National Wrestling Hall of Fame

Earl Wampler Will Be Inducted into Tragos/Thesz Pro Hall of Fame

The National Wrestling Hall of Fame Dan Gable Museum announced on Friday that Earl Wampler, who died in 1984 at the age of 88, will be inducted into the George Tragos/Lou Thesz Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame during induction weekend on July 23-25.

Born in Pennsylvania in 1895, Wampler moved to Iowa when he was 15 and became a professional wrestler, shortly after arriving. Earning a reputation as a hard-working, well-conditioned athlete, Wampler became a mentor to a young Lou Thesz and was instrumental in shaping him during his formative years.

When World War II began, Wampler joined the United States Marines and trained troops in judo in Virginia.

He was famous for the ability to incite crowds with his finishing move, the “Rabbit Punch.” The signature mode of attack had Wampler turning his palm downward, making a fist and then punching his opponent in the back of the neck to great, crowd-pleasing effect.

Wampler wrestled in Madison Square Garden and in Mexico City and was one of the early pioneers of televised wrestling before retiring in 1952. He was the Iowa Light Heavyweight and Heavyweight Champion during a career that spanned 40 years.

All-Access passes for induction weekend are available for $115 until May 31. All-Access Passes provide admission to all events, including a ticket to the Hall of Fame Banquet, a ringside seat at the Impact Pro Wrestling show, if available, and preferred access at the autograph signing. Some events are only open to All-Access Pass holders and distinguished guests.

To order your All-Access Pass, please email dgmstaff@nwhof.org or telephone (319) 233-0745.

Inductees and luminaries of the sport scheduled to attend induction weekend include:
Adnan Alkaissy: 2020 George Tragos/Lou Thesz Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame inductee
Ken Anderson: ACW Heavyweight Champion, TNA World Heavyweight Champion and WWE® United States Champion
Tony Atlas: WWE Tag Team Champion with the late Rocky Johnson and known as Mr. USA for his incredible physique and power
Wes Brisco:  Former TNA Impact superstar and son of WWE® Hall of Famer Gerry Brisco
Gerry Brisco: WWE® Hall of Famer, NWA World Junior Heavyweight Champion, NWA World Tag Team Champion, longtime WWE® talent scout and a member of the George Tragos/Lou Thesz Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame
Colt Cabana: NWA World Champion, independent wrestling superstar and host of “The Art of Wrestling” podcast
JJ Dillon: leader of the legendary Four Horsemen and 2016 recipient of the Lou Thesz World Heavyweight Championship Award
Madman Fulton: ASWA Heavyweight Champion, AWE/ARW Tag Team Champion and Mid-Ohio Tag Team Champion
Tony Garea: Five-time WWF World Tag Team Champion
Dominic Garrini: Brazilian Jiu Jitsu gold medalist, PWF Tag Team Champion, SUP Bonestorm Champion and SUP Tag Team Champion
Mark Henry: 2020 Frank Gotch Award recipient
Gary Jay: PWW Tag Team Champion, SLA Heavyweight Champion and PWF Heavyweight Champion
Kevin Nash: Multiple world champion and founding member of the NWO
PACO: AAW Heritage Champion and PGP Tag Team Champion
Thunderbolt Patterson: WWA Tag Team Champion, NWA Brass Knuckles Champion, ordained minister and 2019 recipient of the Lou Thesz World Heavyweight Championship Award
Tommy Rich: AWF Tag Team Champion, NWA Hall of Fame and WCW World Six-Man Tag Team Champion
Bob Roop: NWA United States Champion, won numerous regional titles, authored several books and 2006 inductee into the George Tragos/Lou Thesz Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame
Ken Shamrock: 2020 George Tragos Award recipient
Curt Stallion: ACW Unified Champion, OSW Light Heavyweight Champion and PGP Cutting Edge Champion
Trish Stratus: 2020 Lou Thesz World Heavyweight Championship Award recipient
Earl Wampler: 2020 George Tragos/Lou Thesz Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame inductee