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KANE, RVD, MOLLY HOLLY, ERIC BISCHOFF, KHALI, RICH HERRING & MORE: COMPLETE 2021 WWE HALL OF FAME CEREMONY COVERAGE

By Mike Johnson on 2021-04-06 23:30:00

Welcome to PWInsider.com's ongoing coverage of the 2021 WWE Hall of Fame ceremony from The Thunderdome in Tampa, Florida.

Corey Graves and Kayla Braxton are the official hosts.

The first inductee is Rob Van Dam

Rob said it was amazing.  He was experiencing a complete circle of life.  30 years ago, he was finishing up in the USWA in Memphis.  He drove from Battle Creek, Michigan to Tampa because it was such a hotbed for pro wrestling.  He drove down in a Ford Mustang that was held together with coat hangers, no insurance and a stolen insurance tag on the plate.  He said that the reason he's standing here is totally because of the response the fans had for him.  It's because of the fans that he wanted to get into wrestling because he was a fan.

Rob said there was a night that his dad passed away.  20 hours after he got the news, he had a signing scheduled in Chicago and he thought about not doing the signing.  He chose not to tell anyone about what happened and just tapped into the fans' positive energy.  He felt so much love and excitement from everyone that it got him through.  It helped bail him out of the hole that he was in.  The energy exchange with the fans is a two-way street.  He's tickled to death to think that he could somehow improve people's lives by just seeing him do his thing.  We have things that we have an affinity for that pick our spiritual vibrations up.

It's a tremendous honor to be put in the Hall of Fame and to be put in with prestigious legends who influenced him.  He hopes that when people think about his story and journey, they think about individuality.  Every step of the way, life is about choices.  There were people who wanted to change him but he stuck to his guns.  

He said he had so many people to thank.  He thanked his parents for letting him follow his dreams even though it must have seemed crazy to graduate High School, turn down a scholarship at Michigan State and fight the odds.  He thanked Kit Likens for being the first person to put him in the ring and tell him that Rob had something.  He thanked for The Sheik for training him into the business and teaching him the lesson of when to listen to someone and adjust and when to ignore it.  He told Rob,  "Don't listen to anyone else, they don't know what they are talking about."

He thanked every promoter who trusted him to be in the ring when he was young and green with vets like Greg Valentine and Manny Fernandez.  He thanked Sabu for helping train him and teaching him to be an individual.  He said there was no greater high than standing on the top rope and quipped, 'Trust me, I'd know."   He said being here and inducted was a victory for "all of us" and that if he had the time to name every fan, he would, but he can't, so he wanted to thank the WWE Universe.

A great speech.  No mention of ECW, surprisingly.

Backstage, Sasha Banks was interviewed.  She is looking forward to seeing everyone inducted but especially Molly Holly.  She remembers seeing Holly at an indy show and being so shy talking to her.  Holly asked her if she was a model and Banks was shocked and said that she wanted to get into the business.  Molly spoke to her for 20 minutes telling her she was going to be a huge star.  She got confidence and was so thankful for Holly.

Big E was interviewed.  He praised Molly Holly going into the Hall.  She was the master of her craft.  He praised her time in WCW.

Carmella was interviewed, praising Molly Holly.  She was ahead of her time and a trailblazer for women like Carmella.  You didn't have to just be one thing.  She could be a babe, go in the ring and be talented on the mic.  Holly could do it all and you can't talk about the women's evolution without talking about Molly Holly.

The next inductee is, as you might imagine, Molly Holly.

She said there were only two people who had their head shaved bald at Wrestlemania.  One was the greatest talent ever and the other was Vince McMahon.

Holly praised the backstage crew and said if this was High School, they would have been the ones she wanted to have lunch with.  She said that they were the ones who gave her a nod of approval and helped her be her.  She would stay after shows and wrap cable just to be part of the world and give back a little more.  She named a ton of backstage crew names from the past and present.

Molly thanked the fans for overlooking her shortcomings and focusing on her good qualities to lift her up and cheer her on during a period where everyone is critical and judgmental towards others.  She is eternally grateful.

That was way too short for someone of her importance and honestly, weird, as she hardly spoke about her career at ALL.   She didn't mention one person she ever wrestled. I was honestly pretty shocked that's all their was.  I am hoping there's a director's cut somewhere of her speech that gets released later on.  It was GREAT that she named everyone from backstage and that was awesome but I felt this her moment and she gave it to everyone else.

The Street Profits were interviewed backstage.  They praised RVD's induction.  

Rey and Dominik Mysterio were backstage.  Rey said one of his favorite competitors to be in the ring with Kane.  RVD was one of his favorite tag team matches and they created some moves together.  Dominik said he had a ton of Kane and RVD action figures.  He remembered being in the crowd and hating Kane's pyro but loving Kane.  Rey joked Dominik still hates pyro to this day.

The third inductee is The Great Khali

Khali appeared via video which is interesting as he was brought to Tampa:

 He said he was so happy to be inducted and was so happy when he was told by Ranjin Singh he was going in.  He said "for some reason" he cannot be there today but his fans are in his heart.  He thanked everyone on behalf of himself and his family.  He asked the fans to take care of themselves and thanked them again for honoring him.

Backstage, Ranjin Singh said that Khalki was an inspiration to everyone everywhere, not just India.

Bianca Belair discussed being inspired by Molly Holly, breaking barriers.  Belair said she was in the ring with her in the Royal Rumble and seeing her getting into the Hall of Fame feels like she was getting the flowers and crown she deserved.

Coverage continues on Page 2!


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