The National Wrestling Hall of Fame issued the following release, announcing Paul Orndorff and Dusty Rhodes will enter the George Tragos/Lou Thesz Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame at the 2017 induction ceremony in Waterloo, Iowa:
WATERLOO, Iowa—Two of professional wrestling’s most memorable figures will be inducted into the George Tragos/Lou Thesz Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame. Paul Orndorff and Dusty Rhodes will be inducted into the 2017 George Tragos/Lou Thesz Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame induction weekend on July 20-22.
“The Tragos/Thesz Hall of Fame weekend continues to build every year,” said Gerry Brisco, 2005 inductee and president of the selection committee. “I’m excited that Paul and Dusty will be recognized for their significant achievements in professional wrestling. This is a huge honor for both.”
Paul Orndorff made his wrestling debut in 1976 with stints in Continental Wrestling Association, Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling, Southeastern Championship Wrestling, Georgia Championship Wrestling, Mid-South Wrestling, and New Japan Pro Wrestling. “Mr. Wonderful” Paul Orndorff made his WWE debut in 1984 and participated in the original Wrestlemania main event against Hulk Hogan and Mr. T. Following his stint in the WWE, he competed in WCW and Smoky Mountain Wresting. Orndorff was also a football standout at the University of Tampa before a one-year stint in the World Football League.
Dusty Rhodes made his professional wrestling debut in 1967. During the 1970s, he competed in the AWA, WWF, and throughout the NWA territories, where he was a three-time NWA champion. Known as “The American Dream,” Rhodes left the NWA in 1990, and returned to the WWE with rivalries with Big Boss Man, “Macho Man” Randy Savage, and “Million Dollar Man” Ted DiBiase. After winding down his in-ring career, Rhodes was involved behind the scenes with NXT, where he helped train a new generation of competitors. Rhodes played football for West Texas State and in the Continental Football League. He passed away on June 11, 2015.
The National Wrestling Hall of Fame Dan Gable Museum will release winners of the Lou Thesz World Heavyweight Championship Award, Frank Gotch Award, George Tragos Award, and Jim Melby Award in 2017.
Distinguished guests confirmed to appear include Gerry Brisco, Jim Ross, JJ Dillon, Brian Blair, Jim Brunzell, Larry Hennig, Baron Von Raschke, Wade Keller, William Murdock, Rob Schamberger, Matt Riddle, and Charlie Thesz.
A new event for 2017 will be the Hall of Fame Classic presented by Impact Pro Wrestling. This one-day tournament takes place on Friday, July 21 in addition to the evening professional wrestling show.
The tournament is an invitational featuring eight of the best wrestlers in the world. The first participant announced is former UFC fighter Matt Riddle. The other seven participants will be announced as they are confirmed.
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All-Access Passes are available for a reduced price of $100 through December 31, 2016.
January 1, 2017, through May 31, 2017, passes will be $115.
After May 31, 2017, All-Access Passes will be $130.
They can be pre-ordered by contacting the Dan Gable Museum at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling (319) 233-0745.
All-Access Passes allow attendees an opportunity to attend all weekend events, including a ticket to the Hall of Fame Banquet, a front row seat to the Impact Pro Wrestling show (while available), and preferred access at the autograph signing.
There are also events that are limited to All-Access Pass Holders and distinguished guests.
George Tragos/Lou Thesz Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame Induction Weekend Schedule (additional details available in Spring 2017)
Thursday, July 20
5:30 p.m. – Social at the National Wrestling Hall of Fame Dan Gable Museum for HOF Inductees and All-Access Pass Holders. Includes food and beverage. (All-access pass holders and distinguished guests only).
9:30 p.m.: Open mic and pro wrestling trivia.
Friday, July 21
9 a.m. – National Wrestling Hall of Fame Dan Gable Museum opens.
10 a.m. – Documentary plays in the theater at the National Wrestling Hall of Fame Dan Gable Museum.
11:30 a.m. – Pro Wrestling Evaluation with at Five Sullivan Brothers Convention Center. Open to All-Access Pass Holders ($10 Admission for non-Pass Holders).
1 p.m. – Hall of Fame Classic. Eight-person Tournament with the first round held at Five Sullivan Brothers Convention Center with finals held at IPW show in the evening. ($10 Admission for non-Pass Holders).
2:30 p.m. – Live podcast. Open to All-Access Pass Holders and distinguished guests ($20 Admission for non-Pass Holders).
6 p.m. – Doors open to the Impact Pro Wrestling show at Five Sullivan Brothers Convention Center.
7 p.m. – Impact Pro Wrestling show starts at Five Sullivan Brothers Convention Center. Front row ticket included for All-Access Pass Holders (Tickets are $25 for Ringside and $15 for General Admission for non-Pass Holders)
9:30 p.m. – After Party for All-Access Pass Holders and distinguished guests.
Saturday, July 22
10 a.m. – Doors open at the National Wrestling Hall of Fame Dan Gable Museum for All-Access Pass Holders.
10:30 a.m. – Open forum on independent professional wrestling.
Noon – Doors open at the National Wrestling Hall of Fame Dan Gable Museum to general public ($10 Admission for non-Pass Holders).
12:30 p.m. – Salute to the Legacy of the Hennig Family at the National Wrestling Hall of Fame Dan Gable Museum.
2 p.m. – Autograph signing with professional wrestling legends at the National Wrestling Hall of Fame Dan Gable Museum. All-Access Pass Holders allowed to enter first. $20 Admission for non-Pass Holders required (individual signers will charge).
5 p.m. – Hall of Fame Reception at Five Sullivan Brothers Convention Center.
6 p.m. – Induction Banquet at Five Sullivan Brothers Convention Center.
7 p.m. – Induction Ceremony at Five Sullivan Brothers Convention Center. All-Access Pass includes banquet ticket. Banquet Tickets are $60 per ticket for non-Pass Holders.