It’s the final day of Bas Rutten week, and we are going out with a bang! Yesterday, Bas showed you the most effective and efficient way to rid your home of annoying ninjas. Today, we go back to the ring to show you how to get your pro wrestle on!
There was a brief period in the very late 90’s and early 2000’s where Bas was still not exactly retired from MMA, but healing from injuries. To keep himself going, Bas did a brief stint with New Japan Pro Wrestling, which was once the home of Antonio Inoki. The event is the “Fukuoka Fighting Spirit Memorial Day”, which was held on October 26, 2002 at the sold-out Fukuoka International Center. The bout was against Koji Kanemoto, who was the IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Title, and before that was Tiger Mask 3, taking the reigns from Mitsuhara Misawa and Satoru Sayama to don the famous cowl. Kanemoto has held the Jr. Heavyweight title for a total of 5 times, and held the IWGP Jr. Heavyweight tag titles four times. Kanemoto put his iconic title against the line with Rutten, and the two put on a pretty good match, considering Bas is not a full-fledged pro wrestler.
As a side note, if you look early on at Bas Rutten’s cornermen, on the right you will notice Bryan Danielson, who was Ring of Honor world champion many times and has won more indy pro wrestling titles than I can ever name. Currently, he goes by the moniker of “Daniel Bryan” in WWE. Danielson is one of the most proficient grapplers in pro wrestling today and implements a wide variety of submission moves and mat-wrestling in his matches, definitely worth a look if you have not seen him before.
Hit the jump to see one of his more famous pro wrestling matches from this era against Yuji Nagata!