NOW I’m excited. WWE.com reports that legendary tag team Harlem Heat (2013 inductee Booker T and real-life brother Stevie Ray) will be inducted into the WWE Hall Of Fame next month. The tag team began their career in Texas, wrestling as The Ebony Experience for the GWF, which you might remember from catching a piece of while channel flipping in the afternoons. They moved on to WCW in 1993, taking on the Harlem Heat name, and embarked on one of the greatest tag team runs in wrestling history, winning the Tag Team Championship on ten different occasions and feuding with every notable tag team (The Road Warriors) and not so notable tag team (whatever team they shoved Marcus Alexander Bagwell into that week).
I absolutely love Harlem Heat; easily top 3 best tag teams of the 90s and in the conversation for best tag team ever. I can’t wait for these guys to get inducted, and for Booker T to probably hit another Spinerooni because OF COURSE. I believe it’s the 20th anniversary since they disbanded, so their induction this year makes sense. Well it also makes sense because it’s FRIGGIN’ HARLEM HEAT but you get my point.
The WWE Hall of Fame induction ceremony takes place on April 6th, the night before WrestleMania, and will air live on the WWE Network. Harlem Heat joins D-Generation X, The Honky Tonk Man, and Torrie Wilson as the inductees announced so far.
The Honky Tonk Man has been announced as the next inductee in the 2019 WWE Hall Of Fame class, reports CBS Sports.
Honky, real name Wayne Ferris, joined the then-WWF in 1986 initially as a babyface Elvis impersonator but the crowd reaction was less than positive and he turned heel in short order, taking on ‘The Colonel’ Jimmy Hart as his manager. Honky went on to win the Intercontinental Championship, surprising everyone, by defeating Ricky ‘The Dragon’ Steamboat in 1987. He would go on to a record-setting (and still standing) reign, spending 454 days as champion before losing it (in very short order) to The Ultimate Warrior at SummerSlam 1988. Honky went on to form the tag team Rhythm ‘n’ Blues with Greg ‘The Hammer Valentine’ and had one more banner performance, a live rendition of ‘Honka Love’ at WrestleMania VI, before departing the company full-time in 1991.
Honky has made appearances here and there in the WWF/E since then, including a stint as manager of Rockabilly (Billy Gunn), as well as a very brief run in WCW challenging fellow music impersonator Johnny B. Badd for the Television Championship. His WCW run was so well-regarded that Eric Bischoff often mentions that Honky was his favorite person to fire.
D-Generation X, the rebellious stable that went from ‘kind-of funny sometimes’ to ‘THE GREATEST FACTION EVER WHO KILLED WCW SINGLE-HANDEDLY’ after WWE won the Monday Night Wars, have been announced as the first members of the 2019 WWE Hall of Fame Class. ESPN were the first ones to break the story, but my work internet has them blocked so0o0o0o I’m giving WWE.com a nod as well. Here are the members of DX that are included in this induction:
Shawn Michaels (making him a 2-time HOF inductee alongside Ric Flair)
Sean ‘X-Pac’ Waltman (and hopefully his cool as hell dog)
Joanie ‘Chyna’ Laurer
The New Age Outlaws (‘The Road Dogg’ Jesse James & ‘Bad Ass’ Billy Gunn)
While Rick Rude, one of the OG members of DX, is noticeably absent, the fact that the late Chyna is getting inducted alongside the rest of DX is both surprising and very welcome. WWE had trepidation in inducting Chyna due to her adult film past, which to me always felt like code for ‘WWE is scared Chyna would speak too much truth or knock Stephanie’s teeth out’, but that appears to be have subsided enough for this to happen. Too bad WWE didn’t have the guts to do it while she was alive, or have her as a solo inductee (though Triple H does mention that is inevitable in the ESPN article), but hey take what you can get. Rude getting subbed is strange though; I figure they would have at least welcomed back his son to do his SPOT-ON impression of his father again.
Inducting DX makes sense so I have no problem with it, but I won’t pretend I like DX or that their whole shtick has aged well (all versions). I thought the ‘Suck It’ crotch chop was pretty funny and got in trouble in school for doing it to people, and I love that SummerSlam 1998 ladder match between Trips and The Rock, but that’s mostly it barring some skits here and there for me. But hey our lord and savior Billy BY GOD Gunn is getting a HOF ring so all is well.
The 2019 WWE Hall of Fame ceremony takes place live on April 6th from the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, NY as part of WrestleMania weekend. I’ll update y’all when they announce more inductees.