Al Baffert was the first American professional wrestler to tangle with the Rikidozan. In "Physical Chess" the memoirs of Billy Robinson, it was stated:
"Pro wrestling in Japan started with Al Baffert beating Rikidozan. Baffert was a very good American catch wrestler. He along with wrestlers from various units in the U.S. Army, put on a show for the American soldiers of Japan. Sumo wrestlers wanted to watch the show, so the Americans got invited to meet the sumo association and sumo champions."
His peak as a wrestler was in the 1930s, but he'd been supplementing his income since the 1920s in the booming Hollywood scene. Many pro-wrestlers did the same back then. They often made the perfect villain. He also performed as a stuntman for over 30 years.
Baffert was also known to throw on the ole boxing gloves. He must've done something right in that realm too as he even had a fight with Max Baer.
According to IMDB Baffert was born on June 12, 1906 in Annemasse, France. After a long and successful career as a stuntman and occasional actor, Baffert passed away on October 3, 1989.
Unique content strictly for the Professional Wrestling Historical Society.
Biography of Al Baffert.
Author: Jimmy Wheeler.
Updated: July 2014.
Editor: Jimmy Wheeler.
Updated: November 13, 2018.