William Shatner Announced as Latest Member of 2020-21 WWE Hall of Fame Class

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistMarch 30, 2021

William Shatner participates on day 3 during the 'William Shatner Spotlight' panel at C2E2 at McCormick Place on Sunday, March 1, 2020 in Chicago. (Photo by Rob Grabowski/Invision/AP)
Rob Grabowski/Associated Press

WWE announced Tuesday that legendary actor William Shatner will be inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame on April 6.

It was noted by WWE that Shatner will officially be part of the 2020 WWE Hall of Fame class, which will be honored along with the 2021 class in a special streaming on Peacock next week.

Other Class of 2020 members include John Bradshaw Layfield, The British Bulldog, The Bella Twins, Jushin "Thunder" Liger and the nWo. They will be joined by the class of 2021, which is comprised of Kane, Rob Van Dam, Molly Holly, Eric Bischoff and The Great Khali thus far.

The 90-year-old Shatner is perhaps best known for his portrayal of Captain Kirk in Star Trek, but he also made a name for himself with starring roles in notable television series T.J. Hooker and Boston Legal.

His WWE involvement dates back to 1995, when he appeared on "King's Court" with WWE Hall of Famer Jerry "The King" Lawler. Shatner took Lawler out with a monkey flip in that segment and then stood in Bret Hart's corner the following week on Raw for The Hitman's match against Jeff Jarrett, which saw Shatner punch The Roadie, who eventually became WWE Hall of Famer Road Dogg.

Shatner later inducted Lawler into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2007 and returned to WWE again in 2010 as a guest host for an episode of Raw.

In an interview with Bill Keveney of USA Today, Shatner called his WWE Hall of Fame induction a "fantastic" honor.

The Montreal native also compared WWE fandom to that of Star Trek, saying: "It's very much the same, the approbation, the joy. The enthusiasm the wrestling audience shows toward its favorite people is not dissimilar to the enthusiasm Star Trek fans show."

Shatner will be part of the WWE Hall of Fame's "celebrity wing," which features many celebrities who have had some involvement with WWE over the years.

Among the celebrities who have been inducted thus far are boxer Mike Tyson, baseball legend Pete Rose, rapper Snoop Dogg and actors Mr. T and Arnold Schwarzenegger.

By making Shatner part of the 2020 class, which was never officially inducted because of the COVID-19 pandemic, WWE has left the door open to include a second celebrity in the 2021 class if it so chooses.

Given his charisma and penchant for stealing the spotlight, Shatner has a chance to provide the fans watching at home with one of the most entertaining and engaging Hall of Fame speeches of the night when the ceremony streams on Peacock on April 6.

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