Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Hall of Shame

Before the ceremony
By Chad Smart

Back from Atlanta and ready to get back on the blog horse. It was a good weekend and we’ll have postings about the events throughout the next few days. As I mentioned in the Wrestlemania Experience blog, one of the highlights we look forward to every year is the WWE Hall of Fame ceremony. This year was no exception as I felt this year’s class of inductees was better than last year’s class. While I was excited to hear the speeches, the behavior of the crowd at times made me ashamed to be a wrestling fan.

First let me say the Hall of Fame is not a wrestling show or an autograph appearance. It is a night to pay tribute to stars of the past and as such it’s a formal event. Therefore if one attends the show they should dress accordingly. Maybe a suit and tie aren’t necessary but one’s attire should be more professional than casual. Wrestling t-shirt and shorts should not be the norm as far as the dress code goes. Have you ever watched an awards show and seen people dressed like they just rolled out of bed, thrown on an outfit and went to the venue?  Is respect such an out-dated concept in today’s society?

Speaking of respect, the first Hall of Fame ceremony I attended was the one before Wrestlemania 22. There were various times during the ceremony when the crowd got out of control. When John Cena came out to induct William Perry, the crowd started chanting “Triple H” who was Cena’s Wrestlemania opponent that year. Again, the ceremony is not a typical wrestling event so typical wrestling behavior is not accepted. During another part of the show, “Sensational” Sherri had to tell fans to shut up because they were catcalling during her speech.

We got forked.
I didn’t attend the Hall of Fame before Wrestlemania 23. I tried to watch the DVD but couldn’t get through the show because the fans in attendance were incredibly rude with all the yelling and catcalling. At the ceremony before Wrestlemania 24 signs were posted all over the arena stating unacceptable behavior would not be tolerated and fans would be ejected from the venue if they were not respectful. During the ceremonies before 24, 25 and 26 there were a handful of fans that couldn’t contain themselves and got them booted from the arena. I applaud the security for doing their job and removing unruly fans so everyone else in attendance can enjoy the show.

That brings us to this past weekend’s event. Once again signs were posted around the arena informing fans unruly behavior wouldn’t be accepted. Before the start of the show Todd Grisham came out and verbally told the crowd not to yell and interrupt the ceremony.  It only took about 3 minutes into the show before fans started treating the show like any other episode of Raw. I don’t think there was any inductee who didn’t have to pause or comment on some random fan’s unnecessary yelling.

The worst was during Drew Carey’s induction. First, in case you haven’t been paying attention over the past few years, WWE has made it clear they have a “celebrity” section of the Hall of Fame. Past inductees include William Perry, Pete Rose and last year’s inductee, Bob Uecker. While there are celebrities who had more impact on WWE programming and should probably go into the Hall of Fame before Drew Carey, Drew’s induction isn’t that big of a deal. Or maybe I’m the only one who feels that way. There was a guy sitting in the section to the left of where we were sitting who apparently felt Drew’s induction was the worst thing ever. During the first half of Drew’s speech, this guy was yelling out all sorts of obscenities. I think at one point he even blamed Drew for the assassination of JFK. Eventually security got him to shut up, but instead of tossing him out, they just had him stop yelling.  By the time the guy ended his tirade, I’d already missed most of Drew’s speech, so I want to think personally thank the random guy for stealing part of the Hall of Fame experience from me.

Most of the Kliq reunites

After the ceremony was over, we were discussing the behavior of the fans and came to the conclusion next year’s Hall of Fame should be held in a more intimate venue and have the cost of admission raised to potentially keep out people who aren’t there to be respectful. I don’t know if that would really keep out disrespectful fans, but something needs to be done. Hopefully next year’s security will also enforce the fan rules of conduct and eject all unruly fans. 

There’s a time and place for everything. At Wrestlemania, cheer and yell and be as crazy as you want to be during the show. At the Hall of Fame act like you have some class and show respect. That’s how I feel on the subject. Am I wrong for having this opinion? 

See more pics and videos from Wrestlemania XXVII at My 1-2-3 Cents on Facebook.

1 comment:

  1. The ceremony should return to the low-profile presentation as it's been done in the past. Meaning invitation-only. The WWE universe is clearly not mature enough to observe a simple dress code let alone behave in a dignified manner.