Paul Heyman and Muhammad Ali headline the Hall of Fame Class of 2024

wwe03 April 2024 10:06
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Paul Heyman ©️ WWE

The 2024 WWE Hall of Fame is an upcoming professional wrestling event produced by WWE that will feature the induction of the 25th class into the WWE Hall of Fame. Paul Heyman, Bull Nakano, The U.S. Express (Barry Windham and Mike Rotunda), Muhammad Ali, and Thunderbolt Patterson are among the inductees.



The outspoken, brusque New Yorker first gained enemies under the guise of Paul E. Dangerously in WCW. Managing Steve Austin, Arn Anderson and Rick Rude in a stable he dubbed his Dangerous Alliance, Heyman used a Big Apple attitude and an oversized 1980s cell phone to help his charges run through the likes of Sting and Ricky Steamboat.

After WCW released the hothead in 1993, Heyman found an opportunity in failure, turning a modest Philadelphia-based independent promotion called Eastern Championship Wrestling into the notoriously daring Extreme Championship Wrestling. Inspired by alternative rock music and MTV, the innovator took ECW from public access to national pay-per-view by endorsing brutal bouts showcasing the rare combination of misfit warriors alongside cutting-edge athletes.

Credited with inspiring WWE’s landmark “Attitude Era,” the controversial brand became the third-largest wrestling company in the world before it was crippled by financial problems in 2001. Heyman joined WWE as Jim Ross’ broadcast partner, but it wouldn’t be long before the nonconformists of ECW reemerged in WWE as part of the infamous “Invasion.” Aligning himself with Stephanie and Shane McMahon, Heyman came frighteningly close to overthrowing WWE but ultimately failed to bring down his competition.

Time and again, however, Heyman was able to find his way back in, forming alliances with Superstars like CM Punk, Brock Lesnar, Big Show and Kurt Angle.

Since the summer of 2020, Heyman has been firmly entrenched as the Special Council to Undisputed WWE Universal Champion Roman Reigns, where he lends his opinion and uses his outspoken nature to advise one of the most impressive title reigns in WWE history.

Heyman’s influence on sports entertainment has become immeasurable, as his brash, in-your-face attitude has paved the way for multiple generations of managers and Superstars. With a resume that is unmatched, Heyman now takes his rightful place in the WWE Hall of Fame.

Congratulations to Paul Heyman on becoming a WWE Hall of Famer!



One of the most iconic figures in sports history, the three-time World Heavyweight Boxing Champion and Olympic gold medalist was known around the world for his charisma, his confidence, and his ability to back it up inside the ropes.

Known simply as “The Greatest”, Ali’s influence transcended sports as his work as an activist, artist, and personality established him as one of the most renowned figures in the entire world. Although best known as a boxer, Ali made a great impact in the sports entertainment world. On June 26, 1976, Ali competed in “The War of the Worlds” which was an exhibition match against WWE Hall of Famer Antonio Inoki inside the Nippon Budokan Arena in Tokyo, Japan.

The match, which was competed under specific rules, resulted in a 15-round draw in front of 32,000 fans in the crowd. The bout was also broadcast on closed-circuit television to nearly 33,000 fans inside Shea Stadium in Queens, New York.

The event was a huge success and brought in countless new fans to the industry while also being viewed as a precursor to modern mixed martial arts. Both Ali and Inoki became friends after the event with Inoki even using Ali’s theme music and catchphrases as his own.

After retiring from the boxing ring with a career record of 56-5 with 37 knockouts, Ali returned to the squared circle where he served as the special guest referee for the inaugural WrestleMania in 1984 during the main event between Hulk Hogan & Mr. T and “Rowdy” Roddy Piper & “Mr. Wonderful” Paul Orndorff.

Ali’s defining moment in the match came when he punched Piper with his signature right hand - a move that restored order to the bout.

Ali sadly passed away on June 3rd, 2016, at 74, but his legacy as one of the greatest athletes persists, and his work to modernize and globalize professional wrestling helped seamlessly blend the world of sports and entertainment.




As first announced by her grandson Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Lia Maivia will be inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame Class of 2024.

A matriarch of the legendary Anoa'i family, Maivia shattered glass ceilings as one of the first women to become a powerful sports-entertainment promoter and laid the foundation for one of the most decorated bloodlines in wrestling history.

Maivia joins her late husband, WWE Hall of Famer “High Chief” Peter Maivia, in the WWE Hall of Fame, as the two key figures in the rich wrestling history of Hawaii.

After The High Chief’s passing in 1982, Maivia took over control of the National Wrestling Alliance territory in Hawaii known as Polynesian Pro Wrestling where she became one of wrestling’s first-ever woman promoters.

In 1985, Maivia was in charge of promoting A Hot Summer Night, which was an event that featured several WWE Hall of Famers including Andre the Giant, Ric Flair, Rocky Johnson (Maivia’s son-in-law), Dusty Rhodes, Antonio Inoki, and many other notable Superstars that drew a crowd of more than 20,000.

With Lia Maivia’s strength and influence, the Anoa'i family grew into one of the industry’s defining families as WWE Superstars such as The Rock, Undisputed WWE Universal Champion Roman Reigns, Yokozuna, Rikishi, Jimmy Uso, Jey Uso, and many more developed into some of the most globally renowned sports-entertainers of their respective eras.

Maivia passed away in 2008 at the age of 77, but her strong-willed business sense coupled with her love of sports entertainment left a lasting and profound impact on the industry and the many people she influenced and impacted in her amazing life.




As reported first by The Ringer, The U.S. Express will be inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame Class of 2024. Competitors at the first WrestleMania with deep family ties in the sports entertainment industry, Mike Rotunda and Barry Windham changed tag team wrestling forever when they debuted together as The U.S. Express.

Entering the arena with rock ‘n’ roll legend Bruce Springsteen’s iconic “Born in The U.S.A.” blasting on the speakers, The U.S. Express was one of the most entertaining and exciting duos of the ’80s.

As two-time World Tag Team Champions in their career, Rotunda & Windham battled many WWE legends including the team of Nikolai Volkoff & The Iron Sheik as well as The Dream Team composed of Greg “The Hammer” Valentine & Brutus “The Barber” Beefcake.

As real-life brothers-in-law, the family was essential to both Superstars as Windham’s father, Blackjack Mulligan, was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame as a member of The Blackjacks. Windham himself was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame as a member of The Four Horsemen in 2012.

Their legacy continued into the newer generation as Rotunda’s two sons, Windham (named after Barry) and Taylor, notably competed in WWE as Bray Wyatt and Bo Dallas, respectively. As a pioneering tag team, Windham & Rotunda helped pave the way for decades of tag team excellence to come and for their incredible contributions, they will be immortalized in the WWE Hall of Fame Class of 2024.




A hugely influential, although often overlooked, figure in sports-entertainment history, Patterson’s captivating abilities on the microphone inspired a generation of talkers that followed in his footsteps.

Growing up in Iowa, Patterson moved to Texas and worked with legendary promoter Dory Funk Sr. (father of WWE Hall of Famers Dory Funk Jr. and Terry Funk) where he began performing incredible interviews using a delivery inspired by Black Southern pastors.

Patterson backed up his talents on the microphone in the ring as he captured titles across North America while defeating iconic opponents like Bruiser Brody and WWE Hall of Famer The Sheik. Thunderbolt was also a decorated tag team competitor, most famously teaming with Ole Anderson before their partnership erupted into a brutal rivalry, which helped launch the legendary Four Horsemen.

Patterson was also a contemporary of WWE Hall of Famer Dusty Rhodes, and was often credited with inspiring The American Dream’s charismatic persona. Patterson’s work as a captivating performer was self-evident, but he was also a fierce advocate for the health and welfare of competitors outside of the ring.

His legacy as a showman with his signature quick punches, his incredible blend of power and speed, and his compassion for his fellow man live on as his influence can still be seen in the ring today.


Nakano was a warrior, plain and simple, and the women who survived their run-ins with her have the scars to prove it.

Debuting as a competitor in the notoriously stern world of All Japan Women's Pro-Wrestling when she was only a teenager, Nakano became familiar to WWE fans when she terrorized Alundra Blayze in 1994. She competed in WWE long before that, however, teaming up with powerhouse Dump Matsumoto as The Devils of Japan on a series of shows in 1986.

Even back then, Nakano was already carving out her persona as a black-hearted villain with a captivating appearance that was equal parts Tokyo scream queen and Bowery punk rocker. Shaving the sides of her long hair before it was popular, Bull rocked leather vests and fright makeup to draw the crowd's attention, but she was much more than that.

A singles champion in Japan, Mexico, and WWE, Nakano intimidated opponents with her unbridled intensity and put them down with her imposing frame. Taking obvious pleasure in causing pain, she’d grab a handful of hair and fling a rival across the ring.

Nakano became a revered sports-entertainment figure following a string of physical encounters against formidable opponents like Aja Kong and Manami Toyota in Japan. It was this international reputation that brought her to WWE in 1994 for a rivalry with Blayze that revitalized the long-stagnant Women’s Title. The two battled exhaustively throughout the year with Nakano’s biggest victory coming on Nov. 24, 1994, when she won the Women’s Championship in front of more than 42,000 fans in the Tokyo Dome.

Nakano and Blayze rumbled again in WCW in 1995, but her in-ring career began to wind down soon after. Following a brief stint as a professional golfer, Nakano officially retired from wrestling on Jan. 8, 2012.

Her iconic career both domestically and abroad influenced multiple generations that followed, cementing her legacy as one of the all-time greats as she now takes her rightful place in the WWE Hall of Fame.


Source: WWE