WWE Hall of Fame report

Hi Dave,

Some brief notes on tonight's Hall of Fame ceremony. Show went way long, lasted 3 & 1/2 hours. No one was being given any time cues - with one notable exception. Should note Rob Van Dam & MVP were both in the crowd, sat near Zack Ryder.

Best speech was Mick Foley, but only because in a crime against humanity, Bruno Sammartino only spoke for 25 minutes, because it was past 11pm when he started his speech, and he told a very brief part of his life story, his childhood and coming to the U.S.

Terry Funk did a nice speech, intro-ing Foley.
Foley was tremendous, spoke for 30 minutes plus, thanked his influences and talked about big moments from his career. The highlight was near the end, when he said his one regret was never beating Chris Jericho and that he still dreamed of dropping an elbow on him in MSG. Jericho then came up on stage, laid down, Foley did a gentle standing elbow drop, and CM Punk acted as ref counting to 3. Crowd went nuts for this. Then Santa Claus came out to embrace Foley.

Stephanie gave a polished intro for Trish Stratus.

Stratus spoke for 30 minutes. Nice speech but I think it went a bit long. Of note was Trish said she retired in 2006 to care for her mother who had been diagnosed with breast cancer. Also Trish noted she is now pregnant and due in September.

Stevie Ray intro-ed Booker T and did a nice job putting over the many struggles Booker T overcame. Likewise Booker too also spoke well. Showed Booker's wife Sharmell in tears in the crowd, holding their baby daughter. Booker did a spinaroonie to close his segment. This segment lasted 45 minutes. Show fell off the cliff at this point.

Maria Menounos is clearly a legit massive fan & personal friend of Bob Backlund, but she went WAY LONG, 15 minutes plus, to the point the crowd were booing and What-ing her. This was quite the crowd. 

Backlund came out and quite frankly was an embarrassment. He was doing his wacky character, rambled on and on and on and went off on so many tangents it was ridiculous. You could see the wrestlers in front of the stage laughing their asses off at how wacky he was. He was screaming and yelling during his stories, it was nuts. He spoke for 30 minutes plus. It got that bad, Vince came out twice on to the stage to get him to wrap it up.

Next came another embarrassment. Vince intro-ed Donald Trump, who got a massive heel reaction, booed out of the building. This was way worse than Drew Carey years back. Even Vince said it was a tough crowd. Trump did his promo, and basically introduced his family, who were also booed.

Finally, Arnold Schwartzenagger intro-ed Bruno. Arnold did a great job putting over their genuine friendship and history. 

Bruno did his promo, as mentioned, he only spoke for 25 mins. Crowd were very respectful of him and gave him several standing ovations.

Show finished with all the inductees on the stage and their inductors. Vince embraced Bruno for a big final pop. Everyone streamed out, apart from Backlund doing his wacky heel character, jumping into the stands with the fans. It just seemed so out of place and undignified,

My main thought upon leaving MSG was 'best of luck on editing all of that down to 1 hour'.

Stephen Lyon,
St Helens, England, UK

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