Last night the WWE inducted another group of deserving former professional wrestlers and with the new WWE Network, it was possible for those who did not buy a ticket to take part in the ceremonies. I am here in New Orleans to attend Wrestlemania 30 with my ten year old son and we took the time to sit down and watch the entire Hall of Fame ceremony on the WWE Network.
Normally I do not have much interest in the WWE Hall of Fame. Sure I keep up with who is inducted and on occasion try to make sure I see the 'top guy's' speeches online or on DVD releases but overall it just doesn't appeal to me that much. I really had no idea what to fully expect.
Would it be entertaining? Funny? Informative? All of the above?
How about none of the above?
From the very beginning the speeches fell flat and the few attempts at comedy were too scripted and just not funny. Jerry Lawler, who is a naturally funny guy, seemed stuck to reading from a script the entire time and rarely found the opportunity to deliver the one-liners that make him so entertaining. I don't blame Jerry, I blame the writers.
It is smart the WWE to monetize the Hall of Fame by selling tickets to fans. However, I felt at times that the fans reactions and constant chants often disrupted the flow of the speeches being given. The Hall of Fame is not a WWE event, it is a ceremony. There is no need to chant 'Yes' or 'You still got it.' Just applaud the inductees and let them have their moment. Not all fan reactions were bad, but at times it clearly threw the speakers off and took away from the moment.
On a side note, however, you cannot blame the fans for being fans.
Then there was Mr. T.
We all know who Mr. T is. He is an 80's icon, star of the A-Team, Clubber Lang, and Hulk Hogan's tag team partner at Wrestlemania 1. What we did not know was that when he would deliver perhaps the most memorably awkward moment in WWE Hall of Fame history.
You would think that a speech during a wrestling hall of fame ceremony would include talk about wrestling. For Mr. T, this was not the case, he kicked off his speech by sharing with us the importance of his mother. Then he went on into the meat of his speech by telling us how much he loves his mother. After what seemed to be an hour of Mr. T talking about his mother and shots of Triple H's head about to explode, Kane, playing the part of Showtime at the Apollo's 'sandman' came out and saved Mr. T from himself. The only things missing were the sirens and the hook.
When Diamond Dallas Page began his introduction of Jake Robert it was almost as if DDP himself was going in. However, Page switched it around and delivered the best introduction speech of the night. Both Roberts and Scott Hall gave solid speeches from guys who clearly appreciated the fans as well as what the business of professional wrestling did for them.
Lita gave a speech that fell flat and drug out at times but overall worked out well.
The Wade Barrett interruption was expected and enjoyable while the Torito and Hornswoggle interruption was a complete was of time.
Carilto delivered some of the funniest lines of the night during his introduction of his father Carlos Colon. Carlito said the placement of the Colons between the Kliq appearance and the Ultimate Warrior was to bring the crowd's mood down and also that their time was cut. He said it was like he never left!
Finally, one of the most anticipated returns in the history of the WWE. The return of the Ultimate Warrior. Warrior's speech was solid. It trailed a little but overall he spoke from the heart and came across very appreciative of what the business did for him. Warrior gave some solid advice to the young guys and talked about how the things he learned in the WWE helped him prepare for his everyday life.
Overall the WWE Hall of Fame 2014 was a let down with a few exceptions. I am glad that I did not shell out the fifty dollars to attend. The good news is Wrestlemania 30 is tonight.