WWE rumors are circulating around Stan Hansen after Monday Night Raw. Management finally made the announcement that the former AWA World Heavyweight Championship is going to be inducted into the World Wrestling Entertainment Hall of Fame during Wrestlemania 32 weekend in Dallas, Texas, next month, according to WWE.com. While he certainly has the resume to be honored, the belief is that Hansen is being inducted because of marketing reasons. Hansen is being used to lure in fans from Japan to the WWE Network.
Growing up, Stan Hansen wanted to play in the NFL. He worked his way on to the football team with the West Texas State Buffaloes, now known as West Texas A&M University. Hansen never made it to the National Football League. Fortunately for him, he played college football within a hop, skip, and jump away from one of the hottest wrestling territories in Amarillo. The area was ruled by Terry Funk and Dory Funk Jr.
Early on in his career, Stan Hansen formed a tag team with a man named Frank Goodish. Little did they know at the time, but they would become one of the most feared and legendary tag teams in the history of professional wrestling. For those that don’t know, Goodish became an international sensation known as Bruiser Brody. Their rough-and-tough style would pave the way for the Road Warriors to dominate the industry.
Stan Hansen wasn’t always the easiest guys to work with. There are at least a dozen wrestling promoters who would gladly share you some of the horror stories that took place during negotiations. Those issues would lead Hansen to stray from the United States for periods of time to work in Japan. The move worked out really well for Hansen because he became a star in that country.
There were a couple of reasons why Stan Hansen became a star in Japan. For starters, he played a character of a loudmouth cowboy who wanted to fight everyone. That fascinated them because many viewed the state of Texas as actually being filled with those types of people. The strong style suited what fans in Japan were accustomed to seeing from native wrestlers. Hansen fit right in when it came to wrestling style because he could take the punishment and dish it as well.
In an interesting side note, Stan Hansen has a very interesting secret as to why he was such a vicious wrestler in the ring. The 66-year-old Texan has long stated that his clotheslines, kicks, and punches were extra stiff because his eyesight was incredibly poor. He simply could not see the person in the ring with him that well, so it was hard to gauge his strikes.
It’s no secret that Vince McMahon puts a lot of emphasis on the WWE Network. With the online video subscription service making its way to Japan not too long ago, it was obvious that the company was going to be putting a lot of their marketing efforts into increasing the number of subscribers from that country. It was a big reason why Tatsumi Fujinami was inducted by WWE in 2015. It’s now the reason why Stan Hansen is being inducted.
Even without the induction into the WWE Hall of Fame, Stan Hansen is a legendary performer. He’s already viewed as a hall of fame wrestler by those outside the company. It’s just nice to see that World Wrestling Entertainment has finally decided to honor an outlaw, one who helped changed the face of the industry decades ago. The best part is that he gets to do it in the state where he roamed for years.
[Image via WWE]