Antonio Inoki

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Ionkiism.com


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

Aliases - Kanji Inoki

Athletic background - Track (High School)

Teachers - Rikidozan

Professional background - JWA(`60-`66), Tokyo Pro(`66-`67), JWA(`67-`71), New Japan(`72-`98), Ohio(`74)

Groups - none

Peak Years - `65-`76

Career Highlights -
- Defeats the great Johnny Valentine on the debut card of his Tokyo Pro show
- Forms New Japan Pro-Wrestling, which will become the biggest wrestling promotion in the world
- Has the world's "first" mixed martial arts match again Muhammad Ali and they battle to a draw
- Defeats Ric Flair in North Korea, in front of the largest crowd ever to watch a wrestling event
- Wins his retirement match against Don Frye in front of allegedly 70,000 people

Finisher(s) -
- Choke Sleeper
- Antonio Special (Octopus Hold)
- Cobra Twist
- Flying Kneedrop
- Antonio Driver

Favorites -
- Enzugiri
- Indian Deathlock
- Back Suplex
- Dropkick
- Arrow Knuckle

Ringwork Rating -
technique - 7
science - 5
counters - 6
transitions - 5
diversity - 6
power - 8
strikes - 7

Intangible Rating -
entertainment - 8
selling - 7
bumping - 6
carrying - 6
heat - 10
legacy - 10

Place in History - Antonio Inoki's legacy is undeniable. Perhaps the closest person to Rikidozan in modern puroresu, Inokiís 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, Shozo Kobayashi, Seiji Sakaguchi, Kinataro Ohki 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 Inokiís final match was in 1998, when he defeated UFC great, Don Frye. Inokiís career in wrestling continued though as he formed UFO, became a matchmaker for Pride, and continued to have an unofficial role in New Japan. Antonio Inoki has many critics, who question his wrestling ability and promotion and booker 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.

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