On Thursday we began our look at the 15 legendary pro wrestlers in the WWE Hall Of Fame that emanate from the state of Texas. For those who missed part one of this three-part series, click here. To check out part two, click here. To read the initial “Texas Legends” installment, where we took a look at the 12 legends who all went to West Texas State University, click here.
Without further ado, let’s look at the conclusion of our list of the 15 WWE Hall Of Famers who have roots to The Lone Star State:
Arriba! Born in Mission, Texas, Tito Santana is another one of the West Texas State University boys. He is a former WWE Intercontinental and WWE Tag-Team Champion, and was one of the best in-ring performers of his time. Santana enjoyed a run behind-the-scenes with WWE following his legendary in-ring career, and was inducted into the WWE Hall Of Fame as part of the 2004 class.
Although he was born in Hammond, Indiana, few wrestlers are identified with a city as much as Terry Funk is when it comes to Amarillo, Texas. Funk is yet another one of the West Texas State University boys, and one of only three of them who would go on to become the prestigious NWA World Heavyweight Champion. Funk is considered by many as the true pioneer of hardcore wrestling in North America, and is viewed as the single most important figure in establishing Extreme Championship Wrestling (ECW) in the early days of the promotion. Funk was inducted into the WWE Hall Of Fame as part of the 2009 class.
Born and raised in San Antonio, Texas, Tully Blanchard is another one of the 12 wrestlers to come out of West Texas State University. Considered by many as one of the first true “cool heels” in wrestling, Blanchard was one of the original members of the legendary Four Horsemen faction. Blanchard was inducted into the WWE Hall Of Fame as part of the 2012 class.
Von Erich Family
The Von Erich family, led by Fritz Von Erich (who was born and raised in Jewett, Texas) is one of the most famous, and also one of the most tragic families in the history of professional wrestling. Fritz was the promoter of the World Class Championship Wrestling (WCCW) promotion, which dominated the Texas wrestling scene in Dallas during the territory days. His sons, many of which died in tragic form, were all established pro wrestlers, with Kerry Von Erich being the standout of the boys. Kerry Von Erich had a run as NWA World Heavyweight Champion and a stint in WWE, where he captured the WWE Intercontinental Championship. The Von Erich family was inducted into the WWE Hall Of Fame by the surviving member of the family, Kevin Von Erich, as part of the 2009 class.
Having the distinction of being the only female wrestler from Texas in the WWE Hall Of Fame, women’s wrestler Wendi Richter was born in Dallas, Texas. Richter was an integral part of the Rock-N-Wrestling Connection era of the 1980s, and was often accompanied to the ring by pop star Cyndi Lauper. A former Women’s Champion, Richter can tell you as much about “WWE screw jobs” as Bret “The Hitman” Hart, as Richter was double-crossed in a legendary match with The Fabulous Moolah long before the 1997 WWE Survivor Series in Montreal. Richter was inducted into the WWE Hall Of Fame as part of the 2010 class.
Folks, that’s about as good as it gets. As noted, just off the top of my head, three future WWE Hall Of Famers in Jake “The Snake” Roberts, JBL and The Undertaker also have strong ties to the state of Texas. When it comes to producing large amounts of high-level talent in the world of professional wrestling, Texas is among the top places in North America. We’ll continue our geographical look at some of the biggest regions to produce top-level talent in future installments, as we’ll take a look at some of the many greats to emanate from the state of Minnesota, as well as Canada. Until then, leave your feedback in the “Comments” section below. You can also hit me up directly at Facebook.com/MattBooneWZR.