Vince and the Hall of Fame


Have been going back and watching all of the old HOF ceremonies on the Network. Once thing I noticed is that during the early modern ceremonies ('04 on), almost every inductee takes the time to thank Vince and the McMahon family.

Then, after the first year or two, no one even mentions Vince, let alone thanks him in their speeches. It's actually somewhat distracting after a while. We've heard guys like Shawn Michaels reference this in their HOF appearances, but what gives? Why does Vince get the Vol


emort treatment at his own HOF?

​Probably just a weird Vince-ism, and the same reasoning as why he doesn't want to be inducted into his own Hall of Fame.  ​

WrestleMania Weekend 2015 – Day 3: 2015 WWE Hall of Fame

This one’s a bit hard to report.
not a whole slew of unique photos we can produce or interesting stuff
to do. So, I think we’ll report on each of the inductees and their best
moments and give our opinions on the live experience.

took our good ol’ San Jose VTA Lightrail system to SAP Center.
Beautiful day, as always, in downtown San Jose. Part of a beautiful

of Macho Man shirts. I wore mine. Macho Man Randy Savage means a lot to
me. I grew up watching him and loved his wrestling style and he (along
with Jake Roberts) are the constant my Mom and I share with
In any case, here’s a shot of SAP.
don’t know if this was a new rule that was added since the New Orleans
crowd at last year’s event were shouting things at the inductees, but
these signs were posted all over the place.
tickets we got for this event weren’t great. We were in the 4th row of
the upper deck, so we don’t have incredible pictures. We came for the
This is how I watched the Red Carpet: on my phone, using The WWE
Network (FOR ONLY $9.99!!!). Because it’s much better than giving you
photos, using the digital zoom lens and high ISO on my camera in low

was a bit confused as to why WWE doesn’t do the Red Carpet show from
another room and broadcast it on the Jumbotron for the guests to see
but, oh well.
It was kinda surreal, at one point…some guy showed up dressed just like Randy Savage…and I mean just like…he
had the build, the perfect beard, the grin…everything. Even the
lighting made it look like Savage was visiting his own tribute from
beyond the grave.

As far as the speeches, my thoughts are these…
with The Bushwhackers, I really didn’t think Rikishi was “of note”.
He’s more known for the idiotic “Stinkface” (which I’ve never liked;
it’s unwatchable and disgusting — even though WWE portrays it as a
major milestone in his career) than he is for winning titles.
Ironically, his induction was a pleasant surprise.
sons, The Usos, were selected to introduce and induct him, recalling
how their Dad evolved from a broke father who would breakdance in front
of the Cow Palace in Daly City for cash, into the guy he is today.
Rikishi’s speech was from the heart: genuine, full of love for his
family and the fans. He spoke of sacrifice, of not being home to raise
his sons and missing birthdays and other events — but that it paid off.
Earlier, The Usos mentioned that the Stinkface “put them through
college”. Rikishi would mention Umaga and salute the sky in a tribute to
him. He’d also pay tribute to his father and his late mother. Strangely
absent in his speech was Too Cool, who are, at least, partly
responsible for his big push in WWE.
in all, this was a beautiful speech capped off with Rikishi dancing
with his sons at the end. SAP Center clapped along and fun was had by
is more like it. Zbyszko was brought into the Hall of Fame by WWE
Legend Bruno Sammartino who recalled the first time he had ever met
Zbyszko: some teenager who wrestled for his high school and wanted to go
Pro like Sammartino.
went into more detail: he described driving his car through Bruno’s
neighborhood and “felt compelled to stop” when he saw Sammartino tanning
out near his backyard swimming pool. He was blocked by a “wall of
hedges” — and proceeded to blast through them anyhow, scraping up his
face and body. He described it as a “rabbit hole” of sorts and said that
“Bruno was on the other side”. Instead of escorting the young kid out
the door, Bruno took him under his wing and the rest was history.
Zbyszko’s speech meanders a bit here and there and he loses his train of
thought more than once, stating that it’s ironic since he’s “known for
having a big mouth”. Ultimately, Zbyszko goes poetic with his speech,
saying he went through another rabbit hole tonight — through the
backstage curtain — and that, once again, Sammartino was waiting on the
other side. This time, Sammartino was ready “to show him the door” as
it was finally time to go. He talked of dreams and how his came true and
he finished by wishing for fans to never give up on theirs. A nice
speech, though it felt overlong.
by WWE Diva Natalya, Blayze’s speech was an absolute showstopper. She
credited Wahoo McDaniel, Sherri Martel, and Greg Valentine for her start
— but insists that she really wanted to be — and still could be — a
stuntwoman. In an emotional moment, she thanked her husband who, through
special circumstances, was able to get time off from his military
deployment. This lead to Blayze urging all fans in the SAP Center who
served their country, city or town as a solider, paramedic, police
officer, firefighter, and the like to rise so they could get recognized.
From my vantage point, there were about a dozen around our side of the
second deck but I know more were there.
also got very playful, talking about the time she tossed the WWE Womens
Championship in the trash on WCW television — and subsequently
removing it from a trash can supplied by Nattie later in the speech. She
admitted having a crush on Steve Austin, warned Arn Anderson that she
would beat his ass — after thanking him, of course, and praised Paul
Heyman for being able to “rock a mullet, carry a huge phone and have a
mouth only a mother could love.” Then, she said she was the first “Paul
Heyman Girl”.
also sung her own praises, bragging about winning the title and still
being champion, as well as being a champion monster truck racer. She
ended the speech by blowing a kiss and telling everyone “good night”. An
excellent speech that got the crowd at SAP extremely pumped. People
flew out of their seats for the standing ovation rather than reluctantly
getting up — and, believe me, that’s telling. 
This one was a mixed bag for me. 
started strange when Dana Warrior (wife of the late Warrior) started
the induction — then, for the next ten minutes, decided to thank the
list of people who helped her after Warrior passed away. Don’t get me
wrong, that’s nice and all…but this award was for Connor and this
speech should have been given when Dana was presented with her husband’s
statue at the first night at Axxess. It got to the point that some in
our section were starting to grumble and a couple said, “This belongs to
Connor, not Dana…”
Ultimately, Dana finally got around to speaking about Connor but, for me, the opening came across as largely self-serving.
Bryan came out next and, in another odd moment, decided to declare that
“wrestling is all fake”, drawing a very visceral reaction from the
crowd who nearly booed him out of the building. The reason for the
phrasing was because every fan in the building was doing they “YES”
cheer upon Bryan’s arrival on-stage and he really was attempting to
avoid that since it wasn’t his moment — perhaps a slight jab at Dana. I
have no idea. His ultimate point was that Connor, and kids who suffer
like he does, have very real struggles, but the second false start made
things kinda awkward, since WWE’s big on the illusion of reality and
theatricality. In any case, Bryan turned things around and got the fans
behind (and chanting for) Connor, spinning stories about his time spent
with Connor. He said that, for a little boy under the threat of death,
Connor was so full of life.
we got Connor’s father, Steve, to accept the honor. Steve looked
incredibly stressed out and sounded on the verge of tears the entire
speech and who could blame him? Who would want to be in his shoes,
giving a speech like that in front of thousands of people? He was brave
and powered through. But, I truly lost my shit when Connor’s little
brother came out to the stage with his Dad and said, “I love you,
Connor” into the mic.
Laurinaitis inducted the two loveable goofballs from New Zealand,
telling stories of younger training days at the hands of Luke and Butch
— and ended up keeping them in check along the way.
was the surprise speech of the night — and very much needed after the
Warrior Award drained all the momentum and energy from the building.
Luke (left) and Butch (right) are very much like their characters: wild
and unhinged, but also good-natured and a riot. For the small block of
time, Luke and Butch recalled their early days, wrestling the likes of
Peter Maivia and hordes of Samoan wrestlers in their homeland of New
Zealand in some of the roughest, meanest, bloodiest matches in
pro-wrestling history. “We were doing ‘Hardcore’ before people knew what
‘Hardcore’ was!” proclaimed Butch, who was both confused and upset when
WWE brought them into the company — and wanted them to be “faces”
rather than heels. “I got on their desk on my hands and knees,” Butch
yelled. “[I made a face at them], and said, ‘How are you gonna make good
guys out of THESE heads?!” I don’t think I’ve ever laughed so hard
during a speech in my life. The whole thing made you smile from
beginning to end and made you realize that they belonged here.
was inducted by the great Ric Flair who talked up Fujinami’s legendary
toughness and inventiveness, saying that Japan pushes their athletes to
excel during their training regimens.
fight because it is my mission,” Fujinami would say. “And, today, I
join the WWE Hall of Fame. It has been a challenge and an adventure.”
Fujinami thanked his wife and left the stage. Fujinami’s speech was
everything a speech should be: eloquent, humble, gracious and succinct. 
Hogan (who proclaimed himself “Randy’s good friend” about a half dozen
times) actually gave a pretty good lead-in here, telling stories of how
Savage used to push the people he worked with to be better. Hogan also
said that his father, Angelo, is the reason he wears Canary Yellow
tights in the ring: it makes him stand out among others. 
expected, Savage’s brother, Lanny Poffo, accepted the award on Savage’s
behalf, giving the best speech of the night. He was eloquent, charming
and perfect with no schmaltz. Lanny wrote two poems for this occasion
and had one of the best lines of night to finish off the first poem:
“With triumphant jubilation, we celebrate his name. Finally, the Macho
Man is IN THE HALL OF FAME!” He got serious and talked about the Macho
Man’s philanthropy with the Special Olympics and how he’d give away
personally-signed WWE merch to those athletes. He even cracked a few
jokes: “Randy loved the athletes of the Special Olympics like Mr. T
loves his mother!” Lanny delivered on a speech that, in my opinion, had
high expectations. He gave us the man that we all knew and loved.
There was only one thing that bugged me…
Savage needed to be last…and he wasn’t even second to last, which is insulting.
Anyhow, I’m
not impressed with Schwarzenegger. Triple H gave a nice lead-in induction…but who the
fuck cares about Schwarzenegger outside his movies? He didn’t make a difference or any real “contribution” to pro-wrestling except to use the audience to plug his movies. The dude was also a lousy
governor and I’m not the only one who thought so. The dude was booed
out of the building when mentioning his political career during his speech and a LOT of
people remained in their seats amongst the standing ovation he got. Even
his speech felt like a recycled political campaign speech, laced with
lines from his films, and completely unmemorable.
That’s really all I’ve got to say.
last hour of this show was just Triple H giving his friends the stage.
Shawn Michaels did the induction, which was a treat and as eloquent and
as humorous as speeches come. 
speech was honest, dry and self-deprecating as he thanked other people
for booting him in the ass to get him to work and also admitted doing
all of this just for the money. Despite what I say, you can’t really
dislike Nash. He’s been in the business for over 25 years and he’s paid
his dues. I still wouldn’t have had him headline the Hall of Fame
this year as Savage is a hell of a lot more memorable than Nash ever
could be — but that’s my opinion.

If you wanna challenge that in the chat below, be my guest. I’ll just say this…I didn’t see anyone at the arena imitating Diesel.

Just sayin’…

Part 4 is coming…and that will cover WrestleMania 31…

Lightning Round – Hall Of Fame non wrestlers

Scott, considering how often the WWE HOF gets discussed on here I thought it only fitting to end the old year/start the new year (delete as appropriate) With a quick lightning round on whether you think the following people who were best known in a non wrestler capacity should/will be inducted into the Hall Of Fame?

"Delete as appropriate"?!  Do I look like an editor?  You guys are lucky I bold and italicize this shit as it is…
(Just kidding.)  
Ted Turner
Sure, and he lead the wrestling union while we're in this beautiful dream.  Next.  

Eric Bischoff
Yeah, and they can cut his induction speech out of that same clip they've been using for 12 years now.  Bisch is done with them.    
Jim Cornette

See those bridges on fire down by Kentucky?  They say no.  
Jim Johnston
Unlikely.  No one knows him.  
Jack Funny
You mean Tunney?  Again, bridges burned to the ground.  They didn't even attend his FUNERAL.  
Todd Pettingill
Only if Stephanie Wiand goes in with him.  
Paul Heyman
Should have happened already.  

One nagging question from Hall Of Fame

After watching the Hall of Fame on the WWE Network last night (great live stream by the way, it gives me hope for the big show later today!) there's one thing I'm unclear on. How exactly does Mr. T feel about his mother? Hoping you could shed some light on this.


Perhaps he and Brodus Clay can get together and call their mothers.  
And yes, the live stream was spectacular on PS3 for me last night and the pregame has also been great thus far. Fingers crossed.  

Hall of Fame Thoughts?

Surprised there wasn’t a separate thread.

First of all, I bow to the awesomeness of MLB Advanced Media because this was a five-hour live packaged presentation that streamed BEAUTIFULLY…

Now the speeches:

Jake Roberts pretty much had me teared up. I knew it was going to happen. I had tissues for the reason. When he said he couldn’t play anymore I pretty much lost it. I’m happy he was around to see this day and I really don’t give a crap if the guy has had 30 million more chances than he deserved, it’s nice to see that people still cared about him long enough for him to start caring about himself again.

Razor Ramon was short like I figured but had a great ending and I loved the curtain call. Scott Hall looks really good too and that was nice to see. Frankly this night was as much about the amazing rehabilitative powers of DDP. Most of us had written of Jake a while ago and Scott Hall after that ESPN expose but DDP is just that good. Self high-five indeed.

Lita went a bit long and a little inside from an entertainment standpoint but it was genuine and for a first-time in a long dress she looked great. Fellas…you know you’d hit that and brag for life.

Carlito not giving a fuck was funny too. “And we got our time cut, it’s like I never left!”

And there was Mr. T. He definitely loves his momma. I mean he really loves his momma. He would probably still be telling us about how much he loved his momma had Kane not ushered him off the stage.

Speaking of Kane, I thought he did a good, classy job presenting Paul Bearer. Mixed in some gimmick, some humor, some thoughtful remarks and stories.

What do I say about Warrior. It was a lot to take. The good stuff is I love the fact that he thanked guys like Terry Gibbs for being the first guy that worked with him. And he thanked the ring crew and pushed for the people behind the scenes to gain some public acknowledgement on future shows. It’s pretty clear the DVD hurt him personally and it still probably stings. He mentioned that on more than one occasion. And no one wants to hear a two hour documentary devoted to how big of an asshole they are. There have probably been bigger assholes in the business that didn’t get torched like that. At times his speech got a little intense and you could tell he held back some feelings at times but he got through it. I feel like I need to listen to it multiple times to digest everything.

The Hall of Fame

Hey Scott,

A point got brought up on the blog today about the HOF running wild with inductions. How much longer do you think the WWE can keep up this level of inductions with the level of names they're choosing?

And how many more people need to be inducted before we're "Caught Up" to the current roster. 20? 30?
It's not even a real Hall of Fame, it really doesn't matter.  Any Hall that omits Randy Savage isn't worth being taken seriously anyway.  I'm sure they can dig up midcard names for years.  There's still Honky Tonk Man, Kim Chee, Virgil, Skinner, Abe Knuckleball Schwartz, Braden Walker, The Boogieman, Doink the Clown and a host of others that they can induct for a cheap payday first.  

Hall of Fame

Hey Scott,
I’m a huge fan of your rants and daily reader of your blog. After reading on your blog today that WWE is potentially building a Hall of Fame in Orlando…it got me thinking. Why are they investing so much money in their new Performance Center and possible Hall of Fame and restaurant in Florida? Aren’t they worried about a hurricane completely destroying their HOF items? I mean they have their fucking tape library in a bomb-proof mountain in New York. It seems like Vince is super protective of his property. Just curious your thoughts on that.
And if you could be so kind to offer me a plug? My good friend recently developed hypnosis mp3 files that you tap along with and really help to eliminate negative thoughts and emotions. Eliminates fears, phobias, improve confidence, etc. And the mp3’s are completely free. He’s trying to help the world. Here’s the link
Thanks Scott!
I’m pretty sure that potential hurricane damage is low on their list of priorities with these projects.  Clearly we should be more worried about SHARKNADO as far as awesome natural disasters go, anyway.  

Observer Hall of Fame 2012!

…kinda sucks.

John Cena, Hans Schmidt, Mick McManus, Gus Sonnenburg, Captain Lou Albano and announcer Alfonso Morales.  Cena was a shoo-in, Albano should have been in there already, and the rest are pretty whatever to me. Big Daddy didn't even get close after all the hysteria from his supporters, Sting is still stuck at 38%, Edge wasn't even close in the year where you'd think it would be his best shot.  Rock N Roll Express and Bill Apter are still creeping up and hopefully one or either gets in soon.
So there you go.

Vader for Hall of Fame?

How is Vader not in the WWE Hall of Fame already?  With Vince recently moving toward acknowledging legacies outside of WWF/E more and more, Leon seems like a shoe-in yet he's not in yet.  I always had the impression Leon White was universally-loved by the lockeroom and never heard any bad blood in promotions, so it's not a Savage-type thing.  The guy had a tremendous run in WCW and had some good matches in WWF, despite never getting that '96 title reign.  Throw in his international body of work and the guy is FAR more deserving than a Ron Simmons, much less the usual Koko B. Ware reference.  Any idea why ol' Leon hasn't gone in sooner?

Because the Hall of Fame is a joke and has nothing to do with merit in the least?  I could certainly see him going in at some indeterminate point in the future, though.  

As an aside, wouldn't it be kind of cool for WWE to invite Sting to induct Vader?

Never gonna happen.