Name: Stan Hansen
Year Inducted: 2010

Stan Hansen

When you think of Stan Hansen, you keep coming back to three descriptions - devastating, indefatigable, and baseball dad. The first two are obvious to fans who followed his career in the United States and Japan. The third, perhaps not. Son Shaver was a sixth-round pick of the Seattle Mariners in 2009 and kid brother Sam plays baseball at the University of Texas at Arlington. It's a role reversal for the "Bad Man from Borger, Texas," since his sons couldn't watch him in action when he dominated wrestling in Japan. "The kids didn't have a chance to see me on television," Hansen said. "It wasn't like other wrestlers. Their kids could watch them on TV. It was like I was gone on business." Hansen's business was redefining wrestling in the Orient with a punishing, aggressive style that earned him four turns as All Japan Triple Crown titlist and status as a cultural icon in the country. "His was a truly unique talent," writer John Molinaro observed after Hansen announced his retirement in Japan in 2001. "The sophistication and elegance of the scripted sadism and chaos he created in the ring was breathtaking. He moved with such ferocity and fierceness, there was an understated grace to his style." Bullwhip cracking and tobacco juice streaming, Hansen also made a major impact in the United States as a tag team champion with Bruiser Brody and headlined Madison Square Garden against Bruno Sammartino just three years into his career. In December 1985, he won the Midwest-based American Wrestling Association World title from Rick Martel; he also held the U.S. belt from the National Wrestling Alliance/World Championship Wrestling in 1990. "He was like a machine," said an admiring Martel. "I remember coming back after the matches all blown up, like you had been in a gunfight. Stan, when he dropped those elbows, he was always really stiff and snug. You knew you'd been in the ring with that guy afterwards."

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