Wrestling Inc.’s Andy Malnoske recently spoke with International Pro Wrestling Hall of Fame President Seth Turner for The Wrestling Inc. Daily podcast. The IPWHF is set to induct their first class that includes Terry Funk. Turner explained the process behind Manny Fernandez sending Funk his HOF ring.
“We had to deliver the hall of fame ring to Terry Funk, who, of course, can’t be there with us because it’s not safe for him to be traveling in this environment, but Terry is someone who I speak to very regularly,” Turner noted. “This concept started a year ago from when the first ballot committee put together the collection. Imagine five people have to come to a consensus on a full ballot. That’s not easy to do. That ballot gets sent out to some 50 wrestlers, and historians and writers, then there’s a process whereby you have to then go through and tally up the votes and determine who’s going to win.
“Around November, we learned one of those would be Terry Funk. How do we contact Terry Funk? Can he come? How’s this going to work? We don’t have rings. What are the rings gonna look like? Let’s get a hold of three different companies. Let’s make sure we have parity. We understand what we’re looking at. Let’s design them. How much are they going to cost? Wait, we don’t have any money to do this, volunteer.
“Sell t-shirts online and then you make a profit of $6 or $7 from each t-shirt you might sell, and if you get enough of them, then okay, well, let’s, order these rings. There’s a group of us that at one point, when so many things are going crazy, we’ve learned one thing from college, it’s how to throw a party. Let’s just throw a party. We just put the circle on the calendar. End of August 2021, let’s go throw one hell of a party in Albany, New York and go from there, that we can do. And then everything else is falling into place along the way.”
Funk was recently diagnosed with dementia, but according to close friends, he is not in as bad as condition as thought of. Turner also spoke on an item he received from a WWE Hall of Famer related to an iconic rivalry.
“I will say that I personally obtained something from Jerry ‘The King’ Lawler that will be part of that award recognition,” Turner revealed. “Imagine that, we’re now part of that chapter in not just professional wrestling history but popular culture, not to put ourselves anywhere near what Jerry and Andy [Kaufman] did. We’re gonna be doing something pretty cool.”
Turner then discussed what the most fulfilling parts of this process has been. Turner noted the amount of people it took to put this all together.
“The communication with all of these individual people that goes on constantly,” Turner stated. “There’s a guy, Greg Wachtel, who’s the one who’s getting things printed, getting the 8 x 10s set up and ready to go and the posters lined up, and then you’ve got Mike Falvo, who’s running our social media, and he’s a ring announcer and he’s going to be also making sure things run smoothly at the event.
“A guy you’ll never even know or hear about, Kenny Crowley, who just takes care of the event itself. No one will ever meet this person. That’s how good of a job he does. I’m going to leave people out. There’s Matt Davis, who is putting together these video packages that are surreal. They have not been used for anything. Bill Apter who is on fire with everything. I want to thank Pam. I’ll leave her last name out of this. JJ Dillon and his support group, let’s just leave it at that. You’re also getting input.
“When I had this wrestling show canceled, I’m on the phone with Terry Funk having a conversation with this hall of famer, who is giving me advice about how to handle it, and it’s good advice. Everybody else is working so hard, and so you can’t let them down. It drives you to work that much harder. Also, I can’t leave without speaking about my wife, my beautiful wife, Laura Turner, who I could not be doing this without either and who has to sit there as I have to put in the time. Let’s not forget, behind all of this, there’s those who support us, and for me, it’s my wife.”
For more information on the International Pro Wrestling Hall Of Fame please visit ProWrestlingHall.org
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