The Calamari Wrestler (2004)

Kanichi Iwata is a wrestler who is suffering from a disease that turns him into a giant squid. Interestingly enough, he’s played by Osamu Nishimura, a wrestler who had already survived cancer. I’m a big fan of Nishimura, who is a proponent of the MUGA style of pro wrestling. This term translates into Selflessness and is the catch style that was used by Tatsumi Fujinami for a good portion of his career. That said, I never saw any wrestlers become mollusks in New Japan Pro Wrestling.

Eventually, the Calamari wrestler must battle Koji Taguchi, who is The Octopus Wrestler. He’s played by AKIRA, who is also known as Akira Nogami. He’s wrestled on and off when he’s not acting. Finally, one of the heroes of the past, Godozan, is revealed as The Squilla Boxer. What’s a squilla? It’s a form of mantis shrimp.

One of my favorite wrestlers ever, Yoshihiro Takayama, also appears as himself.

There’s only one downside to being a Calamari wrestler. If you have sex, you lose your sea-based power. This reminds me of the old days of pro wrestling when guys claimed they wouldn’t have sex before big matches. Then, you know, I got into wrestling for real and learned the fallacy of these legends.

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