Source: Wrestling Observer NewsletterAs widely reported, Extra! host and occasional wrestler Maria Menounos was booed heavily by fans while inducting former WWE Champion Bob Backlund into the WWE Hall of Fame at Madison Square Garden two weeks ago. This week's issue of the Wrestling Observer reports that multiple WWE employees were upset with the crowd's unwelcoming reaction to the television presenter and undefeated grappler, particularly since they love affiliations with celebrities and with her subsequent letter acknowledging the negative response, it got out that a strong portion of their fanbase lack proper manners, refinement and decency.
As noted earlier, Menounos sent us this letter about the WWE HOF as well as her full speech inducting Bob Backlund:
Dear fellow WWE fans and members of the wrestling press,
As you know, I had the honor of inducting my friend, Bob Backlund, into the WWE Hall of Fame. The fans were a little rough as another inductee and friend, Donald Trump, would likewise experience. It's understandable as we are not pro wrestlers and the honesty of the WWE fans is what makes it fun. However, I did the speech mainly to tell the world all the amazing things about Bob and I fear some of those things were not heard.
Below is my speech. I'm hoping you'll print it for a good friend, a great champion and one of the most incredible human beings I know.
Thanks and God Bless,
Here is the speech:
To induct anyone into the WWE Hall of Fame puts you in the company of the greatest artists, athletes and performers in the entire world. I CHALLENGE ANYONE who disagrees to show me another kind of entertainer who can recite monologues, in character, without the use of teleprompters and before world audiences, performing improv drama and comedy while flying through the air and taking bumps, 300 nights a year.
But for me tonight is even more special for I am not just inducting anyone into the WWE Hall of Fame. I'm inducting someone who encapsulates the word champion. Someone whom I'm a great fan of... Someone who is my friend.
Growing up Greek and not speaking English, wrestling was one of the few things on TV I'd watch and be able to understand. I was five when Bob Backlund lost his title to the Sheik. I was fourteen when "Mr. Backlund" returned. I was eighteen when I met Bob in person and I remember being in awe. It was on the set of my first movie and Bob was literally the most positive and striking force I have ever encountered. He was funny when we needed laughter – the man has an incredible and underrated sense of comedic timing - strong when we needed support and sensitive when we needed a friend.
While working on Bob's congressional campaign, a story came up about the Iron Sheik and his Persian Clubs. The Iron Shiek apparently had an exercise where he would swing these heavy wooden "Persian Clubs" behind his back. He had toured the nation's gyms with the clubs and, apparently, no other strong man in the country could perform the exercise, nor could anyone on the WWF roster – except Bob, who did it.... on his FIRST TRY. When I asked Bob how, he told me 'when you believe you can do something...you can.' The very next day, Bob said he was going to perform an exercise of his own-the Harvard step test in front of city hall on his election day. Twenty years earlier Bob set a personal record doing the step test for two straight hours. The goal was to match that. We all thought he was crazy as he was well into his 50's by that time. Bob was not able to match that record. He made a new one. It wasn't 3 hours. It wasn't four hours. He did his Harvard step test for 8 hours straight! Once again reminding us all, if you believe you can do something, you can.
Got a news tip or correction? Send it to us by clicking here.
See Recent Photo Of Sable With Brock Lesnar At The Gym
WWE Star Busted Open At SmackDown, What Happened After Tapings, Seth Rollins, Bella Contests
Details On WWE's New Partnership With ESPN, Seth Rollins Appears With Coach On SportsCenter
The Rock Tweets With Wrestling Stars, The Bella Twins On WWE Main Event, Booker T's ROW Video
Backstage Talk On John Cena Possibly Filming A New Project During His Time Away From WWE
Becky Lynch On WWE Divas Main Eventing Pay-Per-Views, Her Passion For Pro Wrestling, More
** SPOILERS ** WWE SmackDown Results For This Week
Rumor On A WWE Diva Filming A Movie, Tyler Breeze Wins WWE Dark Match, Sasha Banks - Xavier Woods
Major WWE - ESPN Announcement Coming Soon?, WrestleMania 32
WWE Monday Night RAW Results - Seth Rollins Vs. Kane, John Cena Defends, Paige, More
WWE Interested In Bringing Alberto Del Rio Back
Reason For John Cena Taking Time Away From WWE Revealed?
Backstage Update On John Cena Taking Time Away From WWE, What He's Saying