(All photos on this page copyright Masanori Horie)
My Kick A** Photo Gallery Part 1 enjoyed great popularity, and I received a lot of warm suggestions for another photo gallery. Please touch some feelings and emotions from these photos.
Terry Funk debuted as a pro wrestler against Sputnik Monroe at Amarillo Sports Arena in Amarillo, Texas on Tuesday, December 28, 1965. Terry will have the 34th Anniversary of his debut and become a five-decade wrestler four more months later. Terry is not only one of the greatest wrestlers but also an entertaining talker about good old pro wrestling's history.
Kanji "Antonio" Inoki and Original Tiger Mask (Satoru Sayama) had drawn sellout crowds every night when New Japan Pro enjoyed their unprecedented PURORESU boom from 1981 to 1983. Inoki now runs the UFO (Universal Fighting-arts Organization) and is a guardian for the NWA World Heavyweight champion, Naoya Ogawa. Ogawa is scheduled to appear on the NWA 51st Anniversary show at Grady Cole Center in Charlotte, North Carolina on Saturday, September 25, 1999. Sayama runs "Seiken-doh" Wrestling & Boxing, and he had a meeting with the WWF's Victor Quinones in Asahikawa, Hokkaido on Tuesday, August 17, 1999. Sayama is planning to bring WWF wrestlers to his shows at Ariake Coliseum in Tokyo on Saturday, October 2, and at Osaka Furitsu Gym in Osaka on Monday, October 18.
Mick "Cactus Jack / Mankind / Dude Love / Mr. Socko" Foley is always a jovial fellow. Mick has been absent from Japan for over two years since he as Cactus, Terry Funk, and The Gladiator [Mike Awesome] faced Atsushi Onita, Masato Tanaka, and Yukihiro Kanemura at Yokohama Arena on Tuesday, April 29, 1997. Japanese fans are really looking forward to his coming back to Japan in the near future.
Abdullah the Butcher and Hulk Hogan had a brutal feud on New Japan Pro's tour from May 11 to May 28 in 1982. They had a singles match at Osaka Furitsu Gym on May 26. Hogan was pushed as a big drawing card by both Verne Gagne's AWA (American Wrestling Association) and New Japan Pro before he beat Iron Sheik to win the WWF World Heavyweight title at Madison Square Garden in New York on January 23, 1984. New Japan Pro's "World Pro-Wrestling" had been televised at 8:00 p.m. every Friday night from 1972 to 1986 (2:10 a.m. in Tokyo area on early Sunday morning now). Abdullah is still one of the most famous gaijin (foreign) wrestlers in Japan.
Dick Murdoch (Hart Richard Murdoch) died of heart attack on Saturday, June 15, 1996, three weeks after having a classic match with Yoshiaki Fujiwara on Fujiwara's independent show at Korakuen Hall on Thursday, May 23, and two months before celebrating his 50th birthday on August 16. Captain Redneck doesn't rest in peace; I bet he enjoys drinking Coors beer in Heaven over Amarillo, Texas now.
Eiji Ezaki was born in Yatsushiro City, Kumamoto Prefecture on November 29, 1968. Ezaki entered Atsushi Onita's FMW and debuted as a pro wrestler on Sunday, May 5, 1991. Ezaki, as Hayabusa (which means "falcon"), got seasoning in various offices in Mexico such as Benjamin Mora Jr.'s WWA (World Wrestling Association) in Tijuana, Antonio Pena's AAA (Asistencia Asesoria y Administracion), and Francisco Alonso Lutteroth's EMLL (Empresa Mexicana de Lucha Libre), and in independent offices in Florida from fall 1993. Hayabusa showed his huge potential ability against Jushin "Thunder" Liger in the "Super J Cup" junior heavyweight tournament at Ryogoku Kokugikan (Sumo Hall) in Tokyo on Saturday, April 16, 1994, and faced Atsushi Onita in Onita's "retirement" match at Kawasaki Baseball Stadium on Friday, May 5, 1995. Since then, Hayabusa has been a main eventer in the FMW. However, Hayabusa took his mask off and started over as "H" (aitch) at Nakajima Sports Center in Sapporo, Hokkaido on Wednesday, August 25, 1999.
Dory Funk Jr. and Antonio Inoki had one of the greatest matches in Japanese wrestling history at Osaka Furitsu Gym on December 2, 1969. Japanese wrestling fans will never forget about their rivalry. Dory will have his Funking Conservatory III / A Pro-Wrestling School of "Hard Knocks" at Too Your Health Spa II in Ocala, Florida from Monday, September 20 to Saturday, September 25, 1999. Dory said, "We had a great Funking Conservatory I (May 9) and II (August 15 - 20). Some boys should make it very big in the wrestling business." A graduate, Sam Panico, from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, said, "I am very happy with the progress I have made. I learned a lot, not just about wrestling but how to conduct myself in the ring and in public."
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