Karl “Machine Gun” Anderson – or Chad Allegra as I know him – is the best in-ring wrestler in the world. I know, I know, how is it possible that someone who’s never wrestled in the WWE and has made his fame and fortune overseas even possibly considered the best? Here’s five reasons.
Bullet Club is the most dominant faction in professional wrestling today. Featuring Anderson as their leader (he replaced Fergal Devitt, who now competes on NXT as Finn Balor), the group boasts members AJ Styles, Doc Gallows, Bad Luck Fale, Tama Tonga, Kenny Omega, The Young Bucks, and Yujiro Takahashi and have featured nine different title reigns in NJPW. Recently, Jeff Jarrett joined Bullet Club as he prepares to launch Global Force Wrestling on Pay-Per-View on January 4th.
Anderson has set more records in NJPW than any other Gaijin (foreigner) in history. He’s a two-time IWGP Tag Team Title holder. One of those reigns (with Bad Intention’s partner Giant Bernard) lasted for an astounding 564 days, the longest in history. The other is with Doc Gallows and continues to this day. And he’s about to tie Bernard for the most consecutive WrestleKingdom appearances for a Gaijin with 7 in a row. He’s also held three NJPW G1 Tag League championships with three different partners. As a singles wrestler, he’s the first American to make it to the finals of the G-1 Tournament since Rick Rude in 1992. And he’s not done.
3. He’s entertaining out of the ring.
Anderson, whether he’s a heel or babyface, has captured the imagination of the Japanese public due to his outlandish personality and colorful antics. He has assaulted more than one journalist. Even though there’s a language barrier, he is highly sought after for promos and press conferences. He tweets regularly, often saying ridiculous things – like when he talks about his salary and his mansion. He’s followed on Twitter by some of the biggest names in the business. His podcast “Talkin’ Shop” hosted with Rocky “Azucar” Romero and Doc Gallows is a giant hit within the industry and with fans alike.
4. His in ring work is impeccable.
I dare you to find any weakness in his in-ring work. Not to get too technical, but he has always sold with purpose. No one accelerates into a finish like the Machine Gun. He’s hard-hitting, but safe. His pacing is brilliant, his cardio is super-human, and he’s a pleasure to watch. His matches are exciting, his offense is crisp, and he understands how to tell a compelling story within the context of a professional wrestling match. Just look at this match with Shinsuke Nakamura:
5. He Came Up Old School . . .and He Hasn’t Forgotten.
I can tell you from personal experience that no one trained harder, studied the business as much, or sacrificed more than Chad Allegra. See, he’s my best friend in the business and I was there from the beginning. I watched him pop his knee back in place more times than I want to remember. I rode up and down the roads to indy shows with him. I visited him in California, where while sleeping on the floor at the NJPW Dojo he was surviving on Snickers and Coca-cola that he snuck from the concession stand. I was there for the early years as Roger Ruffen taught him how to be a quality professional wrestler. Heck, I’m the one who introduced him to Ruffen! And Anderson hasn’t forgotten that old school upbringing. He even tweeted about it this week:
This Sunday, Anderson will make a rare North American appearance at the Northern Wrestling Federation’s SEASONS BEATINGS in Fairfield, Ohio. He remembers his roots and he’s coming home . . . and you can see him (and buy a t-shirt!) this Sunday at 3 PM at the UAW Hall on Symmes Road.
So, there’s my argument that Karl “Machine Gun” Anderson is the best wrestler in the world. If you’re not convinced, come out to Fairfield, Ohio this Sunday at 3 PM and see for yourself. Or you’re not in NWF country, then you can watch him by ordering the Global Force Wrestling presentation of NJPW’s WrestleKingdom 9 hosted by Jim Ross and Matt Striker on January 4th on PPV.
The author of this blog, Kirk Sheppard, will also be in action this Sunday at Seasons Beatings as he manages Brody Cormick & Big League against The Eds for the NWF Tag Team Titles. Sheppard also considers Karl Anderson – or Chad 2 Badd – his best friend so he may be somewhat biased.