Billy Robinson passes away
WWE is saddened by the news that Billy Robinson has passed away.
Equally influential as a submission specialist and a trainer of Hall of Fame talent, Robinson was a champion amateur wrestler in England in the 1950s before learning the dangerous art of catch wrestling in the infamous Snakepit — a gruff gym in the town of Wigan in Greater Manchester, England. Emerging after years of arduous groundwork as one of the UK’s most dangerous shooters, Robinson became an in-demand talent all over the world.
“He was the first globetrotting British heavyweight, which was something I aspired to be,” William Regal told WWE.com.
Indeed, during his storied career, Robinson had international showdowns with the world’s top grapplers, including a heavily hyped bout against Antonio Inoki in Japan and a grueling encounter with Verne Gagne in Chicago’s Comiskey Park. As a trainer, Robinson’s reach was even greater as his guidance impacted multiple generations.
“My trainer, Marty Jones, was trained by Billy Robinson, so was Johnny Saint and a lot of great British wrestlers,” Regal said.
Robinson also coached WWE Hall of Famers Ric Flair and The Iron Sheik, and still inspires competitors today, including Daniel Bryan, who once told WWE.com, “When I think of a wrestler, I think of Billy Robinson.”
Robinson’s lasting effect on sports-entertainment is an uncommon one, and his unique influence may never be felt again.
“He’s one of those people that’s a one-off,” Regal said. “There’s never been anybody like him. He was a true icon in wrestling.”