|Billed height||1.75 m (5 ft 9 in)|
|Billed weight||110 kg (240 lb)|
|Born||South Hamgyong, (North) Korea|
|Died||December 15, 1963(aged 39)|
|Billed from||Nagasaki, Japan|
|Debut||October 28, 1951|
Rikidozan is the father of puroresu. He established the puroresu as a popular professional sport in Japan less than a decade after Japan lost the World War II. Continuously defeating Americans with his famous karate chop, he was a hero for the Japanese people who were still depressed from the war. Many of his students became big stars in the sport, including Shohei "Giant" Baba and Antonio Inoki, who are two of the greatest wrestlers in the history of puroresu, and Kintaro Ohki (Kim Il), who was also a superstar in his home country South Korea.
Because the Koreans were discriminated against in Japan, his real identity was kept secret for many years even after his death. It was always believed that he was born Mitsuhiro Momota in Ohmura, Nagasaki, Japan. Momota is the last name of his adopted parents in Nagasaki.
His 1957/10/6 sixty-minute draw with Lou Thesz for the NWA World Heavyweight Championship drew an 87.0 rating, and his 1963/5/24 sixty-minute draw with The Destroyer drew a 67.0 rating (the 4th largest viewing audience in Japanese history, since by 1963 more people had television sets, thanks to Rikidōzan's popularity).
In wrestling[change | change source]
- Finishing moves
- Overhead chop
Championships and accomplishments[change | change source]
- NWA Pacific Coast Tag Team Championship (San Francisco version) (1 time) – with Dennis Clary
- NWA World Tag Team Championship (San Francisco version) (1 time) – with Koukichi Endoh
- North American Wrestling Alliance
- Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame in 2006
- Wrestling Observer Newsletter Hall of Fame in 1996