Teddy Long will be inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame.
The 69-year-old former manager and WWE referee will join the Class of 2017 – which also includes Kurt Angle and The Rock ‘n’ Roll Express.
Speaking to FoxSports.com about the prestigious achievement, he said: "I was really surprised, you know? I had thought about being inducted into the Hall of Fame and I thought ‘well, if they’re going to do that, I’m pretty sure my time will come one day.’ And that’s what did happen. I was real excited, it’s such an honor to be a part of something like this. To go into the 2017 WWE Hall of Fame… man, it’s just great. It don’t get no better than that.
"I just want to thank Vince McMahon and the McMahon family, and the WWE Universe, and all the people that just hung out with me and wanted some more Teddy Long. I’m just excited right now so I’m kind of lost for words."
And the Smackdown General Manager is grateful to WWE CEO Vince McMahon for helping him to transition to the role of GM.
He said: "Let me tell you something. Vince McMahon, this man’s a genius. He can see stuff that a lot of people can’t see. I found that out during the years that I worked there, because I’ve seen some things that I thought wouldn’t work in my opinion. ‘Why are we doing this?’ And the next thing I know Vince turned that thing around and made it work. And he did the same with me.
"I think what happened is after he found out that I could talk, for the general manager role you need people that can talk and be in that role, to be an authority figure. I don’t know what he seen in me, but whatever he seen I’m glad he saw it. And that’s why I gave him 100 percent every time I walked out of that curtain and walked into the ring. That’s why I was able to stay, I guess, in my position for 10 years."
Teddy also shared the announcement about his accolade on his Twitter page and wrote: "Um all the way up playas (sic)."
Wrestler Triple H shared his congratulations on Twitter, writing: "From ring crew and referee to General Manager of Smackdown. @teddyplayalong can now add #WWEHOF to his 30-year resume. Congratulations! (sic)."