SLAM! Sports SLAM! Wrestling
   Fri, June 27, 2008



News & Rumours
Bios
Obits
Canadian Hall of Fame
WrestleMania 30
WrestleMania 30 photos
Video
Movie Database
Minority Mat Report
Columnists
Features
Results Archive
PPV Reviews
SLAM! Wrestling store
On Facebook
On Twitter
Send Feedback




Photo Galleries

Raw in Chicago


Titans in Toronto VI


WWE Night of Champions


Legends of the Ring fan fest


Heroes & Legends IV fan fest


NXT Takeover: Fatal 4 Way


ROH All Star Extravaganza VI







SCOREBOARD
PHOTO GALLERY
VIDEO GALLERY
COMMENT





Flood damage at Iowa HOF makes an impression
By GREG OLIVER - Producer, SLAM! Wrestling


The George Tragos/Lou Thesz Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame portion of the museum. Photos by Greg Oliver




WATERLOO -- It's one thing to read about the flood damage to the Dan Gable International Wrestling Institute and Museum, but it's another thing altogether to witness it -- and to smell it.

With the museum's 10th annual "Super Weekend" under way in Waterloo, Iowa, fans -- and writers -- were allowed to wander through what once was a terrific exhibition of wrestling through the centuries.

The mustiness and the wet is impossible to describe; it must be smelled. Despite a dozen fans going, the muggy air outside made its way in, mixing with the stale air inside, a sad tonic of mildew, mold and broken dreams. [See the photo gallery of the flood damage]

According to museum staff, the cleanup cost -- ripping out damaged walls, furniture, carpet, gift shop merchandise -- rang in at $60,000. And the museum was hardly the only place to suffer in Iowa. Others lost their homes as the various rivers across the state overflowed following torrential rainfall a few weeks back.

Museum staff believe that storm sewer backup is more to blame for the flooding at their location than the nearby Cedar River; buildings a block away barely got water in their basement, and others were destroyed.

An estimate Thursday pegged the repair cost to get the museum back up to what it was at around $250,000, which includes drywalling, a new furnace, and other parts of the building. That doesn't include the replacement of display cases, merchandise or, perhaps most tragically, the priceless memorabilia and collectibles.

The induction ceremonies this weekend for the George Tragos/Lou Thesz Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame are traditionally the biggest fundraiser of the year for the museum, and are going ahead this weekend in a slightly modified format.

The six inductees this year are Roddy Piper, Abe Jacobs, Masa Saito, Leo Nomellini, Ray Gunkel, and Stu Hart. Piper, Jacobs, and Saito are attending and Bret Hart, Class of 2006, is accepting his fatherís award. The daughter of Ray Gunkel is also planning to attend.

In addition, Wendi Weaver, the daughter of Penny Banner, will accept the Frank Gotch Award on behalf of her mother who passed away last month. Also being honored are Father Jason Sanderson, with the Lou Thesz Award and writers Greg Oliver and Steven Johnson with the Jim Melby Award.

The museum is soliciting donations to help in its recovery. Details for donating can be found at www.wrestlingmuseum.org.



RELATED LINKS

  • Photo gallery of the induction ceremonies
  • Photo gallery of the flood damage
  • June 14, 2008: Iowa wrestling museum flooded
  • George Tragos/Lou Thesz Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame story archive
  • Dan Gable International Wrestling Institute and Museum website