Billy Robinson, “the British Lion”, the real deal

Billy Robinson, “the British Lion”, one of the greatest ring technicians of all time, a hallowed name in the inner circles of pro-wrestling, was a former International Heavyweight Champion who enjoyed success on several continents including; Asia, Europe, North America and Oceania, winning multiple titles in promotions everywhere he wrestled.

Robinson began his career as an amateur wrestler in Britain where he would win the British National Wrestling Championship title in 1957 and the European Open Wrestling Championship title the following year in the light heavyweight class beating an Olympic bronze medal winner in the finals.

In 1970, Robinson made his way to North America and began wrestling for Verne Gagne and the American Wrestling Association (AWA), becoming one of the most successful wrestlers of his era and in the American promotion for hiring the “Real Deals” in wrestling. Billy Robinson held the AWA British Empire Heavyweight Champion title at time and he defended the title in both the United States and Canada, winning on three separate occasions.

Robinson rose to fame in the United States, winning the International Championship beating strongman Dino Bravo and also won the International Tag Team championship with with his partner, Pierre Mad Dog Lefebvre. But it was a 60-minutes, marathon, time-limit draw against the WWWF Heavyweight Champion Bob Backlund in 1982, a match that he may be most remembered for by American fans.

After his career in the ring was over, Robinson 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 was inducted into the International Wrestling Hall of Fame in 2003.  The wrestling legend apparently passed away in his sleep on March the 3rd in 2014 at the age of 75.

 

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