Boy am I glad I watched the WWE Hall of Fame ceremony. I almost skipped it for Shazam!, but ultimately after NXT Takeover and the WWE Chronicle on Charlotte Flair last night, I decided to stay the course and went with the Hall. We had a lot of good, with a dose of bad that made tonight a really quality, awe-inspiring, and yet blighted course of events.
The Red Carpet kicked off with three points of reporting that gave us moments with the likes of, Miz and his family, The Usos family, as well as the families of Bobby Lashley, Titus O’Neil, Drake Maverick, Mustafa Ali, to name a few. We also Charlotte Flair and Andrade Almas, and the IIconics alongside quite a few other faces. Good humor and emotion to get you to transition well into the environment.
Let The Show Begin
The introductions began with DX hijacking the show in epic fashion by setting the tone for the new and fresh take on the ceremony production. Hosting was the dynamic clash of Renee Young and Corey Graves who wasted no time in getting the show on the move. Throughout the show, we received humor, warm sentiments, and fun through the likes of Young and Graves, Big E and Xavier Woods, plus an excellent fan to talent crowd chemistry.
The Honky Tonk Man
The show kicks off with The Honky Tonk Man strolling in on the back of his pink Cadillac. The Honk gave us a story of his rise with Jimmy Hart who was at his side, and before pulling off with a microphone in hand and a roaring approval from the WWE universe, the Honk showed us how with a little hard work and a little luck, you can find your calling. Honk expressed honor and gratitude.
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Torrie Wilson came out strong proving people who silencing any doubts of her stature in the history of this industry and showing everyone that anyone with enough heart, will, and perseverance can find themselves and the confidence you are looking for. All it takes it to defeat fear. She gave everyone 3 ways to do that. She and the WWE fired perfectly with this and Torrie walked away with hearts in hand. This was a great speech. It was classy, witty, poignant, graceful and inspiring. The WWE didn’t gloss over her Playboy history in the video package, and Torrie didn’t shy away from how she got hired but crushed it all the same. She did this only two days after her father passed away. Easily the show stealer had we not had the disgusting blight that came with our next inductee.
The Hart Foundation
Nattie came to the ring on behalf of her father with Uncle Bret at her side. Nattie recapped her final text conversation with her father whihc resonated perfectly before handing it over to Bret. Bret then began telling the stories of how the Hart Foundation came to be, and the joys that he had with Jim Neidhart.
All was going extremely well when a “fan”, if we could even call him that, jumped the barricade and attacked Bret Hart throwing Natalya down with him. At this point Shane McMahon, Travis Browne, Big E, Xavier Woods, Edge, Drake Maverick, Dave Boy Smith Jr, Tyson Kidd, Dash Wilder, and countless others swarm the ring, both recovering Bret and Nattie safely and removing the intruder by swift force. fists and knees from several of the Superstars were topped off with a “Just Fists, No Flips” finale from Dash Wilder showing just what the Hart Foundation is all about.
When all was said and done, Drake Maverick took to the mic to get things swiftly back on track, almost had it never happened, if not for Bret’s hair the rest of the speech. However, Bret took what happened and delivered it into a punchline, as the real irony was this guy was doing what Bret was talking about, with angry mobs of fans attacking heels back in their day, this only made Bret’s speech all the better. In the end, Bret and Nattie made their speech one the most memorable, not because of what happened, but because their words showed that integrity and family bonds can change the world for one another. They showed why they were different from any other tag team out there and why so many have been inspired by them and did so with a perfect mix of humor and heart. Shout out to Nattie for mentioning Owen, and Congrats to the Hart’s.
Next up was Brutus “The Barber” Beefcake, who was inducted by Hulk Hogan. Once The Barber came out, he delivered a short but impactful speech that expressed humble and grateful reactions to those who have recognized over 40 years of hard work and dedication. He shared a story on how he came to be the Barber, and deliver a shot at Baron Corbin in the process.
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Sue Aitchison – Warrior Award
The Ultimate Warrior suggested an award for people who work hard outside the ring, and nobody seems to embody the award more than Sue Aitchison. With decades of behind the scene work, most people have no idea how much Sue actually has done. Dana Warrior made her appearance once again to introduce the award and eventually introduce John Cena, who would induct Sue into the Hall of Fame. During this time John mentioned how Sue was instrumental in their partnership with the Make-A-Wish Foundation. The crowd would end up chanting “Face Kurt Angle”, and Angle was show laughing at the matter in the crowd. When sue took the stage she drew heart by mentioning Superstars and other behind the scenes work that has helped children in need. She express her gratitude, and mentioned the story of meeting Connor Michalek. Many Superstars were left in tears, and as Sue called out Justin Bieber for trying to claim that he had done more Make-A-Wish meets than John Cena, the crowd was left with laughter. Sue even made light that she had to arrange travel and stay for all of the other Inductees. Sue let us with a class act. She let us all know that although most won;t ever hear your name, that doesn’t mean your work won’t matter to many people.
Stevie Ray and Booker T came out to the introduction of Renee Young and Corey Graves, in what was likely done to cut down on time and avoid a long winded speech from someone else. With a warm welcome from for the two from the WWE Universe Booker began by wishing his mother were here, and thanking his brother for if it were not for his desire to follow Stevie everywhere he wouldn’t be here today. He spoke candidly on his time in prison and how his brother always had his back and kept him interested in wrestling. He also made a point of crediting Sensational Sherri to their early success. Before handing it over to Stevie, Booker mentioned that he has been living his brother dream and it’s time for him to wake up. Stevie, who was the more underrated worker, and despite Booker’s singles success, the draw early on in their careers. But he spoke on how he and Booker came up, how despite being knocked back down over and over again, their desire to keep at it eventually got them to where they needed to be. Stevie told a very humorous and well told story while mentioning thanks to Hogan, Sid Vicious, and Arn Anderson, among others for their success. They also gave credit to The Usos, The New Day, The Revival, and The Street Profits for holding down today’s Tag Team division. Before signing off they gave mention to “KofiMania” and stated that Daniel Bryan was going to get an ass whooping, which Daniel played into brilliantly by threatening to get in the ring. While these two had one of the longer speeches of the night, they never once felt like they had overstayed their welcome. I could honestly listen to these two speak all night.
DX closed the show just the same as they opened it with plenty of nostolgia including penis jokes, which hunter attributed to his mother, catchphrases, heartwarming thanks, and even apologies for corrupting an entire generation. Plenty of serious moments occurred when Triple H thanked Killer Kowalski, and had a touching moment with Stephanie and his daughters. Road Dogg thanked god for his sobriety, his wife for sticking by him through the hell he put her through, and the WWE for putting him in the Hall beside his father Bullet Bob Armstrong. Sean Waltman battled emotions as he thanked Nash, Hall, Hogan, Jerry Lynn, Flair, and others. Most notably though Sean thanked Chyna as did everyone on stage who credited her to their success and Sean even went as far as to suggest the currently unnamed women’s battle royal be named the Chyna Memorial Battle Royal. Personally, I am entirely behind that idea. “Thank you Chyna” chants ensued, and so did classic DX moments as Triple H ribbed Vince, Sean provided pictures of droopy granny boobs, censored of course, and Billy, Hunter, and Shawn delivered several back and forth jokes on AEW considering Billy’s stature within the company. This was an excellent end that ultimately wrapped in super-soakers and Triple H chasing Baron Corbin around the arena.
Id like to note that they also introduced the Legacy Inductees at some point in the show that I don’t particularly recall the timeline of, but it can be seen here:
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