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Jumbo Tsuruta
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Wrestler
    (March 25, 1951-May 14, 2000)
    Birth name is Tomomi Tsuruta
    Wrestled for All Japan Pro Wrestling (AJPW), the NWA and AWA
    Former AWA Heavyweight Champion, International Heavyweight Champion, International Tag Team Champion and AJPW Triple Crown Champion
    He got the name 'Jumbo' from a contest that was held by NTV (Nippon Television Network).
    His first name while working in the United States was Tommy Tsuruta, just to sound more American.
    To capitalize on his mainstream fame, he recorded three albums as a singer and guitar player, all of which are forgotten about.
    Being trained by Giant Baba's AJPW in Japan and Dory Funk Jr. in the U.S., he was able to work with a mixture of both Japanese and American styles and his wrestling was regarded as ahead of its time.
    His matches were voted Match of the Year five years in a row in Japan.
    He may be the only Japanese wrestler ever to get over as a major drawing face without playing a stereotypical Japanese gimmick in an American territory.
    His suplexes were so impressive that he became the first wrestler in the Amarillo territory to have his moves replayed in slow motion.
    He was the first wrestler to hold Japan's Triple Crown and won it two more times.
    He was the first wrestler Japanese wrestler to hold the AWA Heavyweight Title.
    He was a member of the Japanese Olympic wrestling team in 1972 after being in the sport for only 18 months.
    He's in the Wrestling-Observer Hall of Fame.

Credit: Reo Rogerz


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