The Don Battle Participants
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Dogasu's Backpack | Episode Comparisons | Best Wishes!
The names of the Don Battle contestants who debuted in the episode "Everyone Gather! The Don Battle!!" all come from pro wrestlers who are active in Japan. Let's take a closer look.
Before I begin, however, I have to give credit to Natio Radio for pointing all of this out to me in the first place. Without that site, I wouldn't have had any idea who any of these people are.
The first contestant we're introduced to is Sanshiroh. The Pocket Monsters Best Wishes character is named after Takagi Sanshiro (高木三四郎), a comedic wrestler who is a kind of parody of American wrestler Stone Cold Steve Austin. He also formed DDT (Dramatic Dream Team), the wrestling organization to which the majority of the wrestlers on this page belong. His finishing moves include the Electric Chair Facebuster and the Thunder Fire Power Bomb (サンダーファイヤーパワーボム), both of which are fitting for a pokemon trainer who uses a Batule.
Dino's name is from Danshoku Dieno (男色ディーノ), a Japanese pro-wrestler who plays an exaggerated gay stereotype in the ring. A lot of his moves involve stuffing his opponent's face in his crotch, grabbing his opponent suggestively, or otherwise making his opponent feel awkward. His name seems to be officially romanized as "Dieno" instead of "Dino."
Omega's name comes from Kenny Omega (ケニー・オメガ), a Canadian wrestler who puts on an "otaku" act that includes using the Hadouken from the Street Fighter games as one of his signature moves. He is often paired up with Ibushi Kouta (see below).
Antonio is from Antonio Honda (アントーニオ本多), a Tokyo native who mixes in random Italian words into his speeches. Unfortunately, he doesn't have an English language Wikipedia page at the moment. His official blog can be found here.
The source of Ibushi's name is Ibushi Kouta (飯伏幸太), known for being a pretty boy wrestler. He is often teamed up with Kenny Omega (see above).
Luke's opponent Sekimoto is from Sekimoto Daisuke (関本大介), who has found success in tag matches and deathmatches.
Finally, there's Yoshihiko (ヨシヒコ), a sex doll that's brought in by other wrestlers to tag matches. Seriously. Copy and paste his Japanese name into a YouTube search and watch the absurdity unfold before your eyes. My guess is that the Best Wishes crew thought it'd be funny to take this blow-up doll and make a character out of it, and this Meeruhog cosplayer is what they came up with.
I searched for a possible origin for Takemitsu's name, but I couldn't find any. The names TPCI gave the characters (Silvester, Emmanuel, Scooter, and Jimmy Ray) don't seem to have anything in common, either.
As you can tell from all the images above, the characters in Best Wishes are merely named after the wrestlers shown here. They don't look a thing like any of them and have very little, if anything, in common with their namesakes.
I have no idea why the producers of the series decided to name everyone after Japanese wrestlers, seeing as how the Isshu region is supposed to be based on America and all. Maybe they were afraid that American wrestlers would be more litigious and didn't want to chance it? Or maybe someone on the staff is a really, really big fan of wrestling and was just drawing from his or her personal preferences? Whatever the reason is, I think it's interesting how much thought went into the contestants in a throw away tournament and is just one more neat piece of trivia to add to the collection.
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