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Wrestling / Yoji Anjo

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"The only Japanese fighter today (mid- 90's) who is capable of submitting BJJ black belts from Brazil is Anjo-san."
— Naoyuki Taira

"I am 200% sure I will win."
— Yoji Anjo

Yoji Anjo (born March 28, 1967) is a Japanese former Professional Wrestler, kickboxer and Mixed Martial Arts fighter. A veteran of the Universal Wrestling Federation, he joined his first incarnation just before it folded and forced its crew to return to New Japan Pro-Wrestling, but soon the second UWF was up and serving as Anjo's expositor, and he would land finally in UWF International under Nobuhiko Takada. Anjo would prove to be UWF-i's most versatile wrestler, being not only a sharp wrestler, but also a charismatic heel and a fearless shooter of some skill. His history was marked by tragedy when a defeat in a dojo fight to Rickson Gracie made the entire UWF-i plummet, but Anjo would prove to be able to bounce back from the disaster, not only adapting to traditional puroresu in All Japan Pro Wrestling and Fighting of World Japan Pro Wrestling, but also venturing in MMA and kickboxing, which, even if mostly unsuccessful, granted him the curious honor to be the first pro wrestler to achieve a win in K-1. After a last tenure alongside Takada as part of his wacky Fighting Opera HUSTLE, Anjo became a businessman of the fighting circuit, currently working as a spokesman for kickboxing promotion GLORY.

"Tropes 200%":

  • The Ace: A subversion. Anjo was certainly a man of many talents, as he excelled as a wrestler, speaker, coach and agent, and when it was time to shoot, he was good enough in kickboxing and grappling to hold his own against stars of both sports. However, he lacked aura and was much better playing a heel than a face, so he was never able to play the ace role occupied by Takada. The closest he got was probably when he was part of Kingdom, since Takada never wrestled there (he only had an exhibition match with a trainee).
  • Action Survivor: While Anjo was not a rising MMA star, he was tough and could scrap in shoots. He had mixed styles fight with Muay Thai legend Changpuek Kiatsongrit in which they fought to a draw, and also fought to another draw against Confusion Fu expert Manson Gibson at a shootboxing event.
  • Affectionate Parody: The 200% Machines gimmick was inspired by Junji Hirata's Super Strong Machine gimmick. His gimmick as Commander An Jo was one to G.I. Joe.
  • Agent Peacock: Had some vibes of this even if he is not conventionally bishie. He portrayed a fussy wrestler who wore fabulous colourful attires (not to mention the occasional bondage gear) and formed a pop band stable (with actual singing) in a promotion characterized by manly sportsmen.
  • The Apprentice: To Nobuhiko Takada.
  • Arch-Enemy:
    • Akira Maeda, so much that Maeda was arrested for vowing to kill Anjo. Anjo says his hatred of Maeda started when he was a rookie in the original UWF and touched his genitals under the guise of checking for infections.
    • He wrestled many times against Tatsuo Nakano.
  • Bash Brothers: With Yoshihiro Takayama and Kenichi Yamamoto (as the Golden Cups), Original Tiger Mask, Genichiro Tenryu, Mitsuya Nagai, Arisin Z and Blanca X (as part of the Takada Monster Army), Giant Vabo (ditto) and Tiger Jeet Singh (ditto).
  • Big Bad: Was the nearest to this in UWF-i when he became the leader of the Golden Cups.
  • Bratty Half-Pint: Was rather short, and had a big Arrogant Kung-Fu Guy attitude since his rookie times.
  • Bullying a Dragon:
    • The Iron Sheik spend his match with Anjo being uncooperative, grabbing the ropes and complaining to the referee about Anjo's strikes rather than actually trying to work the match, so Anjo roughed him a bit at the end and tapped him for real with a toehold.
    • At the opposite end, Anjo traveled to California to challenge Rickson Gracie and even brought the Japanese press with him to film his victory. Instead, he got a No-Holds-Barred Beatdown in the form of being grounded and pounded on and then choked out.
  • Calling Your Attacks: Was the only UWF guy who had a named technique, the Ground Cross 200%, although it was fitting for a theatrical, eccentric character for him.
  • Conspicuous Gloves: Wore black MMA gloves in his return to pro wrestling, although abandoned them in HUSTLE.
  • Cool Mask: Commander An Jo wore ornate domino masks when not fighting.
  • Cool Teacher: He helped to train fighters like Daiju Takase, Daijiro Matsui and Kenichi Yamamoto, and was a trainer at the UWF-i Snakepit, Kingdom Dojo, and Takada Dojo.
  • Determinator:
    • Preferred to be choked out by Rickson rather than tapping out, and this was after having his face smashed.
    • Later fought 34 minutes uninterrupted against Sean Alvarez and even did well, only eventually giving out by sheer exhaustion when Alvarez finally took his back and started hitting.
  • The Dragon: To Generalissimo Takada in HUSTLE, although he eventually took a back seat to Toshiaki Kawada and other allies to Takada.
  • The Face: He speaks fluently English due to having passed his childhood in New Zealand, so he was often put to help book matches with foreigners.
  • Fake Ultimate Hero: While he was a tough guy and had the reputation to be a great fighter in the gym, his official fight record is littered with losses and there is also his infamous dojo fight with Rickson Gracie. Mostly a case of Overshadowed by Awesome, however, as the majority of his opponents were way out of his league.
  • Finishing Move: Ground Cross 200% (a kind of figure four leglock), cross armbar and kick to the head. While in AJPW, he added the Upper 200% (open-handed uppercut).
  • Graceful Loser: After his beatdown by Rickson Gracie, Anjo returned to the dojo a few days later with gifts for Rickson and apologized for his previous behavior.
  • Gratuitous English: Commander An Jo's speech pattern, all splashed with random English words.
  • Heroic Blue Screen of Death: Anjo had one after being brutally beaten by Rickson Gracie in their infamous challenge fight, in which he was representing his boss and long time friend Nobuhiko Takada. Feeling he had failed him, Anjo sank into a depression and even considered suicide, but ultimately learned to endure his sorrows with laughs and formed the Golden Cups comedy stable in UWF International. Years after, Takada himself welcomed him back to the MMA for a last fight against Ryan Gracie, Rickson's relative, and made him part of HUSTLE.
  • Hidden Depths: Is reportedly a great cook, and now works as a chef for Ken Suzuki's restaurant.
  • I Know Karate: As said in his official introductions, he did Judo in highschool, and also practiced some Muay Thai back when he lived in New Zealand, as well as seemingly Sumo Wrestling.
  • Informed Ability: As the above quote states, Naoyuki Taira once claimed Anjo was skilled enough to submit BJJ black belts. His fight record doesn't support this, as he lost to all four BJJ black belts he fought - although he did give tough fights to two of them and all the four were world-level black belts, so it is still a feat.
  • Jack of All Stats: He was a balanced shoot-stylist, with both submissions and strikes to put on the table.
  • The Lancer: Was one for many years to Nobuhiko Takada, though mostly offscreen.
  • Master of None: Was good in all fields of fighting, but was not great at any of them either and mostly got through his fights by toughing it out.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Was the one that proposed the idea that UWFI work with NJPW.
  • One-Hit Kill: Knocked out Akira Maeda with a sucker punch during an interview in the UFC 23 event.
  • Overshadowed by Awesome: Like Takada, Anjo had the misfortune of being only a decently skilled shooter who had to fight world-class fighters like Sean Alvarez, Murilo Bustamante, Matt Lindland and the Gracies.
  • Purple Is Powerful: Some of his tights were purple leopard-patterned, and he donned a purple ring attire whenever he wrestled in HUSTLE.
  • Red Baron: "Mr. 200%", "Rapper Sensei", "U Intā no Porisuman" ("The Policeman of UWF International"), "Takada Sōtō no Sokkin" ("Generalissimo Takada's Aide").
  • Sissy Villain: He often wore colourful zebra tights and even bondage gear.
  • Spell My Name With An S: Anjo, Anjou or Anjoh?
  • 20% More Awesome: His way of speaking indulged in percentages, just like his nickname. It is possible that he got the inspiration from a quote Nobuhiko Takada made during his feud with Gary Albright.
  • Underwear of Power: Inverted. Although he started with regular tights in the Original U, from Newborn onwards he was one of the few that always wore long pants, usually in interesting patterns like purple leopard skin and zebra stripes.
  • Use Your Head: Utilized headbutts to great effect in his bout against Sean Alvarez.
  • Walking Shirtless Scene: Anjo is a surprising aversion, as he only went shirtless in his shoot-style career. When he started fighting in MMA and K-1, he added a sleeveless shirt section to his tights, even although fighters are usually barechested in those sports, and he kept this kind of attire for the rest of his career.