Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame Announces Plans to Relocate to Wichita Falls
Big Blue will soon be the home of the Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame. According to a press release from the Chamber of Commerce:
The Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame (PWHF) announced today plans to relocate the organization's headquarters, hall of fame and museum to Wichita Falls. President of the PWHF, Johnny Mantell made the announcement during a ceremony at the new headquarters, which will be located in the Annex of the First Wichita Building, known locally as Big Blue.
Mantell said, "The Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame honors the men and women in this business around the World! Professional wrestling has strong roots in Wichita Falls and we are proud to bring the Hall of Fame and Museum to Big Blue in downtown Wichita Falls."
Henry Florsheim, president and CEO of the Wichita Falls Chamber of Commerce said, "Wrestling is a huge part of our culture; in fact, the largest crowds our coliseum ever draws are for professional wrestling. This is a huge feather in the cap for Downtown Wichita Falls and the city as a whole, and may well turn in to one of our largest tourism draws."
"We have been negotiating since February and kept it quiet until today." Says Tony Vellano, the man behind the PWHF since its inception. "It was time for the Hall to grow, and I think this is the place," Vellano continued. "I was and am very careful where I wanted to go, and I am comfortable this is it," he said.
Additionally, the PWHF plans to host the 15th annual induction weekend in May 2016 in Wichita Falls. The inductees are as follows:
Pioneer - Earl McCready & Joe Pazandak
Ladies - Leilani Kai
Colleague - Gene Okerlund
International - Peter Maivia
Tag Team - The Blackjacks (Lanza & Mulligan)
Television - Hans Schmidt & Greg Valentine
Modern - Stone Cold Steve Austin & Sgt. Slaughter
Past inductees include such legends as Bruiser Brody, Danny Hodge, Stan Hansen, Wendi Richter, Ric Flair, Andre the Giant and Hulk Hogan. In the past, the event has included a wrestling show, street fair, collectors & memorabilia convention, meet & greet with Hall of Famers and a ticketed induction banquet. For more information on the ceremony, contact Wichita Falls Convention & Visitors Bureau at 1-800-799-6732 or visit www.PWHF.org.
The Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame and Museum is a 501C-3, nonprofit, chartered in December 1999. Presently the PWHF is housed in Amsterdam, NY. PWHF is the only brick and mortar Hall of Fame for Professional Wrestling in the world, displaying memorabilia dating as far back as the Civil War.