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Bart Gunn

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Michal Burton "Mike" Polchlopek, Jr. (December 27, 1963) is an American professional wrestler and mixed martial artist, also known by the ring names Bart Gunn and Mike Barton. He is perhaps best known for his six-year tenure in the World Wrestling Federation.


World Wrestling Federation (1993-1999)

Main article: The Smoking Gunns

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 were WWF World Tag Team Champions three times before breaking up and engaging in a brief feud.

Polchlopek then recreated the Midnight Express tag team as "Bodacious Bart" with partner "Bombastic" Bob Holly. The team had limited success, though they did hold the NWA World Tag Team Championship for a brief period in 1998.

When the WWF announced a shoot tournament called the Brawl for All in which the competition would be real and winners would not be predetermined, Bart Gunn participated. Gunn actually drew partner Bob Holly in the first round but was declared the winner by the complicated point system. When Gunn fought Steve Williams, many were surprised when he won by knockout. He won the tournament with a victory over the Godfather in the semi-finals and Bradshaw in the finals.

Afterward, Gunn feuded with both Holly and Williams, the pair angry at having been beaten in the tournament, the latter masking himself and pushing Gunn off a stage. To continue capitalizing on the impressive Brawl for All showing, the WWF set up a Brawl for All match between Gunn and heavyweight boxer Eric "Butterbean" Esch at WrestleMania XV. Esch knocked out Gunn within 30 seconds and he was reportedly fired from the WWF when he returned to the locker room.

All Japan Pro Wrestling (1998-2002)

After leaving the WWF, Polchlopek found success wrestling in Japan (due to the fame of Steve Williams in Japan and his knockout pushing him as tougher than Dr. Death). He debuted for All Japan Pro Wrestling in late 1998 where he competed in the 1998 World Strongest Tag League teaming with Johnny Ace where they finished in 4th place with 8 points. After leaving the WWF following Wrestlemania XV, Polchlopek joined All Japan full-time. He became a member of Johnny Ace's gaijin stable: The Movement and the two continued their team. On June 9, they defeated Kenta Kobashi and Jun Akiyama to win the AJPW Unified World Tag Team Championship. They would hold the titles for a month and a half but ultimately lost them to NO FEAR on July 23. Following the title loss, Polchlopek stopped using the Bart Gunn name and started using the name: Mike Barton. In late 1999, Barton and Ace took part in the 1999 World's Strongest Tag League where they finished in 5th place with 9 points.

In the spring of 2000, Barton entered the Champion's Carnival where he defeated Masao Inoue in the first round but lost to Takao Omori in the second round. On June 9, Barton and Ace took part in a tournament for the vacated AJPW World Tag Team Championships but they lost in the first round to eventual 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 gaijins, remained in All Japan, however, Johnny Ace left All Japan during the split and retired taking an office job in WCW and later the WWF. Following the NOAH exodus, Barton formed a new tag team with Jim Steele. In October 2000, Barton entered a tournament for the vacated AJPW Triple Crown Championship but lost in the first round to Genichiro Tenryu. In November, Barton and Steele entered the 2000 World's Strongest Tag League where they finished in 4th place with 10 points.

On January 2, 2001, Barton competed in the yearly January 2 Korakuen Hall Battle Royal which he won. In the spring, Barton entered the 2001 Champion's Carnival where he place 5th with 13 points. By the end of 2001, Barton began 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 where they made it to the finals losing to Ten-Koji.

In the spring of 2002, Barton entered the 2002 Champion's Carnival where he made it to the finals but lost 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. One month later on August 30, Barton and Steele challenged Kronik for the AJPW World Tag Team Titles but lost. In the fall, Barton and Steele left All Japan.

New Japan Pro Wrestling (2002-2004)

After leaving All Japan, Barton and Steele signed with New Japan. 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 would ultimately emerge victorious defeating Makai Club members: Tadao Yasuda and Kazunari Murakami in the finals but an injury to Steele prevented the title match. After Steele recovered, Barton and him returned to teaming. In October 2003, Barton entered the 2003 G1 Tag League teaming with Steele. During the tournament on October 21, the two received a shot as the IWGP Tag Team Titles against champions: Hiroshi Tanahashi and Yutaka Yoshie but they came up short. Barton eventually left in the spring of 2004.

He also had a short stint in Total Nonstop Action Wrestling in 2003.

Mixed Martial Arts

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 most recent match, Polchlopek faced Ikuhisa "The Punk" Minowa on the PRIDE Bushido 13 card, losing via unanimous decision to Minowa.

World Wrestling Entertainment (2007)

On the RAW 15th Anniversary Spectacular on December 10, 2007, Gunn participated in the 15th Anniversary Battle Royal and was eliminated by Steve Blackman.

Personal life

On December 19, 2007, Polchlopek's son Michael Polchlopek III died at the age of nineteen as the result of an accidental shooting five days earlier.

In wrestling

  • Nicknames
    • "Bodacious"
    • Bart "The Hammer" Gunn
    • "Lefty"

Championships and accomplishments

1Gunn won the title while working for the World Wrestling Federation as part of an angle with the National Wrestling Alliance.

External links

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