The WWE Hall of Fame ceremony took place last night (Sat., April 5, 2014) at the Smoothie King Center in New Orleans, Louisiana, and featured a class of six former stars getting their time to in the sun as the latest batch of inductees. It was a wild night by the time all was said and done.
Let's run a quick recap in our beloved bullet point format:
- Let's get this out of the way early: I can't speak for anyone else, but I watched the WWE Network stream on my laptop from the red carpet special that ran one hour to the Hall of Fame ceremony that ran over three hours and I didn't experience a single glitch. It was in flawless HD for the entirety of the proceedings, never even dropping in quality throughout the night. I did get reports from others who had struggles with it, but my experience was top notch. It was great.
- Watching the Warrior speech was surreal. It was also incredibly fun because, as my comrade Sean Rueter put it, he wasn't going insane as many expected but rather very clearly doing everything he could not to go insane. Watching him try to hold back from spitting hot fire at all the people within the company who teed off on him during the Self Destruction of Ultimate Warrior DVD was truly a sight to behold. But, inevitably, he started to swell because the power of all the Warriors was floating through the veins. He never really went too far off the ledge, but it was awesome watching him sweat his way into cutting a promo thanking the fans for getting him back to this point.
- As for the contents of his actual speech, well, he said a lot of silly things that many will blast him for. He'll deserve it, too. I won't go there because there was really only one thing to be upset with at this show. We'll get to that later.
- The real star of this show was Mr. T, who must have put together the greatest speech in the history of time. Here's a guy, a badass dude who speaks only in commands and demands respect with tone alone, who spent somewhere around a half hour talking about his love for his mother. He's got love for his brother too, but he was just there to talk about his love for his mother. And also getting credits from the universe for his mother because her urinary tract was working double time. It legitimately got that crazy. It got so crazy, in fact, that Vince McMahon got worried Mr. T would never quit and sent Kane out, with full entrance, to take T away. That's a real thing that happened. It was incredible.
- Mr. T's son, by the way, was referred to as "T Junior". Holy shit, you guys.
- Carlito undoubtedly got himself in trouble with this little bit about the production team meeting during the show: "The Kliq, we've still got Warrior, we need to cool it down. Send out the Colons! And we got our time cut, it's like I never left." It was a hilarious moment but I'm sure plenty of folks didn't like it.
- Scott Hall and Jake Roberts were amazing. It felt so very good to watch those two get out there and get their time to soak up the fact that, yes, they made it this far after being so close to the very end. Both of them probably should be dead right now and instead, they found someone to help bring them out of the depth of darkness they sank into. Did they deserve all those chances? Probably not, but it still feels good to see them rise up and make the most of yet another opportunity. And, thankfully, Diamond Dallas Page got to be there to soak it in too. There will never be anything wrong with one human being having enough compassion for another that he sticks his hand out and helps them get back on their feet. Absolutely nothing but love for all of those guys.
- Curtain Call 2014 was fun too. That said, am I the only one who always, always thinks X-Pac is out of place in The Kliq?
- Kane was really great inducting Paul Bearer. He was so great, in fact, that many couldn't help but wonder why he hasn't been given more time to cut promos throughout his wrestling career. I'm not sure that ever would have worked, but he was awesome telling stories about one of the greatest managers who ever lived. It was even better when Bearer's two sons came out and one of them did his "OHHH YEESSS" gimmick. It was the best when Undertaker made his way out to pay his respect as well. All of this was done really well, super respectful, and everyone got their time.
- I don't want to say anything negative about Lita. She's great and this was her time to reflect on her career and all it meant. She went too long for my tastes and the props and various other gimmicks were a bit much, considering.
- I will say something negative about whoever made the decision to run that Hornswoggle/El Torito angle. It would have been a monumentally stupid thing to do no matter when it happened, but to have them go out and run that spot just after Roberts got done pouring his soul out and bringing grown men to tears? It was ridiculous and left a super sour taste. This is one night for us to take all this pretend bullshit seriously. There was no need to do something dumb like have a pretend bull spear Jerry Lawler in his nutsack, especially in the space they did it.
Overall, despite that last bullet point, this was a really fun evening of speeches and insanity. It's just too bad Mr. T isn't still going. He's got a lot more love to show for his mother.
That's it from me, Cagesiders. Now it's your turn to sound off in the comments section below with all your thoughts on last night's show. How did you like it, if you liked it at all?