— Days Without Shea —


inoki_feb01_can.jpg
The 2010 WWE Hall Of Fame ceremony occurs at the end of March.

A few nominees have baseball ties. One is Bob Uecker for his several stints as a Wrestlemania broadcaster (Hmm that barrier to entry at the HOF is awfully high).

Perhaps the most deserving honoree is Japanese wrestler and sport ambassador Antonio Inoki. He is most famous in Loge 13 as the guy who fought Muhammad Ali live in Tokyo on June 25, 1976.

The spectacle was broadcast live at Shea Stadium as part of a giant wrestling spectacular. More details here, although the original video has been removed.

The hype for the matchup was tremendous, although the ffight itself was a dud.

"The rules of the match were announced several months in advance. However, two days before the match a whole bunch of new rules were added which severely limited the moves that each man could perform. The rule change that had a major outcome on this match was that Inoki could only throw a kick if one of his knees were on the ground. The truth behind the last minute changes will never really be known as there are many stories that have been floating around for the past three decades.

In this match, the only losers were the fans. The match itself was declared a draw. Ali made over $6 million for the match while Inoki made only $2 million. The wrestling company that he had a stake in got to keep the gate from the live event and portions of the closed circuit telecast."

Congrats on your induction, Inoki.



[June 9, 2013 9:43 PM]  |  link  |  reply
Mike said

Also remember that Pete Rose is in the WWE Hall of Fame - mostly due to being "tombstone" pile driven by Kane!


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WWF wreslting, 1980
Note: Here is some required Shea summer reading/watching while Kingman is off on summer holiday...

Baseball. Football. Boxing. Billy Graham Crusades. Spider Man's wedding. Shea Stadium has seen it all.

Of course, that includes professional wrestling.

Shea Stadium hosted three major WWF matches between 1972 - and 1980.

At the 1976 event, Andre the Giant squared off against boxer Chuck Wepner, the inspiration for the Rocky movies.  Also during the same match from Tokyo, Muhammad Ali, the reigning boxing heavyweight champion of the world, took on Antnio Inoki, Japan's top wrestler. The bout was shown on closed circuit TV to the Shea wrestling faithful and across the country.

The big "Wrestling Spectacular" happened August 9, 1980 at Shea Stadium. Among the highlights: Andre the Giant went up against the undefeated necomer Hulk Hogan. And Living Legend Bruno Sammartino defeated Larry Zbyszko. Here's some footage of that match. 

And here is the TV promo for the Spectacular. Hulk Hogan was still perfecting his act:






[December 23, 2010 2:37 PM]  |  link  |  reply
steve said

I would have loved to see Andre the Giant. Such a huge man with an even bigger heart.


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While Kingman is on vacation, we indulge Loge13 readers with another entry in our series, "Wrestling at Shea."

The WWF hosted a showcase at Shea Stadium on June 25th, 1976. But the main event did not occur in Queens. Instead it happened a dozen time zones away, in Japan.

In Tokyo, Muhammad Ali, the reigning boxing heavyweight champion of the world, took on Antnio Inoki, Japan's top wrestler. The bout was shown on closed circuit TV to the Shea wrestling faithful and across the country. According to reports:

The rules of the match were announced several months in advance. However, two days before the match a whole bunch of new rules were added which severely limited the moves that each man could perform. The rule change that had a major outcome on this match was that Inoki could only throw a kick if one of his knees were on the ground. The truth behind the last minute changes will never really be known as there are many stories that have been floating around for the past three decades.

In this match, the only losers were the fans. The match itself was declared a draw. Ali made over $6 million for the match while Inoki made only $2 million. The wrestling company that he had a stake in got to keep the gate from the live event and portions of the closed circuit telecast.

Here is the fight/match/theater:

Ali remained champ (except for a few months in 1978) until he lost to Larry Holmes in 1980. Inoki remained a top wrestler in Japan and was elected into the Japanese House of Councils in 1989. In 1994, with over 170,000 fans in attendance, he beat Ric Flair in a match in South Korea that shattered previous wrestling attendance records.




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Loge13 is on vacation. Meanwhile, here is another entry in our retrospective, "Wrestling at Shea"

Shea Stadium has played witness to the Beatles, Popes and The Boss.

It has also hosted Little Beaver, Chief Jay Strongbow and The Wild Samoans.

Shea Stadium was the setting for three WWF events between 1972 - 1980 (Kids: WWF is how we used to spell WWE back in the seventies).

The first time wrestling came to Shea was 1972. Among the highlights: The Fabulous Moolah defeated Debbie Johnson to retain the World Women's Championship belt. Also on the card:

  • Little Beaver and Little Louie defeated Pee Wee Adams and Sonny Boy Hayes (8:25).
  • El Olimpico defeated Chuck O'Connor by disqualification (5:15).
  • Jack Brisco defeated Mr. Fuji (14:07).
  • Gorilla Monsoon and Ernie Ladd fought to a draw (20:00).
  • Chief Jay Strongbow and Sonny King defeated Lou Albano and The Spoiler (4:28).

The 1976 WWF showcase may be the most notorious of all. Muhammad Ali boxed/wrestled  Japanese champion Antonio Inoki in Japan. More on that match in a later post.

Also at the 1976 event, Andre the Giant squared off against boxer Chuck Wepner. Wepner allegedly was the inspiration for the Rocky movies. On this night, he was raw meat for Andre the Giant. Wepner hauled off and punched Andre hard in the third round. Confused and without a script, Andre then picked up Wepner and threw the boxer out of the ring to the concrete floor below, whereupon some other wrestlers continued to pummel him. Fake or real? Who cares? Watch the bout here:

And here:

In 1980, Andre the Giant would return to Shea Stadium again, to beat Hulk Hogan.

 




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