The 2014 WWE Hall of Fame was the first full, unedited version of its kind in the history of the WWE. It was full of surprises, and unexpected occurrences. Here are a few takeaways.
Although it did go unexpectedly long, Lita shared some really good stories. Many people did not know that about her, and she basically took the time to prove to everyone why her career is Hall of Fame worthy as a whole. Rey Mysterio, Val Venis, and Arn Anderson being so instrumental to her career was an interesting bit of information, and the build-up to the acknowledgements were well done.
DDP and Jake Roberts also had some good stories to share, and there is little argument that Roberts' speech was the most poignant. At first, it was a bit depressing, talking about his father and his failure as one. However, when he turned the corner, it become a speech that showed a promising future. This speech showed why he is one of the greatest promo cutters of all time. He is so natural behind a mic.
I thought Mr. T's speech was great. The crowd was behind him for most of the time, but started to get a bit agitated towards the end. Mr. T is by far the best celebrity inductee of the bunch, which is why he did not get booed. He said some very inspirational things about his mother, and how she made him the good-moraled man of faith he is today. Much respect for that. Kane interfering him was a buzzkill, but I understand they had to do that because of time (although Lita went nearly 40 minutes, ironically).
Hats off to Carlito for his jabs on the WWE. That is what happens when there is a hot mic in front of you. That was one of the funniest moments of the entire ceremony, and the crowd appeared to be endorsing every bit of it.
The Ultimate Warrior speech was not as acrimonious as I thought it was going to be, but there were spurts where it became simply a riposte to the "Self-Destruction" DVD. However, he did say some classy things about Vince McMahon, and rallied a majority of the audience by thanking them for making him who he is.
It is worth having a stand-alone column for Scott "Razor Ramon" Hall. The guy looked GREAT. From the incident at the independent show a few years back, to admittedly coming close to death multiple times, to his hip surgery on a body that was in such horrendous physical condition, it was truly amazing to see where he has come from to the shape he is in now. Major kudos to DDP for helping him redirect his life. Possible surprise ATGM Battle Royal entrant? I wouldn't be opposed to it. He and his son Cody still train hard in wrestling dojos, so he could give us a good 7-10 minutes. The last time the Kliq were together, he did not appear because he said he was too ashamed, but look at him now. Well done, Razor.
Lastly, the Undertaker urn gesture to Paul Bearer was incredibly noble, and done with sheer class. I understand that WWE is about kayfabe as much as possible, but this was an appropriate blend. Taker does not want to break out of character for his match against Brock Lesnar, but raising to urn to the homage pic on the screen was apropos. Great way to close the chapter of the Paul Bearer persona in the WWE.
Overall, it was very good Hall of Fame show. What were your takeaways? Sound off below.