The National Wrestling Hall of Fame Dan Gable Museum has finalized the Class of 2014 for the George Tragos/Lou Thesz Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame. This will be the 16th class inducted into the Hall of Fame.
The George Tragos/Lou Thesz Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame weekend will take place July 18-19 in Waterloo, Iowa.
Criteria for induction into the George Tragos/Lou Thesz Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame include substantial impact on professional wrestling, general respect within the profession, and a strong amateur wrestling background. The selection committee includes all living hall of fame members as well as a select group of wrestling historians.
A special committee also selects four award winners to enter the Hall of Fame. This year's award winners include Larry "The Axe" Hennig (Lou Thesz Award), Diamond Dallas Page (Frank Gotch Award), Randy Couture (George Tragos Award), and Larry Matysik (Jim Melby Award).
"This Hall of Fame represents the highest standard in professional wrestling," said Gerry Brisco, a member of the Tragos/Thesz Hall of Fame and head of the special selection committee. "This is a special weekend that continues to grow every year. I am proud of this induction class."
Rick Steiner (Robert Rechsteiner) and Scott Steiner (Scott Rechsteiner) wrestled at the University of Michigan during the 1980s. Robert was a letter winner for the Wolverines in 1981, '83, and '84 while Scott was a letter winner in 1982, '83, '85 and '86. Scott was an All-American for the Wolverines in 1986. The Steiners began competing as a tag team in 1989. They are one of two tag teams to win the WWF World Tag Team Championship, the WCW World Tag Team Championship, and the IWGP Tag Team Championship in professional wrestling history. Scott also held the WCW world heavyweight title.
Wilbur Snyder wrestled from the early 1950s through the early 1980s. Known as one of the best scientific wrestlers in the ring, Snyder won multiple titles during his distinguished career. He had several memorable bouts with the top names in professional wrestling, including Lou Thesz and Verne Gagne. Snyder played football for the Los Angeles Rams prior to playing for the Edmonton Eskimos in the Canadian Football League. He died on December 25, 1991.
Larry Hennig will receive the Lou Thesz Award, which is given to an individual in wrestling who has taken the skills of the profession into the realm of public service. Hennig makes history by becoming the first person to be inducted into the George Tragos/Lou Thesz Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame, and to receive the Lou Thesz Award. Larry's son, Curt, is also a member of the Hall of Fame. Diamond Dallas Page will receive the Frank Gotch Award for bringing positive recognition to professional wrestling through work outside the ring. Page is currently a fitness instructor and an actor. His DDP yoga series has had worldwide appeal, which has led to healthier lifestyles. Page was a popular professional wrestler with WWE, WCW, and TNA. He was a four-time WCW World Heavyweight champion, two-time WCW United States champion, four-time WCW World Tag Team champion, and one-time WCW World Television champion.
Randy Couture will receive the George Tragos Award, given to an exceptionally competitive wrestler who adapted his wrestling skills and competitive nature to excel in Mixed Martial Arts. Couture was a three-time All-American for Oklahoma State, placing second at the NCAA tournament in 1991 and 1992. He was also a member of four U.S. Greco-Roman World Championships teams. Couture remains one of the most popular competitors in Mixed Martial Arts history, ending his career with a 19-11 record.
The Jim Melby Award recognizes excellence in professional wrestling journalism. Larry Matysik, this year's recipient, has written five books published by ECW Press: "Wrestling at the Chase", "Brody", "Drawing Heat the Hard Way", "From the Golden Era: the St. Louis Wrestling Record Book", and "The 50 Greatest Professional Wrestlers of All Time". He is planning on writing his sixth book in the coming years.
All-access passes to the George Tragos/Lou Thesz Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame will be available on Jan. 2. Cost for all-access pass is $100.
-- FCW released the following video featuring Kenny King vs. John Morrison: