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Part four of Fumi Saito & Justin Knipper’s profile series on Antonio Inoki has arrived. The show picks up where the two left off last time, during the mid-1970s, and finishes at around 1985 in Inoki’s career.
The two went over the nature of the 11-year NJPW-WWF relationship and Inoki’s relations with Vince McMahon Sr, plus how Giant Baba, Bruno Sammartino, and “Superstar” Billy Graham fit into the picture at the time. Fumi also gives out a bit of deathmatch trivia involving Inoki and Umanosuke Ueda before diving deep into Inoki’s rivalry with former WWF World Heavyweight champion, Bob Backlund. Fumi goes over the dense and somewhat convoluted story of Inoki winning and vacating the WWF World Heavyweight title from Backlund and how important the Japanese print media was in spinning the angle to the Japanese fanbase.
Before wrapping, Fumi & Justin covered Inoki’s rivalry with Stan Hansen as well as his storied history with Hulk Hogan and the infamous 1983 IWGP finals match between Inoki and Hogan. Justin also posits the question: Did “Hulkamania” start in Tokyo? 
Tune in next week for part five, the final episode of Antonio Inoki’s profile series on Write That Down!
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