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History of Puroresu

pre-1940s - 1940s - 1950s - 1960s - 1970s - 1980s - 1990s - 2000s - 2010s

1960s

Giant Baba & Antonio Inoki
Giant Baba & Antonio Inoki


1960

04/10Rikidozan scouts Kanji Inoki, a Japanese immigrant to Brazil, and brings him back to Japan.
04/11Shohei Baba, a former pro baseball pitcher of Tokyo Yomiuri Giants, joins the JWA.
06/02Dan Miller & Frank Valois defeat Rikidozan & Michiaki Yoshimura in Osaka to win the vacant All Asia Tag Team Title.
06/07Rikidozan & Toyonobori defeat Dan Miller & Frank Valois in Nagoya to win All Asia Tag Team Title.
08/19Michiaki Yoshimura vacates Japanese Junior Heavyweight Title after a title defense against Junzo Yoshinosato, who is awarded the title on the same day.
09/05OBITUARY: Killer Shikuma (55) [heart failure]
09/30Kanji Inoki and Shohei Baba have their debut matches. Baba defeats Yonetaro Tanaka, and Inoki is defeated by Kintaro Ohki.
10/19Isao Yoshiwara defeats Kiyotaka Ohtsubo in tournament final to win the vacant Japanese Light Heavyweight Title in Tokyo.

1961

05/08BIRTHDAY: Akira Taue [Chichibu, Saitama]
07/30Riki Sports Palace is built in Shibuya, Tokyo.

1962

02/03Luther Lindsay & Ricky Waldo defeat Rikidozan & Toyonobori in Tokyo to win All Asia Tag Team Title.
02/15Rikidozan & Toyonobori defeat Luther Lindsay & Ricky Waldo in Tokyo to win All Asia Tag Team Title.
03/28Rikidozan wins WWA World Heavyweight Title from Fred Blassie at the Los Angeles Olympic Auditorium and becomes the first Asian to win a world title belt.
04/12BIRTHDAY: Nobuhiko Takada [Yokohama]
04/23Rikidozan defends WWA World Heavyweight Title against Blassie in a bloody match which causes a death from shock to an aged person who was watching the match on TV. It is the second case since 04/171962.
06/04Mike Sharpe & Buddy Austin defeat Rikidozan & Toyonobori in Osaka to win All Asia Tag Team Title.
06/18BIRTHDAY: Mitsuharu Misawa [Koshigaya, Saitama]
07/01Rikidozan & Toyonobori defeat Mike Sharpe & Buddy Austin in Toyonaka to win All Asia Tag Team Title.
07/25Fred Blassie defeats Rikidozan on cuts in Los Angeles to win WWA World Heavyweight Title.
12/24BIRTHDAY: Keiji Mutoh [Yamanashi]

1963

05/06Rikidozan & Toyonobori defeat Killer Kowalski & Fred Atkins in Sapporo to win the vacant All Asia Tag Team Title.
05/17The Intelligent, Sensational Destroyer (Dick Beyer) comes to Japan for the first time.
05/24Rikidozan challenges WWA World Heavyweight champion The Destroyer. The match ends as a draw.
06/05Rikidozan has a wedding with Keiko Tanaka at Hotel Ookura in Tokyo.
09/17BIRTHDAY: Masahiro Chono [Mitaka, Tokyo]
12/07Rikidozan has a 6-man tag macth, teaming with Great Togo and Michiaki Yoshimura against the team of The Destroyer, Killer Buddy Austin, and Ilio DiPaolo at Hamamatsu City Gym. This match turns out to be his last match.
12/08BIRTHDAY: Toshiaki Kawada [Tochigi]
Rikidozan gets stabbed in a yakuza revenge at a night club in Tokyo and carried into hospital. He dies seven days later, and NWA International Heavyweight Title, All Asia Heavyweight Title, and All Asia Tag Team Title are all vacated.
12/15OBITUARY: Rikidozan (39) [Tokyo - stab wounds]

1964

01/10Toyonobori, Yoshinosato, Koukichi Endo, and Michiaki Yoshimura announce the continuation of the JWA.
02/05Lou Thesz defends NWA World Heavyweight Title against Giant Baba in Detroit, MI.
02/17Bruno Sammartino defends WWWF World Heavyweight Title against Giant Baba in New York City.
02/20Toyonobori & Michiaki Yoshimura defeat Prince Curtis Iaukea & Don Manoukian in Nagoya to win All Asia Tag Team Title, which has been vacant since the death of Rikidozan.
03/20Fred Blassie defends WWA World Heavyweight Title against Giant Baba in Los Angeles. Match ends as a draw.
05/14Gene Kiniski & Caripus Hurricane (Ciclon Negro) defeat Toyonobori & Michiaki Yoshimura in Yokohama to win All Asia Tag Team Title.
05/29Toyonobori & Giant Baba defeat Gene Kiniski & Caripus Hurricane in Sapporo to win All Asia Tag Team Title.
06/19OBITUARY: Banboku Ohno - Japan Pro-Wrestling Commissioner
Because of the death of the Japan Pro-Wrestling Commissioner Banboku Ohno dies, and Seijiro Kawashima, the vice-chairman of Liberal Democratic Party, is selected as the new commissioner.
07/11Hiro Matsuda defeats Danny Hodge in Tampa to win NWA World Junior Heavyweight Title.
11/30BIRTHDAY: Keiichi Yamada (Jushin Thunder Liger) [Hiroshima]
12/04Toyonobori wins WWA World Heavyweight Title from The Destroyer at the Tokyo Gym. However, the Destroyer continues to defend the title in Los Angeles and loses to Pedro Morales on 03/12/65.

1965

03/12Masanori (Masa) Saito and Kouji "Thunder" Sugiyama, members of the '64 Olympic Wrestling Team in Tokyo, join JWA.
04/23Danny Hodge defeats Hiro Matsuda in Tulsa to win NWA World Junior Heavyweight Title.
06/03The Destroyer & Billy Red Lyons defeat Toyonobori & Giant Baba in Sapporo to win All Asia Tag Team Title.
07/03BIRTHDAY: Shin'ya Hashimoto [Gifu]
07/15Toyonobori & Giant Baba defeat The Destroyer & Billy Red Lyons in Shizuoka to win All Asia Tag Team Title.
07/23Luke Graham wins WWA World Heavyweight Title from Pedro Morales. Toyonobori is still recognized as the champion in Japan.
09/20Luke Graham defeats Toyonobori by disqualification at Los Angeles Olympic Auditorium to end the dispute over WWA World Heavyweight Title.
11/24Giant Baba defeats Dick the Bruiser at Osaka Pref Gym to win NWA International Heavyweight Title which has been vacant since the death of Rikidozan.

1966

01/05JWA announces the resignation and absence of the company president Toyonobori. All Asia Tag Team Title is declared vacant.
03/21JWA expells Toyonobori and announces Antonio Inoki's cancellation in the annual round-robin tournament.
04/23Toyonobori and Antonio Inoki announce the foundation of Tokyo Pro-Wrestling. Toyonobori has stopped Inoki in Hawaii on the way home from the mainland US.
05/26Killer Karl Kox & Joe Carrolo defeat Michiaki Yoshimura & Giant Baba in Sendai to win All Asia Tag Team Title.
05/28Michiaki Yoshimura & Hiro Matsuda defeat Killer Karl Kox & Joe Carrolo in Sapporo to win All Asia Tag Team Title.
06/27Killer Karl Kox & Eddie Graham defeat Michiaki Yoshimura & Hiro Matsuda in Nagoya to win All Asia Tag Team Title.
07/01Michiaki Yoshimura & Giant Baba defeat Killer Karl Kox & Eddie Graham in Hiroshima to win All Asia Tag Team Title.
10/07After leaving JWA, the former chairman of the JWA business department Isao Yoshiwara announces the foundation of a new promotion with Kouji Sugiyama and Kiyomasa Kusatsu.
10/12Tokyo Pro has its first card at Kuramae Kokugikan (old Sumo Hall). Antonio Inoki defeats Johnny Valentine in an upset.
10/24Isao Yoshiwara and Hiro Matsuda start the International Wrestling Enterprise.
11/05Giant Baba & Michiaki Yoshimura defeat Mike Padosis & Fritz Von Goering to win NWA International Tag Team Title. Baba vacates All Asia Tag Team Title.
12/03Fritz Von Erich vs. Giant BabaOn JWA's first card at the Nippon Budokan, Baba defends International Heavyweight Title against Fritz Von Erich. Michiaki Yoshimura & Kintaro Ohki defeat Eddie Morea & Tarzan Zorro to win the vacant All Asia Tag Team Title on the same card.

1967

01/05International Wrestling Enterprise has its first card in Osaka(a combined card with Tokyo Pro). In the main event, Danny Hodge defends NWA World Junior Heavyweight Title against Hiro Matsuda in a draw.
02/17All Japan judo champion Seiji Sakaguchi joins JWA.
03/27BIRTHDAY: Kenta Kobashi [Fukuchiyama, Kyoto]
04/06Japan Pro-Wrestling Commissioner Seijiro Kawashima announces the return of Antonio Inoki to JWA. Tokyo Pro folds soon, and most of its wrestlers join International Wrestling Enterprise.
04/19Japan Women's Pro-wrestling Association is established to unify the women's promotions and the titles. They recognize the titles in three weight divisions: heavyweight, middleweight, and lightweight.
05/26Michiaki Yoshimura & Antonio Inoki defeat Waldo Von Erich & Ike Eakins in Sapporo to win the vacant All Asia Tag Team Title.
06/09KIM Ill (Kintaro Ohki) defeats Mark Lewin in Seoul, SOUTH KOREA to win WWA World Heavyweight Title.
07/28Mike DiBiase defeats KIM Ill (Kintaro Ohki) in Los Angeles to win WWA World Heavyweight Title.
08/14In NWA International Heavyweight Title Match, champion Giant Baba wrestles Gene Kiniski to a draw in front of 20,000 people in the audience at Osaka Stadium.
08/19Yukiko Tomoe defeats Miyuki Yanagi to win the Japanese (women's) Heavyweight Title.
10/06Bill Watts & Tarzan Tyler defeat Giant Baba & Michiaki Yoshimura in Fukushima to win NWA International Tag Team Title,
10/31Giant Baba & Antonio Inoki defeat Bill Watts & Tarzan Tyler in Osaka to win NWA International Tag Team Title. Because of winning the International title, Inoki vacates All Asia Tag Team Title.
11/02International Wrestling Enterprise restart with Thunder Sugiyama and Great Kusatsu with the backup of TBS (Tokyo Broadcasting System).

1968

01/03TBS (Tokyo Broadcasting System) airs an International Wrestling Enterprise card at the Nippon University Hall for the first time. In the main event, the group's top star Great Kusatsu is knocked-out by Lou Thesz's back suplex. On the same day, JWA has a card at Kuramae Kokugikan (old Sumo Hall) with Giant Baba defending NWA International Heavyweight Title against Crusher Risowski in the main event.
01/06Michiaki Yoshimura & Kintaro Ohki defeat Bill Miller & Rick Hunter in Osaka to win the vacant All Asia Tag Team Title.
01/08NWA International Tag Team Title is declared vacant when co-holder Antonio Inoki no-shows the title defense against Crusher Lisowski & Bill Miller in Hiroshima due to heavy snow.
01/10Toyonobori & Thunder Sugiyama defeat Fabulous Kangaroos (Al Costello & Don Kent) in Osaka to win TWWA World Tag Team Title.
01/17Kintaro Ohki(Ill Kim) gives the notice to JWA. Great Togo and Lou Thesz have been trying to take pro-wrestling in Japan over, and Ohki sings the contract with them.
01/24Danny Hodge defeats Lou Thesz in Tokyo to win TWWA World Heavyweight Title.
01/25Kintaro Ohki returns to JWA. Youssef Toruko claims that he stopped the take-over of the puroresu scene by Great Togo and Lou Thesz after going to Togo's hotel room and beating him up.
02/03Giant Baba & Antonio Inoki defeat Crusher Lisowski & Bill Miller in Tokyo to win the vacant NWA International Tag Team Title.
02/19After failing to take puroresu over, Great Togo splits with International Wrestling Enterprise. Four foreign wrestlers, including Lou Thesz, no-show the IWE cards.
03/10Women's Japanese heavyweight champion Yukiko Tomoe becomes the first Japanese to win NWA Women's World Title, defeating Fabulous Moolah in Osaka. Moolah regains the title around 04/01/68. However, Japan Women's Pro-Wrestling Association breaks up after this tour.
04/20Thunder Sugiyama & Rusher Kimura defeat Stan Stasiak & Tank Morgan in Nagoya to win the vacant TWWA World Tag Team Title.
06/25Giant Baba loses NWA International Heavyweight Title to Bobo Brazil in what could be his 22nd title defense.
06/27Giant Baba defeats Bobo Brazil in Tokyo to win NWA International Heavyweight Title.
06/29After the conflict within the Japan Women's Pro-wrestling Association, the Matsunaga Brothers start All Japan Women's Pro-Wrestling with eleven female wrestlers and four midget wrestlers. Matsunaga Brothers and Jack Briton, a Detroit promoter, establish American Girls' Wrestling Association.
07/08Skull Murphy & Klondike Bill defeat Michiaki Yoshimura & Kintaro Ohki in Tokyo to win All Asia Tag Team Title.
07/30Michiaki Yoshimura & Kintaro Ohki defeat Skull Murphy & Klondike Bill in Sapporo to win All Asia Tag Team Title.
09/01Miyuki Yanagi & Kyoko Okada defeat Mary Jane & Lucille Dupre in Tokyo to win AGWA International Tag Team Title.
09/09Mary Jane & Lucille Dupre defeat Miyuki Yanagi & Kyoko Okada in Akita to win AGWA International Tag Team Title.
09/16Aiko Kyo & Miyuki Yanagi defeat Mary Jane & Lucille Dupre in Tokyo to win AGWA International Tag Team Title.
11/09Kintaro Ohki defeats Buddy Austin in Seoul, SOUTH KOREA to win the revived All Asia Heavyweight Title.
11/19Fuji Television Network airs an All Japan Women's card for the first time.
12/19Bill Robinson defeats Toyonobori in the final of 11-man round-robin tournament to become the first IWA World Heavyweight champion.

1969

01/09Wilbur Snyder & Danny Hodge defeat Giant Baba & Antonio Inoki in Hiroshima to win NWA International Tag Team Title.
01/21Michiaki Yoshimura vacates All Asia Tag Team Title when he leaves for the U.S.
02/03Kintaro Ohki & Antonio Inoki defeat Buster Royd & Tom Jones in Sapporo to win the vacant All Asia Tag Team Title.
02/04Giant Baba & Antonio Inoki defeat Wilbur Snyder & Danny Hodge in Sapporo to win NWA International Tag Team Title.
02/11Tadaharu Tanaka defeats Mike Marino in Ichihara to become the first IWA World Mid-Heavyweight Champion.
04/10Kyoko Okada & Aiko Kyo defeat Barba Owens & Kay Noble in Hiroshima to win the vacant AGWA International Tag Team Title.
04/12Toyonobori & Thunder Sugiyama vacate TWWA World Tag Team Title after losing a match to Stan Stasiak & Tank Morgan via DQ in Kumagaya, Saitama.
05/12NET (today's TV Asahi) announces the weekly program for the JWA. From this point, Nippon TV is not to air Antonio Inoki's matches while NET is not allowed to air Giant Baba's matches.
05/18Toyonobori & Strong Kobayashi defeat Monster Rousimoff (Andre the Giant) & Ivan Strogov in Paris, France to be the first IWA World Tag Team champions.
05/19Thunder Sugiyama defeats Bill Robinson in Sendai to win IWA World Heavyweight Title.
07/03Kintaro Ohki vacates All Asia Tag Team Title to concentrate on defending All Asia Heavyweight Title.
08/09Michiaki Yoshimura & Antonio Inoki defeat Crusher Lisowski & Al Mahilik in Nagoya to win the vacant All Asia Tag Team Title.
08/11Crusher Lisowski & Dick the Bruiser defeat Giant Baba & Antonio Inoki in Sapporo to win NWA International Tag Team Title.
08/13Giant Baba & Antonio Inoki defeat Crusher Lisowski & Dick the Bruiser in Osaka to win NWA International Tag Team Title.
08/24National Wrestling Alliance refuses the membership application from International Wrestling Enterprise. IWE president Isao Yoshiwara starts negotiating with Verne Gagne of the American Wrestling Association.
10/10All Asia Tag Team Title is help-up after a match between the champions Michiaki Yoshimura & Antonio Inoki and Buddy Austin & Mr. Atomic in Yamagata.
10/30Michiaki Yoshimura & Antonio Inoki defeat Buddy Austin & Mr. Atomic in Gifu to win the held-up All Asia Tag Team Title.
12/02In the first NWA World Heavyweight Title match in Japan in 12 years, Dory Funk Jr. wrestles Antonio Inoki to a 60min time limit draw to defend the title.
12/08Masked Killer & Masked Marie defeat Kyoko Okada & Aiko Kyo in Tokyo to win AGWA International Tag Team Title.


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