WWE Hall of Fame – Class of 2009 (USA Airing)
April 4, 2009
Houston, TX (Toyota Center)
Report by: Adam Martin of WrestleView.com

A recap of the inductions from earlier tonight can be read at this link.

An audio review of the 2009 WWE Hall of Fame is up at this link.

– The WWE promo hits.

– An opening video plays showing past WWE Hall of Fame inductees and the inductees set for tonight’s Class of 2009 Hall of Fame.

– We are now inside the Toyota Center in Houston, Texas. Todd Grisham welcomes us to the show and introduces the host of tonight’s ceremony, Jerry “The King” Lawler. Jerry Lawler gets a good reaction from the crowd in Houston. Lawler welcomes everyone to this special night and calls it his favorite night of the year where the past, present and future of WWE come together to honor the greats. He gets things started by introducing “The Nature Boy” Ric Flair. Ric Flair struts to the podium and gets a big reaction from the crowd in Houston. Flair said it is an honor to be on this same stage a year ago. He said he has another honor to induct his longtime friend and greatest in-ring opponent, Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat.

– A video package plays highlighting the history of Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat.

– Up next: Ric Flair inducts Ricky Steamboat into the Hall of Fame.

===COMMERCIAL BREAK===

– A video package highlighting WrestleMania 1 airs.

– “Rowdy” Roddy Piper is shown in the crowd.

– We are back with Ric Flair and puts over Ricky Steamboat as his greatest opponent ever. He said Steamboat was a fan’s wrestler and embodied what a true good guy should be. Flair said the girls loved Steamboat and said he would put him up against the Von Erich’s any night. He said Steamboat was a great performer in the ring each and every night. Flair said it was guys like Steamboat that made him a legend and said they probably wrestled each other 2,000 times. He said he feels the work they did in the ring will play a role for decades to come. Flair said they have shared blood, sweat and tears and now have sons trying to follow in their footsteps. He introduces Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat.

===COMMERCIAL BREAK===

– A video for WrestleMania 25 tomorrow night airs.

– We are back and we see Ric Flair and Ricky Steamboat hugging. Flair and Steamboat then do a quick lock up, smile and hug a second time. Steamboat wipes a few tears away as the crowd chants, “STEAMBOAT.” He said he is humbled to be as blessed as he is, to have made good friends and the great ones who have come and gone. Steamboat said so many set the bar night after night. He said laying on the mat after a one hour draw and looking over your shoulder mouthing the words, “We got them.” Steamboat recalled the times the young talent would want feedback on their matches. He brought up a plane ride with a then young talent who asked him question after question and turned into a star on his own: Triple H. Steamboat said his career was not measured on wins and losses, but rather the performance. He said Flair always pushed him to the limit and took him to school every night they locked up. Steamboat brought up stars from the past that he worked with and told Chris Jericho that they are taking him to school tomorrow. He also mentions the guy he had his last match with: Steve Austin. Steamboat thanks Jim Ross for the nights he did commentary for his matches. He said he had some great men to work with and doesn’t think he would be here today without them. Steamboat thanks all the superstars for giving him this moment tonight and said to Mickey Rourke (who was in the audience) that this was his Oscar. He closes saying this was an honor.

– Up next: Vince McMahon inducts “Stone Cold” Steve Austin into the Hall of Fame.

===COMMERCIAL BREAK===

– We are back. Harley Race is shown in the crowd. Jerry Lawler is back on stage and points out Shawn Michaels saying tomorrow night it will be Mr. WrestleMania vs. The Streak. Lawler said courtesy of THQ’s “Legends of WrestleMania” video game, we will see a preview of what might go down tomorrow night. A simulation of Shawn Michaels vs. The Undertaker is shown. Lawler then introduces Mean Gene Okerlund. Okerlund said before we get to the induction of “Stone Cold” Steve Austin, he asks for a round of applause for the Class of 2009 WWE Hall of Fame. A video package airs highlighting the inductions of Terry Funk and Dory Funk Jr., Koko B. Ware, The Von Erich’s, “Cowboy” Bill Watts and Howard Finkel from earlier tonight. Lawler said this next person needs no introduction, but if he doesn’t do it he will fire him. He introduces the best boss anyone could work for, getting laughs, Mr. Vince McMahon. Vince McMahon walks out and gets a big reaction from the crowd as we go to a break.

===COMMERCIAL BREAK===

– A promo airs hyping Edge vs. John Cena vs. Big Show in a triple threat for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship at WrestleMania 25 tomorrow night.

– We are back and Mickey Rourke is shown in the audience.

– Vince McMahon talks about having an unusual relationship with “Stone Cold” Steve Austin calling it love/hate where he loves Austin and Austin hates him. McMahon recalls some past things that Austin has done to him. He calls Austin the greatest WWE superstar of all time. McMahon introduces a video package taking a look at “Stone Cold” Steve Austin.

– A video package plays highlighting the history of “Stone Cold” Steve Austin.

– Up next: Vince McMahon inducts “Stone Cold” Steve Austin into the Hall of Fame.

===COMMERCIAL BREAK===

– We are back and Vince McMahon introduces the “toughest S.O.B. in the history of WWE, ‘Stone Cold’ Steve Austin!” Steve Austin walks out and gets a huge reaction. Austin shakes hands with Vince McMahon and then makes his way around the stage saluting the fans in attendance and the wrestlers up front. Austin continues to get a huge reaction as he salutes the fans. A loud “AUSTIN” chant starts up as he approaches the podium. He tries to speak when a loud “THANK YOU AUSTIN” chant starts up. Austin speaks up thanking everyone for that reception. He said he wants to say one thing about his suit. Austin brings up how the guy from the Men’s Warehouse commercial said you will like the way you look. He agreed, but one of his buttons popped off and now he is getting inducted with a busted suit. He mentions how he watched that video highlight about 40 times trying to think of something to say to everyone tonight. Austin said he wants everyone to come away tonight knowing one thing: “Thank you very much. I want to thank you so much for always sticking with me as hot and as high as I get in this company.” He talked about people sticking with him whether he had an injury, got a divorce, that he “took his ball and went home” as the WWE said and everytime he came back the fans always took him back and he appreciates it. Austin said it was a pleasure to make his living in a squared circle and there isn’t too many things in his life that he is good at. The fans chant “ONE MORE MATCH” and Austin said he doesn’t know about that. Austin said he has a bunch of friends ending up as football coaches, contracters and always wondered what he would end up being. He talked about taking a test in high school and a few weeks later the information came back trying to guide him into a career. Austin said the result was being a park ranger and he knows that wouldn’t have worked out for him. He said he has meet some good people and bad people in this business. Austin said he has beat his body up just like all the wrestlers here tonight. He said he wants to close the door on his wrestling career, but doesn’t want to close the door completely. Austin said as he moves into his movie career he hopes everyone comes with him. He wants to wrap things up by saying to get ready for WrestleMania 25, says he loves everyone fromt he bottom of his heart and “that’s the bottom line ’cause Stone Cold said so!” Austin leaves the podium and calls for a few beers. He cracks open two cans of beer and does a beer salute. Confetti then shoots out and fills the arena as Austin continues to celebrate with beer. He hands one of the beers to John Cena and Cena takes a drink as the show goes off the air.