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Characters / Universal Wrestling Federation PWFG

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"The Professional Wrestling Fujiwara-Gumi is a perfect primer for someone interested in a solid introduction to the culture and techniques of Karl Gotch's and Fujiwara's vision for professional wrestling."
Jake Shannon, a summary for The Professional Wrestling Fujiwara-Gumi DELUXE 2 Disc Set.

As a whole:

  • Badass Crew: Took some of the best talents after UWF Newborn closed like Funaki, Suzuki and Shamrock, and a second example is when these 3 were joined by other guys when they left and founded Pancrase.
  • Crippling Overspecialization: With their focus on technical wrestling, PWFG wrestlers (with a few exceptions) had little to no formal training in striking, something that would affect the MMA careers of the guys who founded Pancrase, the few from Battlarts and the gaijins who tried it.
  • Denser and Wackier: What the promotion became after the Pancrase founders left.
  • Distaff Counterpart: Sort of had one in Ladies Legend Pro Wrestling, an offshoot of Japan Woman's Pro-Wrestling.
  • Early-Bird Cameo: Most of the guys that founded Pancrase got their start here. As well as the guys that founded Battlarts, who were probably the least well known and the least successful MMA fighters compared to the fighters from the other UWF offshoots, though some of them like Alexander Otsuka really stood out.
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  • Faction Motto: "ONE FOR ALL AND ALL FOR ONE", apparently in Caps Lock.
  • Five-Man Band: The staff carried over from Newborn.
  • Gondor Calls for Aid: Compared to the other UWF offshoots, Fujiwara Gumi was willing to cooperate with regular pro wrestling promotions like Super World of Sports, New Japan Pro-Wrestling, Ladies Legend Pro Wrestling, FMW, Michinoku Pro Wrestling, W*ING and Universal Lucha Libre by sending its wrestlers to their events but not vice versa in order to keep the shoot style feel to the promotion (at first anyway). With Battlarts, they removed that restriction and co-promoted with others like RINGS, Kingdom, and Big Japan Pro Wrestling.
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  • Irony: The motto is this, as it is supposed to mean loyalty through thick and thin, when in fact the promotion split off into Pancrase and Battlarts.
  • King of Beasts: Their logo features a lion, like NJPW.
  • Lighter and Softer: Focused more on technical wrestling with some comedy and theatrics thrown in here and there, compared to the realism of UWF Newborn or RINGS.
  • Overshadowed by Awesome: The promotion itself is the least remembered of the Newborn offshoots. It also mainly gets mentioned as where some of the early Pancrase fighters and the founders of Battlarts got their start.
  • Panthera Awesome: Their logo had a lion.
  • Ragtag Bunch of Misfits: The bunch that started up Battlarts.
  • Reverse Cerebus Syndrome: Became a lot less serious promotion after the Pancrase boys left.
  • Spin-Off: Aside from being a UWF offshoot, it had two of its own in the form of Pancrase and Battlarts.
  • Technician Versus Performer: The guys that left to form Pancrase were the technicians, while those who stayed longer and later formed Battlarts were the performers.
  • Ur-Example: Held the first shoot style wrestling shows outside of Japan (in the USA of course).
  • Use Your Head: Due to Fujiwara, headbutts were legal in this promotion. Other wrestlers also used them on occasion.
  • Yakuza: The word "Gumi" was a word used by yakuza groups and Fujiwara gave himself the title of "kumicho" (a word for yakuza boss or gang leader, pretty much like The Don). In general, Yoshiaki enjoys making himself look like a yakuza, and given it's Japan we are talking about, who knows whether it is just a character or something more. Thankful it was limited to himself and not the other wrestlers.

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    Fujiwara-Gumi natives 

Don Arakawa

  • 10-Minute Retirement: Announced his retirement from wrestling for the first time in 1989, but came back to wrestling a year later for Super World Sports.
  • The Apprentice: To Kotetsu Yamamoto.
  • Ass Shove: Likes to perform kancho (enema) on his opponents.
  • Big Eater: According to his peers. He also supposedly drank soy sauce and vinegar that is provided at restaurants like an actual drink.
  • Canon Immigrant: Like Naoki Sano, he was neither a Fujiwara trainee nor a NJPW wrestler interested in shoot-style: he only got in PWFG because his original promotion, Super World Sports folded.
  • Combat Pragmatist: Despite his comedy wrestling style, he did include offensive moves like eye pokes and rakes. Unfortunately for him, those would usually piss off his opponents to later use those on him.
  • Contortionist: A downplayed example as he can do the splits, which he usually does in his corner for the start of a match, often to make the audience laugh.
  • Cool Old Guy: Was the oldest guy (not counting Fujiwara) in PWFG by at least a decade.
  • Cool Teacher: Was a trainer at the New Japan Dojo and Pro Wrestling ZERO1, and trained guys like Akashi Tiger.
  • Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: While he is mostly known for being a comedy wrestler, he is a New Japan Dojo alumni with real shooter skills and reportedly tossed around younger trainees if they got out of line and even sparred with Karl Gotch. On the other hand however, there is a rumor that he once challenged and got beat by Satoru Sayama with just one kick.
  • Do Not Call Me "Paul": His real first name is Makoto.
  • Downer Ending: Died at the age of 71 years old on November 5th 2017.
  • Finishing Move: Backslide and Chickenwing Facelock.
  • Fun Personified: In a reverse Knight of Cerebus way, after the Pancrase guys left and Don was brought in, PWFG became less serious as a shoot style promotion and laid the foundation of what would become Battlarts. He was also said to be this in real life.
  • Hidden Depths: He was a sales manager of a mobile game company.
  • I Know Hyoukin Pro-Wrestling: His unique "wrestling style" that would get laughs from the crowd. He also trained in Judo and a bit of amateur wrestling before his pro wrestling career.
  • Outdoor Bath Peeping: According to Fujiwara, back when they were doing tours for NJPW, Fujiwara, Satoru Sayama and Arakawa used to peep in the women's bath of the hotels they were hosted in, with Akira Maeda sometimes joining in.
  • Red Baron: "Rikidōzan of The Opening Match" or "Opener Rikidōzan" due to his strong resemblance to Rikidozan.
  • Plucky Comic Relief: Played this role and the fans loved him for it.
  • Something Completely Different: His participation in PWFG. He was a comedy wrestler in a shoot style promotion and never changed his style.
  • Top-Heavy Guy: Had a powerful upper body from heavy lifting and heavy eating.
  • Underwear of Power: Inverted, he always wore long black tights.

Shoichi Funaki

Genta Haga

  • The Apprentice: To Karl Gotch, Boris and Joe Malenko, and Masami Soranaka.
  • I Know Catch Wrestling: Trained at the Malenko Gym alongside Yuji Shimada. He also trained shoot wrestling at the PWFG and Battlarts dojos.
  • Jobber: Had one fight in Shooto against Masanori Suda, which he lost.
  • Non-Action Guy: Was part of the sales department of Battlarts.

Daisuke Ikeda

Katsuomi Inagaki

"In Mixed Martial Arts, one could get injured whilst potential deadly attacks are allowed. There is always a probability that one could kill or one could be killed. I believed that I had to be prepared to fight with those possibilities."

Akinobu Kodama

  • Combat Referee: Was a PWFG referee and also part of the office staff.
  • Embarrassing Nickname: Was called “Jerry” for some reason.
  • The Sneaky Guy: Was described as this by Gotch and Fujiwara. In fact they nicknamed him “sneaky bastard”.
  • Token Evil Teammate: Fujiwara describes him as a bad guy and even compared him to a little demon.

Hiroyoshi Kotsubo/Tsubo Genjin

Kiuma Kunioku

"I thought he would be easy to submit or KO, but he was very slippery — not from grease, but from skill."

  • Alliterative Name
  • Almighty Janitor: For someone who spent his career as a PWFG young boy and later a perennial Pancrase rookie, dude has victories over names like Guy Mezger, Frank Shamrock, Masakatsu Funaki, Yuki Kondo, Genki Sudo and Nate Marquardt.
  • The Apprentice: To Yoshiaki Fujiwara, Masakatsu Funaki, and Minoru Suzuki.
  • Authority Equals Asskicking: Was the head of the PANCRASEism gym after Minoru Suzuki left to form Pancrase MISSION until 2004, when he himself left.
  • Bald of Awesome: Shaved his head for a time in the early 2000s.
  • Can't Catch Up: Downplayed. He debuted in Pancrase in 1996, even though he was part of the original exodus from PWFG in 1993. He said in an interview that he delayed his Pancrase debut because he was not satisfied with his skills at the time.
  • Do Not Call Me "Paul": His real first name is Michiaki.
  • Early-Bird Cameo: Was a trainee for PWFG but he never debuted there. He was part of the ring crew at the shows.
  • Escape Artist: Described by many of his opponents as a sneaky guy, difficult to catch on the ground.
  • Pint-Sized Powerhouse: One of Pancrase's smallest wrestlers, and still one of the most impressive records of the company.
  • Pretty Fly for a Japanese Guy: Plays hip hop, especially during his late entrance themes.
  • Real Men Wear Pink: Used to wear pink tights and boots.
  • Red Baron: "Raito Kyu no Kagemusha" ("The Shadow Warrior of the Lightweight Division").
  • The Sneaky Guy: His grappling style.
  • ¡Three Amigos!: Was a part of the "Hybrid Sanjushi" ("The Three Hybrid Musketeers") along with Yuki Kondo and Osami Shibuya. Among them, Kunioku was called "Waza no Kunioku" ("Kunioku of the Technique") due to his good ground game.
  • The Worf Effect: Tapped out to a rear naked choke by Marcelo Garcia in the first round of the 2003 ADCC.

Ms. Mitsuya

Mitsuru Miyata

  • Non-Action Guy: Was Pancrase's ring announcer from 1993 to 2008 and was a producer for KRUSH and K-1. He is now a producer for REBELS and KNOCK-OUT kickboxing league.
  • Large Ham Announcer: His announcing job in K-1, PWFG, REBELS and Pancrase.

Takeshi Ono

  • The Apprentice: To Yoshiaki Fujiwara and Naoyuki Taira.
  • Bishōnen: Had this physique and is quite attractive, in a different way compared to Minoru Tanaka.
  • Cool Mask: As Bushido and Masked Tiger.
  • Early-Bird Cameo: Was in the 1994 Lumax Cup representing PWFG, and was the first opponent of eventual winner Yoshinori Nishi.
  • Evil Counterpart: As Masked Tiger to Tiger Mask IV.
  • Fingerless Gloves: Was the only Battlarts affiliated native who wrestled with MMA gloves.
  • The Heart: Wrestled in the undercard of almost all the promotions he worked for with zeal.
  • I Know Judo: Trained in it before his wrestling career. He also had MMA training at the Strapple gym.
  • Minored In Ass Kicking: Has a MMA record of 2 wins and 4 losses.
  • Put on a Bus: He used to wrestle in Ikeda's promotion Futen, but left in 2014 for personal reasons.
  • Red Baron: "Onotake", "Perfect Star".
  • Those Two Guys: With Masao Orihara in Michinoku Pro Wrestling as the Tonpachi Machine Guns. Also with Daisuke Ikeda as Team Taco.

Yukari Osawa

Alexander Otsuka

Naoki Sano

Yuji Shimada

"Judge! Judge! Judge! Readyyyyyyyyy… Go!"

  • The Apprentice: To Masami Soranaka in both wrestling and refereeing.
  • The Chessmaster: Was also a professional wrestling booker, authority figure and was once head of the rules committee for Icon Sport. In Fighting Opera Hustle, he was introduced as a staff officer and spokesperson for the heel faction Takada Monster Army. He often appeared along with Commander An Jo and Generalissimo Takada, who typically ordered him to make plans against the heroic faction Hustle Army.
  • Cloudcuckoolander: He became known for his personal and controversial refereeing style, which included gesticulating and yelling his orders, demanding aggression from the fighters at all times, and asking insistently "give up?" every time one of them attempted a submission move.
  • Combat Commentator: Aside from refereeing, he also did commentary for Battlarts.
  • Combat Referee: Possibly the most important referee in history of MMA with Big John McCarthy. He has refereed in PWFG, RINGS, PRIDE, K-1, DREAM, Strikeforce, ONE FC and many more promotions.
  • Cool Teacher: Has his own gym, BCG gym. Fellow referee Daisuke Noguchi came from his gym. He is also a licensed English teacher.
  • Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass / Hidden Depths / Wrestler in All of Us: While he is mostly known as a referee, few people know that he also trained at the Malenko Wrestling Gym and wrestled in the US under the name "Ninja 2" , got to show his skills again in Fighting Opera Hustle, and also won second place in an amateur tournament hosted by RINGS. He also helped Satoru Sayama to create Seikendo.
  • I Know Catch Wrestling: Moved to the United States to learn after graduating from university.
  • Red Baron: "The Number 1 Third Man".

Kazuo/Yoshiki Takahashi

"Like I said, Takahashi had my personality. I worked with him a lot, and he had my personality. He came after people, and they had to be on their toes with him, even though in the earlier days there was some stuff in there that he didn’t want to do, he did it, but they paid for it. But in the real shoot, when we were there, he was a guy that people had to watch out for because he brought it every time."

  • '80s Hair: Came close to a mullet at times.
  • A Day in the Limelight: The only one of the Pancrase original native team that fought in the UFC. He was also the first Japanese fighter to win in the UFC.
  • The Apprentice: Yoshiaki Fujiwara.
  • Arch-Enemy: Akira Maeda, in real life.
  • The Big Guy: Probably the physically strongest native of the original Pancrase guys.
  • Blood Knight: He loves fighting and wants you to know it.
  • Captain Ersatz: The character Yoshiki Takaishi from High School Exciting Story: Tough was a barely disguised copy of Takahashi.
  • Cloudcuckoolander: Enough to go to compete in an UFC event while having no bloody clue about its ruleset. Also one of reasons why Ken Shamrock likes him.
  • Cool Teacher: Has his own gym, D-One Gym. He was also the MMA Master of the Sengoku Raiden Championship Gym.
  • Determinator: Oh god. If you think we are repeating ourselves with this trait among the UWF wrestlers, just read about how this guy kept fighting Ken Shamrock with a broken jaw and a destroyed leg, and preferred to get a shin snapped in half against Bas Rutten instead of stop kicking him.
  • Establishing Character Moment: His fight with Ken Shamrock is where he really showcased his toughness and guts.
  • Expy: Late on his career, he looked like a lighter version of Kazuyuki Fujita due to his big build, blonde hair, toughness (though naturally not anywhere near Fujita) and amateur wrestling expertise. In fact, they were highschool pals.
  • Game-Breaking Injury: Broke his hand while fighting Wallid Ismail and couldn’t continue in the UFC 12 Lightweight Tournament final to face Jerry Bohlander.
  • Good Old Fisticuffs: In his fight with Wallid Ismail, he relied on his punches when standing and ground-and-pound when on the ground instead of going for submissions.
  • Hero Killer: Gave some fringes to the Muay Thai and BJJ communities destroying respectively Superman Sattasaba and Wallid Ismail.
  • I Know Karate: But is mostly known for knowing amateur wrestling, being a national champion and captain of his wrestling team at Nihon University.
  • Odd Friendship: With Ken Shamrock, who once admitted that, while Takahashi was frankly bad on the mat, he was his favorite training partner.
  • Red Baron: "Hitogui Yoshiki" ("Yoshiki the Cannibal"), "Senkyoku no Senpō" ("Pioneer of Sengoku"), "Naguriya" ("The Puncher").
  • ¡Three Amigos!: Started a fight team with Kenji Arai and Kengo Watanabe from the PANCRASEism Gym.
  • The Unfettered: Has the nasty habit to fight opponents who break the rules, and in the most famous instance against Wallid Ismail, Takahashi himself indulged on it as well (though presumably due to ignorance, except when it came to the rule about low blows apparently).
  • Unknown Rival: He wanted a fight with Akira Maeda by all means. It goes to the extent that Takahashi was supposed to call out Maeda officially after defeating Jason Godsey in Pancrase, but he lost the match, which meant he should drop the challege, as in Japanese culture it is not good to grab the mic after a loss; yet Takahashi grabbed it and challenged him anyways. He even proposed to hold the match in All Japan Kickboxing Federation to have a neutral ground, or even hosting it in RINGS if Maeda wasn't valiant enough to fight outside his promotion. However, Maeda couldn't be less interested in Yoshiki, instead wanting to fight his superior Suzuki.
  • Unskilled, but Strong: He was one of the least skilled grapplers in Pancrase, but was valiant and tough.
  • Ur-Example: The first Pancrase heavyweight champion.
  • Use Your Head: Used headbutts against Wallid Ismail, and later won a "pankration rules" (vale tudo) match in Pancrase against John Cronk by mounted headbutts.

Hachiro Tanaka

  • Eccentric Millionaire: Sort of. He was is the president of Megane Super, one of the best-known makers of eyeglasses in Japan. He helped start up Super World of Sports and PWFG because he is a massive pro wrestling Fan Boy.
  • Entitled Bastard: Downplayed. Masakatsu Funaki once stated that after Maeda refused to sell UWF Newborn to him, Hachiro response was "Well, then let’s make a pro-wrestling organization to compete against the U.W.F."
  • Fan Boy: Of pro wrestling, he tried to buy UWF Newborn and helped start up Super World of Sports and PWFG because he loves the sport. He was considered a money mark for this.
  • Non-Action Guy: Was not a wrestler.
  • Start My Own: With Genichiro Tenryu, founded (Megane) Super World of Sports, and with Yoshiaki Fujiwara founded Pro Wrestling Fujiwara-Gumi.
  • The Team Benefactor: Was the financier of PWFG and Super World of Sports.
  • Uncle Pennybags: He basically threw money offers around to build up Super World of Sports roster. Because of this, fans, wrestlers, and administrators of other Japanese promotions criticized SWS as being a "money puroresu" because of the way wrestlers flocked to it. The feeling was worsened when SWS signed a working relationship contract with WWE for interpromotional purposes.

Minoru Tanaka

Katsumi Usuda

Ryūshi Yanagisawa

"I want to fight against various opponents and fighters from various organizations with various rules, and I think doing this is the strongest way for this organization, so I will do my best."

  • A Day in the Limelight: Has a less than a minute submission victory over Dutch fighter Semmy Schilt.
  • Always Someone Better: His most frequent opponent was Guy Mezger who he drew with once in their first fight, then lost all 4 of their other fights.
  • The Apprentice: To Yoshiaki Fujiwara and Kensaku Maeda.
  • The Big Guy: Was tall for a Japanese guy at 6ft 3.
  • Cool Teacher: Was a trainer at Seiji Sakaguchi‘s gym.
  • Determinator: Fought Randy Couture and Fedor Emelianenko to decisions, and drew with Japanese stars like Yuki Kondo and Manabu Yamada.
  • Do Not Call Me "Paul": His real first name is Atsushi.
  • I Know Karate: Was a karateka before he got into wrestling. Subverted with Kickboxing at first, even though he was billed as a Muay Thai practitioner, he didn't know it, but he competed nonetheless, and against very dangerous people with only rudimentary training with Kensaku Maeda. He later truly learned kickboxing when he officially joined Kensaku Maeda’s gym the Dragon Dojo after he left Pancrase and became a member of Team Dragon.
  • Odd Friendship: With veteran pro wrestler Seiji Sakaguchi and even trained and taught at his gym.
  • Red Baron: "Fuchinkan" ("Unsinkable Battleship").
  • Spell My Name with an "S": His name sometimes wrongly typed as Ryuji Yanagisawa.
  • Ur-Example: Was the first MMA fighter in winning fights with both the twister and the banana split (the funny wrestling move in which the user separates the opponent's legs and hurts his groin).
  • The Worf Effect: His first Pancrase fight was against Bas Rutten which ended in 43 seconds after Bas clobbered Ryushi.

Satoshi Yoneyama/Mohammed Yone

  • Afro Ass Kicker: A very impressive one at that and what he was well known for, unfortunately he changed his hair style in recent years.
  • Ambadassador: Is a goodwill ambassador for the Japan Kabaddi Association.
  • Ambiguously Brown: Has a darker skin complexion than his fellow countrymen.
  • The Apprentice: To Yoshiaki Fujiwara, Yuki Ishikawa, and Daisuke Ikeda.
  • Big Eater: Appeared in a Japanese variety show that featured a cross country food binge.
  • Cloudcuckoolander: Is pretty much this in real life.
  • Crossdresser: Has a YouTube channel where he cross dresses and interviews other wrestlers.
  • Disco Dan: Has a love for disco and occasionally does the "Disco Fever" pose.
  • Dreadlock Warrior: What he has now.
  • Hidden Depths: Has a volleyball and kabaddi background and also does golf, tennis, scuba driving and billiards as hobbies. He also owns a restaurant in the Ikegami area of Ota-ku, Tokyo, is a certified Level 2 pet animal care manager and is a color therapist.
  • I Know Shoot Wrestling: Trained at the PWFG Dojo.
  • Red Baron: "Mr. Afro", "Rolling Thunder".
  • Shout-Out: Uses the Kinniku Buster, from Kinnikuman as his Finishing Move. Samoa Joe started using it after seeing Yone use it.
  • Spell My Name with an "S": His ring name is spelled "Muhammad Yone" in some sources.

    Fujiwara-Gumi gaijins 

Ozzie Alvarez

Charlie/James Anderson

Mark Ashford-Smith

"Mark was a traditional wrestler, very solid and old school. He didn't partake in high flying acts, but he was pretty good."
Kanyon, from his autobiography; Wrestling Reality: The Life and Mind of Chris Kanyon Wrestling's Gay Superstar.

Dieuseul Berto

Jack Birthrider

Herman Caicedo

  • The Apprentice: To Bart Vale.
  • Cool Teacher: Is now a boxing trainer. He also previously had his own Kenpo school, Black Panther Kenpo Karate.
  • Guest Fighter: Appeared only once at PWFG: The Toughest of Tough Men on March 20 1992 in Miami, Florida at the James L. Knight Center in an amateur shootfighting match against John Lana.
  • I Know Karate: Trained in American Kenpo Karate and shootfighting at the Tiger & Dragon Martial Arts Gym. He also knows boxing and Kickboxing.
  • Spell My Name with an "S": His name was written as Henry Ciecedo on a program sheet.

Richard Cole

  • The Apprentice: To Bart Vale.
  • Guest Fighter: Appeared only once at PWFG: The Best of The Best on February 19 1993 in Miami, Florida at the Mahi Shrine Auditorium in an amateur shootfighting match against Gustavo Garcia.
  • I Know Karate: Trained in American Kenpo Karate and shootfighting at the Tiger & Dragon Martial Arts Gym.
  • Spell My Name with an "S": Cole or Carle?

George Costello

  • The Apprentice: To Bart Vale.
  • Guest Fighter: Appeared only once at PWFG: The Best of The Best on February 19 1993 in Miami, Florida at the Mahi Shrine Auditorium in an amateur shootfighting match against Ozzie Alvarez.
  • I Know Karate: Trained in American Kenpo Karate and shootfighting at the Tiger & Dragon Martial Arts Gym.

Joe DeFuria

Harold Estrada

  • The Apprentice: To Bart Vale.
  • Guest Fighter: Appeared only once at PWFG: The Best of The Best on February 19 1993 in Miami, Florida at the Mahi Shrine Auditorium in an amateur shootfighting match against John Lana.
  • I Know Karate: Trained in American Kenpo Karate and shootfighting at the Tiger & Dragon Martial Arts Gym.

Rico Federico

Jerry Flynn

"Well, we didn’t go “Hey, guess what- whoever wins this match is going to get to go over.” But, I hope that he didn’t say anything different because I’ve always respected him and I’ve always liked him- but I think he realized what would have happened if we would have gone live."

Gustavo Garcia

  • The Apprentice: To Bart Vale.
  • Guest Fighter: Appeared only once at PWFG: The Best of The Best on February 19 1993 in Miami, Florida at the Mahi Shrine Auditorium in an amateur shootfighting match against Richard Cole.
  • I Know Karate: Trained in American Kenpo Karate and shootfighting at the Tiger & Dragon Martial Arts Gym.

Pedro Godrich

  • The Apprentice: To Bart Vale.
  • Guest Fighter: Appeared only once at PWFG: The Toughest of Tough Men on March 20 1992 in Miami, Florida at the James L. Knight Center in an amateur shootfighting match against Ozzie Alvarez.
  • I Know Karate: Trained in American Kenpo Karate and shootfighting at the Tiger & Dragon Martial Arts Gym.
  • Spell My Name with an "S": Was listed as Pedro Goderich on a program sheet.

Glenn Jacobs

Lato Kirawarik

John Lana

Carl Ognibene/Greco/Contini/Malenko

"Some notes on the pro wrestler from Battlarts who is now billed as Carl Malenko, 29, formerly known as Carl Greco, who faces Egan Inoue in the Pride 6 show on 7/4 from Yokohama Arena. He's not the son of Boris Malenko or brother of Joe and Dean, although he's being billed as such in Japan. His real name is Carl Ognibene from Winter Haven, FL and trained largely with Dieusel Berto, a former pro wrestler and later MMA fighter and trained very little under Karl Gotch. He's got a 2-1 record in legit shoot matches in the U.S. for the IFC"
— Dave Meltzer



Shuji Abe


  • The Apprentice: To Diablo Velazco, Franco Colombo, Héctor López, El Mariscal, Pepe Casas, El Satánico and Tony González.
  • Celestial Paragons and Archangels: His gimmick.
  • Cool Mask
  • Cool Teacher: Trained Afrodita, Andros de Plata, Ángel de la Noche, El Audaz, Black Belt, Bobby Villa, Candy, Canelo Casas, Canis Lupus, El Cholo, Cocolores, Dinamic Black, Diosa Atenea, Dragón Fly, Drone, La Flamita, El Fresero Jr., Frisbee, Gran Guerrero, Guerrero Míxtico Jr., El Halcón Jr., Hérmes Jr., El Hijo del Enrique Vera, El Hijo del Signo, Höruz, Isis, JC Navarro, Latin Star, Magnus, Mini Kenzo Suzuki, Místico, Mortiz, Ninja de Fuego, Óxido, Poseidon, Príncipe Diamante, Príncipe Pantera Jr., Puma, Rey Mohicano, El Signo Jr., El Silencio, Súper Halcón Jr., Tritón, Trox, Vanilla Vargas, and Villano III Jr.
  • Downer Ending: Died on June 12, 2018 at the age of 51 from cardiac arrest.
  • The Grim Reaper: His name implies this.
  • Guest Fighter: From CMLL.
  • Masked Luchador: From La Venta del Astillero, Jalisco, Mexico.
  • Names to Run Away from Really Fast: He usually goes by Arkángel for short, his full ring name is Arkángel de la Muerte which is Spanish for "Archangel of Death".
  • One Steve Limit: Invoked, he chose the name Arkángel to avoid distance himself from another wrestler using the name Angel de la Muerte. There are many other luchadors with Angel in their names, but there is only one Arkángel.
  • Red Baron: "El Abogado del Diablo" ("The Devil's Advocate"), El Boss ("The Boss").
  • Shout-Out: He once wrestled as Mr Cid, which was partially inspired by El Cid an 11th-century Castilian nobleman.
  • Wrestling Family: His brother is luchador, El Torbellino.

The Bandit

Riki Choshu

Último Dragón

Roberto Duran

  • The Apprentice: To legendary boxing trainer Ray Arcel.
  • Boxing Battler
  • Game-Breaking Injury: Retired from boxing after receiving injuries from a car accident.
  • Guest Fighter: Brought in for a Mixed Styles Fight with Masakatsu Funaki.
  • He Also Did: Was one of Rocky’s sparring partner in Rocky II.
  • I Know Boxing: Widely regarded as one of the greatest boxers of all time with a versatile brawler and in-fighter style of boxing.
  • Memetic Badass: The facts would be enough: Duran boxed professionally for 33 years, from 1968 to 2001, and only stopped fighting because he suffered injuries in a car accident. He began as a skinny kid weighing less than 120 pounds, he would later become a near consensus choice as the greatest lightweight of all time, would win titles as high as middleweight, (virtually no one else has been able to successfully win titles from lightweight to middleweight) he fought guys that would later fight as heavyweights and win at heavyweight by KO, and never went down while taking their shots. In his long career he was KO'd once, by Tommy Hearns, one of the hardest punchers in boxing history. Mike Tyson hero worships Duran. And then the stories start getting crazy: the time that he was at a fair of some kind and somebody bet him that there was someone there Duran couldn't KO with one punch. Duran accepted the bet without seeing who this person was, and the other guy brought out a horse as the person Duran couldn't KO. According to legend, Duran promptly knocked the horse out with a single punch. (Boxing fans, due to this longtime legend, have also joked that Duran invented the giraffe when he hit a horse with an uppercut.) There are the legendary tales of how much booze he drank, how much drugs he did, how many women he slept with, how many times he handed armed muggers in his native Panama their asses without any weapons. How he end bar fights and riots with a Death Glare. How he crashed an airplane into the ocean and swam 2 miles back to Panama. How he had a pet lion named Walla that he would wrestle with like it was a kitten. (That last one is definitely true.)
  • Red Baron: "Manos de Piedra" ("Hands of Stone") which is a play on where he was raised, in the slums of El Chorrillo in the district "La Casa de Piedra" (The House of Stone) Panama. Also "El Cholo".

Kazuaki Eguchi

Pequeno Figueroa

Ricky Fuji

  • The Apprentice: To Stu Hart and Mr. Sato.
  • Ascended Fanboy: It was a big time thrill for him to work with Terry Funk in 1993 and while Terry was applying the Spinning Toe Hold to him the whole time he was marking out to himself and going "oh my god Terry Funk is putting the spinning toe hold on me!".
  • Baseball: Had a background in it before wrestling.
  • Cool Mask: As Black Tomcat and Calgary Tiger.
  • Cool Teacher: Runs his own gym in Chiba called Endo's Gym.
  • Elite Four: Part of the Four Pillars of FMW.
  • Guest Fighter: From FMW.
  • Hidden Depths: Plays in two rock bands, Crazy Crew (which includes Michinoku Pro Wrestling stars The Great Sasuke and Ken 45°) and The Heavyweighters.
  • I Have Many Names: Has wrestled as Black Tomcat, Calgary Tiger, Jon Bon Jovi, Masanori Morimura (his real name), Nature Boy, Ricky Fuji, and ZIGZAG.
  • Red Baron: "Sexy Storm", "Hard Rock", "The Shawn Michaels of Japan".
  • The Rock Star: His gimmick with a bit of inspiration from Shawn Michaels thrown in.
  • Tragic Dream: Downplayed as he got better. He was once a NJPW Dojo trainee in 1984, but left because he wanted to get into the UWF. He failed to get in and realized he ruined his chances at beginning his career in Japan. So he went to Canada instead, trained at the Hart Dungeon, befriended Hiroshi Hase and his former NJPW Dojo mates Jushin Thunder Liger and Shinya Hashimoto, developed his gimmick, returned to Japan and trained with former NJPW star Masanobu Kurisu and finally was offered a spot in Frontier Martial-Arts Wrestling by Atsushi Onita, which he accepted. He got over instantly, especially with the female fans.

Giorgi Galdava

Yone Genjin

The Gladiator

David Gobejishvili

  • Authority Equals Ass Kicking: From 1994-2000, he was president of the Georgian Wrestling Federation and, from 2002-09, was deputy chairman of the sports department of the Georgian Ministry of Culture. In 2009 he became chairman of the sports department of the Georgian Ministry of Sport and Youth Affairs (previously part of Ministry of Culture). He also served as the vice-president of Georgian National Olympic Committee.
  • Guest Fighter
  • Husky Russkie: He competed in freestyle wrestling for the Soviet Union, though he is actually Georgian.
  • I Know Freestyle Wrestling: A Soviet champion in 1985, 1986 and 1988, a 1985 European Champion, a 2 time World Championships gold medalist and one silver, and the 1988 Seoul Olympics gold medalist in the heavyweight division representing the Soviet Union and a bronze medalist in the 1992 Barcelona Olympics representing the Unified Team. The David Gobejishvili Tournament is a freestyle wrestling tournament in Georgia named after him.
  • Spell My Name with an "S": David or Davit?

The Greek

Hiroshi Hatanaka


Naohiro Hoshikawa

  • Canon Immigrant: Was a regular wrestler in early Battlarts.
  • Determinator: After his injury, he was told he would spend the rest of his life in a wheelchair. Nowadays, he can walk by himself.
  • Game-Breaking Injury: Suffered an acute subdural hematoma in 2004 after being superbombed off a cage (!) and had to retire.
  • Guest Fighter: From Michinoku Pro Wrestling.
  • I Know Karate: Trained under Kyokushin black belt and fellow wrestler Kazuhiko Ogasawara.
  • Jobber: In PWFG and Michinoku Pro Wrestling. He got better in other promotions.
  • Lightning Bruiser: Fast and strong, with both high-flying moves and hard drivers.
  • Put on the Bus: After taking a powerbomb from the top of the cage and then a clothesline in a cage death match for the International Junior Heavyweight Title against Tatsuhito Takaiwa, the referee noticed that Hoshikawa had become completely unresponsive and had begun snoring. The match was immediately brought to an end, and Hoshikawa was transported to hospital where doctors frantically tried to stop the bleeding in his brain. He fell into a month-long coma, but finally awoke in November 2004. Upon awaking, doctors scanned his brain and determined that although he had survived, he had sustained severe brain damage and would be wheelchair-bound for the rest of his life. The cause for the injury was not solely due to injuries suffered in the cage match, but multiple concussions that went untreated in weeks prior to it as well. Due to obvious reasons, Hoshikawa announced his retirement from professional wrestling shortly after.
    • The Bus Came Back: Since retiring, Hoshikawa has managed to regain the ability to stand, albeit with the aid of a crutch. He made a one-off return to professional wrestling on July 17, 2013 for the 20th Anniversary of his debut, where he defeated Naomichi Marufuji in less than a minute.
  • Red Baron: "Ryusei Bancho" ("Meteor Thug Leader").
  • Rugby Is Slaughter: Practiced rugby in high school and was not shy to demonstrate it in his matches.

Antonio Inoki

Tokimitsu Ishizawa

KAMIKAZE/150% Machine

Shirō Koshinaka

Charles Mays/Maze

Aleksey Medvedev

"A little while ago I had a glance of him and noticed he’s really tall, over two meters, so if he catches me and picks me up, it would be like flying in the air. But when standing, if he comes near, I’ll hit him with kicks and punches, and if I can knock him down with that, I’d be happy."

  • The Apprentice: To Alexander Kazovich.
  • Guest Fighter
  • Husky Russkie: He is actually Belarusian.
  • I Know Freestyle Wrestling: Part of the Belarusian national team, he won the silver medal in the men's Freestyle Heavyweight category at the 1996 Summer Olympics and also competed in the 2000 Olympics. He is also a bronze medalist in the 1994 World Cup, a silver medalist in the 1997 European Championships, and was a two-time World University Games champion among other achievements.
  • Spell My Name with an "S": His name is sometimes written as Alexsei Medvedev on wrestling sites.
  • Unstoppable Force Meets Immovable Object: Faced the mighty Semmy Schilt in a MMA fight that ended in a draw.

Taka Michinoku

Hirofumi Miura

Masayoshi Motegi

Ryuji Murakami

Dick Murdoch

"I knew him very well. He was a great athlete and certainly seemed to be born to be in wrestling. He was a natural if there ever was one as far as his timing and his aptitude. It was absolutely amazing. He’s going to be missed. The stories that he told in the locker room were legend. He was a heck of a good guy. He’s one of those colorful characters that you really miss and just can’t be replicated. He was a natural, he was a prodigy, he was born to be in the business."
"New Japan in the mid-80s was a crazy place to be with all the various styles blended together. It was the infancy of what is now called shoot style, with the likes of Akira Maeda, Yoshiaki Fujiwara and Nobuhiko Takada educating the fans to a new style, which few foreigners could do and even fewer in those days wanted to learn. Yet it was Murdoch, who picked up the exchanging submissions almost immediately and was one of the few wrestlers who could work the new style, and had the respect of the younger wrestlers as a tough enough guy who would have no fear in punching them in the nose if anyone tried to get cute."
— Dave Meltzer

  • The Alcoholic: Loved drinking beer and sake.
  • The Apprentice: To Bob Geigel, Killer Karl Kox, Pat O'Connor, and Frankie Murdoch.
  • Collegiate American Football: At West Texas State University.
  • Cool Mask: As Invader, The Masked Tornado and The Texan.
  • Cool Teacher: Trained Amy Lee, Gigante Guerrero, Joe Don Smith and Manny Fernández.
  • Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: His peers described him as having a bit of a silly streak in the ring and would goof off if he got bored and that was what kept him from being a top wrestler. If he got serious however, someone was gonna get hurt, and it usually was the other guy.
  • Downer Ending: Passed away from a heart attack at the age of 49. His last match was in PWFG and their had one last show as a tribute to him.
  • The Dreaded: Was one of the few gaijins that seriously learned shoot wrestling when Maeda and the UWF gang came back to NJPW and even before that could handle himself well in shoots. Kotetsu Yamamoto once said that if New Japan really wanted to hurt Akira Maeda they would have sent Murdoch instead of André the Giant.
  • Everything Is Big in Texas: A Texan from Waxahachie.
  • Expy: "Stone Cold" Steve Austin acknowledges the influence that Murdoch had on him.
    • Has a more obvious one in Trevor Murdoch (no relation).
  • Guest Fighter: From WCW.
  • I Have Many Names: Wrestled as Black Ace, Dick Murdoch, Invader, The Masked Tornado, The Rebel, Ron Carson, and The Texan.
  • I Know Amateur Wrestling: At Caprock High School. He also trained in boxing and learned shoot wrestling under Yoshiaki Fujiwara.
  • Odd Friendship: With Antonio Inoki and Yoshiaki Fujiwara.
  • Politically Incorrect Hero: He was a well liked and very well respected among most of his peers, but he was also suspected of being a card-carrying Klu Klux Klan member.
  • Red Baron: "Captain Redneck", "Dirty", "Super Rodeo Machine", "The Man of the Hour", "Kyōken" ("Mad Dog").
  • Semper Fi: Spent time with the Marine Corps before his pro wrestling career.
  • Those Two Guys: With Dick Slater as the Hardliners or Hardline Collection Agency.
  • ¡Three Amigos!: Grew up with fellow second-generation wrestlers Dory Funk Jr. and Terry Funk, watching their fathers wrestle all around Texas.
  • Wrestling Family: Was the stepson of Frank Murdoch and the cousin of Killer Tim Brooks.

Lawi Nabataya

  • Bald of Awesome: Was balding when he fought in PWFG.
  • Bullying a Dragon: Was invited to PWFG to face Yusuke Fuke in a mixed rules shootfight, which he won after oiling up his legs between the rounds to avoid Fuke's takedowns. The thing was technically legal at the time, but was still considered a very dirty tactic, so the company threw Minoru Suzuki at him in the next fight. The result, as expected, was Minoru curbstomping the Thai for revenge.
  • Combat Pragmatist: Oiled himself up in his bout with Yusuke Fuke in order to avoid being brought to the ground.
  • Guest Fighter: Was brought in for mixed style fights against Yusuke Fuke and Minoru Suzuki.
  • I Know Muay Thai: A champion from Pattaya.
  • Real Men Wear Pink: Wore pink shorts in his fight with Suzuki.
  • The Worf Effect: His match against Minoru Suzuki.

Yuji Nagata

Hanzo Nakajima

Shinichi Nakano

  • Guest Fighter: A New Japan Dojo trainee that was working for Wrestle Yume Factory.
  • I Know Judo: Before his wrestling career.

Oleg Naniev

Gran Naniwa

Farkya Napattaya

Don Nakaya Nielsen

"Don Nakaya Neilsen had the best mixed matches of all-time."
— Dave Meltzer

Katsutoshi Niiyama

Michiyoshi Ohara

"Truthfully, Ohara wasn't even particularly notable as a wrestler. A collegiate judoka who turned to pro-wrestling after graduation, he made his NJPW debut in 1990 and arguably peaked a year later, winning the Young Lion Cup, the title they put on people in an attempt to get fans to pay attention to them. His career took him across a broad spectrum of the wrestling world—he showed up in the German Catch Wrestling Association, Genichiro Tenryu's Wrestle Association R and even WCW for an extremely small cup of coffee. But outside of a couple tag team championships he never gained any particular accolades or fame. He was a lifelong midcarder. Which is probably part of what made him tempting for Inoki's endless MMA adventure: Not only did he have the inklings of a legitimate background, with his teenaged judo training and his brief stint in the post-UW Fi Pro Wrestling Fujiwara Gumi revival, he was an easy man to risk. If he won it would massively benefit the career of a wrestler they hadn't been able to market; if he lost he was already a midcarder and his stock didn't have far to fall. Unfortunately, they underestimated just how boring MMA can be. Ohara fought twice: Once against Renzo Gracie at Pride 17, once against Kevin Randleman at Pride 22. Normally I would say something acidic and frustrated about putting a rookie against champions, but in this case, everything in the background of the fights pales in comparison to just how bad the fights themselves were. The Renzo bout is twenty minutes of clinching in the corner, ineffective punches and Ohara running away, turning his back, holding the ropes and generally refusing to engage; the Randleman bout is even worse, as Ohara no longer has a size and wrestling advantage and can no longer avoid takedowns, so every time Randleman puts him on the ground Ohara crawls out of the ring to avoid being hit. Somehow he was never threatened with disqualification. His role as a wrestling celebrity most certainly had nothing to do with it. Inoki's policy of forcing wrestlers to fight was barbaric and stupid, but he made sure everyone who did it was rewarded—except Ohara. For failing to make Inoki proud Ohara was jobbed out after his pair of Pride fights, and when his NJPW contract ran out two years later he was let go. He retired in 2008 after a car accident. It's unfair to hold his MMA performance against him—he was a terrified mid-30s amateur fighting world champions on national television to keep his job—but in all fairness, they were really, really boring fights."
— A profile of Ohara from a Fire Pro Wrestling user Carl CX from

Toru Oishi

  • The Apprentice: To Keiji Sasaki, Yoshiji Soeno and Ryuji Murakami.
  • Guest Fighter: From the Shidokan organisation. He also appeared at Kitao Dojo shows.
  • I Know Karate: A Nisshin Kaikan (which fuses boxing and Karate) black belt and champion though he later changed to Shidokan. He later competed in K-1.
  • Red Baron: "Kowai Kao no Tekunishan" ("Technician With A Scary Face").

Takashi Okano

Shigeo Okumura

Masao Orihara


Shinjiro Otani

Hisakatsu Oya

Mr. Pogo

  • 10-Minute Retirement: His last match as an active FMW wrestler took place at Year End Spectacular on December 11, 1996, teaming with Masato Tanaka, Tetsuhiro Kuroda, and the returning Atsushi Onita to defeat Terry Funk, Hisakatsu Oya, and The Headhunters in what was considered Pogo's retirement match. His retirement did not last, as he returned to wrestling in July 1997 for Big Japan Pro Wrestling.
  • Cool Teacher: Trained Abdullah Kobayashi and Magnitude Kishiwada.
  • Downer Ending: Underwent spinal canal surgery for the second time in three years due to the pain, but the surgery was halted mid-way due to massive blood loss and the doctors deemed it too dangerous to continue. He remained in a Gunma hospital, until they tried surgery again nearly a month after the initial surgery attempt. However, during the surgery, his blood pressure dropped to the point he began having irregular heart beats, which resulted in a cerebral infarction. He was transferred to a hospital in Saitama, where he died on June 23, 2017. He was 66 years old.
  • Garbage Wrestler: He helped popularize hardcore wrestling in the 1990s with many "death matches".
  • Guest Fighter: From FMW.
  • I Have Many Names: Has wrestled as Great Ninja, The Great Pogo, Great Seki, Great Togo, Judo Joe, King Pogo, Mr. Pogo, Mr. Seki, Mr. Sekigawa, Ninja, The Ninja Warrior, Tetsuo Pogo, and his real name is Tetsuo Sekigawa.
  • I Know Amateur Wrestling: He was originally a decent amateur, having a pre-professional dispute with the future Jumbo Tsuruta over team representation in the Japanese collegiate championships. He also trained in Sumo Wrestling and Judo.
  • Playing with Fire: Using fireballs was a favorite tactic of his in his death matches.
  • Red Baron: "Emperor Of Death Match".
  • The Rival: To Atsushi Onita.
  • Start My Own: Founded World W*ING Spirit.
  • Stout Strength: About 300ibs.
  • Weapon of Choice: His kusarigama (chain-sickle).

El Samurai

Superman Sattasaba

Shiryu/Kaz Hayashi

Dick Slater

  • The Apprentice: To Mike and Eddie Graham, Jack Brisco, Bob Roop, Hiro Matsuda, and Bill Watts.
  • Bullying a Dragon: Slater was famous for an altercation in a bar in Tampa, Florida with John Matuszak, which Slater won.
  • Collegiate American Football: Played football in addition to amateur wrestling. He had a chance to play football for the Miami Dolphins but declined the opportunity, deciding to wrestle instead.
  • Downer Ending: Died on October 18, 2018 at the age of 67.
  • The Dreaded: A very tough guy and Ric Flair once stated that he was among the toughest wrestlers he ever met.
  • Drugs Are Bad: In June 2004, Slater was convicted for the stabbing of his former girlfriend Theresa Halbert. He was sentenced to one year of house arrest and two years of probation. He blamed the incident on influence from painkillers.
  • Everyone Went to School Together: Went to the University of Tampa with John Matuszak and Paul Orndorff and was on the same football team.
  • Game-Breaking Injury: Retired from wrestling after suffering a back injury
  • Guest Fighter: From WCW.
  • I Know Amateur Wrestling: Started at Robinson High School and wrestled for an organization called the AAU, a program that trained young wrestlers to go to the Olympics.
  • Major Injury Underreaction: Before coming to Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling, Slater was involved in an incident where Wahoo Mc Daniel shot him. Slater, Mc Daniel, Tommy Rich, and André the Giant were at a bar in Atlanta when someone in the bar made a comment about Rich's wife, which angered Rich and Mc Daniel. The man who had commented about Rich's wife got a knife, and seeing that, Mc Daniel got out a gun. André and Slater went out to the parking lot and watched the altercation; while they were watching Mc Daniel pistol-whip the man, the gun went off and Slater was hit by the bullet in the leg. Slater told the police that a sniper had shot him; he would return to the ring in just three weeks.
  • Red Baron: "Dirty", "The Rebel", "Mr. Excitement", "Mr. Unpredictable", "Kenka Bancho" ("Fighting Leader"), "Migikiki no Terry Funk" ("Right-Handed Terry Funk").
  • Screwed by the Network: Slater once commented that after winning the Missouri Heavyweight Title, he was in the mix to become NWA World Heavyweight Champion, but would attribute his not winning it to "politics".
  • Those Two Guys: With Dick Murdoch as the Hardliners or Hardline Collection Agency.
  • Unrelated Brothers: Was billed as a Funk alongside Dory Jr and Terry when he first worked for All Japan Pro Wrestling.

Apollo Sugawara

Suicide Kid

Super Phoenix

Yoshimitsu Tamashiro

Takanori Tateno

Mitsuteru Tokuda

  • Guest Fighter: From Wrestling International New Generations (WING) and FMW.
  • I Know Judo: Trained in it before his wrestling career.

Shupo Toto

Zaur Tskhadadze

Hiroaki Tsushima

Ultramán Jr

  • The Apprentice: To El Hijo Del Gladiador.
  • Cool Mask: Masks based on Ultraman was, is, and will always be cool.
  • Cool Teacher: Trained Black Génesis, Demente Extreme, Reina Oscura, Sexy Enfermera, and Sharon Lee.
  • Guest Fighter: From CMLL.
  • I Have Many Names: Has wrestled as Starman, and Ultramán Jr. His real name is Othoniel Trejo.
  • Masked Luchador: From Mexico City.
  • Red Baron: "Uchu Choujin" ("Superman From Space").
  • Shout-Out: To Ultraman duh.
  • Suspiciously Similar Substitute: He changed his name to Starman to avoid legal trouble with the original Ultramán. He even teamed with Solar and Super Astro to reform The Cadetes del Espacio, a team that the original Ultramán was a part of.
  • Wrestling Family: Subverted, he is not related to the original luchador Ultraman, or his family in anyway. He does have a nephew who wrestles as Mini Starman.

Masato Yakushiji/Monkey Magic


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