NEW YORK — Fans inside Madison Square Garden witnessed something many thought would never come.
There he was, the last to be inducted. With years of bitter feelings brushed aside, the crown jewel of the WWE Hall of Fame was introduced by Arnold Schwarzenegger. The Living legend, the man who held the WWWF title for over 4,000 days, Bruno Sammartino.
He delivered his speech in his trademark even-keel and steady speech, passionate about his words and the stories he told. The speech felt very much like an abridged documentary about his life -- or perhaps an upcoming WWE DVD documentary.
The Madison Square Garden audience was very respectful toward Sammartino, but they didn't afford the same to many other presenters. Donald Trump got booed out of the building. Some though Maria Menounos dragged on in her introduction of Bob Backlund. The notoriously smart (and impatient) NYC wrestling crowd even booed Trish Stratus, pointing out her husband, Ron.
Still, it was an entertaining evening with many interesting points and stories that came out of it. Here are some:
** Mick Foley's speech went roughly 35 minutes, though it didn't feel that long at all. He certainly received the loudest ovation as the Hall of Fame video montage intro played. At one point, he singled out Chris Jericho and mentioned he has never won a match against him. Foley admitted that when he got word he would be inducted, all he could think of was delivering an elbow drop to Jericho. That's all Y2J needed to hear, as he jumped up to greet Foley, bumped onto the stage, while CM Punk jumped up to officiate. Foley dropped the elbow and Punk counted to three, then checked on Jericho and jokingly threw up the injury "X" arm sign. (I Touted a video of this, which you can find on my Twitter account @arda_ocal)
** Stevie Ray was very passionate about his brother Booker T, who provided some great stories, and of course a spinaroonie to cap it all off.
** It felt like Bob Backlund was in 1994 heel gimmick mode, consistently talking even-keel then yelling into the microphone, as unpredictable as ever. He wore his trademark red bowtie and suspenders.
** Donald Trump challenged Vince McMahon to a fight "in a year" with the desire to break PPV records (set at Wrestlemania 23 in the 'Battle of the Billionaires').
** Trish Stratus had a funny moment where she unveiled a very long scroll full of names she might forget to thank. She also announced that she was pregnant and is due in September.
For more random real-time thoughts from the Hall of Fame, check my Twitter account @arda_ocal.