Superstar Graham Explains HOF Ring Auction, Heat With WWE

Slam! Wrestling’s Brian Elliot has a story on “Superstar” Billy Graham and his problems with WWE, which led him to sell his WWE Hall of Fame ring on ebay. His grievances with WWE include a lack of a physical Hall of Fame:

“It was really the callousness and the coldness of Vince saying that there would never be a real Hall of Fame. That drained the emotion and the pride of having a Hall of Fame ring — which was a beautiful ring — especially when it was so cavalier. It was like the Hall of Fame, with the rings, was simply a spur-of-the-moment thing to Vince, and just a way to generate publicity.”

He’s also not happy about WWE not renewing his contract as an ambassador and the fact that WWE didn’t fly him in to participate in Wrestlemania weekend’s art festival He’s a professional artist and wanted to be involved, but was told by John Laurinitis that they couldn’t fly him out due to budget reasons but did want to use his art.

Graham says he’s disappointed with WWE and Vince for the way he’s been treated, especially given his influence of the likes of Triple H and Hulk Hogan. He also talks about the way he looks at the business and his time in it, which is another reason he was able to part with the ring so easily:

“I have to say, I have never, ever been sentimental about professional wrestling, or anything attached to it or associated with it,”… The actual act of performing and receiving the accolades and the input of genuine emotion from the fans was quite an amazing accomplishment. But for me, there was nothing more to it than that.

He also talks about the difference between working with Vince and his father, and their approach to the business in general:

At one point in my career I remember I was becoming very popular with some fans, and I could have become a babyface very easily, and I suggested to Vince Sr. that at least we should have some t-shirts made up, because fans were making their own, even back in 1977. But he said to me, ‘You know, Billy, I’m just not very interested in merchandise.’ (laughs) That was the quote! He was content just to promote wrestling.”

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