STAMFORD, Conn., March 21 (UPI) -- WWE has announced that Japanese wrestling star Stan Hansen will be inducted into the Hall of Fame.
Nicknamed "The Lariat" after his devastating clothesline which he would use to finish opponents, Hansen began his career in WWE in 1976 when he famously broke the neck of then WWE Champion, living-legend, Bruno Sammartino.
The two faced off in a grueling match at Shea Stadium when afterwards Hansen traveled to Japan where he became a legend and spent of most of his professional career earning victories over famous Japanese competitors Giant Baba and WWE Hall of Famer Antonio Inoki.
Hansen was also known for forming a famous tag-team alongside wild man Bruiser Brody. Hansen returned to the United States for different runs starting in 1985 when he beat Rick Martel for the AWA Wold Championship and in 1990 when he ended Lex Luger's long running reign as United States Champion in WCW.
Hansen retired in Japan in 2001. Throughout his career, the 66-year-old "earned a reputation as one of the most vicious competitors in the sport," WWE said in a statement. "Hansen's style of wrestling wasn't technically proficient or beautiful by any stretch of the imagination. It was dirty, gritty and ferocious. And it worked."
Hansen is the sixth inductee announced for the Hall of Fame class of 2016 following wrestling icon Sting, charismatic ladies man The Godfather, legendary tag team The Fabulous Freebirds, imposing authority figure Big Boss Man and former women's champion Jacqueline. All inductee's will be honored April 2 at the American Airlines Center in Dallas during WrestleMania week.