Relive some of craziest outbursts of the two-time Hall of Famer "The Nature Boy" Ric Flair.02/24/2017 - 12:15
As WWE continues its global search for prospective Superstars, WWE Vice President of Talent Development Canyon Ceman visits Singapore and The Philippines to scout the local independent scene.02/23/2017 - 13:00
WWE uses cutting-edge production equipment to present sports-entertainment to the WWE Universe, but occasionally pays an expensive price when that gear comes into contact with an angry Superstar. Count down the 10 most destructive moments of Superstars demolishing expensive WWE equipment.02/23/2017 - 14:15
Enzo Amore & Big Cass say "How you doin'?" to the city of Nürnberg, Germany, checking out the sights before the evening's WWE Live Road to WrestleMania Event.02/24/2017 - 14:45
Two of NXT's up-and-coming female Superstars take turns narrating over each other's set of single-leg squats inside the WWE Performance Center weight room.02/24/2017 - 12:15
Xavier Woods, Kofi Kingston & Big E took the field at soccer training facilities and tried their hand - foot, actually - at defending and scoring goals against 1. FC Nürnberg left end Dave Bulthuis.02/24/2017 - 14:15
The Rock and "Stone Cold" Steve Austin visited WWE Superstars backstage on Raw. Cathy Kelley looks at these icons with current Superstars like Kevin Owens.02/23/2017 - 17:30
Prior to his WWE Live Event match in Nürnberg, "Smacktalker Skywalker" is nearly at a loss for words when he opens a present that contains a Germany-themed pair of sneakers tailored for him.02/24/2017 - 11:30
Roman Reigns' list of accomplishments continues to grow as he prepares for WrestleMania 33. These four records belong to The Big Dog.02/23/2017 - 12:45
As Seth Rollins recovers from the injury he suffered at the hands of Samoa Joe, he's been sending messages to Triple H on Instagram.02/23/2017 - 13:45
While being interviewed by the media before WWE Live's Road to WrestleMania event in Düsseldorf, Germany, Roman Reigns expresses how grateful he is to be traveling the world as a WWE Superstar.02/23/2017 - 11:00
Big Cass & Enzo Amore let the WWE Universe know that they are ready for action in Düsseldorf's ISS Dome, as WWE Live kicks off its Road to WrestleMania Tour through Germany.02/23/2017 - 11:00
Octopus Stretch; Enzuigiri
Founder of New Japan Pro Wrestling; IWGP Heavyweight Champion; 2010 WWE Hall of Fame Inductee
Antonio Inoki: Bio
One of the key figures in the history of Japanese wrestling, Antonio Inoki is among the most respected men in sports-entertainment and a bona fide living legend in his homeland.
Born in Yokohama, Japan, in 1943, Inoki spent much of his youth in Brazil where he was a national star in the shot put and discus throw. It was here that the young athlete met Rikidozan — perhaps the most famous Japanese wrestler of all time. The legend, impressed by Antonio's strength and athleticism, convinced Inoki to return to Tokyo to join his Japanese Wrestling Association.
A natural in the ring, Inoki formed a winning tag team in the JWA with another future legend, Giant Baba, but the talented competitor would find his greatest success in New Japan Pro Wrestling, a promotion he founded in 1972.
Over the course of the next two decades, Inoki built NJPW into the most successful wrestling company in Asia. Utilizing talented Japanese competitors like Tatsumi Fujinami and Riki Choshu, innovative high-flyers like Tiger Mask and Dynamite Kid and American Superstars like Bob Backlund and Vader, the young promoter created a product that was unique, influential and far ahead of its time. In addition to running the company, Inoki himself was one of the top stars in NJPW, carrying the championship and battling the likes of Stan Hansen, Tiger Jeet Singh and Hulk Hogan.
Inoki's most famous bout, however, took place on June 26, 1976 in Tokyo when he took on fighting legend Muhammad Ali in a rare wrestler vs. boxer match. By most accounts, the contest was uneventful — Inoki spent much of the bout on the ground kicking at Ali's legs — but it paved the way for the advent of Mixed Martial Arts, which would explode in popularity decades later.
More importantly, the bout exemplified Inoki's undying love and respect for professional wrestling. This passion for competition earned him the nickname "Moeru Toukon" amongst his peers, which translates to "The fighting spirit that burns." In fact, Inoki is so revered in the fight world that grapplers actually request to be slapped in the face by the man in hopes of receiving some of his courage.
This admiration was felt so deeply in his native Japan that Inoki was elected to the country's House of Councillors in 1989. During his time in office, Inoki represented his nation in meetings with the likes of Fidel Castro and Saddam Hussein.
Inoki was also an ambassador for professional wrestling, bringing major events to places like Russia and China. In 1995, Inoki battled Ric Flair in Pyongyang, North Korea, in the main event of a festival that drew one of the largest live crowds ever to witness a professional wrestling bout. His retirement match, held on April 4, 1998 at the Tokyo Dome, drew more than 70,000 fans.
Just as those spectators paid tribute to the former IWGP Heavyweight Champion's amazing legacy, WWE did the same by welcoming Antonio Inoki into the WWE Hall of Fame Class of 2010.