Mike Polchlopek

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Mike Polchlopek
Polchlopek in June 1995
Birth nameMichael Polchlopek[1]
Born (1965-12-27) December 27, 1965 (age 55)[2]
Titusville, Florida,
United States[1]
ResidenceMelbourne, Florida,
United States
Professional wrestling career
Ring name(s)Bart Gunn[3]
Bodacious Bart[2]
Brett Colt[2]
Mike Barton[2]
Billed height6 ft 3 in (1.91 m)[2]
Billed weight258 lb (117 kg)[2]
Billed fromAustin, Texas[2]
Trained byBlackjack Mulligan
Boris Malenko[1]
Caesar Barraza
RetiredDecember 10, 2007[1]

Michael Polchlopek (born December 27, 1965) is an American retired professional wrestler and former 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.[1][4]

Professional wrestling career[edit]

Early career (1991–1993)[edit]

Polchlopek was trained to wrestle by Caesar Barraza, Blackjack Mulligan, Tim Parker and Boris Malenko. He made his debut in 1991.

World Wrestling Federation (1993–1999)[edit]

Smoking Gunns (1993–1996)[edit]

Polchlopek was perhaps most 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 which ended after he defeated Billy on the December 16th episode of Monday Night Raw. His most notable victory was scoring an upset victory over Triple H by disqualification on Superstars. He also participated in the 1997 Royal Rumble match. Gunn would later become a jobber in 1997 losing to the likes of Ron Simmons, Triple H, Ahmed Johnson and Vader. He disappeared from the roster that June.

Gunn would then have a brief stint in Pennsylvania Championship Wrestling where he won their championship from Lance Diamond on May 3, 1997. Then he would drop the title to Ace Darling on September 26.

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. Utilizing his enormous brute strength, Gunn defeated The Godfather in the semi-finals, and Bradshaw in the finals to win the tournament.

Afterward, Gunn briefly 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. According to his interview in the Dark Side of the Ring episode on Brawl For All, he sat home for months following this after being told by Vince Russo that creative had nothing for him at the time. Eventually WWE sent him to a boxing school to train for a WrestleMania match against 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.[5] 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.[6] They held the title for a month and a half, before losing to No Fear on July 23.[6] 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.[7]

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.[8] 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.[9] 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.[9] In November, Barton and Steele entered the 2000 World's Strongest Tag Determination League, finishing in 4th place with 10 points.[10]

On January 2, 2001, Barton won the annual January 2 Korakuen Hall Battle Royal.[9] In the spring, Barton entered the 2001 Champion Carnival, placing 5th with 13 points.[9] 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.[11]

In the spring of 2002, Barton entered the 2002 Champion Carnival, making it to the finals but losing to Keiji Mutoh.[12] On July 20, Barton and Steele won The Stan Hansen Cup Four Way against The Varsity Club, KroniK, and George Hines & Johnny Smith.[13] On August 30, Barton and Steele challenged Kronik for the World Tag Team Championship, but lost.[13] In the fall, Barton and Steele left All Japan.

Total Nonstop Action Wrestling (2003)[edit]

Polchlopek had a short stint in Total Nonstop Action Wrestling in 2003 only lasting a month where he wrestled one match where he lost to Perry Saturn.

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.[14] 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.[15] 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.[16] Barton and Steele finished the tournament in 5th place with 6 points.[9]

Muga World Pro Wrestling (2006)[edit]

On September 15, 2006, Barton had his debut match in Muga World Pro Wrestling, 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, 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 career[edit]

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 record[edit]

Professional record breakdown
2 matches 1 win 1 loss
By knockout 1 0
By decision 0 1
Res. Record Opponent Method Event Date Round Time Location Notes
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

Personal life[edit]

Polchlopek was previously an electrician until 1993, and resumed work as an electrician 15 years later. He is a grandfather.[1]

Championships and accomplishments[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f Melok, Bobby (May 22, 2013). "Where Are They Now? Bart Gunn". WWE.com. WWE. Retrieved May 1, 2014.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g "Mike Barton profile". Online World of Wrestling. Retrieved 2015-07-17.
  3. ^ "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)
  4. ^ Murray, Matthew (September 1, 1998). "What to do with Bart Gunn now". Canoe.ca. Québecor Média. Retrieved May 1, 2014.
  5. ^ "PUROLOVE.com". www.purolove.com.
  6. ^ a b "PUROLOVE.com". www.purolove.com.
  7. ^ "PUROLOVE.com". www.purolove.com.
  8. ^ "PUROLOVE.com". www.purolove.com.
  9. ^ a b c d e "Pro Wrestling History". www.prowrestlinghistory.com.
  10. ^ "PUROLOVE.com". www.purolove.com.
  11. ^ "PUROLOVE.com". www.purolove.com.
  12. ^ "PUROLOVE.com". www.purolove.com.
  13. ^ a b "PUROLOVE.com". www.purolove.com.
  14. ^ "Strong Style Spirit". www.puroresufan.com.
  15. ^ "Strong Style Spirit". www.puroresufan.com.
  16. ^ "Strong Style Spirit". www.puroresufan.com.
  17. ^ "AJPW Unified Tag Team Championship history". WrestlingTitles.com. Retrieved 2008-05-07.
  18. ^ "Bart Gunn « Wrestlers Database « CAGEMATCH - The Internet Wrestling Database". www.cagematch.net.
  19. ^ "Pro Wrestling History". prowrestlinghistory.com.
  20. ^ "Kip James' SLAM Bio". SLAM sports. Retrieved 2008-07-03.
  21. ^ "PCW Americas Championship « Titles Database « CAGEMATCH - The Internet Wrestling Database". www.cagematch.net.
  22. ^ "Bart Gunn « Wrestlers Database « CAGEMATCH - The Internet Wrestling Database". www.cagematch.net.
  23. ^ "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.
  24. ^ "The Smokin' Gunns' first World Tag Team Championship reign". Archived from the original on 2013-12-27.
  25. ^ "The Smokin' Gunns' second World Tag Team Championship reign". Archived from the original on 2012-10-18.
  26. ^ "The Smokin' Gunns' third World Tag Team Championship history". Archived from the original on 2014-03-19.
  27. ^ "NWA World Tag Team Championship History". Solie.org. Retrieved 2008-07-06.
  28. ^ "Brawl for All Tournament Results". Pro Wrestling History.
  29. ^ "Raw Television Specials". WWE Millennium. Archived from the original on 2009-10-26. Retrieved 2007-09-20.

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