Name: Danny McShain
Year Inducted: 2010

Danny McShain

"Dangerous" Danny McShain oozed charisma, class, and blood. A native of Arkansas who entered wrestling after a stint as a boxer, he was one of the greatest light heavyweights in history, and one of the most influential wrestlers, period. McShain held versions of the world junior heavyweight or light heavyweight championships a dozen times in a career that stretched from the mid-1930s to the 1960s, which in itself is enough to earn him a place of honor in any discussion of legendary wrestlers. But it was the way the cocky heel went about his business that put McShain at the top of the heap. Managed by future TV announcer Dick Lane, he became known as "the strutter deluxe of wrestling," as the Los Angeles Times put it in 1939, and he sashayed in a collection of glitzy robes that became standard fare for the likes of Gorgeous George and other wrestlers who followed him. His brother-in-law, Ted Lewin, recalled: "The strut sets the mood. The strut and the face and that immediately makes everybody angry. People hate arrogance and Danny McShain was very arrogant. He'd have big, long, brightly colored capes - they were satin - and when he was announced, he would swing them in this big swirl and strut, and everybody copied that." Fans irate at his in-ring tactics often called for McShain's blood, and they usually got it; he popularized the art of blading, a self-inflicted nick at a key time during a match. His matches against Bull Curry in Texas set a standard for violence in the 1950s, and he held state's Brass Knuckles title four times. And one time in Houston, McShane battled Tony Borne, with the loser having to wash a jackass in the ring. (Borne's manager Leo Newman did the honors.) "That was a Texas match!" Borne recalled. After he retired, McShain did some promoting and refereeing. He died at 79 in 1992.

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