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The Physical Chess Master
"Wrestling is my life. When I was a little boy, all I did was wrestle. When I get to 90 years old, if I live that long, I will be teaching wrestling."
— An impassioned Billy Robinson declared during a taping of a Continental Wrestling Association match in Memphis in 1979.
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Billy Robinson (September 18, 1938 – March 3, 2014) was a British Professional Wrestler, known for his role in the development of Mixed Martial Arts in Japan. A former wrestling champion, he trained Catch Wrestling in Billy Riley's Wigan Snakepit. He then went to travel around the world winning more titles and making people cry uncle, and this included North America as part of Verne Gagne's American Wrestling Association, Canada with Lutte Internationale, and Japan under New Japan Pro-Wrestling, All Japan Pro Wrestling and Universal Wrestling Federation. The latter would be his most notorious work, as he worked as a trainer as much as he did as a wrestler, and ended up being a vital part of the development of shoot-style along with his famous rival Karl Gotch. He worked in the UWF Snakepit until his death in 2014.

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


"The Strongest Tropes in Europe":

  • Always Someone Better: According to Billy and Karl Gotch, their friend and trainer Billy Joyce was this to both of them. He was considered the best of the Snakepit in his prime, and the only reason they ever beat him in matches was because he was getting old. They also considered another Snakepit senior student, George Gregory as this as well.
  • Badass Boast: Not usually for himself, though he is not really modest by any means, he mostly likes to boast about the superiority of Catch Wrestling compared to other styles.
  • Badass Family / Wrestling Family: His dad, Harry Jr. was a pro lightheavyweight boxer, his grandfather, Harry Sr. was a champion bare knuckle boxer, his uncle Alf was a pro boxer turned pro wrestler, and his cousin Jack was also a wrestler. His son, Spencer is a lieutenant colonel in the National Guard in Little Rock.
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  • Badass Teacher: Trained guys like Kazushi Sakuraba, Kiyoshi Tamura, Yukoh Miyato, Josh Barnett, Marty Jones, Billy Scott, Gary Albright, etc. He was for a time the head trainer at the UWF Snakepit and trained the American shooters for UWFI. He also was a trainer for Westside MMA in Little Rock, Arkansas.
  • Borrowed Catchphrase: “Do it again!”, which he got from his trainers at the Snake Pit in Wigan.
  • The Chessmaster: Like many old wrestlers, he describes wrestling as physical chess, which is also the name of his autobiography.
  • Cool Old Guy: Almost everyone who met him in his last years would agree.
  • Cool Teacher: A trainer for Verne Gagne’s American Wrestling Association (AWA) and trained many pro wrestlers like El Signo, Johnny Saint, Jack Gallagher, The Iron Sheik, etc.
  • Cool vs. Awesome: His match with Antonio Inoki was billed as "The Match Between the World's Top Two Technicians" by the Japanese press.
  • Fun with Acronyms: His full name is William Alfred Robinson. While that is quite standard, his initials spell out W.A.R.
  • Guest Fighter: Had an exhibition match in UWFI with Nick Bockwinkel.
  • Handicapped Badass: Was blind in his right eye after an accident at 11 years old with some kids spinning and throwing coca-cola bottle caps. While that prevented him from being a boxer, he still became a great wrestler.
  • Hidden Depths: Apparently most of the UWF merchandise was based on sketches drawn by Billy Himself.
  • I Know Catch Wrestling: Trained at the original Snake Pit in Wigan. He was also a British amateur wrestling champion and had some training in boxing.
  • Insistent Terminology: As an old school catch wrestler he uses wrestling terminology instead of modern submission grappling terminology which is mostly based on Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.
  • Lightning Bruiser: Was in his prime a heavyweight that could move like a lower weight.
  • Old Master: Of Catch Wrestling.
  • Red Baron: "The British Lion", "The Wrestler’s Wrestler", "The Connoisseur of The Human Body", "The Man Of A Thousand Holds", "Ningen Fuusha" ("The Human Windmill"), "Europe no Teioh" ("The Emperor of Europe"), "Oshu Saikyo no Otoko" ("The Strongest Man in the West").
  • Signature Move: He favours the double wrist lock as his goto submission as seen with his trainee Kazushi Sakuraba's use of it in his fights, and Billy even has a instructional video focused solely on the double wrist lock. He also favored the double underhook suplex as his goto suplex.
  • ¡Three Amigos!: During a certain tour in Japan in 1971, he was once travel companions with Karl Gotch and André the Giant.
    "André the Giant has a posse, you're screwed they're catch wrestlers."
  • Unknown Rival: Does not seem to respect Masahiko Kimura’s skills, as Billy told a story about how Kimura once came to Wigan and got beat easily by another wrestler who was not that great. He also was not impressed by the story of Mas Oyama killing a bull with one strike, he said even if it was true, he would only be impressed if he did it to a Spanish fighting bull as those bulls are actually breed to fight, instead of a bull that is raised as a farm animal.
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