The other Hall of Fame: WCW's forgotten honor

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May 23, 2013

The inaugural WCW Slamboree was held on May 23, 1993, from The Omni in Atlanta. Fittingly, the venue was integral in the evolution of NWA and WCW and a perfect home for the first “Legends Reunion.” In attendance were NWA and professional wrestling trendsetters, such as Ole Anderson, Dusty Rhodes, The Fabulous Moolah, Stu Hart, Magnum TA, Mad Dog Vachon and Lou Thesz.

Hosted by legendary commentator Gordon Solie, the inaugural WCW Hall of Fame ceremony honored four outstanding individuals whose impact in sports-entertainment was immeasurable.


The first class was headlined by three-time NWA Heavyweight Champion Lou Thesz. The dangerous mat technician became the youngest World Champion in history when he captured the title at 21 and went on to carry the title for more than 10 years, spread out over four reigns. Widely considered one of the greatest and most influential professional wrestlers of all-time, Thesz’s induction immediately gave the WCW Hall of Fame a high level of credibility.


Joining Thesz as part of the first WCW Hall of Fame class were 10-time AWA Champion Verne Gagne and former President Jimmy Carter’s favorite wrestler, Mr. Wrestling II.  Seven-time NWA Florida Tag Team Champion Eddie Graham was honored as the first posthumous inductee into the hall. 

Both Gagne and Graham would later be inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame, further highlighting their contributions and respective legacies.