Tetsuo Sekigawa (関川 哲夫，born February 5, 1951 in Japan) was a Japanese professional wrestler who is very well known for his hardcore matches, competing in his most popular gimmick, Mr. Pogo.
- 1 Career
- 1.1 New Japan Pro Wrestling (1972–1973)
- 1.2 Canada (1973–1975)
- 1.3 United States (1975–1979)
- 1.4 Return To Canada (1979–1980)
- 1.5 Return To United States (1980–1985)
- 1.6 Return To New Japan (1985–1988)
- 1.7 World Wrestling Council (1987–1991)
- 1.8 Frontier Martial-Arts Wrestling (1990–1991)
- 1.9 Wrestling International New Generations (1991–1993)
- 1.10 Return to FMW (1993–1996)
- 1.11 Comeback (1997–2016)
- 2 Personal life
- 3 Death
- 4 In wrestling
- 5 Championships and accomplishments
Career[edit | edit source]
New Japan Pro Wrestling (1972–1973)[edit | edit source]
He was originally a decent amateur, having a pre-professional dispute with the future Jumbo Tsuruta over team representation in the Japanese collegiate championships. He joined Japan Pro Wrestling Alliance but did not debut there, instead joining the new New Japan Pro Wrestling promotion's NJPW Dojo and debuting in 1972.
Canada (1973–1975)[edit | edit source]
Quickly frustrated with NJPW's rigid norms, he quit and began wandering the wrestling circuits in North America in 1973. His first stops was in Canada. His first Canadian stop was in Calgary for Stampede Wrestling, where he'd wrestle for a year under the name Judo Lee. After finishing up in Calgary, he would move west to Vancouver for NWA All-Star Wrestling, wrestling there for a year under his real name.
United States (1975–1979)[edit | edit source]
In 1975, he moved down to the United States. His first American stop was in the NWA's Central States territory under the name The Great Seki, where he spent nearly three years in Kansas City, wrestling the likes of Bob Geigel, Jake Roberts, Akio Sato, Harley Race, and Bulldog Bob Brown. In 1978, he moved east to the Tennessee area under the name The Ninja Warrior, where he was managed by Tojo Yamamoto. Within months, he moved down to Texas to wrestle for Southwest Championship Wrestling, before heading to NWA Western States, where he won two Tag Team Championships with Mr. Sato. It was in Texas, where he went started going by the name Mr. Pogo, due to the constant misinterpretation of his ring name, Mr. Togo, by magazines and promoters.
Return To Canada (1979–1980)[edit | edit source]
In 1979, he returned to Stampede in Calgary, this time under the name Mr. Sekigawa, and he won the Stampede North American Heavyweight Championship on December 8, 1979, defeating Don Gagne for the title. Nearly two weeks later, he won the vacant Stampede Wrestling International Tag Team Championship with the Dynamite Kid, making him a double champion. Unfortunately a month later, he would lose both titles: he would lose the North American Heavyweight title to Leo Burke, and he and Dynamite Kid lost the International Tag Team titles to Keith and Bret Hart.
Return To United States (1980–1985)[edit | edit source]
In 1980, he returned to the United States and back under the name Mr. Pogo. His first stop on his second American excursion is for the NWA's Tri-State territory, where he spent a year wrestling the likes of Wahoo McDaniel, Butch Reed, and The Spoiler. In 1981, he moved east to the Mid-Atlantic territory, where he spent nearly three years there, wrestling the likes of Johnny Weaver, Jimmy Valiant, Blackjack Mulligan, Ivan Koloff, Jay Youngblood, Barry Windham, Don Kernodle, Buddy Landell, Leroy Brown, Mike Davis, Lord Alfred Hayes, Iceman "King" Parsons, and Porkchop Cash. In 1984, he moved back to the Central States territory in Kansas City, where he spent a year over there, winning its Heavyweight Championship and the Tag Team Championship with Gypsy Joe. In his return to Kansas City, he wrestled the likes of Dick the Bruiser, Rufus R. Jones, D.J. Peterson, Mark Youngblood, and Marty Jannetty.
Return To New Japan (1985–1988)[edit | edit source]
In 1985, Mr. Pogo returned to Japan and to NJPW with a new tag team partner in Kendo Nagasaki. Together, they were known as The Ninja Express. They took part in a league to determine the inaugural IWGP Tag Team Champions; they placed seventh with seven points. In 1987, they took part in a Japan Cup Tag League, where they placed seventh with nine points. The Ninja Express would leave NJPW in June 1988.
World Wrestling Council (1987–1991)[edit | edit source]
During the tail end of the Ninja Express' NJPW run, Mr. Pogo began wrestling for World Wrestling Council in Puerto Rico in 1987, wrestling the likes of Ricky Santana and TNT. By the time the Ninja Express left NJPW in June 1988, he and Nagasaki wrestle for WWC full-time. In July 1988, the Bruiser Brody murder scandal greatly damaged the wrestling scene in Puerto Rico, causing Pogo to work at a local plastic molding plant, while wrestling, due to the massive decrease in attendance and sales. At the same time, he held five WWC World Tag Team Championships, once with TNT and four times with Nagasaki. After Nagasaki left to return to NJPW, before heading to WCW, Pogo carried on the Ninja Express legacy, teaming with Kensuke Sasaki, winning two WWC Caribbean Tag Team Championships in 1989. He would also hold the WWC World Junior Heavyweight Championship once, despite being over the weight limit, before leaving WWC in 1991.
Frontier Martial-Arts Wrestling (1990–1991)[edit | edit source]
In June 1990, he was back in Japan, this time for Frontier Martial-Arts Wrestling, which was an upstart promotion that specialized in death matches. He debuted in FMW on June 2, 1990, seconding Tarzan Goto in his match with Ricky Fuji. Immediately, Pogo would feud with Atsushi Onita, partaking in various deathmatches, which would eventually become Pogo's specialty.
Wrestling International New Generations (1991–1993)[edit | edit source]
In the summer of 1991, Pogo left FMW, because he wanted more interesting matches to compete in, and moved to Wrestling International New Generations (W*ING), where he partaked in innovated deathmatches with everyone, ranging from veterans like Kim Duk and Kevin Sullivan to up and coming stars like Mitsuhiro Matsunaga and Yukihiro Kanemura, among others. He would win one World Tag Team Championship with Crash The Terminator. However, a bitter contract dispute forced Pogo to leave W*ING in June 1993.
Return to FMW (1993–1996)[edit | edit source]
Pogo returned to FMW in July 1993 and resumed his feud with Atsushi Onita. During this period, he wrestled periodically for Michinoku Pro Wrestling, New Tokyo Pro Wrestling, and Big Japan Pro Wrestling. He would win two FMW Brass Knuckles Heavyweight Championships and three FMW Brass Knuckles Tag Team Championships, one each with Hisakatsu Oya, The Gladiator, and Yukihiro Kanemura. On August 1, 1996, Pogo suffered an injury that nearly ended his career. It was during the Double Hell Death Match with Terry Funk when the match was cut short, after Funk would blow fire at Pogo and Pogo would end up being dropped into the exploding barbed wire outside of the ring, but when falling into it, the barbed wire would end up pushing Pogo's chin and head back, breaking his neck. Funk not knowing why Pogo was still down would begin blowing fire at the motionless Pogo stuck in the barbed wire, resulting the referee to end the match and award it to Funk via knockout. Pogo would be able make a return to the ring, but the injury would end up causing him to be even more immobile in the ring. His last match as an active FMW wrestler took place on December 11, 1996, teaming with Masato Tanaka, Tetsuhiro Kuroda, and the returning Atsushi Onita to defeat Terry Funk, Hisakatsu Oya, and The Headhunters in what was considered Pogo's retirement match.
Comeback (1997–2016)[edit | edit source]
His retirement didn't last, as he returned to wrestling in July 1997 for Big Japan Pro Wrestling. In 1998, he became the inaugural BJW Deathmatch Heavyweight Champion. After losing the title, he left BJW and briefly returned to FMW to feud with Atsushi Onita one more time, before leaving in November 1998.
Since 1999, Pogo has been a freelancer, wrestling for promotions including IWA Japan, SPWF, Onita FMW, Shin-W*ING, Shin-FMW, Onita Pro, and his own promotion, WWS.
Personal life[edit | edit source]
In 2003, he ran for a Senate seat in his hometown, but was defeated in the polls.
Sekigawa was rushed to a hospital in February 2007 with a bleeding gastric ulcer where he ended up spending three weeks in the hospital.
His Mr. Pogo character was referenced on the April 23, 2009 episode of TNA Impact on the cable channel SpikeTV. Jeff Jarrett and Scott Steiner were competing in a hardcore weapons match dubbed a "Cactus Jack Smack Attack" by Mick Foley who per the storyline had booked the match and chosen what weapons would be available for the wrestlers to use. One of the weapons was a pogo stick. At one point Scott Steiner began hopping on the pogo stick. Foley, who was a guest commentator, called Steiner "Mr. Pogo". Moments later, after Steiner was clotheslined off the pogo stick, Foley commented that the name was already taken.
Death[edit | edit source]
Sekigawa died in a Gunma, Japan hospital on June 23, 2017, at the age of 66. While having back surgery, his blood pressure decreased, and he died of a cerebral infarction.
In wrestling[edit | edit source]
- Finishing moves
- Japanese Sleeper (Cobra clutch) – WWC
- Pogo Driver (Spike piledriver)
- Signature moves
- Nerve hold
- Throat thrust
- Various judo chops
- Various spin kicks
- El Profe
- General KY Wakamatsu
- Tojo Yamamoto
- Victor Quinones
- Entrance themes
- "Get Up" by Van Halen (FMW/W*ING/Freelance, 1990–2016)
- "Perpetual" by Yngwie Malmsteen – as Pogo Daio
Championships and accomplishments[edit | edit source]
- Big Japan Pro Wrestling
- Central States Wrestling
- NWA Central States Heavyweight Championship (1 time)
- NWA Central States Tag Team Championship (1 time) – with Gypsy Joe
- Frontier Martial Arts Wrestling
- Japan Indie Awards
- NWA Tri-State
- NWA Tri-State Heavyweight Championship (2 times)
- NWA Western States Sports
- NWA Brass Knuckles Championship (Amarillo version) (1 time)
- NWA Western States Tag Team Championship (2 times) – with Mr. Sato
- Stampede Wrestling
- Stampede North American Heavyweight Championship (1 time)
- Stampede International Tag Team Championship (1 times) – with Dynamite Kid
- World Wrestling Council
- Wrestling International New Generations