Thursday, June 12, 2014
My Favorite Events--WWE Hall Of Fame 2013
2013 saw my first pilgrimage to WrestleMania, which of course meant that I would be attending the Hall of Fame. Initial rumors claimed that a certain 90's supergroup would be inducted that year, not particularly thrilling me. Not long after, rumors of Bruno Sammartino finally burying his 25-year-long grudge with WWE also began to surface, including word that "The Living Legend" would finally take his place in the Hall of Fame.
As we all know by now, Sammartino did indeed join Bob Backlund, Booker T, Trish Stratus, Mick Foley, and Celebrity Wing Inductee Donald Trump in filling out the Class of 2013. Held in a Hall of Fame level venue like Madison Square Garden, the atmosphere only enhanced what would have been a magical night no matter the location.
Bruno Sammartino was positioned as the "main event" of the evening, as was appropriate. Tickets to the ceremony did not sell out until after the Sammartino announcement, thus cementing the night as "The Living Legend's" 188th such accomplishment in Madison Square Garden. I know that I am not the only fan who could never have imagined attending a Sammartino-headlined MSG show, but it happened.
The event was also the first of its kind to actually see a bit of merchandising. While a program is produced for every Hall of Fame ceremony and shirts have been marketed for the past few years, 2013 saw a bit more. Mattel designed their Bruno Sammartino figure as a homage to the event, complete with accessories of the podium and a WWE Hall of Fame plaque. In their Best of 2013 set, Topps included trading cards with photos from the event. A few of their autographed insert cards used these photos as well.