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Antonio Inoki
(b. 1943)

PuroresuWiki

Real Name: Kanji Inoki
There are several different stories about the origin of his ring name "Antonio":
  • Named by Rikidozan after the legendary Antonino Rocca, who was known in Japan as Antonio Rocca.
  • Given a popular first name in Brazil in order to be pushed as a nisei.
  • Named after Antonius.
Nickname: Moeru Toukon (Fighting Spirit That Burns)
Birth: 1943/02/20 in Yokohama, Japan
Debut: loses to Kintaro Ohki on 1960/09/30 in Tokyo
Organizations: JWA (60 - 66)
Tokyo Pro (66 - 67)
JWA (67 - 71)
New Japan (72 - 98)
Retirement: defeats Don Frye on 1998/04/04 in Tokyo
Titles:
Tournaments:
  • The 11th Annual World Big League (1969 JWA)
  • The 1st Annual NWA Tag League (1970 JWA)
  • The 2nd Annual NWA Tag League (1971 JWA)
  • The 1st Annual World League (1974 New Japan)
  • The 2nd Annual World League (1975 New Japan)
  • Pre-Japanese Championship (1978 New Japan)
  • The 1st Annual MSG League (1978 New Japan)
  • The 2nd Annual MSG League (1979 New Japan)
  • The 3rd Annual MSG League (1979 New Japan)
  • The 4th Annual MSG League (1980 New Japan)
  • The 1st Annual MSG Tag League (1980 New Japan)
  • The 3rd Annual MSG League (1982 New Japan)
  • The 4th Annual MSG League (1983 New Japan)
  • The 5th Annual MSG League (1984 New Japan)
  • The 2nd Annual IWGP Championship League (1984 New Japan)
  • The 3rd Annual IWGP Championship League (1985 New Japan)
  • The 4th Annual IWGP Championship League (1986 New Japan)
Hall of Fame Inductions:

Regardless what the younger generation of puroresu fans say, without Antonio Inoki, the post-Rikidozan puroresu would never been accepted as a "sport" by general public in Japan. Even today, there are many martial art fighters who started training after being inspired by Antonio Inoki's matches.

 

With "King of Sports" and "civil rights for puroresu" as his mottos, Inoki started New Japan Pro-Wrestling in 1972. Since then, he had put his effort to prove that the pro-wrestling is the strongest sport and to raise the status of the sport in the general public in Japan. It's just hard to describe his never ending dreams in right words, especially when his past achievements include things like :

  • having a number of mixed matches against the great fighters of other sports including Willem Ruska (judo gold medalist in the Olympic games in Munich), Muhammad Ali (world boxing champion), Chuck Wepner (whose career Rocky is said to be based on), and Willie Williams (world karate champion),
  • promoting the first/rare pro-wrestling cards in Taiwan, China, and Soviet Union,
  • being the first pro-wrestler in the world to be elected as a congressman of a country,
  • having meetings with the politicians whom the officials from western/democratic nations have rarely met, such as the Hussein family of Iraq and Fidel Castro of Cuba, and
  • promoting the first two pro-wrestling cards in North Korea with the world record crowd of approximately 150,000 and 190,000.
After his retirement in 1998, Inoki has continued to produce interpromotional matches with MMA organizations such as K-1 and PRIDE to keep the tradition of fighting spirit that New Japan Pro-Wrestling seems to have lost.

Match Results


Pictures


Links


[ Hall of Fame ] [ New Japan ]

Credits for pictures and images are given to these sites/people.

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