I had the honor of attending the WWE Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony at the SAP Center in San Jose, California.
The atmosphere was warm and filled with excitement as superstars began to enter the arena in formal attire. As the crowd settled into their seats, various chants and woooos circled the large space like a merry-go-round.
Michael Cole took the stage as the lights dimmed and asked the crowd to respect the inductors and inductees while they were speaking and not to shout anything out during any silent moments; he warned anyone who did would be escorted out.
Thus, the Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony began as host, Jerry “The King” Lawler took the stage. King cracked some jokes to engage the crowd before introducing the first inductors of the night, the Usos.
Jimmy and Jay Uso had the pro ledge of indicting their father, Solofa Fatu Jr., better known by his ring name, Rikishi into the class of 2015 Hall of Fame. The twins told some great stories which were followed up by and even greater speech from their father. Although it was long winded, it was heartfelt, genuine, and really paying tribute to the Samoan legacy. The stink facing superstar finished his loving speach with his signature dance moves with his sons.
After that, Bruno Sammartino inductued Larry Zbyszko who was extremely lost for words. “The Living Ledgend” took the stage and couldn’t not even find the words to express his gratitude to Bruno for mentoring him in the world of professional wrestling. Both shared stories of how Zbyszko would ride around Sammartino’s house asking to be a wrestler. Zbyszko struggled to find the words to thank Bruno for the opportunity he have him many years ago which lead him to the class of 2015 Hall of Fame.
Next the building was set ablaze with the induction of Alundra Blayze by WWE diva, Natalya. Blayze is most known for her trashing of the WWE Woman’s Championship on WCW. This ultimately became the first fighting act made in what became known as The Monday Night War. Blayze talked about her career and thanked many who helped her along the way. She ended her speach by retrieving her Woman’s Chamionship from the trash can and making a joke that she is the longest raining women’s champion.
Then, King introduced to is the late Ultimate Warrior’s wife, Dana to talk about the very first Warrior Award in honor of her late husband. There wasn’t a dry eye in the place throughout Dana’s speech. She finished by introducing Daniel Bryan to present the award. Bryan shocked the crowd by saying, “it isn’t real” in reference to wrestling entertainment. The crowd was shocked by that statement but soon after was brought to tears by the powerful speach given by Bryan in honor of the very special warrior award.
Conor “The Crusher” Michalek, an 8-year-old boy who passed away last April due to a form of pediatric brain cancer was honored and remembered by all who attended and watched. His father accepted the award on his behalf.
Luckily, the Bushwakers were the next superstars inducted so the mood lightened up with their antics.
After the Bushwakers, Ric Flair spoke about the next inductee, Tatsumi Fujinami.
The next inductee was a very anticipated one. Hulk Hogan inducted “Macho Man” Randy Savage into the class of 2015. Hogan’s speech was more like a tribute to himself and his career, even mentioning that he started wearing canary yellow rights because of Macho Man’s dad. However, Hogan did credit the greatness of Wrestlemania 3 to Macho Man and Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat’s match. Macho Man’s Brother, Lanny Poffo accepted the award on his behalf.
The eighth inductee was Arnold Schwarzenegger who was introduced by Triple H. During the speeches by both men, the San Jose crowd booed when reference was made to Schwarzenegger as govener of California.
And finally, the last member to be inducted into the class of 2015 was “Big Daddy Cool” Kevin Nash. Shawn Michaels introduced and was clearly a little upset that HBK was “a pro wrestler indicting another pro wrestler” into the Hall of Fame.
Nash and kept the speech short and thanked his wife and also said, “There’s only two things that are real in this business: when you win your first world title and when you’re inducted into the Hall of Fame.”
The ceremony ended with Shawn Michaels, Triple H, Nash, and the X-Pac hugging and celebrating on stage.