Stan ‘The Lariat’ Hansen joins WWE Hall of Fame class of 2016
Stan "The Lariat" Hansen had a wrestling career that spanned nearly 30 years and saw him competing all over the world. Now, he’ll be honored with a spot in the WWE Hall of Fame.
WWE announced on Monday that Hansen is the latest inductee joining a 2016 class that includes Sting, "The Godfather," Jacqueline and The Fabulous Freebirds.
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— WWE (@WWE) March 21, 2016
A former West Texas football player, Hansen transitioned to the squared circle where he engaged in a heated rivalry with fellow Hall of Famer Bruno Sammartino.
Hansen actually broke Sammartino’s neck in one of the matches before the two rivals eventually ended the feud in the ring several months later.
The majority of Hansen’s fame came from his time spent wrestling in Japan, where he was known for his brutal style inside the ring along with a signature cowboy hat, bull rope and chewing tobacco that he used to showcase during interviews.
Hansen was never the most technical wrestler in the world, but instead used brute strength and a lot of power to muscle his way through the majority of his matches.
Hansen did eventually return to the United States for a brief stint in the AWA, where he became champion, but he left the organization amidst a dispute before tossing the title on the ground, rolling over it with his truck and then mailing the pieces back to promoter Vern Gagne.
That only added onto the legend of the cowboy outlaw image that Hansen developed over the years and he continued to build upon back in Japan, as well as in another run in WCW years later.
In one other WWE crossover, Hansen actually appeared in the 1989 film "No Holds Barred," where he starred alongside Hulk Hogan and Tom "Tiny" Lister.
"The Lariat" retired from wrestling in 2001 but now he’ll be immortalized with a spot in the WWE Hall of Fame this year.