The state of Texas has given wrestling superstar after superstar, though none of them could have been a better brawler than Stan “The Lariat” Hansen. Nobody played the part of a deranged cowboy better than he did either.
Hansen first gained notoriety when he accidentally broke the neck of Bruno Sammartino though it was not in the United States where the crazed Texan reached legendary status. Hansen became on of the first true super heavyweight stars in Japan and became one of the biggest attractions there. Despite his proficiency as a brawler, Hansen was still capable of delivering five star matches with ease. Had Hansen performed the bulk of his career in the United States he might be a shoe in, but it is likely that someone who sought his fortune in Japan would not seek this accolade anyway.
The Bullet Points:
Key Championships Held:
All Japan Triple Crown Heavyweight (4)
All Japan Unified World Tag (8) (3w/Genichru Tenyru, 2w/Terry Gordy, 1w/Danny Spivey, 1w/Ted DiBiase, 1w/Gary Albright)
AWA World Heavyweight
CWA International Heavyweight
NWA Georgia Heavyweight (2)
NWA Georgia Tag Team (3) (2w/Tommy Rich, 1w/Ole Anderson)
NWA Mid Atlantic Tag Team w/Ole Anderson
NWA International Tag Team w/Ron Bass
NWA United National Heavyweight
PWF World Heavyweight (4)
PWF World Tag Team (4) (2w/Ted DiBiase, 1w/Austin Idol, 1w/Bruiser Brody)
World’s Strongest Tag Team League Winner (4) (1w/Bruiser Brody, 1w/Ted DiBiase, 1w/Terry Gordy, 1w/Genichru Tenyru)
Why He Will Get In:
He was among the best brawlers of all time.
Why He Won’t Get In:
His greatest successes happened in Japan.
Five Greatest Matches/Moments: (In Chronological Order)
1. Inadvertently broke the neck of then WWWF World Champion Bruno
Sammartino but became a star in the process (4/26/76)
2. Five Star Match with Bruiser Brody against the Funk Brothers
3. Won the AWA World Heavyweight Title from Rick Martel (12/28/85)
4. Won the AJPW Triple Crown Title for the first of four times (6/8/90)
5. Five Star Match against Kenta Kobashi (7/29/93)