8 Greatest Karate Dudes in pro wrestling history

"The Lethal Weapon" Steve Blackman
Modified 07 Oct 2019
Top 5 / Top 10

When it comes to performing in the squared circle, there are so many different types of styles. I mean, so many, you guys. Some guys are brawlers, some are high fliers, while others use technical wizardry (or, in the case of Phantasio, actual wizardry).

(In the video above: Phantasio. He is not a Karate Dude.)

One of my favorite types of styles and performers, however, is that of the "Karate Dude". You know the type: he usually comes to the ring in a martial arts outfit, like a gi or whatever that robe they wear in karate tournaments. Or they wear baggy karate pants and don't wear a shirt, because Bruce Lee did that once.

Once they hit the ring, they usually jump around and do some kicks and they "hiii-yah!" really loud. When the match starts, they do that again, but this time they hit their opponent with said kicks. Sometimes, they would hit their opponent with a palm strike or a punch, and then they would hold that pose for, like, two hours, and look all intense.

Now, let's be clear: this isn't a list of pro wrestlers who also know martial arts. There's, like, a ton of those, especially with so many wrestlers getting MMA training, too. Oh, that's another thing. I'm not counting guys who have an MMA gimmick or something, like Ken Shamrock or Brock Lesnar or Ronda Rousey. No, this is strictly "Karate Dudes" only.

Also, just to be clear, I realize that not every Asian wrestler has or had a karate/martial arts gimmick. However, if you feel that someone on this list isn't a "Karate Dude", please know that I didn't just put them on here because they're Asian - I put them on here because I thought they were a "Karate Dude" and I think they're awesome.

Also, to be clear, this is all just in good fun. But, if you can think of any other "Karate Dudes" I didn't think of, well, be sure to bring it up in the comments section, as well, and shame me in front of my friends and family.

#8 The Orient Express - Pat Tanaka and Akio Sato/Paul Diamond

The only reason I have these guys so low on the list is because they're probably the least "Karate Dude" out of all the "Karate Dudes" here. Especially when Akio Sato decided to return to Japan and the WWF put Paul Diamond in a mask and called him Kato.

For those unaware, Tanaka and Diamond were known as Badd Company in the AWA and were that promotion's tag team champions a number of times. So, both versions of the team were awesome.

The reason I have them on the list at all is because, as a kid, I was totally into ninjas and martial arts movies and things of that nature growing up. The Orient Express may not have used a distinct martial arts based offense (especially once Diamond came on board), but I thought they were the coolest tag team in the company.

Yes, even cooler than The Rockers.

Still, they were "Karate Dude" enough to warrant a spot on this list so here you are. Congratulations to the Orient Express, I guess?

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Published 02 Oct 2019
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