WWE Hall of Fame Coverage

WWE Hall of Fame Live Coverage 3/31/17
2017 WWE Hall of Fame Coverage
March 31, 2017
Orlando, Florida
Coverage by: Adam Martin of Wrestleview.com

A video package opens focusing on the inductees this year including Kurt Angle, The Rock n Roll Express, Teddy Long, Beth Phoenix, Rick Rude, Diamond Dallas Page and Eric LeGrand.

Host Jerry “The King” Lawler is out first to kick off the show in Orlando tonight.

Up first, Diamond Dallas Page. A video package runs showing Paul “Triple H” Levesque making a personal phone call to DDP to make the announcement that they were inducting him into the Hall of Fame. Page got very emotional getting the news. The package focuses on DDP’s career in WCW and getting started in the industry at an older age.

Diamond Dallas Page

Eric Bischoff is out first to induct DDP tonight. Bischoff gets a big reaction. A loud “WELCOME BACK” chant starts up. He thanks the fans. Bischoff said he wishes he was the one sitting in the crowd watching this induction and wished it could be Dusty Rhodes doing this induction. “May he rest in peace and may you rest happy, brother.”

Bischoff talked about DDP towering over everyone in WCW. He jokes about DDP being so big and working as a manager, with Bischoff making a comparison to Paul Heyman being even bigger than Brock Lesnar as a manager. Bischoff said DDP was obnoxious and talked about getting into a bar fight. He said he didn’t shed a tear when DDP left AWA and made the jump to WCW. Bischoff said when AWA closed the doors and he had a failed WWE audition, he got the call to audition for WCW and how DDP was the one he had to work with immediately.

He talked about Page helping to get a job with WCW and how they later became good friends. “Yes, he was still obnoxious. But I learned to respect his passion, desire and commitment.” Bischoff talked about Page working at the WCW Power Plant and learning to improve inside the ring. “He kept working hard. He didn’t stop. He wasn’t satisfied.” Bischoff said DDP was a “gimmick machine” trying to do whatever could possibly work. He mentions Randy Savage, Ric Flair, Scott Hall, Kevin Nash, Curt Hennig, Hulk Hogan and Goldberg as some top opponents for DDP during his career in WCW. Bischoff talks about Page’s work with DDP Yoga. He credits Page for both Scott Hall and Jake Roberts being here tonight. Bischoff asks the audience to welcome Diamond Dallas Page to the WWE Hall of Fame.

Diamond Dallas Page is lead to the stage by his by his four daughters. He refers to him as his diamond daughters. He immediately gets emotional talking about being inducted tonight. A loud “YOU DESERVE IT” chant breaks out. Page says tonight is bitter sweet because Dusty Rhodes is not here to share this moment with him. He talks about meeting Dusty for the first time and wanting to make him the Jesse Ventura of the 90s. Page talks about wrestling for the first time at 35 years old and everyone calling him crazy. He brings up Michael Hayes falling down laughing at the thought of Page starting at an older age.

Page talks about training with Jody Hamilton and his 35 year old body hitting the mat with force. He would tell himself, “Man, this fake stuff hurts like hell.” Page thanks Terry Taylor for working with him in the Power Plant, on the road and in life. He thanks Dusty Rhodes’ wife Michelle. Page thanks Eric Bischoff. He wants to thank his other mentor: Jake “The Snake” Roberts. Page talks about people laughing at him for taping every match. He said Roberts would watch every match with him and referred to some as “brutal matches.” Page thanks John Laurinaitis. He thanksĀ Laurinaitis for giving him his finisher.

Page also thanks William Regal for help with the Diamond Cutter. He credits Ron Reis for coming up with the Diamond Cutter pose as well. Page talks about having his first competitive match with Sting (aka The Stinger). He tells a story about Michael Hayes never being happier to “eat crow” on his in-ring ability after seeing a match he had with Sting. Page tells a story about Jake Roberts calling him in 1997 and congratulated him for reinventing the DDT. Page thanks Kevin Nash and Scott Hall and getting to blow the roof off the building taking out the nWo in front of a huge audience.

He tells a story about Randy Savage and giving him a call over Thanksgiving thanking him for letting him beat him. Page says at TV that Monday, Savage pulled him in a room and gave him a big hug for doing something like that. He also wants to thank Hulk Hogan. Page says Hogan told him if he keeps up what he is doing that he has the ability to do big business with him. He brings up working with Karl Malone, Dennis Rodman and Hogan to create the highest grossing WCW PPV of all time. Page thanks his ex-wife Kimberly. He thanks his wife Brenda bringing up that she is a breast cancer survivor. Page calls her his own personal super hero.

He runs down a huge list of names he is thanking finishing with Chris Jericho (who gave a big smile in the crowd). Page thanks all of the people that have worked with him or tried DDP Yoga worldwide. He thanks Goldberg for a “hell of a match.” Page closes thanking his mother. He has one last story about Dusty Rhodes. Page said Dusty would let him vent except for one night where he took it too far. He said Dusty raked his eyes when Page said he would never be the world champion or anyone near the level Dusty reached. Page said Dusty questioned what he was even doing in the business if he didn’t believe. He talks about writing down on a piece of paper that he would be world champion in five years. Page says if you have a passion, own it and ink it. He talks about working with Sting, Hulk Hogan and Ric Flair and finally reaching the goal of becoming world champion. Page closes his speech thanking everyone for letting him live out his dream.

We see a shot of Roman Reigns in the crowd. Loud boo’s from the Orlando crowd.

Jerry Lawler is back on stage. Up next, The Rock ‘n’ Roll Express. A video package runs focusing on Ricky Morton and Robert Gibson.

The Rock ‘n’ Roll Express

Jim Cornette is out now to induct The Rock ‘n’ Roll Express tonight. “Well, here we go. I’m Jim Cornette, this is a live microphone and the audio guy is on Xanax.” He thanks Lawler and brings up a story trying to carry his bags breaking into the business. Cornette talks about the growth of MTV in the early 1980s and Lawler’s idea to create The Rock ‘n’ Roll Express. He talks about The Rock ‘n’ Roll Express being a huge act in Mid South Wrestling and both of the guys having “the most sex on the way to the ring” of any other talents. Cornette brings up The Midnight Express being the top villains for The Rock ‘n’ Roll Express.

He talks about both tag teams setting attendance records at venues across the south. Cornette talks about going to Charlotte and main eventing all over again thanks to help from Ric Flair and Dusty Rhodes. He brings up The Rock ‘n’ Roll Express being a huge success in Smoky Mountain Wrestling. Cornette talks about the Express making the jump to WWE as well. “The Rock ‘n’ Roll Express always delivered.” He talks about the team still actively wrestling at an older age and continuing to work with young talent 34 years later. Cornette jokes they should be getting inducted into the Smithsonian instead.

Ricky Morton and Robert Gibson, The Rock ‘n’ Roll Express, are introduced. Morton talks about this “S.O.B.” being sold out tonight. Gibson talks about grandkids on the way. He brings up how they are still active on the independent wrestling scene. Morton said the rate they ask for just went “through the roof” because of tonight. He talks about the growth of the wrestling industry and how he “stood up for the boys.”

Morton thanks Kevin Nash for “keeping them alive” in the business. They thank Flair for helping them and call him the greatest world heavyweight champion of all time. The Express give a shout out to Michael Hayes and talk about all the battles they had with The Freebirds. Morton gets emotional and calls Gibson the greatest person in the world he’s ever met. They hug. Gibson thanks Morton and they take one last salute for the audience.

Jerry Lawler introduces our next inductee, Rick Rude.

A video package looking at the career or “Ravishing” Rick Rude plays.

“Ravishing” Rick Rude

Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat is out next to induct Rick Rude.

Steamboat talks about being inducted into the Hall of Fame eight years ago and continues to wear his Hall of Fame ring every day of his life. “They broke the mold with that guy,” said Steamboat about Rick Rude. He talks about Rude becoming an WWE Intercontinental, WCW United States and WCW World Heavyweight Champion. Steamboat talks about Rude being a very strong man and how you could even feel how strong he was when you tied up with him. He talks about Rude’s role as part of D-Generation X back in 1997. Steamboat tells a story about giving Rude a suplex, hooking his legs on top of a steel cage and Rude doing sit ups against the cage to have fun with him.

Steamboat introduces Rick Rude’s family (wife, son and daughter) to the stage. Rude’s son cuts a promo referencing the infamous “sweat hogs” line. He pays tribute to his younger brother that passed away and thanks the fans for all the support. Rude’s son finishes his speech thanking WWE for placing his father among the greats in the Hall of Fame.

Jerry Lawler is out to introduce our next inductee, Beth Phoenix.

A video package plays focusing on Beth’s WWE career.

Beth Phoenix

Natalya is introduced next to induct Beth Phoenix tonight.

Natalya tells a story about Mark Henry almost confusing her with Beth Phoenix. She recalls Beth reaching out to her on MySpace and wanting to become a wrestler. Beth was inspired by both Bret and Owen Hart. Natalya talks about her and Beth wanting to impress Arn Anderson and Fit Finlay so bad. She lists off facts about Beth noting how much she can bench press (over 200 pounds) and being one of the few female entrants in the Royal Rumble.

Natalya gets emotional introducing Beth Phoenix.

Beth walks out and hugs with Natalya. She talks about her first love being wrestling. Beth talks about being introduced to wrestling through her family. She thanks her trainer Ron Hutchinson. Beth talks about getting a tryout with WWE when she was only 22 years old. She talks about becoming good friends with Molly Holly. Beth reveals that Molly helped pay for her training in Ohio Valley Wrestling so she could achieve her dreams.

She thanks more names she worked with in OVW, including Paul Heyman. Beth thanks Tommy Dreamer and refers to him as the “champion of the little guy.” She thanks Candace Michelle and also thanks Mickie James mentioning her first match was against her. Beth also thanks Eve Torres and Santino Marella. She turns her attention to “my Nattie.” Beth thinks Owen had something to do with their friendship.

She thanks the current crop of female talent in WWE right now for continuing to set the bar high. Beth thanks talents like Lita and Trish Stratus and then gives credit to Chyna for “busting down the door” for people like her. She thanks the WWE Universe for “demanding opportunity for women.” Beth thanks her parents. She thanks her husband Adam (aka Edge). Beth goes to introduce him when Tony Chimel interrupts to do his Rated R SUUUUUUUUUUUPERSTAR. They hit Edge’s music and he starts crying and smiling holding his daughter in his seat.

A video focusing on Eric LeGrand is shown, the recipient of this year’s Warrior Award.

Dana Warrior is out next to present the award to Eric LeGrand.

Eric LeGrand was introduced and talked about his battle with paralysis.

Jerry Lawler introduces our next inductee, Teddy Long.

A video package plays focusing on Teddy Long’s wrestling career.

Teddy Long

Jerry Lawler introduces Ron Simmons and JBL to induct Teddy Long. JBL and Simmons joke about all the old wrestlers not understanding the term “go home” tonight. JBL was worried they were going to have to wait until 2018 to induct Teddy tonight. He refers to Teddy as the cheapest man alive. Simmons pulls out a sheet of paper of what Teddy owes them for all the food, hotel rooms, rental cards and tolls. They bring up Teddy being the driver for the APA and The Godfather and what a mistake that truly was for him.

Teddy Long is introduced and begins dancing. He jokes having a back issue, but tells JBL and Ron Simmons he is just playing around. Long wants a “HOLLA HOLLA HOLLA” from the crowd in Orlando and they oblige. He confirms what JBL and Simmons said and he is indeed cheap. Long says he’s aware of the time and won’t be long winded. He looks back at his career and helping out backstage to get his start.

Long brings up how he was forced to referee a card one night including a Texas Death match. He talks about becoming a manager in the NWA and WCW. Long credits Jim Ross for getting him work with both WCW and WWE. He recalls starting as a referee in WWE and later getting a shot as a manager. Long remembered Vince McMahon telling him he couldn’t believe he was “under his nose” all this time and wasn’t aware how talented he was.

He talks about becoming the General Manager of Smackdown for a length of nearly nine years in WWE. Long thanks WWE, the WWE Universe and especially the McMahon family. “These people gave me the opportunity of a life time.” He ends his speech joking that he wants to book Ron Simmons and JBL in a tag team match. Long adds Ron will probably give the excuse he is retired, so all that is left is JBL and he will book him in a match with The Undertaker! He closes saying he is now a HOLLA-HOLLA-Famer.

Haystacks Callhoun, Judy Grable, Bearcat Wright, Farmer Burns, Rikidozan, Luther Lindsay, June Byers, Toots Mondt, Dr. Jerry Graham

Jerry Lawler introduces our next inductee, Kurt Angle.

A video package plays looking back at the career of Kurt Angle.

Kurt Angle

Jerry Lawler introduces John Cena, who will induct Kurt Angle tonight.

Orlando starts the loud “JOHN CENA SUCKS” chant. Cena smiles and says it is nice to see everyone too. A loud “LET’S GO MIZ” chant. Miz smiles and points at himself. Cena says the moment we are all about to experience tonight is long overdue. He says we have never seen and will probably never see anyone like Kurt Angle ever again. Cena talks about how in less than two years, Angle became the “measuring stick for any and all WWE superstars.” Cena introduces the one and only Kurt Angle.

Orlando greets Angle with the “YOU SUCK” chants to his theme song. Angle says it is great to be back home. He recalls the day Vince McMahon offered him a huge contract. Angle says he told McMahon that if he signed the contract he could never lose a match in the company ever. He talks about two years later watching RAW and falling in love with the show. Angle said he called WWE and talked to Jim Ross to find out if the contract still stands. He said no, but he could tryout just like everyone else.

Angle talked about picking up the wrestling industry fast, but got help along the way. He thanks Jim Ross, Dory Funk Jr, Tom and Bruce Prichard, Gerald Brisco, Pat Patterson, John Laurinaitis, Terry Taylor, Steve Bradley and Sean Evans. Angle talks about wrestling in his first PPV match in just 12 months. He said Edge, Christian, Jeff Hardy, Matt Hardy (a loud “DELETE” chant starts up), Chris Jericho, Eddie Guerrero, “Stone Cold” Steve Austin, The Rock, Triple H, The Undertaker, Kane, Big Show and Rikishi all helped him out.

Angle brings up the matches he had with Shawn Michaels, Brock Lesnar, Randy Orton, John Cena and Shane McMahon. He is here to give advice to the talent currently in WWE: limit your mistakes, know what you are allowed and not allowed to do, follow the rules, use common sense, don’t be the guy or girl that everyone says ‘he could have been the greatest of all time if he just stayed out of trouble.’ He knows how that feels. Angle says take chances with your personality and character. “I did.”

He is handed a small cowboy hat and reenacts his famous backstage promo with Steve Austin. Angle brings up wearing a wig with headgear. He brings up tapping out Hulk Hogan wearing that. He brings up driving a moped down the ramp to mock The Undertaker and battle raps with John Cena. Angle brings up his HBK impression with his “Sexy Kurt” song. He gets the crowd to chant along. A loud “ANGLE” chant starts up. Angle tells the young talent that the character moments last forever. He thanks the WWE Universe. Angle thanks his family for showing support. He thanks his wife for saving his life. Angle is handed two bottles of milk and celebrates the only way he knows how. He chugs down the milk and gives one last salute to the crowd in attendance tonight in Orlando.

6 COMMENTS

  1. Is it me or is everyone wanting to hear jim cornetts intro for the rock n roll express then the rock n roll express them selves. Also did anyobe notice the kid staring at Kelly Kellys bum when she was being interviewed on the red carpet.

  2. I am here live and I am sitting next to a guy that tried to do a cm punk chant. I gave him a soft kiss on the cheek amd whispered “not now”. That shut him up n.n

  3. Well, yeah. It’s Jim Cornette. Give the man a tape recorder and an hour-long tape, and he’ll talk for two hours. People love ‘im.

  4. I also loved most of the red carpet show. I loved how they can brake character for most the interview and when asked about there WM match most stepped right back into character.

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