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WWE's Ric Flair, Hulk Hogan Among 24 Set for 2021 International Hall of Fame

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistDecember 13, 2020

Professional wrestler Hulk Hogan poses at the premiere of the HBO documentary film
Chris Pizzello/Associated Press

The International Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame has announced an inaugural induction class of 24 legendary pro wrestlers.

The class is headlined by Hulk Hogan and "Nature Boy" Ric Flair, and all 24 inductees are scheduled to be officially honored at a ceremony in Albany, New York, on Aug. 28, 2021.

In addition to Hogan and Flair, the IPWHF will induct Bruno Sammartino, Andre the Giant, "Nature Boy" Buddy Rogers, Lou Thesz, Terry Funk, Mil Mascaras, Antonio Inoki, Rikidozan, Frank Gotch, Danny Hodge, Giant Baba, George Hackenschmidt, Ed "Strangler" Lewis, Evan "Strangler" Lewis, Martin "Farmer" Burns, William Muldoon, Great Gama, Yusuf Ismail, Paul Pons, Satoru Sayama, Tatsumi Fujinami and Stanislaus Zbyszko.

While a large part of the class is comprised of international wrestlers and those who were stars during the infancy of the business, many of the inductees are familiar to more modern wrestling fans as well.

Hogan, Flair, Sammartino, Andre the Giant and Rogers all held the WWE Championship. Rogers was the first-ever WWE champion, and Sammartino owns the longest single reign (2,803 days) as WWE champion and most cumulative days (4,040) holding the title.

Funk is another well-known wrestler to North American fans, as he wrestled in nearly every major promotion and held several significant titles, including the NWA World Heavyweight Championship, WWE Tag Team Championship and ECW World Heavyweight Championship.

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Hogan is arguably the most popular performer in the history of pro wrestling, as he was the driving force behind the wrestling boom in the mid-1980s and headlined the first WrestleMania.

Flair owns the record of most world championship reigns with 16, as he held the NWA, WCW and WWE World Heavyweight Championships on multiple occasions.

Sammartino was the biggest draw in wrestling for much of the 1960s and 1970s, while Andre the Giant remains arguably the biggest attraction in wrestling history because of his stature of 7-feet-plus.

Mascaras and Inoki are arguably the two biggest names in the rich wrestling history of their respective countries of Mexico and Japan.

Although there isn't currently a physical International Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame building, there are plans to open one in New York state in the future.

        

Listen to Ring Rust Radio for all of the hot wrestling topics. Catch the latest episode in the player below (warning: some language NSFW).

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