藤波辰爾 Fujinami, Tatsumi
藤波 辰巳 Fujinami, Tatsumi
December 28, 1953 in Musashi City, Higashikunisaki, Oita Prefecture
Antonio Honda and Karl Gotch
May 9, 1971 against Motoyuki Kitazawa
Dragon Suplex (Hiryugenba-gatame)
Dragon Sleeper (Hiryuhada-gatame)
German Suplex (Genbaku-gatame)
Japanese Leg Roll Clutch
Scorpion Deathlock (Sasori-gatame)
Jumping Foot Step
Ground Cobra Twist
Championships and Accomplishments
National Wrestling Alliance
NWA World Heavyweight Champion
NWA International Junior Heavyweight Champion (NWA International Junior Heavyweight Champion) (2 times)
NWA Pacific Northwest Heavyweight Champion
New Japan Pro Wrestling
MSG Tag League w/ Inoki
Japan Cup Contention Tag League w/ Kengo Kimura
G1 CLIMAX (1993)
IWGP Heavyweight Champion (6 times; 2nd, 3rd, 9th, 11th, 15th & 21st)
IWGP Tag Champion (4 times w/ Kimura; 1st, 3rd, 7th & 29th – w/ Osamu Nishimura 41st)
WWWF/WWF (World Wrestling Federation)
WWF International Heavyweight Champion (2 times)
WWF International Tag Team Champion (w/ Kimura)
WWWF Junior Heavyweight Champion / WWF Junior Heavyweight Champion (2 times)
DDT Pro Wrestling
KO-D Tag Team Champion (w/ MIKAMI)
WCWA World Heavyweight Champion
CWA Intercontinental Champion
PNW Heavyweight Champion
UWA World Heavyweight Champion
BIOGRAPHY (Written by CP Schaeffer)
Beginning to Debut
Fujinami was born on December 28, 1953 in Oita, Japan. His earliest in-ring idol was none other than a young Antonio Inoki and he aimed to be alongside him someday as a professional wrestler.
Fujinami came into contact with Motoyuki Kitazawa in 1970, while he was working in a local maintenance shop, and was offered the chance to tryout for Nihon Pro-Wrestling. Fujinami would pass the initial tests and he was placed under his idol Inoki. He would also be training along with Akio Saito and Killer Khan (Masashi Ozawa).
Tatsumi Fujinami began his career in June of 1970 as a trainee for Nihon Pro-Wrestling (Japan Pro-Wrestling) at the age of 16 years old. His debut would come a year later when he faced against Motoyuki Kitazawa on May 9, 1971.
Joined NJPW/First Excursion
Fujinami followed along with Antonio Inoki in the formation of New Japan Pro-Wrestling in early 1972 and competed as one of the first official “young lions” of the promotion. One of the first highlights of his career was when he competed in the very first ever Karl Gotch Cup in October to December 1974, he would lose to Killer Khan in the finals. He would partake in his first overseas excursion in June of 1975 in which he would travel to West Germany along with Osamu Kido before making his way to the United States to train under Karl Gotch. He would find himself in North Carolina, USA to meet with Kido once more before they both made their way to compete and train in Mexico.
Rise of the Dragon – Dragon Boom
On January 23, 1978 Fujinami would win his first title of his career when he defeated Carlos Jose Estrada at Madison Square Garden in New York, with a Dragon Suplex, to win the WWWF Junior Heavyweight Championship. He would then carry the belt proudly back home to Japan as he made his return to NJPW the following month. Fujinami would hold the belt for well over a year and a half when Ryuma Gou would claim an upset win over Fujinami to become the new champion. Fujinami demanded a rematch and it worked in his favor as he would reclaim the belt just 2 days later on November 4, 1979. He would remain as the champion for almost the next 2 years until he would announce his ambition to move up to a heavyweight class wrestler in October of 1981.
Going back to 1978, Fujinami really first claimed the name the “Dragon” after he beat The Masked Canadian (Roddy Piper) back on March 3rd. Fujinami beat him with a Dragon Suplex and the nickname stuck with him. Also the term “Cinderella Boy” was also associated with him at this time. Fujinami showcased many skills that he learned from Karl Goth and caught the attention of many fans of traditional wrestling. Fujinami would defend his belt in America and Japan as well as Mexico. He would also claim his second singles championship after defeating Steve Keirn for the NWA International Junior Heavyweight Championship on February 1, 1980 in Sapporo, Japan. Fujinami would hold many matches against Chavo Guerrero Sr., El Canek, Steve Keirn, Kengo Kimura, and Ryuma Gou. Fujinami would be one of the leading men to help establish a junior heavyweight class in regards to pro wrestling in Japan.
The Dragon Becomes a Heavyweight
Fujinami would relinquish the NWA Junior belt in October of 1981 and he would begin the transformation in 1982 when he would partake in yet another major overseas expedition to the USA. He would begin to solidify his claim when he would defeat Gino Brito to become the WWF International Heavyweight Champion on August 30, 1982. Fujinami’s first major feud as a heavyweight came against Riki Choshu and the two began to usher in a new age for the promotion. The two would also have a very notable match against one another on April 3, 1983 when Choshu would claim the win over Fujinami for the WWF International belt.
…WRITING IN PROGRESS…
IWGP Tag Champion
IWGP Heavyweight Champion/G1 Climax
DRADITION/Legend The Pro-Wrestling