Muhammad Ali To Be Inducted Into WWE Hall of Fame

The WWE has announced it’s latest batch of inductees into the WWE Hall of Fame. With WrestleMania drawing closer, the list is almost complete, and we can expect another announcement within the coming weeks before the ceremony. Today, we take a look at some names that were crucial to the industry, some renowned for their in-ring prowess and others for their efforts in breaking down barriers for people of colour:

The US Express: Barry Windham and Mike Rotunda are two men with remarkable singles careers and an underrated stint as a tag team. Of all of the “Express” teams in professional wrestling, the US Express may be the least appreciated of the lot. Competing in the first tag team match in WrestleMania history at the inaugural event, holding the WWF Tag Team Championships twice and competing in the likes of Championship Wrestling From Florida and Japan. Windham and Rotunda’s alliance will be honoured in the WWE Hall of Fame Class of 2024, this being Windham’s second induction after his 2012 inclusion as a member of the Four Horsemen.

Thunderbolt Patterson: If you’ve never heard of this man, it’s probably due to the mass opposition Thunderbolt Patterson faced by promotors after his attempts to quash the racist culture within the industry at the time. Patterson began wrestling in 1964, stepping into the ring with the likes of Harley Race and winning tag team gold with the late Ole Anderson. He was one of the most influential black wrestlers to stand up to the institutionalised racism in the industry, taking people to court for discrimination and proposed a wrestling union.

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Muhammad Ali: A name known to people in and out of the wrestling industry. The great Muhammad Ali had very brief encounters in wrestling, most notably as the special guest enforcer and referee for the tag team main event at WrestleMania 1. Ali also participated in a highly advertised yet underwhelming boxer vs wrestler hybrid fight against New Japan Pro Wrestling legend Antonio Inoki in 1976.

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