Each and every culture has created their own type of performance art that involves both athletics and the theatrics. We’re pretty sure if you ask Aiden English, he will tell you all about theater and wrestling. The United States took professional wrestling from a carnival sideshow decades ago and has nurtured the industry into a bustling business. With the United States and the WWE being sort of the flag bearer of professional wrestling, most fans assume a wrestler comes from the United States, however, that’s not the case.
Along the decades, other countries started to grow their own styles, such as Lucha Libre in Mexico, the more traditional approach in the U.K., and the strong style mixed with MMA in Japan. With the professional wrestling industry becoming more global by the day, there are thousands of professional wrestlers that aren’t Americans. Of course, where the wrestler is billed from usually tells us where that person lives but we all know that isn’t always the truth.
Other times, wrestlers may not talk at all and no one ever pays attention to where they’re billed from, so fans automatically assume he or she is American. Some great examples are Bruno Sammartino (Italy), Andre the Giant (France) and Kane (Spain). So let’s open up google maps and read about where these 15 wrestlers are from.
15 Tye Dillinger: Canada
He’s a perfect 10 and the casual fans are starting to notice his momentum after his win against Aiden English at WWE’s Backlash. With his recent success and popularity rising, some fans may still not know Dillinger isn’t from the United States. Dillinger was born in St. Catharines, Ontario, in 1981 and originally wanted to be a professional hockey player.
At six feet three inches tall, Dillinger decided to enter the wrestling industry and train at the Hart Wrestling School in Cambridge, Ontario, in 2002. Making it to the big leagues in the WWE wasn’t easy for Dillinger. From 2006 to 2008, he would work in the WWE’s developmental territories but failed to make any impact on his career. It would take him years later and a lot of hard work to make it where he is today.
14 Alundra Blayze: Italy
The professional wrestler turned monster truck driver has one epic story in the wrestling business. She famously trashed the WWE Women’s Championship after signing with WCW in 1995 and was basically exiled from the company for two decades. Many fans thought she would never return to the WWE after that but like most relationships with Vince McMahon, she patched things up with the company and became a WWE Hall of Famer in 2015.
Considered one of the pioneers of athletic female wrestlers during the 1990s, many fans may not realize Blayze wasn’t born in the United States. She was actually born in Milan, Italy, in 1964 and would eventually maker her way into several foster homes in the Minneapolis area. In 1984 she would make her wrestling debut and rest is in the history books.
13 No Way Jose: Dominican Republic
No Way Jose smiles and dances well but with all that excitement you might know he was born and raised in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. He would begin his professional wrestling journey in 2013 for CWF Mid-Atlantic. It wouldn’t take long for him to be noticed as a prospect and the WWE would sign him in 2015. At six feet three inches tall, Jose has the athletic ability to hold his own in the ring. We’re just always wondering why he’s happy.
The Dominican native has been on somewhat of a hiatus from the NXT television events since being ambushed by SAniTY at NXT’s TakeOver: Orlando. Maybe a new gimmick is in store for the club dancer? With only four years of wrestling under his belt, Jose has a lot of time to grow as a Superstar in the company.
12 Tyler Breeze: Canada
Tyler Breeze was absolutely buried by the WWE when he was called up to the big leagues in 2015. Some say Senior Executive Kevin Dunn has his hands all over Breeze’s failure to move up the ladder, however, things have been looking better for the fashion cop lately. Billed from Daytona Beach, Florida, Breeze was actually born in Penticton, British Columbia. His wrestling career would start in 2007 when he made his debut for Power Zone Wrestling.
After bouncing around the indie circuit for three years, he would join WWE’s developmental system in 2010. Breeze never won the NXT Championship but he did have memorable matches with all the top stars within the brand. His gimmick has always been an egotistical pretty boy but Breeze has shown a ton of comedic talent lately, especially at the recent WWE Backlash event.
11 Rick Martel: Canada
As a heel, Rick “The Model” Martel was arrogant and presumptuous, which made for the perfect character you want to see lose. Although he was born in Quebec City, Quebec, Martel was billed from Cocoa Beach, Florida, as The Model. He would come from a wrestling family and make his debut in 1972. Martel would become a known commodity in the international scene and would eventually work for the WWE from 1980 to 1982.
After working for AWA, he would return to the WWE and transform from a babyface into The Model. Martel would retire from wrestling after a one-year stint with WCW between 1997 and 1998. A wonderful mid-card addition to any promotion, Martel could be considered underrated. A Hall of Fame nod could be in store for Martel in the future.
10 Jay White: New Zealand
Jay White has been making heads turn while working for ROH the past year. At 24 years old and debuting in 2013, White is full of potential. He paid his dues in NJPW from 2015 to 2016 and is now honing his craft in the United States. Many fans have no idea where he’s from but will gladly let you know, White was born in Auckland, New Zealand in 1992.
After training at Varsity Pro Wrestling, NJPW would quickly sign him to a Young Lion’s deal. His match against Will Ospreay at ROH/NJPW War of the Worlds 2017 PPV was just a glimpse of how great this youngster can be. He has all the physical tools but his charisma is lacking at this point. With time and training, White will be able to let everyone know he’s one tough S.O.B. from New Zealand.
9 Dink: Canada
With a last name like Giroux, it’s pretty easy to guess if the guy is French Canadian, however, Giroux never went by his last name and fans probably had no idea he was born in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Quebec. Debuting in the late 1970s, Giroux is one of the more successful wrestlers that have dwarfism. He was lucky enough to be trained by Hall of Famer Sky Low Low who also had dwarfism.
He’s gone by the name of Tiger Jackson, Tiny Tim, The Macho Midget, Little Hulkster, and the most famous one, Dink the Clown. He would work for the WWE multiple times during his 20 plus year career. Although his size did limit his athletic ability, Giroux could wrestle and had taken some pretty nasty bumps before retiring
8 Earthquake: Canada
John Tenta had a lot of gimmicks during his wrestling career but he may be best known in the WWE as Earthquake. Avalanche, Golga, and The Shark are just some of the names you hear and ask yourself, where in the world is he from? He has been billed from the Great Barrier Reef (Shark) to Mount Everett, Washington (Avalanche) but Tenta is really from Surrey, British Columbia.
Tenta would get involved in professional sumo wrestling before coming into the wrestling industry. He would make his debut in 1987 and at that time, size was everything. He towered at six feet seven inches tall and weighed over 400 pounds, making him a larger than life character at that time. His most notable work would be feuding with Hulk Hogan, Randy Savage, and Ultimate Warrior as a monster heel.
7 Buddy Murphy: Australia
Blake and Murphy were doing well and when Alexa Bliss became their manager, it looked like the tag team was going to the big leagues sooner than later. Things changed for the group, Bliss got called up and is crushing it and the team split apart. Murphy is now in the single’s division but he doesn’t get a chance to speak much. You may think he’s from the United States, however, Murphy was born and raised in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.
The Aussie made his wrestling debut in 2007 and would join NXT in 2013. Since leaving the Tag Team Division, Murphy has been trying to find himself in the WWE Universe. Maybe if they let him talk more, his character can develop. Not all things are bad for him though, he did meet Bliss in NXT and the two are now engaged to be married.
6 Alexander Wolfe: Germany
When SAniTY comes out during their entrance must fans are fixated on their unique look and maybe don’t hear where the members are from. On top of that, Wolfe barely speaks, so how can anyone know what type of accent he has? He looks like a blue eyed and blond American but he’s actually from Germany. Wolfe was born in 1986 and grew up in one of the toughest places to live in at the time, East Germany.
He would live in Dresden, Saxony, which also had a professional wrestling training facility. At the age of 13, Wolfe would begin his training and would make his debut in 2004. He would become well known in Europe before signing with the WWE in 2015. He’s a perfect fit for SAniTY and has a bright future ahead of him.
5 Eric Young: Canada
The leader of SAniTY is staying mysterious about why he formed the group and what their endgame is. Maybe he just wants to watch the whole world burn. With a name like Eric Young, you would think he was born in the southern region of the United States. Young was actually born in Florence, Ontario but does reside in the United States now.
After being trained by Waldo Von Erich in Cambridge, Ontario, Young would make his wrestling debut in 1998. In his career, he has been billed from Freedomland, USA, Nashville, Tennessee, and even Metropolis. Over time, Young became one of the most recognizable TNA stars until leaving the company and joining the WWE in 2016. At 37 years old, Young can still put on a great performance and will probably be called up sooner than later.
4 The Authors of Pain: Canada & Netherlands
The Authors of Pain let their fists do the talking so most fans have no clue where Akam and Rezar are from or their background story. Pretty much their manager, Paul Ellering, does all the talking for them. The NXT Tag Team Champions both hail from different regions in the world. Akam was born in Abbotsford, British Columbia in 1993 and was considered a young talent for the 2016 Summer Olympics in amateur wrestling but decided to sign with the WWE instead.
Rezar was born and raised in Huizen, Netherlands and pursued a career in MMA before signing with the WWE. Both brutes have real athletic experience which is something the WWE always looks for in talents. They’re in their early twenties and will likely be top stars in the WWE for a long time.
3 Bobby Roode: Canada
There is only one word to describe Roode and you guessed it, GLORIOUS! Roode has been wrestling in the United States for so long people may have forgotten he was born in Scarborough, Ontario. He would make his wrestling debut in 1998 and would even work for the WWE for three years (2001-2004) before really planting his flag with TNA.
Billed from Toronto and at one time Wall Street in Manhattan, Roode has found success in every promotion he has worked for. As the NXT Champion, Roode has given the title more prestige than what anyone would have thought when the brand first debuted. He has shown his Canadian colors, even being on Team Canada in TNA, however, there are a whole bunch of new fans out there that might not know about his roots.
2 Jinder Mahal: Canada
The WWE is exposing his Indian heritage at the moment in order to please the audience in India overseas. However, his place of birth is actually Canada and not India or some place in the United States, hailing from a wrestling town that produced some great talents in the past, Calgary, Alberta, Canada.
Mahal began his career back in 2002 working the Canadian indie scene for quite some time. As he revealed on Talk Is Jericho, he simply tried our for the company at an open tryout and got a call back based off of his look and potential. His first run wasn't all that great and the second seemed to follow that path however everything changed as he's the current WWE Champion, something very few thought they'd ever hear. Yup, it's real life folks.
1 Kenny Omega: Canada
Kenny Omega was arguably the best wrestler of 2016 and his match with Kazuchika Okada at Wrestle Kingdom 11 could go down as the greatest ever. With that said, Omega’s popularity and stock have risen to new heights, levels he has never seen before. With more fans wondering who is this guy everyone is talking about in Japan, they may not know where he’s from. Omega was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba but currently lives in Tokyo, Japan.
He would make his wrestling debut in 2000 and work his tail off to get to where he is. Always trying new things in and outside the ring, fans all over the world have come to love his style, personality, and work ethic. Omega could have taken WWE’s money this year, but decided to stay with NJPW due to his loyalty and wanting one of the greatest titles in the world, the IWGP Heavyweight Championship.