A WrestleMania week tradition returns to normalcy as WWE's first in-person Hall of Fame ceremony since 2019 takes place tonight.
The 2022 WWE Hall of Fame ceremony will air live on Peacock/WWE Network at 10 p.m. Eastern time tonight. The ceremony is being held at the American Airlines Center in Dallas following tonight's SmackDown.
One of the most iconic characters in pro wrestling history will take their place in the WWE Hall of Fame as The Undertaker is inducted tonight. Undertaker will be inducted by Vince McMahon.
Vader, Queen Sharmell, and The Steiner Brothers (Rick & Scott Steiner) are also part of this year's Hall of Fame class. Vader is being posthumously inducted into the Hall of Fame after passing away in 2018.
Sharmell will be inducted by her husband Booker T.
Plus, the late Shad Gaspard will be honored with the 2022 Warrior Award. Gaspard died in 2020 after getting caught in a rip current while swimming in Venice Beach, California. Gaspard heroically saved his son by directing rescuers to save his son instead of him.
We opened up with a video package focussed on the history of the WWE Hall of Fame and those who have been inducted. It then transitioned into a video package on this year's inductees.
Corey Graves and Kayla Braxton served as hosts from a podium set up in the ring.
The Steiner Brothers induction
The Steiner Brothers are the first to be inducted. A video package recapping their careers aired next.
Bron Breakker is introduced and will induct his father and uncle. He opened his speech talking about growing up in the Steiner family and said Rick and Scott provided the foundation for him to be a wrestler today. He said he was going to take the biggest risk of his career and hand the microphone over to his uncle, Scott.
Rick and Scott Steiner walk to the ring. Scott starts off by asking where all his "freaks are in Texas." He thanked all the tag teams they've wrestled in the past. Scott told a story about traveling with "Macho Man" Randy Savage. Him and Savage pulled over to the side of the road one day and had a competition to see who could get some cows to come to them the fastest. He then told today's performers to have fun and enjoy the moment.
Scott continued to talk about how being world champion was a great time in his life but his best time was when he met and married his wife. He said his greatest legacy is his two boys.
Rick then got on the microphone and joked about not being left any time. He said it is an honor to be part of this year's class of inductees. Rick thanked his family for putting up with his travel schedule. He also thanked Scott, who is a little teary-eyed at this point. Rick then led the crowd with some dog barks.
Queen Sharmell induction
A video package recapping Queen Sharmell's run in WWE aired. The package also covered her time as a Nitro girl in WCW. Rey Mysterio, Bianca Belair, Zelina Vega, and Natalya all talked about what they enjoyed about her performances. .
Booker T was introduced to induct his wife. He talked about going into the HOF in 2013 and again in 2019 with his brother as Harlem Heat. Booker said his wife has made him a better man and gave him two kids. He said his run as King Booker was about Sharmell, because she's always been his Queen.
Queen Sharmell makes her entrance. Booker repeats "All hail! Queen Sharmell" as she does so. The Dallas crowd gave her the "You deserve it!" chant. She said her story was about a Nitro girl who became a Queen. She also thanked Madusa, Molly Holly, Victoria, and Jazz. Sharmell also thanked Kurt Angle, Rey Mysterio, the Boogeyman, and every Superstar she's worked with. She thanked Booker for the "run of a lifetime" and delivered her "All Hail! King Booker!" line. Johnny Ace and Bruce Prichard got thanked as well.
She mentioned their Reality of Wrestling promotion and it serving as a feeder system for WWE. Sharmell thanked her hometown, friends, brother Ron, her mother, and her and Booker's twins. She turned her attention to Booker again, who is getting pretty teary eyed at this point, calling him her "fairy tale come true." This was a very well-polished speech.
Shad Gaspard Warrior Award induction
A video package recapping Gaspard's life and career aired. It also focussed on his relationship with his son. Finally, the video covered the final moments of Shad's life when he instructed rescuers to save his son before him after being caught in a riptide.
Dana Warrior was introduced to give out the Warrior award. She said Shad is the definition of a hero and a warrior. Warrior then introduced Shad's wife and son who came out with JTG.
Shad's son Aryeh and JTG re-created some of Cryme Thyme's entrance moves. Siliana Gaspard spoke about how Shad would risk his life to help others without a second thought. A "Shad's a hero" chant rings out through the arena. She also mentioned he stopped an armed robbery at a gas station in 2016. He also saved the couple's dog from an abduction. Siliana talked about how Shad would always tell his son to be a sheepdog, who protect the flock of sheep from wolves. She turned her attention to her son, and said that the best of Shad lives in him and that he comes from a great man.
She closed by reciting a quote that Shad loved, "Women are remembered for what they are, men are remembered for what they do."
A video package on Vader's career aired. Ron Simmons, Big E, Booker T, and Mick Foley all made comments.
Vader's son Jesse accompanied by his mother, Debra, came out to induct his father. Jesse said his watch wasn't working and asked the fans if they could help him figure out what time it was, which led to fans yelling, "Vader time." His wife Debra said she knows Vader is looking down and has a big smile on his face. Jesse thanked the fans for putting food on his plate.
Jesse talked about Vader's career and then commented on how good of a father he was. He said Vader missed half his childhood on the road but did a lot with the time he did had. Jesse said that if there was a Hall of Fame for being a father, he would have been in it a long time ago. Jesse told everyone to throw up the "V" with their hands and then asked everyone what time it is and the fans responded, "It's time, it's time, it's Vader time!"
The camera focused on Vader's old mask/helmet that shot out smoke as we cut to video packages for WrestleMania.
The Undertaker induction
A video package recapping the Undertaker's career airs. Clips of Shawn Michaels, JBL, Vince McMahon, Batista, Shane McMahon, Kurt Angle, Roman Reigns, Steve Austin, Triple H, Edge commenting on the Undertaker's career aired.
Vince McMahon was introduced to induct Taker into the Hall of Fame. He said tonight is always his favorite night of the year because he gets to thank all of the inductees. Vince said there is no one more deserving of the honor than the man they are going to induct tonight. He said he would list off some of Taker's opponents but made a joke about reading them quickly so he's not interrupted with "What?" chants. He then listed off several of the Undertaker's opponents from over the years.
Vince told a story about filming the Shotgun Saturday episode where Taker gave Triple H a tombstone on an escalator. He also told a story about Undertaker waiting for five hours to shoot a scene in a graveyard. Vince talked about Undertaker's loyalty and how WCW knew to never call him because he'd never answer.
The crowd started to "What?" Vince a little and he warned them he was going to have the Undertaker come out there and "kick their ass."
Vince said that you can't accomplish what Taker has done without having a love for the business. He then introduced the Deadman to come out.
Taker came out to his classic music, lighting, and smoke. He walked to the ring and hugged Vince. An "Undertaker" chant rings out throughout the arena. There is a long applause break as Taker looks to be a little teary-eyed. The crowd then begins to chant, "You deserve it" followed by a "Taker, Taker, Taker" chant. A "Thank you, Taker" chant follows before Undertaker has even said a word.
"For the last 30 years, my identity has been Undertaker, The Phenom, the Deadman, the American Badass, and the Taker of Souls. Tonight, I'm going to take you behind the curtain and meet the man under the black hat, Mark Calaway," he began his speech.
Taker said he loves this business but that it doesn't come without sacrifice. He thanked the WWE Universe, calling them loyal and passionate. Taker continued that tonight is not just about him, it's about "each and everyone of you."
He told a story of asking his brother for advice when he was about 20 years-old. He asked his brother if he should graduate college, go overseas and play basketball, or what he should do with his life. He said his heart was already into wrestling at that point. Taker also knew that his parents and teammates would be upset with him if he stepped away from basketball, however. His brother said he can't live his life based on what his parents or teammates want him to do.
Taker also talked about some of his "mental signature moves." One of the earliest lessons he learned came from Vince. He told the story of working with an enhancement talent one day who was screwing up several of his moves. So, Taker started to rough him up a bit. Backstage after the match, Vince told him that "perception is reality" and the reality is everyone thought he was an a**hole for what he did. He said the lesson he took from this that his actions matter.
Taker then turned his attention to Stephanie McMahon. He said he thinks of her as the "little sister he never wanted." Taker then talked about Shane McMahon and traveling with him. He then spoke about the Godfather, referring to him as a big influence in his life, but not necessarily a positive one.
Taker then mentioned the "BSK" but noted he's going to take his stories to the grave with him. He talked about Yokozuna being a co-founder of the BSK. Taker said traveling up the roads, drinking whiskey and playing dominoes was the beginning of a forever brotherhood. He also mentioned Bryan Adams, calling him "another brother taken too soon," and said he thinks about him every day. He talked about his last moments with Adams when they learned to break bricks with their barehands together.
Taker spoke about Paul Bearer, calling him a vital part of the Undertaker character. He talked about how Bearer would put cucumbers in his drink as a joke. Then he spoke about Kane, who got a nice reaction from the crowd. He called theirs the greatest story wrestling ever told. Taker made a crack about Kane stealing all his moves as well.
Taker then mentioned his second "mental signature move." He told the story of being 25-years-old and having won his first world championship. His father warned him to pay his taxes, live within his means, and then told him, "the toes you step on on the way to the top are connected to the same asses that you're going to have to kiss on the way back down." The lesson he took from this is to always treat people with respect.
He thanked guys like Dusty Rhodes, Harley Race, Ricky Steamboat, Andre the Giant, Bruno Sammartino, Bret Hart, and Ric Flair for paving the way for his generation and the generations to come. He thanked several people who helped him throughout his career and his team of doctors as well.
His third "mental signature move" he learned at WrestleMania 25 with Shawn Michaels. Taker talked about Michael Hayes telling them they were on third and they would only have 15 minutes. He said they raised hell, were put on a little later on the card, given more time and then had a classic match. He thanked Shawn for giving him one of the best matches of his career. Taker said that this taught him to never be content. No matter what you have already achieved, continue to push through.
Taker then turned his attention to Triple H. He said working with him was effortless. Taker thanked him for reminding him who he really is at a time when he needed it.
He then said that nobody has sacrificed more than his family. He spoke about his kids and being proud of them. Taker thanked his parents and told a story about wrestling Sid Vicious with his family in the second row and his mother wanting to attack Sid.
He then spoke about his wife, Michelle. He called her the rock that their family is built on. Taker said the greatest thing she ever did was help restore his relationship with Jesus Christ.
He turned his attention to Vince McMahon. He spoke about how when WCW didn't think he'd ever draw money, Vince gave him a shot. He called him a father figure to him, especially after his dad passed away. Taker called him one of his closest friends and thanked him for the gift of the Undertaker and the gift of his friendship.
He said there is no one like the WWE Universe. He told them they can't live their lives for anyone other than them. Taker encouraged them to practice is three mental moves, "perception is reality," "respect and loyalty go a long way" and "never be content." He closed by saying that now that he's in the Hall of Fame he will "Rest. In. Peace."
Taker then put on one of his signature jackets and hat before saying, "Never say never" before exiting the ring.