On Wednesday, I started my look at some of the great pro wrestlers to come from the state of Texas. In yesterday’s feature, I took a look at the incredible amount of talent that emanated specifically from West Texas State University, a college that produced 12 future top-level pro wrestling stars, three of which became NWA World Champion during their careers.
Today we are going to begin our look at how Texas has impacted the WWE Hall Of Fame. As it stands right now, if you count the Von Erich family as one person, there are currently 15 members of the WWE Hall Of Fame that were born and/or raised in the state of Texas. If Jake “The Snake” Roberts, who was born in Gainesville, Texas, is inducted this year as he is rumored to be, there will be 16. Whenever The Undertaker, who was born in Houston, Texas and resides in Austin, Texas, goes in, there will be 17. If you add current RAW broadcast member JBL to the mix, there will be 18.
The following is the first of a three-part look at the 15 members of the WWE Hall Of Fame that were either born or raised in the state of Texas:
Born in Sweetwater, Texas, Windham is one of the 12 West Texas State University boys. He was inducted into the WWE Hall Of Fame as part of the 2012 class when The Four Horsemen were the first stable to receive the honor. Windham is part of a rich wrestling family, which includes Blackjack Mulligan, Mike Rotunda, Kendall Windham, Bray Wyatt and Bo Dallas.
Blackjack Lanza, while born in Albuquerque, New Mexico, grew up and resides in Laredo, Texas. As part of the Blackjacks alongside tag-team partner Blackjack Mulligan, Lanza was inducted into the WWE Hall Of Fame as part of the 2006 class. Lanza has worked extensively behind-the-scenes in the wrestling business, including a lengthy run as a producer/agent in World Wrestling Entertainment. Lanza is also the uncle of current WWE RAW commentator JBL.
Born and raised in Sweetwater, Texas, Blackjack Mulligan was inducted into the 2006 class of the WWE Hall Of Fame alongside his tag-team partner Blackjack Lanza. Mulligan went to school and played football at the University of Texas, and is one of a handful of pro wrestlers who had a legitimate professional football background, having played for the New York Jets, New Orleans Saints and Denver Broncos, before entering the world of pro wrestling. Mulligan is the father of fellow WWE Hall Of Famer Barry Windham, as well as Kendall Windham, the father-in-law of Mike Rotunda (Irwin R. Schyster) and grandfather of Bray Wyatt and Bo Dallas.
Booker T was born and raised in Houston, Texas, where he currently runs his own pro wrestling promotion, Reality of Wrestling, which just recently gained local television clearance in the area. Booker was inducted into the WWE Hall Of Fame as part of the 2013 class.
Dory Funk Jr.
Born in Hammond, Indiana, Dory Funk Jr. is the son of the legendary Texas wrestling promoter of the same name. Dory was one of the three West Texas State University boys who would go on to capture the NWA World Heavyweight Championship, and among all NWA World title-holders in history, had one of the longest reigns as champion. Dory Funk Jr. is also responsible for training a who’s-who of wrestling stars such as Kurt Angle, Jeff Hardy, Matt Hardy, Edge, Christian, Lita and Mickie James. Dory was inducted into the WWE Hall Of Fame as part of the 2009 class.
We’ll cut the list off right there and we’ll pick up our look at the 15 legendary WWE Hall Of Fame wrestlers to emanate from the state of Texas on Friday. Until then, leave your feedback in the “Comments” section below. You can also hit me up directly at Facebook.com/MattBooneWZR.