The National Wrestling Hall of Fame Dan Gable Museum issued the following announcement on Tuesday:
Ric Flair, Matt Hughes, and Edge headline 2013 Hall of Fame Class
WATERLOO, Iowa—The National Wrestling Hall of Fame Dan Gable Museum has finalized the Class of 2013 for the George Tragos/Lou Thesz Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame. This will be the 15th class inducted into the Hall of Fame.
The George Tragos/Lou Thesz Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame weekend will take place July 12-13 in Waterloo, Iowa.
Ric Flair, “Cowboy” Bill Watts, and Chris Taylor (posthumously) were chosen by the selection committee to enter the Hall of Fame. Criteria for induction into the George Tragos/Lou Thesz Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame include substantial impact on professional wrestling, general respect within the profession, and a strong amateur wrestling background. The selection committee includes all living hall of fame members as well as a select group of wrestling historians.
A special committee also selects four award winners to enter the Hall of Fame. This year’s award winners include Edge (Adam Copeland), Jim Brunzell, Matt Hughes, and George Napolitano.
“This is a special class of inductees,” said Gerry Brisco, a member of the Tragos/Thesz Hall of Fame and a member of the special selection committee. “Each person being inducted has taken the profession to new heights. I look forward to being back in Waterloo, Iowa, for this year’s Hall of Fame weekend.”
Adam Copeland will receive the Lou Thesz Award, which is given to an individual in wrestling who has taken the skills of the profession into the realm of public service. Copeland (known as Edge) held 31 championships in the WWE, including 11 world championships. He is also one of three wrestlers who have held every currently active male championship in the WWE.
Jim Brunzell will receive the Frank Gotch Award for bringing positive recognition to professional wrestling through work outside the ring. The former AWA star was part of the “High Flyers,” a tag team that included Greg Gagne. Brunzell also had a very successful run in the WWE as one half of the Killer Bees tag team with Brian Blair.
Diamond Dallas Page will receive the Frank Gotch Award in 2014.
Matt Hughes will receive the George Tragos Award, given to an exceptionally competitive wrestler who adapted his wrestling skills and competitive nature to excel in Mixed Martial Arts. Hughes is a nine-time World Welterweight Champion of the UFC, with a 45-9 career record. He was also a two-time Division I wrestling All-American for Eastern Illinois in the 158 pound weight class.
The Jim Melby Award recognizes excellence in professional wrestling journalism. George Napolitano, this year’s recipient, specialized in professional wrestling photography. He has authored several pictorial books, including “Hot Shots and High Spots”, “Wrestling Heroes and Villains”, “This is Wrestling!”, and “The Pictorial History of Wrestling: The Good the Bad and the Ugly” (with Bert Randolph Sugar).
The National Wrestling Hall of Fame Dan Gable Museum is selling 50 all-access passes to the George Tragos Lou Thesz/Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame weekend in advance of the event for $100 each. The all-access pass includes:
--Ticket to the talent evaluation seminar led by Hall of Famer Gerry Brisco.
--General admission ticket to Saturday’s autograph signing at the National Wrestling Hall of Fame Dan Gable Museum.
--Special closed door reception with several members of the George Tragos/Lou Thesz Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame.
--Ticket to the Hall of Fame induction banquet featuring acceptance speeches from the 2013 induction class.
--Copy of the 2013 George Tragos/Lou Thesz Hall of Fame DVD.
All-access passes will ship on April 1.