Christopher Adams (10 February 1955 – 7 October 2001) was a British professional wrestler, wrestling promoter and trainer, best known for his work in the 1980s as "Gentleman" Chris Adams.
He started his career in 1978 without any formal wrestling training, instead relying on his judo experience, as by age 21, he was a three-time British National Judo Champion in his age and weight classes. He first came to the U.S. in 1981 when he debuted in the NWA Hollywood Wrestling territory in Los Angeles. Along with his work in California, he also wrestled for the NWA Pacific Northwest Wrestling territory in Portland, Oregon, and did tours in Japan, Europe, Canada and Mexico. He also competed for "Cowboy" Bill Watts' Mid-South/UWF promotion.
He made his biggest impact in the World Class Championship Wrestling promotion in Dallas, where he was introduced in 1983 as a Face and as a "pen pal" of Kevin Von Erich. He turned Heel in September 1984, siding with manager "Playboy" Gary Hart. He had a very successful tag team run with Gino Hernandez as The Dynamic Duo. After World Class was merged with Jerry Lawler's Continental Wrestling Association in Memphis, Adams stuck around and also worked for the Global Wrestling Federation in Dallas and other Texas promotions. He made his PPV debut at NWA's Starrcade 1990 in the Pat O'Connor Memorial Tag Team Tournament, teaming with Wrestling/Norman miley as Team United Kingdom in a losing effort against Team Mexico (Konnan and Rey Misterio Sr.).
Adams is also known for having trained wrestlers, his most famous student being "Stone Cold" Steve Austin, and for popularizing the superkick finishing move, which would later be used by many other performers. In fact, he had a run in WCW where he had a small feud with Glacier over the latter's claim of having "invented" the Superkick.
Outside of wrestling, his life was plagued by drug problems such as alcoholism and arrests and he was indicted on a manslaughter charge in 2001 due to the death of a woman in his apartment from an overdose of GHB. While awaiting trial, he was shot dead during a drunken brawl on October 7, 2001.
Among his in-ring achievements, he was a 1x UWA WWF World Light Heavyweight Champion, a 4x NWA American (World Class) Heavyweight Champion and a 1x NWA Americas (Los Angeles) Heavyweight Champion.
He featured examples of:
- Attack the Injury: Discussed during a promo in the UWF shortly before he and Terry Taylor break up. Adams tells their opponents from a recent match that everyone knew Taylor's leg was injured, so they should have focused on his leg rather than the general brawling style that they had used. Taylor gets upset with this.
- Carry a Big Stick: Crossed with Wooden Katanas Are Even Better; he used a wooden katana as a weapon back in the 1980s when they were called "kendo sticks".
- Finishing Move: He would use the Superkick as his special maneuver to cap off matches, which he is credited with innovating, or at least popularizing. Reportedly, the first "superkick" Adams used was in fact the move now known as the enzuigiri. After a stint in Japan, he saw the move we commonly know as the superkick being used, and adapted it.
- Gimmick Matches: The Dynamic Duo faced Kerry and Kevin Von Erich in a NWA American Tag Team Title No Disqualification Hair Vs. Hair Match at WCCW's 2nd Cotton Bowl Extravaganza on October 6, 1985, and lost.
- I Know Karate: Part of his gimmick was based on boasting about his real-life judo experience.
- Jobber: His brief stint in WCW feuding with Glacier over who was the master of the Superkick. Glacier famously didn't have the best luck in his WCW run ... except with Adams, as Adams ended up looking at the lights when all was said and done.
- Quintessential British Gentleman: Averted; although he was British and did use "Gentleman" as a Red Baron, he did not affect any of the mannerisms associated with this trope.
- Red Baron: "Blackbelt," "Judo," "Gentleman."
- Tag Team: The Dynamic Duo, with Gino Hernandez.
- Temporary Blindness: The Dynamic Duo split in late 1985, leading to Adams' HeelFace Turn. On January 27, 1986, they faced each other in a Hair vs. Hair match, which Hernandez won, topped off by his rubbing the infamous "Freebird Hair Cream" into Adams' scalp, "causing" this condition. It was actually a way for Adams to be temporarily Put on a Bus so he could go back home to England to visit his family.