I’m guessing most folks are familiar with the “Big in Japan” phenomenon: not the classic song by Alphaville but the term which originated with rock bands (see the link below if not), and I’ve been considering to which gaijin wrestler the term might be most applicable. Ie, who is the wrestler with the biggest discrepancy between their success in Japan and their success in their home country/areas? Prior to the formation of AEW I’d say that Omega had to be one of the top contenders (ie, kicking around in Mid South and some quick PWG spots is a far cry from his New Japan run - the same applies to the likes of Jericho, Benoit, and Dynamite Kid), but I think he’s safely out of the running now. So who is it? I think that Stan Hansen and Vader are the biggest names which come to mind (depending on your evaluation of Vader’s WCW run), with Bob Sapp as another possibility. Am I missing anyone else?
I feel it’s definitely Hansen.
Although Sapp is a good one too. He basically had zero runs in the US. Hansen at least had small runs in most major feds.
To me Vader definitely had an incredible run in the states, specifically 92/93 in WCW. He was THE guy.
Could Brody be in the conversation?
What about Tiger Jeet Singh?
Scott Norton as well Was an big deal in Japan. Dynamite Kid as well.
Dr. Death Steve Williams.
Scott Norton immediately comes to mind. Me and my friends always wondered why he never was a bigger star here, guy was a beast
Good picks, folks! I have to cop to relative ignorance re Tiger Jeet Singh’s career, but Brody, Norton, and Williams definitely fit the bill.
Steve Williams and Scott Norton are great picks.
I was always bummed Norton never had a solid upper card run.
Dr. Death at least had the 80’s run in the US for UWF, among other places.
Terry Gordy perhaps? Along with Williams, and solo work.
What about Matt Bloom. Didn’t he have a bigger run in Japan than here in America?