The third inductee is Stu Hart.
They aired an awesome video on Hart's career. They showed Natalya on
the screens crying after the video. Lawler introduced Bret Hart.
Hart came out, followed by all of Stu's children. Bret said he didn't know where to start, and didn't have enough time, but his father was a great wrestling promoter and was almost loved as much by the wrestlers as his own children. He said Stu worked on a 'handshake deal' and that was rare.
Hart said the man he longs to be is the man he felt his father was. He said there were wrestlers in his life from the day he was born and the family loved and misses that time. He said there were so many things they loved about the wrestling business.
Hart said when he was a child, on a school night, he remembers one of the Cadillacs his dad used to transport wrestlers was stuck at the front gate of the property. Bret said he saw it was stuck, then dozed back off to sleep. His father went down to see who it was that was stuck. It turned out it was a kid who tried to steal one of the cars because the keys were in it. His father dragged the guy back up to the house. Bret thought it was his brother Smith. Stu began stretching the guy in the kitchen and suddenly the brothers realized they were all accounted for upstairs.
Stu stretched the guy for three or four hours, then instead of calling the police, he called the kid's parents to get him... and gave the kid a job as an usher. Bret said for years he would see that kid and think it was amazing how quick things change.
Bret said its like that for a lot of wrestlers who got their starts in Calgary. He said it was a great accomplishment to start there.
Hart said that Stu had a great sense of humor similar to Owen Hart. There was a big "Owen" chant. Hart said in the 70's Hart was famous for 'Mable Parties.' He told a story of The Great Antonio being ribbed about a girl named Mable who liked him, and Antonio believing it was real. When they went to see Mable while her husband was away, one of the wrestler's brothers would play her husband, show up with a gun and shoot blanks at them. The 'shot' wrestler would tell Antonio to run. Antonio found the police and, of course, when the cops arrived all they found were all the wrestlers laughing about the rib... and Antonio had to sit in the back of the police car worrying while the police enjoyed a few drinks with the wrestlers.
Bret said that Stu had a tough reputation but he was a funny and loving man. He said they all missed Stu and life has never been the same without him. He said that Calgary wrestling was something you had to see to believe and they gave everyone a truly special wrestling product.
He said that his father will live on forever now that he's in the WWE Hall of Fame and thanked everyone for that.
The next inductee was Antonio Inoki.
They played a video on Inoki's career.
Jerry Lawler introduced Stan Hansen. Hansen said he 'spent the last few decades in Japan and never did one interview', so please bear with him if he stumbles a little.
He said he wrestled all the top competitors in Japan and they were hard ranks to climb. He said Inoki stands alone in many respects. "Inoki was a household name with everyone in Japan - that's how over he was."
Hansen said that Rikidozan learned of a pure Japanese athlete living in Brazil and brought him back as a young star to train under him. He said the rest of the story is that Inoki became an icon in Japan. Inoki was excited about promoting pro wrestling - Hansen emphasized PRO WRESTLING - and said he was lucky enough to be a part of that.
He talked of Inoki putting together a Boxer vs. Wrestler match and that launched MMA. He said Inoki did it as a wrestler. He said Inoki used pro wrestling to promote peace and Inoki used his power to go to North Korea and Iraq. He said Inoki pushed the envelope and went to India and Pakistan before anyone else to try and broaden pro wrestling.
Hansen said that after the Shea Stadium show (where Hansen faced Bruno Sammartino), Vince McMahon Sr. got him booked for Inoki in Japan. At the time, Hansen didn't know much about how over Inoki was.
One time, Hansen's back was bad. He and Dynamite Kid got on an eight hour train that stopped every twenty minutes. He said they went to the southern part of Japan and were sent to chiropractors. They used flame and a cup to kill the pain in a vacuum. The doctor told Hansen he could 'adjust him' to where he would be impotent, to which Hansen said "Whoa!"
He told a story about Inoki wrestling Jack Brisco in Japan. Hansen, Chavo Guerrero and Steve Keirn are watching in the back. Inoki goes over and starts tossing his winnings out of the ring to the fans. Hansen said that it showed how much the promotion gave to the fans.
Hansen told a story of wrestling Inoki in Sapporo and having Inoki choked outside against a railing. Hansen said he doesn't see very well without his glasses. He sees someone winding up to hit him then the person tossed an egg on him. Hansen said he hopped the rail and followed the fan around. He said he knew the fan would trip over someone, and he did. He 'taught the fan a lesson' and the next day, there's big trouble and he needed to go to a police station. He spent the entire day being questioned. He leaves to go to the show and there's the fan, all bandaged up, bowing and apologizing. Inoki had told the fan about the trouble and the fan went on to become a great sponsor for Hansen.
Hansen said it was his honor to tell some stories and induct Inoki into the Hall of Fame.
Inoki said his English is bad, and that he started in Japan. He thanked everyone for attending the ceremony. He said it was an honor for him to receive such a prestigious honor and the timing was perfect, as his first match was 50 years ago this year. Inoki said he was proud to develop professional wrestling and martial arts.
Inoki then spoke in Japanese with a translator. He said he wanted to thank his fans in Japan and those who came here for the ceremony. He said this year is his 50th anniversary and he appreciates the fans and everyone who worked on inducting him.
He said he's been watching many of his matches recently and the most famous was the fight against Muhammad Ali. He said after the match he was able to build a nice friendship with Ali, and via that friendship, he was able to attend an event in North Korea that drew 190,000 people twice.
He said with the skills he developed as a wrestler, he was able to promote a 'Sports for Peace' event in Iraq.
He thanked all his fans. He said he's been working on unique events and would like to promote a card in Antarctica with WWE to promote Global Warming awareness.
Inoki did his traditional Japanese cheer after explaining it to the crowd and asking them to do it with them. They all did. A really nice speech.
Coverage continued on the next page.
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