Isao Yoshihara (吉原功 Yoshihara Isao, March 2, 1930 – June 10, 1985) was a Japanese professional wrestler and founder of International Wrestling Enterprise (IWE). He's also credited for making Rusher Kimura a major star in Japanese Puroresu and holding Japan's first steel cage match.
Professional wrestling career Edit
Born in 1935 Yoshihara would join Tokyo Steel in 1952, and went to the Japan Pro-Wrestling Center in Tokyo, aiming for the national political party of Tohoku prefecture held in the same year. A year later in 1953 he would met Rikidozan been in Japan working as a professional wrestler for Japan Pro Wrestling Alliance (JWA), debuting for the promotion in the same year under his real name. In October 1956 Yoshihara would take part in the Japanese Light Heavyweight Championship to crown new champion after Yoshinosato moved up to junior heavyweight division, he would went to defeat Kiyotaka Otsubo on August 19 of the same year to win the becoming the second champion to held the title until he and several other talents like Hiro Matsuda and Thunder Sugiyama in 1966 to form International Wrestling Enterprise with the promotion airing its cards on Tokyo Broadcasting System (TBS).
Since he was originally a wrestler, he would his connection to bring foreigners like Bill Robinson Verne Gagne, George Gordienko, Lou Thesz and Karl Gotch and his promotion became the first Japanese promotion to bring European wrestler André the Giant to Japan. In 1970 Yoshihara would applied for membership in NWA but was his promotion unable to join due to NWA being already affiliated with newly big promotions in Japan, New Japan Pro-Wrestling (NJPW) and All Japan Pro Wrestling (AJPW) both that were founded by JWA top stars Antonio Inoki and Giant Baba and he would try establish new governing body to counter NWA which would eventually fail and he would close his promotion IWE on August 9, 1981. In the same year Yoshihara alongside Rusher Kimura, Animal Hamaguchi and Isamu Teranishi would join NJPW where Yoshihara would work as adviser of the promotion until its death on June 10, 1985 after he died of stomach cancer died at 55 years old.
In wrestling Edit
- Wrestlers trained