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Kim Duk

      

Real Name - Masanori Toguchi

Birthdate - 2/7/48

6’5” 275 lbs. - Tokyo, Japan


Athletic Background - Judo, Basketball [High School]

Teacher(s) - Kintaro Oki, Karl Gotch, Dory Funk Jr.

Professional Background - JWA(`68-`72), Tri-State(`73-`74), AWA(`74-`76), Indianapolis(`74-`75), St. Louis(`74-`76), All-South(`74), Dallas(`75), Florida(`75-`76), All Japan(`76-`81), Georgia(`77), Mid-Atlantic(`77), All Japan(`79), IWE(`78-`81), Germany(`80), New Japan(`81-`85), Mid-South(`81), Portland(`81-`82), Kansas City(`82), WCCW(`83), WWF(`83-`88), Stampede(`86), WWC(`90-`91), New Japan(`91-`92), W*ing(`92-`93), UWA(`93-`94), WAR(`94-`95), All Japan(`01), Indies(`09-`10)

AliasesMasanori Taguchi, Tiger Toguchi, Tiger Lee Chang, Tiger Chung Lee, Ultra Seven, YAMATO, Ai Oni

Groups - Ishin Gundan

Peak Years - `76-`83


Finisher(s) - 

- Tombstone Driver

- Double-Arm Suplex


Favorites -

- Butterfly Suplex

- Shoulderbreaker

- Vertical Suplex

- Overhead Forearm

- Chop



Ringwork Rating - 

 Move Set6
 Science2
 Aerial0
 Power7
 Strikes


Intangibles Rating - 

 Entertainment5
 Selling7
 Bumping7
 Carrying6
 Heat6
 Legacy4


Place in History - Pro-wrestling in Japan has had an incredible number of Zainichi Koreans that have been major players in the pro-wrestling.  Most downplayed their Korean heritage.  One was willing to play that role of a Korean villain when traveling abroad and found success in doing so, however he returned to Japan and did not bring his Korean persona back with him.  Instead, he became Tiger Toguchi; it is a curious element of puroresu that is not often explored.  Masanori Taguchi was a young judoka who followed the legendary Korean wrestler Kintaro Oki into the JWA.  There is a tale that his initiation, which was concurrent with the controversial jump of Seiji Sakaguchi from judo to pro-wrestling, was delayed and Taguchi was sent to South Korea to study until the heat died down.  After all that, he trained, worked the undercards and then headed to the United States.  In Los Angeles, he became Kim Duk and frequently teamed with Kinji Shibuya to transform into a heel from the Far East.  While Pak Song might have made a bigger impression during that same period, Kim Duk was more of legitimate athlete who employed the whole chop n’ salt routine, not all that different than Shibuya, Masa Saito or Toru Tanaka.  In the late 1970s, he returned to Japan for Baba in good spot, frequently partnered with Kintaro Oki or major gaijins on top.  Although Tiger Toguchi had his time in main event matches, he was a decidedly second tier star in Japan.  He frequently returned to the United States, until he landed a slot in the WWF as Tiger Chung Lee, although playing his same Korean heel character.  The unimpressive run probably tainted his legacy in the eyes of many, but Kim Duk was not a total bust in the States.  He landed some roles in some well-known movies and had some success in few smaller territories and most notably as Boris Malenko’s Korean assassin in Mid-Atlantic battling Wahoo McDaniel.  He went on to work on top in Puerto Rico and Mexico before returning to Japan.  Kim Duk was in the twilight of his career and yet he had some success in smaller promotions to cap off a career that spanned five decades.  

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