WWE Legacy Award Recipients for the 2017 Hall of Fame Class Revealed

Mar 24, 2017 - by Michael Riba

Credit to Dave Meltzer and the Wrestling Observer Newsletter for the following information:

“Based on T-shirts that have been printed, these are the Legacy Award Hall of Famers for the WWE Hall of Fame this year:

Judy Grable — One of the female stars of the 50s. She took her name from Betty Grable. She wasn’t one of the top tier women in her era but she was a legitimate star.

Toots Mondt — Mondt was a former shooter who worked with Strangler Lewis and Billy Sandow in the 20s and controlled the world title for a time and bounced from place to place. He was Vince McMahon Sr.’s business partner and some said the wrestling brains behind the outfit into the 1960s. He was considered a very controversial person in the industry.

Rikidozan — The father of Japanese pro wrestling and easily the single most influential pro wrestler in history. No wrestler was ever such a major cultural figure, in both Japan and in North Korea after his death. On a cultural basis, he would be far closer to Muhammad Ali than to Hulk Hogan.

Farmer Burns — A world champion in the late 1800s, Burns was the coach and promoter of Frank Gotch, the first true superstar pro wrestler and mainstream sports figure to come out of wrestling.

Luther Lindsay — A noted shooter. He was a star, but not a major star. Like Art Thomas, this is what it is.

Dr. Jerry Graham — Vince McMahon’s childhood favorite pro wrestler. The Graham Brothers (Jerry & Eddie, who were not brothers) vs. Argentina Rocca & Miguel Perez was a huge program in Madison Square Garden. The Doc was a colorful figure, whose problems with alcohol prematurely ended a run that should have had a lot of legs left in him. Vince McMahon and his father tried to bring him back a few times but it never worked out.

June Byers — Byers claimed the women’s world title from 1953 to 1964 although there were other claimants. Most of her era considered her the best of the women wrestlers after the retirement of Mildred Burke.

Haystacks Calhoun — Billed at 450 to 600 pounds, Calhoun was a great touring attraction in pro wrestler, similar to what Andre the Giant later would be, but not on the same level as Andre.”

WWE started the Legacy Award in 2016, where the recipients were Mildred Burke, Frank Gotch, George Hackenschmidt, Ed “Strangler” Lewis, Pat O’Connor, Lou Thesz, and “Sailor” Art Thomas.

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