The evolution of professional wrestling from legitimate competition to entertainment spectacle is one of the most fascinating topics in sports. As professional wrestling has undergone so many changes, some have preserved the traditions of wrestling's great and storied past.
Arguably the greatest of these standard bearers is British legend Billy Robinson.
Trained at the famed Snake Pit by Billy Riley (trainer of Karl Gotch and Jack Dempsey) Robinson had some of the best training a wrestler could ask for. Riley would educate Robinson (an already accomplished amateur wrestler) in the art of catch-as-catch-can. Riley's tutelage would shape Robinson into one of the most technically proficient professional wrestlers to step in the ring.
Robinson would ply his craft across the world and make an influential impact at each stop. In the United States was spent in Vergne Gagne's AWA, where he put on masterpieces with Gagne, Nick Bockwinkel, and Bob Backlund. In these matches Robinson invented the tombstone piledriver and influenced many wrestlers to adopt catch wrestling techniques into their game.
Robinson's biggest influence was in the world of Japanese professional wrestling. Robinson was a major factor in the popularization of shoot style in Japan with matches against Antonio Ioki and Nick Bockwinkel. In Japan, Robinson would train many professional wrestlers and legitimate shoot fighters. Robinson has been known to boast to Brazillians that he was the man who trained the Gracie Hunter- Kazushi Sakuraba.
Billy Robinson has remained an influence up until this day with wrestlers such as Daniel Bryan:
My favorite guy to watch who you don't hear a lot about, who, to me, is a legend, is Billy Robinson. In Japan, he was considered a legend, and he trained a lot of the original shoot fighters, but his pro wrestling was amazing. He was probably one of the most technically gifted guys you'll ever see. As far as doing cool, legitimate stuff on the mat, there's nobody better.
Enjoy the master plying his craft: