Opening Notes: Jerry Lawler is hosting the Hall of Fame. Rob Van Dam, who was profiled on WWE's website, and MVP are in the crowd.
Big News from PWTorch correspondent Josh Parry in-person: Trish Stratus announced she is pregnant and due in September.
Mick Foley Induction
-- Terry Funk introduced Foley. One story was about a show where not many people showed up. "Wow Mick, this is a shitty crowd." "Yeah, but look at all of those chairs!" Short, but classy intro by Funk.
-- Foley went about 35-40 minutes. He talked about his start in wrestling, compared the length of his reigns to Bruno and Backlund, and thanked Shane Douglas to a moderate pop. Foley also thanked Undertaker: "Undertaker, just please... Promise me you'll never start tweeting."
Foley said he never could beat Chris Jericho in his career, then Foley and Jericho did a bit where Mick dropped an elbow on Jericho, C.M. Punk made a three count, and then Punk threw up the X signal. Also, Foley called his Backlash match against Randy Orton the best of his career, then closed with Santa.
Trish Stratus Induction
-- Stephanie McMahon, with new music, inducted Stratus. Stephanie's speech sounded very corporate.
-- Trish Stratus had a long scroll of people she wanted to thank. Her name was on it. Trish name-dropped a bunch of former Divas, including Beth Phoenix and Gail Kim. Then, Ivory, Victoria, her "bestie" Lita, Molly Holly, and Mickie James. She thanked Jim Ross and Finlay, too. Trish then shouted out to her husband before announcing that she's pregnant. Yes, this has been an interesting night.
Booker T Induction
-- Stevie Ray offered a decent introduction for Booker.
-- Booker opened: "The first thing my brother got me was a security job... Straight out of prison." Booker talked about the origins of the Spinarooni, name-dropped Sid Vicious, and talked about Sherri Martel making Harlem Heat.
Booker brought up the last WCW Nitro and all of the terrible things he's gone through in WWE. Booker thanked Jim Ross, making it 3-for-3 on J.R. shout-outs. Nice, humble speech by Booker. Stevie made Booker do a Spinarooni to close.
Bob Backlund Induction
-- Maria Menounos was introduced to no reaction, which is better than boos. She said "WWF," and her speech was actually better than Steph's, especially giving a ton of facts about Maria. The wrestling fans became restless and booed Maria. Really disrespectful, as this was a good speech. This was followed by the "What?" treatment.
During Maria's speech, Cena was shown on the screen to massive heat. Tomorrow will be interesting.
-- Bob Backlund thanked Maria and said he respects her very much. Backlund yelled about how you can't give up in life, and the crowd was too scared to do anything but clap. Bob then commented on Vince McMahon: "When you have that kind of power, somebody's gonna get hurt."
Backlund then talked about amateur wrestling and how not to give up when he kept losing, once again referencing Cena to boos. Regarding being bad at amateur wrestling, a fan said, "You should've hit them with a chair!" Bob: "I should've!"
To Sarge Slaughter: "YOU LEFT RED MARKS ALL OVER MY BODY!!!" Then, "DO YOU REMEMBER THE LAST TIME I WAS IN THIS RING?!?! I don't either." Then, he said Triple H is a guy he thinks would be a great wrestler. Vince McMahon tried to wrap it up by sneaking out behind Backlund, who kept yelling. "I'M GONNA ENJOY MYSELF!" he shouted. "MISTER SHEIK'S OVER HERE TOO!"
Overall, that was 100 kinds of hilarious. MUST WATCH. Apparently Vince was rushing him due to time constraints. Triple H, Jericho, and Shawn Michaels were shown chatting about it.
Donald Trump Induction
Trump got a massive amount of boos even before his video ran.
-- Vince McMahon said about Trump: "I think he would be a great president. " Boos. "Would I be a better president?" Raucous cheers. "I think we have a partisan crowd here," McMahon quipped. This was followed by WrestleMania 23 clips.
-- Donald Trump opened: "I am the ugliest bald headed man in the world." Fan: "WHAT ABOUT HOGAN?!" Big boos for Trump throughout. Trump exaggerated by calling the Battle of the Billionaires at WM23 the biggest ratings and buyrates in WWE history. Trump then challenged Vince to a fight next year. "I will kick his ass." Overall, the crowd hated Trump talking himself up. He was done quickly.
Bruno Sammartino Induction
-- Arnold Schwarzenegger got cheered for his introduction. He talked about how much Bruno could lift. "His thighs were coming out of his pants," Arnold said. Nice intro from Arnold, who also noted the place is sold-out, so where was everyone for his latest movie?
-- Bruno talked about his family, how they struggled to survive during World War II, and how he survived to make it to America. He said the Red Cross warned her that he would die, but she didn't give up on him. Meanwhile, Great Khali was shown on his phone. Bruno talked about selling out the Garden and still training at the age of 77. He then wrapped up a perfectly fine, unspectacular speech.
After Bruno's speech, the inductors and inductees came back out on-stage. Trump and McMahon were on complete opposite sides for the curtain call. Backlund then left into the crowd and slapped hands with the fans. He tripped, fell, then jumped back up to raucous cheers. WWE personnel finally grabbed Backlund in-time, but he couldn't be dragged backstage, as he kept coming back.
Overall, a really special Hall of Fame tonight. It's always interesting to see the placement of wrestlers in the crowd, e.g. PTP up-front and Zack Ryder in the back.
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