28 years ago - Tony Woodward is born.
13 years ago - 15-year-old Tony drops out of school.
7 years ago - 21-year-old Tony is sent to prison for assault.
6 years ago - 22-year-old Tony is released from prison. He finds work with a hazardous material clean-up crew.
4 years ago - 24-year-old Tony incites a riot. He falls into a vat of molten steel from a starr labs facility. He gains is synthetic metal body and goes on a rampage, eventually stopped by the Flash.
3 years ago - 25-year-old Tony is freed from Iron Heights by Clifford Devoe to form his new team of Rogues. They are defeated by the combined strength of the Flash and the original Rogues.
Wally West really arrived as a character during the series written by Mark Waid and Geoff Johns in the late 90's early 2000's. Part of what made that era so sucessful was that it really revolutionized the Flash's villains, focusing on what made them unique and interesting while also introducing a suprisingly broad spectrum of new threats. One of those new threats, for better or worse, was the metal-bodied Girder.
Girder's Comic History
First created by Geoff Johns as he worked to modernize and update Flash's rogues gallery in the early 2000's, Girder is a pretty noteworthy departure from the traditional baddies the Flash fights. He's noteably not 'a guy with a gimmick' like most of the others, nor is he a serial killer like a lot of the villains introduced in that era; he's an actual metahuman with a specific power set
Of course, it's kind of hard to miss just how poor a fit Girder is as a villain for the Flash. He has nothing to combat his enemies superspeed, doesn't really control the battlefield in any noteworthy way, and isn't even a kitchy throwback. He's just a big, angry, mean blunt object, the sort of character that generally gets beaten in the opening pages of a comic as the introduction to the heroes before we even begin the larger threat. He certainly LOOKS threatening and might actually serve as a great challenge for, say, the Teen Titans, but for an experienced speedster like Wally West's Flash, this is the sort of enemy he would defeat in nanoseconds while rushing out to pick up flowers for his wife when her back was turned.
Our Girder Story
It does sort of beg the question why we're even bothering to include Girder at all. He does have at least some recognition; he was depicted in the live-action CW Flash series all the way back in it's first season, since that was really the only time when a baddie like this presented any sort of challenge. So why would we do the work to bring him in?
The answer is actually in our decision to create a new, more dangerous group of Rogues. We made our team centered around the Thinker, but really the idea was that this was a younger, less likeable, more dangerous collection of baddies, and Girder is a near-perfect addition. The Thinker would WANT a blunt-instrument enforcer. Even if Wally would normally be able to mop up a big dumb violent enemy like this, when paring him with the Thinker he suddenly becomes way more dangerous. Sometimes you just need some narrative foot-soldiers, and characters like this are perfect for that job.