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Ryuma Go (1956-2009)

  

Real Name - Hiroshi Yagi

Birthdate - 3/21/1956 - 10/8/2009

6’1” 238 lbs. - Tokyo, Japan


Athletic Background - Wrestling, Baseball

Teacher(s) - Isao Yoshiwara [IWE Dojo]

Professional Background - IWE(`72-`73), Grand Prix(`73), Stampede(`74,`75), Germany(`74), GCCW(`75), IWE(`76-`78), New Japan(`78), Stampede(`79-`80), Europe, Mid-South, Vancouver, Los Angeles(`82), UWF(`84), All Japan(`84-`87), AWA(`87), Pioneer Senshi(`88-`89), Oriental Pro(`92-`93), CWUSA(`93-`94), Go Gundan(`9?-`97), WAR(`94-`99), Wrestle Aid(`04-`05)

AliasesHiroshi Yagi, Mr. Zinn, Super Ninja, Mr. Go, Ninja Go

Groups - International Blood Army

Peak Years - `78-`87

Finisher(s) - 

- German Suplex

- Neckbreaker Lariat

- Half Crab

- Heel Hook

Favorites - 

- Back Suplex

- Gutwrench Suplex

- Fujiwara Armbar

- Bodyslam

- Neckbreaker Lariat


Ringwork Rating - 

 Move Set6
 Science5
 Aerial1
 Power7
 Strikes6


Intangibles Rating - 

 Entertainment6
 Selling7
 Bumping6
 Carrying4
 Heat7
 Legacy4


Place in History - Ryuma Go might be the ultimate cult character in pro-wrestling history; he was this stereotypical pro-wrestler with his black boots and trunks, his crewcut hairstyle and well-muscled build and yet he was a fantastic comic foil.  It was a strange turn of events that led Ryuma Go to that point after a full career with many ups and downs.  Hiroshi Yagi made his start in the IWE in the 1970s when it was the third company.  He went on a traditional learning excursion before returning to the IWE with his new name and a big push.  The IWE was a small pond though and he was lured to New Japan to play an invader role.  Ryuma Go was given a career-making opportunity when he defeated Tatsumi Fujinami for the junior heavyweight title ending the champion’s two-year winning streak.  Although Go only held the title for a few days, the win and quality of the matches made him a superstar.  He left to go abroad again, traveling extensively throughout North America and Europe, but never featured very prominently.  Ryuma Go returned to New Japan and was a solid midcarder.  In retrospect it seems unbelievable, but Ryuma Go left New Japan for the original UWF.  Like Gran Hamada and Rusher Kimura, he was enchanted by the opportunities with the UWF that were never going to come in New Japan, but he did not really fit into the emerging shoot-style scene.  Ryuma Go worked in All Japan for a time, but found his calling working on and helping build the burgeoning independent scene in Japan.  Concurrent with these projects, he was frequently on TV variety shows.  His willingness to play the fool earned him the nickname “Baka” (Japanese for “idiot”) and he was able to build his cult character based on these appearances.  Ryuma Go’s unique star power allowed him to gather sponsors for a series of small, short-lived companies (Pioneer Senshi, Oriental Pro, Go Gundan and Samurai Project).  Go featured himself against Masaji Aoyagi, teamed with Jesse Barr against the Bruise Brothers and even battled aliens over the years in his various promotions.  Pioneer was the most noteworthy and might have been a greater success than it was if Atsushi Onita’s FMW did not start at the same time.  Within a few years, there were numerous independents and Go’s promotions were just one more in the mix.  Even after his TV exposure and promotional opportunities dried up, Ryuma Go was making appearances for small indies like DDT and Union Pro.  His decline late in life was truly tragic.  He was still drinking heavily and was skewered publicly for appearing in a gay porn (although independent wrestling and pornography were not uncommon bedfellows in Japan) and for snatching a lady’s purse at a train station.  After taking a spill on his bicycle, Go suffered a wrist injury that became infected and eventually took his life due to blood poisoning.

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