Saturday night January 9th at 7pm....Wrestlers, fans, friends, and family from all over the state of Mississippi and beyond will converge on Fulton Mississippi at the National Guard Armory at 7pm to remember, pay respect, and raise money for the family of a great man by the name of Sammy Hall. If there were ever a Mississippi Pro Wrestling Hall of Fame, the first person inducted should be Sammy Hall. In my opinion and I really don't know who could debate me on this, no one has done more for the business of professional wrestling in the state of Mississippi than Sammy Hall. I defy you to name anyone who wrestles from the state of Mississippi in the last 20 years who wasn't somehow helped or influenced by Sammy Hall or one of the many wrestlers he has trained or helped get into the business in the last 20 years or more. As a wrestler, trainer, and State Athletic Commissioner, Sammy has helped countless people achieve their dream of being a professional wrestler. Some good, some bad....but Sammy has served as a "Father figure" for guys/gals across the state who have found there way into the wrestling business with his help and guidance.
|Sammy Hall (photo courtesy of Bonecrusher)|
It's very appropriate that a pro wrestling benefit is being held to help raise funds for Sammy's family as NO ONE has done more benefit shows and taken more cakes and pies to the face to help raise money for families and organizations in need. Despite playing the "bad guy" on the shows, Sammy took great pride in helping people through the business he loved. There's no doubt in anyone's mind that Sammy Hall gave way more to the wrestling business than he ever asked in return. Personally, I'm very grateful for everything that Sammy ever did for me. I know I wouldn't have the opportunity to get in the ring and be part of the business I've loved all my life if it wasn't for Sammy Hall. In 1997, I approached Sammy and asked him to train me to wrestle. I told him I didn't have much money but I would do anything I had to do to be a part of the business. Sammy told me, "This business isn't about money, it's about heart and if your heart is in it and you truly love it....I'll do whatever I can to help you." The next week I started training alongside Chris Kilgore, Josh Holley, Tony Dabbs, and several others that eventually included Neil Taylor, BoJangles, Bubba Holt, and more. Experienced guys like Bad Boy Burns, Joel Gillentine, J.C. Carter, Big Bubba Monroe, and too many more to name took us under the wing and helped teach us the business. After that first day the subject of money never came up again....Sammy trained me to wrestle and gave me my start and never asked me for a dime which in turn made me more than happy to do my part to try to earn my keep helping set up the ring and do whatever was needed to be done to help out with the show. The point is, this is just ONE story of Sammy's kindness and generosity towards someone he didn't know or have to help....and there's literally a hundred or more of these stories of people Sammy has helped out over the years. Sammy and all those guys I worked with in those formative years of my "wrestling career" are just like family to me to this very day....it's never mattered how long we've been apart whenever we all come together it's just like a family reunion. Sammy always gave me a genuine smile and hug every time I saw him over the years up to the last time I saw him.
That being said, tomorrow night will be like a family reunion of sorts when a bunch of us get together for the first time in years and I really wish we were getting together under different circumstances but we will take this opportunity to come together like a big dysfunctional family and honor a man that means the world to all of us. I sincerely hope we pack that place out tomorrow night and raise a lot of money for Sammy's family and show them just how much he meant to all of us....wrestlers and fans alike. Of all the shows I've ever done this one will mean more to me than any of them.....and I'm confident that the rest of my family on the show feels the same. A wrestler who called himself "The War Machine" wrestled his very first match on a show for Sammy Hall in 1997 and I thinks it's appropriate that "The War Machine" will have his last match on a show for Sammy Hall in 2015.
Thank you for everything Sammy, I hope we make you proud!
"The War Machine".......Gene