Inoki held two martial arts tournaments in 2017 called “INOKI ‘ISM'”. In the midst of all this, he longed for the birth of a new real star in the world of martial arts. Later, however, he started saying, “I don’t want to watch pro wrestling or martial arts.” Behind the words that seemed to deny the existence of professional wrestling, which was life itself, was a feeling of love for professional wrestling, wrestlers and the Japanese people.
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On July 24, 2017, Inoki held the 1st “INOKI ‘ISM'” at Korakuen Hall in Tokyo. The grave of Karl Gotch, who starred in New Japan Pro-Wrestling’s inaugural match on March 6, 1972, and taught him the swastika and German suplex, is located in Arakawa-ku, Tokyo . in Ekoin. “I don’t want to be in the ring, but I’m happy to be encouraged,” said Mr. Inoki, who showed the audience in the ring how to tighten the Achilles tendon directly from Mr. Gotch.
In the ring at “INOKI ISM. 2 Inoki Theater ~Antonio Inoki ‘Namazenso’~” held at Ryogoku Kokugikan in Tokyo on October 21 of the same year, he said:
“In the past, I was the only one in all of Japan to stop bills.
In August 2018, he underwent lower back surgery and has been in and out of hospital several times.
“I don’t want to watch pro wrestling or martial arts…there are aspects that I don’t want to get involved in.”
At the same time, popular wrestlers such as Kazuchika Okada and Tetsuya Naito were active in New Japan Pro-Wrestling. Even in the world of martial arts, RIZIN’s popularity is boiling. The match between Tenshin Nasukawa and former professional boxing champion Floyd Mayweather (USA), and the fight between Kyoji Horiguchi and Kai Asakura also drew attention.
First of all, Mr. Inoki claimed that the origin of today’s mixed martial arts is the line of mixed martial arts that he himself entered.
“The fight against Muhammad Ali took the form of a mixed martial art that transcends the boundaries of martial arts fighting. Until then, boxing could never have been a non-traditional match. However, by not doing so not, new things are born. The starting point of martial arts is what is strong. There are different names such as general.
Based on this, he concluded in a nutshell.
“From my point of view, I’m scared.”
When I asked him what he really meant, he spoke as if he had cleared his throat.
“Nowadays players just say, ‘I did it! In the past, 10,000 or 20,000 people said they would put it in the palm of their hand. Maybe they were crazy, but if you don’t want to see it, don’t. There was such a power relationship.
So, what do you think of professional wrestling and wrestlers?
“I am a post-war person. What was the situation like in post-war Japan? Professional wrestling gave people the energy to live tomorrow. I don’t think I ever imagined that such a boom would happen, but that was the greatest encouragement after the war.”
“It doesn’t matter if you won or lost in the ring. Your soul and spirit are important in your whole way of life. We have to take care of it. Whether it’s actions or words, it shows the truth , not the disguise. message.”
On top of that, he continued:
“I wonder if times have gone this way…I wonder if what fans are looking for has changed.”
Professional wrestling and the wrestlers that Mr. Inoki wants to see…I think there’s something beyond what the Japanese had and lost.[Yukimasa Murakami](End)