old and became hooked on wrestling. He said his passion and desire to be in the industry drove him. He said Dick Slater and Bob Orton were his idols. He praised his grandparents for instilling the work ethic he had. He told a story about his grandmother asking if he was wrestling with his glasses on…and how she thought Michael Hayes was the sexiest thing she had ever seen.
Anderson talked of breaking in under Ted Oates and working with the Armstrongs and doing TV for Bill Watts. He said he drove himself to death to learn the industry and got his break when Junkyard Dog suggested he be sent to Atlanta. Anderson asked how many people can say he was managed by Dillon, Heyman and Paul Ellering.
Arn said that everyone tonight will praise their family and said that their families give them the power to go out through the curtain and entertain. Anderson talked about his children and how proud he is to be their father.
He said that his career ended very suddenly in WCW. He said that he was told it was surgery or losing his left hand. He had the surgery and that put him on another career path. He praised the other WWE Producers by name for all their hard work. He said their job is to take the younger guys and to make them better so they can entertain the fans.
Anderson said he looks at CM Punk. Three years ago, did you ever think Punk and team leader would be in the same sentence? He did. Anderson praised Big Show and Rey Mysterio and Randy Orton for their work. He said Orton is just as good as Arn’s idol, Randy’s father. Arn praised names like Edge, Kane and Undertaker saying they were the golden circle the likes of which will never be seen again.
Anderson praised John Cena saying he makes everyone’s lives in the industry better. He said that everyone in the room is a caretaker of the industry and its up to them to make sure there is an industry to have for their children to enjoy. He praised Chris Jericho.
Arn said that as much as he thinks he chose this path, its nicer to think this industry chose him.
Just awesome. A speech fitting of the Horsemen.
They played a video feature for Mike Tyson.
Shawn Michaels and Triple H came out to induct Tyson. Michaels talked of Tyson’s boxing career and how you had to see a Tyson fight because it was an event. It led to a story about them rushing from a show to see a Tyson fight and Michaels missing it. They were doing comedy stuff.
HHH said Tyson helped turn the tide of the Monday Night Wars with his encounter with Steve Austin, joining DX and then knocking out Michaels at Mania 14. Michaels teased that he wasn’t liking being the butt of the joke like he was last year. This led to a bunch of back and forth comedy banter. HHH even mocked Michaels being “better than him.”. That led to a “Shawn was Better” chant.
They were cracking up trying to introduce Tyson.
Tyson thanked everyone. He said it was so overwhelming to be a Hall of Famer in WWE. He said he grew up watching Bruno Sammartino, Lou Albano, Moondog Mayne, The Valiant Brothers and others.
He said that he always wanted to be a wrestler and he appreciates being part of this family. He said that if he didn’t do Wrestlemania he would have been disgusted not to have done it. He said he was over three hours alcohol free. He said his family never came to his boxing fights but they came here.
Tyson started joking about John Cena really being black and making gang signs. He started talking about making movies and getting back in the public eye again. He then talked about how Dusty Rhodes was really black and walked off laughing.
Tyson was obviously having the time of his life but it was hard to understand him due to his speech mannerisms.
It appears Tyson, Yokozuna and Edge will be on the HOF broadcast Monday.
They aired a nice video on Yokozuna.
The Usos. They said they are proud and honored to do this for their family. They said Samoans are no strangers to this business and talked about the famous members of their family. They said that there was only one and the first to be WWE champion, their uncle Yokozuna.
They were only five or six at the time he debuted on TV. They were told their Uncle was on TV and ran in and saw him and said…He’s Japanese and we are Samoan. He said what you saw on TV was the opposite of who he was in real life, Uncle Rodney was someone who loved to laugh.
They introduced Rikishi with members of Yokozuna’s family to accept. He said he was so happy to be here with everyone. He said it is his humble honor to accept this award for his family and a son of Samoa.
He said that Yokozuna was born into wrestling. It was his blood and his passion. He could go through stats and accomplishments to finishing moves. He said that he hailed from one of the most dedicated families in the wrestling business. He said the dynasty lives on today and it is unreal that one family has produced so many talents over so many years.
Rikshi talked of Yokozuna’s skill and heart. He said that a Yokozuna was the highest title in sumo and now Rodney has that title as a WWE Hall of Famer.
He congratulated Yokozuna’s family. He said that on behalf of the whole world, they miss him and they love him.
Gene Okerlund, Mick Foley, Billy Kidman are also here.
Jerry Lawler discussed Edge’s career stats. They went to a video on Edge. Christian was introduced to induct Edge.
Christian said that everyone has heard the news, something that could be bigger than Rock vs. Cena and Taker vs. HHH….someone got a haircut. That led to some Justin Bieber jokes.
Christian said it was so amazing…amazing Edge was trying to emulate his career and now the haircut proves it. He joked that Edge was going to delete title reigns to do that. He said they were just a couple of idiot kids that grew up in Toronto and knew that somehow they knew they were going to make it. He talked about them wrestling in Middle School in an area that was square like a ring. He said that no matter what you do in life sooner or later the kid goes back to the school and recreates that moment and pulls out security footage of Edge doing just that. It was pretty damn funny.
Christian said he’s proud to be inducting him because of something he said when they were breaking in. He said Edge grew up with his mother working multiple jobs. He said that he knew that he had to make it in the business so he could take care of his mom. Christian said he did that.
He talked about this time last year when he got the word that Edge was going to have to retire. He said they knew the clock was ticking but they thought it was going to end on his terms. Christian said they did end on his terms…as the World champ at Wrestlemania. He said that he thought you didnt get a bigger celebration of his career but he was wrong…that was tonight.
Edge came out. He and Christian hugged for a long time. Edge did all the mannerisms from his ring introduction. He had a huge smile on his face.
He said that he told himself he wouldn’t cry but he already was backstage. He thanked a number of names that he said wouldn’t mean anything to anyone but him.
Edge said this a celebration so he wanted this to be happy. He showed some photos to make fun of himself. He showed photos of himself and Christian as kids. He made fun of his hair then.
Edge told the story of writing an essay and winning a contest to become trained by Ron Hutchison and Sweet Daddy Siki. He said they taught him the basics and fundamentals and anyone who left that school was ready. He credited Siki as one of the first African American wrestlers in this industry. He said he loved Siki.
Edge talked about some of the students from that era, who were there and how they went on the road for promoters. He talked about the Tony Condello tours and pointed out Lance Storm, who was sitting with Scott D’Amore and Rhino. Edge praised Gerry Morrow for teaching him. Edge pointed out Rhino and mentioned that they named him Rhino when they were both chubby kids. He said they went to these terrible places and talked of the death store driving over frozen lakes. He told a story of driving over a frozen lake and seeing a huge hole in the ice. Condello decided to gun it and driving over it. Rhino meanwhile is rocking back and forth muttering to himself. The van sinks so they get out. They get out and Christian falls through the ice to his hips. Edge is laughing. Rhino freaks that it going to shatter and runs away. He turns as Christian is getting out and nails Christian with the first ever gore.
Edge thanked Bret Hart for helping him get to WWF. He told of asking Bret how to get into the company and Hart invited him to train with him. He got the call to wrestle Bob Holly as a tryout. He kept going and going and finally got signed.
Edge said that once he got here, he had some great opponents. He said the hard part was getting to the top. He said that he had Shawn Michaels who was one of the first people to text him after finding out Edge was going into the Hall of Fame.
Edge talked about having the first ever TLC match of Ric Flairs career, Mick Foley, Eddie Guerrero, Owen Hart, The Hardys, The Dudleys, Batista, John Cena, Kurt Angle and Undertaker.
Edge told a story about Being on tour in Iraq and letting loose with bad gas, really making the Undertakers eyes roll in the back of his head.
Edge thanked Vickie Guerrero and Lita for helping him realize the Rated R Superstar. He thanked Hulk Hogan for making a dream come true and it was one that had nothing to do with a sex tape.
Edge said that the Fabulous Freebirds should be in the Hall of Fame because of Michael Hayes and talked of his experiences working with Hayes. He said Hayes is rock and roll. He showed a roll call of Hayes’ suits over the years and said tonight he looks like Kermit the Frog’s pimp.
Edge said that he’s had a lot of friendships over the year. He mentioned Curt Hawkins and Zack Ryder and told them they are near and dear to his heart. He said that he knows the influence he was on them like Bret and Shawn were to him and thanked them and told them to keep it up.
He praised William Regal for his unwavering friendship and sense of humor. He talked about Rey Mysterio. He thanked Glen and Mark. He then talked about Matt Striker’s anxiety towards Taker and teased him.
Edge thanked Tommy Dreamer and told stories about their many road trips. He said Dreamer was a terrible driver who fears fogs and night tornados and told a funny story about Dreamer driving in a fog and being pulled over by a cop with Dreamer saying he shouldn’t be driving to the cop. He tells a story of how he usually doesnt like to room with anyone because he wants alone time but Dreamer tells him he doesn’t snore. He of course immediately snores so Edge did the Superfly Splash onto Dreamer…while naked.
Edge talked about how Dreamer was his Kramer, Striker was his George and Christian was his Elaine. He said they have been friends for 27 years. He said he loves Christians morals and that he was the best husband hes ever known.
He thanked his girlfriend Beth for coming to his life and making it so much better. He then thanked the true best friend of his life, his mom. He talked about how little they had growing up but when he told his mom that he wanted to be a wrestler, she told him to do it. She encouraged him to do it. He thought the best look on her face was when he bought her a home but tonight was even better.
He thanked everyone in WWE and the fans. He said he loved it all over the years. He said he could be here all night and he thanked everyone he could for the past. He played an old clip of him and Christian as fat Elvis to close it out.
They started playing the Hall theme but Edge said no. He didn’t want to do that. He instead had them play the music from his induction video and did the old five second poses. He was walked off by the Divas