Michael Polchlopek (born December 27, 1963) is an American former professional wrestler, and mixed martial artist. He is best known for his appearances with the World Wrestling Federation (WWF) from 1993 to 1999 under the ring names Bart Gunn and Bodacious Bart, as well as his appearances with All Japan Pro Wrestling (AJPW) from 1998 to 2002 and with New Japan Pro-Wrestling (NJPW) from 2002 to 2004 as Mike Barton.
Polchlopek in June 1995
|Birth name||Michael Polchlopek|
|Born||December 27, 1963|
|Professional wrestling career|
|Ring name(s)||Bart Gunn|
|Billed height||6 ft 4 in (1.93 m)|
|Billed weight||264 lb (120 kg)|
|Billed from||Austin, Texas|
|Trained by||Blackjack Mulligan|
|Retired||December 10, 2007|
After retiring from wrestling, Polchlopek started working as an electrician.
Professional wrestling careerEdit
Early career (1991–1993)Edit
World Wrestling Federation (1993–1999)Edit
Smoking Gunns (1993–1996)Edit
Polchlopek was famous in the World Wrestling Federation as one-half of the tag team The Smoking Gunns with his kayfabe brother Billy Gunn. The team won the Tag Team Championship three times before breaking up and engaging in a brief feud in October 1996. Bart Gunn briefly went into solo competition, his most high-profile match occurring on Monday Night Raw, in April 1996, which he lost to "Ringmaster" Steve Austin via the Million Dollar Dream.
Singles Competitor (1996–1997)Edit
Gunn feuded with Billy Gunn during the fall of 1996. He defeated billy on December 16 on Monday Night Raw. Afterwards the feud ended. He scored an upset victory over Triple H by disqualification on Superstars. Participated at the Royal Rumble 1997. Then he became a jobber in 1997 lsoing to Ron Simmons, Triple H, Ahmed Johnson and Vader. He disappeared off the roster that June.
New Midnight Express (1998)Edit
Under his new manager Jim Cornette, Polchlopek recreated the Midnight Express tag team as "Bodacious Bart" with partner Bombastic Bob. The team had limited success, though they did hold the NWA World Tag Team Championship for a brief period in 1998.
Brawl for All and departure (1998–1999)Edit
In 1998, Bart Gunn participated in the WWF's shootfight tournament, the Brawl for All. Gunn faced tag partner Bob Holly in the first round, and was declared the winner on points. Gunn next defeated "Dr. Death" Steve Williams, with a surprising knockout. He defeated The Godfather in the semi-finals, and Bradshaw in the finals to win the tournament.
Afterward, Gunn feuded with both Holly and Williams, both angry at having been beaten in the tournament, the latter masking himself and pushing Gunn off a stage. Capitalizing on Gunn's impressive Brawl for All showing, the WWF held a Brawl for All match between Gunn and heavyweight boxer Eric "Butterbean" Esch at WrestleMania XV. Esch knocked out Gunn in 35 seconds. Polchlopek was soon after released by WWF.
All Japan Pro Wrestling (1998–2002)Edit
World Tag Team Champion (1998–2000)Edit
After leaving the WWF, Polchlopek found success wrestling in Japan (due in part to his knockout of Steve Williams, who long held a strong reputation for his toughness in Japan). He debuted for All Japan Pro Wrestling in late 1998, competing in the 1998 World Strongest Tag Determination League, teaming with Johnny Ace, and finishing in 4th place with 8 points. He became a member of Johnny Ace's gaijin (foreign wrestlers) stable, The Movement, and the two continued to team. On June 9, they defeated Kenta Kobashi and Jun Akiyama to win the World Tag Team Championship. They held the title for a month and a half, before losing to No Fear on July 23. Following the title loss, Polchlopek stopped using the Bart Gunn name and became known as Mike Barton. In late 1999, Barton and Ace took part in the 1999 World's Strongest Tag Determination League, finishing in 5th place with 9 points.
In the spring of 2000, Barton entered the Champion Carnival, defeating Masao Inoue in the first round but losing to Takao Omori in the second. On June 9, Barton and Ace took part in a tournament for the vacant World Tag Team Championship, and lost in the first round to the eventual tournament winners, The Holy Demon Army. In the summer of 2000, Mitsuharu Misawa left All Japan to form Pro Wrestling Noah, taking most of the native talent with him. Barton, like many of the gaijin, remained in All Japan. Johnny Ace, however, left All Japan during the split and retired from wrestling, taking an office job in WCW and later the WWF.
Teaming with Jim Steele (2000–2002)Edit
Following the NOAH exodus, Barton formed a new tag team with Jim Steele. In October 2000, Barton entered a tournament for the vacant Triple Crown Heavyweight Championship, losing in the first round to Genichiro Tenryu. In November, Barton and Steele entered the 2000 World's Strongest Tag Determination League, finishing in 4th place with 10 points.
On January 2, 2001, Barton won the annual January 2 Korakuen Hall Battle Royal. In the spring, Barton entered the 2001 Champion Carnival, placing 5th with 13 points. By the end of 2001, Barton had begun making appearances in New Japan Pro Wrestling as a member of the All Japan branch of Team 2000. In November 2001, Barton and Steele entered the 2001 G1 Tag League and made it to the finals, where they lost to Tencozy.
In the spring of 2002, Barton entered the 2002 Champion Carnival, making it to the finals but losing to Keiji Mutoh. On July 20, Barton and Steele won The Stan Hansen Cup Four Way against The Varsity Club, KroniK, and George Hines & Johnny Smith. On August 30, Barton and Steele challenged Kronik for the World Tag Team Championship, but lost. In the fall, Barton and Steele left All Japan.
Total Nonstop Action Wrestling (2003)Edit
New Japan Pro-Wrestling (2002–2004)Edit
After leaving All Japan, Barton and Steele signed with New Japan Pro-Wrestling (NJPW). Barton entered the 2002 New Japan Triathlon Series in November, teaming with Steele and Yuji Nagata. The team made it to the finals, but lost to Manabu Nakanishi, Osamu Nishimura and Yutaka Yoshie. In February 2003, Barton and Steele entered a #1 Contenders tournament for the IWGP Tag Team Championship. They ultimately emerged victorious, defeating Makai Club members Tadao Yasuda and Kazunari Murakami in the finals, but an injury to Steele prevented them from getting the title match. After Steele recovered, he and Barton returned to teaming. In October 2003, they entered the 2003 G1 Tag League. During the tournament, on October 21, the two received a shot at the IWGP Tag Team Title against champions Hiroshi Tanahashi and Yutaka Yoshie, but came up short. Barton and Steele finished the tournament in 5th place with 6 points.
Muga World Pro Wrestling (2006)Edit
On September 15, 2006, Barton had his debut match in Muga World Pro Wrestling (now Dradition), which was a victory over Tatsutoshi Goto, then had another 4 matches in the company. His last match in the company was a victory over Katsushi Takemura on September 25, 2006. Afterwards Barton left the company.
World Wrestling Entertainment (2007)Edit
On December 10, 2007, Michael Polchlopek returned to World Wrestling Entertainment as Bart Gunn, for the 15th Anniversary Battle Royal, but was eliminated from the match by Steve Blackman. Afterwards Michael Polchlopek retired from professional wrestling.
Mixed martial arts careerEdit
Polchlopek made his mixed martial arts debut on June 17, 2006, defeating Wesley "Cabbage" Correira at Rumble On The Rock: Beatdown in less than two minutes by technical knockout on the basis of a cut suffered by Correira. In his second and final fight, on November 5, 2006, he faced Ikuhisa "The Punk" Minowa at PRIDE Bushido 13, losing via unanimous decision.
Mixed martial arts recordEdit
|Professional record breakdown|
|2 matches||1 win||1 loss|
|Loss||1–1||Ikuhisa Minowa||Decision (unanimous)||Pride – Bushido 13||November 5, 2006||2||5:00||Yokohama, Kanagawa, Japan|
|Win||1–0||Wesley Correira||TKO (cut)||ROTR – Beatdown 1||June 17, 2006||1||1:46||Hawaii, United States|
Polchlopek was previously an electrician until 1993, and resumed work as an electrician 15 years later. He is a grandfather.
Championships and accomplishmentsEdit
- All Japan Pro Wrestling
- International Wrestling Federation
- New Japan Pro-Wrestling
- IWGP Tag Team Championship #1 Contenders Tournament (2003)- with Jim Steele
- Pennsylvania Championship Wrestling
- PCW Americas Championship (2 times)
- Pro Wrestling Illustrated
- World Wrestling Federation/WWF
- Melok, Bobby (May 22, 2013). "Where Are They Now? Bart Gunn". WWE.com. WWE. Retrieved May 1, 2014.
- "Mike Barton profile". Online World of Wrestling. Retrieved 2015-07-17.
- "Bart "The Hammer" Gunn". WWF.com (via Wayback Machine). World Wrestling Federation. Archived from the original on January 17, 1999. Retrieved 2013-07-24.CS1 maint: unfit url (link)
- Murray, Matthew (September 1, 1998). "What to do with Bart Gunn now". Canoe.ca. Québecor Média. Retrieved May 1, 2014.
- "AJPW Unified Tag Team Championship history". WrestlingTitles.com. Retrieved 2008-05-07.
- "Kip James' SLAM Bio". SLAM sports. Retrieved 2008-07-03.
- "Pro Wrestling Illustrated's Top 500 Wrestlers of the PWI Years". Wrestling Information Archive. Archived from the original on 2011-07-07. Retrieved 2008-06-07.
- "The Smokin' Gunns' first World Tag Team Championship reign". Archived from the original on 2013-12-27.
- "The Smokin' Gunns' second World Tag Team Championship reign". Archived from the original on 2012-10-18.
- "The Smokin' Gunns' third World Tag Team Championship history". Archived from the original on 2014-03-19.
- "NWA World Tag Team Championship History". Solie.org. Retrieved 2008-07-06.
- "Brawl for All Tournament Results". Pro Wrestling History.
- "Raw Television Specials". WWE Millennium. Archived from the original on 2009-10-26. Retrieved 2007-09-20.