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Stan Hansen officially joins WWE Hall of Fame class of 2016

Official confirmation of this belated induction was broken by an appropriate source, as Tokyo Sports (via Yahoo Japan) was the outlet WWE chose to let the world know that Stan "The Lariat" Hansen will be joining Sting, Godfather, the Fabulous Freebirds, Big Bossman and Jaqueline Moore in the group who will be inducted into their Hall of Fame on Apr. 2 in Dallas.

The Borger, Texas native joins the Lone Star state contingent after a career that spanned three decades, with large portions of it - and his greatest fame - coming while in Japan. One of the most successful and popular gaijin ever to work across the Pacific, participating in memorable feuds with fellow Westerners like Vader and Hulk Hogan as well as Japanese stars like Mitsuharu Misawa and Genichiro Tenryu - some of them during his four reigns as All Japan Pro Wrestling's Triple Crown Heavyweight championship.

In the U.S., Hansen had a brief but famous feud with Bruno Sammartino over the WWWF title, which saw Bruno suffer a broken neck (kayfabed to be caused by Stan's lariat, but actually the result of a botched powerslam) and won Pro Wrestling Illustrated's 1976 Match of the Year award. Year later, Hansen also ended Lex Luger's record setting run with the United States title in 1990 while working for WCW.

Hansen, and the means by which WWE announced his induction, are likely part of the company's big push into the Japanese market for their streaming Network service.

Regardless, the Texan is a more-than-deserving honoree.

The class of 2016 should now be complete in terms of wrestlers, but there will likely still be a celebrity inductee (expected to be either Regis Philbin or Snoop Dogg) and a Warrior Award winner (rumored to be Joan Lunden).

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