Kim Sil-lak (1924-1963) was a Korean sumo and Professional Wrestler and promoter as Rikidozan. He is celebrated as the "Father of Puroresu", or Japanese pro wrestling. He started his pro wrestling career in 1951, defeating every American wrestler who came to Japan. While he was a huge Face in Japan, he was booked as a Heel in the U.S., especially coming less than ten years after the end of World War II. He held many titles in the JWA (Japanese Wrestling Association) which would later continue on into All Japan Pro Wrestling. Among his achievements, he was a 4x JWA All Asia Tag Team Champion with Toyonobori, a 1x JWA All Japan Tag Team Champion with Toyonobori and a 1x NWA International Heavyweight Champion. He defeated Lou Thesz for that title and held it for over FIVE YEARS, right until his death from stab wounds on December 15, 1963. He also helped train Antonio Inoki, who would go on to establish New Japan Pro Wrestling, and Giant Baba, who would create All Japan. He was inducted into the Wrestling Observer Newsletter Hall of Fame in 1996.As usual, you can find the basics at The Other Wiki.
"Father of Tropes":
- As Himself: In 1955's Yagate aozora and 1954's Otsukisama ni wa warui kedo.
- Badass Teacher: To Inoki and Baba
- Bash Brothers: With Toyonobori, Azumafuji and Bobby Bruns.
- Biopic: 2004's Rikidōzan, starring Sol Kyung-gu as Rikidozan.
- Captain Ersatz: A favorite for them in Fire Pro Wrestling. Sometimes they just name him outright.
- Defeat Means Friendship: With Lou Thesz
- Downer Ending: His murder at the age of 39.
- Dying Moment of Awesome: He kicked the ass of his assassin, but died after his stab wound became infected because the yakuza member had pissed on it before using it.
- Finishing Move: Overhead chop, piledriver
- Foreign Wrestling Heel: In the U.S.
- Ink-Suit Actor: In Tiger Mask
- Red Baron: "The Father of Puroresu"
- Wrestling Family: Two sons. Mitsuo Momota debuted in 1972 and did not have much success beyond a brief run with the All Japan World Junior Heavyweight Title, though he is still competing in different promotions. Mitsuo's brother Yoshiro Momota had a run in All Japan in the 1980s but never had much success. He died of liver cancer in 2000 at the age of 54.