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WWE News: WWE announces eight more inductees into the 2017 Hall of Fame

WWE announces 8 'Legacy' inductees into their 2017 Hall of Fame class.

News 27 Mar 2017, 02:53 IST
The WWE Hall of Fame class 2017 has today increased by a further 8 members

What’s the story?

The Hall of Fame induction ceremony is one of the highlights of the WWE’s annual calendar, with several deserving personalities being inducted for their services to the professional wrestling business.

This year, Kurt Angle, The Rock 'n Roll Express, Diamond Dallas Page, Beth Phoenix, Rick Rude and Teddy Long are all set to be inducted into the 2017 Class of the WWE Hall of Fame.

However, coupled with these nominations, we now have a further 8 inductees who are set to be inducted in the WWE Hall of Fame as ‘Legacy’ inductions. 

In case you didn’t know...

The WWE Hall of Fame is seen by many as the top prize in Wrestling, with many wrestlers hoping to have their professional wrestling legacy cemented via an induction.

Starting in 1993 with Andre The Giant as its sole inductee, the WWE Hall of Fame has grown to the extent that in 2016, a total of 13 Superstars were actually inducted. 

Last year, the WWE announced the creation of a Legacy Wing of the WWE Hall of Fame and inducted 8 Superstars from the early twentieth century, recognising their work posthumously with video packages.

Names such as Lou Thesz and Frank Gotch were among those inducted last year in this manner.

The heart of the matter

For the second year running, the WWE are set to induct a set of wrestlers from the 1960’s and earlier, for their role in pioneering what we now call modern day Wrestling. The reported inductees include;

- Toots Mondt
- Luther Lindsay
- Rikidozan
- Farmer Burns
- Haystacks Calhoun
- Dr. Jerry Graham
- June Byers
- Betty Grable

These names were announced via the release of the official WWE Hall of Fame 2017 shirt.

The inductions are WWE’s way of giving recognition to yesteryear stars that some fans may not know or might be unfamiliar with, but who deserve the recognition for their role in shaping Wrestling into the product that we watch today.

Also read: WWE News: Jim Cornette set to induct The Rock 'n' Roll Express into the WWE Hall of Fame

For example; Luther Lindsay was one of the first and most recognisable African-American wrestling stars, whilst Rikidozan brought in a whole new audience as he transitioned from Sumo Wrestling to Professional wrestling, becoming a national hero as he battled foreign heels from all over the globe, garnering record television ratings in the process.

Toots Mondt, one of the more famous names on this list, is known for quite literally changing Wrestling completely, doing away with the grapple holds and mat wrestling that had defined the sport for so long, to bring Wrestling more in line with the product that we are used to seeing today. 

What’s next?

The Hall of Fame ceremony itself will be airing live on Friday 31st March from the Amway Centre in Orlando, Florida on the WWE Network from 8:00 pm ET.

Author’s take

It is absolutely deserved that these names make their way into something as hugely prestigious as the WWE Hall of Fame.

Names such as Dr. Jerry Graham and Luther Lindsay are often forgotten about, as they were famous before televisions and exposure to a wider audience was available. The younger generation of fans are just not familiar with their work.

Therefore, the Hall of Fame is important to honour to these names for the excellent work that they did. 

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