Booker T cedes the spotlight to Stevie Ray at Harlem Heat’s WWE Hall of Fame induction
BROOKLYN, N.Y. — “We did it!” Booker T yelled as he and his brother Stevie Ray took center stage during Harlem Heat’s WWE Hall of Fame induction. And, to be sure, the former WCW Tag Team Champions’ enshrinement in the WWE Hall of Famer is an unlikely turn of events: It’s not often that stars on the other side of the Monday Night Wars are enshrined into the WWE Hall of Fame. But few teams are more deserving of the honor, and few Superstars are more unsung than Stevie Ray, to whom Booker credited the inspiration for his career and ceded the bulk of the speech. “I’ve been living my brother’s dream,” said the two-time Hall of Famer, “And I think it’s time for me to wake up.”
Stevie’s speech was a heartfelt recap of Harlem Heat’s unlikely journey to the top, and the various close calls with failure the multi-time champions brushed up against on their way to WCW — “looks like this is over before it even got started” was a common refrain. And while the new Hall of Famer had plenty of praise for the individuals who took chances on them over the years — “Hot Stuff” Eddie Gilbert, Hulk Hogan and Ole Anderson among them — the final lesson he imparted was one taught to him by Arn Anderson upon his arrival to WCW: “Respect for the business, and respect for your peers.”
As if to make his point, Booker T closed things out with a shout-out to young tag teams carrying on Harlem Heat’s legacy, from The Usos to The Revival to NXT’s Street Profits and, of course, The New Day. But it was something Stevie said earlier that summed things up nicely, after Ole had sent them out to refine their craft and return when they were ready: “Don’t let me down.”
“We’re here,” Stevie said, to a round of applause. We can dig that.