Beam him up, Vincey! That’s right. As first reported by USA Today, legendary actor, best-selling author, spoken word recording artist, Emmy and Golden Globe award winner, and philanthropist, William Shatner, received his call to the hall. The 90-year-old Shatner, who is best known for such iconic roles as Captain James T. Kirk (Star Trek), T.J. Hooker (T.J. Hooker), and Denny Crane (Boston Legal), will be the latest inductee to the WWE Hall of Fame’s Celebrity Wing, where he will join the likes of Drew Carey, Mike Tyson, Snoop Dogg, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Pete Rose, Mr. T, and more.
Shatner’s WWE career began on January 9, 1995, when he appeared as a guest on Jerry Lawler‘s “Kings Court” in part to hype up his new show, Tech War, that was going to air on the USA Network following Raw that night and every Monday thereafter. Lawler, who had been taunting Shatner prior to his appearance, wanted Shatner to call his time on King’s Court as the biggest and best moment of his career but Shatner wouldn’t oblige, even suggesting his chewing gum the day before “was more thrilling than facing you [King].” The two men got into a verbal altercation that turned physical, even resulting in Shatner sending King on his back with a monkey flip. As the segment ended, Shatner’s good friend and fellow Canadian, Bret Hart, raised his arm in the air as King’s cronies, Jeff Jarrett and Road Dogg also arrived on the scene. This was to set up Shatner’s return the following week, where he cornered Hart against Jarrett. Again, Shatner was ready to throw hands, decking Road Dogg and sending him slamming into the turnbuckle when he tried to interfere in the contest.
In 2007, Shatner returned to WWE on a special assignment: to induct Lawler into the Hall of Fame. Perhaps Lawler will return the favor this year. In 2010, Shatner made another, and quite memorable appearance on Raw, as he served as special guest host of the show. Citing his reasoning for wanting to come back to WWE as being in part because he “loves the magic of the atmosphere,” and being “fascinated by the grace, athleticism, and passion,” Shatner’s hosting gig included settling disputes (something his role as the Priceline Negotiator of commercial fame perhaps prepared him for) and reciting dramatic spoken-word interpretations of superstar entrance themes such as Shawn Michaels, John Cena, Rey Mysterio, and Triple H. And while he would not be seen on WWE TV again following his hosting appearance, Shatner has since been heard by the WWE Universe, namely through his role as narrator of the WWE Network‘s hit reality series, Breaking Ground.
These days, Shatner continues to act and host shows including the History Channel’s “The UnXplained.” Additionally, he enjoys a vast array of philanthropic work, including his annual Hollywood Charity Horse Show, which helps raise funds for various veterans and children’s charities.
When asked about his induction, Shatner, who has long been a fan of what WWE does and how passionate their audience is, called the honor “fantastic.”
Shatner joins previously announced members of the Class of 2020 in the nWo, Bella Twins, The British Bulldog, JBL, and Jushin “Thunder” Liger. The induction for the Class of 2020 will take place alongside this year’s induction, on April 6th in a ceremony that will air live on Peacock.
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