Last week we celebrated Star Trek’s William Shatner as he marked his 90th birthday. One of Shatner’s many facets is his connection to professional wrestling. And now his contribution to wrestling is being honored.
Add Wrestling Hall of Famer to Bill’s resume
On April 6th, William Shatner will take his rightful place in the celebrity wing of the WWE Hall of Fame alongside William “Refrigerator” Perry, Bob Uecker, Drew Carey, Mike Tyson, Mr. T, Kid Rock, Snoop Dogg, Donald Trump, and Arnold Schwarzenegger.
William Shatner has had many iconic moments on WWE, dating back to the mid-90s and his infamous feud with Jerry “The King” Lawler. Eventually, the pair buried the hatchet when Shatner returned to WWE in 2007 to induct “The King” into the WWE Hall of Fame. Shatner also returned as a guest host in 2010, when he delivered a dramatic interpretation of several Superstar entrance themes, as only he could do. In addition, Shatner was also the narrator for the WWE Network reality series “WWE Breaking Ground.”
Speaking to USA Today, Shatner called the honor “fantastic” and drew a comparison to his most famous role:
“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 went further, suggesting he missed an opportunity:
“I’m going to admit it now: I missed a career when ‘Star Trek’ was over. I should have gone into wrestling as Captain Kirk.”
Don’t miss William Shatner take his place in the WWE Hall of Fame during the 2021 Induction Ceremony, streaming next Tuesday, April 6, on Peacock in the United States and WWE Network everywhere else.
Shatner vs. Lawler
To promote the premiere of the TV series TekWar on the USA Network, Shatner appeared on a regular Monday Night Raw segment called the “Kings’ Court” with wrestler Jerry Lawler in 1995. After hurling a few insults back and forth, Shatner monkey-flipped Lawler right out of the ring while fellow Canadian hero Bret “The Hitman” Hart cheered him on.
1/9/95: William Shatner gets into it with Jerry Lawler on WWF Monday Night Raw.
Bret Hart then wanders out as well. pic.twitter.com/jMIk16yDXB
— OVP – Retro Wrestling Podcast (@ovppodcast) January 9, 2021
After the fallout from the Kings’ Court the previous week, a match was made between Hart and Jeff Jarrett, with Shatner in Hart’s corner and The Roadie in Jarrett’s. At the end of the match, things got physical for the Starfleet captain when he slammed the Roadie’s face into the turnbuckle, threw him over the top rope and out of the ring. Hart and Shatner stood victorious as the USA Network executives were basking in the glow of their newest hit, TekWar. Unfortunately, much like Shatner’s early WWF career, TekWar didn’t last very long.
Bill sings wrestler themes
After a 15-year hiatus, Shatner was back in 2010 to guest host an episode of Monday Night RAW, which included an on-air role as an authority figure. In the most memorable moment, Bill sang a compilation of WWE Superstar entrance theme songs including Shawn Michaels’s “Sexy Boy” and John Cena’s “The Time is Now.”
On that same RAW for one backstage segment during a disagreement between wrestlers, Shatner stepped in as the RAW Match Negotiator, a nod to his infamous Priceline character. In the 3-minute segment, he was not only able to promote Priceline but his BIO series Shatner’s Raw Nerve as well as the Hollywood charity horse show. Since he’s always such a good sport, they made fun of his proclivity to over-promote.
Check out more on William Shatner in the WWE.