Antonio Inoki is one of the most eccentric and innovative wrestlers in history. The Japanese legend founded New Japan Pro Wrestling in 1972, booked himself as the champion for decades before nearly killing the company in the 2000s with his obsession with “Inoki-ism“. An incredibly passionate man, he always expected the best from his wrestlers, which led to one of the funniest moments in wrestling history.
Luke Gallows, who was known as DOC Gallows in Japan, wrestled for the Inoki Genome Federation in 2011. The IGF was a promotion formed by Antonio Inoki after Yukes (the video game company) bought him out of New Japan Pro Wrestling after his booking nearly killed the company.
During the IGF Genome14 event on February 5th 2011, Luke Gallows took on Sylvester Terkay, who was wrestling under the gimmick of “The Destroyer”. Gallows was also known by another name in the IGF, being given the name Keith Hanson after his release from the WWE. This may have been a reference to Stan Hansen, another American who was a great rival to Antonio Inoki in the 1970s and 1980s.
The match between Gallows and Terkay was not one of the best matches ever seen. None of the men are the best wrestlers you’ve ever seen, and really embodied everything that goes against the idea of Inoki-ism. Their match was not realistic, and followed a pro-wrestling formula that did nothing to make the sport of professional wrestling look legitimate (in the eyes of their boss).
Infuriated with the match, Antonio Inoki decided he had enough. Midway through the bout, the Japanese legend stormed to the ring through the crowd, furiously shouting “Stop!” in English to his two wrestlers. Fans in attendance and watching on TV were stunned, thinking this could be another “Montreal Screwjob” angle. However, this was as real as it gets.
At first, Gallows and Terkay were simply confused, and kept wrestling the match. This was one of Gallows first matches in Japan, and as a lifelong fan of the Puroresu, he was keen to make an impression (especially when working for a legend like Inoki). However, they soon couldn’t help but listen to Inoki, whose rage was apparent as he shouted at the pair while stood at ringside. Without finishing the bout, Luke Gallows and Sylvester Terkay left the ring, abruptly and with thousands of confused fans watching.
After ending the match and sending the two wrestlers backstage, Inoki took his frustration out of Masahiro Chono. He confronted the legend, who was on commentary for the IGF, slapping him in his fury as his anger with the match got the better of him. This showed just how serious Inoki was, although that does not excuse his violent outburst.
Luke Gallows finally spoke up about the match that Inoki stopped during an interview on The Total F’n Marks podcast, to promote alk ‘N Shop A-Mania 2 in 2020, following his release from the WWE for the second time.
“I think I had a match like that with Sylvester Terkay in about 2011 in Japan for Antonio Inoki so I’m not encouraging for people to look that up but like my first showing over there, I was like, ‘Fuck, I did great, I’m gonna be the man over here,’ and then next time I came Sylvester had been out of the ring for about six months and not doing any training and getting very tired and he’s a great dude, but it was not our best showing.
“Antonio Inoki runs down through the crowd and is screaming at us at ringside. Pretty fucking amazing, especially when you’re a lifelong Japanese wrestling fan and this is like my second in Japan it was pretty traumatizing at the time.”
Despite the horrendous experience Gallows had at the hands of Antonio Inoki, he would wrestle once more for the WWE Hall of Famer. As “Keith Hanson”, Luke Gallows returning for the next Inoki Genome Federation show, IGF Genome15, two months later, losing in a short match to Bobby Lashley in the IGF Title tournament.
Luckily Luke Gallows bounced back and got on his feet again, becoming a key part of Bullet Club alongside Karl Anderson, Finn Balor and AJ Styles, before spending time in NJPW, AEW and WWE. He now teams with Karl Anderson in the WWE as “The Good Brothers”.
You can watch the match between Luke Gallows and Sylvester Terkay that was stopped by Antonio Inoki mid-match by clicking the video below.