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Where It All Began
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"The UWF was originally like any professional wrestling organization until Fujiwara, Takada, Yamazaki, and Sayama joined Maeda and Hayato. Then, within a few months these men came to a conscious decision to "return wrestling" back to its roots. Gone would be the top-rope techniques, the choreographed bumps, and the disqualification endings. Thus Go, Kimura, and Hamada left to All-Japan Pro Wrestling (of Giant Baba) as well. However, stiff strikes and an extra emphasis on groundwork would take priority in their work. Because of this, Osamu Kido, a colleague of Inoki whom debuted in the JWA in 1968 joined the roster on September 11, of that year. Within the time of the UWF's first year, Masami Soranaka, Karl Gotch's son-in-law, a Karateka, Judoka, and Sumo-tori became the organization's first true-born graduate. The organization would also hire very technical mat-savvy wrestlers such as Mark Lewin, Phil Lafon (of Can-Am Express fame) and Dean "Malenko" Simon (whose family Karl is close to) to work with the calibre of the UWF's talent. Unfortunately, this experiment had its drawbacks backstage. Akira Maeda, the ace of the promotion, was not able compromise with Satoru Sayama's interests (Sayama wanted to be the ace also). Thus 14 months after the promotion's premiere April 10, 1984 show, things came to a boiling point on September 02, 1985. On that show, which would prove to be the UWF's semifinal show, during a match between Akira Maeda and Satoru Sayama, Maeda would kick Sayama with all his power below the waist, of which Sayma would sell as low blows. Sayma would then attempt to strike Maeda harder than what was called for and a scuffle supposedly ensued. Because of this escalation Maeda left the UWF and the UWF had its last card 9 days later when Sayama left as well. Kido, Takada, Yamazaki, Fujiwara, and Maeda would return to New Japan in 1986, as part of a "UWF Invasion"."
Alan Lee, an article writer for http://www.scientificwrestling.com.

"Before the first wrestler ever stepped into the ring for its debut show, things had already gone horribly wrong for the Universal Wrestling Federation. Antonio Inoki, the presumptive top star, remained with New Japan Wrestling rather than journeying out once again into the unknown. This was a bit of a shock to some. The company, which had sold out 90 percent of its shows in 1983, was seemingly ready to move ahead with Riki Choshu and Tatsumi Fujinami as headliners. Not only was the aging Inoki a product of the previous generation, but he’d spent a year draining the promotion of what were record profits. An investment in Anton Hisel, a bio-tech supplement company in Brazil, had gone horribly wrong—and Inoki had used the company to offset his losses. But this financial scandal, one that led to him stepping down as company president and his partner Hisashi Shinma being fired from the company, was suddenly forgiven when TV-Asahi told the promotion they would no longer air wrestling without Inoki’s involvement. His financial shenanigans, it turned out, were less important than retaining a television show that had been on the air since 1973. Inoki was safe thanks to his television overlords, reinstated as president, and empowered to hold off the next generation of superstars for another couple of years. Absent Inoki, the lead act, by default, became Akira Maeda, a 25-year-old prodigy with plenty of potential, none of it proven. With no established ace, Fuji Television, expected to air the start-up group, decided to pass on the new wrestling promotion. And so, before the first bell rang at the Omiya Skate Center, before the first tracksuit was donned or streamer thrown, the UWF was already on death’s door. While its future as a financial enterprise was seemingly doomed from the start, its artistic impact on the sport of professional wrestling is undeniable. The UWF would eventually become famous for creating “shootstyle” a throwback promotion grounded in realistic catch wrestling holds and other legitimate martial arts techniques. Some of the biggest stars of the 1990s were launched into the collective consciousness of hardcore Japanese wrestling fans on these obscure, niche shows. But the first shots of that artistic revolution were decidedly not fired at the promotion’s debut show. The UWF’s initial tour, with a rag tag collection of foreign talent booked by Terry Funk from the dregs of the Texas wrestling scene, was garden variety puroresu. Only the lack of star power betrayed the fact this wasn’t the New Japan promotion the native crew of Gran Hamada, Ryumo Go, Mach Hayato, Rusher Kimura and Akira Maeda had so recently departed. The revolution was coming—but it wasn’t here yet."
Jonathan Snowden, on the first UWF show.

As a whole

  • Early Installment Weirdness: As the promotion's theme was not established yet when UWF formed, it featured several wrestlers who don't jive easily with what would later become shoot-style. Comedy wrestlers like Go, hardcore experts like Rusher Kimura and luchadores like Gran Hamada were part of the first generation before leaving for creative differences.
  • Five-Man Band: The key people of UWF.
    • The Leader: Akira Maeda, since he was the one that came up with the idea for shoot-style wrestling and convinced most of the others to defect from NJPW in the first place.
    • The Lancer: Super Tiger, since he was the most popular wrestler and at the time was best friends with Maeda.
    • The Smart Guy: Probably Kazuo Yamazaki, if only because Super Tiger can’t take this role as well, though Yamazaki is close enough as he was Super Tiger‘s assistant and knew a lot of his martial arts teachings.
    • The Big Guy: Yoshiaki Fujiwara, since he was the best wrestler out of everyone and the main enforcer of the UWF Dojo.
    • The Chick: Nobuhiko Takada, since at the time he was still kind of a rookie compared to his peers and had good relations with all of them (one-sided in Yamazaki's case).
    • Sixth Ranger: Osamu Kido, since he debuted later than the others.
    • Tagalong Kid: Mach Hayato, since though he was around since the beginning, was not really a key player in the development of shoot-style wrestling. He did however train under Karl Gotch trainee Hiro Matsuda and could wrestle the style well enough to be invited to Newborn UWF.
    • The Man Behind the Man: Hisashi Shinma, since he helped in the start up and management as chairman till he left. His spot was taken by Noburu Urata.
  • Gondor Calls for Aid: Before he left, Shinma requested Giant Baba to help the UWF to supply the gaijin talents in order "to avoid another promotional war". Terry Funk was assigned by Baba as the booker for the gaijin talents. UWF brought in luchadors from CMLL, Americans from Continental Wrestling Association in Tennessee, Southwest Championship Wrestling in Texas, trainees from Malenko's Gym and Florida Championship Wrestling in Florida, Canadians from Atlantic Grand Prix Wrestling and Stampede Wrestling, British from Joint Promotions (better known by the name of the television program they were featured in, World of Sport), and other Europeans from Catch Wrestling Association.
  • Guest-Star Party Member: Legendary Kyokushin karateka Terutomo Yamazaki was a guest trainer at the UWF dojo.
  • Lonely Together: They effectively banded together to have a promotion in which they could act as they wanted, as opposed to their former careers in NJPW.
  • Power Trio: Sayama, Maeda and Fujiwara were this incarnation's top players.
  • Ragtag Bunch of Misfits: Most of the main UWF players were controversial figures, counting on backstage troublemakers like Maeda and his pals, shady bookers like Shinma or downright wrestling outcasts like Sayama. Inoki and Baba's public opinion contributed to create this image.
  • Special Guest: Karl Gotch was present for a match between Super Tiger and Yoshiaki Fujiwara.

Natives

Yoji Anjo

"The only Japanese fighter today (mid- 90's) who is capable of submitting BJJ black belts from Brazil is Anjo-san."
— Naoyuki Taira

"I am 200% sure I will win."
— Yoji Anjo

  • Action Survivor: He did have a mixed styles fight with Muay Thai legend Changpuek Kiatsongrit in which they fought to a draw. Anjo also fought against Confusion Fu expert Manson Gibson in a shoot boxing rules event, drawing again.
  • Affectionate Parody: The 200% Machines gimmick was inspired by Junji Hirata's Super Strong Machine gimmick. His gimmick as Commander An Jo was one to G.I. Joe.
  • The Apprentice: To Nobuhiko Takada.
  • Arch-Enemy: Akira Maeda, so much that Maeda was arrested for vowing to kill Anjo. Anjo says his hatred of Maeda started when he was a rookie in the original UWF and touched his genitals under the guise of checking for infections.
  • Bratty Half-Pint: Was rather short, and had a big Arrogant Kung-Fu Guy attitude since his rookie times.
  • Bullying a Dragon: He travelled to California to challenge Rickson Gracie and even brought the Japanese press. He got a No-Holds-Barred Beatdown in the form of being grounded and pounded on and then choked out.
  • Cool Teacher: He helped to train fighters like Daiju Takase and Kenichi Yamamoto.
  • Determinator: If being pounded and choked by Rickson Gracie and not giving up does not qualify, then nothing does.
  • Fake Ultimate Hero: While he was a tough guy and had the training to be a great fighter, his official fight record is littered with losses and there is also his infamous dojo fight with Rickson Gracie.
  • Graceful Loser: After his beatdown by Rickson Gracie, Anjo returned to the dojo a few days later with gifts for Rickson and apologized for his behavior.
  • He Also Did: Was part of UWFI's management team and usually was the one that negotiated in English on the team's behalf. He also played backstage roles for GLORY kickboxing promotion and Sengoku MMA promotion.
  • Heroic Blue Screen of Death: Anjo had one after being brutally beaten by Rickson Gracie in their infamous challenge fight, in which he was representing his boss and long time friend Nobuhiko Takada. Feeling he had failed him, Anjo sank into a depression and even considered suicide, but ultimately learned to endure his sorrows with laughs and formed the Golden Cups comedy stable in UWF International. Years after, Takada himself welcomed him back to the MMA for a last fight against Ryan Gracie, Rickson's relative.
  • Hidden Depths: Now works as a chef for Ken Suzuki's restaurant.
  • I Know Muay Thai: As well as Judo and Sumo Wrestling.
  • Informed Ability: Was once said to have been the best shooter in UWFI below Nobuhiko Takada and as one of the quotes above states, was thought to be capable of submitting BJJ black belts. Neither his fight record or his performances in the ring and cage would have made you believe that.
  • Jack-of-All-Stats / Master of None: Was good in all fields of fighting, but was not great at any of them either and mostly got through his fights by toughing it out.
  • The Lancer: Was one for many years to Nobuhiko Takada and was known as "Takada Sōtō no Sokkin" (President Takada's Aide").
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: Was the one that proposed the idea that UWFI work with NJPW.
  • One-Hit Kill: Knocked out Akira Maeda with a sucker punch during an interview in the UFC 23 event.
  • Red Baron: "Mr. 200%".
  • Sissy Villain: He often wore colourful zebra tights and even bondage gear.
  • Spell My Name with an "S": Anjo, Anjou or Anjoh?
  • Surprisingly Good English: Has a decent grasp of the language as he spent some time in New Zealand in his youth.
  • ¡Three Amigos!: With Kenichi Yamamoto and Yoshihiro Takayama as the Golden Cups.
  • 20% More Awesome: His way of speaking indulged in percentages, just like his nickname.

Fumihiro/Sambo Asako

Hidetaka Aso

Mitsuo Endo

  • Combat Referee: The first referee of UWF. He was also the referee for International Wrestling Enterprise (IWE), and even the Japan Arm Wrestling Association.

Yoshiaki Fujiwara

Ryūma Gō

"We stood in the waiting area while the match before us went on. To put it kindly, the match was godawful, but the crowd was going crazy. Ryūma Gō and his two masked Americans were putting on one of the worst performances I've ever seen, but the sold-out crowd was eating up every bit of it... What I didn't realize is that Ryūma Gō is a big wrestling joke that the whole country is in on. His matches were supposed to be bad, and the fans love him for it."
Mick Foley from his autobiography, Have A Nice Day.

  • The Alcoholic: Was a heavy drinker, even after his wrestling career.
  • Cloudcuckoolander: Founded a bizarre wrestling company, appeared in gay porno media and was jailed for mugging a woman. And according to Mick Foley's book, the guy was not any less crazy on the dojo.
  • Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: This may be surprising but before his Puroresu Baka gimmick he was a solid ring worker and defeated Tatsumi Fujinami for the New Japan's junior heavyweight title ending the champion’s two-year winning streak.
  • Downer Ending: Died at 53 years old from blood poisoning after a bicycle accident. He had been trying to make a full-time comeback to wrestling.
  • I Have Many Names: Hiroshi Yagi (his real name), Mister Zinn, Ninja Go, Super Ninja.
  • I Know Amateur Wrestling: In high school, before his pro wrestling career. He also trained in Catch Wrestling with Karl Gotch trainee, Hiro Matsuda.
  • Later Installment Weirdness: He developed his Puroresu Baka character after his time in UWF.
  • Real Song Theme Tune: Actually used "Eye of The Tiger" before Super Tiger in UWF and still used it in his Pioneer Senshi promotion.
  • Red Baron: "Hana no Wakamusha" ("The Young Warrior of the Flower"), "Puroresu Baka" ("Pro Wrestling Idiot").
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: With Rusher Kimura, he left UWF after having disagreements with some employees in the office over the sources for the gaijin talents (not because they did not like the new direction toward the shoot style, as it is popularly believed).
  • Start My Own: He founded a few promotions, Pioneer Senshi, Oriental Pro, Independent Wrestling Alliance (IWA), Go Gundan (or Ryuma Go Pro), and Samurai Project.
  • ¡Three Amigos!: With Apollo Sugawara and Masahiko Takasugi.
  • Ur-Example: His first promotion Pioneer Senshi is the first Japanese independent wrestling promotion.
  • Work Off the Debt: Apparently he fell into debt with the Yakuza and had to appear in a gay porno to pay it off.

Gran Hamada

"Gran Hamada would eventually leave this group to form his own promotion—also called the UWF. I collected tapes of this promotion religiously. It was the precursor to what is now Dragon’s Gate, a high flying, lucha-infused madcap style popularized in America by Hamada’s proteges in Michinoku Pro. I digress. All you really need to know is that, in his own way, Hamada was also an innovator and one of the most underrated workers in modern wrestling history. It’s no surprise he had the best match of the night. He pulled that off, again and again, over the course of a legendary career."
— Jonathan Snowden, on Hamada's first match in UWF.

  • The Bus Came Back: Appeared in UWFI and Battlarts for a few matches (lucha libre styled ones, of course).
  • Cool Teacher: Trained guys like Ultimo Dragon, The Great Sasuke, Super Delfin, Kaz Hayashi, Men's Teioh, Jinsei Shinzaki, Dick Togo, etc.
  • Fragile Speedster: Mostly due to age as he was one of the oldest guys in the promotion.
  • I Know Judo: Learned a bit at Chuo University.
  • Mexicans Love Gran Hamada: Was sent to Mexico when New Japan had nothing for him, he became so popular there that they changed his ring name to Gran ("Great") Hamada.
  • Pint-Sized Powerhouse: One of the shortest trainees of the New Japan Dojo, and with Yoshiaki Fujiwara, one of the first. He was also called Little Hamada when he debuted.
  • Red Baron: "Chīsana Kyojin" ("The Little Giant"), "Chīsana Eiyuu" ("The Little Hero").
  • Ring Oldies: Nearly 70 and still wrestling.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: Left UWF due to his loyalty to Hisashi Shinma.
  • Something Completely Different: He was a luchador and not a shooter. This was one of the reasons he ended leaving the promotion with Hisashi Shinma (though he did not lack training).
  • Spell My Name with a "The": In Mexico he is known as El Gran Hamada.
  • Start My Own: The founder of Universal Lucha Libre (Universal Pro-Wrestling until 1991; Federación Universal de Lucha Libre afterward; UWF and FULL used as acronyms).
  • Ur-Example: Was the first Japanese wrestler to learn the Lucha Libre style of pro wrestling. Also, his Universal Lucha Libre promotion was the first Japanese wrestling promotion to be fully based on Mexican Lucha Libre wrestling.
  • Wrestling Family: His daughters Xóchitl Hamada and Ayako Hamada are also professional wrestlers. He is also a father-in-law to Pentagón Black, Tiger Mask IV, and formerly to Silver King.

Mach Hayato

  • The Artifact: He insisted on using suicide dives even after the company established the shoot-style.
  • Cool Mask
  • Dented Iron: An injury-prone wrestler, he retired after the UWF demise because he believed himself to be too age-worn to keep the level.
  • Do Not Call Me "Paul": His real name is Shigehisa Higo.
  • Expy: The Great Sasuke based his mask design on Hayato's mask.
  • Foil: He was a luchador, very much like Gran Hamada, but unlike him, Hayato effectively adapted to shoot-style. He only declined a return for UWF Newborn due to injuries and age wear.
  • I Know Karate: And Judo too. He also trained with Karl Gotch trainee Hiro Matsuda in Catch Wrestling.
  • Masked Luchador: The first Japanese one, along with Tiger Mask.
  • Red Baron: "Wasei Luchador" ("Japanese-made Luchador").

Satoru Hiromatsu

Osamu Hoshina

Toshio Isahaya

  • Non-Action Guy: Was the Planning and Advertising Manager for the original UWF.

Shinji Jin

Shoji Kai

Hidenobu Kanda

Osamu Kido

"Gotch or Inoki would go "Osamu Kido, go wrestle that dude and just tear him apart.""
— Josh Barnett when talking about the old stories of people challenging the New Japan Dojo.

"One of my boys, Kido. He's a hell of a performer and a good wrestler because I trained him. He was a good looking kid, too. Typical Japanese. Kind of chunky."

  • A Day in the Limelight: Won the Three Tour Tournament 1985 with the most wins and only one loss.
  • Almighty Janitor: Compared to his peers; Antonio Inoki, Yoshiaki Fujiwara, Satoru Sayama, and Akira Maeda he was very low on the totem pole, he could still kick ass just as much as any of them and was also one of those who took on challengers in the NJPW and UWF Dojos.
  • The Apprentice: To Karl Gotch. He was also an assistant to Youssef "Turko" Omar, a Japanese-born Turkish pro wrestler, referee, and judoka who trained under Masahiko Kimura.
  • Badass Family: His daughter Megumi Kido is a pro golfer.
  • Badass Grandpa: 66 years old and still wrestles on occasion.
  • Badass Teacher: Became a trainer at the New Japan Dojo and trained guys like Shinsuke Nakamura.
  • Boring, but Practical / Dull Surprise: Kido was a career mid-carder due to his effective yet unflashy wrestling style and inability to emote.
  • Expy: Acknowledged as one to Yoshiaki Fujiwara, being similarly adept in Catch Wrestling and endowed with a distinctive appearance, and only less charismatic. One could argue that Fujiwara is actually a expy of Kido, because Kido was wrestling before Fujiwara even graduated from the New Japan Dojo.
  • Finishing Move: Kido Clutch and Fujiwara Armbar.
  • Flat Character: Had very little charisma and facial expression.
  • I Know Judo: Learned in high school.
  • Nice Shoes: For some reason, he always wore white wrestling shoes along with his black Underwear of Power.
  • Overshadowed by Awesome: With his lack of charisma he never got pushed to the top even though he was probably the one of the oldest and most experienced guys there.
  • Red Baron: "Sapporo Man", due to the strange popularity he enjoyed in Sapporo. He was also called "Ibushigin" ("Oxidized Silver") and the "Conscience of New Japan".
  • Refused the Call: He was invited to go to UWF Newborn, but he stayed in New Japan Pro-Wrestling because Karl Gotch was not with the UWF guys. Which is odd because Gotch was at the first show of Newborn and continued to train their wrestlers.
  • Retired Badass: Retired from wrestling in 2001.
  • Ring Oldies: A founding member of NJPW.
  • The Un-Favourite: His pushes were very inconsistent, and whenever he got a big win, a big loss followed.
    • Averted with Karl Gotch, who considers him the son he never had.
  • Wrestling Family: Subverted in a tragic way. Tokio Kido, Osamu's older brother, joined the Japan Pro-Wrestling Association in 1963. However, he had spine injury during training sessions and was forced to quit before his debut, and suffered the injury for rest of his life until his death. It was what moved Osamu to become a professional wrestler.

Rusher Kimura

"Kimura, once the king of the cage match for the defunct IWE promotion, was 42 years old. Today, thanks to improvements in nutrition, training and less aggressive scheduling, that’s basically the prime of a wrestler’s career. Back in 1984, however, every 42-year-old man looked like Kirk Douglas at the Golden Globes. Kimura was no exception."
— Jonathan Snowden

  • The Alcoholic: Tiger Jeet Singh once stated that Kimura loved drinking.
  • The Apprentice: To Toyonobori, president of the JWA and its top wrestler after Rikidozan died, as he had been the second most important wrestler of the promotion during the Rikidozan era and founder of the short-lived, Tokyo Pro Wrestling.
  • Badass Beard
  • Bash Brothers: With Ryuma Go.
  • Blood Knight: He loved to fight, especially in steel cages.
  • Cool Old Guy: Was 42 when he wrestled in UWF.
  • Downer Ending: Kimura passed away on 2010/5/24 due to aspiration pneumonia at the age of 68.
  • Hidden Depths: Trained extensively in sambo under the legendary Victor Koga, but he never used it in pro wrestling because he believed it would conflict his own style. He also likes karaoke.
  • I Know Sambo: See above. He was also a former sumo wrestler under the name Kinomura though he only took it up to build his body for pro wrestling and quit before he could advance up the ranks.
  • Red Baron: "Kanaami Deathmatch no Oni" ("The Demon of the Steel Cage Matches"), "Maiku no Oni" ("Oni of the Microphone"), "Hoeru Tosho" ("Barking Brave Leader").
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: With Ryūma Gō, he left UWF after having disagreements with some employees in the office over the sources for the gaijin talents (not because they did not like the new direction toward the shoot style).
  • Ur-Example: Was in the first televised cage match in Japan.

Akira Maeda

Shigeo/Yukoh Miyato

  • The Apprentice: To Satoru Sayama, Akira Maeda, and Billy Robinson.
  • Badass Bureaucrat: Was perceived as much better in the office than the ring, and mostly worked as an executive.
  • Combat Commentator: Has done this in his retirement.
  • Cool Teacher: Has a long history as a trainer, working as the head instructor in the UWF Snakepit and later in Inoki Genome Federation. He was also a former trainer at the Super Tiger Gym.
  • I Know Shoot Wrestling: Was originally a trainee at the Super Tiger Gym. He later learned the more traditional Catch Wrestling at the UWF Snakepit.
  • Pet the Dog: In Billy Robinson's autobiography, he states he was in a bad place in his life (he got divorced, started drinking heavily because of that, put on a lot of weight, and had his hips and knees replaced so he basically could not do what he loved which was wrestling) before Miyato called him to be the main trainer for the UWF Snakepit. Billy states that this action probably saved his life.
  • Pint-Sized Powerhouse: Small and fiery, but less successful than most examples of the trope.
  • Signature Move: His rolling savatto kick made many opponents drop.

Hiroki/Yasuki Mori

Tatsuo Nakano

"Lame. You won't beat me with just kicks."

  • '80s Hair: A mullet.
  • Arch-Enemy: Kiyoshi Tamura speaks pretty bad of his former sempai, whom he described as abusive and short-tempered.
  • The Apprentice: Was a trainee under Rusher Kimura before being brought into the UWF dojo.
  • Badass Mustache / Porn Stache
  • The Big Guy: Also literally, as he was the second biggest guy among the native wrestlers.
  • Challenge Seeker: In kayfabe, he kickstarted the UWF-i-NJPW feud, calling out the traitorous Yamazaki and challenging other big names from New Japan like Shinya Hashimoto and Riki Choshu.
  • Mighty Glacier: Big and slow, he could give some important beatings.
  • Red Baron: "Hakata Man", "Guts Fighter".
  • Stout Strength: Was rather wide of waist, but quite strong.
  • Unskilled, but Strong: Noticeably lacked technique, but was tough as nails.
  • The Worf Effect: Is most known as the guy who faced the 600 pound Emmanuel Yarborough in a MMA fight and got smothered to submission under his abundant girth, and also one of Alberto Del Rio's victims.

Bruiser/Tsuyoshi Okamoto

  • The Bus Came Back: Appeared in PWFG.
  • Early-Bird Cameo: His UWF days are this, as he is Bruiser Okamoto of Big Japan Pro Wrestling fame.
  • The Giant: By Japanese standards, he was the biggest guy from the original UWF Dojo.
  • I Know Karate: Trained in it before his time at the UWF Dojo.
  • Jobber: Never got to be a big star as he only wrestled in UWF for less than a year.

Satoru Sayama/Super Tiger/Tiger Mask

Hisashi Shinma

Masami Soranaka

"Soranaka would just grab me and do these things, and I was a big boy! I mean, I'm not a little guy that you could just throw around and Soranaka was not that big. He probably topped out at 160 or 170 pounds, and when he said he was gonna do something, he just did it. And, I was trying to stop him! What if I did this or that, I said, and he always just showed me and I was real impressed with that."
— Bart Vale

"Sammy Soranaka was the first one that introduced them to submission wrestling in Tampa, Florida. He introduced me to the submission game."

Ken Suzuki

"A promise is a contract and a contract is absolute."

Nobuhiko Takada

Caesar Takeshi

"So what exactly is shootboxing then? The promoter's bill it as "standing vale tudo," and that's probably the best definition there is. Just about every strike, throw and submission you can do on your feet is allowed. But is it MMA? Sure. It's a mix of standard kickboxing, wrestling, judo and jujitsu techniques. In fact Caesar Takeshi created an MMA shootboxing organisation in 1985 - eight years before the Ultimate Fighting Championship debuted."
— Keith Vargo, writer for Black Belt Magazine.

  • The Apprentice: To Satoru Sayama.
  • Arch-Enemy: Rumored to be the K-1 executives, due to the rising popularity of shootboxing in some countries.
  • Authority Equals Asskicking: In the early days of shootboxing, he fought in some of his own events.
  • Do Not Call Me "Paul": His real name is Tomofumi Murata.
  • I Know Kickboxing: A professional kickboxer and trained at Nishio Gym, he was compared to the legendary Tadashi Sawamura by some pundits, although he never lived up to these expectations. He later trained in shoot wrestling at the Super Tiger Gym.
  • My Friends... and Zoidberg: Takeshi gets rarely mentioned in articles about the UWF, because although he was a shoot-style practitioner, he was not a pro wrestler, and thus he never officially competed in UWF events beyond some shootboxing offer fights. He did train with them and worked in the UWF dojo for a time.
  • Odd Friendship: With film director Takashi Miike. He has appeared in many of his films.
  • Old Master: Founded the Caesar Gym, where he trained the first and finest shootboxers and continues to do so. He also taught kickboxing at the UWF dojo.
  • Red Baron: "Oni no Shūte" ("Demon of Shoot").
  • Ur-Example: Founded shootboxing.
  • The Worf Effect: Although a good fighter, Takeshi was badly worfed by muay thai champion and Confusion Fu stylist Manson Gibson, who beat him without receiving a single punch.

Umanosuke Ueda

"Ueda had a lot of heat with everybody. He was a straight-shooter. He didn't give a damn about nobody."
— Tiger Jeet Singh

  • Alliterative Name
  • Badass Mustache
  • Bash Brothers: With Tiger Jeet Singh. The two men were the first team to win tag team titles in both New Japan Pro-Wrestling (the NWA North American Tag Team Championship) and All Japan Pro Wrestling (the NWA International Tag Team Championship). They were also this in real life.
  • Bar Brawl: Was involved in one with several other New Japan wrestlers and was the only guy almost fired over it. Thankfully Tiger Jeet Singh managed to convince the company to not do so.
  • Cool Teacher: Trained Hiro Saito.
  • Delinquent Hair: Dyed his hair bleach blonde and is the Trope Codifier in puroresu.
  • Downer Ending: Ueda died on December 21, 2011, from respiratory failure; he was 71 years old.
  • Fountain of Expies: Wrestlers like Mr. Gannosuke, Tatsutoshi Goto and Toru Yano later based their "dye job brawler" ring personas on Ueda's style. More recently, Takaaki Watanabe has based his "Evil" persona on Ueda.
  • Game-Breaking Injury: Was involved in a car accident in 1996, which left him paralyzed and eventually forced him to retire two years later.
  • Heavy Sleeper: In a Funny Moment, a story told by another wrestler;
    "One of the funniest things I recall was working a tag match with him and Tiger Jeet Singh as partners. Ueda had put in his time in the ring and tagged Tiger in after taking a couple big bumps, the last of which sent him through the ropes and to the floor. Tiger worked for a few minutes and took some heat before a high spot that was supposed to go into the finish. When Tiger started his comeback, Ueda was nowhere to be found, still lying on the floor, selling; Or so we thought. When Ueda didn't come back in for the finish as planned, Tiger looked at me as said, "Where's Ueda?". I told him he was still on the floor. I then told Tiger to throw me out next to where Ueda was laying. When I went through the ropes, I landed right by Ueda and rolled over to tell him to get up and help with whatever kind of a finish we could adlib. When I reached over to nudge him, I heard him snoring. He was lying there asleep! I grabbed him and shook him, all the while trying to look like I was trying gain my own footing. When I finally saw he was coming around, he got the message and worked his way up and into the ring to help his partner, who had already canned the planned finish and was using chairs, his sword and anything else he could to fight off their opponents. They ended up taking the fight to the back and out of the arena. Ueda caught a lot of ribbing over that one, but that was one of his traits; He could fall asleep in a split second and it didn't matter where he was or what was going on around him. He was a funny character!"
  • Heel: A well known one in puroresu.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: With Tiger Jeet Singh.
  • I Know Sumo Wrestling: Was a pro sumo wrestler for two years before his pro wrestling career.
  • Mean Character, Nice Actor: When he was still active, Ueda regularly visited the nursery homes and made donations for aged people. Since he was one of the greatest heels in the puroresu history, he couldn't rave about it in public.
  • Red Baron: "Madara Ohkami" ("Brindled Wolf), "Kinroh" ("Golden Wolf").
  • Shout-Out: His ring name was inspired by samurai warrior and Shinsengumi member Umanosuke Ueda. His real first name is Hiroshi.
  • Something Completely Different: Was a brawler-style heel wrestler, not a shooter. This is the reason he left the company.
  • Stout Strength: As a former sumo wrestler he was this naturally.
  • Ur-Example: Ueda was considered one of the first "traitor heels" in Japan, as he broke societal mores by dyeing his hair and using a brawling style, and teaming with a hated gaikokujin heel, Tiger Jeet Singh.
  • Wooden Katanas Are Even Better: Another thing he popularized was the carrying of a kendo stick for his entrances.

Noburu Urata

  • Bald of Awesome: In his later years.
  • The Chessmaster: President of UWF after Hisashi Shinma, the commissioner of International Shooto Commission and the chairman of Japan Shooto Association even after Sayama left until his death.
  • Downer Ending: Died at the age of 73 on 16th February 2014 due to septic shock.
  • I Know Amateur Wrestling: Wrestled at Chuo University and won the All-Japan Wrestling Championships of 1961 and 1962.
  • The Man Behind the Man: For both UWF and Shooto.
  • Non-Action Guy: Never competed in UWF or Shooto, but like Hisashi Shinma he didn't lack training.
  • Yakuza: Has been known to work with them.

Fumihiko Uwai

  • The Chessmaster: Joined New Japan Pro-Wrestling as a promoter, as well as the original UWF, appointed matchmaker of NJPW in 2002, became a executive officer of NJPW in 2003, was general producer for HERO'S, WRESTLE-1 GRAND PRIX 2005, and West Gate Wrestling Federation (Nishiguchi Pro Wrestling). He also helped create the Makai Club stable in NJPW.
  • Non-Action Guy: Was a event promoter and producer.
  • Spell My Name with an "S": His surname is sometimes misspelled as Uwei or Uei.
  • Start My Own: Started Big Mouth Loud and UWAI STATION.

Kazuo Yamazaki

"Sometimes it’s hard to remember that Kazuo Yamazaki was once just a kid, kind of the same way that it feels like Fujiwara was always just a grumpy old man. Yamazaki would go on to be one of the pillars of the style and a certified legend in Japan, with him still doing commentary during New Japan shows to this day. I’ll say this for skinny little Yamazaki: while everyone is trying to find themselves, it feels like he already knows what he wants and how to execute it as early as here, which is sort of amazing."
— Dave Walsh, on Yamazaki's debut.

"Why are you looking at me?"
— Kazuo Yamazaki

  • The Apprentice: Was Super Tiger's assistant.
  • Arrogant Kung-Fu Guy: Notably surly. Just read the quote above.
  • Bald of Evil: Had a pretty noticeable receding hairline.
  • Combat Commentator: Takes up the role in NJPW sometimes in his retirement.
  • Cool Teacher: Trained guys like Yuji Nagata and Kendo Kashin in the shoot style as a trainer in the NJPW Dojo and is described as a much more pleasant trainer than Kotetsu Yamamoto, who was too much shinai-friendly. He was also a former trainer at the Super Tiger Gym.
  • I Know Judo: Trained at Tokyo Metropolitan Tamagawa High School before his wrestling career. He also trained in shootboxing under Caesar Takeshi and of course shoot wrestling.
  • Kick the Dog: During a match with JT Southern in UWF-i, Yamazaki considered that his opponent was not showing enough fighting spirit, so he proceeded to humiliate him by showboating, grabbing hold of JT's leg only to push him down falling unceremoniously onto his backside, grinding Southern's face into his armpit, and later kicking him in the face. At one point the referee stepped in to check on Southern, but Yamazaki refused to respect the pause and swept JT's legs from under him, sending him to the floor. Even after JT had lost the fight by surrendering to Yamazaki's submission hold, Yamazaki refused to release the hold, leaving Southern squirming frantically until the referee intervened to rescue him; and yet the ordeal was still not over, as Yamazaki came back, towered over a collapsed Southern and continued to taunt him and threaten further punishment until the referee stepped again to stop him. Badly beaten in both his body and dignity, JT decided enough was enough and he quit the UWFI.
  • The Quisling: He left UWF-i for New Japan Pro-Wrestling seeking for retribution.
  • Red Baron: "Ippikiookami" ("Lone Wolf"), "Kamisori Shūtā" ("Razor Shooter"), "Kikku no Sunaipā" ("Kick Sniper"), "Tatakau Seinen Shōkō" ("Fighting Youth Officer").
  • Refusal of the Call: He was offered a contract with RINGS when he left UWF-i, but he decided to go back to NJPW instead.
  • Token Evil Teammate: In a shoot-style promotion without faces or heels, he was way more vicious and brawler-like than his colleagues.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Almost winning the 1998 G1 Climax tournament, beating three past and future IWGP Heavyweight champions (Tatsumi Fujinami, Kensuke Sasaki, and Masahiro Chono) before losing to Shinya Hashimoto in the final round.
  • Underwear of Power: Inverted. Unlike his shoot-style partners, who were fond of the classic banana hammock wrestling tights, Yamazaki always wore long pants, and they became his trademark.
  • Unknown Rival: To Nobuhiko Takada, back since their NJPW rookie times. Yamazaki was a constant challenger, but he always came short, and Takada never saw him as more than a regular opponent. He even called him "Yama-chan".
  • The Worf Effect: Despite being a high carder himself, Kazuo was the common victim to pushed wrestlers. The worst example was Koji Kitao, who just trampled him in his first match.

Terutomo Yamazaki

"My pupils were very surprised to see Yamazaki's fighting. His footwork is sharp and light. All of his techniques are fast, containing a lot of destructive power, and they thought it looked very fine. One of my pupils who watched the First World Open Championships asked me why Yamazaki did not participate in the First World Open Championships? Female and children pupils are most especially impressed from Yamazaki. They have said to me that Yamazaki is a stronger and better-looking man than Bruce Lee."
— Shigeru Ōyama

"We always hurt our hands and legs. Yamazaki has a technique which means defense is offense."
— What his pupils think of his fighting style.

  • Attack! Attack! Attack!: His fighting style basically.
  • The Apprentice: To Masutatsu Ōyama.
  • Authority Equals Ass Kicking: Is the Kancho of the International Budo Karate Organization Gyakushin-Kai.
  • Badass Teacher: Some fighters who have benefited by studying under Yamazaki are Katsuaki Satō, Miyuki Miura, Seiji Isobe (teacher of Glaube Feitosa, Francisco Filho and Andrews Nakahara), Howard Collins, Toshikazu Satō (champion of the Eighth All-Japan Full Contact Karate Open Championships), Takashi Azuma (champion of the Ninth All-Japan Open Championships and founder of Daido-Juku or Kudo), Makoto Nakamura (two time champion of the Second and Third World Full Contact Karate Open Championships) and Shokei Matsui. They are unanimous in their respect for Yamazaki.
  • Charles Atlas Superpower: Besides being an expert at kumite, he was also an expert at breaking. He broke four boards by punching, seven by kicking, six by knifehand strike and seven by elbow with a total of 24 cryptomeria boards to win the breaking championship at the Fifth All-Japan Open Championships in 1973. A record that would stand until Willie Williams broke it in 1979, though it should be noted that Williams was a lot taller and nearly double Yamazaki's weight when that happened.
  • Guest-Star Party Member: Was guest trainer of the UWF dojo.
  • Hero Killer: Took on and beat Muay Thai fighters like Kannanpai and Samanso when his fellow Japanese kickboxers like Tadashi Sawamura and Soeno could not defeat them.
  • Hidden Depths: Once worked as a television producer.
  • I Know Karate: A 7th dan Kyokushin black belt, and also trained in Muay Thai.
  • Living Legend: One of the greatest Kyokushin practitioners still alive today.
  • Old Master: Of Karate.
  • Red Baron: "The Dragon of Kyokushin", "The Genius Karate Fighter".
  • Refused the Call: He disliked professional karate and Kickboxing as it opposed his bushido code and retired at the age of 26, even though he was one of the most skilled and popular fighters of his era.
  • Start My Own: Founded the Gyakushin-Kai style of Karate.
  • Unrelated Brothers: No relation to Kazuo.
  • Ur-Example: Was the first champion of the All-Japan Full Contact Karate Open Championships.

Minoru Yoshida

Gaijins

Perro Aguayo

"Aguyao was pretty old by the time most US wrestling fans got a chance to see him as part of the AAA main events tape traders skipped to watch the Rey Mysterio and Psicosis under cards, but he was a hellacious asskicker and this match got violent pretty quickly. He throws some great looking chopping hooks."
— Phil Schneider, on Aguayo's UWF match with Gran Hamada.

Ben Alexander

Omar Atlas

  • I Have Many Names: Has wrestled as Buddy Marino, Buddy Moreno, Buddy Silver Wolf, El Gran Diablo, Cyclone Atlas, Mario Moreno, Omar Atlas, Omar Negro, Red Menace, Súper Gladiador, Super Steele, Young Atlas. His real name is Omar Mijares.
  • I Know Amateur Wrestling: He won a silver medal at the 1958 Pan American games.
  • The Jailer: Is a security monitor for the Bexar County Adult Probation Department.
  • Jobber: In the UWF and WWE, and was the first opponent of Jesse Ventura. He had better success with other promotions.
  • Red Baron: "Young", "Mr. Excitement".
  • Unrelated Brothers: With Cyclone Negro, who Omar teamed with as Omar Negro.

Mike Bennett

"MMB certainly played the 'hard man' to perfection. Supreme wrestling ability plus the edge of being the villain and dishing out some 'stiff' punishment."
— Geoff Shoots

Ángel Blanco Jr

Mike Brannon

Wayne Bridges

  • Amazon Chaser: His second and current wife Sarah Bridges is a former pro bodybuilder who trained under him
  • The Apprentice: To Bert Assirati, Mike Marino, Karl Gotch, and George Gordienko.
  • Charles Atlas Superpower: Came from a weight-training and Bodybuilding background and even trained with Arnold Schwarzenegger.
  • Cool Old Guy: Currently hosts British Wrestlers Reunion every year at his pub; The Bridges on Horton Road, South Darenth, Kent, DA 4 9AX.
  • Dented Iron: Underwent serious spinal surgery in a double operation, each taking 7 hours, but the nervous system was damaged beyond repair and although the pain factor has been removed, the nerves have never re-grown, leaving him struggling to walk or stand up straight for any length of time.
  • Do Not Call Me "Paul": His real name is Billy Woodbridge.
  • Evil Brit: Subverted, he is British but was mostly a face for his career.
  • Guest Fighter: From Joint Promotions.
  • Hidden Depths: In his teens, he chosen to represent England many times in swimming, culminating by being chosen to swim for the British Team at the Rome Olympics in 1962.
  • I Know Amateur Wrestling: He was part of the British wrestling team and later learned Catch Wrestling.
  • Stunt Double: Was one for Sean Connery in all his James Bond movies.
  • Wrestling Family: His son Dean was a pro wrestler under the name Dean Brisco until he died due to leukemia at 25 years old.

Leo Burke

  • Canada, Eh?
  • Cool Teacher: Has his own pro wrestling school and has trained Brody Steele, Chris Garvin, Christian, Doby Gillis, Edge, Hubert Gallant, Jeff Thomas, Johnny Handsome, Ken Shamrock, Kurrgan, Mark Henry, Massive Damage, Teddy Hart, Test and Wildman Austin.
  • I Have Many Names: In the United States, he competed as Tommy Martin, The Atomic, Batman, Red Shadow. His real name is Leonce Cormier.
  • Red Baron: "Lightning".
  • Ring Oldies: Still wrestles at nearly 70.
  • Wrestling Family: Is part of the Cormier Wrestling Family with his brothers The Beast (Yvan Cormier), Bobby Kay (Romeo Cormier), Rudy Kay (Jean-Louis Cormier), and Mel Turnbow (Malcolm Cormier).

Scott Casey

  • Bouncer: After retiring from active wrestling, Scott Casey worked security at various casinos in Nevada.
  • Cool Teacher: Had a hand in training Booker T and Stevie Ray at Ivan Putski's gym, and is now a pro wrestling trainer at the Las Vegas Wrestling Academy and also trained Kenny King.
  • Hidden Depths: He took jobs in car dealership and construction after his retirement.
  • Red Baron: "Cowboy".
  • Wrestler in All of Us: His brother, Steve is also a pro wrestler.

Richard Charland

  • Badass Mustache / Porn Stache
  • Bratty Half-Pint: Debuted as a pro at the age of 16.
  • Canada, Eh?
  • I Know Judo: Trained in it before meeting Mad Dog Vachon. He later learned amateur wrestling after Vachon's suggestion under Ray Ricci, a former Canadian champion. He also trained under Edouard Carpentier, Omer Marchessault and Luigi Macera.
  • Red Baron: "Le Magnifique".
  • Ring Oldies: In his 60's and still wrestles on occasion.
  • Suspiciously Similar Substitute: Once adopted the moniker "Blast", in an attempt to resurrect the Demolition name and gimmick, with Bill Eadie as Ax, but were eventually sent a cease and desist letter by the WWF.

The Cuban Assassin

  • Arch-Enemy: "Bad News" Allen Coage. The two were almost like Heterosexual Life-Partners at one point and Cubie was even the best man at Bad News' wedding, but that all changed once Bad News got married. The best friends wives didn’t get along as well as the two wrestlers themselves and that started tension between Bad News and the Assassin. Their friendship deteriorated after a period of time. It got so bad at one point, that the Assassin once allegedly threatened Bad News Allen’s wife over the phone. One day the two couples met in a diner parking lot and Bad News remembered how the Assassin threatened his wife and the two former friends started getting into a physical altercation. During the melee, the Cuban Assassin pulled out a knife and slashed both Bad News and his wife. The police were called but by the time they arrived the Cuban Assassin and his wife had fled. As a matter of fact, the Cuban Assassin would not return to Calgary Stampede while Bad News Allen was still there. Fast forward to 1988 and Bad News was signed by the WWF. During that time, the Cuban Assassin was offered a WWF tryout. When word got back to Bad News, he told friends that if he saw the Assassin he would kill him. Sure enough, Bad News spotted the Assassin entering the arena for his tryout and Bad News reportedly grabbed a metal camera tripod and went right after the Assassin. The Assassin saw Bad News charging him and pulled out his knife and the two began swinging wildly at each other. The two had to be separated by several WWF officials. The end result saw the Cuban Assassin sent home and never getting his big opportunity. Bad News Brown got a slap on the wrist and remained with the company.
  • Badass Beard
  • Canada, Eh?: He is actually Puerto Rican, but is a permanent resident of Canada and resides in Calgary, Alberta.
  • Fan Nickname: "Cubie".
  • Identical Stranger: He created the ring persona off his heritage as well as his resemblance to Fidel Castro due to his beard and hair.
  • I Know Amateur Wrestling: and boxing in high school.
  • Knife Nut: Keeps a knife on him at all times when not wrestling.
  • Name's the Same: He is the original Cuban Assassain, Ángel Acevedo. He is not to be confused with Fidel Sierra who gained permission to use the name but not in Japan.
  • Odd Friendship: With Phil Lafluer.
  • Spell My Name with a "The"
  • Wrestling Family: One of his two sons, Richie Acevedo is also a pro wrestler under the names Cuban Assassin #2, then later Cuban Assassin Jr. He is also a cousin of Bill Alfonso.

El Fantasma

Dave Finlay

"Fit Finlay was one of my earliest heroes."
William Regal, from his autobiography; Walking A Golden Mile.

"My name is Finlay, and I love to fight!"
— Dave Finlay

  • Alliterative Name: As Fit Finlay.
  • Blood Knight
  • Boisterous Bruiser: It's part of his charm.
  • Carry a Big Stick: His shillelagh.
  • Cool Old Guy: Most definitely.
  • The Dreaded: Is considered one of the toughest pro wrestlers ever. Lance Storm was once asked who he would rather fight between Ken Shamrock or Dave Finlay. He answered Ken Shamrock and his reasoning was that in a fight with Shamrock he might come out with a broken limb, but in a fight against Finlay he would be lucky to come out alive. Goldberg once was offended by Finlay's anti-Semitic jokes, and rushed to Finlay to stare him down, this ended with Finlay headbutting and kicking him to the floor in a matter of seconds.
  • Fighting Irish: The most well known one in pro wrestling today.
  • Guest Fighter: From Joint Promotions.
  • I Know Amateur Wrestling: Learned from his father. He also trained in Karate and has a black belt in Judo.
  • Leotard of Power: Shamrock green with black ones, usually with a symbol of a four-leafed clover on it.
  • Red Baron: "The Belfast Bruiser", "The Belfast Brawler", "The King of Terror", "The Man Who Loves to Fight", "The Shillelagh Swingin' Bruiser", "Fit".
  • Wrestling Family: He is the son of David Finlay Sr and the father of David Finlay Jr (the Third). His daughter is an amateur wrestler who won the Georgia State championship, is the ex husband of Princess Paula, his sister was a referee, and is the uncle of Tony Stewart.

Terry Funk

Karl Gotch

Larry Hamilton

"When you wrestled Larry, I guarantee that you had a night of it. He was just like a windmill. He wouldn’t slow down for anything."
— Rip Hawk

"Larry is a superb, well-conditioned wrestler without using gimmicks."
— The Chillicothe Constitution-Tribune of Missouri in 1957.

Keith Haward

Caribs Hurricane

"He loved the business and he loved the power to get the people to scream. It was in his blood."
— Omar Atlas

"Cyclone Negro was another very talented individual and one of the nicest guys you'd ever want to meet. He always kept his body in great shape and had one of the greatest, most expressive faces I've ever seen. I mean, he had the greatest face in the business. It made him a perfect heel. He wasn't hideously ugly; he just looked like one mean son of a bitch!"
Terry Funk, from his autobiography; More Than Hardcore.

  • Cool Teacher: Owned Cyclone Negro's Gym and Pro Wrestling school.
  • Determinator: He had battled countless health issues for more than a decade. It started with an accident while at work as a welder where he broke his hip; Replacement surgery followed in March 2003. In 2006 he became very ill and while in ICU at the hospital was diagnosed with COPD, congestive heart failure and dementia. The COPD was from the fumes from the welding rods, which had destroyed his lungs. His wife also stated that he broke all of his fingers at different times, and he never had them set. He would just throw some tape around them and say, 'No, no, they're okay'.
  • Downer Ending: Died February 20, 2013 at age 80.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: With High Chief Peter Maivia.
  • Hidden Depths: His wife says he was an excellent singer and chef.
  • How Much More Can He Take?: Fought many "Death Matches" against Dory Funk Sr, including one that went FOUR hours.
  • I Have Many Names: Has wrestled as Calypso Hurricane, Caripus Hurricane, Ciclón Negro (his most well known name), Cyclone Negro, Cyclops, Eduardo Rodríguez, Lalo Rodríguez, Mr. Uganda, El Patriota, Reyes Rodríguez, Chief Guacanopoulos, Punchy Pinero, and Ciclon Venezuelano. His real name is Ramon Eduardo Rodríguez.
  • I Know Boxing: Trained as an amateur boxer before wrestling and fought Floyd Patterson in the Pan-American Games.
  • Real Men Love Jesus: Was a christian.
  • Scary Black Man
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: Appeared on a show called “Lie Detector” hosted by F.Lee Bailey and was asked if wrestling was fake. He said no, so F.Lee Bailey read the results and said evidently you’ve been lying, so he fussed and stormed out.
  • Spell My Name with an "S": Was billed in the UWF as Caribs Hurricane.
  • ¡Three Amigos!: With Omar Atlas and Jose Rivera to try to promote pro wrestling in Venezuela at the end of the 1979s.
  • Unrelated Brothers: With Omar Atlas who once wrestled as "Omar Negro".

Marty Jones

"Marty was a good guy to meet. He's one of the best wrestlers you'll ever see — what we call a great worker. He has wrestled in some of the best matches I've ever seen."
William Regal, from his autobiography, Walking A Golden Mile.

Phil Lafleur

  • Canada, Eh? / French Jerk: A French-Canadian wrestler.
  • Cool Teacher: Trained pro wrestlers; Adrian Walls and Dark Angel and is the head trainer of Monster Pro Wrestling (MPW).
  • I Have Many Names: Has wrestled as Black Sabbath, Blue Blazer #2, Can-Am Express #2 (under masks), Dan Kroffat (as part of the Cam-Am Express), Phil Lafleur, Phil Lafon (his real name), Rocky Venturo.
  • I Know Kickboxing: Trained in this before his wrestling career.
  • Odd Friendship: With The Cuban Assassin who helped him get booked in Japan.
  • Put On The Bus: He and Doug Furnas were involved in an automobile accident and had to take about 2 years off from wrestling because of the injuries sustained.
  • Shout-Out: Took the names Dan Kroffat, after a Calgary-based wrestler 'Cowboy' Dan Kroffat; and Phil Lafleur, as a tribute to his love of the Montreal Canadiens.
  • ¡Three Amigos!: Was discovered by Davey Boy Smith and Dynamite Kid and trained together at the Hart Dungeon.

Phyllis Lee

"Ladies and Gentleman. My name is Brian Heffron and I am here to tell you that I am... a Phyllis Lee Guy."
— Brian Heffron aka The Blue Meanie

  • The Chick / The Smart Girl: She ran the business side of the Malenko Wrestling School and later the Pancase USA Academy and was a manager for both their wrestlers and fighters. She was also a booker and sent wrestlers and fighters to UWF, Newborn, PWFG, Pancrase, UFC, ECW and others.
  • Cool Old Lady: A former pro wrestler and after retiring became a manager to pro wrestlers and MMA fighters like Joe and Dean Malenko, Dan Severn, Al Snow, Sabu, Tazz, Chris Benoit, Chris Candido, Sean Waltman, The Blue Meanie, Gary Meyers, Jason Godsey, Brian Gassaway, Paul Lazenby, Ron Waterman, Chris Lytle, Nathan Marquardt, Laverne Clark, Shane Carwin, Carlos Condit, etc.
  • Downer Ending: Died of pneumonia, on Sunday, January 18, 2015, at age 76.
  • Platonic Life-Partners: With Boris Malenko.
  • Red Baron: "The First Lady of NHB/MMA".
  • Team Mom: Of the Malenko Wrestling School and the Pancase USA Academy.
  • Ur-Example: One of the first fight managers of MMA.

Pierre Lefebvre

Mark Lewin

Johnny Londos

The Lumberjack

Boris Malenko

"He was probably the most giving person I’ve ever met. Sometimes he was too good-hearted. My dad was like a father figure to a lot of kids in the school. He not only trained them, he was a father-figure type to them. He liked helping others, and he wasn’t into material things."

Dean Malenko/Solkoff

Joe Malenko/Solkoff

"Now Joe Malenko, he spent some time with me. About seven years. He had guts. He had spent about a year with me on conditioning and he asked me what I thought. I said "You want me to tell you? Well, your conditioning is better than cow shit.""

Dutch Mantel

Pierre Martel

  • Badass Beard
  • Badass Mustache / Porn Stache
  • Canada, Eh? / French Jerk: He is French-Canadian.
  • Downer Ending: On October 21, 2016, He died after nearly a year of bladder and bone cancer; he was 66 years old.
  • I Have Many Names: Has also wrestled under names like Destroyer, Don Gagné, Pierre Martin, Pierre Vigneault, Mad Dog Martin, and is most famously known as Frenchy Martin, a scratchy-voiced manager to Dino Bravo and known for his trademark sign that read "USA is not OK". His real name is Jean Gagné.
  • Wrestling Family: He has a son and a nephew who have wrestled as Jean Gagne Jr. and George Martel respectively.

Caswell Martin

Raúl Mata

Scott McGee

Frank Morrell

  • Bald of Awesome
  • Combat Referee: Became one after retiring from wrestling.
  • I Have Many Names: The Angel, Angel Morrell, A-Team #2, The Bruiser, Colossus of Death, Dandy Jack Morrell, Destroyer #2, Frank Morrell, French Angel, Lucifer, Mighty Yankee #1, Mr. Cool, The Seraph, and The Spoiler.
  • Stout Strength

MS-1

  • Cool Teacher: Trained luchadors like Chavo Banda, Polaris, El Profanador, Rey Vikingo and Súper Mega.
  • Do Not Call Me "Paul": His real name is Pablo Fuentes Reyna.
  • Downer Ending: He died in a car accident in Huamantla, Tlaxcala in January 12, 2012, he was 55.
  • Guest Fighter: From CMLL.
  • Masked Luchador: Subverted, he was one at first, then he unmasked after losing a Luchas de Apuestas match. The loss of the mask did not hinder his popularity, partly because the mask was described as "very ugly" and partly because Fuentes was a good looking man.
  • Red Baron: "El Grandote de Salvatierra", "El Más Rudo".
  • Shout-Out: MS refers to a Mexican Antiterrorist corps where MS-1 is the highest rank.
  • Something Completely Different: He was a luchador and not a shooter.
  • Tag Team: Debuted with another wrestler who was given the name "MS-2", both of them adopted identical masks and outfits, only differentiated by the "1" and "2" on their tights. While Fuentes showed great in-ring skill, MS-2 did not seem to progress as fast as Fuentes and was phased out in less than a year allowing "MS-1" to work as a singles wrestler.
  • ¡Three Amigos!: A founding member of the wrestling group called Los Infernales (the Infernals) with El Satánico and Espectro Jr. and achieved most of his success as part of the group, including being the first-ever Mexican National Trios Champions and the first-ever CMLL World Trios Champions.
  • Wrestling Family: His son is also a luchador working as MS-1 Jr or MS-Jr.

Negro Navarro

  • Alliterative Name
  • The Apprentice: To Florentino Martínez, an amateur wrestler who competed in the 1968 Summer Olympics and in the 1972 Summer Olympics.
  • Cool Teacher: Trained many luchadors like AK 47, Alberto Dos Rios, Andrómeda, Angélico, Anubis, Aviador, Aztlán, Belial, Centauro, Daga, Daisuke Hanaoka, Decnis, Dragón Fly, Eragon, Eros, Espíritu Maligno, Eterno, Euro Dance, Guerrero Nazi, El Guerrero WMC, Hell Boy, Huizar, El Imposible, India Mazahua, Infector, Joe Black, Jorge Kebrada, Kalibus, Karma, Kechanguito, Leo, Lobo Metálico, Maverick, La Metálica, Mini Kenzo Suzuki, Mr. ATL, Niebla Negra #1, Niebla Negra #2, Rambo #2, Rambo Jr., René Guajardo Jr., Serpiente Azteca, Stryker, El Templario, La Tormenta, Toshiya Matsuzaki, Trox, Venum, Wotan, Xatana Zatara, X-Devil, Zeus Jr., Zeuxis and Zurdog.
  • Guest Fighter: From CMLL.
  • I Know Amateur Wrestling: A bit.
  • Masked Luchador: Subverted, unlike his mates he worked as a unmasked luchador.
  • Real Name as an Alias: His full name is Miguel Calderón Navarro. He used Negro for his ring name as a tribute to his luchador idol Black Shadow.
  • Something Completely Different: He was a luchador and not a shooter.
  • ¡Three Amigos!: Was part of Los Misioneros de la Muerte ("The Missionaries of Death") with El Signo and El Texano; a team that is credited with popularizing the Trios match in Mexico to the point that it became the most common match for Trios teams in Mexican Lucha Libre.
  • Wrestling Family: His sons are luchadors Trauma I and Trauma II. His brothers are also luchadors, working under the ring names Apolo Navarro and Drako. He is also related through marriage to luchadors Mictlán, Inquisidor, Pólvora, El Dandy, El Texano, El Texano Jr, and Super Nova.

Mano Negra

Jerry Olski

Stephen Petitpas

  • Badass Mustache
  • Badass Beard
  • Canada, Eh?
  • Combat Referee: Refereed some matches for Atlantic Grand Prix Wrestling, Emile Duprée's promotion who was also his neighbor and trainer.
  • Cool Teacher: Owns Atlantic Wrestling School and trained Kurrgan.
  • Hidden Depths: Plays hockey on a regular basis as a winger, drives a truck and he's the flagman for CASCAR's New Brunswick International Speedway.
  • I Have Many Names: Has wrestled as Canadian Lumberjack, Sheik Ali, Stephen Petitpas, and Steven Pearsay.
  • Red Baron: "Big".
  • Refusal of the Call: Canadian wrestler Buddy Lane has called Petitpas's career "the biggest waste of talent ever" in wrestling, as Petitpas was given opportunities to wrestle for larger companies but chose to remain in the Maritimes. Companies that include the WWF and AWA.
  • Stout Strength: Almost 300ibs.

Pete Roberts

"Shortly before I was due to get married, I wrestled Pete Roberts — someone I really looked up to. Most people won't know him, but any British wrestler worth his salt would put him in his top three. An absolute class act in the ring and a gentleman outside it too. He's a wrestler's wrestler, who used to work in Japan all the time. His stuff was so far above anybody else's. I was just a green eighteen-year-old wrestling one of my heroes."
William Regal, from his autobiography; Walking A Golden Mile.

Terry Rudge

"On my first night there I was with Terry Rudge, one of my favourite people of all time. He was a great London guy who'd make me laugh constantly - and he was a top wrestler too."
William Regal, from his autobiography; Walking A Golden Mile.

Tami Samoa/Jack Snuka

"He wasn't quick; he was sudden."
— Gordon Solie

  • Big Eater: He spoke of a time when he and Harley Race went for sushi and let their appetites get the best of them, running up a bill over a thousand dollars.
  • But Not Too Foreign: He says he has some Japanese blood in his veins, it was one of his reasons for going to learn martial arts in Japan.
  • Downer Ending: Died in January 9th 2007, he was 62.
  • The Dreaded: Was described as short-tempered, a trained fighter, and as one of the truly dangerous people of his era by those he worked with. He worked as an enforcer for a powerful drug dealer when he wasn't wrestling though he claimed he only collected money that was owed to the dealer by various clients and never specified if he had to seriously hurt or even kill people who didn’t pay. He was eventually arrested for his crimes and sent to prison for a number of years.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: He and Jimmy Snuka considered each other "blood brothers".
  • Hidden Depths: Established a janitorial company to provide jobs to homeless people and also worked for motorcycle companies, offering publicity by making cross-country rides.
  • I Have Many Names: Has wrestled as Black Ninja, Coco Samoa (his most well known name), Tami Samoa, High Chief Onasahi, Jack Snuka, and Sabu the Wildman.
  • I Know Karate: He studied several martial arts in Japan, like Karate, Judo, jujitsu, Sumo Wrestling, and has a black belt in at least one of them.
  • Odd Friendship: With Harley Race and Antonio Inoki.
  • Overly Long Name: His real name is Ulualoaiga Onosai Tuaolo Emelio.
  • Parental Abandonment: He estimated once that he fathered 11 children from 9 different women. Some of which he never met in his lifetime.
  • Real Men Love Jesus: Became a preacher, helped homeless people, and visited other inmates to preach about Christianity, after being released from prison.
  • Wild Samoan: From Pago Pago, American Samoa.
  • Wrestling Family: Subverted, he is not a direct relative to the Anoaʻi family, though he was close to Jimmy Snuka.

Jim Savage

Michael Schneider

Bob Della Serra/UFO #1

Gerry/Gino/Rocky Della Serra/UFO #2

Dalibar Singh

"Dalibar was a masterful performer, popular with crowds, whose demure ring persona was offset by his supreme aptitude for the technical side of wrestling. There was nothing in his performances to demarcate him from the standard British wrestler - he attained a degree of equality who heritage was only accentuated by the stereotypical aspects of his "Tiger" moniker. He successful portrayed the role of an Indian migrant to the UK, only whose particular occupation was wrestling."
— From the book; Performance and Professional Wrestling.

El Signo

Sweet Daddy Siki

"Reginald "Sweet Daddy" Siki is a professional wrestling icon, successful country music singer, and household name. This is his story, told by wrestling icons, celebrities, fascinating historians, family, friends, and the legend himself."
— Jeremy Shell, a summary of the Sweet Daddy Siki documentary.

"A lot of people try to copy me, but there's only one Niagara Falls and only one Mona Lisa. And there's only one Mr. Irresistible."
— Sweet Daddy Siki

  • The Cameo: Made an appearance on WWE Smackdown on September 13, 2011 for Edge Appreciation Night, along with several other WWE Legends and former superstars.
  • Canada, Eh?: He was actually born in Texas, but moved to Toronto, Canada and still lives there.
  • Catchphrase: "I’m the Women’s Pet and the Man’s Regret".
  • Cool Teacher: He teaches at Sully's Toronto Youth Athletic Club on Sundays. He was also affiliated with a Toronto wrestling school through the 1980s and to the mid-1990s, initially in partnership with Johnny Powers. He trained pro wrestlers like Edge, El Fuego, Johnny Swinger, Neil Carr, Ron Hutchison, Sledgehammer Spike, Tiger Ali Singh and Zakk Wylde.
  • Delinquent Hair: Bleached his hair blonde.
  • Dented Iron: He has some paralysis on the left side of his face.
  • "Do It Yourself" Theme Tune: Wrote his own theme song entitled "I Am So Proud of What I See".
  • Gorgeous George: One of the first black men to play the role.
  • Hard Head: A Signature Move of his is his headbutt or "coco butt".
  • Hidden Depths: He is also a country singer, karaoke DJ and hosts karaoke Saturday afternoons at The Duke bar at Queen and Leslie street in Toronto.
  • Old Soldier: Was a corporal in the U.S. Army and served in Korea after the peace treaty was signed.
  • Red Baron: "Mr. Irresistible".
  • Scary Black Man

Johnny South

"Johnny looked vaguely like Hawk from the Road Warriors but instead of being known as the Legion of Doom, he was the Legend of Doom (they have the Big Mac, we have the Big Mic). He sported the same makeup, mohawk, and spiked shoulder pads as Hawk, but there was one major discrepancy. Johnny was about a foot shorter and fifty pounds lighter. He also had a nasty divot across his bald head."
Chris Jericho, from his autobiography; A Lion's Tale: Around The World In Spandex.

"Shortly before Easter 1992 Anne Relwyskow organised a tour of British army bases in Germany. We went for ten days doing different base every day - me, Dave Taylor, Klondyke Kate, Drew MacDonald, Johnny South, Barry Douglas and his girlfriend Debbie, who was wrestling Kate. We knew the army boys wouldn't want to watch the wrestling they would want to sit there and take the mick. So Johnny South and I would go out first and knock the living hell out of each other. And every time, by the second or third round we had them - they were buying it. So they should have, because we were killing each other, wrestling really hard. That's how we got them, every night, and it meant they would enjoy the rest of the show."
William Regal, from his autobiography; Walking A Golden Mile.

Ray Steele

"There was a guy called Ray Steele who was really good."
William Regal, from his autobiography; Walking A Golden Mile.

Bob Sweetan

"One of our favorites was a guy named Bruiser Bob Sweetan. He was the first wrestler to come in as a bad guy, act like a bad guy, and be turned good by the fans. He came out to 'Bang Your Head' by Quiet Riot and would finish his opponents off with the piledriver. That got over like a million bucks, and the fans couldn't help but cheer for him."
Shawn Michaels, from his autobiography; Heartbreak & Triumph: The Shawn Michaels Story.

  • Bullying a Dragon: Jim Ross once told how Danny Hodge once tortured Sweetan as payback for being out of line.
  • Canada, Eh?
  • Collegiate American Football: Briefly played with the Canadian Football League's Toronto Argonauts.
  • Cool Teacher: He trained Hardcore Holly and Jeff Daniels.
  • Determinator: "Dr. Death" Steve Williams described him as a "very, very tough man".
  • Downer Ending: Sweetan died at a Nanaimo, British Columbia nursing home on February 10, 2017, he was 76. He had been suffering from diabetes, memory problems and mobility issues.
  • Drugs Are Bad: Sweetan's ex-wife Rebecca commented: "He's a waste of skin as far as I'm concerned... He fried his brain [with drugs], deserted his children, abused them emotionally, physically, sexually, mentally. But that's what drugs do. He fried his brain. He's a fried egg."
  • Heel: Was known for causing riots in arenas due to his heel antics, and was an influence on a young Shawn Michaels.
  • Hidden Depths: Following his pro wrestling career, Sweetan worked as an air conditioning maintenance supervisor, particularly in large apartment buildings.
  • Jerkass: In 1990, Sweetan was convicted of the sexual assault of his daughter, Candace. He also faced a separate charge of non-payment of child support. Sweetan stopped checking in with police in 2000, after which he was located and deported back to his native Canada. Jim Ross stated that he "didn't like" Sweetan and "didn't want to be around him", describing him as a "miserable human being". In his 2012 autobiography, "Hacksaw" Jim Duggan also referred to Sweetan as a "bully" and a "real piece of garbage".
  • Real Song Theme Tune: 'Bang Your Head' by Quiet Riot.
  • Red Baron: "Bruiser", "Mr. Piledriver".
  • Something Completely Different: He was a brawler style heel wrestler and not a shooter.

Gallo Tapado

El Texano

  • The Apprentice: To Diablo Velasco and Antonio Cruz.
  • Bratty Half-Pint: Made his wrestling debut at the age of 13.
  • Cool Mask
  • Cool Teacher: Trained luchadors Bengala, Yakuza and Zumbido. He also trained pro wrestler Jimmy Jacobs.
  • Do Not Call Me "Paul": His real name is Juan Conrado Aguilar Jáuregui.
  • Downer Ending: During the final months of his life his breathing was supported by a ventilator and he was unable to even sit up. On the evening of January 15, 2006, He was rushed to a hospital in Guadalajara, Jalisco, for emergency surgery due to complications from pneumonia. He was pronounced dead upon arrival due to lung and respiratory failure.
  • Guest Fighter: From CMLL.
  • I Know Amateur Wrestling: Trained a little at Arena Coliseo.
  • Masked Luchador
  • Something Completely Different: He was a luchador and not a shooter.
  • Spell My Name with a "The"
  • ¡Three Amigos!: He helped populate the concept of the Trios match (teams of three facing off in a tag team match) in Lucha Libre, as a part of Los Misioneros de la Muerte ("The Missionaries of Death") with El Signo and Negro Navarro.
  • Wrestling Family: His son Juan Aguilar Leos wrestles under the name El Texano, Jr in tribute to his father and another son wrestles as the masked Super Nova. He is the uncle of luchadors Mictlán, Inquisidor and Pólvora. He is the cousin of luchador El Dandy. He is also related by a cousin's marriage to Negro Navarro.

Tom Tyrone

Vinnie Valentino

  • Alliterative Name
  • Contortionist: He was very flexible in his prime.
  • Does Not Like Shoes: One of the few pro wrestlers to wrestle barefoot.
  • Game-Breaking Injury: An all-around athlete, he excelled in the shot put. He attended Florida State University on a track and field scholarship and dreamed of making it to the Olympics. A shoulder injury in his sophomore year derailed his Olympic hopes and forced him to start looking for alternatives. He found pro wrestling.
  • Red Baron: "High Flying".
  • Something Completely Different: He was a high flyer style wrestler and not a shooter.

Scotty Williams

Johnny Wilson

Bernard Wright

Mile Zrno

    Debuted in Shooto 
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    Debuted in UWF Newborn 

    Debuted in Pro Wrestling Fujiwara Gumi 

    Debuted in Fighting Network RINGS 

    Debuted in UWF International 

    Debuted in Ladies Legend Pro Wrestling 
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    Debuted in Pancrase Hybrid Wrestling 

    Debuted in Kitao Dojo 

    Debuted in New Stage Battle Wrestling 

    Debuted in Great American Mat Endeavors 

    Debuted in Fighting Detectives Team Battlarts 
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    Debuted in Unified Shoot Wrestling Federation 

    Debuted in Kingdom 

    Debuted in Capture International 

    Debuted in Universal Fighting-Arts Organization 

    Debuted in Seikendo 
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