Once the smoke clears and the WWE reveals who will be enshrined into the latest Hall of Fame class, the narrative invariably shifts to who will be inducting the lucky superstars. It’s been confirmed that John Cena will induct Kurt Angle, Ricky Steamboat will induct Rick Rude, and JBL and Ron Simmons will induct Teddy Long. It’s been rumored that either Jake Roberts or Eric Bischoff will induct DDP, and Kelly Kelly will present Beth Phoenix. And now it’s confirmed that Jim Cornette will induct The Rock ‘N’ Roll Express.
The Rock ‘N’ Roll Express, along with the rest of their fellow inductees, will be enshrined into the WWE Hall of Fame on Friday, March 31, two days before WrestleMania. There is still rumored to be another inductee, though it won’t be William Regal this year. That spot is reportedly being reserved for the legacy wing of the hall.
The WWE officially confirmed the news that Cornette would be inducting The Rock ‘N’ Roll Express on their official website Monday afternoon. It’s ironic, of course, considering Cornette spent a good portion of his career in wrestling as the heel manager to the ultimate babyface tag team of The Rock ‘N’ Roll Express, made up of Ricky Morton and Robert Gibson.
“By any standard, Ricky and Robert belong in the Hall of Fame. And that’s whether its longevity as a team, the attendance records they set, or the great matches that they had, which fans can still see on WWE Network… Superman needs Lex Luthor, Batman needs The Joker, and we were the antithesis of everything The Rock ‘n’ Roll Express stood for and their wrestling style. It just clicked. I said these horrible, degrading things about these two, fine, young, upstanding examples of American boyhood, and people, on numerous occasions, tried to kill us.”
Cornette’s name had come up on numerous occasions ever since the WWE announced that The Rock ‘N’ Roll Express would be inducted into the 2017 Class of the WWE Hall of Fame. There were rumblings, however, that the company would not allow Jim to be a part of the ceremony because of their relationship. Cornette worked for the WWE for 12 years but has expressed some disparaging remarks about management and talent alike since departing in 2005.
The WWE has had a way of forgiving with many former personalities, and Cornette appears to be the latest. Jim conducted an exclusive interview with the company’s website to help promote The Rock ‘N’ Roll Express’ induction, where he continued to praise the mark they both left on the industry.
“Fans literally gave them pictures and gifts at the matches. They considered them members of the family. I’ve seen inside fans’ houses, and they would have pictures of Jesus on the wall, and next to it would be a picture of The Rock ‘n’ Roll Express. That’s no lie… Between the ’80s with The Midnight Express and the ’90s with The Heavenly Bodies, and then in the 2000s on the reunions with The Midnights, I think only Bobo Brazil and The Sheik had a longer-running rivalry… And I still haven’t put an end to Rock ‘n’ Roll! I haven’t been able to do it, so I guess I have to roll over and induct them.”
Cornette revealed that as part of his induction speech, he will share a story of a time The Rock ‘N’ Roll Express saved his life “from an angry mob of fans” in Louisiana. Morton and Gibson recently returned to TNA for the special Total Nonstop Deletion, participating in the Tag Team Apocalypto open invitational for The Broken Hardys TNA World Tag Team Championship. However, the next stop for The Rock ‘N’ Roll Express will be the WWE Hall of Fame.
[Featured Image by WWE]