The WWE Hall of Fame is the one time we see WWE Superstars and legends dress up in tuxedos and put all their storylines aside to pay tribute to those who paved the way for today's wrestlers.
The 2013 Hall of Fame class was one that will be hard to top in terms of star power, but the ceremony itself had a few moments of poor crowd participation.
I decided to wait until I had a chance to view the full ceremony to do a review of the show that was aired on USA Network so I could make an accurate assessment of what WWE did right and wrong with regard to editing the show.
I have to say that WWE made some good decisions when editing the show down to what was shown on television, but a few things were also left out that fans would have loved to have seen on the free show.
What WWE Did Right When Editing the Show
The best thing WWE did was to edit out some of the disrespectful responses from the crowd, especially when it came to Maria Menounos.
While she did not have the heat Donald Trump had, there were some fans who were yelling obscenities, obviously not knowing her history as a wrestling fan.
They probably thought she was a piece of eye candy brought in to induct Bob Backlund, but the fact is that she is long-time Backlund fan who is good friends with the man.
I hold Maria Menounos at a different level than other celebrities when it comes to WWE because she is someone who not only seems very happy to be involved with the company, but she is someone who puts a lot of effort into her appearances.
In the two times we have seen her wrestle, it was clear that she put in some time training to look like she knew what she was doing.
She could have just hit a few easy moves and tagged out, but she took some punishment and a few good bumps, and for that she deserves the respect a lot of people did not see fit to give her that night.
Another thing WWE was wise to leave out was the majority of the hate Trish Stratus' husband got from the crowd. The jealousy of the men in the audience was understandable, but this was her night and she should not have had to deal with her husband being booed like he killed a baby deer.
As for what WWE was wise to leave in, making sure Mick Foley had some of his speech included was smart. He should have been the headliner this year and had they left him off the show, there would have been backlash.
It also must be pointed out that Mick Foley's video package before he was inducted was by far the best video package of the night. We as fans are lucky he had so many great moments caught on camera because his story is truly one of a kind.
We had edited-down versions of four of the speeches, with Backlund and Booker T having a short highlight video shown for their speeches.
What WWE Could Have Done Better
The first thing anyone would notice when watching the show that aired on USA is that every speech was edited down pretty heavily.
This was an event that had close to two-thirds of it taken out to fit into the time allotted, so editors had to make some hard choices.
Most of the people doing the inducting of the 2013 class had their speeches almost completely taken out. Arnold Schwarzenegger was given the most screen time next to Bruno Sammartino, but he did have a few good stories.
Leaving in Mick Foley's elbow to Chris Jericho was a nice touch, but he had a very short speech included in the TV version.
Was the Full Ceremony Worth $7.99?
WWE did something it has never done before by offering a full version of the ceremony for a price.
The entire show was something you could really only expect someone with a heavy appreciation for WWE to pay for, so saying it didn't appeal to casual fans would be pointless.
This was a night filled with interesting stories and what seemed like a great atmosphere, minus the more inebriated in the crowd.
For the hardcore WWE fan, it was probably worth the price if you had to see it right away, but chances are good it will be available for free through other means eventually.
Conclusion and Grades: TV Version C+; PPV Version B
WWE was smart in the way it edited out the disrespectful reaction from the crowd, which has upset some within WWE, but considering what was left out of the show in the end compared to the pay-per-view version, the grade for the show would have been higher if more had been left in.
The allotted time on the USA Network certainly forced WWE editors to make some hard calls when leaving things out, but Mick Foley being reduced to a few minutes kept the TV version from getting a better grade.
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