(All photos on this page copyright Masanori Horie)
Respect Abdullah the Butcher and Aja Kong (July 25, 1999 / Tokyo)
The toughest and most famous Japanese woman wrestler, Aja Kong, is really thrilled to see Abdullah the Butcher, for whom she has great respect.
The Turtles Cactus Jack and Tortugar (April 14, 1996 / Kodama, Saitama)
Mick Foley always does something to entertain us. He wears Tortugar the Turtle's mask for less than 100 fans at a local small town gym.
The Ponytails Dory Funk Jr. and Rob Van Dam (February 17, 1996 / Tokyo)
The 46th NWA World Heavyweight champion, Dory Funk Jr., has supported a lot of aspiring young wrestlers, including Rob Van Dam, since Rob came to Japan for the first time in February, 1993.
Living Legends Gene Kiniski & Bruno Sammartino (May 1, 1999 / Tokyo)
The 45th NWA World Heavyweight champion, Gene Kiniski, and the two-time WWWF World Heavyweight champion, Bruno Sammartino, have glorious histories.
Pink Woolen Hat Cactus Jack (August 21, 1995 / Narita Airport)
Cactus Jack's pink woolen hat hides four stitches on his forehead and seven stitches on his left ear that he got against Terry Funk at Kawasaki Baseball Stadium on the previous night.
Individualities ECW Boys (December 10, 1998 / Tokyo)
Extreme Championship Wrestling is a hotbed of boys with exteme individuality. It's a spontaneity that a little boy who is a big wrestling fan will be a professional wrestler some day, isn't it?
Desperado Terry Funk (April 11, 1999 / Toda, Saitama)
There is the man. His blood is still oozing from the wound. His blood will tell who he is, where he is from, and how he loves his business.
Sam "Shirley Doe" Panico, 5'10" / 218 lbs., 27 years old, billed from "Dixmont Mental Home," is from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He was originally trained by Benson Lee and learned both American style and Lucha Libre. He became a professional wrestler in 1995 and wrestled for the NWA East in New York, Steel City Wrestling in Pittsburgh, and numerous independents in California, Ohio, West Virginia, and Michigan.
He grew up as a fan of Japanese style wrestling. Dynamite Kid and Original Tiger Mask (Satoru Sayama) made a big impression on him in 1982. In fact, he was watching Dynamite Kid on WWF TV, and he said to his mother, "Mom, I'm going to wrestle someday!"
He is always a big fan of Dory & Terry Funk, the late Bruiser Brody, Stan Hansen, Cactus Jack. He also really gravitated towards early hardcore, such as Atsushi Onita in Memphis, Joel Goodhart's Tri-State Wrestling, and early ECW. Of course, he loves Junior Heavyweight wrestlers, such as Jushin "Thunder" Liger, Eddy Guerrero, and The Great Sasuke, etc.
"I wish I could move like Luchadors, but I concentrate on my strengths, which are the ability to get a crowd into a match and the ability to take punishment and big bumps. I hope I can wrestle in Japan like all of my heroes. I'd really like to get a shot in Michinoku Pro Wrestling or Battlarts. I'm bigger than most guys who do Lucha Libre, and I have some real fighting experience! I'd like to say I'm an Americanized version of Damian 666, in that I do some of that comedy. Maybe I can feud with Stalker Ichikawa in Ultimo Dragon's Toryumon."
His favorite moves are "K Special" (side armbar breaker), "Sillyhead DDT" (double underhook DDT), "138 Special" (short arm flying neck breaker), and "Doe Buster" (reverse sitting powerbomb into face eraser). He has devoted himself to his studies about Japanese style. He can use even Jinsei Shinzaki's praying rope walk.
"I hope that in the next few years, I will keep moving towards that as my ultimate goal in wrestling, in getting a chance to get streamers thrown at me and hear the crowd chant for me."
He will attend Dory Funk Jr.'s "Funking Conservatory / A Pro Wrestling School of Hard Knocks" from August 15 to 21, 1999.
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