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WWE HALL OF FAME REPORT – HARLEM HEAT
APRIL 6 2019
BROOKLYN, N.Y. AT BARCLAY’S CENTER
STREAMED LIVE ON WWE NETWORK
HOSTS: Corey Graves and Renee Young
-A video package aired on Harlem Heat’s career.
-Booker T and Stevie Ray came out onto the stage together. Booker said the only thing that could make this night better would be if his mother was there to watch them get inducted, “but I know she is.”
Booker said he grew up wanting to be his brother. He said his brother was always watching his back. He said whatever his brother did, he wanted to do. A fan shouted, “Spinarooni!” Booker laughed and said, “You can forget about that.” He continued his story. He talked about going to jail for some mistakes, but he wanted to talk about wrestling with his brother through it all. He said whatever job he’s ever had, he believed in doing it to the best of his ability.
He said without his brother, he wouldn’t be there today. He said he was truly living his brother’s dream. “This is something my brother wanted to do from day one.” He said when he came home from prison, he had weight belts made which said Mr. Ebony 1 and Mr. Ebony 2. He said he wanted to be like his big brother, so he gave him Mr. Ebony 1.
Stevie Ray confirmed that he was way more determined to be a wrestler and Booker just followed along. He said he went to a school run by Ivan Putsky and then was trained by Steve Casey. He said he and his brother opened a wrestling organization, but after a couple of months, it closed down. He said his brother rolled at him and said, “Well, brother it was over before it ever got started.”
Stevie talked about being discovered by Global Wrestling Federation which was on ESPN at the time. He asked Booker to follow him up there. He said they went to Dallas for a tryout and walked into the office of “Hot Stuff” Eddie Gilbert. Booker cracked up when Stevie talked about how Booker was dressed up in a trench coat and a phone and a bag. “I was always fly, y’all,” Booker said. Fans laughed. Stevie said he told them to come back to Dallas the next week. He said they drove 250 miles back and then returned a week later. He said Eddie proposed they become a babyface tag team. He asked if they had teamed before. “I said yea, but we were lying; we had never teamed before.” Laughs. He said Stevie Ray is from Stevie Wonder and Ray Charles. Applause. He said they became The Ebony Experience.
He said they gave him the worst tag team to work with in a tag match. He said by the next week, Eddie had been fired. He said Booker looked at him and said it looks like it’s over before it started. He said Scott Casey taught him to persevere. He said they went out there and the fans called them every epithet known to man. He said his brother was quarterbacking the match because their opponents didn’t know what they were doing, but they made them look better than ever. He said fans were out of their seats. He said the promoter liked them enough to invite them back next week. He said within a month, they sold out the place with them in action at The Ebony Experience.
Booker then said it got bigger as they headed to Atlanta, Georgia. He said that’s the spark that lit the flame. he pointed at the big screen with a picture of them with Sensational Sherri. He said people say who started the Women’s Evolution, but Sherri Martel deserves props.
Stevie said before they went to Atlanta, Sid Vicious said he wanted to have a tag match with them. He said Sid showed up with a partner and they had a match and the crowd went crazy. Stevie found the partner wasn’t really a wrestler, but just a friend from childhood who he gave wrestling trunks to, but they still had a good match with him.
Stevie said Ole Anderson was the booker in Atlanta. He said they had a pretty good match and felt good about themselves. He said Ole wanted to know if they could not just work, but also make money. Ole told them to change their gimmick and go out there again and not let him down. He sent a message to Ole that they’re still around.
Stevie said it was a big challenge in WCW in ways people don’t know, but they had top talent who taught them a lot. They cut to a shot of Sting as Stevie Ray said a new guy came in to evaluate talent. He said that person was Hulk Hogan, and Hogan told management to use him and his brother better. Stevie said after that, Sherri got with them. He said they travelled the world and main evented or semi-main evented everywhere and won ten tag team titles. He said Arn Anderson also supported them earlier. He said he had the utmost respect for him. He said Arn showed respect for the business with a handshake and an offer to help. He said without respect, this business is nothing, and Arn taught him that. He said he wanted to relay that to everyone in the wrestling business.
Booker and Stevie looked at each other. Booker asked if they should wrap things up. Stevie said he’s ready. After a few final words from Stevie, Booker gave a shout out to The Usos, The Revival, The Street Profits, and The New Day. Booker said, “I ain’t leaving until I say it – Kofi-mania!” Fans began loudly chanting “Kofi!” They showed Bryan and fans booed. Earlier in the show they had gone to shots of Daniel Bryan in the crowd, then Kofi, then Bryan, then Kofi. Fans booed every shot of Bryan and popped big for every shot of Kofi.