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WWE Hall Of Fame 2022: All The Inductees In The 23rd Class Of Superstar Legends
The 23rd class of WWE Hall of Fame Inductees includes Superstar legends such as Vader and, of course, The Undertaker.
Although WWE Superstars go into the ring each week to compete for title after title, there is perhaps no greater accolade in sports entertainment than earning a place in the coveted WWE Hall of Fame.
In 2022, there were five incredibly worthy inductions into the 23rd Hall of Fame class, all of whom helped redefine the franchise in very different but memorable ways. The WWE in general is a celebration of athletics, showmanship, and entertaining characters, but there’s a different energy to a Hall of Fame celebration.
Such was the case this year when the American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas, was filled to the brim with excited WWE fans ahead of WrestleMania 38. For those who may have missed the ceremony when it aired on Peacock, below is a rundown of the latest inductees and the legacy they’ve left on WWE.
The Steiner Brothers
Rick and Scott Steiner are one of the most dynamic and dangerous tag-team duos in WWE history. The University of Michigan amateurs first linked up in the pro circuit in 1989 and dominated any duo who crossed their path throughout the 1990s and beyond. Most notably, they won themselves the WWE Tag Team Championship twice.
They were inducted as a duo into the Hall of Fame in 2022, which Rick felt was fitting. In his speech, he highlighted their bond as brothers and thanked Scott for all those years at his side.
“I want to thank my brother,” he said. "You know, like he said. He always set the standard high and always kept me on a pace to the best I could be. I don’t think I could ever have done this… you go to something you love in your life, it’s always icing on the cake when you get to do it with your brother.”
By the time her husband, Booker T, won the King of the Ring Tournament in 2006 and started calling her his Queen Sharmell, the former Miss Black America was already a force to be reckoned with in the WWE. Whether it was interviewing people backstage, getting in the ring herself, or interfering in her husband’s matches to give him a leg up over his competition, the Queen always got it done whether fans liked it or not.
In her induction speech, Queen Sharmell highlighted the people who elevated her to where she is today and thanked her husband for sticking with her and sharing his kingdom in the WWE.
“To all the phenomenal men and women on the roster, thank you for allowing me to earn your respect, not only as Booker’s wife but as an entertainer in my own right,” she said. “And thank you Booker for the run of a lifetime. You embody the role of a king so masterfully that it was easy to follow your lead.”
The late WWE star, who was best known in the WWE as one half of the Cryme Tyme tag-team duo alongside JGT, earned the Warrior Award for 2022. The accolade is reserved for people who have persevered through unimaginable difficulty or tragedy.
Gaspard died at age 39 in May of 2020 while swimming with his son at Venice Beach in California. His last act was to direct lifeguards to save his child instead of him. Siliana and Aryeh Gaspard were on hand at the 2022 ceremony to accept the award on his behalf and eulogize the incredible performer and real-life hero that he was.
“There are endless stories that I could tell about Shad standing up for others, helping other sand fighting for what was right,” Siliana said.
She went on to speak directly to their son, telling him to always be proud of the father he had.
“The best of daddy lives in you and you come from a great man,” she said. “I want you to always hold your head up high when anyone speaks of your dad, because you had a bada** dad.”
It’s Vader time!
Leon Allen White, better known as Vader, was a 13-time World Champion on four different continents before his death in 2018. Not only was he a powerhouse in the ring, but the 450-pound force of nature was also a showman like no other.
His persona and charisma led him to appear as himself in multiple other TV shows such as “Boy Meets World” and “Baywatch.” The man gave everything to his career. However, at his posthumous 2022 Hall of Fame induction ceremony, his son, Jesse White, made sure to highlight that Vader was also an incredibly devoted father.
“The one thing that’s not on his resume that should be highlighted and that’s actually at the very top of his resume is actually who he was as a father,” Jesse said. “When you’re on the road constantly, you miss a lot of important events, a lot of birthdays, a lot of cool experiences, and my father and I always chatted that he probably missed half my childhood growing up. But what he accomplished with that time was more than any of my friends' fathers who were around full-time.”
He concluded: “I couldn’t have asked for a better father. I couldn’t have asked for a better mentor. He taught me what a hard day of work looked like, but most importantly, he made sure I was never afraid of it. So if there is a hall of fame for being a father, papa you were in it a long time ago.”
Whether you’re a WWE fan or not — heck, whether you live under a rock or not — you’ve certainly heard of The Undertaker.
That’s why his inclusion into the WWE Hall of Fame was such a massive moment for him and fans of sports entertainment alike. In fact, the man couldn’t begin his acceptance speech without waiting for the crowd to stop chanting “You deserve this!”
It’s true, He’s a multi-time winner and a World Heavyweight Champion as well as a six-time tag team titleholder and Royal Rumble Match winner. However, his real accomplishment in the ring is his ability to have loomed so large over the franchise for more than three decades. What started out as a persona with supernatural abilities morphed over the years as did the tastes of the audience.
However, one thing has always remained the same and that is people’s love for The Undertaker.