Last month, former referee, manager, and SmackDown general manager Teddy Long was announced as member of the 2017 WWE Hall of Fame class. On Friday, WWE revealed Long will be inducted by former A.P.A. members John Bradshaw Layfield and Ron Simmons.
The trio famously traveled together along with fellow Hall of Famer the Godfather, who Simmons and JBL inducted into last year’s class.
“We rode thousands and thousands of miles together for years – me, Ron, Teddy and Godfather in one car,” JBL told WWE.com. “It’s real special. Ron’s in the Hall of Fame, Godfather’s in the Hall of Fame, and now Teddy is, too.”
JBL also touted Long’s accomplishments in the professional wrestling industry, having successfully taken on numerous jobs throughout his career.
“Teddy Long is a groundbreaker,” JBL said. “He worked his way up from the ring crew to become the manager of one of the greatest tag teams of all time in Doom. He was a referee and became one of the most colorful general managers ever. Teddy Long has done it all. If there’s anybody deserving of going into the WWE Hall of Fame, it’s him.”
JBL also inducted Simmons into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2012. The SmackDown Live commentator, who will likely receive his own induction at some point, relished the opportunity to once again induct a close friend into WWE’s elite circle of recognition.
“It’s an incredible honor,” JBL said of inducting Long. “I’ve always thought that inducting someone into the WWE Hall of Fame is one of the greatest privileges you can get because it’s the honor of a lifetime for the person going in.”
In February, Fox Sports’ Nick Schwartz broke the news of Long’s induction. Long told Schwartz that he couldn’t contain his excitement when he received the call from WWE notifying him of his induction.
“Well, I was really surprised, you know? I had thought about being inducted into the Hall of Fame and I thought ‘well, if they’re going to do that, I’m pretty sure my time will come one day.’ And that’s what did happen. I was real excited, it’s such an honor to be a part of something like this. To go into the 2017 WWE Hall of Fame… man, it’s just great. It don’t get no better than that.
“I just want to thank Vince McMahon and the McMahon family, and the WWE Universe, and all the people that just hung out with me and wanted some more Teddy Long. I’m just excited right now so I’m kind of lost for words.”
Long’s professional wrestling journey began when he met Abdullah the Butcher while living in Atlanta during the 1980s. He started as a member of the ring crew and eventually earned an opportunity as an NWA referee, becoming one of the most prominent heel officials in the wrestling industry at the time.
Long began his managerial career with the tag-team Doom (Simmons and Butch Reed), who he led to the then NWA World Tag Team Championship. During his NWA career, Long also managed Sid Vicious, One Man Gang, 2 Cold Scorpio, Bobby Eaton, and “Mean Mark Callous (who eventually became The Undertaker in WWE).
Long joined WWE in late 1998 and returned to the role of referee during the beginning of his tenure. Eventually, he became a prominent heel manager for the likes of D’Lo Brown, Rodney Mack, and Mark Henry.
In mid-2004, Long became the general manager of SmackDown and kept an authority figure role for nine years, leading both the SmackDown and ECW brands.
[Featured Image by WWE]