Mike Johnson is live at this evening's WWE Hall Of Fame ceremony, and will be sending in live reports throughout the evening, so check back often for updates.
We are live at the WWE Hall of Fame ceremonies. WWE had signs posted warning fans not to catcall and also announcing video streaming was prohibited. Todd Grisham welcomed everyone to the event, at which point the WWE talents began to take their seats.
Among those here are Gene Okerlund, Blackjack Lanza, Dusty Rhodes, Tony Garea, Nick Bockwinkel, Steve Keirn and Billy Kidman.
As Batista entered he passed, and then stared down, John Cena.
Gorgeous George, Ted DIBiase and Bob Uecker will be inducted on the USA
Jerry Lawler was introduced as the host. He said it is his favorite night of the year and he's honored to be hosting. He introduced the "future Hall of Famers", the current WWE Superstars.
The first inductee is Mad Dog Vachon.
WWE is giving the inductees a five minute time limit for their speeches.
They aired a video feature on Mad Dog Vachon.
Lawler said that Vachon even struck fear into the hearts of his tag team partners and introduced the only man who has "jokes older than his", Pat Patterson.
Patterson said he was happy to be here but it was strange because tonight he's inducting a "mad dog" and two years ago he inducted an "old bag", Mae Young.
Patterson said when he broke into the business in Montreal, he was scared to death of Vachon. Years later, he was making no money in Boston and got a letter from Vachon booking him in Portland and that's what set his career off.
He said Vachon always tried to help the careers of French Canadians. Patterson made some jokes because he forgot what he was going to say. He said he's excited for tomorrow and is pulling for Shawn Michaels, who in his book is the best he's ever seen. He then said he was looking forward to seeing Vince McMahon get his ass kicked because "Bret got screwed."
Patterson said when he had his first Portland payday, he received $300 and thought it was too much. Vachon told him that was his pay and the promoter probably screwed him anyway.
He told stories of Vachon coming to his house when Vachon got into domestic troubles and Patterson told Vachon he was going to "ruin my reputation" (by staying in his house). Everyone laughed.
He said he was proud to induct Vachon and introduced him.
Mad Dog Vachon came out in his wheelchair. He started doing one of his old promos and finished with "I'm Mad Dog Vachon and I approve of this message."
Vachon said he believes he had 13,000 matches and became a wrestler because of his name. He said growing up his nickname was 'Vachon the Pig.' He said when he got into fights as a child, his dad told him it was okay, as long as he won.
Vachon told the story of getting the Mad Dog name, and he told the story of working for Don Owen in Portland Wrestling. He was told to be wild because he would be feuding with Curtis Iaukea. He said he attacked his first opponent, then attacked his referee. A policeman tried to hit him with a stick and he threw him into the third row. When he returned, Owen told him he 'looked like a Mad Dog' and it fit him perfect.
Patterson asked him to tell the story of the night he opened a plane in mid-air. He had too many drinks while flying back to Minnesota and opened the door. He could be feel himself being pulled out and said "Its a good night to die." He was charged $500 for opening the door, so he never did it again.
Vachon told some stories of starring in commercials in Montreal. WWE cut his speech as he was going long and rambling a bit.
Jerry Lawler said that if had a dollar for every time he was asked where Jim
Ross was, he's be a Million Dollar Man. He then introduced Ross, who got a
The second inductee is Wendi Richter.
They showed a video feature on Wendi Richter.
Jerry Lawler noted that the Rock and Wrestling Connection began on a segment of Piper's Pit and introduced Roddy Piper.
Piper asked if anyone can believe tomorrow is Wrestlemania and quipped he was there when it 'didn't have a number.'
Piper said he lived with Mad Dog Vachon for two years. "There's a reason I act like this."
Piper said the early 80s was a time of feminism, which he didn't appreciate until he had his daughters. He said you had to do tough things back then, 'like date Moolah and live.'
Piper said it was an exciting time and he got to knock out Hulk Hogan and Mr. T. He then saw something come under the ropes and he kicked it. He said he ended up "kicking a girl who only wanted to have fun."
He told lots of 80s stories about celebrities being involved in the Rock and Wrestling era. He said Wendi Richter came along and he always had a crush on her. He said Wendi had a way to bring class to the NWA, where he first met her, and the WWF.
Piper mentioned he hated the Rock and Wrestling cartoon and said they once had a cartoon where Wendi Richter beat him in a knighting contest. He said she was a fierce competitor who gave everything for the fans and was a classy lady outside of it.
Piper called Richter 'the Sandra Bullock of wrestling' and introduced her.
Wendi immediately joked that Piper had to repeat his introduction after the show and said he was 'the best mouth in the business.'
Richter said this was her dream and she was humbled to be here, but it "Was about damn time!"
She told the story of seeing wrestling for the first time live because her friend wanted to see it. It was in Shreveport, Louisiana and the night was destiny as she saw The Fabulous Moolah and was mesmerized. She told her friend 'I think I can do that' and beat Moolah and four years later, which she did in New York City.
Richter said she approached Sputnik Monroe about getting into wrestling and
he tried to discourage her but she had to follow her dreams. She talked
about her best opponents, naming Velvet McIntyre, Joyce Grable, Leilani Kai,
Princess Victoria and Judy Martin. She said they were wonderful people and
Wendi told a story of touring Japan and using what she learned there in the United States to become what was then described as a 'rough babyface.'
Richter thanked her fans for standing behind her for 25 years and thanked Cyndi Lauper for skyrocketing her career overnight.
Richter said that all she ever wanted was respect and feels that she has that tonight. She said a female wrestler has to work 'twice as hard for half the pay' and is honored to have paved the way for the stars of today.
Richter said 'there's a place where you can touch a woman and drive her crazy... her heart'... and everyone did tonight. She finished off saying 'Girls Just Want to Have Fun.'
Coverage continued on the next page.