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FULL COVERAGE OF THE 2009 WWE HALL OF FAME INCLUDING WHAT YOU WON'T SEE ON WWE.COM OR USA NETWORK

By Mike Johnson & Buck Woodward on 2009-04-04 18:58:16

Jerry Lawler said Wrestlemania is special and pointed out Shawn Michaels will be facing Undertaker tomorrow.  They aired a video feature from the new Legends of Wrestlemania game.  It showed Taker winning.  Michaels took it in stride.

Lawler then introduced Gene Okerlund.   He said it was time for the induction of Steve Austin but before that, he asked for a round of applause for the 2009 Hall of Fame Class.

Lawler said the next person needs no introduction, but if he doesn't give one, he'll be fired, so he introduced "the best boss I've ever worked for" Vince McMahon.  McMahon got a standing ovation from the house.

Vince said he was here to talk about a love hate relationship because he loves Steve Austin but Austin hates him.  He ran down all of theterrible things Austin did to him and said that he didn't understand it because he became more popular with everything he did.  He said Austin was the most popular performer in WWE History.

McMahon said Steve Austin wasn't a babyface in a traditional way.  He broke the rules of that and at the same time, he broke all the records for tickets, merchandising and licensing.

He said Austin wouldn't know this, but Austin would hit him so hard, Vince would forget his name.  He said Austin would tell him "sorry" five or six times a match and by the time he returned to the locker room he thought his name was "Sorry."

McMahon praised Austin's creativity when it came to T-shirts.  Vince mentioned Austin 3;16, What? and Oh Hell Yeah shirts, telling funny stories about each of them.  That led to the "what" chants.

McMahon said Austin is a lot of things to a lot of people, but he's the greatest WWE Superstar.  He introduced a video of Austin's career.

Vince McMahon said it is his honor to induct the toughest SOB in the history of WWE.  Austin and Vince shook hands.  Austin played to the crowd but no middle fingers.  The place chanted his name like crazy, which led to a "Thank you Austin" chant.

Austin said that anyone who knows him knows he doesn't like to dress up but he got a tuxedo from Men's Warehouse where you'll like the way you look, I guarantee it guys ...but his button popped off the jacket as he was about to come out so he buried them.

Austin praised the WWE employee who made his tribute video, Adam.

Austin said that he's been trying hard to find the word to accurately show how much the night means to him but if he doesn't, he wants to thank everyone who ever supported him or watched him.  He said that every time he had an injury, a divorce or took his ball home, the fans respected him and he thanks them for that.

Austin started talking about making a living in the ring and the fans chanted "one more match."  Austin said he didn't know about that.  He told a story about not knowing what he wanted to be growing up and being told he would make a great park ranger.

Austin said he's met some great people and some bad ones in the business but he has no complaints.  He said he has a big smile on his face from his career.  He said that when something bad happens, people come out of the woodwork to bury the business and Vince McMahon, but the bottom line is the business is what you make of it.  He said you have to do what you can with it and then move down the road.

Austin said he never had the chance to have any real closure for his career.  He mentioned the night in Atlanta where he no showed Raw because he was upset with the company and was sorry he never apologized for it.  He said the booking team felt he should lose that night and he thought it was the stupidest thing he ever heard, so he left and everyone lost a lot of money so he's sorry.

He said he felt it wasn't about doing the job but that it was bad business at the time and he's sorry he made a big stink.

Austin talked about his movie career and that he's trying to become a strong actor.  He said he was never Ric Flair and won't be Marlon Brando, but "Damn I'm trying."  He said he's closing the door on his wrestling career but hopes to open the doors to his acting career.

Austin told everyone he loves them from the bottom of his heart and that's the bottom line, because Stone Cold said so.  He then had a beer bash on the stage to close the show.

Confetti flew, beers were cracked and the night came to an end.

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