Stan Hansen’s Hard-Hitting Reputation: The Unforgettable Incident Where He Met His Match
Everyone knew that it would be a hard-hitting affair when they stepped into the ring with Stan Hansen. While plenty of workers got sick of getting hit with potatoes (a strike to the head which makes real contact), few stood up to it. There was, however, this one time Big Stan got knocked down a few pegs!
Stiff Stan Hansen Played and then Got Played!
Stan Hansen hit hard, perhaps harder than anyone in pro wrestling history. His hard hits were very real and resulted from having rather poor eyesight.
Stan Hansen’s Tough Choice
As the legend goes, Hansen worked stiff because if he didn’t, he’d miss badly on a punch or slam, and people would catch on to the act. Hansen went with the latter when choosing between going soft and betraying the business or going hard but injuring people.
Tom Zenk’s Candid Reflection
Tom Zenk, who sadly passed away on December 9th, 2017, at 59, shared this memorable story in a fan Q&A on his website TomZenk.net.
"I learned early on that some guys can really work, if they want to," Zenk begins, "and if they don’t, there’s just no point in swimming upstream!"
Stan Hansen: Jekyll and Hyde Persona According to Tom Zenk
"Stan Hansen is a case in point. Some nights he could work; other nights he ‘couldn’t see’ (he wore thick glasses), or that was always his excuse if he potatoed you."
Stan Hansen: The Wrestling Legend with a Notorious Temperament
Zenk went on to say, "I never met a more miserable guy than Stan. We watched movies on the bus, and if Stan didn’t like it, or it was too loud, he always got his way (like a big baby).
Zenk Continues: A Memorable Encounter with Danny Kroffat
“All the guys knew his game, but he was ‘office,’ so you had to play ball with him.
Stan Hansen’s Infamous Hard Hitting
"My favorite Hansen story is when he got stiff with my ex-partner Danny Kroffat.
Stan Hansen’s Strikes: Tensions and Challenges During Long Tours
"Stan was clumsy, and all the guys were sick of getting hit stiff all the time … it makes for a really long tour, and we all had to get along – in the Japanese style.
As The Story Goes
“So Danny put him in a shoot hold armbar, held him down, and added pressure on it. It was glorious to hear that Southwest Texas Redneck scream, ‘**** …..my arm … it don’t bend that way!’
"The memory still goes good with a cold [drink] to this day! No matter how tough you think you are, there’s always someone a little bit tougher.
Danny Kroffat: The Unlikely Mediator Who Tamed Stan Hansen
“Danny was that guy. He took the edge off Big Stan, and Stan seemed to work better for the rest of the tour."
Danny Kroffat’s Rough Justice
Danny Kroffat delivered a bit of deserved rough justice to the hard-hitting Stan Hansen in the ring, making for a much more enjoyable tour for everyone else.
Big Stan’s Unyielding Strikes: The Wrestlers Who Felt the Impact in the Ring
Not everyone, though, got to walk out of the ring unscathed by Big Stan.
Stan Hansen’s Grisly Strike: Big Van Vader’s Eye Falls Out
In 1990 during a Tokyo Dome Super Fight for the IWGP Championship, Big Van Vader fell victim to a few hard left-handed strikes to the face by Hansen, and his eye fell out of the socket! You can read all about that grisly incident here.
Stan Hansen Meets His Match: When Danny Kroffat Stiffed the Infamous Toughman of Wrestling
That night, Stan Hansen got a dose of his own medicine when he was met with stiff resistance from Danny Kroffat in the ring.
The Limits of Toughness: Stan Hansen’s Legacy and the Breaking Point
Although he had a long career and legacy as one of the toughest wrestlers of all time, even he could be taken down with enough force!
As this story shows, there is a limit to what anyone can take before they’re pushed too far.
Wrestling Injuries That Ended Careers Too Soon
“When I hit the mat, I knew my neck was broken and that I was paralyzed.”
Triple H: 4 Injuries That Almost Ended His Career (and Life)
There was a fantastic tag team match on the May 21st, 2001 edition of WWE Monday Night RAW. Chris Jericho refers to it as: "The match that doesn’t exist anymore because of the circumstances that happened after."
Joey Mercury – The Injury That Brokedown a Promising Career
A promising career in WWE came crashing down in 2006 in the form of a ladder spot going horribly wrong. Vince McMahon’s concern for Joey Mercury’s well-being afterward led to his release months later. It was a wake-up call that potentially saved his life.
Vince McMahon and His Chaotic Injury at 2005’s Royal Rumble
This injury could have been avoided entirely for Vince McMahon had Teddy Long and Eric Bischoff not left the building early that night!
Shawn Michaels and the Night of the Infamous Syracuse Incident
“WWE favorite took a real-life beating outside a North Syracuse club as the 1-2-3 Kid (Sean Waltman) and British Bulldog looked on!”
Want More? Choose another story!
Pro Wrestling Stories is committed to accurate, unbiased wrestling content rigorously fact-checked and verified by our team of researchers and editors. Any inaccuracies are quickly corrected, with updates timestamped in the article's byline header.
Got a correction, tip, or story idea for Pro Wrestling Stories? Contact us! Learn about our editorial standards here.
This post may contain affiliate links, which means we may earn a commission at no extra cost to you. This helps us provide free content for you to enjoy!