This past weekend was the Professional Wrestling Hall ofFame (PWHF) Induction weekend. As many of my readers know I volunteered at the PWHF when it was in Amsterdam, NY. The agreement done to move to Texas was done in stealth with back door dealings worthy of Machiavelli himself; you can read more about it from the link listed below.
When the PWHF was located in Amsterdam, NY it prided itself as being a completely non-for-profit organization. Although, it did sell advertising space in the annual induction weekend program, it still resisted corporate sponsorship. The other main objective at the PWHF was to make it family friendly and assessable to the public.
Now, the Texas PWHF is proudly displaying sponsors over their website, including Budweiser and the Wichita Falls Chamber of Commerce, which are displayed on their website. Furthermore, instead of being free to the public, as it was in Amsterdam (which only had a donation box near the door), the new Texas PWHF charges admission. I wonder how many fans of wrestling, particularly children, are now denied admittance based on their economic situation?
This new PWHF has shown the tendency in promoting Texas wrestling. Whole section of this PWHF is proudly displayed to promote Texas wrestlers such as The Freebirds, the Funks, Stan Hansen, and of course the Von Erich family. For those who are unaware of the Von Erich’s, if consisted of the patriarch Fritz Von Erich and his 5 sons. Of the 5 sons, 4 of them died of drug overdoses or committed suicide.
This may also be a disturbing fact of being located in Texas; when the PWHF was in Amsterdam, NY, its board of directors consisted of people from all over the country. This new PWHF has proudly announced on their website; “The TX based President and Board of Directors will be listed soon!” Of the current people listed as members of the Board of Directors, all are from Texas. Having everyone from Texas might mean it is no longer an organization dedicated to promoting wrestling from around the world, but may be more biased toward wrestling in Texas.
Another fact I found troublesome was how the Texas PWHF forwards information to the fans. Two of the 2016 inductees, Sgt. Slaughter and Steve Austin are perhaps the most popular of modern wrestling and probably would attract the bigger audience for the hall. Sgt. Slaughter was signed to do a different appearance over a year ago, and Steve Austin was also not going to appear. It was on May 19 (remember the induction weekend was May 20 and 21) that the PWHF on Facebook informed the public that these 2 stars would not be at the hall of fame. I wonder how many people had made plans to go to the PWHF to see these superstars and were then disappointed at the last minute to find out that they were not attending.
I do believe the old PWHF maintained more items then it was necessary to. This was to ensure that memorabilia and artifacts were stored for future generations. These artifacts included posters some of which were from the very first PWHF induction weekend and autographed by the wrestlers who attended (many of these wrestlers have since passed away). The Texas PWHF has announced it is going to sell these artifacts.
So let us summarize. The New Texas PWHF has corporate sponsors, charges admission, and displays a bias to promote Texas wrestling, and are selling historical artifacts, but, according to them this is an improvement.
If you want, below is my post about how the deal was done to move the Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame from Amsterdam, NY to Wichita Falls, Texas, see this previous blog.
Reminder: There are only DAYS LEFT to get “Legend of the Mystic Knights”. My publisher is going out of business, so at the end of the month, this novel may no longer be available.