1976’s ‘Pro Wrestling Star Azteckaiser’ Is Your New Favorite Tokusatsu Anime Wrestling Show
If there’s one thing that sets ComicsAlliance apart from other websites, it’s that we’re not exactly shy about letting our readers know what our favorite things are. As a result, whether it’s our look back at Power Rangers, our (sadly short-lived) series of looks at the Japanese Spider-Man show, or even our recent excitement over Shotaro Ishinomori, you’re probably already aware that we have a soft spot for tokusatsu. There’s just something about transforming superheroes who occasionally summon dirtbikes and/or giant robots to battle evil that appeals to us.
If you’re the same way, then you might want to block out the next half hour so that you can enjoy the pilot episode of Pro Wrestling Star Azteckaiser, a slightly more obscure show from 1976 that follows the adventures of a pro wrestler who battles evil by transforming into anime and rides around on a motorcycle that looks like Jack Kirby designed it. It might be our new favorite thing.
The worlds of pro wrestling and tokusatsu shows aren’t exactly new to each other — both Tiger Mask and Jushin “Thunder” Liger were originally based on animated counterparts. Azteckaiser, though, which was sent to me by pal Brandon Bragg, takes things to an entirely new, entirely bizarre level. The plot revolves around the sinister Black Mist Wrestling Federation, a promotion that appears to be staffed entirely by actual demons, who invade the decent, hardworking World Pro Wrestling Championship in order to steal their title, even going so far as to put current champ Strong Ricky in the hospital.
I’m not exactly sure how this happens, since the BMWF’s #1 Contender, Red Bloody Hell (accompanied to the ring by Satan Demon) tends to pull out an actual sword and beat people with the pommel before attempting to literally decapitate them. That sort of behavior tends to be frowned upon even in hardcore matches, but I guess attempted murder is a legal finishing move over there. Either way, they pretty much trounce the good guys.
Fortunately, the WPWC has someone looking out for them: Azteckaiser, a super-powerful wrestler who uses the mystical Star of Aztec to transform himself and his opponent into an anime, at which time he can do finishing moves that, according to Wikipedia, “are otherwise impossible.”
You know, like the Boston Crab.
It is basically amazing, and in an interesting sidenote, it’s actually the version of the Aztec empire that Sam Humphries based Sacrifice on. True story. You can ask him.