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The Pride Of The First Young Lion
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Kumicho Is Watching Us
"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.

"Ladies and gentleman, the road to success is made of blood, sweat, and tears. The first steps have been made and a lot of hard work lays ahead of us, but with the spirit that Fujiwara Gumi has, we can face the future with confidence. I hope that we can give wrestling back the honor that it deserves, so that it can be done in the same respect as boxing, which it once has. It's time to give the public what they paid for and not take their money in false pretenses of impersonating professional wrestling. Thank you."
"What came first was Maeda, the U.W.F., he was saying if they couldn’t keep banded together, then the U.W.F. would break up. And then (Yoji) Anjo, Anjo and (Shigeo) Miyato, those two said that they wouldn’t go along with Maeda’s thinking. Maeda said that even if one person left, the U.W.F. wouldn’t be able to continue as it was, and so he announced to dissolve it. With Maeda saying he was going to break the U.W.F. up, then Takada said that if Maeda said that, if Maeda was talking about a breakup, then the U.W.F. is impossible. Then, with all the young fighters worried about what they were going to do, I got a call from Fujiwara. He said he was going to be building a new organization and asked for my help. So, Suzuki and I went to meet him, and we decided to go to him with some of the other athletes. And so we invited some of the other guys, but they all wanted the U.W.F. name, so they said they couldn’t go to Fujiwara’s new organization. So, from the start, it was just the three of us, myself, Suzuki and (Takaku) Fuke, us three alone went to join Fujiwara. And the rest of the guys all went to UWF-International. They built that with Takada. So, we were asked, Suzuki and I, by Fujiwara to help him, and that’s why we went to Fujiwara-Gumi. When we were invited by him, Maeda and Takada, RINGS and UWF International had not been decided at that point, so at that point in time, going with Fujiwara’s organization was the quickest way to go. We wanted to have matches as soon as possible, so Fujiwara’s new organization was the place to go."
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As a whole:

  • Approval of God: Out of the three factions, PWFG was the only one that had the blessing of Karl Gotch and he continued to train their wrestlers.
  • 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.
  • Advertisement:
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Panthera Awesome: Their logo had a lion.
  • Ragtag Bunch of Misfits: The bunch that started up Battlarts.
  • Spin-Off: Aside from being a UWF offshoot, it had two of its own in the form of Pancrase and Battlarts.
  • 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.

    open/close all folders 

    Fujiwara-Gumi natives 

Don Arakawa

Shoichi Funaki

Daisuke Ikeda

Katsuomi Inagaki

Yuki Ishikawa

"I don’t care about the pro wrestling business, I just think about Battlarts and myself."

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: The head of the PANCRASEism Tokyo gym team.
  • 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.

Toshinori Nishi

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/Yuhi Sano

  • A Day In The Lime Light: Won the 1989 Young Lions Cup after years of being on the loosing end of matches.
  • Canon Immigrant: He was neither a Fujiwara trainee nor a NJPW wrestler interested in shoot-style: he only got in PWFG and later UWF-i because his original promotion, Super World Sports folded.
  • Cool Teacher: Was a trainer at the Takada Dojo.
  • Finishing Move: Northern Lights Bomb.
  • I Have Many Names: Was firstly known as Naoki Sano, later Yuhi Sano and finally Takuma Sano. He also wrestled as Mr Sato when he was working in Canada.
  • Jobber: In his early NJPW days and his MMA career.
  • Red Baron: "Shokunin" ("The Artisan"), "Fugen Jikko no Jitsuryokusha" ("The One Whose True Strength is Silent Practice").
  • Stout Strength: He is quite stocky, specially when compared to the slender shooters he used to share the ring with.
  • Suplex Finisher: Has several variations in his arsenal, but he used the Tiger Suplex as his finisher as a junior heavyweight.

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."

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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

Takanori Tateno

Katsumi Usuda

Ryūshi Yanagisawa

  • 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.
  • 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 his wrestling training. 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. He later truly learned kickboxing when he joined the Dragon Dojo, a kickboxing gym and became a member of Team Dragon.
  • Odd Friendship: With veteran pro wrestler Seiji Sakaguchi and even trained 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

    Fujiwara-Gumi gaijins 

Ozzie Alvarez

  • 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 Pedro Godrich.
  • I Know Karate: Trained in American Kenpo Karate and shootfighting at the Tiger & Dragon Martial Arts Gym.

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.

Dieusel Berto

Jack Birthrider

Herman Caicedo

  • 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 John Lana.
  • I Know Karate: Trained in American Kenpo Karate and shootfighting at the Tiger & Dragon Martial Arts Gym.

Joe DeFuria

Rico Federico

Jerry Flynn

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.

Glenn Jacobs

Kid

Lato Kirawarik

John Lana

  • 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 Herman Caicedo.
  • I Know Karate: Trained in American Kenpo Karate and shootfighting at the Tiger & Dragon Martial Arts Gym.

Carl Ognibene/Greco/Contini/Malenko

Thundercrakk

    Others 

Arkángel

  • 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.
  • 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

Blazer

Riki Choshu

Ultimo Dragon

Roberto Duran

  • The Apprentice: To legendary boxing trainer Ray Arcel.
  • Boxing Battler
  • Guest Fighter: Brought in for a Mixed Styles Fight with Masakatsu Funaki.
  • I Know Boxing: Widely regarded as one of the greatest boxers of all time with a versatile brawler and in-fighter style of boxing.
  • 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".

Figaro

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

Shirō Koshinaka

Aleksey Medvedev

  • 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.

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.
  • Everythings Bigger In Texas: A Texan from Waxahachie.
  • Expy: Stone Cold Steve Austiin acknowledges the influence that Murdoch had on him.
  • 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

  • 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
  • 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

Don Nakaya Nielsen

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

Katsutoshi Niiyama

Michiyoshi Ohara

Toru Oishi

Takashi Okano

  • The Apprentice: To El Gran Apache, Miguel Perez, Silver King and El Texano.
  • Cool Mask: As The W*inger.
  • Garbage Wrestling: Has wrestled for W*ING, IWA Japan, and Big Japan Pro Wrestling. He even appeared in ECW once.
  • Guest Fighter: From IWA Japan.
  • I Have Many Names: Has Wrestled as ABC Okano, Black Winger, Dragon Winger, Flash Winger, Shadow Winger, Master of the Orient, Okano Kid, Takashi Okano, and The W*inger.
  • Masked Luchador: As The W*inger.

Shigeo Okumura

Masao Orihara

Onryō

Shinjiro Otani

Hisakatsu Oya

Phoenix

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

The Great Sasuke

Superman Sattasaba

Shiryu

Dick Slater

  • 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.
  • Red Baron: "Dirty", "The Rebel", "Mr. Excitement", "Mr. Unpredictable", "Kenka Bancho" ("Fighting Leader").
  • Those Two Guys: With Dick Murdoch as the Hardliners or Hardline Collection Agency.

Apollo Sugawara

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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