Rollerball Rocco Inspired Wheeler Yuta’s Wrestling Dream

Hamish Woodward

Wheeler Yuta has cited English legend Rollerball Rocco as one of his favorite wrestlers, revealing that he is a fan of the classic World of Sport wrestling from the UK.

Marc “Rollerball” Rocco was one of the most hated heels in Britain during wrestling’s heyday, feuding with all the top stars of the day, like Kendo Nagasaki and Marty Jones.

He also wrestled in Japan (where Wheeler Yuta holds nationality) as the original Black Tiger in NJPW – a gimmick used by many wrestlers, including Eddie Guerrero and Rocky Romero.

The Blackpool Combat Club’s Wheeler Yuta revealed that he was a big fan of the English star, citing his work in the UK from the 1970s and 1980s.

Rocco wrestled for all the major promotions, like Joint Promotions and All Star Wrestling, who traded weekly TV spots on the ITV Saturday afternoon show “World of Sport”.

While the show was discontinued in the 1990s, Yuta clearly went back and watched the recordings online, and picking Rollerball Rocco as his favorite wrestler of the bunch.

During an interview with The British Wrestling Revial, Wheeler Yuta talked about how WrestleMania XIX on the Gamecube inspired him to become a wrestler, before citing some wrestlers who inspired him in the ring.

My cousins first turned me on to the WrestleMania XIX video game when I was about four years old. I had no idea that real people actually did this on TV. The first wrestler that really hooked me was Rey Mysterio.”

After that, I dove deeper and deeper. When I was a teenager, I found the internet and was really spoiled in the amount of wrestling I could watch.”

I really enjoyed watching guys like Ricky Steamboat in the US, but I also fell in love with the World of Sport style from England. Of that group of guys, Rollerball Rocco has to be my favorite.

I also developed a love of the Junior Heavyweight style in Japan. Tatsumi Fujinami and the original Tiger Mask stood out as some of my favorites.

Wheeler Yuta currently wrestled for AEW, appearing alongside Jon Moxley, Bryan Danielson and Claudio Castagnoli in the Blackpool Combat Club.

Marc Rocco sadly passed away in 2020, aged 69.

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