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Isamu Teranishi


Real Name - Hitoshi Teranishi

Birthdate - 1/30/46

5’9” 220 lbs. - Izumi, Toyama, Japan

Athletic Background - Sumo

Teacher(s) - n/a

Professional Background - Tokyo Pro(`66), IWE(`66-`81), New Japan(`81-`85), All Japan(`85-`93), New Japan(`95), Social Pro(`96-`97)


Groups - International Blood Army, Ishingun

Peak Years - `75-`81

Finisher(s) - 
- Waterwheel Drop

Favorites -

- Grounded Stepover Double Armbar

- Suicide Dive

- Bodyslam

- Backdrop

- Dropkick

Ringwork Rating - 

 Move Set8

Intangibles Rating - 


Place in History - It is curious how one’s legacy can be bolstered merely by their association with a group that he a cult-like following.  Wrestlers from ECW in the US, W*ing in Japan were able to secure big breaks because of the popularity of the companies they worked for and not so much their contributions to that company.  Isamu Teranishi was one of the many IWE stars of the 1970s who was able to work another decade in the top two companies because of his IWE affiliation.  That being said, Teranishi was not an talentless lout, he was a skilled scientific wrestler within a company of charismatic characters like Rusher Kimura, Strong Kobayashi, Animal Hamaguchi and Goro Tsurumi.  Isamu Teranishi was a struggling sumo in the 1960s when Toyonobori split from the established JWA to form Tokyo Pro.  Teranishi made his start with the short-lived company, but ultimately found himself in the IWE.  He became one of the pro-wrestlers most associated with the IWE and represented in future invasion angles after its death and even a revival show much later.  However, Teranishi was never a top star in the IWE.  A fairly plain junior heavyweight, he developed a reputation as a mat wizard.  Feuding with Jiro Inazuma (Gerry Morrow) and Rick Martel, Teranishi was an impressive talent in his era.  Despite never touring internationally, he worked on the mat as well as any of the Europeans and was no stranger to Mexican highflying maneuvers.  Unfortunately, his work does not look like much through modern eyes.  When the IWE folded, Teranishi was among those who joined New Japan.  While not as colorful as Rusher Kimura or Animal Hamaguchi, Teranishi was an outsider and garnered some interest.  Respected as the “Mat Magician,” Teranishi was perfect for working with the junior heavyweights of the era like Tatsumi Fujinami and Tiger Mask.  That aside, he was only ever going to be supporting player, mainly tagging with Animal Hamaguchi in the midcard.  When Riki Choshu led a group of pro-wrestlers from New Japan to invade All Japan, many saw it as an opportunity to be relevant, partnering with the hottest star in Japan.  Teranishi mainly worked tags with his fellow Ishingun partners.  He was still solid on the mat, but the increasing tempo of the action was making he and some of his contemporaries look slow and plodding.  When Riki Choshu left All Japan in 1987, Teranishi was among those who stayed with All Japan.  He was in his forties and was one of the original group of veterans that worked tag matches together that became a staple of All Japan’s undercards.  Isamu Teranishi continued to appear in the 1990s, but in minimal roles that tended to play to nostalgia.  While not the biggest star of his era or even his company, Teranishi is among those stalwart grapplers who a generation of fans grew up watching and remembered fondly for years after.