Let’s Remember That Time Japanese R2-D2 And C-3PO Had A Pro-Wrestling Match

Not to blow smoke here, but I like to think that you’re all savvy consumers of internet culture. So, while you’re waiting for our next “Ronda Rousey Did Something” article, I think you can probably agree on two gospel truths that the internet has shown us.

  1. Professional wrestling can be very weird.
  2. Japan can also be very weird.

And naturally, when those two facets collide, you get a crazy Venn diagram in which nothing is really off-limits. With that in mind, I’d like to show you something that was making the rounds on reddit recently. By the grace of a loving God, cameras just so happened to be rolling at an All Japan Pro Wrestling show in the summer of 1979 when R2-D2 and C-3PO stopped by for a tag-team match.

Did I say “R2-D2 and C-3PO?” I meant to say “two guys who probably lost a bet.” I really want to make a Japandroids joke here, but I’m not sure how much more niche-market I’m allowed to get.

There is a lot going on here. First, I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention that Atsushi Onita is one of the wrestlers here. Onita is one of the fathers of what we know today as deathmatch wrestling. He’s more or less retired today, but like his contemporary The Great Muta, he has trouble staying that way. He makes a habit of occasionally popping up for special attraction matches across Japan, well into his fifties. Four decades of wrestling experience, and here he is doing the job for guys in the laziest cosplay ever. This is the kind of loss that eventually drives you crazy enough to invent the No-Rope Barbed Wire Barricade Electric Land Mine Double Hell Deathmatch. That’s absolutely a real thing, I swear.

As for this match and its place among robotics-based wrestling, it’s still a far cry from the undisputed champion. It will take one hell of a robot to unseat Robocop’s performance at WCW Capital Combat 1990, that’s all I’m saying. Honestly, I don’t even think this is up to Mecha Mummy standards. These are all sentences I never expected to type when I was handed my college diploma, incidentally.

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