Wrestling News World reader Nathan from Madison, WI sent the following live report:
Just got back from the Hall Of Fame, which I always look forward to as I went when Bret Hart was inducted and also last year when Ric Flair was inducted. It is always a lot of fun to listen to all the inductors & inductees tell stories & give insight into their careers. Just like Axxess, however, the Hall of Fame this year was a big disappointment.
First, the good things:
They finally posted signs throughout the building & announced multiple times a behavior code to help avoid catcalls which often interrupted the speaker & we at times tasteless. Security really seemed to have such activity under control as well as camera usage, as I saw 3 people in my section alone being hassled for lens length & what was perceived to be a video camera.
Before the ceremony, they had video of all the current wrestlers & former greats heading to their seats with their family members. Everyone in the company seemed to be in attendance (including developmental guys) & also some other people who have been in the news. Recently fired employees were there like Sgt. Slaughter, Afa, and others. Other people of note were Reid Flair, Mickey Rourke, Torrie Wilson, & Sunny.
Todd Grisham hosted almost the entire ceremony, until Lawler came out to host for the TV portion. As things got going, the rumors of there being time limits on everyone (which Jim Ross called a lie a few weeks back) was indeed true. For those standing at the podium, there was a scoreboard at the other end of the arena which had a huge time countdown on it. Even a few wrestlers made mention that they were low on time or running out. This of course led to very generic acceptance speeches & allowed no time for the aforementioned stories which have been well received in years past.
Each person had a 5 minute clock to work from, with Austin getting 7 minutes. This also led to a very short show, as the duration of the ceremony was under 2 1/2 hours long. Compared to last year when Triple H practically had to drag Flair off the stage after going on for over an hour (which flew by), this year’s ceremony seemed to end before it started. Last year’s ceremony I believe was about 4 hours long. Because of the time limits, this year’s Hall of Fame was a big letdown considering the hefty $55+ pricetag.
It was also a letdown because they charged $20 for programs, when in year’s past the programs were free. After watching the ceremony when I got back to my hotel, I wish I would’ve saved my time & money & just watched it on TV.