Wrestling By The Numbers: 2012 Wrestling Observer Hall Of Fame Inductees
Nov 19, 2012 - by staff
The Wrestling Observer Newsletter has announced their 17th group of inductees into this year’s 2012 Wrestling Observer Newsletter Hall Of Fame class. The 6-inductees include John Cena, Captain Lou Albano, Gus Sonnenberg, Hans Schmidt, Mick McManus and Dr. Alfonso Morales.
Gilberto Alberto Morales Villela is the veteran voice of lucha libre known in Mexico as the legendary Doctor Alfonso Morales. He’s currently a member of Asistencia Asesoria y Administracion in Mexico where he is the company’s long-time lead play by play commentator. Morales has worked in the business for more then 30-years calling lucha libre action for both AAA and CMLL on the Mexican television station Televisa. He is known for his professional on air approach and unique interviewing style. Doctor Alfonso Morales’ popularity with Latino’s has been compared to Jim Ross’ popularity with the WWE, Gordon Solie’s popularity with the NWA and Lance Russell’s popularity in Memphis.
Michael ‘Mick McManus’ Matthews is a former 4-Time European Middleweight Champion, a former 2-Time British Welterweight Champion and a former 1-Time British Middleweight Champion known as one of the United Kingdom’s most famous heel wrestlers of all-time. The 91-year-old New Cross London native is remembered for his ability to insight a crowd using his patented boston crab or short range forearm jabs fans hated to see. He was trained by John Ruskin and competed in professional wrestling for over 30-years from the late 1940’s to the late 1970’s. He was a mainstay performer for years on the legendary ITV World Of Sport show where he competed and became known for his catchphrase ‘Not the ears! Not the ears!’.
Guy ‘Hans Schmidt’ LaRose is the also remembered as a top heel performer who debuted in 1949 and competed for 27-years as a big draw in cities including Chicago, Milwaukee and Toronto. The Joliette Quebec native used his amateur wrestling background to get into wrestling after World War II. He got his first big break in the wrestling business competing for Boston-area promoter Paul Bowser and went on to wrestle in territories all over North America and even challenged NWA Champion Lou Thesz on multiple occasions. His rough aggressive rule breaking style helped him become a former 2-Time AWA Montreal Champion, 1-Time NWA Georgia Southern Tag-Team Champion, 1-Time NWA Detroit United States Champion and a former 1-Time NWA Los Angeles Tag-Team Champion. Guy LaRose passed away on May 26th this year at age 87.
Gustave ‘Gus’ Sonnenberg was a main event wrestler and former 1-Time NWA Champion, 2-Time AWA Boston Champion and also won what’s considered the original heavyweight championship in 1929. Sonnenberg wrestled for 14-years from 1928-1942 and was widely considered the biggest draw in the business from 1929-1930 alongside Jim Londos. He was a pioneer in the sport who became a sensation with his high flying style, his finishing move the flying tackle became his signature move. He left professional wrestling in 1942 when he joined the U.S. Navy. Gus Sonnenberg passed while serving his country on September 12th 1944 after a battle with leukemia, the former NFL football player passed away at the Naval Hospital in Bethesda Maryland at age 46.
Captain Lou Albano was a former 1-Time WWWF United States Tag-Team Champion who gained his largest success after his in-ring career ended as one of the most successful managers in World Wrestling Entertainment history. The Rome Italy native was a regular in-ring competitor for 16-years after first debuting in 1953. After deciding to retire from the ring in 1969 he focused on managing and along with The Grand Wizard and Fred Blassie dominated talent in the WWE for over a decade. He was a unique showman with excellent promo skills who could both elevate wrestlers he was aligned with them and also when he broke off ties from them. In 1984 Captain Lou Albano became a face for the first time in the WWF and was aligned with Cyndi Lauper during the huge Rock’N’Wrestling Connection in 1984. He left the WWF in 1987 and spent a year in the Universal Wrestling Federation in 1991 doing an interview segment. He returned to the WWF in 1994 and spent another year with the company before retiring and only make occasional appearances. In addition to his wrestling career he also portrayed Cyndi Lauper’s father in music videos and acted in Hollywood movies and television shows. Captain Lou Albano passed away on October 19th 2009 at age 76 in his sleep from a heart attack.
Below we look at some of the professional wrestling career of Captain Lou Albano by the numbers…
* 5 Matches Managed on WWE Pay-Per-View.
John Cena is a former 10-Time WWE Champion and a former 2-Time WWE World Champion who has been one of the top main event faces for World Wrestling Entertainment for almost the last decade. The 35-year-old West Newbury Massachusetts native made his professional debut in 2001 after having been trained at Ultimate Pro Wrestling. He was signed by the WWE the year he debuted and spent a short time in Ohio Valley Wrestling before making his WWE television debut in 2002. He has the 4th highest number of combined days as WWE Champion only behind the likes of Bruno Sammartino, Bob Backlund and Hulk Hogan. He has only wrestled as a good guy during his career but has a love-hate relationship with wrestling fans that has created electric audiences worldwide. He has main evented numerous Wrestlemania events against the likes of The Rock, The Miz, Shawn Michaels and Triple H.. Outside of the squared circle Cena is known for his tremendous work with the Make A Wish Foundation and has also dabbled in both music and acting.
Below we look at the professional wrestling career of John Cena by the numbers…
* 108 Matches ( 8th Most All-Time ) on WWE Pay-Per-View. (First Match: 2002 Vengeance Vs Chris Jericho Last Match: 2012 Night Of Champions Vs C.M. Punk)
* 56 Main Event Matches ( 3rd Most All-Time ) on WWE Pay-Per-View. (First Main Event Match: 2003 Royal Rumble In The 30-Man Royal
Rumble Match Last Main Event Match: 2012 Night Of Champions Vs C.M. Punk)
* 1 Match Managed on WWE Pay-Per-View.
* 1 Event As A Ring Announcer on WWE Pay-Per-View.
* 267 Matches ( 6th Most All-Time ) on WWE Raw. (First Match: June 13th 2005 With Chris Jericho Vs Christian & Tyson Tomko Last Match: November 12th 2012 Vs C.M. Punk)
* 175 Main Event Matches ( 2nd Most All-Time ) on WWE Raw. (First Main Event Match: June 27th 2005 With Hulk Hogan & Shawn Michaels Vs Chris Jericho, Christian & Tomko Last Main Event Match: November 12th 2012 Vs C.M. Punk)
* 113 Matches ( 21st Most All-Time ) on WWE Smackdown. (First Match: June 27th 2002 Vs Kurt Angle Last Match: July 3rd 2012 In A 20-Man Battle Royal Match)
* 38 Main Event Matches on WWE Smackdown.
* 5 Matches on WWE Saturday Night’s Main Event.
* 1 Main Event Match on WWE Saturday Night’s Main Event.
* 7 Matches ( Most All-Time ) on WWE Tribute To The Troops. (First Match: December 25th 2003 Vs The Big Show Last Match: December 13th 2011 With The Big Show & C.M. Punk Vs Mark Henry, The Miz & Alberto Del Rio)
* 5 Main Event Matches ( Most All-Time ) on WWE Tribute To The Troops. (First Main Event Match: December 25th 2003 Vs The Big Show Last Main Event Match: December 13th 2011 With The Big Show & C.M. Punk Vs Mark Henry, The Miz & Alberto Del Rio)
* 1 Match on WWE Superstars.
* 1 Main Event Match on WWE Superstars.
* 1 Match on WWE ECW On Syfy.