On September 30, 1960, 17-year-old Kanji "Antonio" Inoki would make his professional wrestling debut against Kintaro Ohki.
The industry would never be the same.
While mainstream audiences would perhaps best remember him for his 1976 debacle against Muhammed Ali, Inoki was famous for incorporating martial arts into his programs and changed the entire landscape of wrestling when he created New Japan Pro Wrestling in 1972.
Aside from winning just about every major title there was to hold, Inoki brought a two-day wrestling event (featuring top stars like Ric Flair) to North Korea that drew a combined 340,000 fans.
If pro wrestling has a Mount Rushmore, his face is guaranteed to be on it.
His WWE Hall of Fame acceptance speech, after the jump.
How about it Cagesiders, one of the greatest ever? Or just overseas?