Vinniejames wrote:I believe Tigers Mask is named after the Hanshin Tigers baseball team in Japan and has no affiliation with Tiger Mask. Anyone back me up on this?
You are correct sir.
Tigers' Mask was (and still is) one of the top stars of Osaka Pro Wrestling, although he's toned down the "baseball" aspect of his gimmick recently. He's a really strong junior wrestler there who doesn't get much attention because of OPW's low TV profile in Japan.
Black Tigers was, as stated earlier, Jeremy Lopez. He was NOT a TWA student but rather a Dean Malenko student out of Florida. He was one of the bigger stars in NWA Wildside at the turn of the decade, winning their Jr. Heavyweight title twice. He then did a very long tour of Osaka Pro under the Black Tigers gimmick in 2003, with the company hoping they could mimic the Tiger Mask/Black Tiger feud in New Japan. It didn't really pan out, although Lopez later did an All Japan tour under that gimmick as well. He also appeared on some of the earliest ROH shows in 2002. After all that he moved to Texas and other than an appearance in the 2004 Peterson Cup, he pretty much dropped off the map.
They were both part of the Osaka Pro contingent that came over to the West Coast (along with Ebessan, Kuishinbo Kamen and the freelance Tokyo GU-REN-TAI) and PWG put together 88MPH on not too much notice to capitalize on them being around...and it's still my favorite PWG show from the early era. Keep in mind that in early 2004, that much Japanese talent on a card was considered a pretty big deal in the indy wrestling world. (ROH had only a few months before done their biggest attendance ever - and it might still be one of their biggest ever - with the AJPW talent at Final Battle 2003).
There is your Pointless Wrestling Knowledge for April 27th, 2008