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I just got done watching the footage of Riki shooting on Kimura and knocking him cold in the Japanese title match.
Kimura was the Judoka who also both competed and performed wrestling matches, the one who defeated Helio Gracie of the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu family in a legit shoot many years ago. The guy who beat Helio, the guy who Riki shot on... same guy.
I'm looking at it right now. Here's what I see:
It was proceeding in a normal worked match fashion... the footage has cuts...
... okay, so they're in a kind of a lockup, not collar-and-elbow but just tying up each other's arms, and they're clearly talking to each other...
*cut* *start the clock 0:00*
... then they're in standup, Riki kinda cuffs Kimura with his lead right hand or is maybe trying to hook him behind the head, Kimura pokes out a lead left front kick, not a lot on it... it lands in the upper groin. Riki looks down at where it hit and then as the ref looks like he's starting to warn Kimura---this all happens within a second--- Riki just cocks a Sunday on Kimura with an open hand overhand right, it staggers him legit, and Riki bulls him back into the corner, starts striking again with open hands, Kimura looks like he's half stunned and half confused, he's just kinda trying to hold Riki off, not really either defending himself completely or fighting back, as if he doesn't really believe what's happening.
Riki lands like four more hard open right hands and Kimura grabs a waistlock, picks up Riki's leg and they spin out of the corner, Riki getting a foot into Kimura's groin, and end up with Riki's back against the ropes. The ref breaks them, they turn around again on the break so Kimura's back is to the ropes, Kimura looks at the ref and gestures to his groin and the ref pats his own foot clearly saying he's calling it legal.
Riki hits Kimura with a left-right open hand combo, they almost lock up but back off a half step, Riki kicks Kimura in the groin, Kimura looks at the ref who gestures 'legal' again and Riki kicks him in the groin again then lands a right open hand that between the two knock Kimura down stunned on hands and knees, Riki grabs his head and pulls him toward ring center for a second, then pushes him back instead so he's sitting against the ropes---and then kicks him full force smack in the face. Kimura is virtually out, doubles over. Riki pushes him to sitting position again and kicks him full in the face again. Kimura is out, his head wobbles. Riki grabs him by the head and arm and drags him to ring center face down on hands and knees and stomps on the back of his neck and then hits him with an open right hand and then a slashing right with the side of the closed fist.
The second one kinda of drives Kimura back up on his feet and Riki hits him with a right reverse knife-edge and drives him straight back into the corner---you can see his face 1/4 view and his left cheek is WAY bigger than it ought to be---he paws at his head where Riki landed the knife-edge---the ref checks him for a split-second and waves the fight on---Kimura is totally defenseless---Riki hits him open hands left hook which rocks him bad---Kimura has his left arm out in a really feeble defense and Riki pulls it down with his own left and hits him a right hand inside knife edge hook behind the ear, he's done---left hook, the last one knocks Kimura cold, he goes boneless flat on his face, the ref stands there like a dork for a couple-three seconds, picks up Kimura's arm for a second and wiggles it---he is OUT---and then applies a 10-count which takes 15 seconds.
*elapsed time 1:14* INCLUDING the count which will tell you how fast this all happened. Truth is it was over from that first Sunday Riki cocked on him, he was out on his feet right there.
My take on this is VERY STRONGLY that Riki snapped when he felt he had been kicked in the groin and went ballistic. And very strongly that there were no bad intentions behind Kimura's kick, it was more of a push kick than a snap or thrust. And I would LOVE to know what they were jawing about in the lockup.
This is a very very strange thing.
So long from the Sunshine State!
I've heard of several different stories on this incident.
1 - General view: Rikidozan thought Kimura attempted to kick into the groin, which made Rikidozan angry.
2 - According to Kimura's autobiography: They were supposed to have a series of matches between two, and this first match was supposed to be a draw. However, Rikidozan, being "crazy/hungry for money," broke the agreement and started shooting on Kimura.
3 - Another rumor I heard: Kimura used some racial slur against Rikidozan, who was actually born in Korea, during the match, and Rikidozan got mad.
I have no idea which man would have won if the match was a straight shoot. Many in puroresu business, of course, say Rikidozan was legit strong and could easily beat Kimura, while some people who know about his "underground" activity say Rikidozan wasn't the toughest.
Either way, Rikidozan could "handle" Kimura because after all, Riki was as powerful as a mafia boss back then. He had some influences on the politicians too. I doubt neither the US nor Mexico has had any equivalent of a pro-wrestler to what Rikidozan was to Japan.
I have the match on a documentary tape that came out few years ago, but unfortunately, I can only hear the TV commentary.
More on Kimura's autobiography:
To be honest, it was more than 10 years ago when I only read the sections where he mentioned pro-wrestling. However, what he said about the match was rather shocking to me and unforgetable.
He also said that it was the first of the series in which he and Rikidozan were supposed to trade the Japanese Heavyweight title back and forth. That could also be a big draw, but I guess Inoki wouldn't be able to use "King of Sports" as New Japan slogan 18 years later.
I don't get that last thing---why not?
I tried, but no luck.
Maybe it is, but I doubt it. Kimura was in his prime before judo was added to the Olympics, so he was relatively unknown outside Japan or the judo world.
Sorry, I wasn't really serious when I said that. Only trying to relate the fact a pro-wrestler defeated a bigname judoka to Inoki's "mission" of making puroresu look superior to other sports.
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