The WWE will welcome its 2022 class of the Hall of Fame live tonight in a ceremony that will air on Peacock after the conclusion of Friday Night Smackdown on FOX.
This is the 23rd class of the WWE Hall of Fame and the first one to be held in front of an audience since the 2019 class, held on the weekend of WrestleMania 35.
WWE skipped the ceremony in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic and then inducted the 2020 and 2021 classes during the WrestleMania 37 weekend last year. Both ceremonies were held at the Thunder Dome in an empty arena.
Corey Graves and Kayla Braxton will be hosting the ceremony this year, a ceremony which will have less inductees than usual.
The inductees are:
With a career spanning over three decades and a WrestleMania record that will likely never be matched, the 56-year-old Phenom has done it all in the wrestling business and an induction into the Hall of Fame is the final accolade for him in this industry.
The Undertaker had his last match at WrestleMania 36 in a Boneyard match against AJ Styles and then had a send off – in an empty arena – at the Survivor Series, exactly 30 years after his incredible WWE debut.
But while we have not seen him since then, the Dead Man will get his one final entrance in front of thousands of people at the AT&T Stadium at WrestleMania when WWE presents its Hall of Fame class.
The Undertaker will give his first comments on his Hall of Fame induction when he joins The TODAY Show tomorrow morning on NBC.
A near five-minute video celebrating The Undertaker’s legendary career with Metallica’s song Sad But True and Kid Rock’s American Bad Ass has just been published by WWE and you can see it below.
Vader, real name Leon White, started his pro wrestling career in 1985, first with the AWA, Catch Wrestling Association, and New Japan Pro Wrestling. It was in Japan where Vader made a name for himself, becoming the first non-Japanese wrestler to hold IWGP Heavyweight championship.
In 1990, Vader joined WCW whilst still working for New Japan and in 1991, began full time with the Atlanta-based promotion. Vader quickly became one of the monster heels in WCW and was paired with Harley Race, winning the WCW title three times and the United States title once.
He joined the then WWF in 1996, making his debut at the Royal Rumble. Vader was teamed up with Jim Cornette and worked for the company till 1998. He never won any titles in WWE but became pretty famous for attacking WWE President Gorilla Monsoon, hitting him with a Vader Bomb on an episode of Raw.
Vader departed WWE in 1998 and he moved to All Japan Pro Wrestling, Pro Wrestling NOAH, and even TNA, before making sporadic appearances for WWE over the following years.
Vader died on June 18, 2018 after he was hospitalized for a month with pneumonia. He was 63 years old.
The 51-year-old started her professional wrestling career in 1999 as a Nitro Girl and then moved to WWE in 2001 where she became a backstage interviewer. Her first stint only lasted a year and left the business altogether, only to return in 2005 with her husband Booker T. After Booker T won the 2006 King of the Ring tournament, she switched to Queen Sharmell as part of her new gimmick and is mostly remembered for that role.
Sharmell, who won Miss Black America 1991 contest at the age of 20, also worked for TNA Wrestling between late 2007 and 2009.
“I was so happy,” Sharmell told Complex.com, who was given the exclusive news today. “I didn’t even know what to say. It was an unexpected, great surprise – a welcome surprise.”
Nowadays, Sharmell helps her husband run the Reality of Wrestling promotion in Houston, where she is in charge of the business-side of things. She also helps students with character work, promos, and life.
THE STEINER BROTHERS
Starting as a team in 1989 in World Championship Wrestling, the Steiners became one of the most dominating tag teams in the history of professional wrestling. After a successful three-year spell in WCW, the duo moved to the World Wrestling Federation and made their TV debut in December 1992. Their stint in WWE only lasted two years and then moved to ECW and back to WCW before they separated as a tag team in 1998.
The legendary duo had memorable feuds with the likes of The Fabulous Freebirds, The Midnight Express, Money Inc, the nWo, and many others. After splitting up, Scott Steiner went on to have a very successful solo career, winning the WCW title and the World Heavyweight title in WWE.
The two are former seven-time NWA/WCW Tag Team champions and two-time WWE Tag Team champions.
It’s a remarkable turnaround for Scott Steiner who just a few years ago was banned from WWE after threatening Hulk Hogan and his wife.
SHAD GASPARD (WARRIOR AWARD)
Named after WWE Hall of Famer The Ultimate Warrior, The Warrior Award is presented to an individual who has exhibited unwavering strength and perseverance and who lives life with the courage and compassion that embodies the indomitable spirit of The Ultimate Warrior.
Gaspard passed away on May 17, 2020 after he and his son were among a group of swimmers who got caught in a strong current at Marina Del Rey Beach in California. Lifeguards managed to save his 10-year-old son after Gaspard made the ultimate sacrifice, telling lifeguards to save his son instead. A wave later submerged him, preventing rescuers from locating him.
Helicopters, divers, and lifeguards from the U.S. Coast Guard and Los Angeles Lifeguards searched the shore for a couple of days until the search was called off. His lifeless body washed ashore in Venice Beach in the early hours of May 20.