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Way back in the day, Dave Scherer put this on his first comp tape for the masses... I'm pretty sure this was the match he started it with. Between that, Kroffat/Furnas vs Kobashi/Kikuchi and Toyota vs Yamada, I was never quite the same afterwards... there's a reason I've been "Pogo Pete" here and elsewhere for ages.

Pogo's always been fascinating to me. Here's a guy who bucked the Japanese system as a young lion, came to North America and was a star here for years before returning to Japan and reinventing himself as a deathmatch specialist, combining that unique skill-set with rock solid psychology. Apparently he left everything in his apartment to Tony Myers (ex Memphis guy who's worked with him in Japan for years), who is quite the wreck this morning as one might imagine.

RIP Pogo-San.

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One of the very first comp tapes I got - it was either a Quebrada tape or a Schneider comp - featured Mr. Pogo digging a scythe into someone's back (I wanna say it was Masato Tanaka).   That kind of impression doesn't leave a young fan's mind quickly.

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25 minutes ago, Tromatagon said:

I fucking love Mr. Pogo.  Surgery complications freak me the fuck out.  That's how my grandpa died and he was a tough mofo too.

Heaven doesn't want him and Hell is afraid he'll take the place over. RIP Mr Pogo.

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8 minutes ago, Michael Sweetser said:

One of the very first comp tapes I got - it was either a Quebrada tape or a Schneider comp - featured Mr. Pogo digging a scythe into someone's back (I wanna say it was Masato Tanaka).   That kind of impression doesn't leave a young fan's mind quickly.

It was Matsunaga

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12 minutes ago, Michael Sweetser said:

THAT'S right (and OF COURSE it was Matsunaga).  I tried looking it up and couldn't find the match.

You will find the gif immediately if you just type Mr. Pogo into Google.

I am just not giving the site that hosts it the clicks

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This is still one of my favorite death matches. RIP

EDIT: I forgot the match that Pete posted was the "Matsunaga's head lit on fire" match. What a heel move, they were even throwing trash in the ring in Japan. 

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Has anyone done so much with less? Pogo had the sickle, the fireball, and not much else, but he headlined stadiums. He was part of that class of guys like Onita; broken down as fuck, but completely crazy and with enough charisma to draw like gangbusters in a niche faction of Japanese wrestling culture.

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I split Pogo out because he deserves it

From the WON

Quote

Tetsuo Sekigawa, best known as Mr. Pogo, one of the faces of death match wrestling, passed away early Friday at the age of 66.

Sekigawa was undergoing back surgery at a hospital in his hometown of Gunma and his death was reported as due to a cerebral infarction during surgery.

Sekigawa, who used a number of names during his career, most notably Mr. Pogo, Great Pogo, King Pogo, Mr Seki, Great Seki, Judo Joe, Ninja Warrior, and a number of others, had been a pro wrestler for 45 years.

He was the varsity heavyweight at Chuo College and was a contemporary in college of Tomomi "Jumbo" Tsuruta, who became an all-time great as a pro wrestler. Tsuruta was a basketball star growing up who had never wrestled, but his dream was to compete in the Olympics. While in college, he realized that Japan would never make the Olympics in basketball in that era, and in studying sports, found wrestling interesting.

He went out for the wrestling team, where Sekigawa was the star, and was mocked at first but Tsuruta picked the sport up like almost nobody in history, and within months was beating Sekigawa in practice and within a year had captured the All-Japan collegiate championship and less than two years after picking up the sport, was competing in the 1972 Olympics.

Sekigawa actually turned pro first, before the 1972 Olympics. He was at first recruited by Japan Pro Wrestling, but was lured to New Japan and debuted two weeks after the formation of the promotion.

He left Japan in 1973 and started a long U.S. run in Georgia as Judo Joe, doing a series of judo vs. wrestling matches against Mr. Wrestling. He also worked in Stampede Wrestling, All-Star Wrestling in Vancouver, and in California for the LeBell promotion. It was in California that he was known as Mr. Seki.

He mostly wrestled at the prelim and mid-card level under a variety of names, hitting nearly every promotion in North America. By the late 1970s, he was considered a regional star. He was first given the name Mr. Pogo while working in West Texas, but he was known as Mr. Sekigawa when he captured the North American title with Stampede Wrestling, and briefly formed a tag team with a young Dynamite Kid.

It wasn't until 1985 that he returned to New Japan. He and Kazuo Sakurada, also known as Kendo Nagasaki, formed a tag team called the Ninja Express in New Japan and Puerto Rico from 1985 to 1991.

It was in the 90s where he became known as a death match specialist, working for FMW and W*ING, with matches against the likes of Atsushi Onita (his most famous career rival), Masato Tanaka, and Terry Funk. He suffered a broken neck in a death match with Funk in 1996 and at first it was feared his career was over as he literally couldn't move in the ring.

But he returned the next year and has continued to wrestle on smaller promotion shows the past 20 years.

http://www.f4wonline.com/japan/tetsuo-mr-pogo-sekigawa-passes-away-66-years-old-237866

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Somehow I never did a Mr. Pogo WOTD so here are random reviews I found

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STREETFIGHT DEATH MATCH: MR. POGO/TORYU vs. DICK SLATER/ MASANOBU KURISU 
HEY!  It's the tamest streetfight of all time as these four work a straight tag match.  Pogo attempts to justify the stips as he and Kurisu head to the floor for some half-assed brawling while former superstar gaijin Slater slaps a spinning toehold on Toryu.  Pogo saves his then-disciple and Toryu heads to the floor with Slater while Pogo DDTs Kurisu on a chair (see, it really IS a streetfight!)... then since it's a Fujiwara show, Pogo gets the win with a *dragon sleeper* at 8:22.  I guess they RIBBED THE BOYS with this finish, especially since the boxer/wrestler match was more of an actual streetfight. 

Pete - DVDVR #107

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Great Pogo/ Shadow V vs. Great Nakamaki/Great Kojika ( Dry Ice Casket Death Match): 
Hey, here's the match that pays Big Japan's bills for this show and keeps their name mentioned by creepy guys at indie shows all over the US. Boy, this wasn't good at all. There are certain criteria that have to be met to achieve the state of Good Garbage Match: YOU must have one guy who will die and die and die in an attempt to top Cactus Jack in 1995's King Of The Death Match Tournament. Big Japan has one guy who was crazy as Cactus Jack when it came to bumps that NOONE with a functional brainstem would try, and that was Yamakawa and he's in the undercard now, participating in legitimate wrestling matches that are infinitely more interesting than this industrial load of crap. The most they can muster is Nakamaki, who bleeds a lot. But Big Fucking Deal, I-I-I can bleed a lot, just let me carve the turkey at Thanksgiving. Blood without wrestling is as horrible as Dynamic Charismatic MicWork without wrestling- it replaces something cool instead of delivers something cool. YOU must have something dangerous involved. Fire, barbed-wire, scaffolds, cages, chairs- these are good in the right hands. DRY ICE? Mr. Pogo actually picks some up and tries to make Kojika eat it. This is about as dangerous as a Barefoot- Stub Your Toe Match or a Brush Your Teeth And Immediately Drink Orange Juice Match: the team with the highest threshold for being annoyed WINS! Pogo's router bits on his drill is a weak replacement for something cool like big bump or some decent ass-stomping. This delivered nothing and really really sucked. A lame ending to fair little tape.

DEAN - DVDVR #82a

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Mr. Pogo vs Kung Fu Lee- Barbed Wire Baseball Bat and Barbedwire Board Match (6/8/98):
Kung Fu Lee is the horrific Great Kojika in a gi.  This match was mercifully clipped and was basically a obese elderly man stabbing a gaunt elderly man in the back with a knife.  Pogo wins by choking Kojika with a chain.  I hate both of these guys a lot.

Shadow WX vs Mr. Pogo- No Ropes Barbed Wire Match (7/26/98):
Basically just an excuse for Pogo to rummage through his kitchen drawer, as he spends the match cutting up WX with knives, drills, swords and a huge electric cutting knife.  Not very interesting or fun to watch.  One cool bump as WX gets whipped into the barbed wire really hard and goes flying to the floor, which sends the top strand of barbedwire whipping into the audience, jabbing a bunch of sleazy Yakuza hangers-on.  Besides that this was FF material.

Mitsiharu Matsunaga vs Mr. Pogo- Burning Trailer glass barbed wire match
(8/9/98):
This was a fire match with glass windowpane and a casket in the middle. Not bad, with some good fire bumps, and a legitimately insane face-first
bump into the glass windowpane by Mitsiharu.  Matsunaga innovates by lighting his ankle pad on fire and kicking Pogo with it.  Pogo lit his scythe on fire and popped Matsunaga with it.  It is hard to really appreciate a fire match after watching the fire match in W*ING.  You are just sitting there watching Pogo get his head pushed into a flame, and your thinking "Big fucking deal- it isn't like he is burning all the skin on his back off.   The end was kind of cool as Pogo puts Matsunaga in the casket and set it on fire, which would have been really stupid in a Kane match, but was kind of cool in Big Japan, because there isn't any pussy trapdoor- Matsunaga is really burning up.  Kind of long but with some cool stuff.

Schneider - DVDVR #86

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Kendo Nagasaki/Mr. Pogo v. Miguel Perez Jr./T.N.T.:
I was figuring that getting Mr Pogo in Puerto Rico would be a good glance into his persona that arose later- but, as with most things about PR, there is always baffling twist. In Puerto Rico, Mr Pogo wrestled a whole lot like his partner, Kendo Nagasaki- VERY 1970's style, very low-impact, pressure holds, more psychology- less movement. Not bad at all, but nothing like the blood-sucking freak he became in the nineties. TNT is, of course, Savio Vega, and he is really good on these tapes, carrying matches against about everyone he is in with and having the best match of any I saw against the Puerto Rican-stint Keiji Mutoh (shading out the Mutoh/Perez triumpharant by a hair). Miguel Perez is very US old-style in PR on these tapes- as he is a really hairy Ricky Steamboat. Sorta. He is WADS better in Mexico and Japan. 

T.N.T. v. Mr. Pogo:
This was good. TNT and Pogo build from a headlock to Pogo getting in his offense and topping off with a Cobra Clutch that TNT has to work out of, which sets up his transition to get TNT on offense after hitting the ropes which sets up his super kick. Bill Watts or Ole Anderson could have booked this match. 

Mr. Pogo v. Ricky Santana:
This is the beginning of the Mr Pogo we know and don't love. He basically gnaws Santana's forehead off and Santana blades like Santana is wont to do. Pogo eschews all wrestling hold and goes for his poor-man's Abdullah impersonation. Too short to be good. There is an ASS-LOAD of blood. 

Rufus R. Jones v. Mr. Pogo:
JIMINY FUCKIN CHRISTMAS. Rufus R FreightTrain Jones was my favorite wrestler when I was EIGHT. In 1974. He was old back then. This match is from NINETEEN EIGHTY-EIGHT. Rufus was basically the Little Richard to Dusty Rhodes Pat Boone as Rhodes stole EVERYTHING from Rufus stylistically, but since Dusty was white and Rufus was black, Dusty got to run the NWA and WCW into the ground and eventually book himself to win a bunch of Bunkhouse Stampedes, while Rufus had to wrestle Mr Pogo in Puerto Rico to make the rent. This match is PRICELESS. A man who will sell out Kawasaki Stadium has to sell the goofiest comedy spots that the punchdrunk Rufus can come up with. Unbelievably weird. UNBELIEVABLY WEIRD. 

DEAN - DVDVR #65

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Atsushi Onita vs Mr. Pogo (barbed wire board landmine match): 
Pre-match, someone pokes one of the landmines with a stick to show that they work.  Pogo lumbers through the crowd and throws chairs at people like they chanted "Smokin' Gunns!" at him or something.  Pogo pushes Onita into the ropes and they spend a couple minutes struggling before Onita gets blowed up real good.  The ref sells the explosion in the ring.... Pogo doesn't. Onita rolls around on the barbed wire a bit as Pogo gets a chair. Onita gets chaired a few times, then piledriven on it.  Pogo rolls him out and we get a so-so landmine effect as they sort of go off one at a time, so it's not all that spectacular.  Pogo hits another piledriver on a chair and then does his impression of the Goodyear Blimp in _Black Sunday_ as he hits a top rope splash for two.  Onita starts hitting headbutts and takes a few minutes to try to throw Pogo out.  Pogo gets blowed up real good.  Onita comes out to the floor and then Vic Quionnes gets blowed up real good.  Onita with some more headbutts and a DDT from the second rope.  He hits another DDT and a lariat, a head***and a face crusher for two.  Hey Onita, how about some headbutts! Another DDT out of the corner and then a face crusher off the top rope for the three.  I don' think the number of different holds in this match reached double digits.  There you go. 

Ray - DVDVR 87

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I was never a big fan of Pogo, but I always respected his presence and unique ability to captivate a crowd with just a few props and a scary look. He's a classic case for me of seeing a wrestler that isn't my cup of tea, but still recognizing how great he was at what he did. Hell, I own an official Mr. Pogo shirt and wear it all the time.

Still, I must admit I have gone out of my way to watch some of his matches. Loved his match against Funk, the one he got paralyzed in (that's not why I loved it, hate wrestlers getting hurt, it was just a fun match). I'm not sure if a wrestler quite like him will ever come through again, was just a combination of right time and right person to take the role.

I don't think any of his recent matches made tape but he was still wrestling through late 2016. Wrestlers never retire. The translation I saw said he died during surgery (I think on his back), but Google Translate isn't great for Japanese so don't hold me to that.

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Onita/Pogo matches were one of the early things to fascinate me about Other Wrestling when I was a teenage person trading VHS tapes at my own personal expense through the mail. I really am a classic All Japan guy, but I never really lost my soft spot for Onita/Pogo and a lot of their associated madness.

 

And I'm sorry, but no one that lived through an electrified barbed wire cage time bomb death match can possibly die. So Onita, whenever you "die", you'd better be ready because your old buddy is gonna be waiting for you. The great ring in the sky just got a lot more bloody.

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One of my favorite Pogo matches is from a Minakami outdoors show, it's Pogo working a kids/family show and having a blast doing this wild but not bloody brawl. My friend who knew Pogo told me that he loved working kids shows and having seen this I believe him.

Seeing some one mentioned Toryu that reminds me of a other favorite Pogo match of mine.
Ryuma Go/Shunji Takano vs Mr.Pogo/Toryu from Samurai Project.                                                                                       Shunji Takano is one of the Takano brother who started PWC, one of the most well known PWC matches is Shunji Takano vs 7 wrestlers, mostly young guys, like a bully, including but not limited to Sanshiro Tagaki, NOSAWA and I think Kikuzawa. Takano beats on them like a tough guy and there's a rock band playing as well, Dean used to have this in that match folder he had. Move a head to this Samurai Project show which I think is a later show, I could be wrong though. Though guy Takano wants no piece of Pogo and a avoids him like his very well being depends on it, mean while Ryuma Go is bumping like a madman.

 

RIP Mr.Pogo.

 

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Regarding the death of Tetsuo Sekigawa, also known as Mr. Pogo and tons of other different names, Pogo passed away on the operating table at about Noon today Japanese time. He was having a major operation on his lower back at a hospital in Gunma. During the operation, he had a number of health complications after being given anesthesia, including a heart issue and then had a stroke. He was moved to a larger hospital and was put in ICU and then passed away.

From the WON update

Pretty much everyone's terror when they or a loved one has to have major surgery

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Pogo was a favorite to play on Fire Pro since you could blow fire at people and sickle attack them.

 

It's interesting to find footage of him before he went to FMW because you can see him when he was a bit more mobile.

 

He was very much a guy who put the whole insane sounding match stipulations that you heard about and were like "Yup, I think I have to pay money to see what this is all about."

 

I mean, a match where guys have to ride out in a boat to a ring set up in a pool that explodes?

 

 

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