Thursday, March 22, 2007

Tiger Dream - Japanese Female Wrestling

japanese women, wrestling women, japanese wrestling

Tiger Mask (Japanese: タイガーマスク) began as a manga in 1968 and was later adapted into a successful anime series in 1969. In real life, the name has been used by a succession of Japanese professional wrestling characters as a gimmick. The Tiger Mask persona is instantly recognizable by its trademark mask, designed to look like a tiger's head, as well as the combination of high flying attacks and martial arts in the ring.

The anime ended in 1971 but it continued to be so popular that the bookers in the New Japan Pro Wrestling promotion licensed the character and created a real-life Tiger Mask in 1981, originally portrayed by Satoru Sayama. Sayama played the role until 1983 when he left New Japan due to his hatred for the backstage politics of pro wrestling in general and eventually became one of the first mixed martial artists in the world. As Tiger Mask, Sayama feuded with Kuniaki Kobayashi, and Englishmen Dynamite Kid, the original Black Tiger , and Steve Wright, as well as Mexico's Fishman.

Sayama also gave brief authorization for a female version of the character, called Tiger Dream, to be played by female wrestler Candy Okutsu in the mid-1990s. He and Tiger Mask IV also provided her with training. However, Okutsu being injury-prone and having to take several sabbaticals from the ring, the character was easily forgotten by the fans and eventually abandoned.

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