It was a very eventful and emotional Hall of Fame last night, in New Orleans, with lots of interesting talking points. The Rock was in attendance behind the curtain, which brings up speculation that both he and Austin will do something at the PPV tonight.
Despite being warned prior, there was quite a bit of fan booing and chanting. Some of this was down to the video screens not working properly for those in the upper decks, though others were just being typical smarks and overdoing it at times.
In terms of controversy the Ultimate Warrior was fairly tame, but there was a lot to read in to if you listened closely. Carlito however – who was inducting his father Carlos Colon – took some light shots at WWE management. He said he’s now used to performing in high school gyms and bingo halls, and because they have to follow The Kliq their time is cut. It didn’t go down badly and was quite humorous.
Red Carpet Treatment
With the WWE Network the event was streamed live in its entirety, and also included a one hour Oscars style Red Carpet show hosted by Michael Cole, Maria Menounos, Rene Young and Byron Saxton. Here are some highlights:
– The Miz and Maryse were cut off when Hogan arrived with Brooke and his wife, which was funny.
– Randy Orton revealed that Warrior didn’t come to the speech rehearsal.
– Roddy Piper and his son Colt were next – Piper gave his blessing to Mr. T.
– Miz’s Dad!
– Steve Austin revealed that he’s recorded several podcasts while in town, and he is looking forward to John Cena vs. Bray Wyatt the most at Wrestlemania.
– Both the Usos and Zeb Colter put over Carlos Colon. Zeb has been very critical of him in the past over the Brody murder, so that was interesting.
– Jerry Lawler and his girlfriend sneaked up behind Michael Cole and Maria. king said it should have been him and Maria hosting the show.
– Nattie and Tyson were in Total Divas mode, and also joked about Teddy Hart being in town.
– Nikki Bella angled for a match against Maria.
– Bruno said he was flabbergasted at his statue.
– Sgt. Slaughter called Warrior the “Ultimate Puke” and hopes he leaves his ego behind. LOL
– Mick Foley said he’ll be emotional during Jakes speech.
Lita’s video package focussed on her unique style and rough around the edges look. She wasn’t a Diva, but a cool “chick” that did her own thing. Trish introduced her as her “bestie” and the godmother to her child. She cherished their main event on RAW, and put over that she was an equal in Team Extreme.
Lita shared a great story about how she got in to the business. As a young lady – on a whim – she literally travelled to dangerous Mexico all by herself, to pursue the dream. She was bruised and roughed up Los Boricuas, stole a Luchadore’s mask, and met a young Vale Venis during this early experience.
She then explained how she wanted to meet Rey Mysterio at an event and bumped in to Arn Anderson, who went out of his way to make the meeting happen. Afterwards he told her she owed them both a beer, so all these years later she got Trish to bring out two beers to keep her word.
She joked about all of her on air marriage proposals, and remembered a story where a little girl had knitted her a blanked for her “Demon Spawn” baby with Kane.
When she broke her neck filming Dark Angel she credited Steve Austin for advise on how to get it fixed so she could return to the ring.
Lita also thanked Ace Steel’s Steel Domain for training her, Dory Funk’s Funking Dojo, Tommy Dreamer for his honesty (calling her fat once), Victoria for having the first WWE women’s Steel Cage match wit her, Japanese female legend Manami Toyota for inspiring her, Luna Vachon, Terry Taylor, Mickie James for the last match they had, the Hardy Boys, Dudleys and Edge and Christian, and Esai Rios. She said the Punk Rock and Hardcore scene inspired her to find her path, and that the fans should do the same!
DDP inducted Jake and said he was proud and humbled that two of his boys were getting the recognition they deserve. He said Jake taught him the art of wrestling when they lived together in 1994, and joked about how he sneaked the snake in to the house and left it for 3 days. DDP called Jake the greatest ring psychologist in wrestling history. He concluded that they had a goal to get to the Hall of Fame and here they were!
Jake was emotional throughout. He said originally he hated wrestling because he blamed it for taking his dad away. However he learned it was the man and not wrestling that was to blame for their relationship. He expressed shame for following the same path of neglecting his own family, but would never regret making kids smile, or old ladies want to kill him. Being able to control people’s emotions was “additive”.
He has a lot of shame for going down the path of drugs and alcohol, and was honest about cheating on every woman accept his marriage to the wrestling business. He explained that he had been in a dark place trying to numb his emotional pain, and at one point envied his friends who had died.
Jake said DDP saved his life and learned that people really did care about him when they chipped in for his surgery. He introduced his family whom he’s reconnected with, and brought on stage his 18 month grandson … his hero!
(In what was supposed to lighten the mood, Hornswoggle and El Torito ran out, but ended up getting a chorus of boos).
The A Team star was introdcued by “T. Jr” and honored his mother in his speech, who raised 12 kids all by herself and kept him away from drugs and crime. It was an entertaining speech that the fans got behind, but went way too long. Kane ended up interrupting, which was funny.
Kane inducted Paul Bearer, recapping Bearer’s career starting as a ringside photographer, before becoming the manager Percy Pringle in the Gulf Coast. He made a name for himself in Florida and WCCW, before joining the Undertaker in 1990. Kane credited Bearer for helping to make Taker the greatest character in WWE history.
Kane believed Bearer’s inclusion in Wrestlemania 29 was fitting, and described him as the greatest manager that ever lived.
His two sons accepted the honor and one of the did the “ohhh yessss” phrase to a nice pop. Then surprisingly the Undertaker made an appearance, kneeling with the urn!
Scott “Razor Ramon” Hall
Kevin Nash introduced Razor Ramon, and explained how he was the jolly green giant until he was brought in to learn from Razor and Shawn Michaels. He described Hall as his friend and mentor.
Razor kept things short. He said he fell in love with wrestling at 8 years old and got in to the business in his 20s. He said he buried his feelings and whenever he stepped through the curtain – no matter how bad his real life was – he had control. If people asked how he was he’d reply “Better than you chico!”
He didn’t dwell on his demons, concluding that “hard work pays off, dreams do come true, bad times don’t last, but bad guys do!”
The Kliq joined him on stage for a great moment.
Carlito got the crowd going with his jokes, and Primo discussed how Carlos grew up in Harlem watching the WWWF. He trained at the age of 14 and when he graduated he was in the ring the next day. He had a career in the territories before starting his promotion in Puerto Rico in 1973.
Carlos gave a short speech discussing his international career and the wrestling tradition in his family. He thanked Abdullah, Harley Race, Ric Flair, Dusty, Tully Blanchard, Dutch Mantel, the Funks, Briscos, Samoans, and Pedro Morales.
Linda McMahon called Warrior a unique individual and said he legally changed his name to Warrior because he believed in living life with the principles of a Warrior. She mentioned how she was his personal go-between in the WWE, because she understood his passion, though admitted he could be tough to deal with. She recalled on funny story where she left him ranting on speaker phone and turned down the volume. She said he used to call her mom, so one time she took the mom role and said – in the middle of one of his rants – that if he didn’t calm down she would turn him over her knee!
His speech was a bit all over the place, but there were many interesting nuggets to read in to. He started by praising his wife for sticking by him, and his mother for bringing up he and his siblings alone. He told his daughters that the most awesome thing he’ll ever do is be their father.
He joked that before his speech he was talking to one of the younger boys about how awesome it was and how he couldn’t believe this was happening … “I was talking about DDP Yoga”. He joked that it was a giant infomercial, but put it over for quote “fixing self destructive ways”.
He brought up Triple H’s comment from the DVD where he said he’d only met Warrior for 5 minutes and thought he was an asshole. Warrior pointed out the irony that it was Hunter who brokered the deal for him to return and that in those 5 minutes he must have learned a lot.
He preached that perhaps people should follow is brand of so called “self destruction” because unlike DDP Yoga, it allowed him to be brought back as the headliner.
In a hilarious moment Warrior joked that he couldn’t believe WWE’s lawyer Jerry McDevitt lost to those “wildlife people” and said they need to get the F back.
Warrior said he’s learned something from everyone he’s interacting with in the business. He joked about his “few hours training” with Red Bastien, teaming with Sting, going to Mid-South and WCCW. Interestingly he named dropped Bruiser Brody (at least he had the balls) and singled out Ted DiBiase for roughing him up. He credited DiBiase’s clothesline for the stiffness of his own. (Both men do not like each other and DiBiase wasn’t too interested when the camera panned to him).
Warrior thanked enhancement talent for getting him over, singling out Brooklyn Brawler, and also said the guys behind the scenes need their own Hall of Fame wing. He praised the people that put up the ring, and the first merchandise guy Jimmy Miranda for driving his truck from town to town.
He said he was heartbroken when the Self Destruction DVD claimed was never one of the boys, and sparred a minute for all the other rookies who never made it to be one of the boys because they couldn’t handle stars like the Bulldog shitting in their bags. He was proud to be a loner.
He also pointed out that many guys would moan about things and brag about how they were going to stand up to Vince to sort them out, but from day one he laid out his demands and Vince respected him for it.
Warrior put over Cena and his make a wish work, and shared a story of granting a wish to a child in a wheelchair. (Bret hart said he was always aloof to make a wish kids in his book, but who knows?)
He pointed out that athletes always imitate wrestlers but never vice versa.
Ultimately he put over the fans for sticking by him.
Hall of Famers Get Their Rings