Full Report from the 2013 WWE Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony
Thanks to our correspondents Jamie and Aaron Pegram, who are live at Madison Square Garden.
– Terry Funk is out first to induct Mick Foley. Funk says Foley is the reason he’s a wrestling fan and he loves him like an ugly brother. Foley comes out a nice reaction from the crowd.
CM Punk was holding up a big “applause” sign in the front row when Foley came out. Foley talks about his famous Hell In a Cell match and how wrestlers didn’t like his style but recognized his passion. Foley gives a shout-out to Damien Sandow. Foley thanks The Undertaker and says Taker put him on the map. He jokes about hoping that Taker never uses Twitter. He also thanks Triple H, Shane Douglas and others.
Foley’s speech goes well over 30 minutes. Foley talks about never pinning Chris Jericho. Jericho comes to the stage, Foley drops an elbow on him and CM Punk comes up to count the 3 count. This was described as an awesome moment and the crowd went nuts for it. Foley says this induction is his greatest moment ever. Foley’s speech ends with Santa Claus coming out. Aaron described this as the best Hall of Fame speech he’s seen.
– Stephanie McMahon is out next to induct Trish Stratus. Stephanie debuts some new theme music. Stephanie talks about Trish’s RAW main event with Lita and says Trish’s segments with her were some of the McMahon family’s favorites. Stephanie says Trish always made people feel how they wanted to feel. She teases that Trish may have another WrestleMania match in her future. Stephanie thanks Trish for all she has done and introduces her.
Trish comes out and gives props to Stephanie McMahon. Trish reads off a very long list of names and thanks them. She pokes fun at how she wrestled early in her career and says she hopes everyone was Stratusfied with her career. She mentions Gail Kim, Beth Phoenix, Jazz, Lita, Mickie James, Tara and a bunch of other former Divas. She also gives props to Finlay for his work with the Divas. She pulls out a gift from Jim Ross, the pen she signed her WWF contract with, and makes a reference to “get the F out so the pandas won’t get pissed off.” There was a moment where Trish told Lita she loves her and Lita looked to get emotional. She thanked Vince McMahon for what she learned from him. Trish’s speech also goes long. She talks about retiring so she could spend time with her mom, who was diagnosed with cancer, but is now free of the disease. She shouts out her husband Ron and he get booed out of the building. Trish jokingly says the fans are mean and then they start to cheer for her husband. She announces a shocker – she’s pregnant. She’s due in September.
– Stevie Ray is out next to induct his brother and former tag team partner Booker T. Stevie talks about how when Booker was in prison, he always stayed up to date on wrestling and they would talk about it when Stevie visited him. Aaron believes Stevie Ray’s speech may be better than the others, very good and emotional, he says. Stevie says his brother overcame the odds and is now a role model.
Booker T comes out next and is met with a loud “Thank You Booker” chant. Booker is humbled and thanks the fans for letting him be a part of their lives. Aaron says Booker may have got the biggest pop yet. Booker T tells a story about Psycho Sid getting him to join WCW. He mentions the late Sherri Martel and says she gave legitimacy to the team of Harlem Heat. Booker says they weren’t a real tag team until she came along. Booker talks more about WCW and coming to WWE. He said he never forgot when Linda McMahon told him, “we got you now.” He tells a story about The Undertaker telling him to feel his first WrestleMania. Booker thanks Sting. Booker shouts out his wife Sharmell and says he would marry her a thousand times. He jokingly told the crowd they better not boo her like they did Trish Stratus’ husband Ron. Booker says he takes his place in immortality tonight and asks if we can dig that, sucka. Booker ends it with a spinarooni.
– Extra TV host Maria Menounos is out to induct Bob Backlund. She talks about Backlund’s career and how she’s been a big fan. Aaron says she really seems to be a huge fan of Backlund. She also talked about how fit Backlund is. Some of the fans start to boo and “WHAT?” Menounos after her speech drags, according to Aaron.
Aaron notes that the crowd is getting restless it seems. Aaron also says Backlund is rare form. Backlund rambles on and talks about Mr. H (Triple H) needing to sign an amateur wrestler. Vince McMahon ends up coming out to pull Backlund off the stage because he was going “insane” and his mic was cut off.
– Vince McMahon inducts Donald Trump next. The crowd boos Trump’s name. Vince talks about how important Trump has been to WrestleMania and calls him an institution. Vince endorses himself and then Trump for President. Said Vince, “I like to think of myself as a handsome elderly gentleman. But I’m one of the ugliest bald men in the world.” Vince says getting shaved by Trump was one of his most embarrassing moments ever.
Donald Trump comes out and gets booed heavily. The boos continue for Trump and his family, except his daughter. Trump says he wants to break pay-per-view records and challenges Vince to a match at WrestleMania 30. Trump kept his speech short.
– A John Cena Make-A-Wish video is shown and gets one of the biggest boos of the night.
– Arnold Schwarzenegger is out next to induct Bruno Sammartino. Arnold is happy to be here and full of jokes tonight. Arnold jokes about lifting 400lbs. recently – lifting NJ Governor Chris Christie out of a chair. Arnold talks about his friend Bruno.
Bruno Sammartino comes out to huge chants of “Bruno” and an ovation from the crowd. He talks about his childhood and having to deal with Nazis in Italy. Aaron notes that Bruno is a great storyteller. He also talks about his mother and his wife. Bruno says he never took aspirin or painkillers. He’s a tough guy and still trains 6 days a week. Bruno credits MSG for helping him headline. He owes all of his success to the fans. He closes the speech and gets emotional, saying he’s nothing without the fans.