As we close of another Hall of Fame Class I wrap up the largest class I have ever inducted since I started inducting a Hall of Fame Class in 2017. This is the largest induction of every class as I took the WWE's idea as a way to honor the past paste the spotlight on the early days of pro-wrestling. This year I tighten up those who I missed when in past years. Including names from the television era, and the very early days.
Gorgeous George: The man who would become one of the greatest drawing cards in the history of wrestling and one of the first true mainstream athletes of the sport. Due to his exaggerated effeminate behavior when the ring announcer introduced him as "Gorgeous George". Such showmanship was unheard of at the time; and consequently, arena crowds grew in size as fans turned out to boo him. George was the first big draw for wrestling in television and would influence celebrities like James Brown and Muhamad Ali teaching them the art of self promotion. It is my pleasure to finally welcome Gorgeous George into the Wrestling Express Hall of Fame.
Buddy Rogers: Speaking of someone else that was influenced by Gorgeous George was the original "Nature Boy" Buddy Rogers. Another top draw from the early days of wrestling Buddy would flaunt his drawing power in high profile feuds with Lou Thesz, Ed "Strangler" Lewis, Killer Kowalski, and various other top stars of the era. Buddy is one of only a handful of talent to hold both the WWE & NWA World Championships. Best known as the first WWE Champion it is unfortunate that Buddy would become champion in the later half of his career and wasn't really able to put his drawing power on display in the WWE. After his in ring career ended he would manage the likes of Jimmy Snuka, Big John Studd, Ken Patera, and various others. It is my honor to welcome "Nature Boy" Buddy Rogers into the Wrestling Express Hall of Fame.
Killer Kowalski: Waldek "Killer" Kowalski had the look of someone you didn't want to cross and in turn became one of wrestling's most feared heels. Killer took pride in maiming his opponents from breaking the leg of Buddy Rogers to ripping off part of Yukon Eric's ear with knee drop he was unlike anyone else. Next to his feud with Rogers his most famous feud was likely against Bruno Sammartino becoming one of Bruno's top opponents during Bruno's time as WWWF Champion. Though later in his life Kowalski would become one of the most respected trainers in the world of wrestling that didn't do much to discount his legacy and reputation. Kowalski is known for training legends like Triple H, Chyna, Perry Saturn, Big John Studd, and an NXT icon in Tomasso Ciampa as well as many others. It is with great pleasure I welcome Killer Kowalski into the Wrestling Express Hall of Fame.
Farmer Burns: The man who trained one of the very earliest top stars in wrestling in Frank Gotch. Though Burns never really reached the level of success of his most famous protégé it was a different time when Burns was in the sport as it was the early days of organized wrestling and he was a top draw, but in my opinion some are more famous for in ring accomplishments and others are more famous for their accomplishments out of the ring. Farmer Burns also had a hand in training legends like Toots Mondt, Earl Caddock, and Rudy Dusek. It is with great pleasure I welcome Farmer Burns into the Wrestling Express Hall of Fame.
Cora Combs: The wife of Billy Wolfe who trained her to become a wrestlers this lady was on of the early lady wrestler who helped in paving the way for those who would follow. Cora would have a daughter who would become a top women's wrestler in the 1980's that being Debbie Combs. Cora may not have become a known star of the era like her counterparts but that shouldn't discount her as someone who helped pave the way for women becoming a more respect part of the wrestling world. It is with great pleasure I welcome Cora Combs into the Wrestling Express Hall of Fame.
This has been the largest class I have inducted since I first began the Hall of Fame, but this is the end of the Class of 2022. It is with great pleasure I welcome these six names into the Wrestling Express Hall of Fame Class of 2022 as a part of the Legacy Induction.