2009 WWE Hall of Fame Ceremony
Ricky "The Dragon" SteamboatRic Flair was out to introduce his greatest opponent of all time and good friend, Ricky "The Dragon" Steamboat. Highlights were shown including Steamboat's classic Intercontinental Title match against Macho Man at Wrestlemania III. On February 20, 1989, Steamboat defeated Ric Flair for the NWA World Championship. Comments from Stone Cold Steve Austin and Flair were part of the highlight package. Flair called Steamboat "a fan's wrestler" who looked like a Greek God and was loved by the ladies. Flair discussed Steamboat's devotion to giving 100% night after night. Flair claimed they wrestled one another about 2,000 times with no bad matches between them.
Steamboat was escorted on stage by WWE Diva Kelly Kelly. He and Ric Flair mockingly locked up in a classic wrestling match start. He spoke about what the business has meant for him, and about a discussion he had during a plane ride with a young HHH. Steamboat spoke of being pushed to his limits when working with Ric Flair. Steamboat listed out many greats he worked with including Steve Austin, Don Muraco, Sgt. Slaughter, Jake Roberts, Jimmy Snuka and Roddy Piper. Steamboat thanked Jim Ross for the commentary during his matches. Steamboat also delivered a message to Chris Jericho, saying that he, Piper and Snuka will take him to school at WM25. Steamboat also told Mickey Rourke that tonight is his Oscars, and Rourke was shown smirking in the crowd nodding at Steamboat.
Jerry Lawler discussed tomorrow night's Wrestlemania 25 with Shawn Michaels attempting to stop Undertaker's streak. Courtesy of THQ, a virtual simulation of the match was shown with Undertaker going Old School on Michaels off the ropes.
Mean Gene Okerlund came on stage and introduced highlights of the other 2009 Hall of Fame inductees being inducted earlier in the night. These included Dory & Terry Funk, Koko B. Ware, Kevin Von Erich, Cowboy Bill Watts and Howard Finkel who used his legendary voice to announced himself as "a new entity in the WWE Hall of Fame Class of 2009".
Lawler said the next guest needs no introduction, but if he doesn't give one he'll be fired. WWE Chairman Vince McMahon came onto stage for the biggest induction of the evening.
Stone Cold Steve AustinVince McMahon described his relationship with Stone Cold Steve Austin as "love hate" and listed out various antics that Austin pulled on him. Vince recalled Austin almost running him over with a zamboni, A highlight video was shown of Austin's various matches and events. Jim Ross, Ric Flair, CM Punk, Shawn Michaels, Edge and Chris Jericho were shown among others giving their comments about the contributions Stone Cold has made to WWE. One person noted "every person's wanted to punch their boss in the mouth, but Austin actually did it".
Vince introduced the "toughest SOB in the history of WWE", Stone Cold Steve Austin. The crowd gave a long standing ovation including a "Thank You Austin" chant repeatedly. Austin thanked all the fans for always sticking with him through everything he was involved in with WWE whether it be surgery rehab or him attempting to come back to wrestle again. Austin said the fans were always able to welcome him back regardless of the situation. Stone Cold retold a story from when he was younger in Texas and took a high school aptitude test that would reveal what he should choose for his occupation. The test said he'd make a real swell "Park Ranger" and Austin joked that he knew he'd never want to do that. Austin concluded by thanking everyone for the honor and revving up the WWE Universe for Sunday night's Wrestlemania 25.