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Antonio Inoki selected for WWE Hall of Fame

By Zach Arnold | February 9, 2010

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A fascinating move by Vince McMahon on so many levels (from political to historical). Inoki and New Japan had a long-term business relationship with McMahon’s father and Hisashi Shinma, Inoki’s right-hand man in New Japan, was WWF President for many years. Inoki had long-been rumored as helping support then-WWF when WrestleMania hit the ground and then that was it. The WWF would end up working with the All Japan side in 1990 and then SWS in 1991-1992 before working with WAR in 1994 & 1995 through Wally Yamaguchi to help out Gen’ichiro Tenryu.

The most important footnote historically was the promotion of the Inoki/Ali fight via closed circuit in various big American media markets. Different wrestling promoters had different fight cards going on as a lead-in for the broadcasting of the fight. It was one of those once-in-a-lifetime situations that you won’t ever see replicated in modern day pro-wrestling or MMA.

The media spin on Inoki’s entrance into the WWE HOF is that he will be the first Japanese wrestler inducted into it. Inoki met with the press and WWE officials today in Tokyo at a press conference to accept a certificate stating his entrance into the HOF (pictures here and here). The ceremony will take place at the Dodge Theatre on 3/27 in Phoenix.

Given that it’s WWE, I fully expect Yoshi Tatsu (Naofumi Yamamoto) to be Inoki’s presenter.

Topics: Japan, Media, Pro-Wrestling, WWE, Zach Arnold | 8 Comments » | Permalink | Trackback |

8 Responses to “Antonio Inoki selected for WWE Hall of Fame”

  1. kjh says:

    Actually Zach, Inoki’s presenter is scheduled to be Stan Hansen. Dave Meltzer reported this when the news broke last week.

  2. Safari_Punch says:

    The man who taught Hogan how to play the political game finally gets his due.

  3. Bryan says:

    As awesome as that would be for Hansen to induct Inoki, I would pay money to see the confused looks on all of the kids who the WWE markets to these days when botrh of them are on the stage.

  4. David M says:

    Was this meant to be posted on puroresupower? :p

  5. Mark says:

    Forget about Vince and Bret, I’d pay top dollar to see a Vince and Inoki feud. Maybe he’ll do a parachute-in during their Wrestlemania match to kickstart it.

  6. Mr. Mike says:

    And this has what to do with combat sports? Absolutly nothing. Pro-wrestling doesn’t belong on a sports site. It’s about entertainment, no matter how much of a resemblence it has to a real sport.

  7. Alexander says:

    Mr. Mike it has plenty to do. If you read the article, it mentioned Inoki-Ali fight and once in lifetime moment that was pre MMA phase. Next time, try to make intelligent statements instead of trying to play the “Tough MMA only” guy….embarrassing.

  8. Mr. Mike says:

    Nonsense. You can’t understand the point a short paragraph. Nothing to do with tough talk, everything to do with real professional sports and, quite intelligent. It’s the pro wrestling fixation that calls into question the hype machine around the UFC.

    The Ali/Inoki match was a pro wrestling match that turned into a shoot of sorts, but it wasn’t from the real world of sports, just a fluke.

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