Bill Goldberg -

Bill Goldberg -


He was an immediate success, capturing the World Championship within a year of his debut in the sport. He became the biggest name in all of professional wrestling until an injury threatened to cut short his career.

divider-1Bill Goldberg
Real Name: William Scott Goldberg
Stats: 6′ 4″ 295 lbs.
Born: December 27, 1966

Bill Goldberg
 followed in the long path of wrestlers who have made the transition from the gridiron to the squared circle and become a wrestling star – he just did so faster and to a greater magnitude than anyone else in history. In only his second year in the business, Goldberg became the biggest name and biggest star in the business.

Goldberg was never a wrestling fan growing up, but instead focused most of his attention on football. Born in Tulsa, Oklahomahe attended Tulsa Edison High School, where he played football as a linebacker and was a talented amateur wrestler. After high school, Goldberg attended the University of Georgia on a football scholarship, where he continued to display his athletic abilities on the field, being named as an All-SEC Nose Guard. 

When his career as a Bulldog was over, he eyed stardom in the National Football League. Drafted in the 11th round (301st overall) of the 1990 NFL Draft by the Los Angeles Rams, he spent time with the team as well as with the Sacramento Surge of the World League of American Football. Eventually he caught on with the Atlanta Falcons in 1992 and played for the team for two years before suffering a torn abdominal muscle which put him out for the 1994 season. He was signed by the Carolina Panthers in 1995, but could not rebound from the injury sufficiently enough to play. He was thus forced to retire from football.

While in a bar a year later, Goldberg met Diamond Dallas Page. Page was impressed with his size and look and recommended that he take a look at a career in professional wrestling. Later, Goldberg was working out in a gym owned by Lex Luger and Sting and was further convinced by Sting to take a chance in the squared circle. After months of training in the WCW Power Plant, Goldberg appeared in a nationally televised fight against Roddy Piper. Months later, he made his official professional debut in World Championship Wrestling against Hugh Morrus, pinning the 300 pound wrestler. The next year and a half would be one of the most remarkable in professional wrestling history.

Goldberg began quickly mowing down his opponents with his patented spear and jackhammer combination. Eventually he got his chance at the gold when he wrestled Raven for the WCW United States title. Showing little nervousness in his first title match, he quickly overpowered Raven and pinned him for the title belt. With his reputation and winning streak growing, everyone looked forward to a showdown between Goldberg and Hollywood Hulk Hogan for the WCW World Heavyweight championship. In front of a red hot crowd in Atlanta, Georgia on July 6, 1998, Goldberg speared Hogan and then hit the Jackhammer to obtain the pinfall. With the championship belt around his waist, he was now the biggest name in the sport and finished the year as the PWI Rookie of the Year. Goldberg’s meteoric rise in WCW was unprecedented, as he went on a legendary winning streak of 173 consecutive victories without a single loss

Over the next year, Goldberg found himself battling members of the NWO and other wrestlers striving for his title. Finally, Kevin Nash, after interference from Scott Hall (who used a tazer on Goldberg), was able to pin the champion. Goldberg subsequently placed himself in a hunt to reclaim his gold, often taking on various factions of the NWO. During one of these confrontations, Goldberg ran out into the parking lot of an arena and punched his fist through the windshield of a car. In doing so, he suffered a cut to his arm that took almost 190 stitches to close and which almost hit a nerve, seriously placing his career in jeopardy. For almost six months he was forced to the sidelines and relegated to making publicity appearances and participating in the many charities supports. Finally after a lot of speculation that he might not be able to make it back to the ring, he did so in June 2000 to a great ovation from his fans.

In 2001, WCW was purchased by WWE, and Goldberg eventually made his WWE debut in 2003. He had a memorable run with the company, capturing the World Heavyweight Championship and engaging in memorable feuds with some of the biggest names in the industry, including The Rock, Triple H, and Brock Lesnar.

Goldberg left WWE in 2004, taking a hiatus from professional wrestling to pursue other interests, including acting. He appeared in several films and television shows, such as “The Longest Yard,” “Universal Soldier: The Return,” and the reality TV show, “Bullrun.”

Goldberg married Wanda Ferraton, a stuntwoman, in 2005. The couple has one son, Gage, who was born in 2006. Goldberg’s devotion to his family has been a driving force in his life, and he often cites them as his primary motivation for returning to the ring.

During his time away from wrestling, Goldberg also became an advocate for animal welfare and environmental causes. He worked with organizations such as the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) and the Humane Society, using his fame to bring attention to the plight of animals in need.

In 2016, Goldberg made a triumphant return to WWE, embarking on a series of high-profile matches and capturing the WWE Universal Championship. This final run in the company further cemented his legacy as one of the most dominant and beloved figures in professional wrestling history.

Throughout his career, Goldberg has been widely respected for his work ethic, intensity, and dedication to his craft. He has been recognized with numerous awards and accolades, including multiple championships and a 2018 induction into the WWE Hall of Fame. However, his career was not without controversy. Many wrestlers soured with his immaturity and failure to recognize that his success was due in large part to the large push he was given by WCW management and the willingness of his fellow wrestlers to put him over, despite his limitations in the ring. He got into numerous backstage scrapes (including famously with Chris Jericho) and was een as sloppy and careless in the ring. In a match at Starrcade 1990, Goldberg kicked Bret Hart so hard in the head that Hart suffered a concussion so severe that it effectively ended his career. He was also very outspoken politically what turned off numerous fans. However, most people who knew him described as a very nice, genuine person.

Bill Goldberg’s journey from professional football to wrestling superstardom was atypical for a professional wrestler. He became the biggest name in the sport and was able to parlay that into an entertainment career beyond wrestling. But he is often remembered as a wrestler who was able to expand beyond his technical and verbal limitations in the short-term, but was unable to extend his popularity over the long run of his career.


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Konnan -

Konnan -

He is one of the most popular, Mexican wrestlers to ever set foot in the ring but is known North of the border as one of the most outspoken, straightforward stars in the sport.

Real Name: Carlos Ashenoff
Stats: 5′ 10″ 245 lbs.
Born: June 6, 1964

While he is considered by many a mid-level star in the United States, Carlos Ashenoff was the most popular wrestler of the 1990’s in Mexico. Throughout the 1990’s he was such a popular gate attraction that he was mentioned in the breaths as Mexican legends such as El Santo, Mil Mascaras and Perro Aguayo and he was able to crossover into musical and television success.

Carlos Ashenoff was born in Cuba in 1965 and moved to Miami as a young child. After high school, he enrolled in the United States Navy where he became an outstanding boxer and was named to the U.S. Navy Boxing Team. His time spent in the ring helped him to gain a great deal of notoriety and attention from members of the sports and entertainment community and he was approached about pursuing a career in professional wrestling. In 1987 a Mexican wrestling promoter discovered him in San Diego, California and brought him down to Tijuana, Mexico to began his training. Training alongside currents stars like Rey Mysterio and Psychosis, Charles was schooled in the art of high-flying Lucha Libre.

At 5′ 10, 245 lbs., Konnan was much larger than his counterparts but possessed great speed, quickness and athleticism. As such, he was able to compete on their levels but completely outclassed them with his brute strength. Working up and down Northern Mexico and Southern California he gained early experience and refined his skills. Finally he moved on to the number two promotion in Mexico, the Universal Wrestling Alliance. Donning a mask, he took the name Konnan, based on Arnold Schwartzennegar movie character Conan the Barbarian. Soon thereafter he moved over to EMLL promotion where he wrestled alongside Mexicans greats, including Rey Mysterio, Sr. (with whom he teamed in the 1990 Starcade pay-per-view event.) His career continued its upward flight as he faced Perro Aguayo in their famous mask vs. hair match. Aguayo won the match, and Konnan was forced to give up his mask.

Without his mask, Konnan wrestled briefly in the CMLL promotion and then traveled to the United States where he performed as Max Moon. He also made stops in several Japanese promotions (FMW and New Japan Pro Wrestling) before returning back to Mexico. He soon ventured over to the AAA promotion where he engaged in a bitter feud with Cien Caras. In the biggest match of the year in front of almost 50,000 fans in the Plaze de Toros stadium in Mexico City, Caras defeated Konnan when Jake the Snake Roberts interfered with the match. Although the stimulation for the match was that the loser must retire, Konnan refused to do so because of Roberts interference. In 1994 he came back to face Roberts in a hair vs. hair match in Tijuana, Mexico. Having become friend and tag team partner with Aguayo, Konnan shocked AAA fans when he turned on him and joined with the infamous Los Gringos Locos, a group composed of Art Barr, Eddy Guerrero and Louie Spicolli. The group bragged about the imminence of the United States and degraded the Mexican fans about their country. This created the biggest sensation in Mexican wrestling in years. It climaxed during AAA’s first pay-per-view event, “When Worlds Collide” which took place in Los Angeles on November 6, 1994. In the main event of the pay-per-view, Konnan was battered and bloodied in a cage match against Aguayo and came out of the match the loser.

During his career in Mexico, Konnan was a media star, featured in a television soap opera as well as promoting a rap album he performed on. Frenzied crowds flocked to see him wherever he was and his popularity was rivaled that of American sports and music stars. His loss to Aguayo, however, signaled a turning point in his career as he left Mexico and entered Extreme Championship Wrestling. Although he gained a following in ECW as he battled against the Sandman, he soon moved on to World Championship Wrestling where many believed he would gain stardom and on January 29, 1996, he defeated the One Man Gang to win the WCW United States Heavyweight championship (which he ultimately lost six months later to Ric Flair at the Bash at the Beach pay-per-view in Daytona Beach, Florida). Over the next few years there were numerous changes in the lineup in WCW and Konnan was often on the wrong end of the backstage politics, thus limiting his opportunity to excel in WCW. He did, however, capture the WCW World Television title (defeating Chris Jericho in Chattanooga, Tennessee on November 30, 1998) and later teamed with Rey Mysterio Jr. to take the WCW Tag Team belts from Harlem Heat. He also was a member of the New World Order group that threatened to take over WCW and his influence with hip-hop lingo carried over to almost everyone in the company. Unfortunately, he suffered numerous setbacks from injuries and personality conflicts with WCW management and his pushes seemed to get derailed. He remains very popular with fans and is now receiving credit for his influence behind the scenes and is poised to continue his success in the future.

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Chyna -


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Chyna -

She is the Ninth wonder of the world, and has become a favorite amongst women (and men) throughout the wrestling industry and beyond. Able to dominate the women’s division, she turned her sites towards the men’s division to become a force to be reckoned with.

Real Name: Joanie Laurer
Stats: 5′ 10″ 200 lbs.
Born: December 27, 1971

In the history of professional wrestling, never has a female wrestler had the impact that Chyna has with her entrance into the sport. Billed as 6′ 0″, 200 lbs.(actually 5′ 10″), the muscularly imposing woman so dominated the ring that she quickly jumped from women’s competition in order to fight with the big boys.

Joanie Laurer was an intelligent and athletic student in high school and at the University of Tampa where she majored in Spanish and Literature. Fluent in several languages, she spent time after college serving in the Peace Corps and contemplated where her life would take her. Capable of entering many different fields, she was drawn to follow her interest in physical fitness. She trained for physical fitness contests and was very active in the weightroom. Eventually she found her way into a wrestling school where she came under the tutelage of wrestling legend Killer Kowalski.

In 1997, Hunter Hearst Helmsley was looking for a bodyguard as he entered a feud with Goldust (Dustin Runnels) and Goldust’s manager Marlena (Terri Runnels). He looked to Kowalski’s school, where he had trained years earlier, to “recruit” Laurer (in reality, the two had been dating in real life for some time). Her size, strength and poise caused her to be feared by men and women alike throughout the World Wrestling Federation, so much so that she was openly referred to as “the Ninth Wonder of the World.”

Chyna began interfering in matches as a member of Degeneration X, often throwing low-blows to the male opponents in the ring, helping to secure important, albeit tainted, victories for her team. Often the men would confront her but were too “chivalrous” to physically attack her. This changed when an irate Ken Shamrock suplexed her during a nationally televised match. She finally got an opportunity to test her mettle against a male opponent as she took on Val Venis in a match in June of 1999 when she scored a pinball after delivering a face buster to Venis.

Her new success led her to enter the King of the Ring tournament where she was defeated by the Road Dogg, but she moved up the charts as a serious competitor to males in the WWF. Finally, in October of 1999, she got the opportunity she was looking for, a shot at a WWF title belt, this time the Intercontinental Championship held by Jeff Jarrett. In a huge upset at the No Mercy pay-per-view, Chyna upset Jarrett to become the first woman to hold a WWF title.

In addition to her success in the ring, Chyna became very popular amongst female fans because of her willingness to break through the glass ceiling and compete on the same playing field with the “big boys.” Here popularity allowed her to crossover into acting where she became a favorite guest star on the “3rd Rock from the Sun” television show. She has also put out a fitness video and appeared on many talk shows discussing her life and the obstacles she has faced. Although not entirely comfortable with being viewed as a role model, she found atisfaction in knowing that younger women followed her lead in maintaining a healthy self-esteem and going after their dreams.

At her young age, Chyna could dominate the women’s division for years to come – but she has already had a far greater impact on the sport of professional wrestling.

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Curt Hennig -

Curt Hennig -

In the scope of wrestling history he may not go down as one of the elites of all time, but for a period of time he was perfect. A second generation wrestler, he seemed to be on the path towards multiple championships in the bigger wrestling promotions but always seemed held back behind the bigger stars.

Real Name: Curt Hennig
Stats: 6′ 3″ 235 lbs.
Born: March 28, 1960

As second generation wrestlers go, Curt Hennig was destined for greatness. He grew up idolizing his father the great Larry “the Axe” Hennig and had as his best friend since high school Ravishing Rick Rude. With such talent surrounding him, how could he possibly miss?

Curt’s father Larry was one of the top competitors in the AWA, teaming with Harley Race to win three AWA World Tag Team championships. In 1978, Larry turned his attention to working with Verne Gagne to train their respective sons, Curt and Greg Gagne. After months and months of hard work, Curt debuted in 1979 and achieved early success by teaming with a young Scott Hall and defeating Jimmy Garvin and Steve Regal for the AWA World Tag Team belts on January 18, 1986.

On May 2, 1987, Curt entered the ring to face AWA World Champion Nick Bockwinkel. Controversy surrounded the outcome of the match as it appeared that Hennig was handed a roll of quarters by Larry Zbyscko and used it to knock Bockwinkel out cold. Ignoring the controversy, Curt defended the title for more than a year against such combatants as Bockwinkel, Greg Gagne, Wahoo McDaniel and Baron Von Rasche. Finally on May 9, 1988, Hennig traveled to Memphis, Tennessee where the hometown hero, Jerrry Lawler, turned the tables on the champion and defeated Hennig for the belt.
Without a title belt, Hennig decided that a change of scenery would be beneficial and he moved to the Northeast and in the fall of 1988 entered the World Wrestling Federation under the guise of “Mr. Perfect.” The WWF set the stage for his debut by creating videoclips of him excelling in numerous sports as the “complete athlete.” In 1989, Hennig, angry that he was not given a shot at the title shot against the promotion’s champion (Hulk Hogan), destroyed the championship belt and began a feud that lasted for much of the fall. After obtaining the services of Booby Heenan as his manager, Hennig entered a tournament for the vacant Intercontinental title belt in April 1990. Hennig defeated Tito Santana in the finals to become the Intercontinental champion. After losing the belt to Kerry Von Erich in August, Hennig recaptured it in a rematch on November 19, 1990. His title reign lasted for almost nine months before he was defeated by Bret Hart on August 26, 1991 at the 1991 SummerSlam Pay Per View event in New York. During the match, Curt reinjured a lingering back injury and was forced to take some time off to heal.
In late 1991 he returned as an advisor to Ric Flair. As Flair’s “Executive Consultant,” Hennig helped the “Nature Boy”to win the WWF Heavyweight championship. Their partnership seemed solid until Randy Savage asked Hennig to serve as his partner against Flair and Razor Ramon. By accepting the invitation, he thereby severed all ties with Flair. In January 1993, Hennig defeated Flair in a “loser leaves the WWF match.” While this seemed to set the stage for a big push for Curt, his back injury flared up again and he was forced to take more time off.
Hennig returned in 1995 as a color commentator at the 1995 Survivor Series matchup. In 1996, Curt served as Hunter Hearst Helmsley’s manager, but left the WWF and entered World Championship Wrestling a year later as Diamond Dallas Page’s tag team partner against Scott Hall and Randy Savage. He later took over Arn Anderson’s spot in the fabled “Four Horsemen” when Arn was forced by injuries to retire. He turned his back on the Horsemen, however, when he joined forces with he NWO at the 1997 Fall Brawl. Later that night, he defeated Steve McMichael to win the WCW United States title. He lost the belt three months later to Diamond Dallas Page, and then struggled with a knee injury for much of 1998 (although he faced WCW champion Bill Goldberg, losing both matches).
1999 started well for Hennig as he teamed with Barry Windham to briefly capture the WCW Tag Team championship. Knee injuries again forced him out of action and he was limited to non-wrestling roles for most of the year. The year 2000 was no better for him and he was eventually released by the promotion and began headlining a number of independent wrestling shows.

Many felt it was a great shame that Curt Hennig’s career was hampered by so many injuries. A great technical wrestler, he at time was among the premier performers in the business. While history may never know how great he might have become, it should judge him positively based on his talent and achievements.

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Antonio Inoki -

Antonio Inoki -

He was so beloved by his fans that they elected him to the Japanese parliament after he retired from the ring. What he did inside of the ring made him a respected statesman and a great champion for professional wrestling.

Real Name: Kanji Inoki
Stats: 6′ 1″ 240 lbs.
Born: February 20, 1943

Antonio Inoki is one of wrestling’s all-time greatest competitors, teachers, and promoters, as well as serving as wrestling’s Ambassador to the World. The noble and refined inoki has made it his career-long goal to bring respect to, and acceptance of, puroresu (Japanese pro wrestling) in the mainstream. Although some accuse Inoki of having the biggest ego in wrestling, eclipsing even the Hulkster…those people could not be further from the truth. The reality is, Inoki is a man with a vision…and, oftentimes, if you want something done right, you do it yourself. Inoki has done more to help wrestling than nearly anyone in the history of the sport. He loves pro wrestling deeply…and even used the slogans “King of Sports” and “Civil Rights For Puroresu” as the mottos of New Japan Pro Wrestling when he started the federation in 1972.

Antonio Inoki, born as Kanji Inoki on February 20, 1943, spent his early years in Yokohama, Japan. His family faced financial difficulties during his childhood, and Inoki also had to deal with bullying due to his mixed Japanese and Brazilian ancestry. Despite these challenges, Inoki was determined to rise above his circumstances and find success.

Inoki’s dedication and talent paid off, as he made his professional wrestling debut later that same year against Kintaro Oki. He quickly established himself as a formidable competitor, and his reputation grew within the wrestling community. In the years that followed, Inoki would go on to build an illustrious career as a professional wrestler, promoter, and innovator, leaving a lasting impact on the sport in Japan and around the world.

Inoki’s interest in professional wrestling was sparked by Rikidōzan, who is widely considered the father of Japanese professional wrestling. Rikidōzan’s impact on the sport in Japan inspired Inoki to pursue a career in wrestling, setting him on the path that would ultimately lead to his legendary status in the industry.

In 1960, at the age of 17, he began training under the tutelage of Toyonobori, a former sumo wrestler, and Karl Gotch, a European wrestling expert. Gotch, who was renowned for his technical wrestling skills and knowledge, helped Inoki hone his in-ring abilities, particularly in catch wrestling and submission techniques. This training laid the foundation for Inoki’s innovative “strong style” that later came to define his wrestling career and impact Japanese professional wrestling as a whole.Their guidance helped Inoki develop his wrestling skills, including his technical prowess and mastery of submission techniques.

Inoki’s dedication and talent paid off, as he made his professional wrestling debut later that same year against Kintaro Oki. He quickly established himself as a formidable competitor, and his reputation grew within the wrestling community. In the years that followed, Inoki would go on to build an illustrious career as a professional wrestler, promoter, and innovator, leaving a lasting impact on the sport in Japan and around the world.

On September 30, 1960 he made his pro wrestling debut, losing to Kintaro Ohki. The name “Antonio” is said to have been given to him by his mentor and hero Rikidozan, after the legendary Antonio Rocca. Before forming N.J.P.W., Inoki wrestled for the N.W.A.’s Japan Wrestling Association (J.W.A.). During those years, he gained valuable experience and learned great deal about the sport. But in 1966, he decided to try wrestling for Tokyo Pro, a rival of the JWA. Inoki’s relationship with Tokyo Pro didn’t last long, though, and by 1967 he was back with the JWA until he left to create New Japan Pro Wrestling.

Inoki founded New Japan Pro Wrestling (NJPW) in 1972, a promotion that would go on to become one of the most successful and influential organizations in professional wrestling. Inoki’s vision for NJPW was to create a platform for showcasing the best wrestling talent in Japan and from around the world, with a unique style that would set it apart from other promotions.

Inoki’s experience as a wrestler and his training under Karl Gotch and Toyonobori greatly influenced the style of wrestling he wanted to promote in NJPW. He emphasized the “strong style,” which combined elements of martial arts, catch wrestling, and traditional professional wrestling. This innovative approach was characterized by hard-hitting strikes, submission holds, and a focus on realism, setting NJPW apart from other wrestling organizations of the time.

Under Inoki’s leadership, NJPW quickly gained popularity and began attracting top talent both domestically and internationally. The promotion forged relationships with other major wrestling organizations, such as the National Wrestling Alliance (NWA) and the World Wrestling Federation (now WWE), which enabled NJPW to feature high-profile matches and cross-promotional events.

Throughout the years, NJPW has been home to many legendary wrestlers, including Tatsumi Fujinami, Riki Choshu, Shinya Hashimoto, Keiji Mutoh, and Hiroshi Tanahashi. The promotion has also been a breeding ground for the development of new stars, such as Kazuchika Okada, Tetsuya Naito, and Kota Ibushi.

The founding of NJPW not only provided an opportunity for Japanese wrestlers to compete at the highest level, but it also allowed the unique strong style to gain worldwide recognition. NJPW’s continued success and influence are a testament to Inoki’s vision and dedication to elevating the sport of professional wrestling.

Although Inoki was often linked as a rival of Baba,  he engaged in numerous high profile programs with other wrestlers that were considered some of the rivalries in Japanese wrestling history. Inoki’s feud with Indian-Canadian wrestler Tiger Jeet Singh during the 1970s was an intense and heated rivalry. Their matches were known for their brutal, no-holds-barred style, with both competitors using weapons and engaging in bloody battles. His rivalry with American wrestler Stan Hansen in the late 1970s and early 1980s was marked by hard-hitting and physical matches. The intense battles between these two warriors showcased the strong style that Inoki helped popularize in Japan, and their matches were highly regarded by fans and critics alike. In the 1980s, Inoki had an intense feud with Riki Choshu, another top star in Japanese wrestling. Their rivalry saw them clashing over various titles, including the NWF Heavyweight Championship, and their matches featured a blend of technical wrestling and brawling. This feud helped solidify both wrestlers’ legacies as icons of Japanese professional wrestling. Finally, in the late 1980s and early 1990s, Inoki engaged in a rivalry with Tatsumi Fujinami, one of NJPW’s rising stars. Their matches showcased the best of Japanese professional wrestling, with a focus on technical ability and hard-hitting action. This feud helped establish Fujinami as a top wrestler and further cemented Inoki’s legacy as a living legend.

These rivalries, among others, contributed to Inoki’s status as a trailblazer in the world of professional wrestling. They allowed him to showcase his unique “strong style” and helped popularize the sport in Japan and around the globe.

During his long and successful career, Inoki won numerous titles…the NWA Texas Heavyweight title (under the somewhat insulting name of Tokyo Tom) in 1964, the NWA (Texas) World Tag Team title in 1965, the NWA (Tenn.) World Tag Team title (w/Hiro Matsuda), 4 All-Asian Tag Team titles (w/Michiak Yoshimura), 4 NWA International Tag Team titles (w/Giant Baba), and the NWA United National title in 1971. He also went on to win the National Wrestling Federation (N.W.F.) World Heavyweight title 4 different times between 1973-1981 as well as the N.W.A. North American Tag Team title twice, the U.W.A. (Mexico) World Heavyweight title, and also the I.W.G.P. Heavyweight championship, among others. 

Many times throughout his career he has faced champions of other sports (Judo Gold Medal winner Willem Ruska, World Karate champion Willie Wlliams, and boxer Chuck Wepner) in an effort to bring credibility to the sport of wrestling. In 1976 he fought his famous (although somewhat disappointing) “Boxer vs. Wrestler” match with World Boxing champion Muhammed Ali. Although the match was fairly uneventful, it did give pro wrestling an aura of legitimacy.

Antonio Inoki - Muhammad Ali - wrestlingbiographies.comAs a promoter, Inoki is a genuine trailblazer — bringing pro wrestling to countries like Russia, China, Korea, and Taiwan that had never had a pro wrestling event in their country, or even seen the sport on TV. The two cards he promoted in Korea drew crowds (with a little help from the Korean gov’t.) of 150,000 and 190,000! Talk about bringing wrestling to the world…


In 1979, Inoki was involved in a very controversial title switch involving Bob Backlund and the WWF Heavyweight title. On November 30, 1979 in Tokushima, Japan, Backlund was pinned by Inoki for the WWF title. The next day, the two wrestlers had a rematch, and this time Backlund regained the title. However, the WWF President Hisashi Shinma declared the match a “no-contest” because of interference from Tiger Jeet Signh. Shinma awarded the title back to Inoki, who refused to accept the championship. A match between Backlund and “Big, Bad” Bobby Duncum (of all people) on December 12, 1979 in New York City took place to decide the winner of the “held up” WWF title, with Backlund winning.

Ironically, American fans never knew of the controversy in Japan, and thought the Backlund/Duncum match was just a regular monthly title defense for Backlund. The WWF has never acknowledged the title switch, and to this day does not count Inoki as a former WWF Heavyweight champion.

The “Collision in Korea” was a historic professional wrestling event held over two days, April 28 and 29, 1995, in Pyongyang, North Korea. Organized by Antonio Inoki, the event was a joint production between his New Japan Pro Wrestling (NJPW) and the American promotion World Championship Wrestling (WCW). The event was officially titled “International Sports and Cultural Festival for Peace” and aimed to promote peace and diplomacy through sports, particularly professional wrestling.

The event took place at the May Day Stadium, drawing a massive crowd, reportedly over 150,000 people on each day, making it one of the largest audiences ever recorded for a professional wrestling event. Many top stars from both NJPW and WCW participated in the event, including Ric Flair, Scott Norton, Shinya Hashimoto, and Kensuke Sasaki, among others.

One of the most notable matches of the event was the main event on the second day, where Antonio Inoki faced Ric Flair. This match was significant not only due to the high-profile nature of the two competitors but also because it symbolized the collaboration between Japanese and American wrestling promotions. Inoki emerged victorious in the match, further solidifying his status as a legend in the wrestling world.

The Collision in Korea event was a unique and ambitious effort to use professional wrestling as a means to bring people together and promote peace. The event’s success and historic nature have left a lasting impact on the world of professional wrestling, and it remains a testament to Inoki’s vision and influence in the industry.

In the early 1980s, Antonio Inoki was involved in a scandal related to his professional wrestling promotion, New Japan Pro Wrestling (NJPW). The scandal was centered around Inoki’s alleged connections with the infamous Japanese yakuza (organized crime syndicates). It was claimed that Inoki had sought financial support from yakuza members to help fund NJPW events and maintain the promotion’s operations.

The scandal came to light in 1981 when the tabloid magazine Shukan Gendai published an article accusing Inoki of having ties with the yakuza. The accusations had a significant impact on Inoki’s reputation and the public perception of NJPW at the time.

In response to the allegations, Inoki held a press conference in which he denied any involvement with the yakuza. Although no concrete evidence was produced to prove Inoki’s direct connections with the criminal underworld, the scandal tarnished his image and cast a shadow over his otherwise impressive career.

Despite the controversy, Inoki managed to overcome the scandal, and NJPW continued to grow and thrive in the years that followed. 

Inoki transitioned from professional wrestling to politics in the early 21st century, leveraging his fame and popularity to enter the world of Japanese politics. In 1989, Inoki founded the Sports and Peace Party and ran for a seat in the Japanese House of Councillors but was unsuccessful in his bid. However, his political aspirations did not end there.

In 1995, Inoki ran again, this time as an independent candidate, and was elected to the House of Councillors, serving as a member of Japan’s National Diet for a six-year term. During his tenure in office, Inoki focused on issues related to sports, culture, and diplomacy, continuing the themes that had defined his wrestling career.

In addition to the “Collision in Korea” event, Inoki made numerous trips to North Korea as part of his diplomatic efforts. He also established the Antonio Inoki Peace Foundation, an organization dedicated to fostering peace through sports and cultural exchanges.

Though Inoki did not seek re-election after completing his term in the House of Councillors, his political career demonstrated his commitment to using his influence to promote peace and diplomacy, particularly through the medium of professional wrestling and sports in general.

Inoki was married twice and has children from both marriages. Inoki’s first marriage was to a woman named Tazuko, with whom he had two children: a daughter named Hiroko and a son named Hiroaki. Hiroaki, who was born in 1972, followed in his father’s footsteps and pursued a career in professional wrestling under the ring name “Kendo Kashin.” Hiroaki gained success in the wrestling world, winning several championships in different promotions throughout his career.

In 2000, Inoki married his second wife, Mitsuko Baisho, a Japanese actress known for her work in both film and television. The couple has a daughter together named Maria Inoki, who was born in 2001. Despite the high-profile nature of Inoki’s career, his family has generally maintained a private life away from the spotlight.

Antonio Inoki -

In addition to his immediate family, Antonio Inoki has a brother named Simon Inoki (real name: Kenji Inoki), who also had a career in professional wrestling and later became an executive in the wrestling industry. Simon Inoki played a significant role in the operation of NJPW Antonio sold the promotion in 2005.

Inoki converted to Shia Islam in 1990 during a pilgrimage to Karbala, the Shiite holy city in Iraq. Hdescribed himself as both a Muslim convert and a Buddhist

Antonio Inoki died on On October 1, 2022, at age 79, Inoki died from systemic transthyretin amyloidosis.

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He is the self-described hardest working man in the business and has had one of the strangest journeys towards success in recent memory. Through hard work and unyielding determination, he pushed himself to the heights of the industry.

Real Name: Page Joseph Falkenburg
Stats: 6′ 5″ 253 lbs.
Born: April 5, 1956

The saga of Diamond Dallas Page seems more akin to a Horatio Alger tale than a wrestling biography. Although flavored with grandiosity and passion, it is the story of a man’s dedication and determination to become a star in professional wrestling despite the odds and the naysayers standing in his way.
Dallas Page was born Page Falkenburg in 1956. Standing 6′ 5″ and weighing 253 lbs., he used his physical stature to keep patrons in line as the owner of a Florida night club. Attracted to the glamour and lucrative nature of the professional wrestling industry, Page took a gamble and decided to move North to Minnesota and entered the American Wrestling Association. Having sent audio tapes to the promotion as part of his application, he was hired as a color commentator for the promotion’s broadcasts. Soon he looked at one of the tag teams working within the promotion and decided that he wanted to serve as their manager. Under his guidance, the team of Badd Company (Paul Diamond and Pat Tanaka) quickly became the AWA tag team champions. His early success prompted a number of performers to seek out his services and soon he was managing a number of performers, including Madusa and Curt Hennig.

In light of this success, it surprised many when Page left the AWA and ventured down to the Florida Championship Wrestling territory where he served as a color commentator alongside the legendary Gordon Solie. In addition to this new job, he actually sought work in other wrestling promotion (including the World Wrestling Federation and World Championship Wrestling). When Florida Championship Wrestling closed down, he joined WCW as an announcer and eventually was called upon to serve as a manager again, this time for the Fabulous Freebirds. The Freebirds were comprised of Michael P.S. Hayes and Ron Garvin and in 1991 they succeeded in winning the NWA tag team title. Page next took on a young wrestler named Scott Hall who then performed under the moniker “the Diamond Studd.” Accompanied to the rings each night by a bevy of “Diamond Dolls,” Page often became physically active in helping Hall. As a result, several people recommended that he enter the WCW Power Plant training school and learn the ropes of performing inside of the ring. He did so and saw his first “official” mat action on November 18, 1991 as Hall’s tag team partner against Kevin Sullivan and the Assassin. After a year of very limited success, his career was put in jeopardy when he tore the rotator cuff in his shoulder in a match against Shanghai Pierce and was put out of action for 11 months. He was subsequently released by WCW.

Undaunted, Page determined to continue improving his character and sought the help of Jake “the Snake” Roberts. Roberts advised on the psychological aspects of the business and after his injury had healed he made his way back to WCW, which was now under the direction of his former announcing partner Eric Bischoff. Bischoff saw talent in Page and took a gamble on him, giving him a minor push along with a bodyguard and a valet (his real-life wife Kimberly) who was referred to as the Diamond Doll. He finally found his first bit of success at the 1995 Fall Brawl pay per view event where he defeated the Renegade to gain the WCW television title. Just when it seemed he was climbing the ladder towards success, he was booked in some of the most ridiculous and embarrassing angles in recent memory (including one where he stole Kimberly’s $1 million in bingo winnings and then lost it all). Losing feuds to Johnny B. Badd (Marc Mero) and the Booty Man (Ed Leslie), Page seemed to be back at square one in his career.

Despite being named Pro Wrestling Illustrated’s 1995 Most Improved wrestler, at 39 years of age, most thought he would remained a glorified lower-card performer destined for oblivion. Page, however, would not give up on his career and fortunately for him, neither did Eric Bischoff. Bischoff allowed Page to enter the Battle Bowl tournament and Page shocked everyone when he won the competition and became “Lord of the Ring.” Capitalizing on this success, Page began to engage in outstanding bouts against Eddie Guerrero and Marcus Bagwell.

In 1996, Scott Hall returned to WCW along with Kevin Nash and turned the wrestling world on its ear. They teamed with Hulk Hogan to form the New World Order, which threatened to destroy WCW. Having spent earlier periods of his career working with Hall and wrestling against Nash, Page seemed a likely candidate to become a new member of the NWO. He refused to join them, however, and began a year long, pitched battle against members of the NWO. After a series of brutal feuds with Savage (voted PWI 1997 Feud of the Year), Page defeated Curt Henning to win the WCW United States title on December 28, 1997. He subsequently defended the title against all comers, including Chris Benoit and Raven, and utilizing his new finishing move (called the Diamond Cutter) Page quietly became one of the most popular wrestlers in WCW. After losing the U.S. strap to Raven, he reclaimed it six months later from Bret Hart. Finally, he felt he had reached a point where he could demand a shot at the top belt in the business, the WCW Heavyweight championship which was held by Hulk Hogan. WCW used his ties with the entertainment industry to team up on one occasion with NBA All Star Karl Malone and on another with television host Jay Leno to take on Hogan and his partner, basketball star Dennis Rodman.

Having gained a great deal of notoriety, Page was finally elevated to the top of the industry and shocked a great many when he won a four-way dance matchup against Hogan, Sting and Ric Flair on April 11, 1999 in Tacoma, Washington. After losing the belt two weeks later to Sting, he reclaimed it in an impromptu four way match against Sting, Kevin Nash and Goldberg. Unfortunately, backstage politics undermined his title reign and he lost the belt to Kevin Nash a few weeks later. As poor booking and backstage powerplays caused WCW’s television ratings to plummet, Page saw less and less time in the main event and he seemed to be a forgotten man for the rest of 1999. He did not remain idle, however, and starred in a movie, Ready to Rumble, along with David Arquette and in the spring of 2000 found himself back in the title hunt capturing the WCW Heavyweight again. Injuries, however, forced him to take some time off to heal and he was forced to reevaluate his next steps in the business.

No matter what he future holds for him, Dallas Page has proven his critics wrong and has achieved more than anyone thought possible. His drive towards success and his work ethic has set a standard for young performers entering the sport. He has truly proved to be a diamond in the rough.

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The Macho Man, Randy Savage. After a brief carrer as a minor league baseball player, Savage joined his father and brother in the ranks of Professional Wrestling and became one of the most pooular wrestlers of his era.

Real Name: Randy Poffo
Stats: 6′ 2″ 237 lbs.
Born: November 15, 1952

A second generation wrestler, “the Macho Man” Randy Savage has one championship has worn more than five different championship belts. The son of Wrestling Hall of Famer Angelo Poffo and brother of “Leaping” Lanny Poffo, was at one time the most athletically gifted individuals in all of Professional Wrestling. This athleticism was demonstrated during several years spent as a professional baseball player on the minor league teams of the Cincinatti Reds, St. Louis Cardinals and Chicago White Sox, during which time he once finished third in the league in home runs and runs batted in.

After wrestling alongside of and sometimes against his father and brother, Randy entered the World Wrestling Federation where he was courted by all of the top managers in the organization. He suprised everyone when he rejected their offers to sign on with an unknown, the Lovely Miss Elizabeth. In truth, Elizabeth was not only known to Randy, she was in fact his wife. Through her coaching and his talent he secured the WWF Intercontinental Championship by defeating Tito Santana for the belt in 1986.

After losing the Interciontinental Champioship title to Ricky “the Dragon” Steamboat in what many contend was the greatest wrestling match of the 1980’s, Savage claimed the WWF Heavywight title at Wrestlemania IV by defeating Ted Dibiase.He lost the title at Wrestlmania V to Hulk Hogan and later went into a semi-retirement.

In front of more than 60,000 fans at the Indianappolis Hoosierdome, Savage defeated Ric Flair to regain the Heavyweight championship belt. In recent years, Savage has moved on the wrestle in the WCW, where he was able to win that organizations Heavyweight Championship.

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Jaguar Yokota -

Jaguar Yokota

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Jaguar Yokota -


She began wrestling at a mere 16 years old, but quickly demonstrated that she would become a dominant figure in the world of Japanese wrestling. Over the next forty years, she would have an impact as great as anyone in the industry.

Real Name: Rimi Yokota
Stats: 5′ 3″ 128 lbs.
Born: July 25, 1961

Jaguar Yokota, born Rimi Yokota on July 25, 1961, in Tokyo, Japan, is a retired professional wrestler and trainer. She is widely regarded as one of the most influential and skilled female wrestlers in the history of professional wrestling. Information about her early life is somewhat limited, but it is known that she had an interest in sports and athletics from a young age.

Yokota started her professional wrestling training at the age of 15 when she joined All Japan Women’s Pro-Wrestling (AJW). She received her training at the All Japan Women’s Pro-Wrestling (AJW) dojo, which was renowned for its intense and challenging training environment. The AJW dojo was responsible for producing many of Japan’s most successful and skilled female wrestlers, including Yokota herself.

During her time at the AJW dojo, Jaguar Yokota was trained under the guidance of experienced trainers and wrestlers who helped her develop the foundation for her wrestling career. While specific trainers who worked with her are not widely documented, she was likely trained by some of the top wrestlers and trainers associated with AJW at the time.

Yokota’s training focused on technical wrestling, mat-based grappling skills, and aerial maneuvers. She developed an innovative and diverse moveset, which included a wide array of suplexes, submission holds, and high-flying moves. Her in-ring abilities and wrestling style were a testament to the quality of her training at the AJW dojo.

Her success as a wrestler and her influence on the generations of wrestlers that followed can be traced back to her rigorous training at the AJW dojo. This foundation allowed her to become one of the most highly regarded female wrestlers in the history of professional wrestling.

Jaguar Yokota’s career in professional wrestling was marked by numerous accomplishments and her innovative wrestling style. She made her professional wrestling debut on July 28, 1977, just a few days after her 16th birthday. She quickly gained a reputation for her athleticism, technical wrestling skills, and innovative moves, which would later help her become one of the most successful and respected wrestlers in the history of Japanese women’s wrestling.

In the early years of her career, Yokota focused on developing her in-ring abilities and refining her wrestling style. She competed in singles and tag team matches, showcasing her versatility as a wrestler. Yokota’s innovative moves and technical prowess allowed her to rise through the ranks in the Japanese women’s wrestling scene.

Yokota’s first major championship victory came when she won the AJW Junior Championship in 1979. This marked the beginning of her ascent to the top of the women’s wrestling scene in Japan. In 1980, Yokota captured the prestigious WWWA World Single Championship, a title she would hold multiple times throughout her career. As a tag team wrestler, she also won the WWWA World Tag Team Championship on several occasions with different partners, including Devil Masami and Lioness Asuka.

Throughout her wrestling career, Jaguar Yokota engaged in several intense rivalries that contributed to her legendary status in the wrestling world. One of Yokota’s most famous rivals was Devil Masami. They had a series of highly competitive and physical matches that showcased their contrasting wrestling styles. Yokota’s technical and high-flying style clashed with Masami’s power moves, making their encounters highly entertaining and intense. Their rivalry helped elevate both wrestlers’ status in the Japanese women’s wrestling scene.

Yokota and Lioness Asuka had a storied rivalry that produced several classic matches. Their matches were highly acclaimed for their technical skill and athleticism, and they pushed each other to their limits in the ring. In addition to their singles rivalry, Yokota and Asuka were also tag team partners, winning the WWWA World Tag Team Championship together. Another notable rivalry of Jaguar Yokota was with Chigusa Nagayo, one of the most popular female wrestlers in Japan during the 1980s. They had several hard-fought matches, showcasing their skills and determination to be the best in the wrestling world. Their rivalry further solidified Yokota’s status as a top wrestler in Japan.

Yokota also had a fierce rivalry with the villainous Dump Matsumoto. Their matches often featured a classic good versus evil dynamic, with Yokota as the heroic, technically skilled wrestler against the brutal and rule-breaking Matsumoto. This rivalry added a unique dimension to Yokota’s career and showcased her ability to engage in different styles of wrestling.

These rivalries played a significant role in shaping Jaguar Yokota’s career, and they helped to elevate both her and the entire Japanese women’s wrestling scene. The intense matches and memorable feuds with her rivals showcased Yokota’s exceptional in-ring abilities and her willingness to push the boundaries of women’s wrestling.

Jaguar Yokota’s illustrious career in professional wrestling is marked by numerous awards and accolades. Some of her most notable achievements include:

In 1979, Jaguar Yokota captured the AJW Junior Championship, marking the beginning of her rise to prominence in the Japanese women’s wrestling scene. Throughout her career, Yokota won the prestigious WWWA World Single Championship multiple times, solidifying her status as one of the top female wrestlers in Japan. As a tag team wrestler, Jaguar Yokota won the WWWA World Tag Team Championship on several occasions, partnering with different wrestlers such as Devil Masami and Lioness Asuka. During her second run in professional wrestling after coming out of retirement in 1995, Yokota captured the JWP Openweight Championship, showcasing her ability to compete at a high level despite her time away from the ring.

In 1998, Jaguar Yokota was inducted into the Wrestling Observer Newsletter Hall of Fame, recognizing her incredible career and contributions to the wrestling industry. In 2019, Yokota received the Women’s Wrestling Award from the Cauliflower Alley Club, a non-profit fraternal organization consisting of retired professional wrestlers, boxers, and actors. This award acknowledges her significant impact on the world of professional wrestling. These awards and accolades highlight Jaguar Yokota’s remarkable career and her influence on women’s professional wrestling, showcasing her as one of the greatest female wrestlers in history.

Yokota initially retired from wrestling in 1985 due to a back injury. At the time, she was only 24 years old and had already established herself as one of the top female wrestlers in Japan. Her first retirement came at a relatively young age, but by then, she had already left an indelible mark on the wrestling world.

Jaguar Yokota - wrestlingbiographies.comA decade after her initial retirement, Jaguar Yokota made a successful comeback to professional wrestling in 1995. Despite being away from the ring for ten years, she continued to compete at a high level and captured the JWP Openweight Championship during her second run. She also played a role as a mentor to a new generation of female wrestlers and showcased her in-ring prowess against younger talents.

Jaguar Yokota retired for good in 2002, ending her storied career as one of the most influential and skilled female wrestlers in the history of professional wrestling. Since her final retirement, Yokota has occasionally appeared at wrestling events and conventions, connecting with fans and maintaining her connection to the wrestling industry.

Jaguar Yokota’s innovative wrestling style and technical prowess influenced many wrestlers who came after her. She is often credited with popularizing several moves that are now commonplace in professional wrestling, such as the sitout powerbomb and the double underhook suplex.
Throughout her career, Yokota earned a reputation as one of the greatest female wrestlers in the history of professional wrestling. Her legacy continues to inspire future generations of wrestlers, and she is remembered for her contributions to the growth and development of women’s wrestling in Japan and worldwide.

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Manami Toyota -

Manami Toyota

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Manami Toyota -


In 2009, she was voted by readers of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter as the greatest female professional wrestler to ever live. Years later, many far and wide continue to hold her in such high regard.

Real Name: Manami Toyota
Stats: 5′ 6″ 159 lbs.
Born: March 2, 1971

Manami Toyota, born on March 2, 1971, in Masuda, Shimane, Japan,  is widely regarded as one of the greatest female wrestlers of all time.

Toyota attended Yoshida Junior High School in her hometown and gained an enormous interest in professional wrestling at an early age. She received her training at the All Japan Women’s Pro-Wrestling (AJW) dojo, which was renowned for producing some of Japan’s most successful and skilled female wrestlers. The dojo provided an intense and challenging training environment for aspiring wrestlers, where they learned the fundamentals of professional wrestling and developed their in-ring abilities.

During her time at the AJW dojo, Toyota was trained under the guidance of experienced trainers and wrestlers who helped her lay the foundation for her wrestling career. Her training emphasized technical wrestling, aerial maneuvers, and mat-based grappling skills. She was known for her high-flying moves, lightning-fast speed, and seemingly endless array of suplexes, which were a testament to the quality of her training at the AJW dojo. She developed developed her signature style and a diverse moveset that earned her the nickname “The Flying Angel.” The skills she acquired at the AJW dojo paved the way for her to become one of the most highly regarded female wrestlers in the history of professional wrestling.

Toyota made her professional wrestling debut on August 5, 1987 at the age of 16, just a few months after joining the AJW dojo. As a newcomer in AJW, she initially wrestled in lower-card matches, where she gained valuable experience and honed her skills. She competed in both singles and tag team matches, showcasing her versatility as a wrestler and quickly gained a reputation for her athleticism, high-flying moves, and technical prowess, which eventually led to her becoming one of the most celebrated female wrestlers in the history of professional wrestling. Her unique combination of athleticism, speed, and technical ability quickly helped her stand out as a promising talent in the world of Japanese women’s wrestling. In the early stages of her career,

In 1989, Toyota began teaming up with Toshiyo Yamada, forming a successful tag team partnership that would last for several years. The duo captured the AJW Tag Team Championship and the WWWA World Tag Team Championship multiple times, solidifying their status as a top-tier tag team in Japanese women’s wrestling.

Throughout her early career, Toyota continued to improve and refine her in-ring abilities, capturing the attention of both fans and wrestling critics. By the early 1990s, she had emerged as one of the premier wrestlers in AJW and had begun to capture singles titles as well.

One of her most notable early achievements was winning the IWA World Women’s Championship in 1990, which marked the beginning of her ascent to the top of the women’s wrestling scene in Japan. This early success was just the start of Toyota’s illustrious career, which would see her win numerous championships and accolades, and cement her status as one of the greatest female wrestlers of all time.

Throughout her career, Toyota captured the WWWA World Single Championship on multiple occasions, proving her dominance as one of the top female wrestlers in Japan. Manami formed a successful tag team partnership with Toshiyo Yamada. Together, they won the AJW Tag Team Championship and the WWWA World Tag Team Championship multiple times, becoming one of the most dominant tag teams in the promotion. She also  won the prestigious Japan Grand Prix tournament in 1995, which was a testament to her incredible in-ring skills and her status as one of the top female wrestlers in Japan.

Throughout her career, Toyota was involved in several matches that received a five-star rating from wrestling journalist Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter. These matches showcased her exceptional in-ring abilities and the high quality of women’s wrestling in Japan during her career.

oyota had several rivalries with other wrestlers that helped define her legacy. Although Toyota and Toshiyo Yamada were successful tag team partners, they also had a fierce rivalry as singles competitors. They faced each other in multiple singles matches, which showcased their incredible chemistry and in-ring abilities. Their match at the AJW Wrestlemarinepiad 1992 event, where Toyota defended her IWA World Women’s Championship against Yamada, received a five-star rating from Meltzer.

Aja Kong was another prominent rival of Toyota. Their matches were intense, hard-hitting encounters that showcased their contrasting styles, with Toyota’s high-flying and technical prowess against Kong’s power and striking ability. Their rivalry produced several memorable matches, which further elevated both wrestlers’ status in the Japanese wrestling scene.

Toyota had a long-standing rivalry with Kyoko Inoue, another top female wrestler in Japan during the 1990s. Their matches were highly competitive and showcased both wrestlers’ athleticism and technical skills. Their rivalry produced several classic matches, and their encounters were highly regarded by both fans and wrestling critics.

Akira Hokuto was another notable rival for Manami Toyota. They had several highly acclaimed matches, including their encounter at the AJW Destiny event in 1995. Their matches showcased the intensity and physicality of women’s wrestling in Japan during that era and further solidified Toyota’s reputation as a top wrestler.

These rivalries played a significant role in shaping Manami Toyota’s career and helped to elevate both her and the entire Japanese women’s wrestling scene. The intense matches and memorable feuds with her rivals showcased Toyota’s exceptional in-ring abilities and her willingness to push the boundaries of women’s wrestling.

Toyota’s storied career in professional wrestling is marked by numerous awards and accolades. Some of her most notable achievements and honors include:

Toyota captured the IWA World Women’s Championship in 1990, marking her rise to prominence in the Japanese wrestling scene. Manami won the prestigious WWWA World Single Championship multiple times, solidifying her status as one of the top female wrestlers in Japan. As a tag team wrestler, Toyota won the WWWA World Tag Team Championship on multiple occasions, primarily with her partner Toshiyo Yamada. Their success as a tag team was a key aspect of her career. Toyota and Yamada also captured the AJW Tag Team Championship multiple times, further cementing their status as one of the most dominant tag teams in Japanese women’s wrestling history. Toyota also won the prestigious Japan Grand Prix tournament in 1995, a testament to her incredible in-ring skills and her status as one of the top female wrestlers in Japan.

In 2002, Toyota was inducted into the Wrestling Observer Newsletter Hall of Fame, recognizing her incredible career and contributions to the wrestling industry.

These awards and accolades highlight Manami Toyota’s remarkable career and her impact on the world of professional wrestling, showcasing her as one of the greatest female wrestlers of all time.

Manami Toyota officially retired from professional wrestling on November 3, 2017, after a 30-year career. Her retirement event, titled “Manami Toyota Last Match ~ Toyota Sama no Inu no Ie,” took place at the Yokohama Cultural Gymnasium in Yokohama, Japan.

The event featured a series of matches in which Toyota competed against several wrestlers from different generations. These matches served as a tribute to her impact on the wrestling industry and as a showcase of the wrestlers she had influenced throughout her career. Some of the wrestlers who participated in Toyota’s retirement event included Aja Kong, Toshiyo Yamada, Tsukasa Fujimoto, and Mima Shimoda, among others.

Manami Toyota’s final match saw her team up with her longtime rival and tag team partner, Toshiyo Yamada, to face the duo of Mayumi Ozaki and Yumiko Hotta. This tag team match was a fitting end to her illustrious career, allowing her to share the ring with her legendary tag team partner one last time.

After retiring from active competition, Toyota has occasionally appeared at wrestling events and conventions, connecting with fans and maintaining her connection to the world of professional wrestling. Her career highlights emphasize Manami Toyota’s remarkable achievements and her status as one of the greatest female wrestlers in the history of professional wrestling.

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Chigusa Nagayo -

Chigusa Nagayo

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Chigusa Nagayo -


She was a member of the Crush Gals, one of the greatest female tag teams in wrestling history, but as a wrestler and a promoter, she has had a huge impact on the sport of professional wrestling.

Real Name: Chigusa Nagayo
Stats: 5′ 5″ 192 lbs.
Born: December 8, 1964

Chigusa Nagayo was born on December 8, 1964, in Ōmura, Nagasaki, Japan. She was the youngest of four children. Her father was a farmer and her mother was a housewife. Nagayo was a shy and quiet child who was bullied by her older siblings and classmates. She found solace in watching professional wrestling on television. When Nagayo was 14 years old, she saw a professional wrestling match for the first time and was immediately hooked, deciding that she wanted to become a professional wrestler.

She began training as a professional wrestler in 1980 at the All Japan Women’s Pro-Wrestling (AJW) dojo. She trained under the legendary joshi trainer, Kazuo Yamazaki. Yamazaki was known for his brutal training methods, which included running, weight training, and endless drills. Nagayo was one of the few wrestlers who could withstand Yamazaki’s training.

Nagayo’s training was also very technical. She learned all the basic moves of professional wrestling, as well as more advanced moves like suplexes and moonsaults. She also learned how to take bumps and how to sell moves. The training was very hard, but she was a natural athlete and she quickly learned the skills she needed to be a successful professional wrestler.

Nagayo debuted on August 8, 1980, for All Japan Women’s Pro-Wrestling (AJW) against Yukari Omori. She cried upon losing and was scolded by Tommy Aoyama, a member of the Queen’s Angels, who was retiring that night. Through 1981, she only wrestled eight times due to the promotion having too many wrestlers. Her early career was marked by a series of setbacks. She lost her first several matches and was often injured and was criticized for her lack of charisma. However, she persevered and gradually began to improve.

In 1982, Nagayo formed a tag team with Lioness Asuka. Known as the Crush Gals, they quickly became one of the most popular tag teams in AJW. They won the AJW Tag Team Championship on several occasions. They were extremely popular during the 1980s and are considered one of the most influential female tag teams in the history of professional wrestling. Both wrestlers had successful individual careers, but their partnership as The Crush Gals truly elevated them to legendary status. Their high-energy matches, combined with their distinctive personalities and looks, quickly made them fan favorites. The Crush Gals’ popularity extended beyond the wrestling ring, as they released multiple pop albums and appeared in various media outlets. As a tag team, The Crush Gals won the WWWA World Tag Team Championship on three occasions, defeating top teams of their era. Their intense and hard-hitting matches against rivals like The Jumping Bomb Angels (Noriyo Tateno and Itsuki Yamazaki) and The Glamour Girls (Leilani Kai and Judy Martin) are still remembered as some of the most exciting bouts in women’s wrestling history. The Crush Gals’ popularity and success in the 1980s helped raise the profile of women’s professional wrestling, not only in Japan but around the world. Their matches inspired a new generation of female wrestlers, and their influence can still be felt in the wrestling industry today.

Nagayo also enjoyed success as a singles wrestler. She won the AJW Women’s World Championship on three occasions and also won the AJW Tag Team Championship with Aja Kong.

Chigusa, as part of The Crush Gals and as an individual wrestler, was involved in several notable rivalries throughout her career. These rivalries not only showcased her in-ring talent but also helped elevate women’s professional wrestling in Japan and beyond. Some of the most famous rivalries involving Chigusa Nagayo include:

In addition to her tag team rivalries, Chigusa Nagayo also had notable individual feuds, one of which was with Dump Matsumoto. Matsumoto, a fierce and dominant heel, often clashed with Nagayo in brutal and highly emotional matches. This rivalry highlighted Nagayo’s fighting spirit and resilience, as she often stood up against the larger and more aggressive Matsumoto.

Another significant individual rivalry for Chigusa Nagayo was against Devil Masami. Both wrestlers were highly skilled and pushed each other to their limits in their matches. This rivalry showcased Nagayo’s technical abilities and her capacity to perform in high-pressure situations against top-tier opponents.

These rivalries played a significant role in defining Chigusa Nagayo’s career and helped establish her as one of the greatest female wrestlers of all time. The intensity and passion displayed in these feuds also contributed to the growing popularity and recognition of women’s professional wrestling during the 1980s and beyond.

Chigusa Nagayo is known for being relatively private about her personal life. However, there are some aspects of her life outside of wrestling that have been documented. Nagayo was married to fellow professional wrestler Kazuo Yamazaki, with whom she had a son. The couple later divorced.

Chigusa Nagayo has had an illustrious career in professional wrestling, earning numerous awards and accolades for her accomplishments in the ring. Some of the most notable awards and achievements she has received include:

Wrestling Observer Newsletter Awards:

1984 Rookie of the Year
1987 Most Outstanding Wrestler
1987 Best Babyface (shared with Lioness Asuka as part of The Crush Gals)
1985, 1986, and 1987 Feud of the Year (Crush Gals vs. Dump Matsumoto and her allies)

Championships and accomplishments in All Japan Women’s Pro-Wrestling (AJW):

3-time WWWA World Tag Team Champion (with Lioness Asuka)
2-time WWWA World Single Champion
AJW Champion
1987 Japan Grand Prix Winner

Pro Wrestling Illustrated (PWI) ranking:

No. 169 in 1991, making her one of the highest-ranked female wrestlers on the list that year.

Hall of Fame inductions:

Wrestling Observer Newsletter Hall of Fame (Class of 1996)
AJW Hall of Fame (Class of 1998)

Chigusa Nagayo’s retirement from professional wrestling took place on April 3, 2002. The event was held in Tokyo at the Nippon Budokan arena and marked the end of her storied in-ring career. Her final match was a six-person tag team match, where Nagayo teamed up with Meiko Satomura and Ayako Hamada to face Mayumi Ozaki, Lioness Asuka, and Sugar Sato.

Nagayo’s retirement was a significant moment in the world of women’s professional wrestling, as she had been an influential and pioneering figure in the industry for over two decades. Her contributions to the sport, both as a wrestler and a mentor, helped shape the future of women’s wrestling and inspired countless wrestlers to follow in her footsteps.

Chigusa Nagayo - wrestlingbiographies.comAlthough Nagayo retired from in-ring competition, she remained involved in the wrestling industry. In 1995, she co-founded GAEA Japan, a women’s wrestling promotion, which operated successfully until it closed in 2005. In 2015, she founded another women’s wrestling promotion, Marvelous, further demonstrating her ongoing commitment to the growth and development of women’s professional wrestling.

Chigusa Nagayo’s retirement marked the end of an era, but her impact on the world of professional wrestling continues through her work as a promoter and mentor to the next generation of female wrestlers.

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