Well, WrestleMania 28 emanating this year from Miami, Florida, has come and gone with the event being analyzed, and dissected. It was preceded by the 2012 WWE Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony which occurred the night before the “Granddaddy of them all.” Of course, as most fans know, the week preceding all this consisted of WrestleMania related events such as Fan Axxess, Celebrity Golf, and all sorts of things for the fans and WWE Superstars to do. Every year, it is a great Super Bowl/Kentucky Derby like atmosphere.
I have attended six WrestleManias in a row. My first one was WrestleMania 20 in New York’s prestigious Madison Square Garden, and I attended every single one after that, all the way up to WrestleMania 25 in Houston, Texas. Due to some personal stuff, I skipped WrestleManias 26 and 27. My favorite Mania that I attended was probably either 22 or 24. The others were fun shows. I wound up in 9th row ringside for Mania 22 because the seat I bought on Ebay somehow got blocked off. It was cool though. I got to see one of my favorite Mania matches up close: Foley vs Edge in a street fight. Great match. Of course, Mania 24 had the “Retirement” match for Flair against HBK, and it was great to see Edge headline Mania, being the Edgehead that I am. Of course, I would later regret not finding a way to attend WrestleMania 27, after what happened with him, so when he was announced as a Hall of Fame Inductee (which he so rightly deserved), I sure as hell was going to go to this year’s Mania, no matter what it took.
Well, despite some personal travel issues that I won’t get into, I arrived in Miami on Friday evening. It was a very long drive from Lexington, KY. I had not driven that long (over 17 hours) for a long time, but it was interesting seeing all these religious signs in Florida, and then seeing a huge billboard for Adult Entertainment . I was like, “OK. ” Anyway, I drove around downtown Miami on Friday night. I saw the Intercontinental Hotel where the wrestlers were staying. I then went back to my hotel for the night.
On Saturday, I parked at the Intercontinental, and while driving, I nearly ran over Vickie Guerrero. Good thing I was paying attention. Anyway, I saw a couple of people I knew and they told me what jerks the hotel staff were being. The hotel was on lockout for security reasons. Anyway, I got to see another of my friends. I took some photos of the wrestlers leaving, and I got to hang with a girlfriend who was staying at the hotel. The guard was a little testy but he let me hang on the steps of the hotel. Well, I run into Harley Race. I told him I just wanted to shake his hand and say hello. He was very nice. I saw Mick Foley leaving, and a couple of others, including DDP leaving. Didn’t say anything though.
Now here is something interesting: I saw this short woman with Harley Race. She looked like Judy Copeland, Adam “Edge” Copeland’s mom. I asked her if she was her, and she said yes. I introduce myself, and she said “Oh you’re Terri, I mean “Teffy.” (Now, before I continue: There is an awesome site called EdgeUniversity.net. It is run by my friend, Terry aka “Teffy” , so Edge’s mom got me mixed up with Terry.)I said, “No. My name is Terri Bey.” Judy said, “Oh , Terri Bey. I know you also. From Facebook.” I said, “Yes. That’s right. I run a group called ‘Don’t Hate Edge.'” Judy then told I think it was Harley’s wife that she (Judy) knew me because Randy Copeland (one of Adam’s uncles) told her about me as Randy and I are friends on Facebook. She also knew me as the person who gave Adam photos of him and Umaga all dressed up alike.
On a January 18, 2009 house show in Lexington, KY, Edge painted himself ala Umaga by drawing “Canada” on his belly, and painting the Canadian Flag on his face and having his hair pinned up ala Gene Simmons. It took two years, but I finally gave Edge the photos at a Lexington KY house show on January 8, 2011. He came around the ring slapping hands and I gave them to him. We had a short conversation, and the last words he said was “Thank you.” I found out later that he loved them, and showed them to everyone. He apparently did. Anyway, I told Judy how I admired her son, etc. So , Judy and I chatted for awhile. I met Matt Copeland, who also was in my Facebook group for a time, who is a cousin of Adam’s, and a guy named Mike who is one of Adam’s college buddies and Matt, Judy, Mike and I took a group photo. I then hung out with Judy for awhile. We went shopping at the local drug store as she needed some stuff. We talked about all sorts of subjects , and such. I really had a great time with her. After she went inside, I got to shake hands with Johnny Ace, and Teddy Long. I got to shake hands and talk to William Regal as well. All great guys.
After all this, I went to this open air mall which charged ten bucks to park for the Hall of Fame. It was not a bad price considering that the American Airlines Arena was about 2 blocks away or so. I had dinner at Chilli’s. I then slipped into the ladies room, and got into a nice dress. I went to the Arena, and took photos of the Stars showing up. I took a lot of photos. Most of the stars and Divas looked great, especially Jericho, Punk, and Beth Phoenix. Lita looked great also. I go inside, and the prices that the concessions stands want for food is out of this world. I was sitting in section 323. It was not all that bad. Even though I was pinching pennies, I didn’t care. I was there to support my hero, and a wrestler, I consider one of the very best to put on the tights, Edge.
My review of the show itself:
Of course, before the show started, there were the fans with the dueling chants, “Let’s Go Cena. Cena Sucks.” and “Yes. Yes. Yes.” and all that. There were fans wearing WWE gear to a Hall of Fame ceremony like always. I was like “What part of business dress don’t these fans understand?” The WWE Stars and Divas arrived, and fans cheered and booed them. Cena brings in this nice looking older woman whom I am guessing is his mother, and fans STILL booed.
Anyway, we have the video introductions, and Jerry Lawler comes out as host. Overall, this was one of the best Hall of Fame Ceremonies I have attended. I attended the ceremonies for Manias 21 through 25. This one is about the best. Great speeches for the most part.
Kicking off the inductions was John Bradshaw Layfield to induct his partner and friend Ron Simmons. JBL’s speech is worth listening to alone. Great job when he talked about Simmons as his friend, and Simmons being the first African American wrestler to win the World Title , and how Simmons was a pioneer. JBL talked about how a WWE writer wanted the APA to be racially divided, and he said no because the two were friends. Great speech, the best of the inductors.
Ron Simmons came out to a good pop. He talked about his career, and such. He was very moved by the honor. He thanked his wife for taking care of his injuries and being there for him emotionally. She stood up, and he ended the speech with his trademark, “Damn.” Good speech to start off the ceremony.
Alberto Del Rio then came on to induct Mil Mascaras (A Thousand Masks). Del Rio talked about Mascaras’ influence on him and his family, etc.
Well, and I understand that English is not Mascaras’ native tongue, but I think I would have enjoyed the speech if the man had an interpreter. I don’t see why Del Rio could not have stayed to translate for Mascaras. I think the speech would have gone a lot better is what I am trying to say. Mascaras did seem very honored though.
Surprising, out came Dusty Rhodes, as only he can, to induct the Four Horsemen. Rhodes was awesome. He sounded like a preacher in his praise for the Four Horsemen. I loved it.
Out came the Four Horsemen to a huge pop. The lineup that was inducted was Ric Flair, Arn Anderson, Tully Blanchard (who just lost his father the week prior), and Barry Wyndham, Jr, along with manager, J.J. Dillon. Great speeches from all four horsemen. Flair kicked it off first, and spoke about how he loved the business, and talked about his career, and his children, and such. Flair started crying, and cried throughout the speech. He told some stories as well. He had his kids stand up. Tully Blanchard spoke, and talked about his father who passed on, and talked about his kids who did not know about this (the wrestling) part of his life. Blanchard’s speech was awesome. Barry Wyndham said that it was an honor just to be inducted, and just spoke briefly. Arn Anderson spoke last. He talked about the future wrestlers, and current wrestlers being the caretakers of the business. He talked about how he is proud of being in the business. Arn’s speech was really great.
My personal comment: I don’t know if it was a TNA thing or what, but I think the Horsemen should have gone on later, right before the headliner. I would not have put them in the middle of the ceremony, as I think they are way too important to wrestling, but that is just me.
The next one to be inducted was Mike Tyson. Out came his inductors, Hall of Famer Shawn Michaels and “The Game” Triple H, acting as DX. This was hilarious. I enjoyed this a lot. Triple H was cutting up on poor Shawn Michaels about Mike Tyson punching him (Michaels) out at WrestleMania 14. Shawn took a jab saying that “He (Michaels) was better than him (Triple H).” The whole thing is very funny. I really loved it.
Mike Tyson comes out, and honestly, I don’t remember much about this speech. Tyson was all over the place. I understood Mascaras better. Seriously. Tyson said something about Owen Hart or something. I was wondering if Tyson was on something. Tyson kept moving around also, so I had a hard time hearing him. The sound was terrible for everyone, but this was nuts. I just hated Tyson’s speech.
My personal comment: It was cool that DX did the inducting, but I thought Stone Cold would have been a better choice as it was Tyson who by the way of his counting down Michaels, helped to usher in the Stone Cold Era.
For Yokozuna, a bunch of relatives such as Rakishi, Yokozuna’s widow, and the Uso’s , in a very emotional moment inducted him into the Hall of Fame. They talked about how even though he was this big huge guy, he was a kind man with a big heart. It was very touching.
My personal comment: It is so sad to see a posthumous induction. Eddie Guerrero’s was so sad as well. Heartbreaking. Even though, I am not sure that Yokozuna , from a wrestling standpoint, would be what I call a Hall of Famer, if WWE thinks he is, well, who am I to say he isn’t. It is sad to see him die so young.
Well, NOW we come to the grand finale. Out comes Christian to inducted his long time tag team partner, and best friend of 28 years, EDGE. Christian talks about Edge’s haircut, and such. Christian shows Edge play wrestling in their high school back in Orangeville, Ontario, Canada. Christian then gets very emotional about Edge’s retirement, and about ending things the way he (Edge) wanted to. Finally, Edge comes out and the two embrace for a long time.
My personal comment: I did not cry at all during the speech. After the ceremony, though, I totally lost it. I broke down sobbing. I was crying out of being proud of him for all he had accomplished, out of missing him, out of being proud that he is always going to be my hero, and his deserving to have this honor bestowed on him. Thank you Edge. Thank you for everything.
After the ceremony, I went back to the Intercontinental. I did get to meet Tommy Dreamer, and say hi to Rhyno, and that was about it.
Part 2 tomorrow.
Terri Bey currently blogs for CamelClutchBlog.com about Wrestling, NFL, and other sports/pop culture related subjects. Her work has appeared in BleacherReport and for F4WOnline.com. Terri can be found here at Facebook- http://www.facebook.com/TerriBey and at Twitter- http://www.twitter.com/missedgehead