Stan Hansen

Birthdate: October 12th, 1949
Height: 6'4"
Weight: 321 lbs.
Debut: January 1st, 1973
Retirement: January 28th, 2001
Background: American Professional Wrestling
Promotion History: New Japan (1979 to 1982) and All Japan (1982 to 2001)
Ring Attire: Black trunks
Major Tournaments Won: World's Strongest Tag Team League (1983, 1985, 1988, and 1989) and the Champion Carnival (1992 and 1993)

Championship History:

All Japan Triple Crown Championship (Held 4 Times):
- Defeated Terry Gordy on 6/8/90 and lost to Terry Gordy on 7/17/90
- Defeated Mitsuharu Misawa on 7/27/90 and lost to Jumbo Tsuruta on 1/19/91
- Defeated Jumbo Tsuruta on 1/28/92 and lost to Mitsuharu Misawa on 8/22/92
- Defeated Toshiaki Kawada on 3/4/95 and lost to Mitsuharu Misawa on 5/26/95

All Japan World Tag Team Championship with Terry Gordy (Held 2 Times):
- Defeated Jumbo Tsuruta and Yatsu on 7/29/88 and lost to Jumbo Tsuruta and Yatsu on 7/31/88
- Won World's Strongest Tag Team League on 12/16/88 and lost to Tsuruta and Yatsu on 2/2/89

All Japan World Tag Team Championship with Genichiro Tenryu (Held 3 Times):
- Defeated Jumbo Tsuruta and Yatsu on 7/11/89 and lost to Jumbo Tsuruta and Yatsu on 7/22/89
- Defeated Jumbo Tsuruta and Yatsu on 10/20/89 and Vacated on 11/29/89
- Won World's Strongest Tag Team League on 12/6/89 and lost to Gordy and Williams on 3/6/90

All Japan World Tag Team Championship with Dan Spivey:
- Defeated Gordy and Steve Williams on 4/18/91 and lost to Gordy and Williams on 7/6/91

All Japan World Tag Team Championship with Ted DiBiase:
- Defeated Toshiaki Kawada and Akira Taue on 9/3/93 and Vacated in 12/93

All Japan World Tag Team Championship with Gary Albright:
- Defeated Kawada and Akira Taue on 1/24/96 and lost to Kawada and Akira Taue on 2/20/96

PWF Heavyweight Championship (Held 4 Times):
- Defeated Giant Baba on 9/8/83 and lost to Giant Baba on 7/31/84
- Defeated Giant Baba on 7/30/85 and lost to Riki Choshu on 4/5/86
- Defeated Hiroshi Wajima on 4/24/87 and lost to Genichiro Tenryu on 3/9/88
- Defeated Genichiro Tenryu on 7/27/88 and lost to Jumbo Tsuruta on 4/18/89

PWF Tag Team Championship with Bruiser Brody:
- Defeated Giant Baba and Dory Funk, Jr. on 4/25/84 and Vacated on 3/21/85

PWF Tag Team Championship with Ted DiBiase (Held 2 Times):
- Awarded in 8/85 and lost to Tiger Mask and Jumbo Tsuruta on 7/3/87
- Defeated Tiger Mask and Jumbo Tsuruta on 7/11/87 and Vacated in 7/87

PWF Tag Team Championship with Austin Idol:
- Awarded in 8/87 and lost to Ashura Hara and Genichiro Tenryu on 9/3/87

AWA World Championship:
- Defeated Rick Martel on 12/29/85 and Vacated on 6/28/86

Biggest Matches:
- September 8th, 1983 vs. Giant Baba (title win)
- December 29th, 1985 vs. Rick Martel (title win)
- December 16th, 1988 with Terry Gordy vs. Tsuruta and Yatsu (tournament and title win)
- June 8th, 1990 vs. Terry Gordy (title win)
- April 17th, 1992 vs. Mitsuharu Misawa (title win)

- A young Hansen with Jumbo Tsuruta
- Hansen with Bruiser Brody
- Winning the Real World Tag League with Terry Gordy
- A Lariat to Akiyama
- Hansen hits Martel with an Elbow Drop

Featured Signature Moves:
- Powerbomb
- Western Lariat

Other Signature Moves:
- Body Slam
- Piledriver
- Running Knee Drop
- Short-Range Western Lariat
- Shoulder Block

Career History:

If one were to ask any knowledgeable wrestling fan who the stiffest wrestler was, there is a good chance that Stan Hansen's name would come up. And rightfully so. It wouldn't be possible to keep track off all the bruises and lumps Hansen dished out on his opponents, since I doubt anyone he left the ring with didn't have at least a couple. Even though he might have been a little rough, Hansen is greatly respected in Japan and by anyone that stepped in the ring with him.

Hansen started his career in America, but by 1975 he already was making trips to tour with New Japan. In 1976, he would have a high profile match against former WWWF Heavyweight Champion Bruno Sammartino. During their match, the still green Hansen would botch a powerslam and drop Sammartino on this head, which broke his neck. The Japanese media, however, claimed that Hansen's clothesline was what broke Sammartino's neck, and Hansen now had a deadly finisher that would help him win many titles over the years: The Lariat.

During the late 70s and late 80s, Hansen would terrorize the South while winning both the NWA Georgia Heavyweight Championship and the NWA Georgia Tag Team Championship with Tommy Rich. His reputation for being physical was growing however. One of the reasons given for his stiffness was that Hansen had terrible eye sight. However, he refused to wear contacts in the ring. Since he couldn't see very well, he often couldn't tell how close he was to his opponent. In order to not make the match look bad, he erred on the side of being too rough then making it look like he missed the hit altogether. Eventually his stiff style made him very popular with the fans, as he used his Lariat to win match after match.

In 1981, Hansen had a match against Andre the Giant, which many people consider to be Andre's best match. In case you believed that Andre the Giant had never been powerslammed before Hogan did it, Hansen managed it in this match, and it actually looked better then when Hogan managed the same feat years later. In 1982, Hansen quickly and surprisingly left New Japan for Giant Baba's All Japan. Soon after, he won the PWF Championship from Giant Baba, his first major title in Japan. During the next three years, Hansen went on a major winning spree throughout the world. He won the AWA International Title from Austin Idol, he won with Real World Tag League with Bruiser Brody, the MSG Tag League with Andre the Giant, the PWF Tag Championship with Dory Funk Jr., and in 1985 Hansen defeated Rick Martel for the AWA Heavyweight Championship.

In 1986, Hansen had a disagreement with AWA management and decided not to drop the belt to Nick Bockwinkel as he was instructed. Instead, he went back to Japan. AWA would award the belt to Bockwinkel.... however, Hansen had taken the belt with him. Hansen's true allegiance was to Giant Baba, and Baba had wanted Hansen to have the belt during his tour in Japan. So that is what he did. Upon his return to America, Hansen did finally return the title.

Another interesting story from his career, and one better known to Americans - his feud with Big Van Vader. Vader was just becoming a big name in the late 80s, especially in Japan where he had gotten a shocking quick victory over Antonio Inoki. Vader would partly credit his stiff style to Hansen, since Hansen was one of his first major feuds back in 1986. Vader and Hansen would have the most brutal and physical fights that America or Japan had ever seen. It wasn't that they didn't like each other... they just both had an understanding that they were going to beat the hell out of each other. While they had many minor injuries against each other, one of the more major ones was when Hansen knocked Vader's eye out of the socket in 1992. A metal plate had to be inserted under Vader's eye to fix the problem. Whether they were fighting in Japan or America, Hansen and Vader always would put on a match that fans were likely not to forget.

Hansen would continue winning titles, including the coveted Triple Crown from Terry Gordy in 1990. Over the next six years Hansen would win the title a total of four times, and he would also hold the All Japan World Tag Team Championship a total of six times. In 1992 and 1993 Hansen asserted himself as the man to beat in All Japan as he won the Champion Carnival both years. At the Tokyo Dome show in 2001, Hansen retired from wrestling due to a nagging back injury. Hansen was whole-heartedly accepted by fans in Japan, and was one of the most popular wrestlers during his tenure. His finishing move, the Lariat, is still used by many wrestlers in Japan today. While in America he was well known for chewing tobacco and spitting it on people, in Japan he was known for his brutality and ability to get the job done. No one took or gave more punishment, and few men in puroresu are more respected then Stan "The Lariat" Hansen.

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