Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame and Museum have officially released the list of inductees for the Class of 2017. According to the press release — the Class of 2017, will be headlined by Mick Foley and Shawn Michaels. The induction ceremony will take place in May next year.
Apart from Michaels and Foley, the names of the rest of the inductees are as follows:-
1) Luther Lindsay and Sputnik Monroe
2) Susan Green
3) George Napolitano
4) Tatsumi Fujinami
5) Larry Hennig & Harley Race
Luther Sputnik was one of the first African-American wrestlers to be a major star in Mid-Atlantic and Pacific-Northwest territories. During the early '50's and '60's he was promoted as the US Colored Heavyweight Champion. He also took part in the very first interracial professional wrestling matches held in the United States.
Sputnik was considered as one of the top submission wrestlers of his day, working with Don Leo Jonathan and Stu Hart.
Sputnik Monroe was a headliner in several territories. He's best known for setting an attendance record in Memphis, Tennessee, with Billy Wicks that lasted till the Monday Night Wars period.
Sue Green got interested in wrestling after her father, took her to a wrestling show by promoter Joe Blanchard. Sue started training at the age of 15 under The Fabulous Moolah. Sue won the NWA Tag Team Championship, the NWA Women's Championship, and was also, recognised as, "Girl Wrestler of the Year" by Pro Wrestling Illustrated.
Sue had her last wrestling match against Charlotte Webbs in 2008. She now works as a wrestling trainer at Columbia, South Carolina.
George Napolitano specialises in wrestling photography. He's an avid collector of vintage colouring books and is one of the closest friends of Road Warrior Hawk. He's also won the Jim Melby Award in 2013, from the George Tragos/ Lou Thesz Wrestling Institue.
One of the founders of New Japan Pro Wrestling, Tatsumi Fujinami aka The Dragon, was a former World Wide Wrestling Federation Champion in the late '70's. He also won the WWWF Junior Heavyweight Championship, bringing it to Japan, and establishing as the premier junior heavyweight title in the country.
Fujinami was the first pro-wrestler to be successful in both, the junior and the heavyweight division. Considering all his accomplishments in the world of pro-wrestling Fujinami in 2015 was inducted into WWE's Hall of Fame. Fujinami also signed a "Legends" contract, thus working as an ambassador for the company.
Known for his 22-inch muscular neck, Larry "The Axe" Hennig is best known for his work in AWA, NWA, and WWF. He's also the father and grandfather of Curt Hennig aka Mr Perfect and Joseph Hennig aka Curtis Axel respectively.
After almost losing his leg in a car accident and intense physical therapy, Harley "Leland" Race wrestled for the Funks' territory in Texas. After forming a tag team with Larry Hennig and the AWA, Race and Hennig destroyed the entire tag team roster and finally won the AWA World Tag Team Championship in 1965.
Race and Hennig went on to have three tag title reigns, and also a tag title reign in Australia. After finding tremendous success in the tag team division, Race transferred to NWA to pursue a singles career.
Almost every wrestling/non-wrestling fan has heard about Shawn Michaels and Mick Foley. Both found success in the WWE during their prime and also after it. During his run in the WWE, Michaels went on to win the Intercontinental, Tag Team, World Heavyweight, and the WWE Championships.
Michaels had his final match against The Undertaker at WrestleMania 26; where he put his career on the line. Michaels was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2011.
Mick Foley, who found success in the WWE during the Attitude Era, went on to win the WWF, Hardcore, and Tag Team Championships. In 2013, Foley was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame. He now works as the General Manager of Monday Night RAW.
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