35 Facts About Antonio Inoki

1. Antonio Inoki has parlayed his wrestling fame into multiple terms in Japan's equivalent to the US Senate, and has attempted to merge his two careers with ridiculous stunts like partnering with North Korea to run a pair of cards in Pyongyang back in 1995.

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2. Antonio Inoki was married to the famous actress Mitsuko Baisho from 1971 to 1987.

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3. Antonio Inoki announced his pension from the band on Apr 4, 1998.

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4. Antonio Inoki has a few of the most amazing battle stats in mat background.

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5. Antonio Inoki opened a wrestling themed restaurant in Shinjuku, Tokyo named Antonio's Inoki Sakaba Shinjuku.

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6. Antonio Inoki began a new promotion in 2007 called Antonio Inoki Genome Federation that competes with New Japan.

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7. In 1989, Antonio Inoki established his own political group, the Sports and Peace Party.

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8. Antonio Inoki started using Ali's theme music, "The Greatest", as his own signature tune, and borrowed the catchphrase "bom-ba-ye" from Ali's fans at the Rumble in the Jungle.

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9. Antonio Inoki connected another, and by this point Ali's repeated tumbling made evident to the crowd the damage to his legs.

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10. In round six, Antonio Inoki repeated his usual jumping side kick into lying on the canvas.

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11. Antonio Inoki stayed on the ground and started kicking and sweeping for Ali's legs.

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12. Antonio Inoki replied, via an interpreter: "When your fist connects with my chin, take care that your fist is not damaged".

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13. Antonio Inoki had the starring role in the film Acacia directed by Jinsei Tsuji.

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14. Antonio Inoki appeared in the film The Bad News Bears Go to Japan as himself.

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15. Antonio Inoki was the ambassador for the International Fight League's Tokyo entry before that promotion's demise.

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16. Antonio Inoki initially promised Ali a rigged match to get him to fight in Japan, but when the deal materialized, Ali's camp feared that Inoki would turn the fight into a shoot, which many believe was Inoki's intention.

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17. Antonio Inoki was amongst the group of professional wrestlers who were tutored in the art of hooking and shooting by the professional wrestler Karl Gotch.

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18. Antonio Inoki was in Iraq negotiating for the release of several Japanese hostages.

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19. Antonio Inoki converted to Shia Islam in 1990 during a pilgrimage to Karbala, the Shiite holy city in Iraq.

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20. Antonio Inoki operates a wrestling themed restaurant in Shinjuku, Tokyo named Antonio's Inoki Sakaba Shinjuku.

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21. Antonio Inoki was married to actress Mitsuko Baisho from 1971 to 1987, and together they had a daughter, Hiroko.

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22. In September 2017, Antonio Inoki re-established his position that Japan should make more of an effort to have co-operative dialogue with North Korea, in the wake of North Korea launching ballistic missiles over Hokkaido.

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23. Antonio Inoki joined the splinter of the Japanese Restoration Party, Party for Japanese Kokoro, in 2014.

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24. Antonio Inoki had visited on the occasion of the 60th anniversary of the armistice in the Korean War, and had met with senior North Korean figure Kim Yong-nam during his visit.

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25. On June 5, 2013, Antonio Inoki announced that he would again run for a seat in the Japanese Diet under the Japan Restoration Party ticket.

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26. In 1990, Antonio Inoki traveled to Iraq in "an unofficial one-man diplomatic mission" and successfully negotiated with Saddam Hussein for the release of Japanese hostages before the outbreak of the Gulf War.

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27. Antonio Inoki refused the title on the same day, and it was declared vacant.

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28. Antonio Inoki went back to Japan for the Japanese Wrestling Association as Rikidozan's disciple.

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29. Antonio Inoki was taught karate by an older brother while in 6th grade.

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30. Antonio Inoki was born in an affluent family in Yokohama in 1943.

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31. In 1989, while still an active wrestler, Antonio Inoki entered politics as he was elected to the Japanese House of Councillors.

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32. Antonio Inoki began his promoting career in 1972, when he founded New Japan Pro-Wrestling.

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33. Antonio Inoki parlayed his wrestling career into becoming one of Japan's most recognizable athletes, a reputation bolstered by his 1976 fight against world champion boxer Muhammad Ali.

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34. Antonio Inoki quickly became one of the most popular stars in the history of Japanese professional wrestling.

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35. Antonio Inoki began his professional wrestling career in the Japanese Wrestling Association under the tutelage of Rikidozan.

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