Wrestling / Gary Albright


"Anytime, anyplace, you want it? I'll take you any-fucking-where!"
Gary Albright after winning a match.

"9 out of 10 of Gary's opponent's wind up on stretchers when they go out of the ring."
Ted Pelc, UWFI English Commentator.

Gary Albright (May 18, 1963 January 7, 2000) was an American professional wrestler best known for his work in Stampede Wrestling, Universal Wrestling Federation and All Japan Pro Wrestling. He first started as an amateur wrestling star, setting several records as a NCAA in the University of Nebraska before turning to pro wrestling. Training under people like Lou Thesz and Billy Robinson, he signed up to Stu Hart's Calgary-based Stampede Wrestling, mainly wrestling as a foreign heel named Vokhan Singh. After the closure of Stampede in 1989, he travelled to Japan and joined the shoot-style promotion UWF International, where he became famous to Japanese audiences as a frightening superheavyweight gaijin who knocked people dead with his suplexes. He was one of the few people who got a clean victory over the famed Nobuhiko Takada, headlining many events and giving birth to legendary feuds. When he could not get more from UWF, he switched to Giant Baba's All Japan Pro Wrestling, where he teamed with guys like Stan Hansen and "Dr. Death" Steve Williams and challenged Toshiaki Kawada among other highlights. However, tragedy struck around that time when Albright collapsed on a ring and never got up again. He was pronounced dead due to a heart attack, leaving behind a widow belonging to the Samoan Anoa'i wrestling family and an impressive legacy in the story of puroresu.

As usual, you can find the basics at The Other Wiki.

"The Murderous Tropes":

  • '80s Hair: A mullet.
  • The Alcoholic: Drinking beer was one of his favourite past times.
  • Arch-Enemy: Nobuhiko Takada and Super Vader.
  • Badass Beard: As a Face, as he had an impressive goatee.
  • Badass Crew: Look who he hangs out with.
  • Beard of Evil: As a Heel, as he had an impressive goatee.
  • Blood Knight: Outside of the ring there are stories of him getting into fights usually when he is out drinking beer, with people commenting that said fights were like a child versus an adult, said fights were against soldiers, martial artists and/or street fighters.
  • Brilliant, but Lazy: It is said that he never wanted to train or work out, all he wanted to do was drink beer and fight.
  • The Brute: In an environment where KO's by strikes and submissions was the norm, he mostly defeated his opponents by picking them up and throwing them down with multiple suplexes.
  • Casualty in the Ring: He died during a wrestling match.
  • Charles Atlas Super Power: He never needs help when he does his suplexes.
    • There was a funny story that Dave Meltzer wrote in the Wrestling Observer when Gary passed. When he was at Nebraska, the coach would get on him about going to the gym. One day Gary was fed up so he went into the gym, asked what the school squat record was and proceeded to break it. The coach never harrassed him after that.
  • Cool vs. Awesome: His match with Super Vader.
  • Cluster F-Bomb: In some of his interviews he would drop the f-word.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Most of his early matches were squashes.
  • Defeating the Undefeatable: His first match with Nobuhiko Takada. Inverted with their second match.
  • Downer Ending: His death in 2000 by heart attack. Worse, he died in a pro wrestling match he was booked to win.
  • Dramatic Dislocation: During a training session with Mark Fleming, when Fleming went for a takedown, he popped Albright's knee out of the socket. The UWF-I staff was about have a fit when Albright just popped it back and continued training.
  • The Dreaded: An ancient but probably apocryphal rumor says that Albright was supposedly blacklisted from the early Ultimate Fighting Championship events, when wrestlers like Dan Severn were starting to show, because he would have been too much to handle by the favourites. Even if it is untrue, you know someone is dreaded when others professional wrestlers are afraid to work a rehearsed match with him, and you would think so too if you see him suplex someone.
  • Everyone Went to School Together: Not exactly, but it was in his amateur wrestling days that he met and wrestled against other guys like "Dr. Death" Steve Williams, Dan Severn and John Tenta that with would be his future tag team partners and opponents in pro wrestling.
  • Foreign Wrestling Heel: Old school.
  • Good Scars, Evil Scars: Has a noticeable scar on the left of his face.
  • Hero Killer: Was the first person to beat Nobuhiko Takada in UWF International. Albright also has more wins over him than anyone else.
  • I Know Karate: An accomplished amateur wrestler.
  • Leotard of Power: A nod to his amateur wrestling background and probably because he wouldn't look too good in Underwear of Power.
  • Mean Character, Nice Actor: To people who have met or chatted online with him they usually remark that he is a very nice.
  • Mighty Glacier: Huge and slow, but strong and ferocious like a bull.
  • Mighty Whitey: For UWFI, the only guy in the promotion with multiple victories over Nobuhiko Takada and basically curb-stomped everyone else until Super Vader came. The promotion basically fell apart after he left.
  • Out-of-Character Moment: The "Break Gary, Break" incident. He sabotaged his match with Kiyoshi Tamura which would have been Tamura's biggest at the time and was supposed to put him over, Albright repeatedly shot on him and blew the spots of the match because he had been already forced to lose to Masahito Kakihara and was not willing to job to another Japanese midcarder. Albright returned two months later and submitted to Tamura in the main event without incident then left the promotion afterwards to go to All Japan Pro Wrestling.
  • Real Song Theme Tune: "Thunderstuck" by AC/DC in his later UWF-I days. "Voodoo Child (Slight Return)" by the Jimi Hendrix Experience in All Japan Pro Wrestling.
  • Red Baron: "The Suplex Machine", "Satsujin Kazaguruma" ("The Murderous Windmill"), "Satsujin Suplex" ("Murderous Suplex") and "Air Albright" (this gained in his amateur wrestling days, as his opponents would most likely get sent into the air via suplex). One of the UWFI English commentators liked referring to him as "The Mountain Man From Montana" though it never really caught on.
  • Squash Match: Was booked with these early in his career. Even over Bad News Allen.
  • Stout Strength: This is what made his suplexes all the more feared.
  • Suplex Finisher: Was an expert in suplexes.
  • Unskilled, but Strong: Was never a technician even in amateur wrestling, he would just grab onto someone and try to suplex them. Being the big and strong guy he is he didn't really need much else.
  • Ur-Example: Was nicknamed "The Suplex Machine" before Tazz. Some people think that his gimmick was inspired by Albright.
  • Wrestler in All of Us: In addition to suplexes, Albright liked using the scoop slam in his shoot wrestling matches.
  • Wrestling Family: Married into the Anoa'i wrestling family.
  • Wrestling Monster: The closest one can get in the shoot wrestling.