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We are replaying a previous podcast by Justin Knipper and Fumi Saito on Antonio Inoki. This is part three of a five part series on Inoki that was recorded early in 2022. There is a link to all five episodes after Justin's original summary.
In the next installment of their profile series on Antonio Inoki, Fumi Saito and Justin Knipper continued covering Inoki’s full in-ring career, this time focusing on years 1974–1980. After Inoki’s (and Seiji Sakaguchi’s) NJPW and Giant Baba’s AJPW established deals with television channels, the rivalry between the two companies began heating up. Fumi and Justin talked about the hot time it was for pro wrestling Japan during the mid-’70s, the influence of television and print media at the time.
The two also went over Inoki’s inventive and bloody December 1974 vs. IWA champion Strong Kobayashi, Inoki’s year-long feud with Tiger Jeet Singh, his famous hour-long bout with Karl Gotch-trainee Billy Robinson, and his series of matches with Andre the Giant.
They also talked about Vince McMahon Sr.’s involvement with and appearances for NJPW at around this time, which subsequently led to NJPW and the WWWF’s 11-year working relationship. The partnership would also lead to Inoki’s international breakout bout against Muhammed Ali in what many would call the world’s first MMA fight, which Fumi and Justin also covered in detail towards the end of the show.
Listen to all five original episodes on Fight Game Media's website.
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