Well, here’s a surprise: It was announced during this week’s SmackDown tapings that Tatsumi Fujinami will be inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame Class of 2015. Fujinami is certainly deserving, but WWE usually likes to pretend Japan doesn’t exist, and since when are important things announced on SmackDown? Weird.
Fujinami was a staple of New Japan Pro Wrestling for decades, feuding against other legends like Antonio Inoki, Riki Chōshū and Big Van Vader and training major names like Gran Hamada and Último Dragón. Fujinami also had his memorable brushes with Western pro wrestling. In the late ’70s, Fujinami had a run with WWE (then known as the WWWF), winning the WWWF Jr. Heavyweight Championship, that he used to found the NJPW Jr. Heavyweight division, which for years was the best division in pro wrestling from a match quality standpoint. In the ’80s, Fujinami faced Ric Flair in a series of matches, winning the NWA title from the Nature Boy in a controversial match. Fujinami continues to wrestle to this day.
Just one more thing: Dude created the Dragon Suplex, so build this guy his own wing in the Hall of Fame.
Here’s Fujinami’s most best-known American match, a champion vs. champion bout for the NWA and WCW World Championships against Ric Flair at SuperBrawl ’91…
via Wrestling Inc.