WWE Hall of Fame Induction
April 5, 2009
WWE Hall of Fame Induction
As the WrestleMania weekend rolls on a new tradition continues with the now yearly WWE Hall of Fame Induction. Some people might immediately question why a “fake” sport should have its own Hall of Fame. Yet for the fans of the sport we know just how important some of these entertainers are to the history of wrestling. The fans grew up watching these guys take themselves to the limit when it came to putting on a show for the fans. The Hall of Fame is just one small way of giving Thanks to all of the years of entertainment they provided to us.
Before the official ceremonies began there was a meet and greet setup by the WWE and THQ to interview some WWE Superstars. Mr. Kennedy, Matt Hardy, Cody Rhoads, Ted DiBiase and several WWE Divas showed up. Yet my favorite Superstar that showed up wasn’t a wrestler, it was former ECW announcer Joey Styles. When Joey first showed up I had to immediately go up to him and thank him for all the incredible work he did in ECW back in the 90’s. I mentioned to him that ECW was one of the reasons why I started watching wrestling again and how much I enjoyed his announcing.
Me with Joey Styles
I asked Joey a couple of questions regarding his current role within the WWE. He is currently the Director of Digital Media Content for WWE.com. Joey mentioned that traffic is currently split down the middle between videos and pictures on WWE.com. He stated that traffic has actually gone up by 60% since they switched to a PG rated product. Pictures for the WWE Divas drive plenty of that traffic which is surprising since the pictures have now become more tasteful than years ago. He commented about how the Divas were dressed for the Hall of Fame in evening gowns which prompted a photo shoot that will be up on WWE.com.
I then asked Joey how the current economy is impacting the website, especially if traffic has been going up. He did discuss how many advertisers are pulling or reducing their spending on ads. Yet the WWE has been getting more partners that are willing to advertise on the site such as THQ and the National Guard. Bandwidth for the traffic does cost money but they keep looking for new ways of helping offset those costs as more fans visit the website. Joey also discussed how the site will have over 1 million streams for WrestleMania 25 and the additional streams for the WWE Hall of Fame which was presented live on WWE.com.
The Hall of Fame ceremony was a walk down memory lane for me since several of the inductees I followed closely when I was younger. Terry Funk and Dory Funk Jr. were two legendary trailblazers to the wrestling industry. Koko B Ware was a great wrestler when I first watched him wrestle in the Memphis territory with Jerry Lawler and Bill Dundee. Howard Finkel is the legendary WWE ring announcer that has provided the voice to so many historic matches. Kevin Von Erich is the last remnant of the legendary Texas wrestling Von Erich family. Bill Watts was the ground breaking promoter that set the bar for wrestling “entertainment” almost twenty years ago. Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat was one of the greatest wrestlers to ever compete inside the squared circle. Finally Stone Cold Steve Austin was the biggest WWE Superstars of all time during his run of the past fifteen years.
Stone Cold Steve Austin
All of these Legends provided some heartfelt and funny stories about their careers. For me the highlights were Ricky Steamboat and Steve Austin. Steamboat’s matches with Ric Flair are still today some of the greatest matches of all time. Steamboat was always the best good guy/face character you could get during his time in wrestling. It was funny watching Flair and Steamboat lock up for one more time right before Steamboat’s speech. Stone Cold Steve Austin seemed very humbled and honored by his induction. He didn’t shy away from when he left the WWE for almost a year and actually apologized to the fans about what happened.
The 2009 WWE Hall of Fame ceremony was a great night for wrestling and sports entertainment. There was even a brief promo for the THQ WWE Legends of WrestleMania game that showcased Undertaker defeating Shawn Michaels as a precursor for WrestleMania 25. It was a dream for me to attend an event such as this one live and see so many legendary icons.
Thanks to THQ and the WWE for allowing GameZone to attend this amazing event.
Also see - THQ Superstar Challenge 2009