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Question about New Japan Dojo in the Showa Days

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Question about New Japan Dojo in the Showa Days

Postby ElGringo » 2002/09/08 Sun 3:51 am

Another thread on this forum mentioned how Gran Hamada and Mr. Pogo were the first graduates of New Japan's dojo. My question is, who exactly worked as trainers for New Japan in this period? Did some trainers jump ship from the JWA along with Inoki, Fujinami and Kido?
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Postby Hisaharu Tanabe » 2002/09/08 Sun 7:30 am

Kotetsu Yamamoto was also one of the original members of New Japan. I'm sure Inoki also trained the boys in the early days of New Japan, but Kotetsu is more famous as a trainer than Inoki was.
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Postby ElGringo » 2002/09/08 Sun 9:48 am

In that case, Kotetsu must have one of the longest list of students ever.
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Postby edgehead1984 » 2004/02/18 Wed 11:52 am

Does anyone have a full list of dojo trainees for New Japan and possibly for All-Japan as well.
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Postby Luds » 2004/02/19 Thu 9:04 am

No, inoki dojo's web site isn't very good for that... :(
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Postby Hisaharu Tanabe » 2004/02/21 Sat 10:01 am

It's very hard to compile such "full" lists.

Here're "some" guys who went thru New Japan dojo as rookies/trainees. I only list those who are no longer full-time wrestler in New Japan:

Osamu Kido
Kuniaki Kobayashi
Yoshiaki Fujiwara
Kengo Kimura
Makoto (Don) Arakawa
Tetsuo Sekigawa (Mr. Pogo)
Gran Hamada
Masaji Ozawa (Killer Khan)
Masanobu Kurisu
Mitsuo Yoshida (Riki Choshu)
Satoru Sayama (Tiger Mask)
Akira Maeda
George Takano (The Cobra)
Shunji (Kenji) Takano
Nobuhiko Takada
Kazuo Yamazaki
Allen Coage (Bad News Allen/Brown) - not sure about this
Norio Honaga
Yoshiaki Yatsu
Chris Benoit
Bryan Adams
Maxx Payne (forgot his real name)
Keiji Mutoh
Shin'ya Hashimoto
Naoki Sano
Masakatsu Funaki
Shinji Sasazaki ("Samurai" in Memphis, a jobber in WCW & WWF)
Ken'ichi (Hisakatsu) Oya
Minoru Suzuki

I wouldn't include Hiroshi Hase because he was trained while Choshu's group was still working with All Japan. Not sure about Kensuke Sasaki, but he might be in the similar category as Hase.

Among the list, most of the former UWF guys (as well as Liger) were trained by Fujiwara. His group in the dojo was known as "Fujiwara-gumi".

Here are some All Japan trainees:
Tiger Toguchi (Kim Duk, Yamato, Tiger Chung Lee) - maybe he was trained by Kim Ill (Kintaro Ohki), but I'm not sure about the true story
Gen'ichiro Tenryu
Atsushi Onita - I believe he was the first trainee of All Japan
Shiro Koshinaka
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Postby bannabop » 2004/02/21 Sat 9:37 pm

I thought Benoit trained with Stu Hart?
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Postby Hisaharu Tanabe » 2004/02/22 Sun 5:06 pm

Originally, yes, but Stu sent him to Japan. Just like any other "Youg Lions", Benoit was one of those who are surrounding the ring as seconds/securities around 85-86 (can't remember the exact year). Maxx Payne (Daryl Peterson?) was there around the same time.
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Postby Luds » 2004/02/23 Mon 9:01 am

WOW, good work Hisa! It's nice to see such a list, very impressive!
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Postby Peru-Yakuza » 2004/02/23 Mon 11:04 am

Hisa,

I thought Kido had debuted in 1969 in the old JWA, what, did he have a long period between debut and full work like Nagao just did?
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Postby Hisaharu Tanabe » 2004/02/28 Sat 9:59 am

Back then, few years of career couldn't get anyone out of the "rookie" category. It's a post-1980s thing that the guys who had been wrestling only for a year or two suddenly started appearing on TV matches. I'm not exactly certain how the fans viewed Kido back then, but from what I see in the programs of the first New Japan cards, he's treated almost as "low" as Fujinami.

These days, they air the final of the Young Lions Cup everytime the tournament is held. I don't think any matches from the Karl Gotch Cup were ever aired (I could be wrong, though).

In old days, rookies weren't allowed to use the main eventers' finishers or any high spots in order to concentrate on basic wrestling moves. They weren't even allowed to have the entrance music let alone TV matches. Something I miss a lot. Kids show off the highspots before learning how to wrestle these days...
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