If someone actually recaps this thing they are a better man than me. I've never watched one of these before. It was a long LONG night, and I am guessing the format for midcarders and celebrities change after last night. Hopefully, someone posts some fallout from all of this, I'm sure there will be some interesting takes.
First up Trish inducts Lita. Who knew Lita could talk and talk and talk. She went on a huge tale about a trip to Mexico, which might have been cute but I stopped paying attention about 7 minutes in. It went on forever. For some reason she brought Arn Anderson and Rey a beer, but she wasn't done she had props and more stories and then ended talking about punk rock music changing her life. This was around 35-40 minutes but felt like days. The tone was set after that.
The highlight of the night was Jake the Snake. DDP did a nice intro, and Jake crushed it. It was really one of the best speeches you will ever hear about a guy a guy who had it all, went down about as low as one person can go and then redemption of sorts and the new awarness of it all. I really can't sum it up, but you should seek it out because it was really that good.
El Torino and Hornswaggle do some "humor" with Jerry to lighten the mood. It got booed, it should have.
Mr T. I didn't see who inducted him. It probably doesn't matter. It was one of the weirdest 45 minutes or however long they let him go you will ever see. He loves his mother. We heard about unrinary tracts, Bible versus, his mother, he loves his mother, Bible verses, his mother, he started going into more of his family and they FINALLY pulled the plug and sent Kane out. I don't know what else to tell you about this. If you were there it was surreal, uncomfortable and just bizarre. You wanted it to stop, but you couldn't look away. The night wouldn't really recover after this.
Kane then came back out and did a really nice induction of Paul Bearer. Bearer's sons accepted, and Taker came out with an urn. This was well done.
Kevin Nash then inducted Razor Ramon. Short and sweet. Scott Hall looks better than he has in years. Did all his signature poses, toothpick flick, and of course the "Hey Yo". The Klique came out and posed as a group afterward. This was good too, but it felt a little like Nash and Hall were burned out from Mr T going on forever and were just wanting to get it over with.
Bad New Barrett delivered some bad news. Pretty funny.
Carlos Colon was up next. Primo, Epico and Carlito inducted him. Crowd popped big for Carilto who went on a mini rant about the Colons having to be cool down and how they were getting cut short just like old times. Actually pretty funny. Carlos went on probably longer than they hoped, read from a piece of paper and a lot if not all of it was in Spanish. I really zoned out at this point.
Who inducts Warrior? Linda! Her induction speech was strange too. Warrior seemed to have it all together at the start, and it actually looked like it might be short and cordial, but then he started to simmer a little. Talked about the DVD being wrong, how he was a good guy, people who set up rings, the DVD again, him being a stand up guy, coming up with Sting, The Bulldogs pooping in bags, the DVD. It was a really crappy speech that went on for about 40 minutes. I just stayed with it to see if he would actually blow up and let it all out. He didn't, it sounds like he has a legends contract of some kind which probably kept him from doing that.
All in all a terribly LONG night, highlighted by Jack and a few good moments sprinkled in as well. If the matches suck tonight,you might be able to blame these guys having to sit through four hours of awards.
Oh, and my stream held up on the XBox, it must have fallen behind on a number of occasions because it would suddenly skip ahead about 10-15 seconds every so often.
Seek out Jake. Hall and Bearer if you want and maybe Carlito, but avoid the rest.
I feel like if Warrior's speech was pre-taped and edited down for the TV version, like they used to do, it would be viewed a lot more positively. He really didn't give a bad speech, but it dragged on for too long. His awkward pauses and bad jokes didn't help it, but if you take those out, it's about a guy who's taken a lot of unjustified shit over the years finally being given the forum to tell his side of things and say "No, that wasn't who I am, THIS is who I am." and I think he came off well in that respect.
It wasn't as good as Jake's, who I'd show to any non-wrestling fan and go "This is real life, mother****er!" Jake once again proved that he's the master on the mic.
The Mr. T thing, though, I had to tune out. I don't even know why he accepted if that was how he was going to handle it.
Lita set a bad tone for the night with her 45 minute speech. Like Warrior, she actually had a story to tell, but surely there must have been an editor or someone who could have helped her condense it so that we could all take it in.
But yeah, the long-windedness of these speeches is why they edited it for TV and never showed it live until this year.
It is really funny to see WWE take this more seriously than the Oscars, though.
I only picked up where Kane introduced Paul Bearer. It was nice but son on the left should have been told to not chew gum. Super annoying.
Agreed about Hall's speech being just about perfect. He was in character and had a good time doing so.
Warrior. Yeah man. Talk about someone becoming a character and not really ever showing one's true self anymore. He reminds me of Cal Ripken Jr. where he is so focused on his image and what others perceive him to be that he'll never return to his former personality. Sad.
Loved Carlito. Will definitely go back and watch Jake.
I could probably Google it, but why was Twitter lousy with 'killer' comments regarding Carlos Colon?
Originally posted by BigDaddyLocoMr T. I didn't see who inducted him. It probably doesn't matter.
It matters! It was T JUNIOR. His son. Who is named T JUNIOR. #TJunior
Hopefully Wrestlemania will be exactly as weird as that but better paced. Jake was the sincere highlight, as he was my favorite as a kid and it was genuinely moving to see him in control of that fascinating brain and storytelling ability. He echoed a lot of Piper's sentiments in recent years, but was able to put it in a compelling presentation and the running themes of repeating the sins of his father, how wrestling breeds emotional addiction beyond the physical addiction and the saving power of getting a second chance were all interesting. He'll never be "a victim of your own greed, wallowing in the muck of avarice" Snake Roberts again - and he acknowledged as much - but I honestly couldn't ask for much more as a fan than seeing him come out on Old School Raw and then telling his tale last night.
Everything else was a spiraling, glorious trainwreck wherein Warrior was the least weird and the Kliq were the least weird. Lita meant well, but yeah, she really needed someone to help her do a second draft. She had props! Like, four or five props! It wasn't a bad speech, just not the one to go first, because she had no sense of how long she was going. Still, I recommend watching it because she seemed genuinely happy and for (what I'm pretty sure was) her getting booed by the crowd for stealing Rayo de Jalisco's mask and creating that amazing photo moment of Arn Anderson and Rey Jr. in suits, holding up cans of beer.
Warrior came off very human, especially in light of seeing his incongruously adorable, normal-looking family. I don't think he made the point as well as he wanted to, but it was pretty clear that a lot of the anger before PAUL fixed everything was about how hurt he was with the idea that the other wrestlers may have hated him and not considered him one of them. He echoed Jake in a neat way about needing to acknowledge that the reality of the "you still got it" chants and actually made a pretty salient point to the active roster that even guys like Cena (maybe especially Cena) need to start paying attention to getting ready for the next stage of their lives once the body gives way. I thought it was odd that, aside from one passing mention, he never really talked about Hogan (I think he indirectly thanked Hogan when talking about someone that he had a famous big match with, but who knows?). He also got in a pretty amazing dig at Jerry McDevitt, busted on himself for his propensity to blow up and the part where he inadvertently started back-to-back NO! and YES! chants and may or may not have realized it was great.
Barrett, Nash and Carlito were A+ trolls. Carlito just hilariously going into business for himself as his brother and cousin (who Lawler promoted to brother for the night) grimaced was Carlito's finest WWE moment, especially as he astutely pointed out Colon getting the cooldown match spot on the card. Barrett's unrestrained glee at being Bad News Barrett is always winning. And Nash coming out, pulling back the curtain to let everyone know that he and Hall were basically gonna buzz through their moment to get the show back on the rails and then pretending to open with a bible verse was a fine reminder of the man who taught his buddy Paul everything he knows.
Finally, the Mr. T thing...everybody needs to watch that. All of it, all the way through. The only downside is that they didn't go to a Piper reaction shot until after it was over, when Piper was just smiling, because I can only imagine the look on his face as it was going on. T JUNIOR. T's Mother's Urinary Tract. T spending more time talking about his "Treat Your Mother Right" song than he did talking about wrestling (note: he never talked about wrestling). The moment where Mr. T briefly gains self-awareness and TURNS HEEL to work the crowd during the WHAT? chant. The shot of Austin laughing harder than anyone ever as T gets the WHAT? chant. Kane sheepishly coming out to throw him off the stage and T briefly coming back to Earth and repeatedly apologizing. Austin and Hogan looking at each other during the applause after. My god, it was full of stars. And mothers.
I think the new format is to let them talk as long as they want. They used to have strict times to keep, but that left the Funks (I believe) having to share just a few minutes before getting played off. Lita actually talked for just under 30 minutes, it only seemed like 2 hours. Foley's speech when he went in was said to go about an hour. Between the two choices, I'd rather they go the unrestricted route, but maybe give a guideline of 15-20 min or so. Capping DDP's long intro for example would be another way they could save some time for others.
The big screen that let fans see what was going on was shut off during Lita's speech. That was what the fans started booing. Their chanting during after she held up the mask was "Put the screen back" or something.
Jake gave one of the best speeches they've ever had. After watching it though I really believe they need an IQ test for fans going there. "I spent my life ignoring my family to wrestle" "YAY!!!"
Mr. T's speech really was one of the damnedest things I've ever seen. I mean, he clearly does love his mother and meant all of that but he also is clearly rather crazy, and who knows how many family members he intended to pay tribute to. Him slipping into a perfect What? list promo cadence was just heaven-sent. KANE'S MUSIC hitting out of nowhere just as tension was peaking, with his fiery Tron on a giant screen behind T, was one of the most surreal things I've ever seen. For a second, pro wrestling -- modern pro wrestling with the "you will face ... Kane!" trope -- was real. But instead of hellfire and brimstone, he confronted T with a sheepish grin and a shrug and a handshake. Can you imagine how he must've felt being shoved out there to do that? KANE'S MUSIC PLAYED. I ... wow.
I liked Lita's a lot even if I immediately realized there weren't going to be time restrictions. I think we've all drafted of speeches (or in some professions, lesson plans) that clock in perfectly until you're actually doing it and then, ooh, I've miscalculated. "I want to talk to Stone Cold" and their barbecue trip is one of the best stories -- Steve Austin's winsomeness somehow still manages to increase exponentially. Dedicated podcaster, wrestling fan, and friend to the working man Austin has supplanted Hollywood Blondes as the third best era of his career, nipping at the heel Stone Cold: paranoid hugger period.
Carlito spitting in the face of people who think he gives a shit and Warrior's McDevitt burn were jaw-droppingly great lines.
Maria Menounos is a treasured part of the WWE family, but I could slap Byron Saxton for no-selling Maryse on the red carpet.
Hey guys, Daniel Bryan is going to get some kind of reaction tonight and tomorrow. So is Antonio Cesaro.
I loved the entire show. We are so fortunate to have access to it. No idea why they felt they had to censor language (and "WWF") - or, more accurately, I know WHY they did it, but I don't agree with that choice.
Mr. T is divorced from his children's mother. #WWEHOF
I just remembered the actual funniest Hall of Fame moment, which I don't think I've seen anyone mention anywhere: Undertaker comes out on the stage amidst his magical mist, turns and looks up at the Bearer tribute screen, starts to do the urn genuflect...and a cameraman comes creeping up on screen in the wideshot to presumably get a shot from the Undertaker's POV. Someone - Dunn, I guess - must immediately LOSE THEIR SHIT on him in his earpiece, as the camera guy then instantly moonwalks back out of the big, dramatic master shot.
I think my favorite part was that during Jake's speech, he told you exactly what he was going to do - bring 'em down, bring 'em up, turn 'em around, spank their ass and put them in the corner. And that's exactly what his speech did. He brought us all down so that he could bring us up at the end. He's still the single most masterful storyteller the business has ever produced, and no matter what he thinks, he's still "got it" - maybe not the ability to go in the ring, but the one thing that always made him "The Snake."
Originally posted by Dr UnlikelyI just remembered the actual funniest Hall of Fame moment, which I don't think I've seen anyone mention anywhere: Undertaker comes out on the stage amidst his magical mist, turns and looks up at the Bearer tribute screen, starts to do the urn genuflect...and a cameraman comes creeping up on screen in the wideshot to presumably get a shot from the Undertaker's POV. Someone - Dunn, I guess - must immediately LOSE THEIR SHIT on him in his earpiece, as the camera guy then instantly moonwalks back out of the big, dramatic master shot.
OH, MAN YES! That was stellar. Just moonwalking out nonchalantly like a professional.
The highlight for me was Bad News Barrett trying to stay heel while everyone cheered the hell out of him. I mean, he trolled the entire roster and guys like Cody Rhodes were giving him a standing ovation. Awesome.
Nice to see DDP get a bunch of play. He seems like a genuine good guy and near savior to Razor and Jake.
For a bunch of years everyone had speeches like this. It wasn't until they were no longer live (or maybe by then it came on tv in the first place, I don't recall) but got one hour on NBC that they gave people timers. First year for that was Austin's year iirc. The crowd saw the timer counting down and booed it.
Yes, stories went long, but imo most of it was very entertaining. Warrior seems genuine when he talks about what his time as Ultimate Warrior means. Cool that he got the credit he feels he deserves (let's face it, UW -is- a legend)
I enjoyed Lita's long ramble. Couldn't care about Mr.T. Kane talking about Paul Bearer was great. The guy knows how to tell a story Carlito going 'rogue' was funny. I'd loved for Hall to speak longer but who knows, next time? Jake was perfect. DDP talking like HE was going in was perfect too. But yeah Jake had me close to tears. Amazing. Great to see him alive and well.
PS- So it seems HHH is the one that got Warrior back into the 'fold'.
It was with great sadness that I heard the news of the death of the great Shinya Hashimoto. He was my little brother Randy's favorite wrestler and one of my best friend's, Phil's, favorite wrestler. Here is everything we wrote about him.