Yasuhiro Kojima

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Yasuhiro Kojima
Yasuhiro Kojima.jpg
Born (1937-07-22)July 22, 1937
Yokohama, Kanagawa, Japan
Died November 27, 1999(1999-11-27) (aged 62)
Tampa, Florida
Professional wrestling career
Ring name(s) Hiro Matsuda
Ernesto Kojima (Peru)
Trained by Diablo Velasco
Rikidōzan
Karl Gotch
Debut 1957

Yasuhiro Kojima (小島 泰弘 Kojima Yasuhiro?) (July 22, 1937 – November 27, 1999) was a professional wrestler and the trainer of Hulk Hogan, "Mr. Wonderful" Paul Orndorff, Scott Hall, Lex Luger, Ron Simmons, Keiji Mutoh, and many other professional wrestlers. He was better known as Hiro Matsuda, an identity he adopted while competing in the southern United States, inspired by earlier wrestlers Sorakichi Matsuda and Matty Matsuda. As a trainer, Matsuda was famous for being very stiff with his trainees to toughen them up and teach them to respect the business. His most famous story involved him being very tough on a young Hulk Hogan in his first day of training and breaking his leg[citation needed]. After Hogan healed, he came right back to Matsuda's school, looking to continue his training. Matsuda was so impressed by his display of "guts" that he trained him properly from that day on.

He initially debuted under his real name at Rikidōzan's Japanese Wrestling Association, but then left Japan to pursue wrestling in the Americas. Once in a while he would return to Japan, where he formed a tag team with Antonio Inoki that was only the outward reflection of the long-time friendship between the two men.

He came to work in Jim Crockett Promotions in 1987 as a heel to participate in a feud between Dusty Rhodes and Lex Luger. Matsuda was in Luger's corner. During the feud, he was billed as "The Master of the Japanese Sleeper," which was a Sleeper hold. He famously locked Johnny Weaver, who was in Rhodes' corner, in the hold. The prolonged application of the hold caused Weaver to bleed profusely from the mouth.

He later on worked briefly for World Championship Wrestling acting as the manager in early 1989 for the Yamasaki Corporation (a renamed Four Horsemen) and then being involved in Terry Funk's stable, The J-Tex Corporation as their business agent from Japan. As was the case with Tojo Yamamoto, he was frequently made the manager or spokesman of Japanese wrestlers on excursion in the United States. In this role, he "introduced" The Great Muta (managed by Gary Hart) on a World Championship Wrestling episode.

Kojima died in 1999 in Tampa, Florida of colon cancer.[1]

In wrestling[edit]

  • Nicknames
    • "The Master of the Japanese Sleeper"

Championships and accomplishments[edit]

References[edit]