I am a Business Analyst, and a professional wrestler. This blog is about my journey into writing and being a new author. I also include topics such as my acting career and everyday living. If you have any comments, please leave one.
Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame could it get any worse? It did
This time of year the Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame
(PWHF) would present its lists for the 2018 inductees.This list has become trivial and
inconsequential, since the PWHF has moved to Wichita Falls, TX, and now has
become nothing but a shell of its former self.As being involved in professional wrestling, these are my personal views
on resent events which is occurring with the PWHF.
Let us reexamine what occurred over the last several years
with this so-called PWHF.As many of my
readers know, this was created in New York State (with taxpayer funds from the state) and was housed in Amsterdam,
NY.To ensure its security there was
established a building fund, which many people donated to.They donated to this fund because they were
told by, then president of the PWHF, Tony Vellano, it would be used to maintain
the building and expand the hall located in Amsterdam.
Wrestlers, and fans alike, all donated items and memorabilia to the PWHF, thinking
they could return to Amsterdam and see their items on display.Other organizations, not normally affiliated
with wrestling such as the “Spindle City Historical Society” also donated items
(on loan to the hall, and the PWHF never called them to retrieve their items).Read more about this situation on this
This all came crashing down, when Tony Vellano made a clandestine deal
to ship the PWHF to Texas, without informing anyone about it.This deal was done behind locked back rooms,
and people even associated with the hall (such as me and other volunteers),
were left shocked about the new.Within
two weeks of this notification, so that there could be no outrage over the
news, or some legal action to prevent it, Tony Vellano had everything packed
and shipped to Wichita Falls Texas.
The PWHF has morphed completely since its move to
Texas.When in NY, the hall accepted
donations if you wish to view the hall, in Texas they now charged a fee.When in NY, the website tried to be free as
possible of advertisements, to concentrate on what the hall should be, a
promotion for the advancement of professional wrestling.If you now go to the PWHF site, it looks like
a billboard sign, full of advertisements.There are some more examples if you wished to read them on a previous post.
It seems, the PWHF financial obsessions has gone so far,
it now has attracted lawsuits, and the attention of law enforcement.
It is alleged that the PWHF received items, such as air time
on a local station, and food for its Hall of Fame banquet, without paying for
these services.Read the entire article
According to this article, there may have been mismanaged,
if not illegal handling, of the finances of the PWHF. The following is an excerpt from the
complaint filled with local police agencies (from thearticle on the story):
On August 30, 2017 at approximately
8:00 am. a review of the monthly bank statements for the (PWHF) Professional
Wrestling Hall of Fame & Museum was conducted by current and previous board
members. Financial concerns had arisen by board members who had inadvertently
found on August 24th that the account was significantly overdrawn. A review of
(PWHF) bank statements revealed a pattern of a significant amount of expenses
that appeared questionable as many had no previous board approval nor that the board
had any direct knowledge thereof. Some of these expenses were immediately
validated during the review on August 30th as having absolutely no correlation
with the daily operational aspects of the (PWHF) nor its mission as outlined or
specifically defined in its bylaws.
As per this article, the
PWHF has not only mismanaged finances, there may also include acts of
embezzlement.Also, according to that
article, all members from Wichita Falls that belonged to the PWHF board of
directors have resigned their positions.
If these allegations true, I personally am not surprised by
it, because (as I mentioned above) it appears the PWHF main purpose is not to
promote professional wrestling, but to promote those involved in it, including
Another disturbing fact, which I had found is their blatant
promotion of a local wrestling organization.
Wichita Falls Wrestling Academy, appears to prominently
promote that their ring is located above the Professional Wrestling Hall of
Fame.If you look at this advertisements
for tryouts; you will notice, the PWHF is more prominent
than the wrestling group putting on the tryouts.
One of the factors I found interesting in one of the articles, was
the former president of the PWHF, Tony Vellano, the man who basically single
handedly, organized, and conspired the hall’s move from NY to Texas, response
to the situation in this local article.
His response to the recent situation with the hall is particularly interesting: “I like to
call the Hall of Fame my little flower” and also “I thought that moving it to
Texas, where they love professional wrestling, would be a great idea and it
would grow. I guess I was wrong."
Tony Vellano knew what would happen the PWHF. Anyone knows
what happens to a flower if you pull it out from its roots, it will die.Tony Vellano moved it from New York, where he
built his business, where his children went to school, and also where he was
employed as part of the Athletic Commission, and a member of the board
directors for the Boxing Hall of Fame (be careful, he might have plans of
moving that out of NY State too).This
action shows what kind of loyalty he has to his home state, the state that gave
him so many opportunities. If a person does not show loyalty in one aspect, how
can you trust him to show it in others. What every happens to the PWHF, from members
being arrested, to it ultimately failing and closing, Tony Vellano is ultimately responsible
for these actions.
W.A. Rusho is a professional wrestler, author, and historian. You can reach him via his website, or email.
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