Most of these characters were created by our group for a table-top wrestling RPG we used to play in university in the early 1990s. For that reason, the associated images only exist in the quality available at the time. Timelines have been brought forward to work for the modern era.
|Baron Von Kaiser|
Regarded as a technical marvel in the German wrestling scene early on in his career, Von Kaiser grew increasingly frustrated by his lack of upward mobility. His technical proficiency didn’t gain him many fans and he never really received any opportunities to break through.
After quitting the wrestling business and joining the French Foreign Legion for a five-year stint, he returned to Germany a changed man. No longer having qualms about bending the rules to his advantage, he quickly rose to the top of the rankings and ended up winning his first championship, dethroning Germany’s long-reigning superstar Wilhelm Peters.
International audiences didn’t know what to make of the combination of Von Kaiser’s friendly and pleasant demeanor and his penchant to take advantage of any opening that presents itself. But ever since he was matched up with perennial fan favorite Sol Salamanca and proceeded to pop the Mexican icon’s eyeball straight out of its socket, he’s turned into one of the most despised wrestlers out there.
Barton grew up in rural Texas idolizing fellow Waxahachie native Dick Murdoch and the late Bruiser Brody, from whom he took his nickname. Barton was kicked off of his college football team for roughing up his own team mates in practice, and what ended his shot at becoming a professional football player ended up serving him well in professional wrestling.
Barton’s all-out wild brawling style has made him popular with the wrestling audience despite his occasional penchant to get carried away over the course of a match. You never know what to expect when Bruiser Barton steps into the ring – except one thing: carnage.
The former defensive tackle at the University of Oklahoma began his wrestling career as enhancement talent in various smaller promotions in Florida. While he wowed fans with his high-impact arsenal, talent scouts from the major leagues never took him seriously due to being an out-of-shape 380lbs.
One day while he was browsing YouTube, Reese came across an ad for something called the “Blow Away Diet”, and it ended up turning his life around. Within one year, he transformed from a flabby 380lbs to a ripped, rock-solid 272lbs of muscle.
Behind his back, colleagues have been questioning how “The Natural” really got there but he keeps insisting that all this happened only due to his hard work and perfect genetics. Fans, however, haven’t been buying it.
|Hijo de Playa|
Very little is known about the masked man from Zacatecas, Mexico. He just appeared on the U.S. wrestling scene five years ago and quickly turned into one of the most popular high flyers in the industry. Fans online have long questioned just who is hiding beneath the mask - and whether he really hails from where he claims. Given Zacatecas is over 150 miles away from anything that could be called a beach, it makes you wonder how this nickname happened. Those rare times Hijo de Playa has been caught on camera while speaking certainly haven’t helped either given he sounded more like a Southern Californian surfer than a luchador from Central Mexico.
Postl has made a career of working for as a clerk for the U.S. Postal Service during the week and stepping inside the wrestling ring on the weekends. You would think that would him at a competitive disadvantage compared to full-time wrestlers. And while he will most likely never be world champion, in his 15 years in wrestling not a single person has been able to escape his variation of the small package, the “Package Delivery”. His “never say die” attitude has made Postl a fan favorite in the Dakotas and it’ll be interesting to see how this translates to other parts of the country.
Imagine the most oblivious person you can think of. Multiply that by ten and you have Max Ace. The self-proclaimed “Flightmaster” believes he is everything that is good about professional wrestling. Yes, he is technically proficient. Yes, his flashy moves look good. There is nothing wrong with him technically. The problem is that he thinks he’s Ric Flair, when in reality he is closer to Randy Mulkey. For the past decade fans have been unable to decide whether they appreciate Max Ace for his high-flying and acrobatic style of wrestling or hate his guts because he acts like he’s better than everybody else.
The pride of Naples, Italy was trained by the legendary Sal Bellomo. Massimo promised his mentor early that he would be carrying on his life’s work for the next generation of wrestlers. Having grown up poor gave Massimo an incredible work ethic that helped him overcome the fact that he was actually not a good athlete growing up. He put in more time than anybody else, worked harder than everybody and ended up breaking through on the European wrestling scene in the early 1990s.
In 1999, Mean Massimo became a household name by beating up a promoter who tried to screw him out money he was promised. After serving a two-year suspended sentence and paying restitution, Massimo won the vacant European Title in a bloodbath against Baron Von Kaiser, which served as a turning point in his career in more ways than just the obvious one. Fans familiar with his story started a letter-writing campaign to the U.S. Embassy in Rome which had previously denied him a visa to compete in the United States on account of his aggravated battery sentence.
It took another 15 years but the Campanian Crusher finally received his visa in 2017 and has been tearing it up on the North American scene ever since, becoming the Battle League champion in his third match in the promotion. He still holds that championship to this day.
Brian Hartley is a Canadian icon on the level of a Wayne Gretzky, William Shatner, and Alan Thicke. No Canadian had ever medaled in Greco-Roman Wrestling at the Olympics – until Moose Hartley won the gold medal in the 2012 Summer Olympic Games.
In what is now known as the “Stratford Stunner”, Hartley came back from being down by an unheard-of seven points going into the third and final round to absolutely bulldoze his opponent, dump him on his head with what looked like a Northern Lights Bomb and score the pinfall only seconds into the round. Hartley’s opponent, Karam Gaber from Egypt, remarked after the bout that it felt “like being run over by a Moose” --- which is how Brian Hartley ended up with his nickname.
If you were to come up with a list of wrestlers whose wrestling is best described by the term “strong-style”, Rising Dragon would be at the very top. The Okinawa native was trained at the famous Blue Japan dojo in Osaka and spent his formative years touring the world and learning different styles while he was working as a gopher for one of the more senior Japanese wrestlers.
While his wrestling style was strongly influenced by Japanese legends Antonio Inoki and The Great Muta, Rising Dragon quickly broke out of these superstars’ shadow by becoming the inaugural Battle League champion, beating Bruiser Barton in the finals as an 8-to-1 underdog and holding the title for three years before losing his championship to Mean Massimo in 2018.
Not finding success in two rematches against the Italian brawler in December 2018 and July 2019, Rising Dragon stands at a crossroads. Will he make another run at the title or head back to Japan to carry the mantle in his native country? The next few months will tell.
Originally from Kokomo, Indiana, Myers joined the military at an early age to escape what he considered a dead-end life in a trailer park. Serving as a first lieutenant in the U.S. Navy in Naples, Italy, Myers started going to local pro wrestling shows on weekends where he eventually met and befriended Mean Massimo.
Over what we can only presume to have been copious amounts of wine, Massimo convinced Myers to quit his job in the military and train as a professional wrestler under him. While Myers quickly took to the sport due to being surprisingly athletic, he decided to stay in the military.
After teaming with Massimo for three years on the Italian circuit, Myers’ deployment ended and he headed back to the United States in 2013. After a short stint on the East Coast, Myers ended up being stationed in Ventura County, CA and continued to wrestle when he was off-duty. In 2015, Myers was discharged from the Navy after a drunken altercation with his commanding officer ended with the officer in the medical bay with a broken jaw and missing several teeth.
Myers quickly found a new calling in Los Angeles, working film set security for various adult entertainment companies. Myers and Mean Massimo reformed their tag team in 2018 and are currently undefeated with a record of 13-0 with 7 no-contests.
If you were asked to sketch the prototypical Wigan-trained shooter, chances are you would draw Simon Ketcher. Very little is known about his background, and he rarely speaks so most associate the sound of bones cracking with him more than his voice.
Ketcher has had a long-running feud with Moose Hartley which has spilled to various bars across the country. They really do not like each other but respect each other enough to regularly drink together. What could possibly go wrong?
Written off for most of his career as a “job guy”, Salamanca takes tremendous pride in his work, often carrying plodding wrestlers to memorable matches. Knock him down ten times and he will get up every single time and will keep coming at you from all angles.
The native of Toluca, Mexico calls Paradise, Nevada his adopted home. Despite finding financial success as a motivational speaker, he still lives in the same 550 sq.ft. apartment he moved into when he first came to the Las Vegas area because it reminds him to never stop working hard.
Whenever a new challenger needs to be built up to the point where he looks like a credible challenger, many a promoter will “better call Sol”, knowing he will make another stiff look like a million bucks.
If Simon Ketcher is your stereotypical English shooter, Sonic Boom is your typical confident, loud and direct hood rat from Ali G’s hometown of Staines, “full of piss and vinegar”. Born John Barry in 1992, he began wrestling in an old barn by the time he was 15.
Within three years he was wrestling all over the U.K., and by the time he was 20 years old, he had gained enough of a notoriety in the country and through his job working the door in posh Central London clubs that he was cast on the British version of “Big Brother”.
This stint ended quickly and violently after a fellow cast mate kept making fun of Barry’s humble upbringing over a period of several weeks. Barry eventually reached his breaking point and knocked the other guy silly with a flying knee strike which was so fast that the English yellow press coined the nickname “Sonic Boom” for him. The rest, as they say, is history.
Las Vegas has attracted its share of hustlers and conmen over the years but The Gambler took it to a totally new level. He started out as a low-level dealer ripping off drunkards and tourists with Three-Card Monte on the corner of Carson and 4th, not far from Fremont Street.
As the push to drain the Downtown swamp intensified, his opportunities dried up virtually overnight so The Gambler tried – and failed – to gain a foothold as a card counter. What he didn’t realize was that somebody with the mental capacity of a fruit fly wasn’t going to do well at such a complicated task. Within months he was over $30,000 in the hole, owing money to every loan shark in the Greater Las Vegas area. And at 6’7”, 300lbs of muscle, he wasn’t hard to spot.
Eventually things got too hot, and The Gambler was driven out of town. He moved nine hours north to Carson City, Nevada’s capital city to try his cons in a more subdued place. One night he met a local lawyer while playing Blackjack at Cactus Jack’s in downtown Carson City who told him that with his build, he should consider becoming a professional wrestler.
Being the degenerate that he is, The Gambler saw this as an opportunity to run a new con to fund his gambling problems but surprisingly, he was actually more than decent at it quite quickly and now finds himself in high demand, doing honest work for the first time in his life.
I’ll let you in on a secret. Tongan Terror is about as Tongan as Colonel Sanders was a Colonel. His real name is Trevor and he is a half-Pakistani, half-Samoan trust fund kid from the Bay Area who just happened to grow up idolizing Haku.
Nonetheless he got over with the millennial crowd in an ironic way by wrestling just like Haku but pretending not to even know who Haku is. They may boo him but deep down they enjoy this trip down memory lane.
Like many wrestlers, Wolfie Brown started out as enhancement talent in his home of Alabama. He was kicked out of wrestling school not once but twice for having no hand-eye coordination and constantly getting in the way. Imagine that: you are paying somebody to train you and they’d rather not take your money than have you around gumming up their training sessions.
Brown would have probably washed out of wrestling quickly, had there not been that one fateful day when he was singing karaoke late at night at Big Al’s. It was perhaps the worst rendition ever heard of Glen Campbell’s “Rhinestone Cowboy”, so bad indeed that one of his victims of aural assault filmed the entire performance and posted it on the Internet.
Three days and about 30 million views later, Wolfie Brown turned into one of the hottest commodities on the independent circuit, fielding offers from promotions who would have normally never even taken a call from him.
Watching him wrestle isn’t a pretty sight. His moves often look terrible but the fans love him to the point where he is now one of the ten most popular wrestlers in the United States.