WWE Hall of Fame
(Host: Jerry “The King” Lawler – Location: Amway Center (Orlando, FLA.) – March 31, 2017)
Hall of Fame: Live from the Red Carpet
Hosts: Byron Saxton, Maria Menounos – Red Carpet: Renee Young, Cathy Kelley
By-the-numbers red carpet-type show. Nothing too memorable occurred.
The following performers were interviewed:
Booker T, Sharmell Sullivan, Alexa Bliss, Ric Flair, Fifi, Mick Foley, Noelle Foley, Sheamus, Cesaro, Kelly Kelly, Mean Gene Okerlund, Baron Corbin, Sting, Mojo Rawley, Nia Jax, Ata Johnson, The Miz, Maryse, Big Show, Austin Aries, Eve Torres, Dean Ambrose, Charlotte Flair, Roman Reigns, John Cena, Nikki Bella, Samoa Joe, Corey Graves, Dana Warrior, Pat Patterson, Big Cass, Carmella, The Godfather, Karl Anderson, Drew Gallows, AJ Styles, Randy Orton, Shane McMahon, Bayley.
Host: Jerry “The King” Lawler
Diamond Dallas Page
Eric Bischoff inducts DDP. He recounts their history together. He remembers getting into a bar fight with him years ago. Page helped him get into WCW. They became friends. He notes that his dedication and work ethic got him to the top. He talks about his heart and compassion.
The crowd then goes nuts for DDP. He begins his speech by talking about how he went from driving the pink Cadillac for “Rhythm & Blues” at WrestleMania VI to being inducted into the HOF.
He name-drops “Lee Marshall” and “Star Trek.”
He says this is bittersweet because Dusty Rhodes isn’t here to share the moment.
Quotes Henry Ford: “If you say you can or you say you can’t, you’re right.”
He thanks: The Assassin, Buddy Lee Parker, Terry Taylor, Dusty Rhode’s wife, Eric Bischoff, Jake “The Snake” Roberts, Johnny Ace, Michael Hayes, Scott Hall, Kevin Nash, Randy Savage, Hulk Hogan, his ex-wife Kimberly, Bill Goldberg, Chris Jericho, and his mother.
Jim Cornette: “I’m Jim Cornette and this is a live microphone.”
He says that it was Lawler’s idea to but the duo together with a rocker gimmick. They debuted in March of 1983 at the Mid-South Coliseum.
Early on they understood the mental side of the sport.
The fans loved and supported them almost instantly after Bill Watts brought them into Mid-South Wrestling.
Cornette says that the Midnight Express was the “Joker” to the R-n-R’s “Batman.”
Terrific intro by Corny. He set the table for the Express.
Was that Court Bauer in the audience?
Ricky Morton and Robert Gibson are out in tuxes.
They have some sort of pre-written jokes written. Ugh. Gibson is so bad while reading. The speech picks up when they drop the written stuff.
Morton thanks: Ric Flair, Shawn Michaels, Kevin Nash, and Michael Hayes.
Gibson thanks: His family and brother Rick Gibson.
Morton gets emotional as he calls Gibson the “greatest person I’ve met in my life.”
“Ravishing” Rick Rude
Ricky Steamboat says that they broke the mold when they made Rude. He runs through Rude’s history. He says that he was a “true heel.”
Rude’s son, wife, and daughter are out. The boy has size and a great look. He sounds like his father.
He gets a big pop when he says, “What I’d like to have right now…”
This was a very good speech, especially considering he is a non-performer. He has his pop’s charisma.
Natalya Neidhart says that Phoenix is her best friend. She says that she is her “evil twin.” Neither wanted to be models, they wanted to “kick ass.”
The intro was genuine and heartfelt.
Crowd: “Welcome back!”
While her grandmother introduced her to wrestling, Bret v. Owen at WrestleMania X got her hooked.
She thanked Ron Hutchinson for training her. Molly Holly for paying her tuition for training at Ohio Valley Wrestling.
The camera cuts to Christi Hemme, Candice Michelle, and Marlena in the crowd. Magnus is shown seated next to Mickie James.
She puts over working with Santino Marella.
Working the Royal Rumble is the proudest moment of her career.
She pays tribute to Chyna.
Tony Chimel comes out to announce Phoenix’s husband Edge who is in the audience. He gets a huge pop.
While the speech was sincere and charming, I’m still not sure why she is in the HOF.
Goldberg stood up. Booed.
Dana Warrior introduces Eric LeGrand. She is reading in a monotone. Ugh.
LeGrand gives a nice speech. He talks about befriending Triple H. It is off-the-cuff and natural.
JBL and Ron Simmons handle the introduction. They joke about how cheap long is.
Teddy Long: “Holla! Holla! Holla!”
The audience is so loud for him.
He remembers starting out in 1983 for Georgia Championship Wrestling. He swept up the building. He worked his way up, eventually managing Doom. He became the longest reigning GM in the history of SmackDown.
He quickly runs through his thank-yous.
He was a long-term, multi-faceted contributor to any company for which he worked.
This year’s inductees: Haystacks Calhoun, Judy Grable, Bearcat Wright, Farmer Burns, Rikidozan, Luther Lindsay, June Byers, Toots Mondt, Dr. Jerry Graham.
John Cena says that Angle is in a class by himself. He puts over how good Angle is.
Angle says he was offered a contract by Vince McMahon soon after the Olympics. He told Vince that he could never, ever lose a match. McMahon wouldn’t agree so he turned down the offer.
Thanks: Jim Ross, Dory Funk Jr, Tom Prichard, Bruce Prichard, Pat Patterson, Fit Finlay, Terry Taylor.
He cautions current wrestlers to “know their limits” in a physical sense.
That being said, he advises that they take chances with their personalities and characters.
He ran through some of the greatest hits of his career: the tiny cowboy hat, the wig/head gear, “I’m just a sexy Kurt,”
This is so entertaining.
He reminds talent that they must make moments. Personality is important.
He ends by chugging two bottles of milk.
The audience chants “You suck” as his music plays.
Shit, that was great.