WWE Reveals First 2023 Hall of Fame Inductee on SmackDown

WrestleMania 39 is not too far away, and up until now, fans hadn't received any hint as to who would be inducted into the 2023 WWE Hall of Fame class. A recent report even suggested that WWE was still figuring things out as far as inductees, but tonight's WWE SmackDown revealed the first inductee of the 2023 class, and it is none other than Rey Mysterio. In the video Randy Orton, Batista, AJ Styles, and John Cena all spoke of how much Mysterio has done for wrestling and the WWE, and then Mysterio came out to a huge ovation from the fans.

He was about to start speaking but then he was interrupted by Dominik Mystero's music and the entire Judgment Day. Dominik said "WWE is really going to induct a washed-up old man into the Hall of Fame? How many birthdays, How many Christmases, How many Thanksgivings, how many soccer games did you miss, Huh? All to make this Hall of Fame career. You know what? Mami was right. I'm ashamed to be your son," Dominik said.

Then Santos Escobar's music hit and Legado del Fantasma stormed the ring. Escobar said that he didn't forget what they did last week, and instead of waiting until later, they should just have their six-man tag right now. A referee came out and the match started, with Rey standing by at ringside.

There's been a newfound respect between Escobar and Rey after Escobar presented his mask to him a few weeks ago. In the segment Escobar shared a story about his father and how he grew up loving Rey, calling him the best ever. Rey remembered that story and presented Escobar with one of his masks as well, and since then Escobar has come to Rey's aid against Dominik and the Judgement Day.

In the locker room, Escobar said "Ever since I was a little kid, pulling up with my dad and we saw you, and he said to me. 'You see him? That's Rey Mysterio. He's going to do big things in this business.' I guess, I guess that hit me, because when the time came for me to be here, all I ever wanted was to take your legacy and make it mine. Because hey, after all, my dad wasn't wrong. You did a lot of things, and still do."

"But after tonight, I can only accept and respect that Rey is all about Lucha. And I guess, in honor to my dad, who didn't raise a Champion but raised a lion, I must present you with the ultimate sign of respect." He then handed Mysterio his mask from earlier in the night, adding "This doesn't mean I don't want your legacy, but hell, I do respect what you are."

"I remember you telling me that story one time, a long time ago when we first met," Mysterio said. "I cherish that story in my heart. And you know what this means. This is sacred. This is special. This, is something that is not to be messed around with. I respect that. And just as you presented me with something so sacred, I want to do the same."

He then picked up one of his masks and handed it to Escobar. "I want to present you with something that will bring out that ferociousness within that lion. Within your heart. And hoping that this will let you create your own legacy," Mysterio said.

Who else should join Rey Mysterio in this year's Hall of Fame class? Let us know in the comments or as always you can talk all things wrestling with me on Twitter @MattAguilarCB!