The wrestling business was (and still is to some degree) reliant on what we like to call, "kayfabe." Whether it's the action in the ring, the story-lines, relationships, gimmicks as well as just where a certain wrestler is billed from (where they were born and raised), the pro-wrestling business relies on convincing their fans that these certain aspects are true, even though in reality, they're not. Kayfabe is basically defined by the fact that although pro-wrestling is staged and scripted, the wrestling promotions try to present their show as legitimate or real, even though we all know it's not.
An example of a wrestler being billed from a kayfabe location is The Undertaker, who is billed from "Death Valley." In reality, 'Taker was really born in Houston, Texas. Basically, the WWE (or any other pro-wrestling promotion past or present) changes aspects regarding their talents to make them as interesting as possible, and to suit their gimmick. I mean as we all know, the pro-wrestling business is really just an entertainment business here to provide us fans with theatrical wrestling action, story-lines et cetera.
As you would expect, there have been some superstars over the years who have been billed from the United States to fit their character or gimmick (even though sometimes it made absolutely no difference), but in reality, they weren't actually born and raised in the US at all. Some of them are pretty obvious, where as others are shocking to say the least. Stay tuned, as this list divulges 15 wrestlers who were wrongfully billed from the United States, and in reality, should have been billed from a completely different country.
15 Pat Patterson
Pat Patterson is a wrestling legend who has been apart of the wrestling business since 1958. He is known for his tenures in the NWA, AWA, NJPW and of course, the WWE. Although the legendary Pat Patterson was born in Montreal, Quebec Canada, during his stint in the NWA San Fransisco between '65-'77, Patterson was wrongfully billed from San Fransisco California,United States. This was likely due to the fact that he was a apart of the tag team, The Blond Bombers with Ray Stevens, so being billed from San Fransisco fit the blond hair-dyed character better.
Pat Patterson Fact: As you may or may not be aware, Pat Patterson was the inaugural WWE Intercontinental Champion, as he defeated Johnny Rodz in a kayfabe tournament in Brazil to unify the North American Heavyweight Championship and the fictional South American Heavyweight Championship, thus creating the Intercontinental Championship. The prized championship is now being held by Dean Ambrose, who is in his second reign as IC champ.
14 Rosa Mendes
Rosa Mendes is a former WWE Diva who is mainly remembered for managing the tag team of Primo and Epico between 2011-2013. Although she didn't have a very "illustrious" career to say the least, she still performed sporadically on WWE programming throughout her run with the company. Despite being billed from San Mateo, California during her early WWE years, Rosa Mendes was actually born in Vancouver, British Columbia Canada.
Rosa Mendes Fact: Rosa Mendes made her way into the WWE by competing in the 2006 WWE Divas Search, and she stuck around long enough to reach the final 8 participants. Rosa had actually won the first round of the tournament by winning a dance competition. Once she was eliminated from the Diva Search, Mendes was signed by the WWE to a developmental deal.
13 Lanny Poffo
Lanny Poffo will always be remembered as being the late great "Macho Man" Randy Savage's brother, and he was last seen inducting his brother into the WWE Hall Of Fame in 2015. However, Lanny was also a pro-wrestler, albeit not nearly as successful as his brother, who is undoubtedly one of the all-time greats. Regardless, between the years '85-'94, Danny performed for the WWE as leaping Lanny Poffo. During his wrestling tenure, Lanny Poffo was wrongfully billed from Downers Grove, Illinois. In reality, Lanny originated from Calgary, Alberta, Canada.
Lanny Poffo Fact: Lanny began his pro-wrestling career in his fathers, (Angelo Poffo's) promotion, International Championship Wrestling way back in the 70's. During his tenure there, Poffo won the ICW World Heavyweight Championship three times, the ICW Southern Heavyweight Championship once, and the ICW United States Tag Team Championship four times.
12 Chris Benoit
The late Chris Benoit is a wrestling legend who the WWE would like to forget ever existed, because of his and his family's horrendous tragic passing in 2007. However, even though the WWE would like to erase Benoit from the history books, he has had a great pro-wrestling career and he has soared to great heights throughout his run with the WWE. Near the end of his run with the WWE, (when he was a higher profile star), Benoit was billed from Atlanta, Georgia United States. In reality, Chris Benoit was actually born and raised in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.
Chris Benoit Fact: Throughout his career, Chris Benoit has won many Wrestling Observer Newsletter awards including Feud Of The Year (2004), Best Technical Wrestler in '94, '95, '00, '03, '04, and the Most Outstanding Wrestler in '00 and '04. He's had an illustrious career like few others no doubt, and nobody can take that away from him.
11 Adam Rose
As you probably remember, Adam Rose is a former WWE Superstar that performed as the leader of the "Exotic Express" as well as performing under the ring name Leo Kruger in FCW and in NXT. When Rose was portraying his Leo Kruger character, he was (wrongfully) billed from The Bahamas. To add to this, when he was portraying the Adam Rose character, he was billed from Dallas, Texas United States. However, Adam Rose (real name John Leppan) was born and raised in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Adam Rose Fact: If you weren't aware, the WWE released Adam Rose in June 2016 following a domestic abuse assault charge against his wife. The WWE stated that they quote on quote "have zero tolerance for domestic abuse". The WWE suspended Rose indefinitely, which basically translates to "you're fired!".
10 Val Venis
I think it's safe to say we all remember Val Venis for being that guy who said "hello ladies" in that low pitched voice way back in the Attitude Era and made a point to "give us a show" so to speak in that white towel. Although Venis was far from being a main eventer, he was still a prominently featured midcard star who definitely intrigued some ladies. Anyways, in the WWE, Val Venis was billed from Las Vegas, Nevada when in reality, Val was born and raised in Oakville, Ontario, Canada. I guess Vince thought hailing from Las Vegas suited Val's edgy gimmick more than the relatively small town of Oakville.
Val Venis Fact: Throughout his tenure with the WWE, Val Venis found some forms of success as he became a two-time Intercontinental Champion, a one-time WWE European Champion and a one-time World Tag Team Champion with Lance Storm.
9 Stan Stasiak
The late Stan Stasiak is remembered by wrestling fans for his tenure with the WWWF (World Wide Wrestling Federation) between the years '71-'79. Stan Stasiak is a former WWWF World Champion (now WWE World Championship) as he had defeated Pedro Morales for the gold in December of '73. Despite being born and raised in Arvida, Quebec, Canada, Stan Stasiak was wrongfully billed from Buzzard Creek, Oregon throughout his wrestling career.
Stan Stasiak Fact: The ring name "Stan Stasiak" was taken from a successful pro-wrestler from the 1920's who had unfortunately died from blood poisoning, which the wrestler had contracted during a match. Stan Stasiak, Real name George Stipich, took on this ring name sort of as a tribute to the former Stan Stasiak from the '20's.
8 Rocky Johnson
Rocky Johnson, real name Wayde Douglas Bowles, was a successful and popular WWE superstar back in the '70s and the '80s and is widely recognized for his tag team with Tony Atlas, as they became the first ever black World Tag Team Champions in the WWE. He is also widely known as being the father of the super megastar, Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson. Despite being billed from Washington D.C, United States during some points of his pro-wrestling career, Rocky Johnson was actually born and raised in Amherst, Nova Scotia, Canada.
Rocky Johnson Fact: Rocky Johnson is a descendant of Black Loyalists who had emigrated to the province of Nova Scotia, Canada after escaping from a plantation in the United States after the American Revolutionary War.
7 Alundra Blayze aka Madusa
Alundra Blayze, also known as Madusa, was a very popular Women's division star back in the '80s and '90s in both the WWE and WCW. Alundra was inducted into the WWE Hall Of Fame just a while back in 2015, much to the surprise of some fans considering her controversy when she jump-shipped to WCW. Regardless, Madusa has had a great career, as she won the WWE Women's Championship three times and even the WCW Cruiserweight Championship once. However, throughout her career, Alundra was wrongfully billed from Tampa Florida when in reality, she was born and raised far away in Milan, Italy. Ironically, Blayze's ring name Madusa was a shortened way of saying "Made In The USA", which as you can see, is untrue.
Alundra Blayze Fact: If you don't remember, when Alundra Blayze made the jump to WCW in '95, on live television, she proceeded to throw the WWE Women's Championship into a trash can. I would say very few fans ever expected to see Madusa recognized by the WWE again after that incident. However, the WWE decided to forgive Madusa after nearly 20 years and they let the past be the past. Definitely a controversial moment in pro-wrestling history to say the least.
6 6. Gail Kim
Gail Kim is a popular Women's division wrestler who was still performing in TNA Impact Wrestling up until late 2016. Even though she is a TNA Hall Of Famer, Gail plans to return to the company and continue to wrestle once she's medically cleared. I would say Kim has found more success in TNA, but she still had a career in the WWE, and she even had a WWE Women's Championship reign in 2003. In TNA, Gail Kim is a six time TNA Knockouts Champion. Throughout parts of her career, Gail Kim was billed from Tampa, Florida. However, Gail was born and raised in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. At one point, she was even billed from Korea.
Gail Kim Fact: In 2011, following her departure from the WWE, Gail Kim had told The Sun that she was unhappy with her time spent in the WWE, due to her feeling that the Women's division talent were being held back. She vowed to never again return to the company. However, with how far the WWE Women's division has come now a days with the "Women's Revolution," I would bet that she has changed her tune a bit.
5 Tyler Breeze As FCW's Mike Dalton
Before taking on the character of Tyler Breeze in NXT as well as currently on SmackDown as apart of the tag team "Breezango" with Fandango, Tyler Breeze, real name Matt Clement, formerly had the character of Mike Dalton in FCW (Florida Championship Wrestling). Down in FCW while under the Mike Dalton persona, Tyler captured the FCW World Heavyweight Championship once, as well as the FCW Tag Team Championship once with his then tag partner Leakee (Roman Reigns). Despite being born and raised in the small town of Penticton, BC Canada, during his tenure in FCW, Tyler Breeze was billed wrongfully from Daytona Beach, Florida. I suppose FCW decided hailing from Florida fitted the blond haired and tanned character of Mike Dalton better.
Tyler Breeze Fact: Tyler Breeze married former NXT Diva Audrey Marie in September of 2016.
"Captain Charisma" Christian, has had a long and successful pro-wrestling career in both the WWE as well as in TNA Impact Wrestling. When Christian was with the WWE, he was billed from Toronto, Ontario, Canada which is fairly close to where he was actually born and raised in Kitchener, Ontario, Canada. However in TNA, Christian was completely wrongfully billed from Tampa, Florida. I guess TNA's reasoning for billing Christian from Florida was because he lived in Tampa at the time, but still, that's clearly not where he should have been billed from. It really made no difference to Christian's character, so this billing made no sense.
Christian Fact: Throughout his career, Christian has captured 26 championships in total, including runs with the WWE World Heavyweight Championship on two occasions as well as the TNA World Heavyweight Championship twice.
3 Ezekiel Jackson
Ezekiel Jackson is mainly remembered for his tenure with the WWE between the years 2008-13. Since his WWE departure, Jackson has also had fairly short runs with TNA as well as Lucha Underground. Although many fans consider Ezekiel Jackson to have been a major flop in the WWE, Zeke still went on to have some forms of success, as he captured both the ECW Championship and the Intercontinental Championship once each. During his WWE run, Ezekiel Jackson was billed hailing from Harlem, New York, United States. In reality, Jackson was actually born and raised far, far away in Linden, Guyana. My guess is the WWE thought Big Zeke being billed from the fairly rugged and tough area of Harlem fit his "monstrous" character better.
Ezekiel Jackson Fact: Back in 2011, Pro Wrestling Illustrated voted Ezekiel Jackson as the #78 of the top 500 singles wrestlers in the PWI 500 for that year.
2 Bruno Sammartino
The legendary Hall Of Famer Bruno Sammartino has had an illustrious pro-wrestling career like few others. Bruno's in-ring career stretched from 1959 all the way up until 1987 and he captured the WWE World Championship on two occasions, with one of his reigns as champion lasting for 2,803 days. Throughout parts of Sammartino's great career, he was wrongfully billed from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Bruno Sammartino was actually born and raised in Pizzoferrato, Abruzzo, Italy. I think Bruno being billed from his home country of Italy would have made more sense (and he was during some parts of his career), but obviously the WWE (at the time the WWWF) thought differently.
Bruno Sammartino Fact: In 2013, Bruno Sammartino was rightfully inducted into the WWE Hall Of Fame by his long-time friend, Arnold Schwarzenegger.
1 Kane As Isaac Yankem, DDS
Before striking gold with the monstrous Kane character, Kane, real name Glenn Jacobs, was portraying the hideous "Isaac Yankem, DDS" character in the WWE between the years 1995-96. The Isaac Yankem gimmick was a total flop and this was definitely during the time when the WWE had a ton of characters on their roster that were outlandish, weird, and simply just "out there". During Kane's tenure as Mr. Yankem, he was billed hailing from Decatur, Illinois. However, in reality, Glenn Jacobs was born and raised far away in Torrejon de Ardoz, Spain. Talk about a total misrepresentation!
Kane Fact: Throughout his successful career in the WWE, Kane has won a total of 23 championships, including the WWE World Heavyweight Championship (on multiple occasions), the Intercontinental Championship and the ECW Championship. Kane's the third Grand Slam Champion, and the eighth Triple Crown Champion.
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