Seth Rollins, Samoa Joe, The Hardy Boyz, Alexa Bliss, Sheamus & Cesaro and more of your favorite Raw Superstars return for WWE Live action throughout the U.K. 1 through 9 November. Tickets for the #WWEUKTour are available now.06/22/2017 - 16:30
See how a photographer utilized a camera from the 1870s to capture striking portraits of Superstars like Alexa Bliss, Dean Ambrose and The Miz.06/22/2017 - 15:15
Watch slow-motion footage from SmackDown LIVE and see why WWE Champion Jinder Mahal has to keep his head on a swivel at all times.06/22/2017 - 11:15
Maria Kanellis introduced WWE to her husband, Mike Kanellis, and the power of love at WWE Money in the Bank. Cathy Kelley looks at what Superstars had to say about the returning First Lady of SmackDown LIVE.06/22/2017 - 13:45
The Modern-Day Maharaja and The Singh Brothers announce that WWE Sunday Dhamaal, a new show in Hindi featuring exclusive content, plus highlights from Raw and SmackDown every week, starts this Sunday.06/21/2017 - 17:45
Charlotte Flair gets surprised with her first photo from NXT and looks back on her difficult journey to becoming The Queen in the series premiere of the new digital series "WWE Then & Now."06/21/2017 - 17:30
With the tables turned, Hideo Itami offers words of consolation to Kassius Ohno following The Knockout Artist's loss to Aleister Black.06/21/2017 - 13:30
WWE SuperCard Season 3, now available for iOS and Android, offers intense competition that can turn an anonymous player into a riled-up Superstar like Sheamus.06/21/2017 - 12:45
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.