-Beth Phoenix is crying before she can even say a word and so are some of the women on the floor. She says her first love is wrestling and that you never forget your first love. She thanks her Grandma for introducing her to wrestling as WCW was always on their TV. Everything changed for Beth when she watched Bret vs Owen at WrestleMania X. They crafted a work of art that changed her and made her realize this is what she wanted to do. When she got to college the first thing she did was hang a 6 foot poster of Steve Austin on the wall. Her roommate pushed her to chase her dream of being a pro-wrestler. She thanks her trainer Ron Hutchinson who is credited for training Edge, Christian, and Trish Straus as well. She thanks Afa and his family for opening their to her as there is nothing like Samoan hospitality. She got her first tryout for the WWE in Toronto when she was 22 year old. She pumped herself up and ripped the door open and smacked into Brock Lesnar. Opps! She mentions The Dudley Boys, Christian, Shelton Benjamin, Val Venis, Simon Dean, Nick Dinsmore, William Regal, Chavo and Eddie Guerrero. Loud Eddie chant for that one. She talks about learning a lot from Nora (Molly Holly) and how she get her in touch with Danny Davis in OVW. Nora quietly paid her tuition to the school so she could chase her dreams. She gushes all over Nora as does pretty much anyone who has ever met her. She thanks Danny Davis, Jim Cornette, Al Snow, Tom Prichard, Robert Gibson, Aaron Stevens, and Paul Heyman. She is a Heyman girl because he believed in her and gave her confidence. Next up she thanks Tommy Dreamer (who is in attendance) for being the champion of the little guys. Big ECW chant! She doesn’t know anyone who loves pro-wrestling more than Dreamer and he guided her when she made mistakes.
-Beth continues by thanking all the women she worked with: Gail Kim, Katie Lee Burchill, Ariel, Cherry, Brookes, Melina, Maria, The Bellas (some boos), Vicki Guerrero, Tamina, Kelly Kelly, Candice Michelle, Layla, Kelly Kelly, Eve, Alicia Fox, Trish Stratus, and everyone else who fought to elevate the role of women. She puts over Candice for being a fighting champion and in many ways made The Glamazon. Mickey James was her first opponent in a wrestling match and puts over the opportunity the girls have today to work with her and learn from her. Eve Torres next who has a degree in engineering, won a reality contest, has a child, does MMA training, and is stunning yet makes time to talk to her. Next she brings up Santino Marella. It seems she handed a 1 page storyline idea to Vince and he decided to run with it. She says Santino would always mumble funnier things under his breath. She tells a story of Santino cutting a promo in Italy while speaking Italian with the knowledge that Beth has no clue what he was saying. Awesome! She moves on to Nattie and she starts to crack again as she talks about her. She calls Nattie one of the best people she has ever know and calls her one of the toughest people (man or women) on the roster. She tells a story of Nattie having two teeth knocked out in a match and continuing. They have bonded over wrestling, family, and friends. She also feels that Owen had a part in bringing the two of them together and says Nattie is the best friend there is, was, and ever will be. Beautiful!
-She continues by putting over all of the current Women on the roster and mentions how bright the future is. She talks about her support system in the WWE: Finlay, Arn Anderson, Malenko, Windham, Ross, Goldust. She thanks all the people behind the scenes as it makes an army to create a WWE SuperStar. She thanks Shawn, Ted Dibiase, Mr. Perfect, Sherri, Alundra Blayze, Molly, Trish, Lita, and Chyna (massive pop for that one). Holy hell, the crowd is dying to have her put in the Hall it seems. Beth says Chyna paved the way for her and while she never met her, she thanks her for doing what she did.
-There are two people missing: her parents. Her mother recently had heart surgery and could not be here. It is a miracle she is alive, and her father is by her side. She breaks up again as she talks about her parents. She thanks her brother and her mother in law (Mama Edge). She thanks her husband Adam (crowd goes crazy for Edge). She goes to announce him as Edge, but gets interrupted by TONY CHIMEL and Edge is just laughing his ass off. That was fucking amazing and it gets a standing ovation from everyone as they play Edge’s music. Beth says being a wrestler married to a wrestler has unique challenges and some of the jokes she tells are pretty hilarious…brother. She brings up Edge spearing Foley through a flaming table as the first thing she thought of when Edge said “we smell like smoke because we’ve been through fire” as part of their wedding vows. She thanks Edge for being an amazing father. Finally, she gives a shout-out to her 2 daughters. She says her daughters are her greatest accomplishments. Her journey and everything here is all for her kids. If they don’t fit into the mold people want it means they are mean for greater things. She wraps up with more heartfelt words of wisdom to her children. Fantastic stuff there!
-Back from a commercial and Goldberg is show on the screen and he gets booed nearly as loudly as Reigns. Oh man, this show is interesting on Sunday.
-Warrior Award next and this year it goes to former Rutger’s football player, Eric LeGrand. He is young man who was unfortunately paralyzed during a game while playing for Rutgers. He fractured his C4 and C3 vertebrae. He had a 0-5% chance of regaining neurologic function and beat those odds. He is still in a wheel chair, the kid has been an inspiration to millions and has a charity that is trying to find a cure for paralysis.
-Dana Warrior is out to present the Warrior Award. She starts by saying it makes sense that Mania is in Orlando as it is the place where once upon a time lives. She talks about the WWE having heroes and villains and they show Steph on the screen (which brings many boos). She puts over the men and the women of the WWE while getting in a shot about Sheamus’ split head. She also makes a joke about Enzo being a jester, and says “how you doing?” This leads to her talking about her late husband, The Ultimate Warrior and how he inspired his loyal subjects to be Warriors in their own lives. She speaks about Warrior being inducted 3 years ago. Not every story ends with happily ever after, but there is a reason for that. There is cast of people out there that keep on the spirt of believe and Eric LeGrand is one of those people. He has championed the word believe and has shown so bright, others are able to follow. She calls him mother a heroine, and bows down to her, mother to mother. Her son is a warrior and she is a warrior queen. She believes Eric when he says that he will be able to walk again. She talks about his charity and it is an off-shoot of the one started by Christopher Reeves. Along with believe there is one other word and that is love. It is about love connected to service. She says worse things have happened to people nicer than her so she has no right to complain. We will be inspired and motivated by Eric. Please welcome a true Warrior that is ultimate in every way, Eric LeGrand.
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