International wrestling legend Tatsumi Fujinami is the latest superstar to join the WWE Hall of Fame. Tatsumi Fujinami will be inducted on the eve of WrestleMania 31 joining “Macho Man” Randy Savage, Alundra Blayze, Rikishi, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Larry Zbyszko.
“The Dragon” Tatsumi Fujinami trained under WWE Hall of Famer Antonio Inoki and debut in the early 1970’s. Fujinami was a master in the ring, creating the dragon suplex and dragon sleeper moves. He became a rising star of New Japan Pro Wrestling and split his time between Japan, Mexico, Canada and the United States.
Fujinami defended his WWE junior heavyweight title in his home country against names like Tiger Mask and Dynamite Mask and captured the WWE International Championship in 1982. He competed through 1985 before returning to Japan to take his career in a new path.
Fujinami made the move up to heavyweight successfully, defeating Vader to capture his first of six IWGP Heavyweight titles. Tatsumi Fujinami shocked the wrestling world in 1991 when he defeated Ric Flair to the cheers of 50,000 fans at the Tokyo Dome. The victory put Fujinami in the history books as the first man to hold both the NWA and IWGP titles.
Fujinami would return to America in the early 1990’s including an appearance at the inaugural WCW SuperBrawl. There, he defended the NWA World title with yet another victory over Ric Flair. Today, Fujinami is a living legend in Japan where he promotes wrestling shows and occasionally suits up to step back in the squared circle.