The Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame

By Jessica Pasko

Andre the GiantProfessional wrestling has a hall of fame? Sure, why not? But guess where it is: Amsterdam, NY. Yes, just thirty short miles from The National Museum of Dance in Saratoga Springs (ah the artistic diversity of the Capital Region) you can find tributes to pro-wrestling faves from Gorgeous George to Rowdy Roddy Piper.

Actually, the hall started out in Schenectady back in 1999, when wrestling fan and NY State athletics commission inspector Tony Vellano was monitoring professional wrestling matches. Some of the pros he met told him there was no hall of fame to honor great wrestlers. So Vellano took it upon himself to find a way to pay tribute to the some of the heroes of the square ring. He wanted to honor those who advanced the sport in terms of both athletics and entertainment. By May of 2002 the first class of inductees had been selected.

Inductees to the PWHF are selected from several wrestling categories including television era, pioneer era, modern era, female, midget, international and non-participant. In addition, each year the hall presents The Hugh Farley Award. Yes, state Senator Hugh Farley. No, he didn't wrestle. At least not professionally. Not that we know of. But he helped to establish the Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame. The award named for him honors those who have distinguished themselves inside and outside the ring.

The latest class of inductees was admitted to the PWHF just last week. They include WWE wrestler Brett Hart, former world heavyweight champion Gene Kiniski and pioneering female wrestler Betty Nicolli. Previous inductees include Andre the Giant, George "The Animal" Steele Hulk Hogan and Killer Kowalski.

Right now the PWHF includes tributes to the inductees, and it's only open on weekends. But plans are in the works to turn the hall into a full fledged wrestling museum complete with memorabilia, records and other "artifacts." (We can only hope for a metal folding chair exhibit.)

The Pro Wrestling Hall of Fame is open only on weekends, Saturdays10-4 and Sundays Noon-4.

photo: Pro Wrestling Hall of Fame

Find It

The Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame
30 East Main Street
Amsterdam , NY 12010

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