A BUSHIDO SECRET | Welcome to ScientificWrestling.com, the VERY Best in Catch Wrestling!


Ted Pelc - December 07, 2009
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If most BUSHIDO fans were asked the question, "In what country do you think BUSHIDO was the most popular?" I imagine most would say Japan. For many years we were far and away the most popular in ring event. The second incarnation of the U.W.F. sold out the 50,000 capacity Tokyo Dome in hours! Some might guess England. We got top ratings on Sky Sports even beating English Football. It was the number one series in the ratings. Well, they'd be wrong. Far and away BUSHIDO enjoyed it's greatest popularity in Israel!


Our TV shows were on Israel's most popular TV stations. News of each event in Japan was carried by Israel's most popular sporting magazines and newspapers. We were being aired the same time slot as the most viewed news program on a different channel, and would sometimes come out on top of the ratings! Inevitably we were asked to put on an event there.

Before the event many of the UWFi wrestlers traveled to Tel Aviv for promotion. Yuko Miyato led some UWFi wrestlers in a training course for the Israeli Elite Self-Defense Force. There were press conferences and TV appearances. It all coincided in an event held in Tel Aviv at the Yad Eliyahu Sports Palace.

A jam packed venue saw fans buying souvenirs and filling up the seats in anticipation of their first live look at their heroes in the flesh. The card included:

Takada vs Scott

Albright & Lydick vs Kakihara & Sano

Anjoh vs Tamura

Takayama vs Sakuraba

Anjoh vs Ori Gamiel

Bovy vs Orin Ratson, the Israeli kick-boxing champion

Burton vs Miyato


It was something else going there, nothing like anything I had experienced up until that time, and boy did they ever roll out the 'red carpet' over there during our visits.

Flying into Israel, they had the most stringent immigration/customs procedures of any country I have been to. When I first flew there for meetings with the local crew, I went from London. While all of the other airlines where in the same terminal, El Al was the only airline that was in a separate terminal far away from all of the rest, all by itself. After a 5 hour flight into Tel Aviv, there was a thorough, and I mean thorough, baggage check. They actually took my camera, pointed it at me, and asked if they could take a picture (to make sure it wasn't some sort of 'gun' in disguise). After going through everything they possibly could and a long series of questions, it finally ended the instant they asked me the reason for my visit. When I answered that I was with the UWFi and in town to go over business related to the upcoming event all questions stopped and I was free to go.

Unfortunately, I was one of the only five members from the Japanese side to not make it to Tel Aviv on the actual fight night. I was in London working on the Bushido T.V. show. As Bovy was on the card, Ohe took time off in preparation for his next fight, Yamazaki was out with injuries incurred from a previous fight with Takada in a singles match from Tokyo Bay NK Hall, Nakano and Kanehara were not scheduled for similar reasons.

Right after that historical night in Tel Aviv, Gary flew in to London to meet up with me, followed by Miyato and Anjoh a few days later to do some promos. They were telling me about all the action I had missed out on. As soon as they landed at the airport in Israel, no baggage checks, everyone was lead to a buffet in a separate room, after relaxing for a couple of hours they were driven by stretch limousines which only the politicians got to use as at that time as there were not too many of those. It was first class service from start to finish. No one could walk the streets alone as they'd be swarmed by people. Everyone was appointed bodyguards who were with the boys 24 hours. During the weigh-in for Bovy and Orin Ratson, the Israeli kick-boxing champion, about 100 people showed up with flowers. Ever since that time, Gary would always tell me privately how he planned to spend his final years in Israel after retirement. It's so unfortunate that he was unable to fulfill this post-retirement dream. He fell in love with the country and the people, how they were so friendly and treated him and the other fighters with great respect. He also told me that he did not spend a dime the whole week he was there. He said that his money was no good anywhere he went and how every restaurant and club owner would give him the good ol' "Everything's on the house for you, Mr. Albright". Out of all of the markets we were in with the Bushido T.V. series, none of us expected Israel to end up being our biggest market.

As a special treat, we've added two matches from Tel Aviv which never appeared on the Bushido T.V. series in the bonus footage section of Gary's tribute DVD-box set for your viewing pleasure. One of those matches features a young Kazushi Sakuraba and Yoshihiro Takayama in a singles match in front of a capacity crowd in Israel. This DVD box shows Gary's UWFi matches from the Bushido series as well as bonus footage from the American PPV incarnation of the show, Shootingwrestling, with commentaries from Jeff Blatnick, Sam Rosen, Bob Papa and Gene Pelc.

Shalom, Ted Pelc