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Although multiple wrestlers would don the “Tiger Mask”, nobody embodied the character better than the original, played by Satoru Sayama.  He was a lightning quick combatant who was the precursor to many of the high flying lighter Japanese wrestlers who followed.  It may have taken a colorful mask for him to draw the attention of the fans (especially the younger ones) but when they did, they found a wrestler who was not just quick, but was technically proficient.  His matches with the Dynamite Kid remain classics as were his series with Kuniaki Kobayashi.  Tiger Mask does have an early history with the WWE as he was their WWF Junior Heavyweight Champion in the early 1980’s, but he walked away from the industry in his prime and though he did come back his overall body of work is much less than it should have been.




Should Tiger Mask be in the Hall of Fame?

Definitely put him in! - 86.8%
Maybe, but others deserve it first. - 8.8%
Probably not, but it wouldn't be the end of the world. - 2.9%
No opinion. - 0%
No way! - 1.5%

The Bullet Points

  • Other Aliases: Satoru Sayama (Real Name)
    Sammy Lee
    The Mask of Tiger
    Tiger King
  • Billed From: Japan
  • Key Championships Held: NWA World Middleweight
    WWF Junior Heavyweight (2)
    NWA Junior Heavyweight (2)
  • Why they will get in: He was a major player in the evolution of aerial wrestling and did compete in the WWF decades ago
  • Why they won't get in: Too many other Japanese wrestlers have resumes to be the next Japanese wrestler in.
  • Five Greatest Matches/Moments: 1.  Pins the Dynamite Kid in his return match to Japan and sparks a feud between the two light heavyweights  (4/23/81)
    2.  Defeats Black Tiger for the WWF junior Heavyweight Title  (5/26/82)
    3.  Defeats the Dynamite Kid in Madison Square Gardens (8/30/82)
    4.  Shocks the Japanese Wrestling world when he abruptly retires due to his hatred of the politics of the business (8/12/83)
    5.  Returns to semi-active competition without missing a step (1995)

Should Tiger Mask be in the Hall of Fame?

Definitely put him in! - 86.8%
Maybe, but others deserve it first. - 8.8%
Probably not, but it wouldn't be the end of the world. - 2.9%
No opinion. - 0%
No way! - 1.5%

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Last modified on Monday, 06 May 2019 17:03
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