The World Championship Wrestling (WCW) Hall of Fame was an American professional wrestling hall of fame maintained by World Championship Wrestling (WCW). It was established in 1993 to honor wrestlers who began their careers long before the 1990s, mostly alumni of the National Wrestling Alliance (NWA) and Jim Crockett Promotions (JCP), the predecessors of WCW. Inductees received commemorative plaques that had their names & portraits inscribed on them. Wrestlers were inducted by Gordon Solie, a senior commentator in professional wrestling, and received their plaque during the "Legends Reunion" segment at WCW's May pay-per-view event, Slamboree. The WCW Hall of Fame was the second hall of fame established to honor professional wrestlers, after the creation of the World Wrestling Federation (WWF) Hall of Fame in February 1993.[1] After the 1995 Hall of Fame ceremony, WCW stopped the production of the Hall of Fame without a formal announcement. In 2001, the WWF acquired all of its assets;[2] this led to the formal stoppage of the WCW Hall of Fame. The WWF, however, stopped producing its Hall of Fame ceremony after 1996. In 2004, World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE), the WWF's successor,[3] reinstated the WWE Hall of Fame, which included inductees that were alumni of WWE, NWA, JCP, and WCW.[a][4]

The first Hall of Fame ceremony was held on May 23, 1993, at Slamboree 1993 at The Omni in Atlanta, Georgia.[5] The first wrestler inducted into the Hall of Fame was Lou Thesz, along with Verne Gagne and Mr. Wrestling II.[5] Eddie Graham was also inducted that year; he was the first posthumous inductee into the Hall of Fame.[5] During the following Hall of Fame ceremony on May 22, 1994, at Slamboree 1994 at Civic Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Harley Race led the Class of 1994.[6] Ole Anderson, The Crusher, posthumous inductee Dick the Bruiser, Ernie Ladd, and Masked Assassin were also inducted that year.[6] The final ceremony was held at Slamboree 1995 on May 25, 1995, in St. Petersburg, Florida at Bayfront Arena, in which Wahoo McDaniel led the Class of 1995.[7] Also inducted that year were posthumous inductee Big John Studd, Terry Funk, Antonio Inoki, Angelo Poffo, Dusty Rhodes, and Gordon Solie.[7] Following the 1995 ceremony, Solie, who both inducted the wrestlers and was an influential figure in the selections, resigned from WCW in protest of Poffo's initiation,[8] feeling that management only inducted an unqualified person into the WCW Hall of Fame as a favor to Poffo's son, and one of the company's top draws, Randy Savage.[8] 1995's ceremony had speeches from the inductons, where as the other two just had plaques being presented to them. The Crusher, Dick the Bruiser, Inoki, Rhodes, Gagne, Race, and Thesz were the only former World Heavyweight Champions to have been inducted. A posthumous inductee was inducted at every ceremony. Solie was the only non-wrestler to have been inducted into the Hall of Fame. Overall, there were 17 inductees.

Inductees

No. Image Year Ring name
(Birth name)[b]
Notes[c][d]
1 1993 Lou Thesz
(Aloysius Thesz)
Won the NWA World Heavyweight Championship (3 times), NWA International Heavyweight Championship (1 time), and NWA Southern Junior Heavyweight Championship (1 time)[9]
2 1993 Verne Gagne
(Laverne Gagne)
Won the AWA World Heavyweight Championship (10 times) and Omaha World Heavyweight Championship (4 times)[10]
3 1993 Mr. Wrestling II
(John Walker)
Won the NWA Georgia Heavyweight Championship (10 times), NWA Mid-America Southern Tag Team Championship (9 times), and NWA Florida Heavyweight Championship (2 times)[11]
4 1993 Eddie Graham
(Edward Gossett)
Posthumous inductee: Won the NWA Florida World Tag Team Championship (7 times) and NWA United States Tag Team Championship (4 times)[12]
5 1994 Harley Race Won the NWA World Heavyweight Championship (8 times), First ever NWA (Mid-Atlantic) United States Champion (which later became the WCW, then WWE U.S. Title)[13]
6 1994 Ernie Ladd
(Ernest Ladd)
Won the NWA Americas Heavyweight Championship (3 times) and NWA Tri-State North American Heavyweight Championship (4 times)[14]
7 1994 The Crusher
(Reginald Lisowski)
Won the AWA World Heavyweight Championship (3 times) and AWA World Tag Team Championship (9 times)[15]
8 1994 Dick the Bruiser
(William Afflis)
Posthumous inductee: Won the WWA World Heavyweight Championship (11 times), WWA World Tag Team Championship (14 times), AWA World Heavyweight Championship (1 time), and NWA Detroit United States Championship (4 times)[16]
9 1994 Ole Anderson
(Alan Rogowski)
Won the AWA Midwest Heavyweight Championship (1 time), NWA Georgia Tag Team Championship (17 times), and the WCW World Tag Team Championship (8 times)[17]
10 1994 Masked Assassin
(Joseph Hamilton)
Won the NWA Central States Heavyweight Championship (1 time), NWA Florida Southern Heavyweight Championship (1 time), and NWA Georgia Tag Team Championship (14 times)[18]
11 1995 Wahoo McDaniel
(Edward McDaniel)
Won the NWA Florida Heavyweight Championship (1 time), NWA Mid-Atlantic Heavyweight Championship (5 times), NWA United States Championship (5 times), WCW World Tag Team Championship (4 times)[19]
12 1995 Dusty Rhodes
(Virgil Runnels, Jr.)
Won the NWA World Heavyweight Championship (3 times), NWA (Mid-Atlantic) U.S. Championship (1 time), WCW World Tag Team Championship (2 times), and NWA World TV Championship (1 time)[20]
13 1995 Antonio Inoki
(Kanji Inoki)
Won the WWF World Martial Arts Heavyweight Championship (2 times) and the NWA International (4 times) and North American (2 times) Tag Team Championships[21]
14 1995 Angelo Poffo Won the NWA Detroit United States Heavyweight Championship (1 time) and WWA World Tag Team Championship (3 times)[22]
15 1995 Terry Funk
(Terrence Funk)
Won the NWA World Heavyweight Championship (1 time), and NWA/WCW United States Championship (2 times)[23]
16 1995 Big John Studd
(John Minton)
Posthumous inductee: Won the WWWF World Tag Team Championship (1 time) and NWA Mid-Atlantic Tag Team Championship (4 times)[24]
17 1995 Gordon Solie
(Francis Labiak)
The only non-wrestler inductee and play-by-play commentator for WCW[25]

Notes

References

Citations

  1. ^ "Andre The Giant's WWE Hall of Fame Profile". World Wrestling Entertainment. Retrieved January 13, 2009.
  2. ^ "WWE Entertainment, Inc. Acquires WCW from Turner Broadcasting". World Wrestling Entertainment Corporate. March 23, 2001. Archived from the original on March 13, 2014. Retrieved January 13, 2009.
  3. ^ "World Wrestling Federation Entertainment Drops The "F" To Emphasize the "E" for Entertainment". World Wrestling Entertainment Corporate. May 6, 2002. Archived from the original on January 19, 2009. Retrieved January 13, 2009.
  4. ^ "WWE Hall of Fame Profile Listings and Official Website". World Wrestling Entertainment. Retrieved January 13, 2009.
  5. ^ a b c "WCW SLAMBOREE: History 1993". World Championship Wrestling. May 23, 1994. Archived from the original on May 11, 2000. Retrieved February 24, 2023.
  6. ^ a b "WCW SLAMBOREE: History 1994". World Championship Wrestling. May 22, 1994. Archived from the original on May 11, 2000. Retrieved February 24, 2023.
  7. ^ a b "WCW SLAMBOREE: History 1995". World Championship Wrestling. May 21, 1995. Archived from the original on May 11, 2000. Retrieved February 24, 2023.
  8. ^ a b "Latest On Randy Savage In WWE Hall of Fame, Former Diva On "Dog Whisperer"". LordsofPain.net. January 12, 2012. Archived from the original on February 22, 2013. Retrieved April 22, 2013.
  9. ^ "Lou Thesz". Professional Wrestling Online Museum. Archived from the original on February 21, 2009. Retrieved January 14, 2009.
  10. ^ "Verne Gagne". Professional Wrestling Online Museum. Archived from the original on February 21, 2009. Retrieved January 14, 2009.
  11. ^ "Mr. Wrestling II". Professional Wrestling Online Museum. Archived from the original on February 12, 2009. Retrieved January 14, 2009.
  12. ^ "Eddie Graham". Professional Wrestling Online Museum. Retrieved January 14, 2009.
  13. ^ "Harley Race". World Wrestling Entertainment. Retrieved January 14, 2009.
  14. ^ "Ernie Ladd". World Wrestling Entertainment. Retrieved January 14, 2009.
  15. ^ "The Crusher". Professional Wrestling Online Museum. Archived from the original on February 21, 2009. Retrieved January 14, 2009.
  16. ^ "Dick the Bruiser". Professional Wrestling Online Museum. Retrieved January 14, 2009.
  17. ^ Anderson, Ole (2003). Inside Out: How Corporate America Destroyed Professional Wrestling. Scott Teal. Crowbar Press. ISBN 0-9745545-0-2.
  18. ^ Hamilton, Joe (2006). Assassin: The Man Behind the Mask. Scott Teal. Crowbar Press. ISBN 0-9745545-3-7.
  19. ^ "Wahoo McDaniel's Biography". Professional Wrestling Online Museum. Archived from the original on February 4, 2009. Retrieved January 14, 2009.
  20. ^ "Dusty Rhodes' Biography". Professional Wrestling Online Museum. Archived from the original on May 29, 2009. Retrieved June 11, 2009.
  21. ^ "Antonio Inoki". Professional Wrestling Online Museum. Archived from the original on September 11, 2007. Retrieved January 14, 2009.
  22. ^ Scheiber, David (December 27, 2001). "A wrestling dynasty". St. Petersburg Times. Retrieved January 14, 2009.
  23. ^ "Terry Funk". Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame and Museum. Archived from the original on February 1, 2009. Retrieved January 14, 2009.
  24. ^ "Big John Studd". World Wrestling Entertainment. Retrieved January 14, 2009.
  25. ^ "Gordon Solie". World Wrestling Entertainment. Retrieved January 14, 2009.
  26. ^ "Classics On Demand: Video Library". World Wrestling Entertainment. Retrieved January 14, 2009.
  27. ^ "The NWA Roll Call of Champions". National Wrestling Alliance. Archived from the original on December 22, 2008. Retrieved January 14, 2009.

General references