Highlights from the 2023 WWE Hall of Fame ceremony | Read Here!

Rey Mysterio took his rightful place in professional wrestling immortality Friday night time because the headliner of the WWE Corridor of Fame Class of 2023.

The previous WWE and world champion topped a category that additionally included Stacy Keibler, The Nice Muta, Warrior Award recipient Tim White and celeb wing inductee Andy Kaufman.

On an evening wherein they had been celebrated for his or her contributions to WWE and the trade as an entire, these are the highlights of their unforgettable induction speeches.

Introduced for this yr’s class are:

Rey Mysterio

Stacy Keibler

The Nice Muta

Andy Kaufman (celeb inductee)

Tim White (Warrior Award recipient)

Stacy Keibler joined the likes of Alundra Blayze, “Sensational” Sherri Martel, Trish Stratus, Lita and Beth Phoenix Friday night time as the primary inductee of this yr’s Corridor of Fame class.

Inducted by fellow Corridor of Famers Mick Foley and Torrie Wilson, Keibler confirmed gratitude for the followers who supported her all through her profession. She was gracious, shined a lightweight on the ladies who had been influential in her evolution as a performer and credited Match Finlay for doing his finest to show her right into a wrestler.

The previous Duchess of Dudleyville referred to as Bubba Ray and D’Von Dudley her biggest lecturers, shouted out Shane “Hurricane” Helms and wrapped up her speech by reiterating her appreciation for the WWE followers.

One of many core 4 ladies throughout the early 2000s, Keibler set the tone for the night time’s proceedings with a humble speech that recalled her early fandom of the enterprise and served as a becoming conclusion to her professional wrestling profession.

High Moments

“For these of you asking ‘what the heck is Mick Foley doing inducting Stacy Keibler,’ I have been asking myself the identical query for the final two weeks,” Foley stated.

“If Stacy Keibler seems like she has one match left in her, may I counsel her vs. Molly Holly in a match to find out the nicest individual on the planet?”

“These ladies had been such pillars of the corporate. They had been ambassadors for WWE,” Foley stated.

“Wrestling is a far cry from ballet,” Wilson stated of her and Keibler’s impolite awakening to the trade.

“These 42-inch legs had been insured by Lloyds of London.”

“Regardless of presents coming from Hollywood, she stepped out of the limelight to be one of the best mother she may very well be.”

“It’s good to be dwelling!” Keibler exclaimed on the high of her speech.

“You’re the actual purpose I’m standing right here as we speak,” the inductee stated of her followers.

“You’re the magic of our present.”

“Together with a younger one who held up an indication simply hoping Bret Hart would look my approach.”

“Little did slightly woman from Baltimore, sitting within the crowd and sporting her nWo shirt, would have the most important ‘pinch me’ second of being inducted into the WWE Corridor of Fame.”

“I am humbled to affix this gritty, gracious group.”

“To the Dudley Boyz, you had been my biggest lecturers.”

“Our friendship reveals what is feasible when ladies are highly effective and carry one another up,” Keibler stated of her finest buddy, Wilson.

“Thanks all for serving to me make my goals come true.”

Andy Kaufman was one of many biggest and most influential celeb performers in skilled wrestling historical past, a lot in order that his affect continues to be felt as we speak in a number of the trade’s high heels.

Friday, he took his place within the Corridor of Fame in one of many longest overdue inductions in reminiscence.

His longtime rival, Jerry “The King” Lawler was unable to attend the ceremony as a result of a latest stroke, so Kaufman’s Memphis supervisor, Jimmy Hart, dealt with the honors. He spoke of Kaufman’s dedication to his heel persona earlier than introducing the newly enshrined performer’s household.

Kaufman’s brother, sister and kids accepted the distinction on his behalf, delivering a brief and candy speech that knowledgeable the world of his love for wrestling earlier than he ever had the chance to set foot in a squared circle in Memphis.

A terrific performer who was gone far too quickly, Kaufman took his rightful place among the many women and men he idolized and impressed.

High Moments

Lawler, unable to look in individual as a result of his latest stroke, launched Jimmy Hart to assist him induct Kaufman.

The fast-talking Hart advised tales of Kaufman relishing within the warmth he would garner from followers.

Hart advised a narrative of Kaufman demanding a physician and ambulance following a handicap match in Memphis.

“He liked this enterprise a lot, he would do something for it,” Hart stated.

Hart launched the Kaufman household, who accepted the distinction on behalf of the late inductee.

“He bought into wrestling as a result of he was a lifelong fan,” Kaufman’s brother, Michael, stated.

“Andy noticed the wonder on this world and that is why he ignored the entire individuals who advised him to cease wrestling; who stated it was unhealthy for his profession,” his sister, Carol, stated.

“Nature Boy” Ric Aptitude was important in getting the American viewers to just accept The Nice Muta as a reputable essential occasion within the early days of WCW. Friday night time, he inducted his buddy and colleague into the Corridor of Fame with a speech that ventured off-topic greater than as soon as however ended emotionally.

Aptitude thanked Muta for taking good care of his son, Reed, a decade in the past and stated he would love him eternally for that.

Muta, not a robust speaker in English, merely thanked WWE for the distinction of his induction earlier than basking within the adulation of the followers.

It might have been good to listen to extra from Muta, however the circumstances are comprehensible and the followers and Superstars in attendance confirmed him loads of love to actually put over how essential he’s to the historical past {of professional} wrestling.

High Moments

“I bought a name from Kevin Dunn and requested, ‘what did I do now?’ I’ve gotten a few calls like that within the 30 years that I have been there,” Aptitude stated.

Aptitude talked about Sting, Hiroshi Hase, and the Steiner Brothers, amongst others, within the first couple of minutes of his induction speech. Then stated “s**t” and didn’t get censored.

“He was the best Japanese wrestler I’ve ever been within the ring with.”

“And Shawn, you did not create the moonsault. Muta did,” Aptitude stated.

“10 years in the past, I left my son in his care and he handled him as if he was his personal. I’ll love you eternally,” Aptitude stated earlier than embracing his buddy.

Muta stated he didn’t communicate English nicely however thanked WWE for the distinction.

Legendary referee and backstage jack-of-all-trades Tim White deservingly entered the annals of the WWE Corridor of Fame because the recipient of the 2023 Warrior Award.

The APA’s John “Bradshaw” Layfield and Ron Simmons did the honors of inducting the person whose bar, The Pleasant Faucet, they had been answerable for destroying on multiple event.

The previous tag champions talked of the affect White had each within the ring as an official and behind the scenes, the place he appeared out for the boys and the enterprise. They launched his brothers, Pat and Tom, to just accept the distinction on his behalf.

Pat White spoke on behalf of the siblings and stated there was no crying in wrestling. His speech, like most on this night time, was quick however conveyed gratitude for the distinction and the followers who had been all the time so appreciative of his brother.

High Moments

Layfield advised of White sparring with “Marvelous” Marvin Haggler and his friendship with fellow Corridor of Famer, “Golden Boy” Arnold Skaaland.

“Anytime he wanted a brand new wall, a brand new TV or new barstools, Timmy would go to the writers…” Simmons stated.

“I’m extremely honored to have identified and been mates with him,” stated Simmons.

“You by no means heard anybody say something unhealthy about Tim White,” Layfield stated.

“Guys like Tim, Arnold Skaaland and Jack Lanza are the pillars upon which WWE was constructed,” Layfield added.”

“If my brother was right here as we speak, he would say thanks and categorical his deep gratitude to WWE,” Tim’s brother stated.

The best luchador in professional wrestling historical past and one of many 5 or so biggest in-ring performers of all time headlined this yr’s ceremony, regardless of nonetheless being an lively competitor, when Rey Mysterio entered the Corridor of Fame.

He was inducted by former WCW star and a world icon in his personal proper, Konan.

After one of many nice induction speeches from Okay-Dogg, Mysterio took heart stage and captivated the viewers with tales of his early days within the trade and the unbreakable bond he has together with his ride-or-die, his spouse, Angie.

There have been tears, tales of alternatives in ECW and WCW, and thank yous to the various Superstars who helped him obtain this honor.

Some of the memorable moments got here not in something Rey stated, however in what son Dominik did. Early within the speech, he rose from his seat and left the speech, turning his again on his father as he, Rhea Ripley and Damian Priest left the world.

It was an amazing second that enhanced the storyline that can culminate in Saturday’s hotly anticipated household grudge match.

Mysterio wrapped up his speech by thanking each Konan and the followers, with out whom none of what he has completed in skilled wrestling would have been doable. The previous took an opportunity on him, bought him to promoters, and the followers accepted him regardless of not wanting just like the musclebound superheroes that dominated the trade at the moment.

Mysterio broke the mould, modified the sport, and set an instance that stars everywhere in the trade as we speak have adopted to successes of their very own. He has confirmed an adaptable in-ring performer, able to working with any wrestler of any dimension, form or background.

With out hyperbole, the bias of recency or dwelling within the second, Mysterio is completely one of many biggest skilled wrestlers of all time. The proof is within the many traditional encounters he has been part of, his skill to persuade the viewers to put money into him even after 20 years of help, and the truth that he has woven traditional tales and matches with each main star of the final 4 a long time.

He belongs within the dialog with Bret Hart, Shawn Michaels, Ric Aptitude and Eddie Guerrero as one of the best to ever lace a pair of shoes. Friday, a minimum of within the eyes of WWE officers, he entered it.

High Moments

“An eclectic crowd, a lot totally different than after I broke into the trade 30 years in the past,” Konan stated of the followers and the wrestlers in attendance.

“I needed to persuade promoters to make use of that,” Konan stated, pointing to an image of a younger Mysterio with lengthy hair and who weighed 115 kilos.

“I used to be going to PT Barnum and Col. Tom Parker him to anybody who would pay attention.”

“I do know it appears like he hasn’t hit puberty however he is particular,” Konan stated of his first introduction of Mysterio to AAA’s Antonio Pena.

“Pauly understood that expertise has no weight, peak or gender. You are simply proficient.”

“For those who do not signal him, I assure you’ll remorse this in perpetuity,” Konan stated of a dialog with Kevin Sullivan.

“Thank god he had a match with Dean Malenko and never somebody bitter.”

“Give these folks your finest and educate their ignorance,” Konan stated of a dialog he had with Mysterio earlier than his WCW tryout with Malenko.

“It is time to give him his flowers whereas he is nonetheless lively.”

“He is an unimaginable household man. I’ve typically requested if I may very well be adopted. Possibly I can change Dominik.”

“Get up and present reverence, you are about to see a legend.”

“I name Rey a scarecrow. Why? As a result of he is excellent in his subject.”

Overwhelming chants of “you deserve it” stuffed the world as Mysterio took to the rostrum.

“I wished you to see the robust Rey Mysterio. I am crying proper now,” the inductee stated.

Dominik, Rhea Ripley and Damian Priest walked out on the speech. “Let me simply say this…I am going to handle enterprise tomorrow.”

“Regardless of our age distinction, Konan and I clicked instantly. Massive brother, little brother.”

Mysterio choked up telling the story of his spouse, Angie, sending him cash so he might proceed his dream of succeeding in wrestling.

“There could be no Rey Mysterio with out Psychosis.”

“His coronary heart by no means modified. All the time had the identical coronary heart,” Mysterio stated of Eddie Guerrero.

“Thanks to everybody in WWE for believing in me and giving me a chance of a lifetime.”

“Thanks, WWE, for letting me break the mould of what a Celebrity ought to appear to be.”

“We additionally thank God for the life we have now and Konan second.” Mysterio credited his buddy with giving him the life he has.

“You guys made the identify ‘Rey Mysterio’ immortal.”

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