Stan Hansen is an interesting fellow. Considered by many to be one of the best overall workers in the history of the business. His runs in Texas, the AWA, a short sting in WCW, and big runs New Japan and All Japan Pro Wrestling have made him legendary.
Known to have influenced such workers as Barry Windham and John “Bradshaw” Layfield (both of which incorporated the “Lariat” into their arsenal of moves), Hansen seems to be a forgotten legend to most casual fans. I can’t blame them too much though; he was before their time.
He knew how to sell, he knew how to put together a main event caliber match, and he knew how to make everything he did look real. His punches looked like they would knock your head off, and at times they did. It was a well-known fact that Hansen was blind. I mean, not Helen Keller blind, but he couldn’t see very well. So when he’d throw out his arm for a looping right hand or a Lariat, he swung it as hard as could and made sure it connected. He would rather have knocked somebody unconscious and protected the business than have missed completely and made it look fake. This subsequently led to Hansen accidentally knocking Vader’s eye out of it’s socket in a match in Japan.
Hansen’s brute force style of work and brawling have put him up there with the likes of Abdullah the Butcher, Bruiser Brody, and others in terms of workrate. “The Lariat” also had legendary feuds with the aforementioned individuals. Wrestling historians will point to Hansen’s reign as All Japan Triple Crown Champion, and subsequent defeat at the hands of Mitsuharu Misawa, as the peak of All Japan’s boom period in the early 90s.
So today, we honor the career of Stan “The Lariat” Hansen with this awesome video I found on YouTube. Maybe one day, Hansen’s giant frame will rise like the sun into the WWE Hall of Fame. He damn sure deserves to be.