No offense to the fast-rising AEW, but every eye in the wrestling world will be locked on Tampa, Florida when WrestleMania 36 kicks off on Sunday, April 5. WWE superstars Brock Lesnar, Becky Lynch, Bayley and “The Fiend” Bray Wyatt will likely headline “The Grandest Stage of Them All,” while NXT champions Adam Cole and Shayna Baszler figure to capitalize on their brand’s growing popularity.
But before in-ring competition kicks off, a weekend filled with action begins with the WWE Hall of Fame Ceremony. The 2019 WWE Hall of Fame Class included The Honky Tonk Man, Torrie Wilson, and Brutus “The Barber” Beefcake as individual inductees, while transcendent factions D-Generation X, Harlem Heat and The Hart Foundation took their rightful place alongside pro wrestling’s greatest.
2020 WWE Hall of Fame Class
Six-time WWE World Champion Dave Bautista rose to stardom under the in-ring name Batista. “The Animal” was a founding member of the Evolution faction along with Ric Flair, Triple H and Randy Orton. Feuds with John Cena and The Undertaker built Batista into one of WWE’s prominent talents as he headlined several pay-per-view main events, and his powerful Batista Bomb is one of the greatest finishers ever. After his farewell match at WrestleMania 35, the wrestling icon continued his Hollywood acting career. You’ve likely seen him in movies like Riddick, Spectre, Stuber, Guardians of the Galaxy, and the Avengers series.
“I will always be connected with [WWE], I’ll always be affiliated with them, I hope that I will always have a good relationship with them. So it doesn’t really feel like an ending for me, it feels like, kind of, I’m right in the mix… All I can say is it feels good, it’s just satisfying. I feel like I accomplished something. I feel like it was all worth it.”
— Dave Bautista, via People
Going in alongside Batista is the New World Order (nWo). “Hollywood” Hulk Hogan, Scott Hall, Kevin Nash and Sean Waltman have received induction before, but WWE’s controversial faction is finally going in together.
Helping drive World Championship Wrestling (WCW) during the Monday Night Wars, nWo brought a new audience to the World Wrestling Federation (WWF), and Hogan’s heel turn was a major reason why. But together, the stable dominated the professional wrestling landscape in the late 1990s and held several titles during that time, including WCW’s World Tag Team Championships and World Heavyweight Championship.
“Batista was one of the fastest rising stars ever in WWE with an incredible list of accolades, and the success of the nWo changed the course of sports entertainment history. It is only fitting that they all take their rightful place in the WWE Hall of Fame.”
— WWE Executive VP Paul ‘Triple H’ Levesque, via WWE.com
The 2020 WWE Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony will take place at Amalie Arena in Tampa on Thursday, April 2. This article will be updated as the rest of this year’s inductees are announced.