NEW ORLEANS - I had the fortunate opportunity of attending the 2014 WWE Hall of Fame induction ceremony at the Smoothie King Center in New Orleans Saturday night.
The program was what most would expect, but there a few entertaining surprises during the event.
Here are some highlights from Saturday night:
- Lita was the first inductee to give her speech and she took her sweet time telling her very intriguing story. She talked about her impromptu trip to Mexico and how much of a fan she was of Rey Mysterio among other things. During the course of her speech, she shared a story where her and Mysterio had to buy beers for Arn Anderson. She returned the favor Saturday by having both men sip on some wheat grass.
- The next inductee out was Jake "The Snake" Roberts. His long-time friend Diamond Dallas Page inducted him and told some great stories of living with Roberts in the past, including the time Roberts left a black cobra in his bathroom. All of Page's anecdotes and stories made for some quality entertainment. Roberts' speech was long, but it was emotional and truly gripping. Roberts was so emotional he was getting choked up before he even stood behind the microphone to deliver his speech. Roberts held few punches, as he talked about the mistakes he made in the past and how he spends his days trying to atone for them today.
- I was expecting an entertaining speech from Mr. T, but not nearly to the level of what occurred Saturday night. Mr. T spent his entire speech talking about how much his mother meant to him and his life. He did so in a touching, but also entertaining manner. Mr. T was going so good for long, however, that Kane had to walk out to tell him that he had ran over his time cue and that he had cut his speech immediately. Before the interruption, Mr. T had the crowd going. If there's one thing everyone can walk away from the ceremony having learned is that Mr. T loves the ground his mother walks on.
- The reason why Kane was tasked with cutting Mr. T short was because he inducted Paul Bearer (born William Moody) posthumously into the Hall of Fame. Kane gave quite an entertaining induction speech, including telling a story about the time Moody made him drive the car they were riding into the arena despite the fact Kane wore a ski mask to conceal his identity. Moody then began to scream out of the window, "It's a miracle! Kane can drive! Kane can drive!" according to Kane. Moody's two sons accepted the induction on their father's behalf. Their portion was short and sweet and gave way to The Undertaker to pay tribute to Moody in his own manner. The Undertaker came out in full ring garb and held up an urn in tribute to his long-time manager and friend.
- Bad News Barrett made a cameo to tell the current WWE roster that they would never come close to becoming WWE Hall of Famers. Barrett was massively over with the fans in the Smoothie King Center Saturday. The crowd more than likely included a lot of fans from across the pond, specifically Barrett's home country of the United Kingdom.
- Scott Hall, aka Razor Ramon, looked in great shape for his induction speech, but his time in the spotlight was cut short due to time constraints. He did end on a very good line where he said, "Bad times don't last, but bad guys do." His fellow Kliq members Kevin Nash (who inducted him), fellow Hall of Famer Shawn Michaels, Triple H and Sean Waltman (X-Pac) joined him on stage after his speech had concluded.
- Before inducting his father Carlos Colon into the Hall of Fame, former WWE superstar Carlito was working the room by saying that by having the time cut down on their speech, it was like he never left WWE. Colon's speech was good, but it wasn't anything to write home about.
- The main event was the Ultimate Warrior's induction speech. Warrior said some very touching things to his family in the beginning, but held no punches through the rest of his lengthy speech. He talked about how he wishes the WWE was WWF again, had an awkward exchange with Ted DiBiase, addressed the first DVD WWE produced about him, Vince McMahon and number of other things. He also announced that he was finally going to give DDP Yoga a try as well.
- Overall, it was a fun night and a great chance to walk down memory lane with some of my favorite stars of my childhood, especially Roberts. He seems so sincerely happy with where his life is, which is relatively new to him.