WWE Hall of Fame 3/28/15

Tonight, on the even of Wrestlemania, WWE honors the ones who have paved the way for them.  Randy “Macho Man” Savage, Kevin Nash, Alundra Blaze, Arnold Schwarzennegar, Rikishi, The Bushwackers, Tatsumi Fujinama, and Larry Zbyszko, with Connor “The Crusher” Michalek will receive The Warrior Award.

The ceremony begins in 5 minutes.

It began with one man, Andre The Giant. 2 decades later, it has expanded into the biggest names in the industry. Icons, legends, larger than life personalities.

We are live in Santa Clara, California. Jerry “The King” Lawler is our host of the event.

We kick the show off with Rikishi.

King introduces us to The Uso’s, who are inducting their father.

Jimmy informs us that they are from the Bay area, and they are proud to be home. They are here to be honoring their father.

Rikishi developed many different characters, some worked, some didn’t. But the one character they remember isn’t the athletic ability, or the blond locks. It was the thong. What was that? But that put them through college. That put food on their tables. Bought Christmas gifts. And they never recieved the Stinkface. The ones that did aren’t laughing. They pointed out to Booker T, which was funny.

But here is the man who was a hero to them, Rikishi.

Kishi is sporting his ring. Every wrestler dreams of being in the WWE Hall of Fame, but that dream has been a reality. He has come from one of the hardest working families, not just in WWE, but wrestling history, the Anoa’i family, otherwise known as The Samoan Family.

For 50 years, one part of the Anoi’a family has been a part of the WWE. Including “High Chief” Peter Maivia, The Wild Samoans, Afa, The late, great Yokozuna, The Rock, Umaga, The Uso’s, and Roman Reigns.

Kishi thanks his father, and wishes that his mother was here witnessing this. He thanks his children, and the most important part of him, his wife. Kishi thanks the fans as well. Without them, he wouldn’t be here.

Kishi feels like his life has come full circle, he is now training with his brother and David “Gangrel” Heath. He gives a shout out to one of his students, Rusev and wishes The Uso’s good luck tomorrow at Wrestlemania.

For 31 years, he has been a part of this business. He remembers all of those moments, every birthdays he has missed, every fan that he has entertained. Every character he has portrayed. Every moment he has stepped through the curtain, he remembers every Stinkface. But he will remmber this moment he has with us, most than all.

Kishi is honored to be inducted into the 2015 Hall of Fame, where he was born, and where he was raised.

Rikishi speaks Samoan, and sends a message to his family.

Now comes the moment we all have waited for. Rikishi is dancing with his 2 boys.

Our next inductee is “The Living Legend” Larry Zbszko.

Bruno Sammartino is inducting Larry.

Bruno talks about the history he has with Larry, even beginning when Larry was ready to be trained as a wrestler coming to Bruno’s home. Bruno encouraged him to keep working on his trade, keep working on wrestling. Bruno promised Larry he would get him into pro wrestling, if he gets a college degree. Zbyszko worked on that, and Bruno broke him into the business.

After Bruno was impressed with Larry’s style, he talked to Vince McMahon, Sr. to bring him in. Larry was a very ambitious man, wanted to be at the top, and gave Bruno the idea of turning on him and the heat he recieved was tremendous. Vince Sr. got behind him, and the two would proceed to sell out just about every major arena.

Larry wrestled over 20 years, he decided to call it quits, and contribute as a broadcaster for another 10 years in WCW. Ladies and gentlemen, Larry Zbyszko.

Larry’s dream since he was 16 years old was to be a professional wrestler. His dream is to be just like his hero, Bruno Sammartino. Larry remembers going to wrestling shows with his Dad at 16 years old. His mother knew what Larry wanted to do, so she had a listing of where Bruno’s kids were at, and Bruno’s home address. So Larry kept driving by there, but could never see him. Until one day, he saw Bruno standing outside by his pool, getting a suntan. Larry couldn’t help it, he got out of a car, and approached Bruno.

Larry tripped over Bruno’s hedges. He got up, told Bruno he is a big fan of his and his goal is to be a professional wrestler. Bruno started his career out, and that era was unforgettable. He drove down the road with greats as Captain Lou Albano, Andre The Giant, The Valliant Brothers, and on and on. But he can’t help but think what would have happened if Bruno had not helped him. He just doesn’t know why Bruno helped him.

This is amazing.

Larry just seems very overwhelmed, and emotional about this.

Bruno was very gracious to get into the ring with him, when Larry’s career was frustrating. Again, it’s amazing when Bruno could have kicked him out if his yard, but he didn’t. He can’t explain why.

Going up and down the roads, then all of a sudden, destiny took over. And he drove everyone around him crazy.

Larry talks about Bruno’s career, when he gave up wrestling and took up commentary after Bruno broke his neck. But something was missing, and off they went.

The crowd is showing respect, thanking Larry when he is overwhelmed by this moment.

Larry can’t express evenough thank you to Bruno, but from the bottom of his heart, he thanks Bruno for giving him an opportunity, when he didn’t have to do it. Another man he wants to thank dearly is Mr. Vince McMahon, Sr. He drove the man nuts, he still believed in Larry’s idea, and rented Shea Stadium anyway. He gave birth to a new era of wrestling, paving way to national broadcasts, and Pay Per Views.

47 glorious years ago, Larry found a rabbit hole, in a shed of hedges. And Bruno held the door open of that rabbit hole, and he still doesn’t understand why. But here he is, Bruno holds the door open again as Larry leaves the rabbit hole. And he is wearing the very same ring his hero is wearing. And now, he gets to be a big wrestling fan again.

Now that this dream is over, he gets to go home and become a wrestling fan. And he wants to say something to the wrestling fans he has wanted to say for a long time. Without the power, there would never be a dream. Larry has felt the love of the millions of fans chanting his name, and we get Larry chants.

Mean Gene Okerlund announces him as “The Living Legend”, just like his hero. And he has felt the wrath of fans throwing objects, he has been shot at in Albany, New York, and he has been stabbed in the ass by the world’s greatest fans in the world. He hopes our dreams come true too.

Our next induction is Alundra Blaze.

Natalya is here to induct Alundra.

There are those women who want to be princesses, some who want to work, and some who just want to kick ass.

Alundra was a woman ahead of her time. She was a revolutionalry, and a trail blazer. She took the WWE Women’s Title, and threw it in the trash on WCW TV. It was the start of what is now called “The Monday Night War”. It was a courageous act by a woman who was revolutionary.

When she found out she was going to induct Alundra, she had to tell someone and happened to talk to Arn Anderson.

A funny story Arn told her. She was working on a promo and all of the wrestlers were waiting. Alundra is a perfecionist, and Arn wanted to do the promo, then go work out. Words were exchanged and Arn was running away, with Alundra chasing him with her heels.

Yeah, I bet you didn’t see this coming did you? Neither did Alundra.

She talks about how legendary The Hart Family is, and is honored to be a part of the Hall of Fame. After 21 years, what took them so long?

A stuntman brought her into the business, introducing her to Eddie Sharkey. Hence the word Sharkey. She started wrestling with zero money, and her car repossessed. That’s what you do Madusa.

But then she met Wahoo McDaniel, and he introduced her to AWA. She worked with Sherri Martel, learned her trade, worked all over the world, which led her to compete in WCW, and WWE.

Madusa brings up the one woman who paved the way for all of the women, The Fabulous Moolah. She wanted to thank Vern Gagne, “Mr. perfect” Curt Hennig, Diamond Dallas Page, who should be a future Hall of Famer someday.

Now she pays homeage to her Japanese roots, with Bull Nakano, and so many other greats she shared the ring with for 3 years.

Her newfound family, all watching her on WWE Network, for just $9.99 a month. Her motorcross family.

She brings up people who have worked with her, doing their part to with her, people like Evan Kourageous, who had the stones to put her over and lose the Crusierweight Title. Lelani Kai, Heidi Lee Morgan.

She wants to thank Paul Heyman, her Dangerous Alliance members. “Stone Cold” Steve Austin, Arn Anderson, “Beatiful” Bobby Eaton, Larry Zbyszko, and of course, the late, great “Ravishin” Rick Rude.

She is honored to be a part of the same class as Randy “Macho Man” Savage. Team Madness, with Nora Greenwald, Stephanie Bowers. She wants to thank WWE, for giving them this platform.

She wants to thank her husband, who is currently employed, but they arranged for him to be here, for this occassion.

Incredible moment here.

She wants the current armed forces members to stand up and get recognized.

Now let’s get to some fun shit, which was bleeped.

Now, let’s address the elephant in the room….The Title.

She was sitting on the toilet, when she recieved a call from Eric Bischoff. He called to offer her a contract, and she unknowingly dropped the first bomb in the Monday Night Wars.

When he first suggested the idea, she didn’t want to do it, but she did it for one reason, job security. WCW wanted to do it to get WWE’s attention, and they did.

Forever she is known as the “bitch” that dropped the title in the trash, and she has moved on from it. She owns that moment, and has moved on. So shall we.

So we have Natalya bring out a trash can. It’s filled with bra and panties, some good JR’s BBQ sauce. Bischoff’s book, and she is still friends with him, and ahh yes, the WWE Divas Title.

Madusa is the current Divas Champion, for over 20 years. She drives a truck, and has been a 2-time Motorcross Champion. The only woman who has 2 major titles in a male dominated sport.

Some may call her Madusa, some may call her Alunda Blayze.

That was an awesome speech there.

Next is Connor “The Crusher”.

We see the revealing Warrior statue, and now we present the Warrior Reward to someone who shows us spirit, and fight. Showing us a true hero, and that award this year goes to Connor “The Crusher” Mihalek.

Oh wow.

Conor was a victim of Pediatric Cancer, and he passed away at the age of 8. He will always be the biggest WWE fan.

Warrior’s family will get an opportunity to present this award, which in itself is very special they share this moment too.

Last year, her husband, Warrior was honored and she was watching on. She was proud of her husband, proud to be that should she had when he cried, but most of all, she was honored to be his wife.

Even in the days she lost him, she felt she had to empower a Warrior woman, and that is what she did. That strength sustained herself, and her two daughters. She thanks the people who have helped her family over the years.

Such a moving and touching speech, words can’t describe. But she thanks her daughters for being them, and allowing her to be their mom.

She thanks her neighbors, for helping out. Also thanks the legion of warriors. They have helped them through this, and she loves them.

Thank you to WWE Universe, to WWE Divas, Superstars, and Corporate Division. This is like a family, and she appreicates that.

She thanks her family, she thanks Paul and Stephanie, and so many other people who have helped her take that step forward, which is what we are going to do now.

Connor was such an amazing kid, and he is the very definition of what a Warrior is supposed to be.

And while her husband and Connor have stepped into parts unkown, their lives were ultimate.

She challenges us to make a donation to Connor’s Care, in honor of Warrior. We can help fight Cancer. If we can raise $1 million, she might do something crazy, run to the ring, shake the ropes, and maybe even body slam someone. I couldn’t hear the person’s name, because the feed kicked out, but I am thinking it’s Hulk Hogan.

She is kidding, of course.

She introduces us to Daniel Bryan, who will induct Connor.

Daniel is trying to control the crowd, because this isn’t about him. What he does on TV isn’t real, Connor was. Connor inspired him. When he first saw him on Youtube, and Connor issued to meet Daniel, he had to. And the moment he met him, he stole his heart. It’s not because he’s cute because he was super cute. Not because he was charismatic, because he was. But because what spoke to him from the start was his strength.

He was a kid who at 3 years old was diagnosed with brain cancer. He was going in and out of chemotherapy. And despite that, you wouldn’t see that in him. When you met him, you saw strength.

When he first met him, he wasn’t doing the yes chants, he was doing the no chants because the company did not want him to be cheered. Connor when he met Daniel said he doesn’t like the fans to chant yes. He asked why not, because Daniel doesn’t want him to.

Daniel asked Connor if he can put Daniel in the No Lock, and Connor responded by saying he can put everyone in a No Lock.

When he won the WWE World Title last year, at Wrestlemania 30, we had confetti throwing all over Daniel, but he could see Connor, sitting in the front row for over 4 hours with a big smile on his face. He saw his father holding him, and all he could see was a father holding his son.

We have Connor’s Cure, raising over $250,000 to cure cancer for little children. And he wants to honor Connor’s father, Steve Michalek.

Steve wants to thank Connor, because without his spirit, he wouldn’t be able to do this. He thanks Dana Warrior, for handling the death of her husband, and taking care of her 2 daughters through this. He wants to thank Daniel Bryan for caring so much for a boy that saw him as a hero. Connor was such a big WWE fan, and it started with Daniel.

Steve’s favorite superstar was Ultimate Warrior. He ran out, shook the ropes, and controlled the crowd. Just like Daniel does, they both control the crowd in their own way and what better person to receive The Warrior Spirit award than Connor.

He thanks Stephanie and Paul, who helped start Connor’s Cure. WWE Universe is making sure Connor’s Cure is here to stay, and making a difference. And thank to you the other families who are going through this too, and are sharing this together.

While Connor is here in spirit, he should be here, because he owned the room anywhere he went. He said what he thought, and was very confident.

He told Kane and Daniel Bryan, then WWE World Tag Team Champion, he and his brother are the real Tag Team Champions. He also had a chance to knock out “The King of Kings” HHH, and even had the knowledge to hold the leg when he pinned HHH. He had his Wrestlemania Moment, sharing a hug with the new WWE World Heavyweight Champion, while confetti was all over.

The doctor told them Connor would not be able to make it through Wrestlemania, but he faced adversity, and surpassed that. He had become known for so long, that people would recognize him, even in the elevator. His dad would joke saying he has become a celebrity, and Connor just said to him “Dad, don’t you know I am going to be famous somday”.

Now he will be with the Connor’s Cure.

He brings out his little brother, Jackson to say one message.

He was Connor’s Tag Team Partner.

Very emotional speech.

Now come The Bushwackers.

We hear from John Laurinaitis, who are inducting them.

John started his career, as the flag bearer of The Sheepherders…AKA The Bushwackers.

They started the ring together for 35 years. They developed into many names. Dusty Rhodes brought them together with John, and they were roomates for one year. But shaped John’s career, and marched on to WWE.

They weren’t just brothers to John, they were family.

They came to the states in 1972, before I was born. Just incredible.

They had wonderful mates over the years, one of them was Killer Kowalski. They met him when he was in New Zealand, he suggested they come to the states.

They also wrestled for Stampede Wrestling, for Stu Hart. They had fond love for Stu and his entire family.

They worked for Jim Crockett Promotions, and from there was united with Laurinaitis. When it was time to move on, they went from The Sheepherders, to licking kids’ heads and fun loving Bushwackers.

They thank 4 people that had been truly special in their lives. “Rwody” Roddy Piper, Bret “The Hitman” Hart, “Million Dollar Man” Ted Dibiase, and “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan.

Three of the four men come up, and they shake thweir hand. Hacksaw wasn’t near the front line, but it was very touching. Especially funny to see Dibiase do The Bushwacker dance.

One more lick for each guy, to cap it all off.

Our next induction is Tatsumi Fujinami.

Ric Flair is inducting him, which brings the fans to their feet. Flair puts over Tatsumi. He comepted in WWE, back in 1979 and won the Jr. Heavyweight Title at the time.

Flair puts Vader over, who was in attendance. He was someone that wrestled Fujinami, knows what kind of a worker he was.

Here comes Fujinami, giving us many thanks for being a part of this.

A very short thank you, but very effective.

Our next inductee is Randy “Macho Man” Savage.

Hulk Hogan is inducting Savage.

Hogan brings up Wrestlemania 3, when Savage Vs Steamboat and Hogan Vs Andre headlined the show. He saw that match, and knew that the match was special. Savage was such a consumate professional, calling him at all hours of the day, suggesting they work out and talk about ideas for their matches, or ideas for their storylines.

He tells us that Savage got very intense in his promos when they faced each other, to make Hogan a better professional.

So Hogan brings out Lanny Poffo, Randy’s brother.

Lanny starts off with a poem, but goes on about Randy’s compassion for Special Olympics. He treated them all like his own kids. Randy would bring Lanny to some of these events, Lanny would do poems, while Randy in complete costume attire made those children’s day.

He thanks the men and women that were affected in Randy’s life. He thanks WWE for giving the fans an opportunity now to see Randy’s career on WWE Network, and know what kind of a performer he is. He talks about their mother doing a great job in Randy’s biography, and he thanks Randy’s wife for being such an inspiration on Randy, and keeping him such a happy man, before his death.

Our next induction is Arnold Schwarzennegar.

They show his bit he did on one of the first episodes of Smackdown, he decked HHH. Before this, we see a commerical of the upcoming Terminator: Genysis movie.

HHH is inducting Arnold.

He takes about that moment he had with Arnold, he wouldn’t miss punching him. His nose wasn’t always this big, it’s still swollen.

Arnold has such a great American story. He came to the states on a dream. Competed, and won bodybuilding contests, which led him to making movies, giving us such memorable lines that will be remember, forver. The question becomes what if that hadn’t been done. He never came to the states, we never would have known the impact. “I’ll be back” would never be the same.

HHH brings in Arnold.

Arnold puts over HHH, talking about how we went from a wrestler to a man running this entire company. In one of his first bodybuilding competitions, one of the judges was Bruno Sammartino. He also has a friendship with Mark Henry, going back to around 1996, when he was competing for Powerlifting. Wrestling has a big influence on life as well.

Arnold tackled the movies. “It’s not a tumor”, or “Get into the chopper” was a part of his life. But then he becamse the govenor of the state of Clifornia.

He puts Vince over, as well as the entire WWE Universe, and appreciates this very much.

Our last inductor is Kevin Nash, or Diesel.

HBK comes out to induct him. Shawn had a script, and he tore it pieces/ He touched on forst seeing him when Kev was with WCW, he was working as Vinnie Vegas then. It made Shawn laugh, and he was looking for a bodyguard, and talked to Rick Stiener about him. Kevin still had a WCW contract, but he told them he wanted out, and would go back to work at a strip club. The company gave him his release, and Diesel immedately took this to the other side of the building, faxed the relase to J.J. Dillon. He flew out to Albany, and the rest they say is history.

Shawn talks about their run, Vince saw how hot he was, and wanted to push Kev, giving him the title. It happened, the night Diesel beat Bob Backlund at a MSG show in 8 seconds. After the match, Nash took Shawn into a shower, and thanking him for giving him this opportunity. He is a true friend, and will always remember that.

Now, Nash and Hall would leave in a year and a half. But the truth is Nash was a pioneer. He got WCW to give them both guaranteed contracts. None of them would be here if it wasn’t for the two of them. He deserves this moment, and here comes Nash.

Nash brings up his Master Blaster days, making him shave his head, first day he got in the building. Then we go from that to Oz. His favorite time was with DDP, Vegas Connection. He always wanted to give up every now and then, but DDP told him he would be a big star, and to stay.

He got to WWE, he was always cool. Talking about drinking many beers for 23 straight nights. Vnce wanted to see him personally. Nash had expected to being fired, but in this case, Vince wanted to push Nash to the end.

They left WWE for one reason, guaranteed contract. The monsy they were making was ridiulous, but what could you do? Now, everyone has a guaranteed contract, and he likes to think he had a major reason behindt thay. He thanks for the men and women who have worked him, to make Nash better.

We also get another Kliq reunion to end the show on a good note.

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About Kevin Gillman
I have had this blog up for a few years, writing every Monday night and anytime in between. Always check the site out, send me a comment on what your thoughts are for the current state of wrestling.

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