2016 WWE Hall Of Fame Induction Ceremony
The WWE Hall Of Fame 2016 induction ceremony red carpet special featured Maria Menounos, Byron Saxton and a number of guests that will be in attendance at the WWE Hall Of Fame ceremony tonight. The Usos got Menounos and Saxton to dance. Renee Young and Cathy Kelley were also involved in the pre-show. Young and Kelley would have individual interviews with guests.
The red carpet pre-show kicks off and after a few commercials on the WWE Network, the 2016 WWE Hall Of Fame induction ceremony kicks off live from Dallas, Texas. The opening video package for this year’s Hall Of Fame ceremony is an excellent one and includes a brief look at each of tonight’s inductees.
From there, the host for this year’s ceremony — Jerry “The King” Lawler — makes his way out to the stage. The fans cheer for Lawler. Lawler takes to the podium and welcomes everyone to what he calls his favorite night of the year — the 2016 WWE Hall Of Fame induction ceremony.
WWE Hall Of Fame Induction: The Godfather
The video package airs for our first inductee of the evening, Charles “The Godfather” Wright. Lawler then introduces the two men who will be inducting The Godfather this evening — JBL and Ron Simmons — the A.P.A.
JBL and Ron Simmons make their way out to the podium to the APA theme song. Ron Simmons says fans have asked for it and what better way to kick off the evening than an APA reunion. JBL then begins talking. He says the Attitude Era was he, Ron and The Godfather seven nights a week.
The two talk about The Godfather’s unique character. They say they still have the munchies from riding with him for so many years. JBL tries to tell stories about The Godfather, but Ron Simmons keeps cutting him off because the stories are too adult.
They stop goofing around now and they talk a bit more sincerely. They do a long build-up about how diverse the WWE Hall Of Fame is, and they say it’s now complete because it has a pimp. They introduce The Godfather.
The Godfather’s music hits and he comes out in a slick pimp suit. Before making his way to the podium he turns around and introduces a Ho-Train! The “Ho’s” come out and dance with The Godfather, WWE Attitude Era-style.
The Godfather begins by doing his old “It’s time …once again …for everybody to come aboard the Hoooo traiiinn!!” line. He then does a personal Happy Birthday wish.
From there, The Godfather talks fondly about the Attitude Era. He says he felt all the love he was getting from the fans and he says to believe him, the love was given right back. He says he was having the time of his life.
He jokes about not being a long-winded fella. He says he’ll leave that to the others. He then wraps up by delivering a message to the young talents. He tells them to enjoy their runs. He finishes by doing his catchphrase one more time. His music plays again and he dances with the “Ho’s” once more.
WWE Hall Of Fame Induction: Stan Hansen
Jerry Lawler returns to the stage and introduces the video package for our next inductee — Stan “The Lariat” Hansen.
After the video package wraps up, “The King” introduces the man who will be inducting Stan Hansen, a legend himself, Vader!
Leon “Vader” White’s music plays and he comes out to the podium. Vader takes his coat off and jokes about how stiff Stan Hansen’s lariat was.
Vader talks about Hansen breaking Bruno Sammartino’s neck. Sammartino is shown in the crowd. He says he met Hansen in the AWA. He mentions a lot of names who passed through the AWA back in the day.
He calls Hansen a mentor and a friend. He talks more about how tough he was. He says many call him one of the best big-men wrestlers, but he was one of the best period. He says because he said so. Steve Austin is shown. He brings up Scott Hall and Hall is also shown in the crowd. He tells a story about sleeping on Hall’s floor to save money and teaming up with Stan Hansen in All Japan Pro Wrestling.
Vader tells the famous story about Hansen knocking his eye out of its’ socket during a match. Hansen, who had infamously bad eye sight, broke Vader’s nose with a cowbell shot to the face. He said after that the next thing he knew, the lights went out in the Tokyo Dome.
He said the lights didn’t go out, he got the living you-know-what knocked out of him. He said his eye was hanging out onto his cheek. He says he loves Stan Hansen. He puts on a wacky pair of glasses with an eyeball that hangs low.
He then wraps up and introduces the legendary Stan Hansen. The fans stand and applaud and music plays and out comes the newest inductee into the WWE Hall Of Fame — Stan “The Lariat” Hansen.
Hansen starts off by talking about how tough Vader was. He then thanked God for giving him a set of lungs and a set of legs to give him the ability to have the style of wrestling that he did. He thanks JBL. He said JBL kept his name alive throughout the years. He says he really appreciates that JBL has done that for him.
He mentions Bruiser Brody, who he is closely associated with throughout his career, and the fans went wild. He also mentions Terry Funk. The fans go nuts again. He mentions some smaller names from the local Texas area. He thanks his wife and family and says how proud he is that his children have made their own lives for themselves.
Hansen puts over Bob Backlund for helping him. He says it was an honor to have worked with Backlund in Madison Square Garden. Backlund is shown in the crowd. He mentions Chavo Guerrero Jr. and others from his time in the Amarillo area. He also talks about his time working for Red Basstein and in the Fritz Von Erich territory in Dallas at the Sportitorium.
He talks about working with The Rock’s “granddaddy” Peter Maivia. He talks working with a white meat, good looking babyface in Rick Martel. Martel gets a pretty big pop. He talks about losing to Martel in nine seconds. He jokingly says he mentioned that so everyone would know that he’s done a few jobs in his day. A lot of the legends are shown laughing at that line in the crowd.
Hansen talks about working with Bruno Sammartino in Madison Square Garden at age 25. He talks about breaking Sammartino’s neck and putting him on the shelf for four months. Sammartino is shown several times in the crowd as Hansen told that quick story. He gets somewhat choked up talking about how thankful he was to Sammartino for giving him that opportunity.
He talks more about his time in Japan. He talks about working for Antonio Inoki. He says two people influenced him quite a bit. He said one of those people was Tiger Jeet Singh. He said the other guy was Pete Roberts, the great junior heavyweight from Great Britain. He says Pete Roberts became the best friend of his life. He says he really appreciates ole’ Pete Roberts.
He talks about what a great and smart guy Andre The Giant was. He said Andre could only have so many handicap matches and matches against the top Japanese stars. He says he needed an opponent. Opponents has been a big theme throughout Hansen’s speech tonight. He talks about having a legendary match in a stadium in Japan with Andre The Giant. He says he owes his career in Japan, which was a legendary one, to Andre The Giant.
Hansen talks about getting caught up in a wrestling war between All Japan and New Japan. He said on a handshake deal he worked for years for Giant Baba. He wraps up by talking about how great it is to be in Texas. He does his shout and wraps up.
WWE Hall Of Fame Inductee: Jacqueline Moore
The video package for this year’s Diva inductee — Jacqueline Moore — airs. After that, Jerry Lawler introduces the two that will be inducting Jacky, The Dudley Boyz — Bubba Ray and D-Von Dudley.
The Dudleyz talk about how great it is to be back in the WWE Universe in general. Bubba Ray says it’s an honor to induct Jackie because they’ve never inducted anyone before. He says they thought about what to say tonight. They mention that there are some stories they can tell but much like The Godfather, there are some that they can’t tell.
As D-Von tries to talk, Bubba cuts him off and tells him, “You’re only supposed to say, “Testify!” D-Von jokingly responds back that he’s sick of getting Bubba’s tables. “Get your own damn tables from now on!” Bubba tells D-Von that’s a good one.
Bubba says Jackie was always respectfully referred to as “one of the boys.” D-Von jokingly refers to Jackie being known for being cheap.
After some more fun between Bubba and D-Von, D-Von finally gets serious and wraps up and introduces the latest inductee into the 2016 class of the WWE Hall Of Fame — Jacqueline Moore.
Jackie’s music hits and out she comes. As promised a few seconds ago by The Dudleyz, they get her to do a little dance. The Dudleyz hug Jackie and walk off. Jackie takes to the podium.
She talks about getting her start in Texas as a fan of the Von Erich’s and then getting help from Skandar Akbar.
She says one of the best moments of her life was signing with WWE. She says she is so grateful to have worked in WWE. She’s thankful for the people she’s met and the places she’s gone. She said none of it would have been possible without the fans. She thanks all of the fans so much.
Jackie closes by thanking her family and friends for all their love and support, especially in the beginning when it was all new to her. She thanks some of her peers, including Trish Stratus, Lita, Molly Holly, Terri Runnels, Victoria and Sable. All but the last two are shown sitting in the crowd. She thanks the guys as well, but says there are too many to mention.
She says most importantly, she wants to thank WWE for giving her the opportunity to work for this great organization. She finishes and her music plays again. Short and sweet from Jackie.
2016 WWE Legacy Hall Of Fame Inductees
Jerry Lawler introduces the WWE Legacy Hall Of Fame inductees. A video package airs honoring the following names:
* Pat O’Connor
* George Hackenschmidt
* Frank Gotch
* Mildred Burke
* “Sailor” Art Thomas
* Ed “Strangler” Lewis
* Lou Thesz
Individual video packages, airing one after the other, aired for each of the aforementioned legends. It was a very cool addition to this year’s WWE Hall Of Fame induction ceremony.
WWE Hall Of Fame Inductees: The Fabulous Freebirds
The video package airs for the next inductees — The Fabulous Freebirds (Michael “P.S.” Hayes, Terry “Bam-Bam” Gordy and Buddy Roberts, and later Hayes and Jimmy “Jam” Garvin).
The New Day members come out to induct The Freebirds. They have some fun and dance around and basically cut a typical New Day type of promo that you’d see any other time.
Finally, they customize it for The Freebirds and talk about the comparisons between themselves and The Freebirds both being three-men groups, etc. Finally, they get the fans to chant “Free-Birds, Rock!” and they introduce The Fabulous Freebirds.
Just like in the video package before this induction began, once again the famous “Freebird” song plays, so WWE must have bought the rights to use it for this occasion. Either way, the song plays and out comes Michael “P.S.” Hayes and Jimmy “Jam” Garvin.
Hayes and Garvin talk about the importance of Texas and they even bring up the legendary Texas Stadium show. They talk about it holding the attendance record in Texas for so many years. They say WrestleMania 32 this Sunday will break that record.
The two talk about their legendary partying days as The Fabulous Freebirds. Garvin talks about how he would do anything to have his brothers back. Hayes talks in the same theme, saying he wishes Terry Gordy and Buddy Roberts were here.
While they aren’t, Hayes introduces someone who is — Ray Gordy and Buddy Jack Roberts Jr., the sons of Gordy and Roberts. Out they come and they talk a bit about their legendary fathers.
After the kids wrap up, the music plays but Jimmy Garvin and Michael Hayes stick around to tell more stories. Garvin talks about Buddy Roberts peeing on him in the shower. Hayes then tells a longer story about The Freebirds at a bar.
He talks about getting hit from behind by a biker gang guy. He says Terry Gordy came over to see what happened. The guy slapped Gordy. Gordy beats up the one guy and Hayes starts beating up the other. Hayes says Gordy then pointed out that the guy has a wooden leg.
He says the guy with a wooden leg got a gun and unloaded. He says he looked at Gordy and Gordy laughed. Hayes said he asked what Gordy was laughing at. Gordy told him, “Because he missed!” Hayes walks off and lets the crowd soak in that story. They all stand up and applaud. The fans chant “Free-Birds, Rock!”
Garvin tells another funny story and then Michael Hayes goes on to completely steal the show. He thanks some people. He thanks his two ex-wives. He tells some funny stories and some heart-warming stories about Triple H, Stephanie McMahon, Shane McMahon and Linda McMahon. He also shows a photo of his dog that died and he gets emotional talking about that. Hayes has already stolen the show, regardless of whatever comes next.
Hayes talks about the Von Erich’s. He then introduces the legendary WWE Hall Of Famer Kevin Von Erich. With that said, Kevin Von Erich makes his way out to the podium. He hugs Hayes and Garvin. He talks about brotherhood. He says the Freebirds were brothers. He says he and his brothers were brothers. He talks about the various Von Erichs and Freebird members.
After Von Erich wraps up, Hayes introduces the Badstreet U.S.A. music. The music plays and Hayes proceeds to perform the Badstreet U.S.A. theme song live. He’s putting on a full on performance of the entire song as the fans and fellow wrestlers stand on their feet and take it in. Hayes performs the song on the stage and also off the stage, walking around through the crowd while still singing and performing. This is classic Freebird stuff and definitely classic Michael Hayes stuff.
WWE Hall Of Fame Inductee: The Big Boss Man
Following the lengthy Freebird induction, Jerry Lawler admits that it’s hard to follow The Freebirds. He introduces the video package for our next inductee into the 2016 class of the WWE Hall Of Fame — The Big Boss Man.
After the video package, Lawler introduces the man who will be inducting Big Boss Man — “The Doctor Of Style” Slick. Slick’s music plays and he makes his way out to the podium.
As you would expect, Slick does a great job and the crowd loved him. He does some catchphrases and has some fun early on and then gets sincere and talks about some of the legendary moments in The Big Boss Man’s career.
Slick talks about the unfortunate fact that Big Boss Man died a young man. He then introduces his daughters and widow to come out and accept the induction of their father, the legendary Big Boss Man. The daughters comment about how many people are in attendance. They thank the fans for keeping his memory alive.
The daughters joke about having to watch stuff during the Attitude Era like seeing their father get his face put in Rikishi’s ass. They talk about their dad not really feeding a guy his own dog. They say Pepper is alright. They talk about their dad taking Big Show for a ride on his dad’s casket. Really cool speech from the daughters. They even bring out some of Big Boss Man’s old gimmicks, such as the night stick. The widow emotionally struggles to finish up the speech, saying some beautiful words about the Big Boss Man.
WWE Hall Of Fame Inductee (Celebrity Wing): Snoop Dogg
Jerry Lawler introduces the video package for our next inductee into the celebrity wing of the WWE Hall Of Fame, Snoop Dogg. The video package airs and then Lawler introduces the man who will be inducting the hip-hop legend, John Cena.
Cena comes out to a loud mixed reaction from the fans in Dallas. He lets them chant and go nuts for a while and then begins his speech on Snoop Dogg.
John Cena talks about Snoop Dogg as a legend in his own field. He talks about getting the opportunity to make music in the studio with Snoop. He finally introduces Snoop Dogg.
Snoop Dogg comes out and the fans give him a good reception. He talks about some of the moments from his childhood and being a wrestling fan. He talks about some of the wrestlers he watched back then.
Finally, Snoop Dogg mentions his cousin Sasha Banks. He talks about taking her to WrestleMania in Orlando and watching her face light up when she met all of her favorite wrestlers. He says he’s so proud to see her face on the side of AT&T Stadium and can’t wait to see her on Sunday.
He wraps up by running down some of his favorite wrestlers one-by-one and then does a rap to officially conclude. The fans give him a nice pop and he walks off.
WWE Hall Of Fame Inductee (Warrior Award): Joan Lunden
Jerry Lawler comes back to the stage and introduces the video package for this year’s Warrior Award recipient — Joan Lunden. The video package airs and then Lawler introduces Dana Warrior.
Dana Warrior will be inducting Joan Lunden. She comes to the podium as The Ultimate Warrior’s music plays and the Ultimate Warrior decorated award sits on the podium. The fans chant “Warrior! Warrior!” as the music fades. Dana chants it with them.
Dana does a lengthy speech about the Ultimate Warrior and Joan Lunden and finally wraps it up by introducing the second Warrior Award recipient — Joan Lunden.
Lunden jokes that she never thought she would be on stage at the WWE Hall Of Fame induction ceremony, and certainly never imagined that she’d be following Snoop Dogg.
Joan Lunden talks about how she herself has had to become a Warrior over the years in her own life. She talks about being diagnosed with a very aggressive form of breast cancer years ago. She talks about her battle with depression and then her battle with the cancer itself.
She talks about the respect level in the wrestling business and how there isn’t many other businesses that has the same level of respect in it. She thanks the wrestling fans for always receiving her so well. She thanks The Ultimate Warrior and Dana Warrior and their two girls Indiana and Madigan.
WWE Hall Of Fame Inductee: Sting
We return to the stage and Jerry “The King” Lawler introduces the video package for this year’s final inductee. With that said, the video package for Sting (Steve Borden) airs. After that, Ric Flair is introduced.
Flair comes out and he mentions the two legends we have lost recently, Dusty Rhodes and Roddy Piper. He gets choked up talking about Rhodes and Piper. He acknowledges his daughter Charlotte in the crowd.
“The Nature Boy” jokes about Stan Hansen not even going to a knee for him, but would job for Rick Martel in nine seconds. The crowd laughed at that. Flair then starts talking about his legendary broadway with Sting at Clash of Champions, the match that launched Sting early in his career.
Flair jokes with Ricky Steamboat, who is shown in the crowd, about both being 0-4 in marriages, saying Michael Hayes did it right because he only went 0-2. He jokes that WWE is probably hoping that he’ll wrap this up. So he talks a bit more about Sting and then introduces the latest and final inductee of the 2016 class of the WWE Hall Of Fame, Sting.
Sting’s music plays and out he comes. Flair struts over to him and the two hug. Sting smiles and waves to the fans. We see everyone standing in respect for “The Stinger.”
He talks about his early days as a kid and the first time he saw professional wrestling. He talks about then getting started in the buusiness along with Jim Helwig, The Ultimate Warrior.
Sting talks about influencing young guys and how cool that is. He talks about leaving at Night Of Champions in a neck brace and Seth Rollins saying just as he’s off to the hospital, “I was YOU for Halloween as a kid!” Everyone laughs. He tells some funny stories about Kevin Nash.
Sting talks about it being an honor to work at WrestleMania and he has bragging rights because he can finally say he did that. The fans rudely interrupt Sting with a lengthy “one more match! one more match!” and then “Under-taker! Under-taker!” chant just as Sting was winding down his speech.
“The Stinger” continues on by listing some names of people in the business he would like to thank. He thanks Jim Ross. He thanks Michael Hayes. He thanks Road Dogg. Road Dogg is shown standing up. Sting jokes that Road Dogg reminded Sting to wear his life alert necklace when he wrestled Seth Rollins. Sting jokingly says, “Help! I’ve fallen, and I can’t get up!”
He thanks Ric Flair and the fans “WOOOO!” He thanks Flair for making him. He says Flair didn’t have to make him but he did and he put him on the map. He thanks his mom and dad, who are shown in the crowd.
Sting talks about being proud of his kids. He says god gave him a second chance and thanks his second wife Sabina. He then thanks the fans. The fans chant “Thank you Sting! Thank you Sting!” He talks from his heart and says without them there wouldn’t be a Sting or a Stone Cold or anyone else. He thanks the fans for cheering so loud all these years.
He says fans have heard him say for years, “The only thing for sure about Sting is …nothing’s for sure!” He says that is until tonight. He says as of this night, at this moment, he’s going to officially end his career under the WWE umbrella. Sting announces that he is officially retiring tonight. The fans give him a standing ovation and a loud, heart-felt “Thank you Sting!” chant. Triple H is shown standing and applauding Sting. Sting grabs a baseball bat and the fans cheer. He puts on a dark pair of glasses. The fans again chant “Thank you Sting! Thank you Sting!” Sting raises the bat and says he just wants us to know this isn’t goodbye, it’s just “see you later.” His music plays as he smirks and walks the stage pointing the bat at the fans.
That ends the 2016 WWE Hall Of Fame induction ceremony.