Tragos/Thesz Hall of Fame update – Iron Sheik to HOF

By James Caldwell, PWTorch assistant editor


The National Wrestling Hall of Fame Dan Gable Museum is rolling out announcements for their 2016 Hall of Fame weekend in July.

– Iron Sheik (Khosrow Vaziri) has been named the final inductee for the 2016 Tragos/Thesz Pro Wrestling Hall of Fame.

Sheik will join his 1980s counterpart Bob Backlund as the two “Living Inductees” to be honored this year.

“I come from oldest country in the world – Tehran, Iran – to I come to the America,” said The Iron Sheik. “Pleasure for me to I become first Iranian in Pro Wrestling Hall of Fame. Respect to all my fans. They know I am the real shooter and forever they know I pay for my due. Now I have the respect from my good friend the Dan Gable. I see you in the Iowa.”

[ EVENT INFO: The annual George Tragos/Lou Thesz Pro Wrestling Hall of Fame induction weekend takes place July 21-23 in Waterloo, Iowa.

All-access passes to the Tragos/Thesz Hall of Fame induction weekend are available for $100. They can be pre-ordered by contacting the Dan Gable Museum at or by calling (319) 233-0745. ]

– Bob Backlund has been announced as one of the top inductees for the 2016 Tragos/Thesz Pro Wrestling Hall of Fame class.

“It doesn’t get any better than being in hall of fame with Dan Gable and Dan Hodge,” Backlund was quoted in a press release. “I have always felt that way.”

Backlund is the next-to-last HOF entrant. The final entrant will be announced later this month.

– Gerry Brisco returns to Waterloo, Iowa for the sixth straight year to host a talent evaluation.

Brisco will be joined by 2016 inductee J.J. Dillon and “special guests” for an evaluation on Friday, July 22 at Five Sullivan Bros. Convention Center. Wrestlers who impress at the evaluation will be booked for the Impact Pro Wrestling show on Friday night.

– Lex Luger was announced for the Hall of Fame on Feb. 4. Luger will be the recipient of the Frank Gotch Award, which is “given to a professional wrestler who brings positive recognition to professional wrestling through work outside the ring.”

The award is based on Luger turning his life around after serving jail time in the mid-2000s and suffering a stroke in 2007. “Today, Luger presents a message of hope to thousands across the country,” organizers announced.

– J.J. Dillon was announced on Jan. 26 as the recipient of the Lou Thesz Award. “I am overwhelmed. I am humbled. I am honored,” said Dillon of receiving the award.

– Announced in January is that Texas wrestling promoter Joe Blanchard will be awarded posthumously with the “Distinguished Member” award.

2016 Hall of Fame Induction Class

George Tragos Award — Chael Sonnen
Lou Thesz Award — J.J. Dillon
Jim Melby Award — Dave Meltzer
Frank Gotch Award — Lex Luger
Distinguished Member (living) — Bob Backlund
Distinguished Member (living) — Iron Sheik
Distinguished Member (posthumous) — Joe Blanchard


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