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By Mike Johnson on 2021-04-06 21:30:00

Welcome to's ongoing coverage of the 2020 and 2021 WWE Hall of Fame Classes ceremony from The Thunderdome in Tampa, Florida!

We are opening with the Class of 2020 inside the Thunderdome.  Digital fans.

Jerry Lawler is the official host for the evening.  The ceremony is being held on the entrance stage with a podium.  He welcomed everyone to a "very special occasion."  He said he is happy to present the men and women who didn't get to bask in the glory last Spring.  Lawler said we roll with the punches in WWE.

The first inductee is former WWE Champion JBL.

After a long, very well done video package, Jerry Lawler quips that JBL would take on and beat King Kong and Godzilla.  JBL said if you are waiting for a wrestling God from Texas to cry, you will be let down.  He said that he told his grandfather in Sweetwater, Texas that he would be a pro wrestler and those dreams came true.  He went and trained under Brad Rheighans and they went to the Sportatorium and with no experience, he knocked on the door and asked James Beard for a job.  Lou Perez wasn't there and he was put in the ring sight-unseen for 20 minutes with Rod Price. That night, he fell in love with pro wrestling.

He told a story about a night he got so much heat in Germany, he knew he wasn't going to make it back to the locker room and Fit Finlay saved him from someone who saw him coming and the guy was so scared he dropped a knife and ran.  He said that he fell in love with getting that white hot heat and told the story of giving Eddie Guerrero's mother a heart attack on mother's day.  He said without Eddie Guerrero he would not be standing here today and wished he was.

He then praised Ron Simmons for their run with APA, which was them "toned down" for TV.  He said that John Cena ended his historic run and if you are going to end a run, you should do it with someone who is a credit to the business like John.  He said WWE allowed him to go all over the world and work with charities.  When he's asked what he would do over again, he said every bit of it.  He'd love one more time to stand in the ring and hear VIVA LA RAZA and watch Eddie Guerrero come out or feel the lights go out and DONG DONG  and The Undertaker comes out.  He'd like to be in some podunk town no one has ever heard of and getting into a car with Ron Simmons, The Godfather and Teddy Long with a bun ch of beer and go off enjoying the right.

He said that he wanted to say to everyone who thinks he might have ever wronged them or said something offensive in the locker room, cry me a river snowflake because he's a Wrestling God in the WWE Hall of Fame.

They went to the red carpet where Rhea Ripley and Peyton Royce are.  Peyton said she's happy to see the 2020 Class finally getting honored.  Rhea said they are the ones who paved the way.  Rhea said that she grew up watching the Bellas and she finally had the chance to meet them.  She felt they welcomed her right away and told a story of meeting them as a fan and now getting to meet them as a Superstar.

Randy Orton was interviewed.  He said that he loves being here and points out his father is a Hall of Famer.  He said he has a relationship with everyone in the Hall of Fame and is happy to see them honored.

New Day was asked about the NWO going in.  Kofi said he's excited for them but he's also excited for the Bellas, who he came up with.  He said he's never met a pair of harder working people.  To see people getting their due is awesome.  They brought so much change with the Women's Revolution, the Evolution PPV, the first women's Royal Rumble and Money in the Bank PPV.  To see them get their due is awesome.  Xavier teased that perhaps New Day will go in next year.

The second inductee is the late Davey Boy Smith, The British Bulldog

They had a tremendous video for Smith, focusing on his WWE exploits and the Hart family.

Accepting for Smith was his wife Diana Hart and their children Harry Smith and Georgia Smith.  They had a bulldog with them which they said was the grand-daughter of Mathilda, the Bulldogs' famous mascot.

Harry said they wanted to thank WWE for the induction and opportunity and thanked the fans for their years of support.  Without them, nothing would have been possible.  He said Davey was so versatile as an athlete.  He could pull off unreal moves and be powerful and dramatic.  He had a huge physique but what was truly huge was his heart and personality.

Harry said that his father had a great sense of humor and had him laughing, bending over all the time.  He said that he believes Davey's best match in WWE was Summerslam 1992 against Bret Hart and that's a match no one is ever going to forgot.  He said his favorite memory of Smith was that match and it's a match he can watch over and over again and never be tired of. 

He also praised Davey's match against Owen Hart for the European title as something both were really proud of.  He said The Bulldogs vs. The Hart Foundation evolved tag team wrestling.  He mentioned Davey's great matches with Dynamite Kid in Japan as having inspired his own wrestling style today.  He is proud to carry on Davey's legacy and knows that he is with him in spirit in the ring alongside Dynamite Kid.  He feels that same spirit is with them tonight.

Davey was a great father, athlete and performer and will never be forgotten by his friends, family and the WWE Universe.  He wanted to thank WWE and the fans from the bottom of his heart and thanked all the stars who shared the ring with Davey.  He knows there was a delay but he wanted to welcome his father to the Hall of Fame officially.

Nikki Cross was interviewed.  She said tonight was exciting and amazing.  They talked about The British Bulldog.  She said Harry's speech was wonderful and she had to fix her makeup.  She loved getting to meet Diana and Georgia for the first time and everything was so emotional.  She praised the Hart vs. Bulldog Summerslam 1992 match.  He had an amazing career in WCW and WWE.

Braun Strowman was asked what the Hall of Fame means to him.  He said it's one thing to travel the world and do what they can do for the company but the Hall cements your legacy.  It's the cherry on top.  He praised the lineup.

Drew McIntyre was asked what Davey Boy Smith going in means to him.  He said it's about time.  He said growing up, everyone said no one from Scotland ever got signed to WWE but The Bulldogs were the representation for him.  Seeing the flag fly made him believe he could get there too.  He wants to inspire others and see that if he did it, so can they.  That's what Bulldog did for him.

Next up is Jushin Liger

They aired a nice video piece on him, but neglected to even mention his historic feud with Brian Pillman, which is what put him on the map here in the United States.

Liger introduced himself as from New Japan and accepted the honor.  He thanked WWE for the honor and said he was excited and had goosebumps.  It was the first time he has been nervous to speak.  He was honored to receive his plaque and ring.  He is glad he became a professional wrestler and thanked all his fans in WWE.  That was literally the entire speech, which if I am going to be honest, felt like a letdown if you cared about Liger.

Celebrity Inductee: Wiilliam Shatner

Shatner appeared from his home.  He said he was born in Montreal and a lot of great wrestlers came from Montreal.  He said he never wrestled but it eas a great honor to throw Jerry Lawler out of the ring.  He said he is a big WWE fan and accepts the honor as someone who has the delight of following some of his greatest heroes.  That was it!

Miz and Morrison was interviewed backstage.  Miz said it was amazing to see Shatner go into the Hall.  He put over Shatner's renditions of WWE themes.  Morrison said that it makes sense Lawler and Shatner are friends as they have found the fountain of youth and look amazing.

Mustafa Ali said that he's come in peace tonight and he's excited to see the NWO induction tonight.  Retribution didn't have the level of success of the NWO but that's OK because he's living and learning.  To see them get the honor today is huge.

WWE Champion Bobby Lashley and MVP were asked about JBL being inducted.  MVP said he had influence on their careers.  He deserved his recognition tonight.  Hurt Business approved.

Coverage continues on Page 2!


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