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Tatsumi Fujinami

        

Real Name - Tatsumi Fujinami
Birthdate12/23/53
5'9" 208 lbs. - Higashi-Kunisaki-gun, Oita, Japan

Athletic Background - n/a

Teacher(s) - Karl Gotch, Antonio Inoki

Professional Background - JWA(`71), New Japan(`71-`06), UWA(`75-`82), Mid-Atlantic(`75), WWF(`7?-`81), NWA(`77), WWF(`84), Memphis(`88), WCW(`90-`92)

AliasesDr. Fujinami

Groups - none

Peak Years - `82-`88

Finisher(s) - 
- Dragon Sleeper
- Figure-Four Leglock
- Dragon Suplex
- Scorpion Deathlock
- Flying Kneedrop

Favorites -
- Dragon Screw Legwhip
- Cobra Twist Clutch
- Abdominal Stretch
- Dropkick
- Leg Kick

Ringwork Rating - 

 Move Set10
 Science9
 Aerial4
 Power8
 Strikes8

Intangibles Rating - 

 Entertainment8
 Selling10
 Bumping8
 Carrying9
 Heat10
 Legacy9

  
Place in History - Tatsumi Fujinami is easily in the top ten workers Japan has ever produced and in the the 1980s many could argue he was the best. He really got his break with Antonio Inoki's New Japan as it was starting up and spent much of the 70s gaining seasoning in Mexico and North America. When he returned to Japan, he was a marvel. With an exceptional good physique, an innovative offense combined with an en vogue one and a nice push, Fujinami became New Japan's top junior in the early days of that division. While people might cite Tiger Mask as the break through junior, really it was Fujinami, but it was a different time. He bulked up and began competing as a heavyweight and all but replaced Inoki on top. A tremendously popular and gifted worker, he had fantastic battles with Akira Maeda, his arch-rival Riki Choshu and Inoki himself. Fujinami began to slow in the mid-90s, but competed through and beyond the decade still with success. In recent years his MUGA shows, where they work 70s style matches, revitalized that style. He and Osamu Nishimura have really worked hard to carry on that style into the new millennium. Interestingly enough, the style that Fujinami played a major part in making unfashionable through the matches of his youth are the type of matches he is trying to make fashionable again. Tatsumi Fujinami could be and should be remembered as one of the premier workers of his day who was a crucial trendsetter in the glory days of New Japan.
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