On a recent edition of his “Everybody’s Got A Pod” podcast, WWE Hall of Famer Ted DiBiase Sr. discussed traveling to Japan for wrestling, whether he had any issues with the language barrier during his time in the East, and more.
You can check out some highlights from the podcast below:
On the language barrier when wrestling in Japan: “There really wasn’t a language barrier in the ring because a lot of the Japanese wrestlers, especially the ones that became big stars. Giant Baba, The Funk family, basically. Dory Jr. and Terry and I guess Dory Sr. when he was still alive. I don’t know how they developed their relationship with Japan, but a lot of the Japanese, the young Japanese wrestlers, would come over and spend time in the United States and the Amarillo territory. And would start there. It’s kind of like the basic wrestling language they knew in English. So it’s kind of like one tackle drop down, get it again. If I had a headlock on a guy and I said one tackle drop down, get it again. Or if he had the headlock on me, which means I’m going to shoot him off, he’s going to hit me with a tackle. He’s going to hit the ropes again. I’m going to drop down. And then when I stand up and turn around, he’s going to grab the headlock again and take me over. One tackle drop-down. Get it again. So you know they learned the English language in terms of calling wrestling moves so well.”
On traveling on a bus with the other wrestlers while working a Japan tour: “I didn’t get into the card game so much, but a lot of them did. I mean, that’s how they pass the time. I’d get a book and read or something, but every day was different and some of the longer, some of the longer trips, instead of taking the bus, they would take us, we would just get in the bus and go to the train station. Now, I want to tell you something. You talk about a country that’s got, I mean, they have what they call the bullet train. And this train goes 100 miles an hour or more and so and occasionally, like if we went to another country obviously there’s Japan. There are several islands, the main island, and then the one up north is called Hokkaido. And then I’m trying to think of a couple of other ones. We would fly. No commercial plane.”
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Ted DiBiase Sr., a WWE Hall of Famer, recently discussed his experiences traveling to Japan for wrestling on his podcast, “Everybody’s Got A Pod.” One of the topics he touched upon was the language barrier and whether it posed any challenges during his time in the East.
According to DiBiase, there wasn’t much of a language barrier in the ring. This was because many Japanese wrestlers who went on to become big stars, such as Giant Baba and the Funk family, spent time in the United States and learned the basic wrestling language in English. They would start their training in territories like Amarillo, where they learned moves and phrases like “one tackle drop down, get it again” to communicate during matches. This familiarity with English wrestling terminology made it easier for DiBiase and other foreign wrestlers to work with them in the ring.
DiBiase also shared his experiences of traveling on a bus with other wrestlers during Japan tours. While some wrestlers would pass the time by playing card games, DiBiase preferred reading a book. He mentioned that on longer trips, they would sometimes take the bullet train, which could reach speeds of 100 miles per hour or more. This was especially convenient when traveling between different islands in Japan, such as Hokkaido.
Overall, DiBiase’s insights shed light on the wrestling scene in Japan and how wrestlers from different countries were able to overcome language barriers to put on great matches. It highlights the importance of communication and adaptability in the world of professional wrestling.
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