On Saturday, April 5, 2014, at the Smoothie King Center in New Orleans, Louisiana, we made our final stop on the long and exciting road to WrestleMania XXX. Seven new members were inducted into the 2014 class of the WWE Hall Of Fame. The ceremony aired live on the WWE Network. The edited version of the ceremony will air on the USA Network on Monday night, immediately following the post-WrestleMania edition of WWE RAW.
As with any WWE Hall Of Fame ceremony, there were a number of memorable moments, and certainly plenty of topics that caused rabid discussion from fans of the professional wrestling community.
Related: Photos of 2014 Hall of Fame
The 2014 WWE Hall Of Fame ceremony opened up with the newest WWE Diva addition, which of course saw Amy “Lita” Dumas get her moment in the spotlight. After a typical introductory speech from friend and fellow WWE Hall Of Fame Diva Trish Stratus, the former thong-wearing bombshell made her way out to the stage.
And our interesting evening officially began.
I’m all for giving the WWE Hall Of Fame inductees the proper amount of time, as it is their deserved moment, but to say Lita went a “bit long” would be like saying Daniel Bryan is a “bit over” right now.
I thought it would never end.
But okay, so the first speech out of the gate went a little longer than expected. Surely, WWE would inform the next few inductees that went out on stage to tighten things up. Even though the show was being broadcast live on the WWE Network, people would have to know that at a certain point exhaustion would set in, and that it’s only respectful to leave an ample amount of time for the “bigger” or “more prominent” inductees to give their long-awaited acceptance speeches.
Mr. T’s Induction
Going a bit out of sequence here to follow up on that last line (“Wrong”), I can’t help but dive into Mr. T’s induction speech next. You wanna talk about a long speech, holy granola bar!
First and foremost, I found it quite interesting that “Mean” Gene Okerlund ended up doing the introduction speech for the former “A-Team” television star, as the clear candidate was obviously the “Rocky III” co-star, “Thunderlips” (aka Hulk Hogan). For whatever reason, however, “Mean” Gene did the honors.
It was all downhill from there. Well, kind of.
In some ways, Mr. T’s speech was the most atrocious, god awful speech in WWE Hall Of Fame history. In other ways, it was easily the best speech of the night. It depends on what you’re looking for in an acceptance speech.
In my humble opinion, Mr. T’s speech belongs in a class alongside The Iron Sheik and Bob Backlund as some of the most fun, albeit painful, acceptance speeches in WWE Hall Of Fame history. It was absolutely entertaining, but for all of the wrong reasons.
It was so bad, it became good.
Mr. T droned on with bible passages and mother-praising to the point that it became humorous. To go one step further, it became laughable. It was a joke, and one that I’m not exactly sure Mr. T was in on. In fact, I’m positive he wasn’t.
That man rambled on, thanking god and praising his mother for such a long time that I couldn’t help but rip-off “Stone Cold” Steve Austin’s infamous WWE King Of The Ring promo with my own personal twist.
“Mr. T 3:16 says I love my momma!”
Again, I couldn’t help myself.
Jake “The Snake” Roberts’ Induction
Now we turn the corner and talk about a great induction speech.
Jake “The Snake” Roberts, who has gone through hell and back and has the scars — both physical and mental — to tell the story, held nothing back in talking about his demons, as well as his long, arduous road to recovery. For the first time in the evening, we were witness to a very emotional, passionate, and all-around entertaining induction speech.
“You still got it,” chanted the fans at the Smoothie King Center in New Orleans, and you won’t get any arguments here.
Great stuff, as expected.
Razor Ramon’s Induction
Thanks to Lita’s 30-40 minute rant about going to Mexico and marking out over Rey Mysterio, as well as Mr. T’s 30-40 minute rant about the many reasons he loves his mother, here we saw the first of a few examples of guys that I was dying to hear speak tonight, that seemed to end up getting cut short because of the incoherent, repetitive ramblings of those who, sorry to say, I didn’t really care to hear much from in the first place.
More so than any other induction of the evening, Jake Roberts and Ultimate Warrior included, I was looking forward to hearing “The Bad Guy” talk — for as long as he wanted — about his legendary career. Whether it was a personal choice, or because of people going long throughout the night, Scott Hall ended up spending only a couple of minutes on stage during his induction speech on Saturday night.
On the flip-side of that coin, however, in true “Bad Guy” style, he left us wanting more.
Ramon, who was inducted by his best buddy Kevin Nash, had what probably has to be considered the best line of the night: “Bad times don’t last, but ‘Bad Guys’ do.”
Much respect, Razor. I was a huge fan of yours growing up, and I was so happy to watch you live your “big moment” (among a career full of many) on Saturday night in New Orleans.
If Time Was So Tight, How Come …
After all the talk about people going long with their speeches, and even Carlito pointed out while preparing to introduce his father — Carlos Colon — onto the stage, that he was informed that his originally scheduled time was cut short, how did WWE find time for some of the goofy crap they did throughout the ceremony?