Thanks to Ashley B. and Marc E. for the following coverage from tonight’s WWE Hall of Fame ceremony in Atlanta:
* Ric Flair and Ricky Steamboat arrived together, Road Warrior Animal is sitting with Sunny. Everyone is making their way in and this is truly an awesome sight. I’ve spotted JBL, Kevin Nash, Sean Waltman it looked like, Trish Stratus, Steve Austin and others.
* Jerry Lawler is hosting the ceremony. Hulk Hogan’s name got a bad reaction. Lawler introduces the first induction, Hacksaw Jim Duggan. Ted DiBiase Sr. comes out to induct Duggan. Ted talked about Duggan’s football career, his wrestling days and fight against cancer. Duggan came out to an ovation and talked about getting into the business. He ended his speech with a promo against the terrorists we fight and a trademark HOOOO. Duggan’s speech was met with lots of USA chants from the crowd.
* Other people we’ve spotted include Stephanie McMahon, Linda McMahon, Wendi Richter, Lex Luger, DDP, Sharmell, Booker T, Pat Patterson. Just about everybody is here.
* Road Dogg Jesse James, Scott Armstrong, Brad and Brian come out to induct their father Bullet Bob Armstrong. Great reaction from the fans for BG James who doesn’t look much different from his DX and TNA days. This induction was way shorter than Duggan’s.
* A fan was just ejected by security for yelling.
* All of the WWE Divas are out now to induct Sunny. Layla and Michelle McCool put her over big as the original Diva. Nice touch with the Divas inducting Sunny and a good speech by her. The Divas hung around on stage with her. Sunny talked about her late husband Chris Candido and getting into the wrestling business. She said that after tonight there is no debate on who the original Diva is anymore. Ashley notes that only LayCool spoke but the entire Divas roster was present for the induction.
* Lawler introduced Terry Funk next who talked about his history with Abdullah the Butcher. Funk is great on the mic as usual. Abdullah the Butcher was introduced next for another short speech. Abdullah got emotional and cried when talking about his family and talked about getting the call from WWE. He had his trademark fork with him. Big pop from Abdullah from the crowd. He thanked God, the fans and his family.
* The Road Warriors and Paul Ellering are being inducted next. Their name gets a huge reaction at first. Dusty Rhodes comes out to induct them and puts over how important they are to tag team wrestling. Dusty has the best speech of the night so far. Huge LOD chants as Animal and Paul Ellering come out. Ellering and Animal have an action figure of the late Hawk on the podium to commemorate him. Animal did most of their speech. He and Ellering talked about Hawk. Animal talked about the day Hawk died. They thanked their fans and family. Great moment.
* Drew Carey gets boo’d during his video and his jokes. Kane comes out to induct him. Drew said he doesn’t care about the boo’s.
* Triple H is out next to induct Shawn Michaels. Triple H came out to his King of Kings theme and put his friend Shawn over more than anyone else has in their speeches tonight. He said Shawn won’t admit that he’s in the Hulk Hogan Hair Club for Men. He also called Shawn the greatest performer he’s ever seen. He got emotional and told Shawn he loves him. Triple H talked about their history together and gave HBK a new nickname – Mr. Hall of Fame. Triple H has had the longest speech yet probably. Shawn is out next to a huge standing ovation from the crowd.
Shawn joked about how nervous he was. Michaels thanked everyone and said there was one name he should thank but he couldn’t say the name, obviously referring to Ric Flair. The crowd “Whooo’d” at this. Shawn thanked the WWE Universe, his family, the WWE talents and God. Great speech by HBK, showed a candid side of himself we don’t see often. Shawn left to DX music and was joined on stage by Triple H, Sean Waltman and Kevin Nash.