As reported by SLAM! Sports writer Greg Oliver, IPWHF President Seth Turner and VP Tony Vellano discuss their work and vision for the new International Pro Wrestling Hall of Fame.
SLAM! Sports writes:
Seth Turner is the president of the IPWHF. A long-time wrestling fan, with 20 years in school administration in New York State as his profession, Turner met with Vellano back in July. Vellano shared an idea he had, inspired by Bradley Craig and his Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame for Scotland, for an entity that would celebrate the international breadth of the sport.
Turner was intrigued. "I walked away from that meeting motivated, and didn't know the first thing about how to even fill out the paperwork," Turner told SLAM! Wrestling. "It took several months of just compiling a wealth of paperwork. You needed to have the charter documents, an ethics policy, policies on how you would maintain collections. There was reams and reams of paperwork that needed to get put together. But that's what I did through July and August, and in early September we finally mailed in the packet of information, and went from there."
IPWHF may be a new entity, but VP Tony Vellano brings decades of experience to the table, including his work as founder of the original Wrestling Hall of Fame in 1999.
Vellano can't help but be nostalgic for the Pro Wrestling Hall of Fame, which opened its doors in 2000 in Schenectady, New York, and later in Amsterdam, New York; it moved to Wichita Falls, Texas in 2016. He's on board with the IPWHF as vice-president. "I'm going to try to copy the playbook I used," said Vellano, now retired from the family business, Vellano Bros. Inc., which primarily deals with waterworks construction. "I have nothing. I have a charter and I got it today. It's kind of funny because December 17 of '99 was when I got the other charter and it's the 10th today that I get the charter, so it's almost 20 years to the day."
Both Turner and Vellano miss the fun and camaraderie of wrestling fans gathering for induction weekends in upstate New York. There were fundraising dinners from New York City to Toronto for the old PWHF.
IPWHF President Seth Turner discusses his vision for the new Hall of Fame establishment.
"We want to really highlight the international aspect," said Turner, noting the different wrestling around the world, from Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom, South America, and in the United States.
"These things need to get highlighted and I think we also need to embrace the diversity which has really been around professional wrestling for a long time, regardless of race, colour, creed, religion, gender, or sexual orientation, you're welcome in that community, and I think we want to have a Hall of Fame that really promotes that," said Turner.
Read the entire SLAM! Sports article here.