Kyle Klingman passed this along.

Joe Blanchard to enter Tragos/Thesz Hall of Fame

WATERLOO, Iowa—One of professional wrestling’s most instrumental figures will be inducted into the George Tragos/Lou Thesz Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame. Joe Blanchard will be inducted as a Distinguished Member at the 2016 George Tragos/Lou Thesz Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame induction weekend on July 21-23.

Blachard made his professional wrestling debut in 1953 in Calgary for Stampede Wrestling. He teamed with Lord James Blears to hold the Hawaiian Tag Team title throughout 1958 and 1959. Blanchard held the NWA Texas championship during 1963 and 1964, as well as the World Class Texas title in 1966. In 1978, he founded Southwest Championship Wrestling in San Antonio, where he retired from active competition after a 25-year career. Joe Blanchard is the father of Tully Blanchard, who was a member of the Four Horsemen.

Blanchard died on March 22, 2012.

“Joe was a pioneer for modern professional wrestling,” said Bill Murdock, winner of the Lou Thesz Award in 2007 and a member of the Hall of Fame selection committee. “His tremendous wrestling and athletic skills are only eclipsed by his tremendous promotional skills. Joe put Texas wrestling on the map. He is also the patriarch of the one the greatest families in professional wrestling. It is an honor for us to induct him into the Hall of Fame.”

The National Wrestling Hall of Fame Dan Gable Museum will continue to release honorees into the 2016 George Tragos/Lou Thesz Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame.

All-access passes to the George Tragos/Lou Thesz Hall of Fame induction weekend are available for $100. They can be pre-ordered by contacting the Dan Gable Museum at or by calling (319) 233-0745.

A full schedule of events will be released on a later date.

2016 Hall of Fame induction class
George Tragos Award—Chael Sonnen
Lou Thesz Award—TBA
Jim Melby Award—Dave Meltzer
Frank Gotch Award—TBA
Distinguished Member (living)—TBA
Distinguished Member (posthumous)—Joe Blanchard