William Shatner, Star Trek icon and legendary actor just turned 90 this year. Along with a host of other honors and awards the Canadian has received in his life, Shatner will now be able to claim himself a Hall of Famer as well. No, not in a Star Trek Hall of Fame, though what an idea, but in the WWE Hall of Fame.
That’s right, Shatner is going into the WWE Hall of Fame. The event will happen on April 6, 2021.
And no, that’s not a typo, the WWE really is inducting people into the class of 2020, despite it being 2021. The WWE apparently was set to induct Shatner last year, but as the WWE didn’t hold a Hall of Fame induction, all of those inductees were rolled over and inducted this year instead.
So there will be a 2020 class, which Shatner is the celebrity member of, and a 2021 class, which hasn’t announced theirs yet.
Shatner has had a few trips to the world of the WWE, mostly because of his friendship with controversial wrestler turned announcer Jerry “The King” Lawler. He appeared in 1995 as part of a scripted feud between Lawler and fellow-Canadian Bret Hart. He came back again in 2007 to induct Lawler into the WWE Hall of Fame while returning once more in 2010 as a celebrity guest host during the poorly conceived guest host era of Monday Night Raw. He’s also provided some voice-over work for the WWE in the past, like for their Breaking Ground series.
While wrestling fans may not really think of Shatner as a former WWE guest, and Star Trek fans may not even know he was ever involved; Shatner had a great time with the company when he went over to perform and always spoke highly of his brief time there, even if it wasn’t very memorable.
"I had the best time with the entire wrestling world. Since then, I’ve loved coming back. I introduced Jerry Lawler at the Hall of Fame, and got booed. The people didn’t want to see a Hollywood fake in there, they wanted to see a real person. But I’ve had the best time with them, and they want me to come back and do a number of projects, and I’m looking for the time to do it"
The WWE released a press release for the induction but did not mention who would induct Shatner, but the easy money is on Lawler. Shatner will join fellow 2020 inductees the “British Bulldog” Davey Boy Smith, John Bradshaw Layfield (JBL), Japanese legend Jushin Thunder Liger, the legendary WCW stable the New World Order (nWo), the wrestling-turned-reality stars Nikki and Brie Bella. The group will so go in alongside the 2021 class which will feature Molly Holly, Eric Bischoff, Knox County mayor Kane (Glenn Jacobs), Indian star the Great Khali, and Rob Van Dam.
Below is the press release.
"William Shatner to be inducted into WWE Hall of Fame Class of 2020Captain’s log, stardate April 6, 2021.The WWE Hall of Fame: the final frontier.Captain Kirk himself, William Shatner, will be beamed into the WWE Hall of Fame as a member of the Class of 2020. He will take his place in sports-entertainment history during the 2021 WWE Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony, streaming next Tuesday, April 6, on Peacock in the United States and WWE Network everywhere else. News of Shatner’s induction was first reported by USA Today.Shatner is beloved by millions around the world for his iconic portrayal of James T. Kirk, captain of the USS Enterprise in the original “Star Trek” television series, as well as the motion picture series. He’s also starred in “T.J. Hooker,” was the host of “Rescue 911,” won Emmys and Golden Globe Awards for his portrayal of Denny Crane on “Boston Legal,” and has released numerous spoken-word albums and best-selling books.He made his first trek into the WWE Universe in early 1995, when he appeared as the special guest on Jerry “The King” Lawler’s “King’s Court.” Shatner didn’t take too kindly to Lawler’s badgering and sent “The King” flying with a monkey flip. Shatner returned to Raw one week later to be in Bret “Hit Man” Hart’s corner for a showdown with Jeff Jarrett. When Road Dogg got a little too close to the action, Shatner decked him with a big right hand and rammed him into the turnbuckle.The disagreement between Shatner and Lawler turned out to be water under the bridge, as Shatner returned to WWE in 2007 to induct “The King” into the WWE Hall of Fame.Shatner came back to the red brand as a special guest host in February 2010, giving the WWE Universe a memorable night as only he can, including a dramatic interpretation of several Superstar entrance themes and using his skills as The Priceline Negotiator to settle disputes. In addition, Shatner was also the narrator for the WWE Network reality series “WWE Breaking Ground.”Currently, Shatner is the host of “The UnXplained” on The History Channel, which explores the world’s most fascinating and inexplicable mysteries. He also stars in the romantic comedy “Senior Moment,” which is in theatres and on demand now. Shatner additionally enjoys doing philanthropic work, especially through his annual Hollywood Charity Horse Show, which raises funds for children’s and veterans charities.Don’t miss William Shatner take his place in the WWE Hall of Fame during the 2021 Induction Ceremony, streaming next Tuesday, April 6, on Peacock in the United States and WWE Network everywhere else!"