Tiger Toguchi


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Tiger Toguchi
Ring name(s) Tiger Toguchi
Kim Duk
Tiger Chung Lee
YAMATO
Toguchi Masanori
Real name Toguchi Masanori
Kim Duk
Billed height 193 cm (6 ft 4 in)
Billed weight 125 kg (280 lb; 19.7 st)
Born 1948/2/7 (1948-02-07) (age 66)
Tokyo
Shishō Karl Gotch
Ōki Kintarō
Debut 1968/8/30

Tiger Toguchi (タイガー戸口?) is a Korean-Japanese professional wrestler, who is also known as Kim Duk (キム・ドク?). His real names are Kim Duk (金 徳?) in Korean and Toguchi Masanori (戸口 正徳?) in Japanese. He also wrestled as Tiger Chung Lee in the United States.


Career

Toguchi was a basketball player and jūdōka during high school. After graduation, he joined Japan Pro-Wrestling Association (JWA) on 1967/3/12 with the recommendation from Ōki Kintarō.[1] Since Seiji Sakaguchi, another jūdōka, joined the JWA during the same time, it caused a conflict between the jūdō world and puroresu. Toguchi was sent to South Korea for half a year with "special training" as an excuse until the issue died out. After returning to Japan, he debuted on 1968/8/30 at Kōrakuen Hall against Shibata Katsuhisa. In the early days of his career, Toguchi was a tsukibito for Ōki.

In 1972, right before the JWA closed, Toguchi went to the United States, where he wrestled as a heel under his real name Kim Duk.

Toguchi returned to Japan in 1976/10, this time for All Japan Pro-Wrestling, as a freelancer. He teamed with his shishō Ōki Kintarō and feuded with Giant Baba & Jumbo Tsuruta. Ōki & Toguchi defeated Baba & Tsuruta twice to win the prestigious NWA International Tag Team Championship.[1] The team also wrestled for International Wrestling Enterprise through the working agreement between the two organizations. His singles match against Tsuruta on 1978/9/13 in Nagoya over NWA United National Heavyweight Championship is remembered as one of the best matches for both competitors.

In 1979, Toguchi officially joined All Japan and became the third star under Baba and Tsuruta.

However, Toguchi jumped to the rival organization, New Japan Pro-Wrestling, in 1981 during the big promotional war, in which both organizations lured talents away from each other. Toguchi would wrestle in both Japan and the United States. In Japan, he became somewhat popular teaming with Killer Khan, and the team was the runner-ups in the annual Madison Square Garden Tag Team League in 1982.[1]

Toguchi wrestled in the Central States territory and won the region's tag team title, teaming with Yasu Fujii in 1983/3. He would then move on to WWF, where he wrestled under the name "Tiger Chung Lee" and mainly teamed with Mr. Fuji. Toguchi continued to work for the WWF as an enhancement talent until 1987.

Aside from pro wrestling, Kim Duk also had an acting career, with his most notable roles in "The Golden Child" in 1986, starring Eddie Murphy, and in a 1988 movie "Red Heat" starring Arnold Schwarzenegger.

In the 1990s, Toguchi worked for several independent groups as well as New Japan, where he teamed with Kurisu Masanobu as a heel duo. He also teamed with Tiger Jeet Singh and Masa Saitō. Toguchi also wrestled for Universal Wrestling Association in Mexico as the masked "YAMATO". Though he lost the mask when he was defeated by Dos Caras in 1993/8, "YAMATO" won UWA World Heavyweight Championship from Canek in 1994/3.

He is currently semi-retired and works for a non-profit organization.

References

  1. ^ a b c The Wrestler Best 1000. Nippon Sports Publishing. 1996. 


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