Credit to Extra host Maria Menounos—she's a genuine wrestling fan.
She's made several appearances for WWE over the years, even wrestling once or twice. Heck, on those occasions she has gotten in the ring she's proven herself to be a more competent wrestler than a few full-time girls on the roster.
Every time the star participates in a WWE event, her enthusiasm for the company and its product shines through. Many celebrities have simply used the company's high profile for exposure for themselves and their latest project, but not this girl. She truly loves the business.
Of course, this didn't stop her being heavily booed last Sunday by fans at Madison Square Garden when she inducted real-life friend Bob Backlund into the Hall of Fame.
It seems her speech, which strongly put over Backlund, may have gone on a little to long for some people's liking, and many were more than willing to let her know it.
In response, Menounos released an open letter (via PWInsider) with her speech in full, in case some had missed it over the vociferous boos. While she wasn't the only person booed at the event, she did seem to be more frazzled by it than anyone else. HOF inductee Donald Trump, who's no doubt acquired a super-thick skin by now, just took his negative reaction in stride.
Interestingly, in this week's (subscribers-only) Wrestling Observer Newsletter, Dave Meltzer mentions that people in management were positively livid at the negative reaction to Menounos, and felt it made WWE look bad:
Several in the company were upset, particularly since they love any association with somewhat well known celebrities and the idea that it would get out that their fan base is uncouth made it an embarrassment.
Granted, Menounos' speech did go on way too long, but you can see management's point. The Hall of Fame is supposed to a classy, poignant occasion, and booing Menounos did come off as rather crude.
With this in mind, is it time to make the Hall of Fame a private ceremony, not open to fans? Or should inductees, and their inductors, just accept a lively crowd as part and parcel of the whole experience?