The 2018 WWE Hall of Fame Legacy Inductees Revealed

Starting in 2016, the WWE opened up it’s first new wing of the WWE Hall of Fame since the Celebrity Wing in 2004. The WWE Hall of Fame Legacy Legacy Wing was introduced to induct names from the early days of pro wrestling, from the earliest roots to early television. While some had tenure in the WWE (including Capitol Wrestling and WWWF), a lot where simply pioneers of the sport. A welcomed addition by historians and purists, it’s allowed such non-WWE names like Lou Thesz, Ed “Strangler” Lewis, George Hackenschmidt, Frank Gotch, Mildred Burke and Luther Lindsay to enter the Hall of Fame.

PWInsider reported today that the list has been revealed for the 2018 Hall of Fame Legacy Wing inductees and like the previous two years, they’ve very necessary parts of wrestling’s history and great additions to any pro wrestling hall of fame.

EL SANTO

He’s one of pro wrestling’s biggest legends and one of the founding forefathers of Lucha Libre as we know it. He was a film star in a franchise of Luchador superhero/Bond films and Mexico’s most famous celebrity. He started wrestling in 1934 and finally retired in 1982, the star of EMLL (precursor to CMLL)  left as a 4x Mexican National Middleweight Champion, 2x Mexican National Welterweight Champion, Mexican National Light Heavyweight Champion and 2x Mexican National Tag Team Champion.

JIM LONDOS

“The Golden Greek” Jim Londos was one of the first superstars of the post Gotch-Hackenschmidt era, debuting in 1917 and retiring in 1946, just as television entered the game. He held multiple Championship belts around the United States, but he retired before the NWA could unify them as a true World Heavyweight Championship. Throughout the 1930s and 1940s, Londos was the biggest draw on the East Coast, almost the Hulk Hogan of his time, drawing near 20,000 people to his matches.

BORIS MALENKO

From the 1950s through the late 1970s, “The Great Malenko” was one of pro wrestling’s biggest heels. A 9x Brass Knuckles Champion with Championship Wrestling From Florida and multi-time Heavyweight Champion in several territories, the skilled technician also worked with All Japan and NJPW. He retired in 1979 and opened a renowned wrestling school with his two sons, former WWE/WCW Legend Dean Malenko and AJPW’s Joe Malenko. He passed away in 1994.

SPUTNIK MONROE

A hugely charismatic wrestler, both as a heel and a babyface, Sputnik Monroe was a huge advocate for civil rights and the non-segregation of the wrestling audience (and dressing room), beginning his wrestling career in 1945. As such, he became hugely beloved by the African-American community in his territory (he worked primarily the Memphis area). At his peak, he was drawing 15,000 seat crowds to his matches. He would then refuse to wrestle if his African-American fans weren’t allowed the same privelege as the white fans. Being the biggest draw in the territory, the promoters eventually had to relent. He retired in 1988, and passed away in 2006 at the age of 77.

CORA COMBS

A former country singer, Cora Combs was one of the wrestling’s early sweethearts, starting off in 1945 as one of Billy Wolfe’s women wrestlers. Trained by Mildred Burke and June Byers, she worked all over the NWA territories through the 1950s to 1970s. She even worked for Burke in Japan with her WWA promotion. She was a 4x NWA Women’s United States Champion.

DARA SINGH

Dara Singh was India’s first true wrestling superstar, debuting in 1948. He faced (and defeated) many huge international stars, such as Rikidozan and Lou Thesz. His popularity launched him to a simultaneous film career in India, similar to fellow inductee El Santo. He retired from wrestling in 1983.

STAN STASIAK

Canadian wrestler Stan “The Man” Stasiak made his debut in the Quebec territory in 1958, before heading out west and becoming a star with Stampede Wrestling (then called Wildkat Wrestling) in the 1960s. By the late 1960s, he’d moved to Portland, Oregon to work for NWA Pacific Northwest (PNW). He moved to the WWWF in 1971 and in 1973 ended Pedro Morales reign as WWWF World Heavyweight Champion. He had one title defence against Chief Jay Strongbow, but lost the belt to the returning Bruno Sammartino later that year. Stasiak’s son, Shawn Stasiak, would have a brief career with the WWE and WCW during the Monday Night War (he debuted as Meat in the WWF).

LORD ALFRED HAYES

Although best remembered as the bumbling WWF interviewer in the 1980s, from the 1950s through 1970s, he was a top travelling attraction. He began in the UK circuit in the 1950s as “Judo” Alfred Hayes, before moving to North America in the late 1960s, working with Stampede Wrestling and Western States Wrestling in Texas. By the 1970s, he was going territory to territory facing the big draws, such as Dory Funk Jr. for the NWA World Heavyweight Championship (which he actually won, but due to Dory Funk Sr. attacking the ref post match, the ref declared the match a DQ and returned the belt to the former champion) and facing Bruno Sammartino in the WWWF for their top title. He would appear back in the UK for World of Sport, as well as continue with the Americas, moving on to AWA in the late 70s. He returned to the WWF in 1982 and began as a road agent, but soon became the on-screen character that many fans still remember.

RUFUS R. JONES

“Freight Train” Rufus R. Jones began in 1969 with Sam Muchnik’s St. Louis NWA territory and became a top midcard star throughout the southern states. He worked for NWA Mid Atlantic and Central States, as well as AWA and with All Japan. A Mid Atlantic Heavyweight Champion, 2x Central States Heavyweight Champion, 2x Mid Atlantic Television Champion and multi-time tag team champion, Jones retired following an appearance with Puerto Rico’s WWC in 1989. He died from a heart attack in 1993.

The 2018 Legacy Wing Class follows the first two classes, beginning in 2016:

2016 WWE Hall of Fame Legacy Wing

  • George Hackenschmidt
  • Frank Gotch
  • Ed “Strangler” Lewis
  • Mildred Burke
  • Pat O’Connor
  • Lou Thesz
  • “Sailor” Art Thomas

2017 WWE Hall of Fame Legacy Wing

  • Martin “Farmer” Burns
  • Rikidozan
  • Toots Mondt
  • Bearcat Wright
  • Luther Lindsey
  • June Byers
  • Haystacks Calhoun
  • Judy Grable
  • Dr. Jerry Graham