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Mighty Inoue


Real Name - Matsuo Inoue

Birthdate - 4/12/49

5’9” 230 lbs. - Osaka, Fukushima, Japan


Athletic Background - Judo (High School)

Teacher(s) - Hiro Matsuda, Billy Robinson, Matty Suzuki

Professional Background - IWE(`67-`81), Europe, All Japan(`81-`00), NOAH(`00-`10)

AliasesSueo Inoue, Mitsu Inoue, Enzo Inoue, Tonpachi Inoue, Mickey Inoue

Groups - Akuyaku Shokai, Family Gundan

Peak Years - `74-`84


Finisher(s) - 

- Somersault Senton

- Sunset Flip

- Double-Arm Reverse Cradle


Favorites -

- Fireman’s Carry into Gutbuster

- Flying Head Scissors

- Jumping Cross Chop

- Flipover Neck Snap

- Hip Toss




Ringwork Rating - 

 Move Set9
 Science8
 Aerial4
 Power7
 Strikes5


Intangibles Rating - 

 Entertainment5
 Selling7
 Bumping6
 Carrying7
 Heat7
 Legacy5


Place in History - In the years after Rikidozan’s death, pro-wrestling in Japan went through a transition and it was not until Giant Baba and later Antonio Inoki established themselves and their subsequent companies that the sport returned to the popularity it enjoyed in Riki’s day.  That transitional period was not without its own stars and talents.  The IWE was the first viable number two company in Japan and later number three when All Japan and New Japan came into being.  Since history is written by the winners, IWE, a promotion that died in 1981, has never been celebrated.  However, the company was an incredible blend of styles and stars.  Matsuo Inoue came up through that system and was sent abroad to learn.  He returned to Japan with his European experience and quickly became a formidable wrestler due to his technical skill.  Inoue also was able to work well with luchadors and even adopted some of their techniques.  His hybrid style was distinct in that it had more of a European flair than that of his contemporaries.  At that time, the IWE had a formidable roster of both native and foreign talent.  Strong Kobayashi, Thunder Sugiyama, Rusher Kimura and the Great Kusatsu were the featured stars and typically the ones holding or going after the IWA World Championship.  In 1974, Superstar Billy Graham held the title and amazingly the much smaller Mighty Inoue toppled him for the belt.  It was a great underdog story and Inoue held the title for several months with a few defenses.  The run established him as a viable top talent and he and the Great Kusatsu were perennial tag champions in the years that followed.  Like many of the IWE talent, Mighty Inoue was able to easily find a home after the company closed.  When he came to All Japan, Inoue was still in the prime of his career, unlike some of his IWE counterparts.  The company was building its junior heavyweight division and he became a central component working with Chavo Guerrero, Atsushi Onita and Ultraseven.  His ability to adapt his hybrid style made him an ideal opponent and partner for a number of wrestlers.  Although he might not have been pushed like some, Inoue was probably the best all-around talent that came over from the IWE.  Eventually, Mighty Inoue joined up with Rusher Kimura and Giant Baba in their middle-of-the-card tag matches that were mainly older wrestlers doing comedy.  He transitioned to refereeing in time and was among those who left to join NOAH.  He worked for the company for ten years, retiring in the wake of Mitsuharu Misawa’s death and the company’s subsequent decline.  Out of context, Mighty Inoue seems like a curiously named, stocky wrestler with a distinct, but deliberate style that was only fitting for a middling talent.  He was much more than that.  Inoue had an underdog appeal that his plain look and understated in-ring style work for many years.
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