10 Fascinating WWE WrestleMania 23 Facts

10. Lance Russell Was Nixed As Jerry Lawler's Inductor Because "Nobody Knows Who He Is"


There are many critics of the WWE Hall of Fame, usually for a common reason: it's not the most accurate representation of wrestling history. Honestly, it isn't really designed to be. It's a "feels" night for nostalgia-minded fans to see stars of their youth, smiling and praising WWE for being so gracious to them. The Hall has its positives, sure, but there is a palpable hollowness.

Take the 2007 ceremony, which saw Jerry Lawler receive a more-than-deserved induction. For his inductor, Lawler chose dear friend Lance Russell, the eternal voice of Memphis Wrestling, whose calm, sweet-voiced delivery made him an institution in the territory.

Reportedly, oft-criticized WWE director Kevin Dunn shot down Lawler's request, because he felt fans would have no idea who Russell was. Some younger ones, sure, but that would be WWE's job, to explain why Lawler holds this individual in such high-esteem.

Instead of Russell, who would have given a profound speech for his friend, Lawler was stuck with William Shatner, who had taken part in a throwaway angle with "The King" in 1995. Shatner, in his speech, seemingly knew nothing else about Lawler, except for their silly TV encounter.


Justin has been a wrestling fan since 1989, and has been writing about it since 2009. Since 2014, Justin has been a features writer and interviewer for Fighting Spirit Magazine. Justin also writes for History of Wrestling, and is a contributing author to James Dixon's Titan series.