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Ric Flair, Shawn Michaels, Kane And More React To The Undertaker Making The WWE Hall Of Fame

WWE is finally inducting The Undertaker into the Hall of Fame later this year. The long-rumored announcement was made official this morning, much to the delight of everyone. The Dead Man was at or near the top of the card basically since his debut in WWE at Survivor Series 1990, and he’s been over with fans the whole time. As such, the induction news has generated a ton of enthusiastic comments, none more positive than those coming from his fellow wrestlers.

Given the grind, the fight to get to the top of the card and the physical nature of the sport, wrestling can often lead to grudges and negative feelings. YouTube is filled with shoot interviews featuring former wrestlers complaining about people, but I’m not sure anyone in the business has ever been as widely liked and respected as The Undertaker. For long portions of his WWE career, he was considered the locker room leader and a guy who was always reliable and easy to work with. So, it’s not surprising the tributes pouring in today have been glowing and over the top.

There are way too many to put in a single story, but let’s start with this one from Kane, who arguably worked more storylines, as brothers, friends and foes, with him than anyone else. Here’s what he posted to Twitter

Congratulations to @undertaker on his induction into the #wwehof! No one, and I mean NO ONE, deserves it more. The Undertaker is truly iconic and transcends @WWE. The man behind the character is just as impressive! I am absolutely thrilled! CONGRATULATIONS!!

Kane got inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame last year, and he was actually told the good news by The Undertaker. The emotional video is still really touching, but as I said, he’s not the only one with a deep personal connection to The Reaper. WWE legend and soon to be fellow Hall of Famer Shawn Michaels was also effusive in his praise for The Undertaker earlier today. The two shared some epic, well-remembered matches over the years. He referenced that in his tribute, which he also dropped on Twitter

I’ve had the pleasure (and often times pain) of being in the ring with @Undertaker throughout both of our careers. I count him among the absolute best and someone I consider a close friend. Congratulations and welcome to the #WWEHOF club!!!

Even wrestlers who started their careers well before The Undertaker respected what he did inside and outside the squared circle. Ric Flair, who for my money is the greatest wrestler of all-time, dropped some over the top praise, as well. He said the upcoming Hall of Fame induction will be as big as the day Stone Cold Steve Austin went in. That’s high praise given a strong case could be made that no one was ever as over with fans as Stone Cold was during the red hot wrestling boom of the late 90s and early 00s. Here’s the comment he posted to Twitter

Congratulations @undertaker! This Is As Big As The Day That Stone Cold @steveaustinBSR Went In! Thanks For All That You’ve Done For The Business & For Me Personally! WrestleMania 38 Gets Bigger Every Day! WOOOOO!

For those of you who may not be as plugged into wrestling, this isn’t a case of The Undertaker getting some lofty and exaggerated compliments because there’s a lot of good will right now. He was legitimately over with fans for thirty years. That’s unheard of in the industry. Most people get hot for awhile, and fans eventually get bored and move on. Not The Undertaker. Sure, he switched things up a bit in terms of costuming or in terms of creative choices. There were times in which he was busier on the mic than others, but for the most part, pretty much everything he did worked. Fans wanted to see him. They wanted him to be involved in big matches, and you can’t say that about many people.

The Undertaker also bridged the gap between a lot of different eras of wrestling and somehow he found a way to thrive in each of them. He fit in perfectly with the more cartoonish Hulk Hogan era. He was the top guy or at least right there with Michaels and Bret Hart during the mid-90s bridge years. He stayed very relevant and involved in key storylines during the Attitude era with Stone Cold, The Rock and others, and he came out the otherside into the more modern WWE era. No one else did that as well, which HHH pointed out in his praise of ‘Taker that he dropped on Twitter

Absolutely no one has had as big an effect over as long of a career as @Undertaker. He is the measuring stick of this industry, in and out of the ring, and now takes his well-deserved place in the #WWEHOF!

I join everyone here, along with quite a few current WWE stars who posted too, in celebrating everything The Undertaker did over his historic career. He’s an all-time, first ballot figure in the history of wrestling, and he did it the right way. He put other people over at the expense of himself. He cared about fans and putting on a good show each and every night, often interacting (sometimes hilariously) with fans outside the arena. He pushed the creative boundaries of what wrestling could be, and he did it all with, by all accounts, a positive and likeable attitude. So, congratulations, Dead Man. Thanks for all the memories. It was an honor to watch you. Go take your place in the Hall of Fame where you belong.

Mack Rawden
Mack Rawden

Enthusiastic about Clue, case-of-the-week mysteries, the NBA and cookies at Disney World. Less enthusiastic about the pricing structure of cable, loud noises and Tuesdays.