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By Richard Trionfo on 2015-03-28 23:55:26

We see a video package for Larry Zbyszko.

The journey of a legend starts with one step. It helps to be mentored by Bruno Sammartino. We see Bruno talking about Larry while he wrestled. Larry was named the Rookie of the Year in 1974. We see footage of a match between Larry and Bruno. We see Larry attacking his mentor and hitting him with a chair. Larry became one of the most reviled antagonists and he became a two time AWA Champion.

After 30 years of antagonizing in the ring, he would become the voice of WCW during the Monday Night War. We see him standing up to the nWo. Larry will always be the living legend and now he is a Hall of Famer.

Jerry Lawler introduces the man who was a mentor, teacher, and adversary of the inductee. He was the WWF champion for more than 4,000 days. He introduces Bruno Sammartino.

Bruno wonders how he could induct that guy into the Hall of Fame after that video. He congratulates all of the inductees this year. He says that he is thrilled to see Arnold Schwarzenegger tonight.

Bruno says that he first met Larry when he was 15 or 16. Larry found out where he lived. Larry told him he was a big fan. He said he wanted to become a professional wrestler. Larry is asked if he was in school and he said he was on the wrestling team. He tells him to do well in school.

The next time he saw him, he asked Bruno to train him. He finally got to see him wrestle and he was on one of the best high school wrestling teams. He was a terrific talent and he thought that Larry could succeed. He told Larry about weight training. When the time came, Bruno told him to go to college so he could have something to fall back on if something should happen. Larry was reluctant to go to college, but he went and he got his degree.

Larry called Bruno after he graduated and he told him he better keep his word. Larry maintained his speed while he got bigger. Larry started to work on some Pittsburgh shows and he was a natural. He told Larry to get some training on the territories and he went to Vancouver for a few months. Bruno says he was impressed at how natural he was. He called Vince Sr. and told Vince he was ready.

Larry was very ambitious and he wanted to be one of the top guys. Larry said that he wanted to wrestle Bruno just so he could show everyone what he could do. Bruno wondered if it was a good idea, but Vince Sr. said it was a good idea. Bruno mentions how Larry got frustrated because he should have looked better. Then that is when he double crossed Bruno. The fans turned on Larry and it was incredible.

Bruno was told that Larry deserved a shot on top after the reaction they got. Larry headlined the Capital Centre and the Baltimore Arena and sold out the shows. The same happened in Pittsburgh, Providence, and Boston. He sold out Madison Square Garden and the Felt Fourm. He drew 40,000 at Shea Stadium and this was done without national television. He was in demand everywhere. He was a success all over the world.

Then he continued as a broadcaster. Larry made his mark in professional wrestling and he is being honored for his contributions.

Bruno introduces Larry Zbyszko.

Larry says standing here in the WWE Hall of Fame is truly a dream that came true. Bruno said it in a nice way how he drove the man crazy and he couldn’t help it. There was a guy named Sigmund Freud who came up with the idea that dreams become the reality of your wishes. To put that a little different. It is the power of your imagination that gives you the wish that becomes your life’s dream.

His dream from the time he was 16 was to become a professional wrestler. His wish was to be like his hero Bruno Sammartino, the World Champion.

When he was sixteen, he was already one of the biggest wrestling fans alive. He drove his parents nuts. He made his dad take him to the Civic Arena and his dad hated it. He thanks his dad for not disowning him. That was his dream. He got his driver’s license and a $300 Ford Falcon as well as a mother who knew what her baby’s dream was going to be. She gave him a list from the school that Bruno’s kids went to and it had his address.

Larry would drive by his house but there was a row of hedges in his back yard. He drove by and one day, he drove by the side street and he saw Bruno through the hedges standing by the pool in his tights getting a sun tan. He stopped the car, got out and it felt like the hand of destiny pushing him in the back as he crawled through a row of hedges. He got through the hedges and Bruno looked at him he wonders how Bruno kept a straight face.

He introduced himself to Bruno and he told him he was his hero and his dream was to be a professional wrestler. Larry says he doesn’t need to go over history again and again because we know what happened.

He says Bruno started him out on a career that was indescribable at a time when it was unbelievable. He would go down the road with people like Captain Lou Albano, Andre the Giant, the Valliants, and many more.

He wonders why would Bruno have taken him under his wing instead of escorting him out of his backyard.

Larry says after all of these years of having a reputation for having a big mouth . . . Larry says it is hard to explain what happens to a man’s dream when it got frustrating some times. For Bruno to get in the ring with him when it was difficult for him. When Bruno did not throw him out of his backyard, it was meant to be.

Larry says after spending the afternoon with Bruno, he knew his dream was going to happen come hell or high water. It came true. It was great traveling on the road and selling out arenas. Then came the hell in the high water. Destiny took a hold of him and it threw him around like a leaf in the wind. He drove everyone around him crazy. When he was ready to explode and be a pro, Bruno broke his neck. It shocked the wrestling world and he hung up the boots and he started with the color commentary.

The old school wasn’t ready to go out yet. With everything he was taught, something wasn’t complete. The old school era wasn’t ready to end so off they went.

He says coming up with a speech ain’t working so he is going to say it like it is.

Larry responds to the crowd’s chant and he says that even though he has matured with age, those who learn the hard way become the wisest. They become overflowing cauldrons of wisdom. Even with wisdom and a big mouth, he cannot put the words together to thank Bruno for what he did to him. For a man of such honor and humility, he probably doesn’t want to hear it.

Larry thanks Bruno for making a young boy’s dream come true when you didn’t have to do it.

There was another man back then he drove crazy. He wants to send an e-mail to the big office in the sky to Vince McMahon Sr. Even though he drove the man nuts, he believed in the dream and he rented Shea Stadium any way and the Old School era rocked the world and it led to a new world of National Television and pay per view.

Larry says 47 years ago he found himself a rabbit hole in the middle of a giant row of hedges and he jumped right in and Bruno was standing there. Opening the door to a Wrestling Wonderland. A few minutes ago, he walked out the other end of that rabbit hole and Bruno was standing there to finally let him out.

Now he is standing here wearing the same ring as his hero. This is a perfect ending to an outrageous dream that he had. Now that this dream is over, he gets to go home and become what he was once again. He gets to become one of the biggest wrestling fans alive. He says that he is hooked and he is going to come home after a hard day of golf in his massaging recliner, he is going to cheer on a new generation that is clinging on for dear life to a colossal new global era that is exploding before his eyes. Larry says he is proud to be part of this history. Now he gets to go home and become a wrestling fan.

There is something he has been wanting to say about wrestling fans for a long time. Without each other to share the power of our imaginations, there would be no dreams at all. He wants this logged forever in cyberspace and archived by every government agency. He has felt the love of standing in the ring with millions of people chanting his name. Mean Gene Okerlund introducing him as Wrestling’s Living Legend, he got to be like his hero.

Larry says he has felt the wrath of fighting out of riots night after night. Bottles crashing around him. He got to his car to avoid fires. He had a cab turned over in Boston. He was shot in Albany, New York. He was stabbed in the ass by the greatest fans of them all. He says the WWE Universe is what’s awesome. He says that he hopes all of your dreams come true too.

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