Follow TV Tropes


Wrestling / Bob Sapp

Go To
It's Bob Sapp Time!
"Bob Sapp is what ancient Greeks used to protect their mazes. He’s immune to catapults and fire, but he tires quickly."

"Imagine taking someone off the streets and throwing him into the ring with Mike Tyson and then watching that person win."
Bob Sapp, about part of why Japanese crowds used to love him.

Robert Malcolm Sapp (born September 22, 1973 in Colorado Springs, Colorado) is an American Professional Wrestler, Kickboxer and Mixed Martial Arts fighter. An immensely huge guy, Sapp started as a football player, but he achieved little there, so he went to train in professional wrestling at the World Championship Wrestling Power Plant before theclosure of the company. With seemingly nowhere else to go but to back NWA Wildside, he gained a few victories in the lower mid card as "The Beast" before being used to put over Omem. However, his fate would change radically upon being scouted by Japanese kickboxing promotion K-1 after a toughman contest. Through his charisma, physique and an insane amount of smart protection by K-1, Sapp became a wild star in Japan, competing both in kickboxing and MMA and winning incredible upsets over veterans of the sports like Ernesto Hoost and Kiyoshi Tamura, in no small part thanks to his overwhelming size. He got so popular that was featured in TV, films, commercials and all kind of merchandising, and of course pro wrestling, becoming the highest paid mixed martial arts fighter at his peak as well as the first and only black guy to win the IWGP Heavyweight Championship of New Japan Pro-Wrestling. He also competed in the fabulous Fighting Opera HUSTLE and became Heavyweight Champion in the Korean version of the World Wrestling Association. His boom lasted to 2005, a year in which fame caught with him and he slowly became less of a fighter and more as a deliberate tomato can, ending with a career twist which saw him taking dives for money for the next years, needed to pay some medical bills. With a late career filled up with loses and a pocket filled up with millions, he also dabbled in acting and sporadic pro wrestling.


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

"Beast Tropes":

  • The Ace: Sapp was everything Japanese promoters looked for: he was powerful and imposing, had relatively good mic skills, could legitimately excel in the ring against the right opponents, could easily transition from combat sports to pro wrestling and vice versa, and more important, was a crazy draw for casual fans. He was both K-1 and PRIDE's rookie of the year when he debuted, as well as the 2002 Tokyo Sports MVP, and even Black Belt Magazine considered him fighter of the year in 2003 and the best box office draw of 2002 and 2003.
  • Achilles' Heel: His weak points, which opponents figured out after a time, were his lack of heart and poor stamina. His legs and lower torso were also vulnerable due to him being a Top-Heavy Guy.
  • Advancing Boss of Doom: A real life example in mixed martial arts and kickboxing, where his first move was usually charging directly forward with a barrage of punches. His opponents had to either be as strong as him or back away if they wanted to survive the onslaught.
  • Advertisement:
  • Aesop Amnesia: He dramatically improved his stamina for the K-1 Hiroshima Grand Prix, but at his next match aferwards he gassed out relatively quickly as he used to do. Possibly justified because his opponent at that match was the gigantic Hong-man Choi, who was the worst possible matchup for him (see Always Someone Better below).
  • Alternate Company Equivalent: Though it could be difficult to recognize by non-old school MMA fans, Sapp was the Japanese coming of famous Brazilian vale tudo fighter Rei Zulu: a huge, Scary Black Man with a flamboyant personality who lacked training but made up for it through size and strength, who became wildly popular and got important victories over orthodox martial artists, and who was finally figured out by the fighting community and turned into a jobber and entertainer.
  • Always Someone Better: While Sapp has many losses, this trope goes more accurately to Hong-man Choi, the other K-1 star superheavyweight. With his skillset and size, he was the only opponent Sapp could not push around, nor outrange, nor overpower, nor outlast in a kickboxing match (though even so, Choi only bested Sapp by a majority decision, meaning his advantages didn't give him a really big edge). Not in MMA, though, as although they never faced off there, Choi was nowhere near the threat Sapp was at it, among other things for being much slower and more cumbersome.
  • Angry Black Man: Of cartoonish proportions. He looked, behaved and fought like a villain of a martial arts manga, which was his main appeal to the Japanese crowds.
  • Animal Motifs: He was compared to a bull in his first mixed martial arts fight due to his unorthodox charges. Otherwise, he would be referred less specifically as a beast.
  • Anticlimax: His loss to Kazuyuki Fujita in an MMA rules match at a K-1 event was so anticlimactic that it was decided that Sapp should forfeit the IWGP Heavyweight Title belt and Fujita should wrestle Hiroshi Tanahashi for it.
  • Anti-Hero: Bordering Nominal Hero. His Beast character was clearly supposed to be a villain, and as such he was always booked as a heel in pro wrestling, but the crowd still loved him for how entertaining and charismatic he was.
  • The Apprentice: To Maurice Smith and Josh Barnett, his main trainers. He also trained kickboxing with Sam Greco, whom he knew from his time in WCW.
  • Arch-Enemy: In pro wrestling, The Great Muta, Manabu Nakanishi, Akebono and Wataru Sakata.
  • The Artifact: He was randomly booked by NJPW in 2013 and expressed interest in keeping wrestling for them, but it was clear that the New Japan executives had nothing planned for him, and he was never brought again.
  • Arrogant Kung-Fu Guy: The Beast's usual behavior was composed of bragging outrageously and dispensing random violence.
  • Adam Westing: According to Sapp, his Beast persona was essentially an exaggerated parody of himself: a big, loud worker bent on making a living in the rings.
  • Ax-Crazy: Had no qualms about getting fouled or even disqualified in order to boost his character, knowing it would only elevate his stock. In his very first match, he was DQ'ed after pushing Tsuyoshi Nakasako to the ground and hitting him with elbows and stomps. Later, when he was being outworked by the nimble Remy Bonjasky, he opted to push him to the ground and smash his head here, earning a DQ but preserving his beastly aura.
  • Badass Army: The Beast Army, a team of kickboxers gathered to represent Sapp in his dedicated K-1 Beast event. It was composed by giant and/or physically imposing fighters, like Sam Greco, Gary Goodridge, Peter Aerts, Butterbean, Montanha Silva and Tom Erikson, and even Sapp's enemy Manabu Nakanishi.
  • Badass Boast:
    • He vowed to defeat Ernesto Hoost in just three minutes, that is, one round. Impressively, he actually fulfilled his promise. He promised it again in the rematch, but that time Hoost survived to the second round, even if not easily.
    • During a promo about his possible fight with Mike Tyson, Sapp promised to knock out Tyson with a high kick. Bonus points because it would have been the first time ever Sapp did a high kick.
    • After his pro wrestling match against Hoost in WRESTLE-1, he wanted to turn a rematch into a handicap fight against him and grand sumo champion Wakanohana, and also Hoost's trainer Johan Vos if he dared to make it a 3-on-1. (Yeah, why was Wakanohana included remains unknown.)
    • A non-verbal example. In crazier promos, he chewed out photos of his rivals.
  • Bald of Awesome: All his hair is below his ears.
  • Bash Brothers: His most usual tag team partner was Keiji Mutoh, which is curious given that Mutoh's alter ego Muta was an Arch-Enemy to Sapp.
  • The Berserker: His main tactic both in MMA and kickboxing was the "bullrush", that is, blindly charging towards his opponents while swinging forward his arms in the fashion of wild punches. Combined with a physique like his, the technique allowed Sapp to overwhelm his opponents and land some powerful blows before the unfortunate adversaries could fend him off.
  • Big Bad Wannabe: His reason to take part in the HUSTLE Grand Prix, in which the winner could ask a wish in storyline, was to become the president of the United States and conquer the world.
  • Big Beautiful Man: His marketing often emphasized this aspect of Sapp, having him dressed in a pimp-ish fashion and behaving like a heartbreaker. They even launched a line of Sapp-shaped dildos.
  • Big Eater: According to a Japanese TV show, Sapp once ate 33 cow tongues, after which he proclaimed he was ready to rematch Hoost. He was also prone to use food-related metaphors to threaten his opponents: he claimed that The Great Muta was an hamburger and that he was going to eat him, and in another occasion he said he was going to turn Muta's head into an omelette as if it was an egg.
  • Big Entrance: This is usual in the bombastic Japanese approach to combat sports, which favors filling up giant arenas with pyrotechnics and cool music, but Bob got some especially memorable ones.
  • Big Fun: For Japanese people, and pretty much in real life. He's not particularly fat, however, just not as cut as most contemporary fighters.
  • Blood Knight: Only in character. It was precisely his admitted lack of fighting spirit that turned him from a combat sports sensation to a routine jobber.
  • Brilliant, but Lazy: Disrespected as he might be today by MMA fans due to his attitude towards his late career, it were many the fighters and trainers who said at Sapp's prime (especially after his fight with Nogueira) that he could have been a force of nature in the ring had he focused seriously in training and improving instead of becoming an entertainer. Part of the fault goes too to his media schedule in Japan, which often allowed him little to no time to hit the gym between commercials and TV appearances.
  • The Brute: For Antonio Inoki, Generalissimo Takada and Toru Yano.
  • Card-Carrying Villain: In character, he could hardly enjoy more his brutish feats.
  • Carnival of Killers: He employed many "assassins" to get rid of Danshoku Dino, including Jonathan Gresham, Ryan Genesis, Cho-un Shiryu, Dragon Chen and Ryoma Li. Gaylon Summers of GOUGE was the one to finally defeat him, but he didn't get rid of Dino, who would avenge the loss.
  • Catchphrase: None officially, but he used "The Beast is always hungry!" in some promos.
  • Challenge Seeker: Sapp liked to challenge every big name he found in his path as PR stunts, regardless of whether he would ever actually fight them or not. The biggest example was Mike Tyson, whom he tried to lure into a K-1 ring, but he also challenged Goldberg to either a MMA fight or a pro wrestling match. Fedor Emelianenko was another of his challengees, but the Russian humorously replied that he would have to gain 70kg to fight him in equal conditions (though Fedor did fight Zuluzinho, who was bigger and heavier than Sapp).
  • Charles Atlas Superpower: As a college football player he had a 600 pound bench press and a 800 pound squat, and his strength did not decrease after he made the jump to combat sports. Now, those numbers are not much for a weighlifter of his size, but they are massive for a fighter. For good or bad, Sapp is probably one of the strongest men to ever compete in professional fighting.
  • Cloudcuckoolander: Even if it is all just an act, you need some serious craziness to get in front of thousands of people while wearing pink boas and claiming you are going to consume your opponent through detailed gastronomical methods.
  • Combat Pragmatist:
    • In K-1, Sapp often accomplished with dirty tactics what he could not do by fighting clean. It was common for him to push and throw his opponents around to unbalance them, as well as grabbing them by the head with one hand to hold them in place while hitting with the other. Also, if things were really bad for him, he could always disqualify himself out by going fully illegal on them in order to retain his tough guy aura.
    • Briefly threw some low kicks to Akebono's knees, knowing he carried injuries in them from his sumo career, although the rest of the time he targeted his head and torso.
    • During his fight against Jerome Le Banner, which was going to be composed of two kickboxing rounds and two mixed martial arts rounds in alternate fashion, Sapp chose the easiest strategy: he turtled over and defended at the kickboxing rounds, in which his adversary had the advantage, and opened up and attacked in the MMA ones, whose rules naturally favored him. Though he failed to finish the tough Le Banner, Sapp avoided a more than probable defeat and gave a significantly good performance.
  • Confusion Fu: His untrained punching style was based on wild hooks, downward hammerfists and random arm blows. This was often unpredictable for classically trained opponents, who did not expect such a crude style of striking to be thrown at them. It had also the factor to be near impossible to block even if his adversaries covered up: with a fighter as ungodly strong as Sapp, any blow was guaranteed to inflict damage. Proof of it is that the rare times he employed a more orthodox offense, he would end up outmatched.
  • Costume Porn: In his entrances. And they could get very, very costume porny.
  • Crippling Overspecialization: Zig-zagged. His early K-1 fights made it look like Sapp was not more than a hard hitter, but his PRIDE bouts showed he could handle basic submission holds and navigate through high-level grappling thanks to a smart usage of his humongous strength. However, he never really developed a takedown defense, and precision striking did not catch with him either.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Many, many of his fights and matches, sometimes thanks to clever Executive Meddling. Later invoked by himself in his late tomato can career.
  • Dancing Is Serious Business: In a lot of his entrances, as well as his music video.
  • David Versus Goliath: Excepting Akebono, Stefan Gamlin and Choi Hong-man, as well as Alan Karaev and Osunaarashi, all of his opponents were (much) lighter than Sapp, making them clear Davids to his Goliath.
  • Death from Above: One of his wrestling finishers was a diving headbutt. He could also do the classic pescado or plancha to the outside.
  • Defeating the Undefeatable: When he defeated Hoost not once, but twice. Sapp was also in the receiving end when Wataru Sakata beat him in HUSTLE, choking him out in a tag team match and pinning him in a singles one.
  • Does Not Like Shoes: While in pro wrestling, he adhered to his kickboxing ankle wraps as opposed to regular footwear.
  • The Dreaded:
    • Until Sapp's flaws were revealed, his opponents were very wary of engaging him, which was sometimes their very bane, as Tamura and Yamamoto can tell. His reputation was so fearsome that Mirko Cro Cop would reveal years later to have accepted to fight Sapp because no other fighter at the time wanted to do it.
    • In more examples, the normally fearless Minotauro Nogueira of all people accepted special rules of no knees on the ground in his fight with Sapp, and he totally refused when promoters offered him a rematch, even for a bigger payment. Also, although Fedor Emelianenko was clearly joking when he declined to fight Sapp, it was rumored at the time that he really meant his words, as Sapp had enough power to possibly KO anybody with a lucky punch and subsequently ruin his record.
  • Evil Is Petty: He once attacked Manabu Nakanishi during a boxing event in which Nakanishi was going to give a flower bucket to champion William Joppy, and even soaked him with a water bottle when people managed to break apart the brawl.
  • Evil Laugh: Had an impressive one. In fact, it was the first trait Sapp gave to his Beast character back when he was working on it in WCW.
  • Eye Scream:
    • Got accidentally a toe in his eye when he received a high kick by Remy Bonjasky.
    • In pro wrestling, Yuichiro Nagashima rolled him for the pin after an eye rake while Sapp was holding him in the Beast Backbreaker.
  • Finishing Move: Human Bullet Headbutt (diving headbutt), Beast Bomb (powerbomb, sometimes done twice or thrice), Beast Slam (airplane spin into a rolling fireman's carry slam), Beast Backdrop (high-angle backdrop suplex), Beast Backbreaker (Argentine backbreaker) and, appropriately, a Muscle Buster.
  • "Flowers for Algernon" Syndrome: Big time example. Sapp got punished by Kimo Leopoldo in the early rounds of his debut fight in United States, where he was trying to fight in an orthodox way in order to appeal the American crowds. It failed because fighting like a professional kickboxer only removed his Confusion Fu factor and made him predictable for the more technical Kimo. However, when Sapp switched back to his wild clubbing style (and after some well placed rest times), he got a fulminant knockdown in less of a minute and ended up winning the fight.
  • Foreign Wrestling Heel: He definitely evoked the trope, being the closest alive thing to a Scary Black Man from anime, but the crowd was always behind him.
  • For Want of a Nail: Had Minotauro Nogueira been a bit less tough, he would have been hospitalized or worse at multiple instances of his fight against Sapp. It is already incredible that the affair didn't end (probably tragically) after the first ganso bomb.
  • Game-Breaking Injury: Suffered one while playing football in Baltimore which made him turn to pro wrestling.
  • Gay Bravado: Some of his promos, entrances and TV appearances involved him draped in feather boas and dancing to Madonna songs, but nobody dared to doubt his heterosexuality. In fact, the fact that Sapp was basically a JoJo's Bizarre Adventure character come to life was likely part of his charm.
  • Get A Hold Of Yourself Man: He tried to do this on Bono-kun while teaming up with him HUSTLE, as Bono was upset at Sapp for accidentally splashing him in another match and was refusing to wrestle at all. Unfortunately, Sapp's way to do it was attacking Bono from behind, suplexing him on the ring and leaving him to be pinned, which only worsened things.
  • The Giant: Was huge, heavy and strong, though he was also infinitely more charismatic than your average wrestling giant. Oddly, his actual height is about 6ft 4in, which while still tall is not unusually tall for an American. His wing span or reach, however, is as long as someone who is 7' tall, which is about 212cm.
  • Gimmick Matches: Bob Rules Match in Dramatic Dream Team. At DDT Ryogoku Peter Pan 2011 he competed in a "30 3 Minute Rounds with Alternating Bob Rules & Gay Rules" match against Danshoku Dino.
  • Glass Cannon: A subversion in which he lacked stamina and psyche rather than durability. Sapp was surprisingly well rounded in a basic sense: he was incredibly fast for his size, large enough to be difficult to harm, and strong enough to power out from holds, and in turn he could inflict massive damage with his crude strikes and force his way to basic submissions. However, he got tired easily and could become skittish towards tough opposition, meaning that his performance started going down with every minute if he failed at finishing his opponent early.
  • Good Old Fisticuffs: His fighting style, helped by his large arms. He also used knees and kicks sporadically.
  • Groin Attack: Did it sometimes through his career in kickboxing to soften a particularly difficult enemy, knowing that Japanese referees were reluctant to DQ him (and that he would not be punished if they did).
  • Hard Head: Although hard strikes could affect his drive, they actually did not damage him very much. Remy Bonjasky was unable to knock him out even after landing some wicked head kicks, while Fujita only could have Sapp tapping out of panic despite having landed several soccer kicks and knees that should have done the work by themselves.
  • Heroic BSoD:
    • Suffered one when he got his orbital bone broken by Mirko. It was as if he realized at the moment that, after all, there were fighters in the world who could harm him seriously.
    • Another happened against Fujita, when Sapp realized he was being outmaneuvered in all possible ways and could simply not stop the Japanese from using his head as a soccer ball.
  • Hero Killer: His first bouts saw him destroying Ernesto Hoost (a multiple K-1 champion), Kiyoshi Tamura (one of the late shoot-style MMA aces), Manabu Nakanishi (who was considered NJPW's resident Japanese Hercules) and The Great Muta (needs no introduction).
  • Homage: Some of his antics were reminiscences of famous, eccentric African-American boxers like Muhammad Ali and Mike Tyson.
  • I Know Football: With no more background than his football career, Sapp described his offensive as "NFL-style".
  • It Can Think: Sapp played with the trope during his post-fight interview, describing himself as an "Intelligent Beast" after armbarring Yoshihiro Takayama. Even if Takayama didn't have great skills himself and could hardly have defended a hold from such a strong foe, it was a surprise to many that Sapp could grapple at all. Minotauro Nogueira also noted it during his perilous match with him:
    "There was a time where he escaped a triangle, and I'm going to tell you that [Sapp] didn't escape it with power, he escaped it with technique. In the last one he slammed me in the ground, and I went for the triangle but he immediately escaped with technique. If he hasn't trained for it he wouldn't come out. He is a smart guy! He is not just about power. He is intelligent! He will give a lot of guys lots of trouble in the future.
  • Jobber: A weird voluntary example. The second half of his fighting career is made of tapping out at the first punches and running away with the money.
  • The Juggernaut: With his enormous size, bonecrushing power and shocking speed, he was the nearest to this trope one could find in combat sports. If his adversary did not have a massive power to match (or did not exploit his weak points), Bob could take everything they threw at him and keep moving forward until the end of his stamina.
  • Kung Fu-Proof Mook: Minotauro Nogueira described Sapp as K-1's ultimate weapon against mixed martial artists, as his size and strength alone were almost enough to nullify all the advantages MMA guys had over kickboxers (namely, wrestling and grappling).
  • Lethal Joke Character: Superheavyweights tend to perform badly in high-level mixed martial arts, especially when they are showy and overpushed and behave outrageously, but Sapp was really just as a dangerous in the ring as he promised in his promos, only not enough of a natural born fighter to fully capitalize on it. Nowadays, being a voluntary fighting jobber, he does qualify for a Joke Character, though.
  • Let's Get Dangerous!: His outrageously goofy gimmick ended once Sapp stepped into the ring. Even within the fights themselves, he was occasionally capable of effective comebacks when his opponents had hurt him, as in his rematch with Hoost or his fight with Kimo. It has continued into the jobber version of Sapp of today, as while nowhere near the force of nature he was in his prime, whenever he ends up in the ring with someone unable of hurting him (or someone with even lesser stamina than himself), he will eventually go on the offensive.
  • Lightning Bruiser: Incredibly fast for his size, he could maneuver around his opponents at high speed and even perform aerial pro wrestling moves.
  • Loony Fan: Takehiro Murahama of shootboxing fame fell in love with Sapp's act, so he called himself "Mini Beast" and voiced everywhere his desire to become his cornerman. It seems he didn't, though.
  • Made of Iron: While he might have lacked heart to keep up against hard hitters, Sapp had a surprisingly good chin and was very difficult to harm decisively thanks to his size and muscle mass. He notably walked through Bonjasky's head kicks and Le Banner's combinations without merely slowing down, and it took a striking supernova like Mirko Cro Cop to knock him out cleanly.
  • Neck Lift: Had the chokeslam as one of his signature moves in pro wrestling. He also used a head lift variation against the light RG in HUSTLE.
  • New Transfer Student: Sapp's character in his dedicated manga Babibubebobubobu!! Sapp-kun by Hidemitsu Shigeoka was a Foreign Exchange Student who grew giant whenever becoming angry and had an alien invader enemy called Boss Sapp. Interestingly, the manga also featured a character called Akebono-kun who was Sapp-kun's best friend.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: His poor performance against Kimo Leopoldo was the reason Nobuaki Kakuda was banned from refereeing in United States, as everybody could see he was there to help Sapp.
  • No-Sell: He showed absolutely no reaction to several punches from Nogueira, and also shrugged his way out of a couple triangle chokes.
  • Oh, Crap!: His sole mass was enough to elicit this reaction from an unprepared opponent, but the truth is that Sapp, not being a well-prepared fighter himself, had some of those whenever he realized his opponent was tougher than he had imagined.
  • One-Hit Kill:
    • Knocked out Tommy Glanville with his first punch. Before that, Sapp spent the fight parrying and blocking by instance of his trainers in order to practice his defense.
    • His victories against Yoshihisa Yamamoto and Kiyoshi Tamura also count, though they were more of One Charge Kill.
  • One Steve Limit: Started in NWA Wildside as The Beast, but that was also being used as the ring name by a member of the well established Vachon family, so he went by his real name with "The Beast" as a nickname.
  • Overshadowed by Awesome: Even although he did not always win, Bob did share the ring with many of the best guys K-1 and PRIDE ever had in their rosters. Could it be more of an uphill battle for someone with no combat background to being thrown into fights with world class guys in his very second match?
  • Popularity Power: His duel with Akebono at New Years Eve was the first time ever than a combat sports event got more share than the annual NHK Kohaku music festival.
  • Power Copying: He copied The Great Muta's shining wizard and used it against him in their bout.
  • Power Stable:
    • Inoki Anti-NJPW Army/Makai Club (in NJPW)
    • Takada Monster Army (in HUSTLE)
    • CHAOS (in NJPW, non-official member)
  • Puzzle Boss: The reason why he was in increasing inferiority against his opponents through his career: they had all the time on the world to study Sapp order to figure out his weaknesses, while he didn't have much to study them or even hit the gym due to his growing media schedule.
  • Rags to Riches: He skirted the poverty line after failing in the National Football League.
  • Ramming Always Works: If a guy like him does it.
  • Real Men Wear Pink: In some of his entrance attires. One of them had Sapp dressed like an angel and downed from the ceiling. No, really.
  • Red Baron: "The Beast", "Ankoku Nikudan Majin" ("The Demonic Human Bullet of Darkness"), "Muteki no Bosou Kikansha" ("The Invincible, Rampaging Locomotive"), "Kinniku no Nisetai Jutaku" ("The Two-Winged House of Muscle").
  • Scary Black Man: The initial image he was billed with, which worked more when it came to scaring opponents than the audience, as the latter found him just endearing.
  • Screaming Warrior: Both in and out of the ring.
  • Screw the Rules, I Have Connections!:
    • K-1 officers and referees were rather happy to allow Sapp to throw illegal blows and to call out the fight after anything which looked like a victory for him. Several blatant examples were enforced by known referee Nobuaki Kakuda.
    • Parodied in HUSTLE during his match against Bono-kun, in which several referees were knocked out to save Sapp from a defeat. The first one was used as a Human Shield by Sapp, the second was kidnapped by the Monster Army, and a third one, who was the (in)famous Yuji Shimada, cheated Bob's way to win.
  • Self-Deprecation: His "Beast Will Fight For Money" gimmick in Dramatic Dream Team.
  • Shmuck Bait: Bobby Lashley was audibly booed when he publicly announced he was going to stand and box with Sapp at FFI Ultimate Chaos and then immediately did a single leg take down when the bout started.
  • Signature Move: Besides those mentioned elsewhere on the page, the ever popular German suplex, Avalanche Hold (a falling powerslam), sambo suplex, lariat and lots of shoulder blocks.
  • Technician vs. Performer: An unapologetic performer.
  • The Movie: Sapp Time The Movie!
  • Time to Unlock More True Potential: Learned Muay Thai before his fight with Mirko Cro Cop, and it was rumored that he also trained with Bas Rutten. Later did orthodox Kickboxing with his friend Sam Greco.
  • Top-Heavy Guy: A scarily literal real life example. His legs are not small, but his arms and upper torso completely dwarf them.
  • Unskilled, but Strong: He has become the poster boy for this trope in both kickboxing and mixed martial arts history. Reality is a bit more complex, though: while he certainly only got away with his poor skills due to his cartoonish strength and size, Sapp was very good at using those assets to counter his opponents's technique. Minotauro Nogueira, a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu wizard, only managed to lock his armbar when Sapp himself conceded it out of fatigue, while Ernesto Hoost, one of the greatest kickboxers ever, was repeatedly bottlenecked by Sapp where the latter could unload all of his strength without worrying about Hoost's famed movement. If Sapp's notably technical performance at the K-1 Hiroshima Grand Prix serves as an indicator, a Bob Sapp who had trained seriously through his entire career might have make it to history books.
  • Unstoppable Force Meets Immovable Object:
    • Choked out the similarly gigantic Stefan Gamlin in under a minute.
    • When he fought grand sumo champion Akebono, the heaviest opponent in his record, Sapp was outweighed by 150 pounds, but his experience and skill (compared to Akebono, that is) played on his favor, and the unstoppable force won the battle.
    • He finally got in the receiving end against Choi Hong-man, who scratched a majority win against Sapp. Choi was somewhat of a specialist in facing other giants, as he had a very large reach and a wrestling background which, added to his own enormous strength, impeded his opponents from throwing him around.
  • Unstoppable Rage: The key being to let his own rage tire him out than trying to halt him directly. Akebono, whose conditioning wasn't much better at the time, didn't have such an option.
  • Ur-Example: The first (and so far only) black man to win the IWGP championship.
  • Wimp Fight: His fight against Osunanaarashi saw Sapp hitting a rather tecnically sound feversal throw, but afterwards it became an exchange of short, ineffectual strikes from all positions that has shades of this trope.
  • The Worf Effect:
    • He was worfed several times in his (active) fighting career, although he normally managed to bounce back. The first time was against Mirko Cro Cop, who knocked him out and broke his orbital bone; the second was against Kazuyuki Fujita, who simply mandhandled him with expertise and strength.
    • A special example was Mariusz Pudzianowski, who blasted him with a a barrage of punches, took him down with ease and destroyed in roughly a minute and a half. Something of a subversion, as no matter how strong Sapp was he was nowhere near as strong as a former multi-time World's Strongest Man like Pudzianowski.
    • After defeating the ever popular Razor Ramon HG in HUSTLE, Sapp lost surprisingly to Osaka Pro Wrestling powerhouse Zeus.
  • Wrestler in All of Us: He used powerbombs and piledrivers in his MMA match against Nogueira to counter his takedowns and holds. He trained them deliberately with Josh Barnett, who characteristically loved the idea and came to believe Sapp could use them for real thanks to his power.

How well does it match the trope?

Example of:


Media sources: