The WWE Hall of Fame induction ceremony returned to a sense of normalcy at the front end of WrestleMania 38 weekend, with the event occurring in front of live audience and with proper inductors like it had up until the pandemic hit in 2020. Despite having a smaller induction class than most years, the group was not short on star power or prestige, featuring The Undertaker. The result was an evening with its share of hidden highlights and interesting bits of trivia.
The Brothers Of Destruction Headline Back-To-Back Hall Of Fame Classes
While The Undertaker has been in attendance for his share of Hall of Fame Induction Ceremonies, 2022 marked the first time he appeared on camera in a suit and tie at such an event. He previously stayed off-screen, or made appearances like his one in full regalia to pay tribute to Paul Bearer upon his posthumous induction.
The Dead Man entered the Hall himself this year, though, and as a bit of trivia befitting the awesome legacy of The Brothers of Destruction rivalry and partnership, he and Kane wound up closing out the show for back-to-back ceremonies, after The Big Red Machine headlined the Class of 2021. Once The Undertaker’s name was announced there was little question he was going to “main event” this year’s show.
Every US-Based NWO Leader Is Now In The WWE Hall Of Fame
While fans tend to look back on Hulk Hogan and Kevin Nash as the leaders of the New World Order, there were actually quite a few men who led the super faction at different points. Putting aside the Japanese versions of the group, the leaders were Hogan, Nash, Bret Hart, Shawn Michaels, Stevie Ray, Jeff Jarrett, arguably Eric Bischoff, and Scott Steiner.
With Steiner’s 2022 induction, it is now the case that every man to lead a US-based version of the nWo is in the WWE Hall of Fame. Ironically, he went in with his brother Rick, and it was as half of The Steiner Brothers that Scott actually feuded with the nWo. The point remains that the Hall of Fame’s set is now complete.
The Second Former World Champion To Be Inducted In A Tag Team, Rather Than As A Solo Act
WWE hasn’t shied away from inducting wrestlers twice into the Hall of Fame, with Ric Flair, Hulk Hogan, Shawn Michaels, Bret Hart, Booker T, Scott Hall, and Kevin Nash among those who’ve gone in both as singles wrestlers and as part of tag teams or factions. There were no dual inductees this year, but WWE revisited an unusual dynamic—a world champion was inducted not on his own, but as half of a tag team.
Scott Steiner was a defining main eventer for WCW’s final stretches and a world champion there. WWE opted, however, to honor him for his tag team work with his brother Rick. The Steiner Brothers team is absolutely worthy of recognition for their work in WWE, WCW, and elsewhere—indeed the tag team was arguably even better than Scott was as a singles wrestler, especially if one were to focus on their WWE efforts alone. Scott joins Jack Brisco–a former NWA World Heavyweight Champion who was inducted with his brother Gerald—in getting inducted with his sibling tag team partner, not on his own. (It bears mentioning that Triple H also went in as part of the DX faction, and Kerry Von Erich as part of his larger family, despite being world champions as well.)
For the aforementioned two-time inductees, they all went in first on their own, then as part of a team. It’s possible Big Poppa Pump could still go in individually down the road, but given his checkered history when it comes to dealing with WWE management, his reputation for being outspoken, and explicit past statements that an induction didn’t mean anything to him if there were no physical Hall of Fame building, it seems unlikely it will happen.
Connections Between The Undertaker And Other Inductees
There’s no question that the 2022 WWE Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony was built around The Undertaker. He was the first name announced for the induction class and one of those wrestlers no one could justifiably argue didn’t deserve a spot on account of his longevity, accomplishments, and talent. Moreover, he stands in the rarefied air of names like The Rock, Triple H, and John Cena in the conversation of people who will inevitably be inducted and inevitably headline (though it seems McMahon doesn’t want to be inducted while he’s alive).
It’s worth noting that most of the Hall of Fame Class had connections to The Phenom. After all, The Undertaker shared a Survivor Series team with The Steiner Brothers for the main event of Survivor Series 1993. Additionally, The Dead Man feuded with Vader on the early end of the Attitude Era, including WWE Championship matches at Royal Rumble 1997, as well as In Your House: Canadian Stampede. Even Sharmell had some links to The Undertaker, given Booker T’s friendship with him and involvement in the late stages of the oddball group of friends known as The Bone Street Krew, not to mention that she stood in her husband’s corner for matches between The Phenom and King Booker in 2007.
Sharmell Is The First Nitro Girl To Go In The WWE Hall Of Fame
There are plenty of aspects of WCW Monday Nitro that revolutionized the wrestling business, like airing live every week, focusing on a grittier realism than wrestling fans were used to, and featuring regular big surprises. One iconic aspect that probably wouldn’t fly today is The Nitro Girls. The dance troupe was a popular part of the show at that time, entertaining fans between matches.
It’s interesting to see Sharmell become the first alum of the group to garner a WWE Hall of Fame induction. It only stands to reason that fellow former Nitro Girl Stacy Keibler will be inducted too, as long as she wants to be. The only other Nitro Girl likely to go in individually (although WWE could choose to induct the whole group) would be Kimberly Page—the leader of the troupe and a recognizable WCW valet who was married to Diamond Dallas Page in real life. She feels like a less likely inductee given she never signed with WWE, and her accomplishments probably wouldn’t be enough get her in the Hall without that crossover
Rick And Scott Steiner’s Hair Matched On TV For The First Time In 24 Years
Throughout the bulk of their career as a tag team, Rick and Scott Steiner each supported brown hair. While Scott typically had long brown locks relative to The Dog-Faced Gremlin’s close-cut hair, it was still one of the indicators that they were truly brothers.
In early 1998, Scott bleached his air, launching the Big Poppa Pump version of himself. He maintained that look for public appearances right up to the present day. Funnily enough, now that age has turned Rick’s hair a silvery gray, the brothers at long last look as though their hair color just about matches again.
The 2022 WWE Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony was a good one, with particularly touching tributes to the late Shad Gaspard and Vader, and The Undertaker speaking to the live crowd in a way he hadn’t since the advent of his iconic character. It’s a night fans will remember forever.