The final names for the WWE Hall of Fame class of 2019 have reportedly been confirmed per PWInsider, and at the risk of sounding like total smarks on our uptight comedy wrestling blog, the “legacy class” may be a better crop of nominees than the induction class itself.
To quote Bill Hanstock’s write-up of the 2017 legacy nominees …
The Legacy wing of the WWE Hall of Fame serves to honor the pre-television history of professional wrestling (or at least, the pre-modern era of professional wrestling), as a means both to pay tribute to the fact that the art form has been around and been extremely popular for well over 100 years, and to further legitimize the modern inductees that contemporary fans are familiar with.
That definition is getting a little more nebulous as we move forward. While past inductees have included Mildred Burke, Frank Gotch, Georg Hackenschmidt, Ed “Strangler” Lewis, Pat O’Connor, Lou Thesz, and ‘Sailor’ Art Thomas, the new reported legacy inductions feature more than one star who competed in (and one who debuted in) the television era. Here’s what we’re being told:
The most famous name on the list is probably Bruiser Brody, the thinking man’s “monster” wrestler responsible for popularizing the “brawling” style in pro wrestling. The wildman held numerous championships in the National Wrestling Alliance, All Japan Pro Wrestling, and Indianapolis’ World Wrestling Association before his untimely murder in a locker room in Puerto Rico in 1988. If you’re wondering why someone as important and notable as Brody would get a legacy induction, please reread the second half of that previous sentence.