By Andy Steven | April 01, 2006
- The crowd has already been let in at the Rosemont Theatre, and a huge "We Want Bret" chant has broken out.
- They are using the same stage set as last year for the Hall Of Fame.
- All of the WWE stars arrived as a group at 6:45pm local time to take their seats in the front rows. There was a big pop for all the stars coming out. Jimmy Hart got a big pop as he entered.
-A huge "LOD" chant broke out for Road Warrior Animal as he walked in.
- There were loud boos and "You Screwed Bret" chants as Shawn Michaels entered and took his seat.
- Lilian Garcia came out to welcome the crowd to the event, and reminded them to be loud.
- Batista entered to a huge pop, and a chant broke out for him.
- The first induction of the evening was the Blackjacks, Mulligan & Lanza, who were inducted by Bobby Heenan. Heenan played an April Fool's joke on the crowd, telling them to look under their seats for an envelope with backstage passes. Mulligan remarked that the Blackjacks were part of "Americana", sandwiched between the Road Runner and the Cisco Kid every Saturday morning.
- Obviously, the webcast on WWE.com will not be live. All of the presenters and inductees have Titantron videos that are being played for them.
- Verne Gagne was inducted next, by his son Greg. Greg said that "twenty years ago if you told him they'd induct Verne, he'd say you were out of your minds" and then noted, "and no, this doesn't mean we joined 'a very special club'." Greg then thanked the McMahons for all they have done for wrestling. Greg then talked about the Gagne family, and then listed the people Verne had trained, including Ken Patera, Jim Brunzell, The Andersons (which got a big pop), Ric Flair, The Iron Sheik, Chris Taylor, Buddy Rose, Sgt. Slaughter, Ricky Steamboat and Curt Hennig. Greg then spoke about the formation of the AWA and the stars it created, naming Hulk Hogan and Jesse Ventura.
- Verne Gagne then made his acceptance speech. At one point he mentioned Vince McMahon, which drew boos from the crowd, and Verne remarked "I never liked the guy either". Verne said that being put in the Hall Of Fame meant the world to him. There crowd chanted "One More Match" at Verne. Verne closed his speech by complimenting McMahon on putting together "the greatest wrestling promotion".
- William "The Refrigerator" Perry was next, inducted by John Cena. Almost the entire building was booing John Cena, and a "Cena Sucks" chant started up. Cena remarked "It seems everyone is ready for Wrestlemania". They showed HHH on the screens, and the place popped. The crowd was not letting Cena talk, and Triple H stood up briefly at one point, resulting in chants of "Triple H" and "One More Day". The crowd then chanted "F*** You Cena" as Cena tried to do a Howard Cosell impersonation. Music started to play as Cena talked in an attempt to drown out the crowd, who were now chanting "Boring". The fans continued to boo Cena, while the screens above the stage focused on a small group of fans who were clapping for Cena.
- William Perry then made his acceptance speech, talking about playing for the Chicago Bears, and how he never knew that would lead to him being in the ring with wrestlers he watched while growing up like Andre The Giant, Big John Studd, Tony Atlas and the Killer Bees (yes, he said the Killer Bees).
- Sensational Sherri Martel is next, inducted by Ted DiBiase. During the video package for Sherri, there was a big pop from the crowd when Randy Savage appeared in a clip. The crowd also booed every sign of Shawn Michaels in the video package. DiBiase received a standing ovation from the crowd as he came out. DiBiase put over Sherri for her toughness, noting she fought for everything she had, and came from a broken home, never knowing her dad. DiBiase said Sherri proves you should never be told you can't achieve your dreams. He said she shows the passion it takes to be a wrestling star, and she wanted to do this from the time she saw her first show in an auction barn. She moved to Memphis because she wanted to become a star, and there was a company based there, where she was trained by Butch Moore. DiBiase says that Sherri went on to become one of the greatest of all times, and that she was the first lady to hold both the WWF and AWA Women's Titles. DiBiase then went over her managerial career, noting how she did everything she could to make her charges the biggest stars she could.
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