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RIP Mr. Pogo


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One hell of a freak and a terrific heel in FMW. Despite the cliché, he had shitloads of psychology and he wasn't just about crazy bumps and gore. Some of his matches with Onita are classics. I sure enjoyed some of his work a lot, and he was one of the first glimpse of Japanese pro-wrestling I had seen (as Onita's best off was part of the first batch of tapes I got back in the days). Puerto Rican fans surely have some memories of the guy to share too. As far as bloodletting monsters, he has been one of the all-time best.

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Sad news, as mentioned by others some of my first Japanese wrestling that I got to see was Onita and Pogo in FMW. Despite not being a huge fan anymore of deathmatch guys, Pogo and Onita were different in how the stories they told using the deathmatch style were captivating to watch and not just a gore show that it has mostly become known for. Condolences to his family and friends.

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I've seen it in lots of places. From Dave's Jumbo obit:


He went to Chuo College in Tokyo as a basketball player and studied law. While he had done sumo, he did no amateur wrestling before reading a magazine article in early 1971 about the 1968 Olympics, in particular the Japanese wrestling team. The article inspired him to try amateur wrestling as his quest to participate in the 1976 Olympics, and he ended up reaching his goal four years early. He wasn't of Olympic team calibre in basketball, and sumo wasn't in the Olympics, which led him to amateur wrestling. He actually quit the basketball team to go out for wrestling, a decision that everyone at his college thought was nuts since he was tall and thin, built like a basketball player and had potential in that sport. The wrestlers on the didn't want him and wouldn't let him join the team. He was ribbed about his name and his slight physique, and Chuo College already had a star heavyweight (Tetsuo Sekigawa, who was the ring leader of those who teased Tsuruta and blocked him from joining the team, and who later became a famous pro wrestler under the name Mr. Pogo).

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