On a recent edition of The Wrestling Inc. Daily podcast, Andy Malnoske caught up with International Pro Wrestling Hall of Fame President Seth Turner. Turner had spoke with Wrestling Inc. before on plans for a physical hall of fame, and he spoke on the goal of getting a hall of fame in upstate New York on The Wrestling Inc. Daily.
“You got to have these opportunities to have up-close, interpersonal exchanges with these legends. We missed that when that was no longer in New York State,” Turner said. “Certainly you could go to, potentially, meet and greets and maybe stand in line to get an autograph or something, but that’s not what the hall of fame represented. It was a true museum based on the history of professional wrestling. In New York, a hall of fame is considered a museum, and a museum is an educational institution and that is governed by our New York State Education Department. That’s how we obtained our charter.
“I am familiar with that with 25 plus years of working in schools, over 20 years of being a school administrator. How to charter the waters and turn the valves that got us the appropriate licensure that we could do business, but the goal is the brick and mortar museum. We’ve not left our eyes off the prize with that. We are working on that just as diligently as we are in hosting our event. Nothing that I want to report publicly but we’re working together. There’s a faction of us that worked on that explicitly, and who knows, maybe there’ll be announcement soon. We’ll keep working.”
A physical hall of fame was the goal for the IPWHF in 2020. However, the pandemic halted those plans, and Turner revealed how dire the IPWHF was because of the pandemic.
“There was a point where I thought we were dead in COVID because we were just starting off our fundraisers and then had to cancel, and we had to cancel through PayPal. We were losing 2%, so we had $0, and we were losing 2% of everything we had to refund,” Turner revealed. “We were underwater. COVID was scaring people.
“Then you were part of something that dug us out of a hole, and it kind of happened when I quietly went and obtained a pretty important artifact, obtaining Bruno Sammartino’s original title belt. It had just breathed life back into everything, even when there was controversy. People wanted to contend this. I love it because okay, my friend Darrell Sammartino tells me what it is.”
As Turner reflected on the plans from last year, Malnoske asked Turner what he sees the IPWHF looking like in 5 – 10 years. Turner explained his vision while also looking at the present.
“First and foremost, let’s get our foothold into the one establishment, and we’re in some pretty deep conversations with something that could be significant, but I don’t have anything on hand, so it’s nothing at this point,” Turner noted. “I think the first event that we’re going to hold will be well received, but we’ll also learn how to make it better and how to be more efficient. Now we’ve laid the groundwork, and we know which vendors to go through.
“We’ll have better established connections, and I want for everyone who goes this year to already just be ready to be prepared for next year. In fact, we booked the same weekend for 2022 We’re at the same hotel, but in five years, though, I envision that we’ll be a fully functioning museum, and we’ll be taking advantage of really modern technology so that you can also include VR and hologram technologies, etc. And so you can do more with potentially smaller spaces. By the way, one thing we do have going on is the bronze plaques for each one of our inductees this year.
“It’s a very large group. It’s a who’s who of professional wrestling history. We’re in our infancy so let’s start off with a bang, and let’s put in everyone that no one could really argue their place in history. You’ll see the classes get smaller, and you’ll see the celebrations become more focused on smaller groups of individuals. This year, it’s going to be a big celebration of professional wrestling history and acknowledging those getting inducted. In five years, you’re going to have those inductees as the guest of honor and the entire pyramid of the weekend built around them. That’s how I think it’ll change and adapt and modify.”
For more information on the International Pro Wrestling Hall Of Fame please visit ProWrestlingHall.org
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