The following was issued on WWE.com tonight:

“It??’s time to raise a glass ??? of beer, naturally ??? to the most popular WWE Superstar in history, ???Stone Cold??? Steve Austin.

It??’s official! The six-time WWE Champion will be inducted into the 2009 WWE Hall of Fame on April 4 in his home state of Texas at Houston??’s Toyota Center, the night before WrestleMania XXV. ???Stone Cold??? is the first Superstar announced for this year??’s Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony in what promises to be one ???Hell Yeah??? of an evening. (Stone Cold’s Hall of Fame profile)

Tickets for this event will be available Saturday, January 17 at 10:00 a.m. CT. For more information, check WWE live events.”

PWInsider is reporting that “Cowboy” Bill Watts was also contacted about being inducted in the Class of 2009 WWE Hall of Fame this year as well. Watts has accepted the invitation and is scheduled to be inducted by Jim Ross.