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Antonio Inoki


Real Name - Kanji Inoki
Birthdate - 2/20/43
5'10" 210 lbs. - Yokohama, Kanagawa, Japan

Athletic Background - Track & Field [High School]; Karate

Teacher(s) - Rikidozan; Karl Gotch

Professional Background - JWA(`60-`66), Nashville(`6?), Tokyo Pro(`66-`67), JWA(`67-`71), New Japan(`72-), NWF(`74), UWA(`79,`82), UFO(`97-`02), IGF(`07-)

Aliases - Kanji Inoki, Tokyo Tom

Groups - none

Peak Years - `65-`76

- Antonio Special/Manjigatame (Octopus Hold)
- Choke Sleeper 
- Cobra Twist 
- Flying Kneedrop 
- Antonio Driver (Half Belly-to-Belly) 
- Bridging Fallaway Slam

- Enzuigiri
- Falling Indian Deathlock
- Back Suplex
- Dropkick
- Knuckle Arrow

Ringwork Rating

 Science 5

Intangibles Rating

 Entertainment 10
 Heat 10 
 Legacy 10 

Place in History - Antonio Inoki's legacy is undeniable. Perhaps the closest person to Rikidozan in modern puroresu, Inoki’s effect on puroresu is beyond comparison. From the Brazil to Japan, Inoki was another Rikidozan find, whose drive to lead became evident early in his pro-wrestling career. Inoki was unafraid to butt heads with promoters because he wanted to do it himself. After a few failed attempts, New Japan finally became a success with Inoki battling men like Karl Gotch, Strong Kobayashi, Seiji Sakaguchi, Kintaro Oki and more legit fighters, namely Muhammad Ali. He also put great emphasis on bringing in big international stars starting with WWWF champion Bob Backlund and becoming a major theme when he organized the annual IWGP tournament. Inoki then shocked the whole wrestling world when he was elected to the House of Commons, which was a first for any pro-wrestler. Inoki continued by taking New Japan to North Korea for two days in front of an unprecedented number of fans. Antonio Inoki’s final match was in 1998, when he defeated UFC great, Don Frye. Inoki’s career in wrestling continued though as he formed UFO, became a matchmaker for Pride, and continued to have a presence in New Japan. Antonio Inoki has many critics, who question his wrestling ability, self-promotion and booking decisions, but no one can question his importance. Inoki is a puroresu icon, who has done more for the genre than anyone this side of Rikidozan.