Seiji Sakaguchi
Birth nameSeiji Sakaguchi
Born (1942-02-17) February 17, 1942 (age 80)
Kurume, Fukuoka, Japan
ChildrenKenji Sakaguchi
Yukio Sakaguchi
Professional wrestling career
Ring name(s)Big Saka
Giant Saka
Great Saka
Great Sakaguchi
Mighty Saka
Seiji Sakaguchi
Billed height196 cm (6 ft 5 in)
Billed weight125 kg (276 lb)
Billed fromTokyo, Japan
Trained byKarl Gotch
Michiaki Yoshimura
Debut5 August 1967
Retired15 March 1990
Seiji Sakaguchi
Medal record
Representing  Japan
Men's Black Belt Judo
World Championships
Bronze medal – third place 1965 Rio de Janeiro +80 kg

Seiji Sakaguchi (坂口征二, Sakaguchi Seiji, born February 17, 1942) is a Japanese retired professional wrestler and judoka, Sakaguchi holds a 7th dan[citation needed] red and white belt in Judo. Sakaguchi was a mainstay of New Japan Pro-Wrestling (NJPW) and also competed for the World Wide Wrestling Federation and the National Wrestling Alliance. His sons are professional wrestler and mixed martial arts fighter Yukio Sakaguchi and television actor Kenji Sakaguchi. Sakaguchi currently works for New Japan as an advisor.[1]

Judo career

Before becoming a professional wrestler, Sakaguchi was a judoka with a fifth degree black belt and won the 1965 All Japan Judo Championship. Coach Koji Sone was accused by Anton Geesink's teammates in the 1965 World Judo Championships of having Sakaguchi throw the match against the more rested Matsunaga in order to allow Matsunaga take on the weary Geesink in the final round.[2]

Professional wrestling career

Sakaguchi debuted in August 1967 for the Japan Wrestling Association. When JWA closed down in 1973, he joined New Japan Pro-Wrestling. He retired from the ring in March 1990. He was the president of the National Wrestling Alliance from 1992 to 1993.

At age 61, Seiji Sakaguchi came out of retirement to team up with Masahiro Chono against Yoshihiro Takayama and Shinya Makabe on September 14, 2003.

Acting career

Sakaguchi appeared in the 1982 American film Forced Vengeance. His role was a minor one, though he did appear in the film's climactic fight scene, battling star Chuck Norris.

Championships and accomplishments

References

  1. ^ 旗揚げ記念日. New Japan Pro-Wrestling (in Japanese). Retrieved 2014-03-07.
  2. ^ Black Belt Vol. 4, No. 2. Active Interest Media, Inc. Feb 1966. p. 14.
  3. ^ "Asia Tag Team Title". Wrestling-Titles.com. Retrieved 2016-06-01.
  4. ^ "NJPW Greatest Wrestlers". New Japan Pro-Wrestling. Archived from the original on 2013-03-23. Retrieved 2014-08-23.
  5. ^ a b c d 東京スポーツ プロレス大賞. Tokyo Sports (in Japanese). Retrieved 2014-01-20.
  6. ^ 東京スポーツ プロレス大賞. Tokyo Sports (in Japanese). Retrieved 2014-01-20.
  7. ^ 「2012年度プロレス大賞」受賞者. Tokyo Sports (in Japanese). 2012-12-11. Retrieved 2012-12-10.
  8. ^ 東京スポーツ プロレス大賞. Tokyo Sports (in Japanese). Retrieved 2014-01-20.
Preceded byJim Herd President of the National Wrestling Alliance 1992–1993 Succeeded byHoward Brody, Dennis Coralluzzo,Jim Crockett, Jr. and Steve Rickard Preceded byAntonio Inoki World League winner 1976 & 1977 Succeeded byAntonio Inoki (MSG League)