Starting Monday night, the WWE has three more weeks to build towards Wrestlemania, and they’ve got plenty on their plate and plenty to resolve. On paper, Monday’s show is shaping up to be pretty special, with the likes of Daniel Bryan, Brock Lesnar, the Undertaker, Shane McMahon, and Mick Foley all scheduled to appear. Roman Reigns may even be making his return to the show. But you can be certain WWE will find time to squeeze in the announcement of the latest inductee to the WWE Hall of Fame class of 2016: Jacqueline.
WWE.com released a statement to confirm the news.
“Jacqueline, a true trailblazer for women in the sports-entertainment industry, will take her well-deserved place in history in her hometown of Dallas, Texas, when she is enshrined in the WWE Hall of Fame’s Class of 2016… Her journey to sports-entertainment immortality began in the late 1980s in Dallas, where she trained under the nefarious Skandor Akbar… Now, on the eve of WrestleMania 32, the trailblazing Diva will add another accolade to her incredible resume, as she is inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame.”
Jacqueline becomes the eighth female sports entertainer to be inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame, joining Sting, The Godfather, Big Boss Man, and The Fabulous Freebirds in this year’s class. Coincidentally, Jacqueline trained under Skandor Akbar (as mentioned above) in the Sportatorium, where the Freebirds and Von Erich family engaged in one of the all-time greatest feuds in the history of the business. Speculation has been swirling for months about who will round out this year’s class. Jacqueline could put a stamp on the performers, while Regis Philbin is rumored to be inducted into the celebrity wing.
Jackie, who became only the third woman to win the Cruiserweight Championship, and the first in WWE, spoke exclusively with FOX Sports about the honor of induction and receiving the call to the Hall.
“I was so overjoyed. It’s a great honor, it’s the highest honor to receive in WWE, and to be in my hometown… it means so much to me.”
Jacqueline’s national debut came with WCW in 1997, when she was hired as the manager for Kevin Sullivan, but it wasn’t long before she was getting physical herself. She left World Championship Wrestling for the WWE a year later to aid Marc Mero. Jackie would win the WWE Women’s Championship in 1998 and again in 2000. She was never shy about wrestling both genders and discussed the confidence she had when competing against the men as well as the women.
“When I first started out in the wrestling business, I was wrestling more men than I was women. The guys gave me more of a challenge, they challenged me more. That’s where I got my toughness from…. A lot of the women didn’t like to wrestle me back then because they said I wrestle too much like a guy. That’s how I developed more in the ring, from wrestling guys, and they didn’t take it easy on me either. They wrestled me just like I was another guy.”
In today’s WWE, Jacqueline revealed that two of her favorites in the Divas division are Naomi, because she reminds her of herself, and Sasha Banks. Jackie was always one of the fiercest competitors on the roster, and it sounds as if she’d jump at the chance to give it one more crack if offered the opportunity.
“On the record, I’m not retired. I’m just not active right now. I keep busy. If push comes to shove, I can step in the ring right now. I might be rusty, but you don’t forget. It’s just in you, you don’t forget that.”
Jacqueline will become the newest member of the WWE Hall of Fame class of 2016 to be enshrined the night before Wrestlemania in her hometown of Dallas, Texas.
[Image via YouTube]