The Minnesota Wrestling Hall of Fame held their inaugural induction event on August 16, 2015. The event was a huge success, inducting Larry “the Axe” Hennig and Verne Gagne. It was a warm and welcoming outdoor event that honored Minnesota’s Wrestling Royalty, Larry Hennig and Verne Gagne.
The day started off with a prayer from Rabbi Jeremy Fine. Board member Randy Bright read the two proclamations, Minnesota Wrestling History Month and the Minnesota Wrestling Hall of Fame Week, from the Governor of Minnesota. Mayor Regan Murphy then declared August 16th as Minnesota Wrestling Hall of Fame day.
Tim McNiff was a wonderful speaker that showed his lifelong love of wrestling. Greg Gagne accepted the award on behalf of his father Verne. The audience loved the Verne stories. Larry Hennig took the stage and accepted his award. One of the highlight was Coach John Grygelko speaking about Larry Hennig and Verne Gagne. Coach Grygelko had the audience intently listening to his philosophy and intensive drive to promote wrestling. A touching, unplanned moment was Larry Hennig’s three Grandsons took the stage. A letter to Grandpa Larry was read. It was lovely and heartfelt.
The induction ceremony was well attended and a huge success. The Minnesota Wrestling Hall of Fame is a 501C3 and is located inside the Robbinsdale History Museum.
Coach Grygelko. Larry Hennig’s wrestling coach and a teammate of Verne Gagne.
From left to right, Randy Bright, Regan Murphy, Larry Hennig, Laszlo Nemesi, Greg Gagne, Carol Castle, Dr. Barb Ault. (The guests of honor, Robbinsdale Mayor Regan Murphy, and the board of directors of the Minnesota Wrestling Hall of Fame).
The Mission statement of the Minnesota Wrestling Hall of Fame is to educate, encourage and motivate our communities to embrace the rich history of amateur and professional wrestling. We will accomplish our mission through online and in person education an presentations, and through recognitions of individual’s contribution to the sport of wrestling and our communities as a whole
Larry Hennig, John Grygelko, Tom Grygelko.
Larry Hennig and great grandsons
Greg Gagne and daughter Gail.
Robbinsdale Mayor, Regan Murphy.
Tim McNiff, keynote speaker
Note: All photos courtesy of the Minnesota Wrestling Hall of Fame