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Greatest Gaijins of All-Time?

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Greatest Gaijins of All-Time?

Postby GlobalHonored » 2003/08/05 Tue 7:47 am

Gaijins have always played a predominant role in the Japanese Wrestling Scene. Hogan helped create his legend there, Stan Hansen became a mega star, and Lou Thesz helped Riki build the Puro World with their legendary matches. Other huge foreign names that really impacted Japanese Pro Wrestling are Abdullah the Butcher, Frank Gotch, Billy Robinson, Vader, Bruiser Brody, Steve Williams, Terry Gordy, Andre the Giant, Tiger Jeet Singh and the Funks to name a few. Who would you consider the greatest or most important gaijins? Which were your favorite? Who became the biggest star? Which made it bigger in Japan than in their own home country? Who am I leaving out?
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Postby SpinalParalysis » 2003/08/05 Tue 8:54 am

I personally feel Stan Hansen is the most important gaijin theres been simply becausehe was an excellent talent who went largely unnoticed in the states yet was a megastar in Japan. Also, Japan was the place where his talents shined through and the fans loved him for it.

Also, even though he had success in the tates as well, another of my favorite gaijins is Vader, just because he was so physically imposing and dominating in Japan and was made out to be a monster in the ring
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Oh yeh

Postby SpinalParalysis » 2003/08/05 Tue 8:57 am

I always thought Pegasus Kid/Chris Benoit was always good in Japan, especially in some classics against Jushin Liger :thumbup:
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Postby GlobalHonored » 2003/08/05 Tue 9:00 am

Hansen & Vader are both great. The match between them is one of my faves as these guys were IMO the top 2 gaijins from the late 80s through the 1990s. But what of the older gaijin stars? Those form the 50s, 60s, 70s and even 80s when the gaijin-native matches became something completely different. Vader and Hansen are indeed two of the greatest ever (Period) but who else ranks among them?
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Postby Peru-Yakuza » 2003/08/05 Tue 12:14 pm

Dynamite Kid and Johnny Smith certainly made it better here than in North America or their England...
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Postby edgehead1984 » 2003/08/05 Tue 1:15 pm

Even Hogan was better in Japan then in the US during his New Japan run.

Also Mil Mascaras was great as a gaijin, and don't forget Bobo Brazil in the early days.
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Some biggies

Postby RoadWarrior Yajuta » 2003/08/06 Wed 12:05 am

You can't discuss greatest Gaijins and not mention The Destroyer. His matched against Riki are still the stuff of legend and he was the first gaijin to compete in Japan fulltime.

Lou Thesz helped legitimize Puro when he traveled to Japan and faced Riki for the NWA Crown. He also gave Riki a rub by losing the International Title to him. No gaijin single handedly impacted Puro the way Lou did.

Frddie Blassie was a huge draw in Japan. His WWA Title loss to Riki was noteworthy as it was the first World Title held by a Japanese wrestler. His maniacal ring manner is still talked about today in Japan.

Andre may not have alwasy been the best or most cooperative wrestler, but he was a huge draw in Japan.

Mil Mascaras is an egocentric jerk, but he had some of his very best matches in Japan, includng ending the years long unbeaten streak of Abdullah.

Dynamite Kid had some absolutely awesome matches in Japan. His stuff against Sayama is still talked about as being some of the best matches ever.

The Sharpes were multiple time NWA(San Fran Sisco) Tag Champs. They made several tours of Japan, and were the first prominent gaijin team to frequent Japan. They even lost the titles to Rikidozan and Enod, which ofcourse gave Riki and Endo some rub.


Many great foreign wrestlers had great careers in Japan. Those I mentioned, as well as Hansen, Williams, Ace, The Road Warriors, Bamm Bamm Gordy, Bruiser Brody, The Funks, Abdullah the Butcher, Mil, Dos Caras, El Canek, Bad News, etc. but the msot important gaijin was Rikidozan himself. It may be a copout, but Riki was Korean, not Japanese. If we are speaking strictly American, I go with Thesz for the reasons mentioned above.
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Postby GlobalHonored » 2003/08/06 Wed 8:47 am

Thanks RW Yajuta, Blassie, Sharpes & Destroyer all needed mentioning. And about Riki being the greatest gaijin, well now it would seem so technically speaking, but of course, Riki was promoted as a native throughout his career and very few people knew anything different. Only after his death was it revealed that he was Korean born, so considering his career as a gaijin would be ludicrous, he is the ultimate native as his matches were often set to that tone (Native vs. Foreigner.) And what of Inoki's Brazilian ties?
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Postby BadNews » 2003/08/14 Thu 7:05 pm

You should know better than to bring up Inoki's brazilian ties, they were just part of his gimmick GlobalHonored.
Good thing someone mentioned old Bad News and 'The Vampire'...
Odd no one mentioned Kintaro Oki or The Gladiator
I'd give the honor to Stan Hansen, because while Lou Thesz helped laying the foundation for puro, he wasn't too involved in it later on, while Hansen made his presence felt for a long time, despite of not being as significant as Thesz.
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Postby GlobalHonored » 2003/09/11 Thu 2:49 pm

And I suppose next you're gonna tell me that Nikita Koloff wasn't Russian, the Sheik really from "Arabia", or that the Andersons weren't all really related. Pfff!
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Postby BadNews » 2003/09/14 Sun 6:09 pm

its "Araby", man! "Araby"!
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Postby villano619 » 2004/04/30 Fri 2:05 am

I'll pick Stan "the lariat" Hansen for this one. He also helped establish the Triple Crown right off the bat along side Tenryu and of course Tsuruta.

Hogan,Brody,Mascaras,Abby, and even though he sucks, Tiger Jeet Singh was a huge name and draw in Japan.
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Postby Luds » 2004/04/30 Fri 8:46 am

Hansen with a slight edge over Vader & Steve Williams
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Postby edgehead1984 » 2004/04/30 Fri 8:51 am

Hansen and then Williams and Vader because they are just the hardest hitting , stiffest working workers in history.
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Postby stunning_grover » 2004/05/13 Thu 8:10 pm

Dynamite Kid and Terry Funk.
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