George Tragos/Lou Thesz Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame
The George Tragos/Lou Thesz Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame is a professional wrestling hall of fame and museum located within the National Wrestling Hall of Fame and Museum's Dan Gable Museum. The hall of fame honors wrestlers with an amateur background who have made an impact on professional wrestling. It is named after Lou Thesz, who helped create it, and his trainer George Tragos.
|Location||Waterloo, Iowa, U.S.|
The hall of fame was founded in 1999 in Newton, Iowa but moved to Waterloo, Iowa in 2007. The museum suffered severe flooding in the Iowa flood of 2008, but reopened in June 2009. Wrestling historian and journalist Mike Chapman served as executive director of the museum until Kyle Klingman succeeded him in November 2009.
Inductions take place at a hall of fame induction ceremony. Other activities are held throughout the weekend in conjunction with the event, such as local independent promotion Impact Pro Wrestling's "Hall of Fame Classic" tournament in 2017 and 2018.
|Frank Gotch Award||2000–present||Named after hall of fame wrestler Frank Gotch, this award "recognizes individuals in wrestling for bringing positive recognition to professional wrestling through work outside the ring".|
|James C. Melby Award||2006–present||James C. Melby was the first recipient of this award and it was subsequently named after him. It recognizes excellence in professional wrestling writing or historical preservation.|
|Lou Thesz Award||2007–present||This award recognizes those in the professional wrestling industry who have used their skills in the realm of public service.|
|George Tragos Award||2011–present||This award recognizes wrestlers who have excelled in mixed martial arts.|
Frank Gotch Award recipientsEdit
James C. Melby Award recipientsEdit
|2006||James C. Melby||Longtime professional wrestling journalist|
|2007||Mike Chapman||Executive director of the Dan Gable Museum|
|2008||Greg Oliver||Honored with Steven Johnson. Canadian author and journalist, founded SLAM! Wrestling|
|2008||Steven Johnson||Honored with Greg Oliver. Has written several books on professional wrestling|
|2009||Mike Mooneyham||Author and columnist for The Post and Courier|
|2010||J Michael Kenyon||Wrestling historian and director of the Cauliflower Alley Club|
|2011||Scott Teal||Owner of Crowbar Press|
|2012||Bill Apter||Photographer and journalist for several magazines, including Pro Wrestling Illustrated|
|2013||George Napolitano||Professional wrestling photographer|
|2014||Larry Matysik||Announcer for Wrestling at the Chase|
|2015||Wade Keller||Journalist and founder of the Pro Wrestling Torch newsletter|
|2016||Dave Meltzer||Editor and publisher of Wrestling Observer Newsletter|
|2017||Scott Williams||Posthumous honoree: Wrestling historian and author|
|2018||Koji Miyamoto||Japanese wrestling historian and author of 16 books|
|2019||Brian Shields||Authored several WWE books|
Lou Thesz Award recipientsEdit
|2007||Bill Murdock||CEO of Eblen Charities|
|2008||Father Jason Sanderson||Cauliflower Alley Club board member and promoter who held regional championships|
|2009||Bill Kersten||Announcer for Kansas City Wrestling|
|One-time WWWF World Tag Team Champion|
|2011||Jim Ross||Longtime lead announcer for WWF/E, WCW and other regional promotions; Head of WWF Talent Relations during the Attitude Era, signing many well known wrestlers|
|2012||John "Bradshaw" Layfield||One-time WWE Champion, three-time WWF Tag Team Champion|
|Four-time WWE Champion, a record seven-time World Heavyweight Champion (WWE). He held the WWF/World and WWE Tag Team Championships a combined 14 times, more than any other wrestler|
|2014||Larry "The Axe" Hennig||Second time honored, previously inducted in 2006|
|2015||Brian Blair||Two-time NWA Florida Heavyweight Champion|
|Long-time manager in the NWA, former WCW onscreen commissioner|
|Two-time Mid-South North American Champion, two-time NWA United States Heavyweight Champion|
|Five-time WCW World Heavyweight Champion, one-time World Heavyweight Champion (WWE), a record six-time WCW World Television Champion, a record 11-time WCW World Tag Team Champion (10 of which came with his brother Stevie Ray as Harlem Heat)|
|One-time CWA World Heavyweight Champion and one-time NWA Florida Heavyweight Champion|
George Tragos Award recipientsEdit
|2011||Pat Miletich||Inaugural UFC Welterweight Champion and UFC 16 Welterweight Tournament Winner|
|2012||Dan Severn||Second time honored, previously received the Frank Gotch Award in 2002|
|2013||Matt Hughes||Two-time UFC Welterweight Champion, UFC Hall of Fame inductee, and NJCAA Hall of Fame inductee|
|2014||Randy Couture||Three-time UFC Heavyweight Champion, two-time UFC Light Heavyweight Champion|
|2015||Matt Lindland||Won a silver medal in wrestling at the 2000 Summer Olympics and later competed in mixed martial arts for several promotions|
|2016||Chael Sonnen||Amateur wrestler and mixed martial artist who has competed in UFC, WEC and Pancrase|
|2017||Mike van Arsdale||Mixed martial artist who has competed in the UFC, World Fighting Alliance, and the IVC|
|2018||Ben Askren||One-time ONE Welterweight Champion, one-time Bellator Welterweight Champion|
|2019||Daniel Cormier||One-time UFC Heavyweight Champion and one-time UFC Light Heavyweight Champion|
- Skok, Jason (2013). Kurt Angle: From Olympian to Wrestling Machine. Capstone Press. p. 28. ISBN 978-1429686822.
- Solomon, Brian (2015). Pro Wrestling FAQ: All That's Left to Know About the World's Most Entertaining Spectacle. Backbeat Books. ISBN 978-1617135996.
- "George Tragos". National Wrestling Hall of Fame. Retrieved August 28, 2018.
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- "Big weekend on tap for local wrestling HOF". Waterloo Cedar Falls Courier. May 22, 2015. Retrieved July 26, 2018.
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- Caldwell, James (July 18, 2016). "Stan Hansen added to this week's Tragos/Thesz Hall of Fame, replaces two stars unable to appear". PWTorch.com. Retrieved August 27, 2018.
- Keller, Wade (March 26, 2018). "National Wrestling Hall of Fame announced Class of 2018, details on HOF Induction Weekend including Ross, Booker T, Animal". PWTorch.com. Retrieved August 27, 2018.
- Johnson, Mike (May 21, 2019). "2019 Tragos/Thesz Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame Class Announced". PWInsider. Retrieved May 23, 2019.
- Laprade, Patric (July 10, 2012). "Award honours Dan Severn's MMA successes". Slam! Wrestling. Canadian Online Explorer. Retrieved August 27, 2018.
- Williams, Kari (July 26, 2014). "Steiners headline Tragos/Thesz induction weekend". Slam! Wrestling. Canadian Online Explorer. Retrieved August 28, 2018.
- "Jason Sanderson". National Wrestling Hall of Fame. Retrieved November 6, 2018.