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Wrestling-Themed TV Shows

With the new Netflix show GLOW already receiving GLOWing rave reviews, it’s safe to assume that pro wrestling fans have finally gotten a live-action TV show about wrestling that gets it right, and to top it off, actually holds some kind of artistic merit. But before you decide to binge on all 10 episodes of Netflix’s latest female empowering dramedy, please refer to this list of those wrestling shows (both animated and live action) that came before GLOW, and died a miserable cancellation, or are actually still airing. But mostly died a miserable cancellation.

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“The Human Crane” Kid Morgan

IMG_6111Medium: Anime
Title: Karate Master
Bio: Despite being able to lift a car, the gigantic Kid Morgan was another in a long list of American wrestlers who fell prey to Ken Asuka in a series of wrestling vs. karate bouts.
Signature Move: Airplane spin.

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“The Red Scorpion” Tam Rice

IMG_6133Medium: Anime
Title: Karate Master
Bio: Tam Rice was a no-nonsense wrestler, who was really more of a boxer. He hated karate and was responsible for ending anime Rikidozan’s U.S. undefeated streak.
Signature Move: The Scorpion Punch.

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Karate Master

IMG_6161Karate Master
1973 – 1974

Karate Master was an anime series that aired in Japan about… karate. It also depicted American wrestlers and wrestling fans as xenophobic hate mongers. I have no idea whether or not this was supposed to be aimed at kids or adults at the time it came out, but the adult me definitely appreciated it more than 10-year-old me ever would have.

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Sakura Hagiwara

Sakura Hagiwara - Wanna Be the StrongestMedium: Anime
Title: Wanna be the Strongest in the World
Bio: The former lead vocalist for pop group, Sweet Divas, is determined to prove that she is the strongest in the world by consistently losing every wrestling match, but showing lots of heart. Eventually, she’s able to string together a few notable wins here and there.
Signature Move: Sakura Special

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Wanna Be the Strongest in the World

Wanna Be the Strongest in the World LogoWhile I’m sure there’s quite a bit of manga and anime based on wrestling, or puroresu, they’re not all easy to come by. Luckily, thanks to my Hulu Plus subscription, I stumbled across the oddly sexually-charged, hard-hitting, competitive world of joshi wrestling that is Wanna be the Strongest in the World. And it was a lot better than I expected.

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