Whew! It’s been awhile, but we’re back with plenty of new about the monstrous side of pro wrestling. And that brings us to…robots.
You can’t discuss mechanical grapplers without Shockwave the Robot. He’s wrestled all over the world, feuded with Mecha Mummy (you can even get a set of figures of the two of them via his website) and he breakdances!
Our good friend Kurt Brown noted that “Oh man, we had Robot C3 here in SoCal in ’78, but he had more staying power in Mexico. Let me think about it… OH! Of course, Lars Anderson as “The Bionic Wrestler” in ’76!” Yep, that’s right. For a short time, Lars Anderson was known as “The Man with the Bionic Arm!”
Even better, Kurt shared an image with us: For Sam Panico, My past, RUR 2000 (Rossum’s Universal Robot, from the Russian play that first coined the term “Robot!”
You can also call up The New Breed here, as Chris Champion returned from a car injury with a bionic arm.
The New Breed also battled a babyface robot named Lazer Tron, who dressed in gear that looked like the kids’ Lazer Tag game. He teamed with Jimmy Valiant in the hopes of sending the New Breed back to the future they came from…2002, where Dusty Rhodes had become President of the United States. They also proclaimed Lazer Tron a “Go-Bot” and swore allegiance to the Decepticons.
Also, John Cena did a cyborg-style character while he was “The Prototype” before making it to the WWE. That said, it was more in promo and not like he dressed like a robot.
Believe it or not, C3PO and R2D2 have wrestled, notably in the most conservative promotion ever, All Japan Pro Wrestling! Here’s a rare photo of them gearing up to battle junior sensation (and pre-death match king) Atsushi Onita and Masa Fuchi!
According to a member of the WrestlingClassics message board, Robot R2e was “better known as El Rebelde. The other guy is small time wrestler Barba Negra (Raul Rodriguez). In one of these interesting wrestling stories: the original Robots R2/C3 wrestled in Mexico City but they had a disagreement with the magazine that created the gimmick, so they basically became independent wrestlers all over the country. Eventually, two new guys took the masks (Rebelde, a veteran by then, and Rodriguez), with support from the magazine.There was a nasty war of words, and a feud was teased, but eventually, the two Robot R2 became a short-lived tag team after the original C3 got injured. However, the original R2 hit it off with the second C3 so they became a regular tag team all over the country where they could make money without having to give a percentage to the magazine. The second R2 kept working for EMLL and was eventually unmasked as Rebelde.”
But if you really want to discuss Star Wars-based robots in wrestling, go no further than Michinoku Pro Wrestling. For years, they’ve been having the Great Space War, where the Mu no Taiyo cult…defend planet Earth from Superman, Darth Vader, Yoda, R2-D2 & C-3PO.
Also, for a short amount of time, Osaka Pro Wrestler Kuishinbo Kamen was forced to give up his character and wrestled as Super Robo K.
Finally, I wouldn’t be doing my job right if I didn’t mention the time that RoboCopo showed up to help Sting against the Four Horsemen. The less said, really, the better. But here it is…
What’s next? Well, we’ve covered the following so far:
Frankenstein’s monster as a wrestler
Undersea and amphibian grapplers
But we haven’t gotten to zombies yet, so look for that coming soon! And please share any feedback or ideas you have with us!