Kevin Gillman is the editor of the Ringside Seats section here on Forever Rebuilding.

WWE Hall of Fame Live From New Orleans, Louisiana

Friday, April 6th, 2018

Host:  Jerry “The King” Lawler

If you missed last Monday’s Raw, click here WWE Monday Night Raw Live Results 4/2/18 (Go-Home For Wrestlemania)

In Memory Of “Luscious” Jimmy Valiant

WWE Hall of Fame Induction Number 1:  The Dudley Boyz

 

Inductors:  Edge and Christian

This is a surreal moment for Christian.  5 years ago for Edge, he was inducted into the Hall of Fame, he knew his day would come.  Edge explained Christian he is not going into the Hall of Fame, he is inducting, again.  The day has come that they induct the greatest tag team in the business.  Edge tells us there are 2 reasons they are inducting The Dudley Boyz, and not Paul Heyman.  1.  They don’t owe them any money.  2.  They owe them many receipts.  But this story begins when 2 guys had a dream of becoming WWE Superstars, and it began with 3 letters….ECW.  The Dudley Boyz would actually incite riots there, and building their legacy, while Edge and Christian were building their legacies with The Hardy Boyz.  They started in WWE, and had to pass a test with Bradshaw and Ron Simmons.  But did they pass the test, by beating APA over, and over.  We get a “DAMN” moment from Ron, which is funny.  They came over with the feud between The Hardyz, Edge and Christian.  They started their feud with the first ever TLC.  Make no mistake about it, there wouldn’t be E and C and The Hardy Boyz, without The Dudleys.  Christian tells us a funny story about their first TLC match, there was a bit of a low pay.  All 6 men went to Jim Ross, and Jim asked them if their pay was a little soft, and Bubba answered they felt like they got kicked in the balls.  The Dudleys have the most Tag team Titles in the entire industry, so without delay, here are The Dudleys.

Induction Speech:  The Dudley Boyz

They start bickering about D-von saying nothing more than testify.  But Devon is office now, and he tells Bubba when to talk, so get your ass in the back, D-von is about to testify.

Devon says this is an honor of being a part of the class of 2018.  Being a small boy from Brooklyn, his mother had him young, and his Grandma was the iron fist of the family.  Watching WWE, he saw a young blonde kid named Hulk Hogan mesmerizing him, and he knew he wanted to become a WWE superstar.  He even tried to have his hair like Hogan, they had the same tan.  But growing up, and watching such greats as “Rowdy” Roddy Piper, Randy “Macho Man” Savage, Andre The Giant, he knew he was wanting to become a WWE Superstar.  He said to his two sons that while he didn’t have a father growing up, he knew he was going to make something out of himself, and he was going to make them proud and say THAT is my father.  He can talk about his mother, and while they had some tough times, Devon was able to move on up like The Jeffersons.  Never forget where you came from, but they are moving on up.  He loves his momma.  D-von wants to thank his 2 sons, and they know he took those barbed wire bats because of them, and they have become Professional Wrestlers themselves.  He wants to thank his lady, for being his ride and die.  He wants to thank his brother, for going up and down the road together, and he isn’t just his brother in the ring, he is his brother for life.

Bubba was in the front row as a kid when Jimmy Snuka leaped off Magnificent Muraco in the steel cage.  He saw Wrestlemania 3 on closed circuit, and he talked to his dad about being in the WWE ring one day.  People ask them all the time what are they most proud of in their career, this is the vindication of their achievement in their career.  But what Bubba is most proud of is being the first original ECW act in the Hall of Fame.  He wants to thank the entire ECW roster, they appreciate them.  Paul Heyman, thank you, for listening to he and Devon for listening to them when they suggested they get together as a team, and see what happens.  They thank Spike.  He kept coming back for more.  Devon can’t express the gratitude of what he did for them.  He is their brother for heart, for doing whatever he could to make The Dudley Boyz.  Bubba thanks every single wrestler they had been in the ring with.  They helped them get to the top.  They didn’t have bodies like The Road Warriors.  They couldn’t work like Arn and Tully.  They weren’t as pretty as Ricky and Robert.  If there is a song out there that explains their career.  It’s “My Way”, not Frank’s, but The Sex Pistols song.  There was only one way to do it, and that was their way.  Devon thanks Tommy Dreamer.  He was there when he had his tryout in ECW.  When he didn’t have a ride or money, Tommy was there to make sure he was being taken care of.  He did it not because he wanted something in return, he did it because of his heart.  Bubba thanks him too, and he thanks the future Mrs. Dudley, Velvet Sky.  You never forget the first time you are in WWE, and the first time he met Vince McMahon.  He was in La Guardia Airport, and he saw Vince and Linda.  He walked up, and said hello to him, and Vince said he remembers him, and looks forward to working with him again.  D-Von thanks APA.  Without them, they were like Andre, if he didn’t like you, you were done.  Just like APA.  D-Von talks about Rev Devon story.  Bubba thanks Mae Young.  She got APA over more than anyone else.  An 80-year old woman who is willing to put her body over The Dudleys.  The first time they gave her the Dudley Death Drop, he slammed Mae very carefully, and D-Von gave her the Whazzup Headbutt.  Mae came to the back, grabbed him by the ear, and said hey hot shot, if you ever want to slam her again, you treat Mae like one of the boys.  Bubba discusses the TLC match, asking E and C to come back, and The Hardy Boyz to join them on stage, for the first time in 15 years.  It was the 6 of them who created history together.  Sometimes the business can be a vicious, bitter story, but they didn’t want to be selfish today, this was about giving back, and thank them for creating history together.  They cut to the music, and here comes a crew tech saying time is up.  Another 3-D perhaps?  D-Von!!!  GET THE TABLE!!  A Bubba Bomb THROUGH THE TABLE!!

OH MY BROTHER…TESTIFY!!

WWE Hall of Fame Inductee Number 2:  Hillbilly Jim

Inductor:  Jimmy Hart

Hillbilly Jim was from Bowling Green, Kentucky.  He enjoyed playing country music, he enjoyed watching wrestling with his Grandma, and enjoyed playing basketball, who had College Scholarships from 6 different schools.  But he wanted to be an entertainer, and he played his guitar at night, and served as a bouncer in a bar.  Hillbilly Jim saw seen by a wrestling promoter, and he started working shows, and becoming a special attraction.  He has appeared on many TV shows, and was making a decent amount of money.  But then he was involved in a car accident.  The doctor believed he would never wrestle again, and he competed at Wrestlemania 3.  Jimmy received a phone call from New York, but he thought it was a rib.  Hillbilly Jim told him to take the call, and move to New York, and he did.  They have been friends for over 39 years, and welcomes Hillbilly Jim.

Induction Speech:  Hillbilly Jim

Jim talks about what an amazing night this had been, and as they say in Kentucky, Howdy to you.  For Jim to tell you this story, he has to bring up names you might know, and some you may not.  He was in the gym in Kentucky, and a guy came up to him and said Jim would be good for this business.  He was already in the business, who hailed from Hamilton, Ontario.  He moved to Kentucky, and was named Bruce Swayze.  Known as “Beautiful” Bruce Swayze, and he was hooked in the business.  Jim talks about Jim Ross saying one word that stuck to him, and that word in his remarks that described him to a tee.  That word was opportunity.  It doesn’t matter what age you are, and where you are from, take opportunity seriously.  Because they could be knocking at your door, and move on from you.  Jim can take that opportunity, as he took what Bruce said very seriously.  He worked at the university, to prepare himself of where he can lead.  One night, he and his friend went to see a movie.  Someone tapped him on the shoulder, saying his son has seen him, and would like to know if you want to get into the business.  His name is Dan Mann, opportunity, and Jim took him up on that.  Not so long after that, Jim was home, his mom said he got a phone call, the man said that Archie Gould gave him Jim’s number, his name was Stu Hart.  He offered him a spot in Stampede Wrestling.  Jim worked and learned through Stampede, toured all around Canada.  He came back home, and become very good friends with Bruce Hart.  This opportunity came quick for Jim.  He is home, and received another call.  A future WWE Hall of Famer, asking if he wants a spot with him, that man is Jerry “The King” Lawler.  He and the amazing Jerry Jarrett wanted him to work a spot for them.  He had a chance to tag with Roger Smith, who gave him some training, and schooled him where he needed it.  Bruce Swayze called him again, and said this company is going to be one of the biggest companies to work for.  Come on with him, and he will meet some people.  He met up with Pat Patterson.  He got into this company, and never left.  He was a country boy, but he knew the difference between riding in a limo and riding in a Volkswagen.  This was the hottest time in wrestling, and he got to learn from Hulk Hogan.  You talk about opportunity, this business took an old boy from Kentucky, that didn’t have much going except the Hillbilly Jim smile, the posing, and they gave him to have everything he could have for his family.  All of the merchandising, his first check was given to him by Pat Patterson.  Sometimes they would do 3 shows in one day.  He was at Notre Dame University, which was 120 miles away from home.  He wanted to go home, but he didn’t, because the business was so hot at the time.  Pat was playing a joke on his paycheck, $86,710.10.  No cellphones at that time, but they had a bag of phones to call his mom to tell her about the check in merchandise sales.  He took that first check, paid all of his taxes, and still has that money today.  What a life he had in this business.  He tells us a story on Andre The Giant.  They had a match of King Kong Bundy, Big John Studd, and Bobby “The Brain” Heenan Vs Jim, Andre The Giant, and Capt. Lou Albano.  Giant tells Jim he will ride with him, they go into an airplane, Giant tells him they will have a drink.  By the time they took off, to the time they landed, they drank 57 bottles of alcohol.  He drank 8.  The stewardess told the captain how much alcohol they had, the captain puts his hat on, stands up, sees Andre, take his hat off and went right back to the cockpit.  Wrestlemania 3, they sold out at The Pontiac Silverdome, their 6 man tag match with Bundy, and the little guys.  Bundy picked up a guy, gave him a big body slam and slammed him so hard that he can hear a squeak.  And he had to pick Little Beaver up, and carry him to the back.  Jim talks about losing a very good friend of his in sports, named Wes Streger.  He went on Wes’ talk show all the time, and he used this from Wes.  I had to be the luckiest guy on earth, because I got to do what I wanted, how I wanted, and where I wanted.  Jim is amazed by being a part of this.  He will accept this, because it does him proud, but he will accept it on behalf of many people in his life.  His mother, who loved this business.  He will accept this on behalf of his family.  This business is notorious on families, very tough on families.  They don’t survive, but he is so proud that his did.  They can appreciate this Hall of Fame ring, they can appreciate his dad was a part of this business, and very proud of it.  He will accept this on behalf of the state of Kentucky.  He always did honor this state, and always carried a part of Kentucky everywhere he went.  He hopes he did them proud, because he was proud to be a part this.  To his friends who he made in this business.  Finally, he accepts this induction on behalf of the fans.  They accepted him from day one, and they never left Jim.  You couldn’t write that story.  To his fans, you made him feel like he was at home.  These past few months have been intense for him, he doesn’t have a cell phone, he doesn’t have a computer.  Jim lives in the now.  This writer asked him if you leave this planet, how would you like to be remembered?  It’s now how you want to be remembered, it’s that he is even remembered.  He thinks about “Lucious” Jimmy Valiant.  He thinks about Andre, Lord Alfred Hayes, Gorilla Monsoon, Bobby “The Brain” Heenan, “Classy” Freddy Blassie, Capt Lou Albano, “Superfly” Jimmy Snuka, and he doesn’t get over losing his Legends House partner “Rowdy” Roddy Piper.  So as he closes this, he can’t say thank you enough.  So he says to enjoy this Wrestlemania evening, and from New Orleans, good evening, to you.

Video:  Legacy Hall of Fame Inductees

WWE Hall of Fame Inductee Number 3:  Ivory

Inductor:  Molly Holly

Ivory was in the Sports Entertainment business for 20 years, from age 25-45.  She did so much, like hosting WWE experience, training wrestlers from Tough Enough, and also going to so many Make A Wish Foundations.  Ivory traveled all over the world, with Frankie the Cat.  Molly learned so much from Ivory.  2 nights after the 9/11 attacks, after Lilian belted the National Anthem, the WWE Superstars chose whether or not to perform the audience, and she competed 2 times.  Molly talks about traveling with Lilian the following week and they kept her mind off of what took place in New York, at a hotel with one look, Ivory jumped on the dresser, with Molly body slamming Lilian, and Ivory pulled off a beautiful Frog Splash that would make the Guerrero Family proud.  She offers assistance from Lilian Garcia to announce Ivory.

Induction Speech:  ivory

She started telling a story about a rib Lilian Garcia made.  New Orleans, we’ve got a thing going on.  Tonight they come full circle.  In 1986, she came to New Orleans in attend the National Television Conference, to discuss a new TV show, about an all girl lineup, and now she is going full circle being inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame.  Then in 2005, the hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans, and left many people and animals homeless.  Ivory was at an independent show in Ohio.  She was able to get a collection going for animal shelter, and drove with her 16-year old niece to deliver the money, and help with the shelter.  Ivory is looking forward to Wrestlemania this weekend, and see the Women Battle Royal.  Women have come a long way since she was in the business.  Take advantage of this, because when she was here, you has to take whatever spot you can get, and women’s wrestling started to evolve, even in the Attitude Era, where we had Trish Stratus, Lita, Jackie, Molly Holly, Victoria, Gail Kim, so many talented women had the chance to put woman’s wrestling on the map in the WWE.  Her brother always said he loved to go to work, because he got to learn from the smartest people in the room.  Well, he was a very intelligent man, and Ivory always loved coming to work, because she was surrounded by such talented women, and she thanks every single one of them.  Now she considers WWE Hall of Fame like an experience you get to go through just once in your life, unless you are Ric Flair.  It’s like being married, except if you are Ric Flair.  Ivory has never been married, so this is like her wedding day.  She bought herself a great evening gown, and feels like maybe Jeff Jarrett would come out, and throw her in mud, but she is prepared for that too.  She has a maid of an honor, like Mighty Molly.  All 84 of her GLOW sisters are her bridesmaids.  She wants to thank all of the men involved in the business.  Uh-Oh, here comes Right to Censor theme music when she discusses doing dirty dancing on the floor with the wrestlers.  Every bride needs something old, herself.  Something new, the HOF ring.  Something borrowed, taking the next inductees time, and something blue?  How about her purple scarf.  She thanks Lilian every time she sang the national anthem.  The guests would include the WWE Universe.  She has a great family, and her brothers and sisters have great marriages too.  So she is ready for her final vows, she Ivory, will take the fans for all of her memories, until we tap out, for richer, for poor, until death do us part.  With this ring, she wed.  Thank you for being her witness.

WWE Hall of Fame Inductee Number 4:  Kid Rock

 

Inductor:  HHH

The Celebrity Wing from WWE is people coming from outside of WWE, and amplifying for you.  Kid Rock had a huge impact on what we all love.  Music can take you back for a special time of your life, just hearing a bit of that song takes you back to a special time.  There was a special time in WWE known as The Attitude Era.  It had a soundtrack to it, and Kid Rock was a huge part of that soundtrack.  Because he loved what we did.  Kick Rock can write everything to a country ballad, to a hip hop song, to a kick-ass theme.  He can do everything, because Kid Rock can make you stand up on your feet.  This theme to Wrestlemania is Kid Rock’s “Celebrate”, a very fitting song, because we all will come to Wrestlemania, and celebrate.  Create memories we will never forget.  And that is why we are here, to remember moments we will never forget.  This whole week is about creating memories that will last a lifetime.  Which is why 70,000 fans will come here to stand as one.  The soundtrack to this trip, will be The American Badass, Kick Rock.

Induction Speech:  Kid Rock

He was told a long time by a mentor Rev Ron to go where you are celebrated, and not tolerated.  This is better than a Grammy, or any day of the week.  You don’t have to kiss any behind, this is where it is.  They called him, and said Kid has done a lot for WWE, and he would like to be inducted to Hall of Fame, he said hell yes.  He had some cliff notes, and one of those notes was not to thank Vince.  He doesn’t want accolades, but neither does Kid Rock.  And don’t say anything about politics, okay.  So a big thank you for Vince McMahon, because he has done so much to change the business we watch today.  And now he feels the excitement of tonight, he just wants to body slam some Democrats.  No, actually, we are human beings first, and Americans second, we all can find a common ground.  Rock has not been to kind on his mind, but he wants to thank Ric Flair, The Rock, Hulk Hogan, and of course “The American Badass” The Undertaker.  He wants to thank all of the men and women who have made sacrifices to the families to entertain us.  Kid Rock wants to thank his family, his manager, his band, and of course the fans.  Thank you to all of the fans who spend your hard-earned money to be entertained.  Without you, we wouldn’t be able to do this.  He wants to thank Jesus, and of course, the late, great Joe C.  Joe C was a huge wrestling fan, and he is grateful to accept this award by the great, late Joe C.

WWE Hall of Fame Inductee Number 5:  Jeff Jarrett

Inductor:  Road Dogg

It’s been a long night, and he will go down to the nitty-gritty, 25 years ago, he and Jeff Jarrett first met each other.  Both of them were second generation superstars, and both were hungry.  He believed this would be his big break.  But he was told he would be a roadie?  He can have many stories to tell us, but he won’t for 2 reasons.  1.  This is PG now, and he can’t, and 2.  He doesn’t remember the 90s, so don’t do drugs.  He has a few close friends in this business, and Jeff is one of them.  Ladies and gentlemen, Jeff Jarrett.

Induction Speech:  Jeff Jarrett

Jeff is in complete “Double J” character, but Road Dogg takes that mic, and tells him this isn’t the 90s, the mic is over there, and take the hat off.  April 6th, 1986 he had his first match in Memphis, Tennessee, and wo would have guessed he was going to be here, as a Hall of Famer.  He was a white-meat babyface from 1986 to 1993, and here he comes to the WWE as an arrogant man, who thought he would change WWF to JJF.  People ask him what was his favorite match, and July 1995 comes to his mind first, where he got to share the ring with a very good friend of his, who is called the “Michael Jordan” of WWE, Shawn Michaels.  Then he had a series of matches where it as he and Shawn Vs Diesel and Razor, and the favorite charismatic man was Road Dogg.  He had a series of great matches, and he was a 6-time IC Champ, and The Miz, you make that title proud.  He has been blessed in so many different factions.  He was a part of The Four Horsemen, he was a part of NWO, he was a part of that certain group in Japan.  He got to hit Beetlejuice, and Gary Coleman with a guitar in short amount of times.  Then there was David Arquette, what the hell happened with that?  He was pinned by Stephanie McMahon in her very first match, and there might be a different outcome, and wishes goo d luck to Kurt and Ronda this Sunday.  He has had 2 very close friends, one is Brian James, who has been there for him through thick and thin, and recently, they were at the foxhole together, and he thanks Brian for that.  Another one was Owen Hart, who was a fantastic friend, man, husband, and father.  People ask him to talk about a Owen Hart story.  He won’t tell about the time he called Hacksaw Jim Duggan at 2:30 in the morning, posing as a pizza boy.  And if he doesn’t collect the money, there will be hell to pay.  So Hacksaw came down to the hotel lobby with Hacksaw in nothing but his underwear and a 2×4.  Another story took place in San Jose, where this guy whose only job is to play entrance music, winners, and then  losers.  Ahmed Johnson had a match, did a fantastic cross body, called a double down.  The ref counted 1…2….3….Owen screamed to the guy to play the music, and he did that 3 times.  So here is the best rib.  They were in Chicago, the height of the WWE Attitude Era, Jeff arrived late to see who he was facing, it was he and Owen Vs Edge and Christian.  Owen convinced him that when they did the 10 count punch, Owen and Jeff would put on Clown nose, and when E and C got to 10, they lost it, as did Jeff, and Owen does his sarcastic laugh.  Edge and Christian shows up, to give Jeff his clown nose again.

Jeff thanks Karen and his kids, his father, who they have a good relationship again, and his Grandma who took 2 different jobs to make ends meet.  One of them was selling Wrestling tickets, and he thanks her for doing that, because without her there would be no Jerry and jeff Jarrett in the business.  And he gives us a last stanza of “Do Not Quit” and you must not quit.

Brian comes back, and says they have to do one last thing, and not to strut, which he did.  But to sing, “With My Baby Tonight”

WWE Hall of Fame Induction Number 6:  JJ Robertson

Inductor:  Dana Warrior

4 years ago, The Ultimate Warrior walked on this stage in one of the greatest cities of the world, New Orleans.  This feels like a full circle for herself, and her daughters.  Warrior had his own personal homecoming, and she felt like she wasn’t tough enough to come back here, but as one closes, another door opens.  She brings up Warriors moment of coming back home, and his best day was lived at this stage.  The last weekend of his life was spent on this fantastic city, and it was his homecoming.  For all of her convictions, and all of her hard beliefs, if someone had said Dana would be standing on this very stage 4 years later, she would say that is impossible.  In 4 years, you can learn a lifetime of lessons.  You can learn, you can grow, you can bloom.  In 4 years, you can graduate from grieving, in 4 years you can bravely move from the hard loom, to the unknown.  In 4 years, if she can say a word to that woman 4 years ago, she can say you can do this, and The Ultimate Warrior knew what he was talking about when he was shaking the ropes, from New Orleans, to the parts unknown.  The Warrior Award is for someone who can go through tough things, but always believe.  This young man was chosen as the embodiment spirit of The Ultimate Warrior.  That young man is Jarrius “JJ” Robertson.  He knows how to enter the room, and knows how to be a warrior.  He started at such a young age, where he went through life saving surgery that went through a coma for over a year.  At the time it was decided to remove the tube, Jarius breathed on his own like a true warrior.  Jarius went through a second liver transplant, one gained life, the other lost their own.  We can never forget the Ultimate Warrior who gave Jarius life.

Induction Speech:  Jarrius “JJ” Robertson

He still can’t believe he is among a group of Warriors to represent The Ultimate Warrior.  This is truly the greatest moment of his life.  From the moment he met Stephanie McMahon, he made them feel like family.  He was able to meet his favorites like Roman Reigns, Randy Orton, and Zack Ryder.  Even his least favorite WWE Superstar, The Miz.  Throughout many WWE events, he has felt like a WWE Superstar, he feels like he can get in the ring against John Cena.  This guy is hilarious.  WWE has given him chances to talk about his support It Takes Lives to Save Lives.  One donor can save 9 lives, 2 saved his.  When he was taken his ventilizer out by an act of God, he breathed on his own.  Last year, he had his second liver transplant, and is now a WWE Hall of Famer.  You know the rest, peace.

WWE Hall of Fame Inductee Number 7:  Mark Henry

Inductor:  The Big Show

Mark is like a little brother to Big Show, he knows his family, and after traveling together for so long, he thinks of him like his family.  He saw Mark one day looking all sad, and he asked him if he is okay, and Mark said man, I have been trying to bend this entire quarter, and I can just bend it in half.  Okay then, Mark is not only one of the greatest superstars, but he is also a very good recruiter.  He has brought in some of the biggest superstars here, and trained the young guys.  He is one of the nicest guys, but you also don’t want to trash talk him.  One time, there were signs that said no photographs.  But someone was there taking a photo without asking Mark himself, and talking trash about him, so Mark took his entire hand, and ripped the camera.  Big Show told him if he ever does that to Show, he will hit you with his car.

Induction Speech:  Mark Henry

Mark gives all glory to God.  The fans are chanting Sexual Chocolate.  He thanks Paul for being a brother to him in this business, it’s been a great ride.  He respects everyone that loves this business.  He understands how difficult it is to travel, get yourself back home, because we miss a lot of stuff.  But today, he is humbled.  But he is also in shock he made it in this business for 20 years.  When he was 9 years old, his Grandma took him to Beaumont, Texas.  It just so happened that his favorite wrestler was on the card.  So he got to see Andre The Giant, and close to 8,000 times when he came to the ring, and he saw kids run to the barricade, one time he was one of those kids.  One of the kids dropped him on the ground, and Andre picked him up, and that is why Mark is here today.  Mark is like the turtle sitting by the fence.  He did not get there by himself.  When he thinks of being here tonight, he thinks of the people who got him to this position.  The backbone was no question his mother, Barbara Jean Young.  She got him his first pair of weights.  She is watching above all proud.  The kids would then come to hang out.  But then they did that because his mother would feed them.  In essence, she got Mark those weights to watch the kids.  He wasn’t the best behaved kid of the family, and because of that he became more grounded.  Mark thanks all of his coaches and trainers, because he could not do this, without them.  Mark thanks them for getting him noticed, and put him on the map.  One reason that kept him going on TV was saying he was a wrestling fan.  Mark would watch wrestling with his Grandma.  He used that weight training as his down time, and loved wrestling.  Junkyard Dog, The Iron Shiek, and Andre The Giant were his favorites.  One day he got that call from Vince McMahon.  He thought it was a prank, so he hung up on Vince McMahon.  So Dr. Jerry Todd called him up, and asked if he hung up on Vince.  That was truly Vince?    He took that next call, and the business meant so much to him.  He wanted to meet Bret Hart, and of course he signed the contract in 1996, and never looked back.  The first few weeks, he realized this was going to be a big challenge.  His first trainer, Dr. Tom Pritchard.  Mark was not focused at first, he was interested in other things, but you must have that focus, because you have other people’s lives at hand.  Then “Big Cat” Ernie Ladd mentored him, he told him that The Man never does this for people like you, so you don’t mess this up for people who look like you.  He earned Ernie loud and clear, he is a very proud man, and that is something that leads him to the biggest influences who came from Northern Canada.  This was punishment for threatening Shawn Michaels, but this was the best thing for him, learning from The Hart Family.  He now can truly take care of his own now because of them.  In Canada, he spent time with Owen Hart, who brought so much joy to his life.  He missed him very dearly, he wishes he was here to celebrate.  And Martha, this is not from anyone in the company, this is not from any of the wrestlers.  This is from his other brother, he needs to be here.  And Mark hates that he hasn’t kept up, like he should have.  He would love to look up one day and see Owen be among us, this is his birth right.  He will be known as “The World’s Strongest Man”, but he also wants to remiss “Sexual Chocolate”, he hasn’t seen him in a while, but he hopes he is doing well.  Then we hear Sexual Chocolate music, and he sees Stephanie McMahon in the crowd.  He is looking at all the ladies, including his wife.  Great thing.  When he told D’ Lo Brown he was using the Sexual Chocolate gimmick, D’ Lo was laughing, saying they would never let him do that.  They did, and it did.  He talks about The Nation of Domination.  D’LO Brown was his first tag team partner.  He thanks The Godfather for all of the years, and advice he gave him.  And to Ron Simmons, when you look up man in the dictionary, you see a picture of Ron Simmons.  He was the All-American, and the first African-American WCW World Champion, and second ever World Champion.  He can’t forget the role model he was to his kids.  And of course Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, who grew up in the business together, he didn’t have any money, no apartment, Mark took The Rock in, saying he will be a very big star, he heard he has done pretty well, but he still hasn’t gotten any money.  But he has won ECW World Title, World Heavyweight Championship, and when he won the ECW World Title in 2008, he was in the ring with 2 of the best big men in the business in The Big Show and Kane.  But his highlight was in 2011, becoming the World Heavyweight Champion, and can’t forget about Daniel Bryan, Randy Orton, and Big Show for making that match happen.  He became the 5th African American World Champion, and will always be a highlight.  He wants to thank his family, including his wife Jana.  She has been his Dwayne Johnson, she is his Rock.  To his son Jacob, who is dressed his daddy, who already believes he is a WWE Superstar, and for his daughter Jenna, he thanks them for being there for him, even when at times he wasn’t there for them.  He wasn’t at home, like he wanted to.  He was doing this to have more than what Mark had.  And thank for allowing Mark to live the greatest dream a man can have.  Baby, I’m coming home.  And finally for people who had to live through diversity, he thanks WWE for taking that, and giving people chances.  We all need to live as one.  But before he goes, there is one more thing he needs to do.  Switching jackets, he is a small Silsbee Town Boy done proud.  You think this comes easy, and some of you may think he has a little more left in the tank, and you’re right.  John Cena, you can give me that WWE Title shot, and AJ Styles, you have a title I can take.  And Roman Reigns, you may not have a title yet, but you know that is a title I can take.  But he’s just playing.  He is proud to accept the Hall of Fame, because that is what I do.

WWE Hall of Fame Induction Number 8:  Goldberg

Inductor:  Paul Heyman

Ladies and gentlemen, my name is Paul Heyman, and I am the advocate for the Wrestlemania main event.  The reigning, the undisputed, the defending WWE Universal Champion, BROCK LESNAR.  Now it may cross your mind why the owner of the former ECW is inducting the former star of WCW in WWE?  Because for a moment it takes himself out to say he wishes he’d be half the father he is to his son.  But on a personal level, it is hard to find opponents for his client Brock Lesnar.  And after conquering The Undertaker’s undefeated streak at Wrestlemania, and taking care of John Cena, we needed to find someone who could beat Brock Lesnar’s ass, and someone who can challenge Brock Lesnar, and someone you can buy into that can beat Brock Lesnar, and that man is not Roman Reigns.  You chanted his name when he had that undefeated streak, you chanted his name when he speared Hulk Hogan at the Georgia Dome, you chanted his name when he entered the WWE.  You chanted his name when he speared the entire Evolution.  You chanted his name when he made the greatest comeback in WWE history, you chanted his name when he came into Wrestlemania, ladies and gentlemen, I give you the main event of the 2018 Hall of Fame Induction.  Ladies and gentlemen, I give you Goldberg.

Induction Speech:  Goldberg

We hear the Goldberg chants, and he says in reminiscent of his matches, this will be short.  He stands here as the first Jewish WCW and WWE World Heavyweight Champion to have a Bar Mitzvah.  This started in Tulsa, Oklahoma by his parents to achieve success as much as he can.  To never give up, to always be polite.  He had a great sister, who basically raised him when his parents had a bitter divorce.  He had great brothers who were fantastic athletes.  But he wanted to achieve to be a role model.  He was fortunate enough to have success as a football player for the University of Georgia, to play in the NFL with Atlanta Falcons.  But unfortunately an injury, and lack of talent ended that.  So he had to move on, to get that role model status.  He had to find something else, he was lost, he had no money.  Dallas remembers the man he was then.  His brothers roomed with Flair and Ken Patera at University of Minnesota, so he had a connection.  He watched Texas Wrestling with his Grandma as a kid.  So he came in, and found a character.  He found out one night at home that he was getting a WCW World Title match against Hulk Hogan this coming Monday on Nitro in Georgia.  What a way to find out.  There were many things that went wrong with WCW, he can’t name them all.  But he will name one, Kevin Nash ends his streak on the night of his birthday.  There were many different guys who helped him along the way.  Dallas, Eric Bischoff gave him that chance, Sarge, Kevin Sullivan.  So many moving parts of success to his matches.  Everyone was a part of that.  Charles Robinson, who took so many spears.  The Guerrero Family, Lex Luger, the crazy Steiner Brothers, Ron Simmons, The Big Show.  At the end of the day, he had so much success in WCW, and he was very thankful.  Jim Ross was such a big part of his success.  WCW was a force of the Monday Night Wars, and he was right in the middle of it.  He was spoiled, he didn’t experience that down time, so when he came into WWE, he knew there was a price to pay.  He screamed at HHH and his wife at a toy convention, so he knew he would pay for that.  And of course he had a similar look as one other guy named Stone Cold Steve Austin.  We don’t need to talk about 2003-2004, but he will say this, he got to share the same locker with guys like The Rock, Booker T, Dean Malenko, and Goldust, guys who help the young guys.  And Steve Austin helped him out too, so he thanks him.  Now he will admit, he did have a chip on his shoulder, and oppressed everything he had inside.  But then he moved on, and had a family.  But he realized when he had his son, how he can handle things about his career.  It all began with a small phone call from 2K Sports.  It seemed that time healed all wounds.  WWE had a different thought of him, and as did he.  Bill thanks the people who were responsible for getting him back into shape, he loved to be that guy for the fans.  50 years old, 12 years away from the ring, with a little boy, he had to do it.  He thanks his wife, Wanda, who completely changed his life.  Gage his son, he did it for him.  He always said he would not put his family in a storyline, but he is what brought him back.  Goldberg said he was miserable, but his run was fantastic, it was being in that condition, the workout.  But it was worth it, band you have to work your ass off to make it worth the pain.  He thanks them for everything.  Her goal was to get those wrestling demons out of him, it’s all good.  Gage, he is so proud of being his father.  Every second of the day, he is Bill’s world.  he can’t wait to grow up with him, and he will have a target on his back, so you better be a badass.  The support of his in-laws.  He loves them, and thank you for allowing him to marry their daughter, and for him to show them this great world of wrestling.  All of Goldberg’s friends, who have accepting him.  Wrestling brings all of us together, he always wanted to follow a football dream.  But it didn’t work out too well.  The most important part of this is about the fans.  They made Bill love wrestling.  He will do anything for the fans.  He has to leave us with one McMahon story.  This belongs to Stephanie.  He hit his head before every match on the door.  One night, she approached Bill and said he can’t hit his head on the door.  He said he will pay the damage on the door, so what can he do?  They knock on the door, he puts water on his head, and hits his head on the door.  So he thought he would beat her at her own game.  So, the knock comes, he pours water on his head, he punched his hand on the door, and broke his hand.  So nobody knew about that until tonight.  So at the end of the night, he beat 3 Minute Warning, and he finally had the chance to have a beer bash with Austin, he drinks 13 beers, because he was in so much pain, but he finds out Austin didn’t even drink any beer.  But one guy he needs to talk about before he leaves.  Sting, there is bo way in hell he can look at him for what he did for Goldberg.  And he did so much for him, he was a man who had integrity, and he was proud.  He hopes he did make Sting proud, because Sting and DDP made him, and he will forever be grateful for him.  Originally he looked at wrestling as a business, but he was selling that short.  He truly has a love for the business, for the fans, for the dream it makes for others.  And for what he did in the ring has prepared him for the journeys after being in the ring.  His orignal dream was to do everything he did in NFL, but to be here, he guarantees this is a better pay off than what he could have done as a NFL Hall of Famer, and he realizes that this is the place he belongs.  This has been a hell of a journey, and as long as he has a 2-1 record over Goldberg,.  That he has the strength to pick up anyone, and that a Georgia Tech graduate can never have what a University of Georgia graduate had to offer, so he has one question…WHO’S NEXT!!

Kevin’s Thoughts:

This was a fun night with some speeches from legendary performers.  I just ask one thing for the future.  Here it is at 12:30 in the morning, next year, why not start the show at 7:00, and it ends at 11:30 PM?  Baseball games in the evening starts at 7:00.  Most Basketball games do too, so why not WWE?  What were your thoughts of the show?  Share with me here.  I will be back tomorrow night for NXT Takeover:  New Orleans.