Bill Goldberg led the Class of 2018 which included Ivory, Jeff Jarrett, The Dudley Boyz, Hillbilly Jim, Mark Henry and Kid Rock in the celebrity wing at the WWE Hall of Fame induction ceremony,friday.
After the traditional pre-Wrestlemania ceremony opened with a glowing tribute to the late Johnny Valiant, it was Triple H who inducted Kid Rock. Acknowledging his huge contribution, The Game reminded everyone how Kid Rock’s music had a big impact on the Attitude Era and even today.
The Dudley Boyz captivated the audience after Edge and Christian kicked things off with Bubba Ray and D-Von Dudley’s induction. Later the Hardy Boyz also joined them on stage, drawing huge roars from the crowd. However, the best was saved for the last when the Dudley’s put a production assistant through a table, much to the delight of the audience.
But the main event of class 2018 was Paul Heyman inducting Goldberg into the hallowed WWE Hall of Fame. Last week Heyman had addressed Goldberg by saying he’s “one of the greatest personas in this industry.” On Saturday, Heyman had the honour of inducting Goldberg to a standing ovation.
An emotional Goldberg reflected on his life and thanked WWE Hall of Famer Diamond Dallas Page for his influential role in helping him break in. Looking back at his time in WCW and the subsequent move to WWE, Goldberg admitted that he was lucky to have come so far. The former WWE Champion also thanked his family for their never-ending support and, in closing, Goldberg once again asked one final question: “Who’s next?”
Lengthy tributes to some of the legends of wrestling stretched the ceremony to around five and half hours – making the WWE Hall of Fame ceremony was longer than the Oscars which some had said lasted too long.
WWE Hall of Famer, Goldberg reflected on his career and thanked former superstar Diamond Dallas Page for his influential role in helping him break in.
Mark Henry made an emotional plea to Owen Hart’s widow during his induction into the WWE Hall of Fame.
‘The World’s Strongest Man’ joined the likes of Goldberg in the Class of 2018 ceremony to kick off WrestleMania weekend in New Orleans last night.
Making his acceptance speech, he broke down in tears and remembered his old friend Owen Hart, who tragically died at just 34-years-old.
Hart died on May 23, 1999, in a freak accident during his entrance from the rafters at Over the Edge at the Kemper Arena in Kansas City, Missouri.
The two-time WWE Intercontinental Champion fell from a great height to his death during the pay-per-view, due to an equipment malfunction.
Martha Hart, Owen’s widow, has never been able to forgive the company and has reportedly blocked his induction into the WWE Hall of Fame.
Henry, from Austin, Texas, famously wept as he read a poem that he wrote in memory of his friend on the subsequent ‘Raw is Owen’ tribute .show.
And last night the 46-year-old tearfully begged Martha to allow the two-time Intercontinental Champion to be a part of the WWE Hall of Fame one day.
Martha sued WWE in 2010 over its use of Owen’s name and likeness, plus personal photos of Hart’s family, in the Hart & Soul WWE DVD.
She claimed unpaid royalty payments and the matter was scheduled to go to trial in 2013, before a settlement was reached for an undisclosed amount.
In 2015, WWE released Owen: Hart of Gold on DVD and Blu-Ray, which covered his career.
During their speech the Dudley Boyz – one of the greatest duos of all time having won the WWE, WCW, ECW, TNA, NWA and IWGP World Tag Team Championships.- paid tribute and shared the stage with Edge and Christian as well as the Hardy Boyz.
As Dudley Boyz were ready to complete their acceptance speech their music started playing and a person came from the back posing as a backstage producer.
He signalled at The Dudley Boyz telling them that their time is up.
Bubba Ray grabbed him by the tie and said: “Are you out of your mind?” He then turned to his tag team partner D-Von and told him the famous catchphrase: “D-Von, get the table!” D-Von went to the back and immediately returned with a big wooden table.
Bubba Ray then told the ‘producer’: “Yeah, you’re going through. I’m sorry son.
“Put it on your Twitter, or something, it will get you over.”
The Dudleyz then powerbombed him through the table and received loud cheers from the crowd.
The Dudley Boyz, along with Edge and Christian as well as the Hardy Boyz, revolutionised the TLC (Tables, Ladders and Chairs) matches and had two of the best WrestleMania matches in 2000 and 2001.
The ECW legends have won nine different titles during their time in WWE.
Bubba Ray and D-Von also became notorious for slamming their opponents though wooden tables with their signature finisher, the 3D.