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Here Are the Best Moments From the 2024 WWE Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony

Not even the biggest WrestleMania ever could outshine the 2024 WWE Hall of Fame induction ceremony!

By Chris Phelan
Paul Heyman in the ring during the 2024 WWE Hall Of Fame Ceremony

The 2024 WWE Hall of Fame induction ceremony was saddled with sky-high expectations. In true WrestleMania weekend fashion, we’re happy to report that those expectations were met and exceeded by all metrics!

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It really felt like the entire world tuned in to witness one of the most memorable induction ceremonies ever. It was the perfect palate cleanser between chaotic episodes of Raw and SmackDown that officially set the table for WrestleMania 40 and the monumental two-night WrestleMania event itself, which saw several major championships change hands and the foundation of the WWE forever changed.

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The events that transpired during the April 5 Hall of Fame induction ceremony have been overshadowed by what went down in the ring in Philadelphia, so today, USA Insider is examining the best Hall of Fame moments from an incredible WrestleMania weekend. It’s our way of saying thanks to the WWE Hall of Fame class of 2024! Let’s dive in.

Paul Heyman Gives an Induction Speech For the Ages

We don’t know what we loved most about Paul Heyman’s epic induction speech. From the throwback ECW hat he was wearing to the early 90s-WCW “Dangerous Alliance” cellular phone he unveiled and the decidedly extreme language he used on more than one occasion, it was clear to the WWE Universe that Paul Heyman had a mission on Friday night: to give arguably the most remarkable speech the world had ever seen.

In an evening full of quotes that will stand the test of time, there’s one Heyman line that will stick with us for the foreseeable future:

"Only you can stop yourself from living out your dreams."

On paper, that quote is cookie-cutter, devoid of nearly all meaning. But trust us when we say that when Paul Heyman says it while addressing the professional wrestling industry, it resonates in a way that many in the WWE Universe couldn’t previously fathom. With every sentence, word, and syllable Heyman spoke, he captivated the audience. Heyman has long been one of the wrestling industry’s greatest orators, and his 30-minute speech proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that he not only belongs in the WWE Hall of Fame but arguably deserves his own wing. Many can argue that if it weren’t for Heyman, Roman Reigns wouldn’t have enjoyed such a lengthy reign as the Undisputed WWE Universal Champion. 

Thanks for the memories, Paul – and here’s to many, many more.

The U.S. Express Offers Up a Heartfelt Tribute

Although persistent internet rumors of a Bray Wyatt WWE Hall of Fame induction were untrue, that didn’t mean the Eater of Worlds wasn’t mentioned throughout the induction ceremony on Friday. The U.S. Express, an iconic 1980s tag team composed of Mike Rotunda and Barry Windham, took full advantage of their induction speech to pay tribute to Mike’s son, Windham. Time seemed to truly stand still as Bray Wyatt’s music filled the arena, and the WWE Universe responded with thousands of smartphone “fireflies” as they paid respect to the WWE Superstar who tragically passed away this summer. We have a feeling, that as a father, it couldn’t get much more emotional for Papa Rotunda. 

While Bray Wyatt was not posthumously inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame, the WWE Universe ensured his father got a moment he would never forget.

Of course, the only thing better than the tribute offered by the U.S. Express was the words spoken by Mike Rotunda’s children, Taylor and Mika. We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again: Windham Rotunda – better known to the WWE Universe as Bray Wyatt – is one of the most influential WWE Superstars of all time in the ring and behind the scenes, and as time goes on, we believe his legend will continue to grow.

The New Day Pays Respect to a Pioneer

Before Friday evening, it’s safe to say that Thunderbolt Patterson wasn’t someone many fans were familiar with. However, after The New Day inducted Thunderbolt into the Hall of Fame, the WWE Universe has the utmost respect for one of professional wrestling’s most influential pioneers.

The New Day – Big E, Kofi Kingston, and Xavier Woods – has always been champions of African-American culture, and we couldn’t imagine any other group of men inducting Thunderbolt Patterson into the Hall of Fame. Before Thunderbolt arrived on the scene, black wrestlers routinely earned less than their white counterparts, and by all accounts, he worked tirelessly for equal rights for all wrestlers regardless of race.

There have been many prominent black WWE champions over the years, but it’s not that much of a leap of faith to think that they wouldn’t have achieved the success they did if it weren’t for the inroads made by Thunderbolt Patterson. WWE Superstars like Booker T, The Rock, and Bobby Lashley have him to thank – and the recognition is far overdue. 

The Rock is Awarded the People’s Championship

We have to be honest; we were not expecting to check off “The Rock is awarded a championship belt by Lonnie Ali” on our WWE Hall of Fame ceremony bingo cards, but here we are!

After a touching induction by The Undertaker, Lonnie Ali, the wife of the late, great Muhammad Ali, took to the stage to thank the WWE Universe for honoring her husband with such a prestigious honor. As someone who was an integral part of WWE’s early WrestleMania efforts in the 1980s, it’s only fitting that Muhammad Ali – widely considered the greatest professional boxer in history – was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame. In fact, many fans consider his posthumous induction to be years too late, but in our eyes, it came at the perfect time.

However, it’s what happened after Lonnie thanked the WWE Universe that made our jaws drop – she revealed the People’s Championship. She awarded it to none other than The Rock, who graciously accepted.

(Wait, did nobody tell Lonnie that The Rock is currently the most hated man in wrestling?)

In a sense, it finally felt “complete” to see The Rock with a genuine People’s Championship belt on his shoulder – he’s been the People’s Champion ever since he climbed to the top of professional wrestling in the late 90s. The fans have Lonnie Ali to thank for finally giving The Rock the recognition he deserves.

It was a night for the ages, indeed. Here’s to another historic Hall of Fame induction ceremony in 2025!

You can tune in to Peacock to watch Backlash France on May 4. In the meantime, catch up on all things WWE Universe on Peacock.

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