WWE Hall of Fame Ceremony 2016

WWE Hall of Fame Ceremony 2016

Observations and Reactions

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Preshow

I’ll beat this drum until she is behind the announce table on Monday nights: Renee Young is a talent. She is versatile, glib, and charming. I almost feel as if she is “too good” for wrestling.

Dean Ambrose. Did he start partying a little early on Saturday? His interview with Renee was charmingly odd.

Roman Reigns. I like Reigns during this interview. He was being himself, not some character. He was so much more natural and comfortable. The difference is glaring.

WWE Hall of Fame 2016

The Godfather

Video: “Who’s gonna boo hot chicks?” (Dean Ambrose)

The APA said that the Godfather could have been the third member of the team because he rolled every bit as hard as them…if not harder.

Ron Simmons is so damn cool.

The Godfather entered with… female accompaniment. He sold that “Charles Wright” and “The Godfather” were essentially the same guy. He advised young wrestlers to cherish their time in the limelight because it will pass quickly.

Observations

I was a huge fan of Papa Shango. The Godfather character was over but it never connected with me. I wouldn’t necessarily have included him in the HOF, but ever since Koko B. Ware was inducted, all bets are off.

Stan Hansen

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Video: “Would YOU fight Stan Hansen?” (Paul Heyman)

Big Van Vader said that Hansen wasn’t a good “big man,” he was a good “wrestler.”

Told the story about the time Hansen popped his eye out with a punch at the Tokyo Dome.

Stan Hansen thanked JBL for keeping his name alive by mentioning him on Raw. He thanked Rick Martel, Bruno Sammartino, Tiger Jeet Singh, Andre the Giant, and the “carpenters” of the business.

He spoke at length about the importance of “opponents.”

Observations

I’m a little biased because Hansen is a personal hero, but this was a fascinating speech. He was down to earth, grateful, and even imparted a bit of wisdom along the way.

If you aren’t familiar, PLEASE look up the work of Stan Hansen. He is a legitimate all-time great.

Jacqueline

Video: I did not know that she was the first African-American woman to hold the WWF Women’s Championship.

The Dudley Boyz were chosen by Jackie to induct her. The described her as “tough” and “one of the boys.” Devon told a great story about how cheap she is.

Jackie’s speech was short. She expressed her gratitude.

Observations

Jackie was a bit ahead of her time. She would fit into today’s female wrestling scene much better than she did back in the 90s. I used to enjoy her stuff back in the USWA.

The Fabulous Freebirds

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The New Day out to induct.

Xavier Woods: “Family doesn’t mean you are related by blood…family means you are you best friends.” Truth.

I can’t lie, I marked out when the ‘Birds came out to Lynyrd Skynyrd‘s “Freebird.” That was awesome.

Michael Hayes came out wearing a fanny pack.

Jimmy Garvin’s dancing was a sight to behold.

Hayes’ impression of Terry Gordy was uncanny.

Hayes told stories about the boys’ first apartment together, and a crazy incident at a strip club.

Ray Gordy, Buddy Roberts Jr., and Kevin Von Erich were out at points.

Hayes closed performing “Badstreet U.S.A.

Observations

I loved the Fabulous Freebirds when I young. When they first took the stage, I was tempted to laugh. The dancing probably wasn’t the best call. I thought Jimmy Jam was gonna pass out.

But once they settled down, and everyone caught their breath, it was pretty great hearing the old stories. This is no revelation, but Hayes is magic on the microphone. Since his heyday, the business has become a different animal. It’s important to remember those bygone days.

Big Boss Man

I was excited to see Slick. He gave a quick recap of his career. He mentioned how humble Boss Man was.

Boss Man’s wife and two daughters accepted the award.

Observations

I was hoping for Slick to be a bit more animated. He was such a great promo back in the day.

Boss Man was involved in some big angles and feuds. I was a huuuuuuge fan of the Twin Towers. Their run against Demolition was great. And who will ever forget their involvement in the explosion of the Mega-Powers (Hulk Hogan, Randy Savage, and Elizabeth) on the prime-time NBC special, “The Main Event,” on February 3, 1989?

Big Boss Man was never a world champion, but he was a major player.

Snoop Dogg

John Cena was the surprise inductor. Came out in a suit, looking noticeably smaller.

Snoop Dogg was charming. He took a selfie from the stage with the crowd behind him.

He put over his cousin, Sasha Banks.

He talked about going to the Olympic Auditorium as a boy to see Andre the Giant v. Gorilla Monsoon.

He said that Tony Atlas, Rocky Johnson, Junkyard Dog, Dusty Rhodes, and Ric Flair were influences on his musical career.

Observations

I’m not a fan of the “celebrity wing” of the HOF, but IF it’s gonna exist, Snoop is the perfect inductee. He is funny, cool, and genuinely loves wrestling. He was involved in WrestleMania XXIV and was a guest host of Raw in 2009. Not to mention the fact that his cousin is one of the hottest performers in the company.

Warrior Award: Joan Lunden

Dana Warrior was the presenter. Joan Lunden gave a warm, heartfelt acceptance speech.

Observations

I’m glad that Joan Lunden is healthy, but this really had nothing to do with pro wrestling.

Sting

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Ric Flair talked about losing Dusty Rhodes and Roddy Piper since the last HOF ceremony.

He recounted working with Sting at the first Clash of the Champions. He put Sting over for being a charismatic, gifted guy, who ran with the ball when it was given to him.

Sting admitted that he knew nothing about professional wrestling until he was in his 20s. He told a story about hopping in a car with Jim Helwig and going off to get trained. He detailed his career, laughing about the “White Castle of Fear” and his partnership with RoboCop.

He talked about his religious conversion. It helped him put his life back into order.

Thanked: Ultimate Warrior, Jim Ross, Michael Hayes, Road Dogg, Ric Flair, parents, brother, kids, wife, and the fans.

“Thank you, Sting” chant.

He closed by announcing his official retirement.

“I just want you to know this isn’t goodbye, it’s just see ya later.”

Observations

Sting is a legitimate legend who belongs in the Hall of Fame. He was very humble and thankful for his career.

I wish the WWE didn’t put blinders on when it comes to the industry as a whole because it was rather odd that Sting’s 10 years with TNA was ignored. Maybe when new blood is in charge of the WWE things will change.

Overall Observations

I wonder if there is a way to better present the inductions each year? The evening was long and tedious. Let’s be honest, every Hall of Fame ceremony is long and tedious.

But what about this?

Summer Slam is generally viewed as the second biggest event of the year. The 2015 edition was expanded to include NXT TakeOver Brooklyn. To continue this broadening of the weekend, I suggest that the yearly HOF ceremony is split into two parts: one Mania weekend and another SummerSlam weekend. Each ceremony would feature 2-3 wrestlers and would be 90-120 minutes long. The intrinsic value of SummerSlam weekend would be elevated by the inclusion of the HOF inductions, and breaking the event into sections would make it more readily consumable for the fans.

-Zep the Bear

SuperNoBueno@gmail.com

Facebook.com/SuperNoBueno

@SuperNoBueno

 

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