While WWE‘s Hall of Fame may be the most famous, it is still a virtual thing and receives criticism for some inductions while other more famous and historically-significant people are still absent. Like the WWE one, the Wrestling Observer Hall of Fame is also virtual but has a much stricter entry criteria.
However, there is just one real-life version that fans can actually visit. Based in Amsterdam, NY, the Pro Wrestling Hall of Fame has records, memorabilia and artifacts related to professional wrestling. In addition, it has great wrestlers of yesteryear working within and has female representation in last year’s inductee Joyce Grable. Another wrestler on the Distinguished Selection Committee is Paul “Butcher” Vachon , and this year’s female inductee will be someone he’ll be delighted to see recognised – after all, it’s his sister.
Vivian Vachon was just 40 when she and her 9-year old daughter Julie was tragically killed in a car crash in 1991. A drunk driver ran a stop sign at twice the speed limit in St Jean, Quebec, Canada, killing them both. It was a sad end for a woman who was perceived to be one of the best female wrestlers of her generation.
The final of 13 children, Diane Vachon was born on January 23, 1951 and was raised on a farm in Montreal before learning to wrestle after being encouraged to do so by her brother Maurice by travelling to the US to receive tutoring from the Fabulous Moolah. Standing 5’4″, weighing 160lb and possessing great strength, Vachon wrestled across North America and Japan, and was the featured star in the movie Wrestling Queen at just 22. She was the main image on the posters even though it featured other great names of the era like Killer Kowalski, Andre the Giant, Ivan Putski, Blackjack Mulligan, Dick Murdoch, Baron Von Raschke and Grizzly Smith, and also held the American Wrestling Association‘s World Women’s Championship from November 1971 to August 1973.
The Pro Wrestling Hall of Fame’s Class of 2015 will have a Canadian flavour to it. As well as Vachon, fellow Quebec resident and AWA World Titleholder Rick Martel will be inducted alongside Whipper Billy Watson and Fabulous Freebird Buddy Roberts. Also going in at the ceremony next may will be the Roberts’ fellow Freebirds Michael Hayes and Terry Gordy as well as other such as WWE’s first triple crown winner Pedro Morales and former WWE Intercontinental Champion and AWA World Champ Curt Hennig.