WWE Hall of Fame 2013 recap: A detailed report on the inductions of Bruno Sammartino, Mick Foley, Trish Stratus, Booker T, Bob Backlund, and Donald Trump
Dot Net reader Bill Pivetz attended the WWE Hall of Fame ceremony on Saturday night and sent the following report.
I was sitting in section 209 and had an awesome view of the stage. Michael Cole gave updates as to when we would begin. Beforehand, there were promos of the different WrestleMania matches shown on the big screen. Superstars and Legends took their seats. X-Pac, Billy Gunn, Iron Shiek, Shawn Michaels, Damien Sandow were among those who got big pops. Every time John Cena was shown he got booed, even during the Make-A-Wish promo.
Jerry Lawler came out and welcomed us to the Hall of Fame ceremony. Mick Foley was the first one to be inducted and I was shocked. Terry Funk came out to give his speech. He talked about their time in Japan and the Hell in a Cell match at King of the Ring. He concluded by welcoming "Dude Love, Mankind, Cactus Jack and my personal favorite Mick Foley."
The crowd erupted. "Thank you Foley!" chants broke out. Foley says that between himself, Bruno Sammartino and Bob Backlund, they held the WWE Championship for a total of 6,225 days. He then says that he held it for 47 of those days. Funny.
He then talks about his story of seeing Jimmy Snuka fly from the top of the cage. He thanked his trainer, Shane Douglas and then Jim Ross. He also thanked The Undertaker for putting him on the map at King of the Ring. He said that if there’s one thing Undertaker shouldn’t do is tweet. He said there’s something wrong with The Deadman saying "LOL."
He also mentioned that he’s never beaten Chris Jericho. Jericho then went on stage, lay down and let Foley drop and elbow. Punk went on stage and counted the 3-count. At the end, Santa Claus and Mrs. Claus came out and hugged Foley.
Lawler then said if "anyone that knows anything about him will know why the next inductee is one of his favorite Superstars of all time." A video package for Trish Stratus played.
Stephanie came out and talked about Trish "tearing the McMahon family apart." But she said those were her favorite WWE moments. Stephanie then dropped a hint by saying according to Trish, she might not be done yet.
Trish thanked the fans and then unraveled a scroll to reveal tons of names that she couldn’t thank tonight. Among them were the make-up artist, hair stylist, Kurt Angle, D’Lo Brown and Edge. She thanked WWE Canada representative Carl DiMarco, her trainer Ron Hutchinson and Jim Ross. She even took out the same pen she signed her contract with. She covered up the old logo because we had to "get the F out so the Pandas don’t get pissed off." The crowd loved it.
She named Fit Finlay and the Divas she competed with like Molly Holly, Jazz, Mickie James, Victoria and her "bestie" Lita. At the end, she thanked her husband, Ron, and the crowd let him have it. Every time she would bring up his name, he was booed. I could tell Trish got a little irritated. She ended her speech by revealing that she is pregnant. The crowd then began a "Ron" chant. Awesome.
Lawler was back and said, "Speaking for all the men in here, Trish we love you, and Ron we hate you."
Stevie Ray was the next man out. He talked about their childhood growing up; how their dad passed when Booker T was 11 months, Booker always followed Stevie around, when their mother died a few years later and when Booker was in jail. He also spoke about their beginnings in the wrestling business.
Booker made his way out. He said there was one thing missing. Some fans chanted "Spin-a-roonie," but he said it was his mom, but that he was content. He talked about being in Germany when Foley’s ear fell off. He thanked numerous people from WCW like Dusty Rhodes and Arn Anderson. He talked about the addition of Sherri Martell to the Harlem Heat and his climb up the singles ladder. He thanked Jim Ross (three in a row) and The Undertaker.
He finished with thanking his wife. He said that if any of us booed her, he’d kick our asses. He was about to walk off when Stevie Ray stopped him. He signaled for the "Spin-a-roonie." Booker hesitated, but he complied and gave a Hall of Fame-worthy Spin-a-roonie.
Next up was Bob Backlund. Maria Menounos came out and talked about her history as a wrestling fan. She talked about Backlund’s great determination and never give up attitude. She also talked about Backlund walking away from wrestling because he didn’t want to turn heel. She then rattled on about ridiculous facts like he’s been to the doctor twice since 1974. The crowd booed her as a "We want Bob!" and "What?" chants broke out.
Finally, Mr. Bob Backlund appeared with a great reception. He thanked Maria for the speech and said he respects Bruno Sammartino because he never gave up. He then said he was hurt by Vince McMahon taking over the WWE from his father. He didn’t continue with that and talked about his childhood in Minnesota. He said he had to fetch water from outside and go to the bathroom in an outhouse. He then talked about losing his high school wrestling matches. He said he went home and trained and only lost one match the following year, the state championship. He then yelled about never giving up and paced across the stage. Backlund is crazy.
After putting his nephew in a headlock, Mr. McMahon tip-toed behind him and signaled for him to wrap it up. The speech finally comes to an end, but even when the lights dimmed and the mic was cut off, he kept running back to it and screaming.
The Donald Trump video package was shown and boos rang through The Garden. Vince McMahon came out to a "Thank you Vince" chant. He thanked us in return. He talked about the McMahon/Trump relationship from WrestleMania IV and V. He then showed a certain blowhard (Jesse Ventura) interviewing Trump at WrestleMania XX. He then talked about the Battle of the Billionaires from WrestleMania 23. He said he’s a handsome older gentleman, but an ugly bald person. Someone yelled out "Uglier than Hulk Hogan" or something along those lines which stopped Vince. He then said "Someone mentioned Hulk Hogan. Despite that unfortunate occurrence…" and continued with his speech. Nice. As McMahon was about to introduce Trump, the fans began to boo. Vince quips, "You’re not even going to let him come out here before you boo him?" The crowd responded with "No!" chants.
The boos continued as Trump walked about. He received a cheap pop by mentioning WrestleMania IV and Andre the Giant. He challenged Vince to a fight at WrestleMania XXX and then introduced his family. When introducing his daughter, Ivanka, he said "Finally someone from the Trump family you like." He listed his achievement and finished by saying being inducted into the Hall of Fame is his greatest honor. It was a short speech, but he played the crowd well.
Finally. It was time for Bruno Sammartino’s induction. A video package was shown and then Arnold Schwarzenegger came out. He was welcomed with a good reaction. He said that MSG was packed and asked where we were when his movie came out last year. Funny stuff. He talked about Sammartino’s strength, something he knows a little about. He hyped himself up by saying he lifted 400 pounds last week and Chris Christie out of his chair. He’s got jokes. He concluded by saying Sammartino is a great immigrant story and overcame bullying.
Bruno Sammartino came out to a standing ovation. He was about to begin, but the crowd gave him another standing ovation. He said that parents and grandparents of those in attendance probably came to see him years ago and the warm reception makes it feel like they’re still here tonight. He talked about still being able to work out and be in great shape. Fans comically chanted "one more match." He then talked about the responsibility Madison Square Garden has for making him a star. He believed that MSG allowed him to be a headliner everywhere he went.
He talked about his childhood in Nazi-occupied Italy and how his mother risked her life to retrieve food for him and his siblings. He said that because he was very sick, they weren’t allowed to come to America and had to wait a few more years.
He then talked about being bullied and how being introduced to the YMCA (not the dance) and began lifted weights. He said the schedule of the WWE took on toll on him and his family. He was given two days off a month to visit his family. He married his high school sweetheart and they are still together today. He closed with thanking the fans and he "owes all of his success to the fans who have supported him."
The inductees come out on stage as the fans give one last standing ovation.
The night was awesome. As a product of the Attitude Era, seeing the respect these Legends have is unbelievable. Booker T’s rags-to riches story was heart-felt. His speech to Sharmell was wonderful. Trish also thanks her mom. She had to retire because her mom had cancer, but is now cancer-free, which brought a tear to her eye. Maria rambled on about Bob, which got the crowd antsy. Backlund rambled on about nothing, which got the crowd laughing in confusing. Bruno looked in great shape and his speech was awesome.
I recommend going to a Hall of Fame ceremony sometime. This class was stacked and it will be hard to top it and I’m glad I was able to see some of the Superstars I and my parents grew watching get inducted into the Hall of Fame.
1. Bruno Sammartino
2. Mick Foley
3. CM Punk (at the beginning)
1. John Cena
2. Ron (Trish’s husband)
3. Donald Trump
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