#55 – Tiger Mask

I really like the animation in this opening. The movement of the wrestlers looks great and the fact it doesn't use a static camera position is awesome.

This 1969 series is probably the most influential wrestling series, although there is one that is bigger that came later (and will come later in this list). The manga is discussed in Schodt's “Manga Manga” where you get to see the great villain Golgotha Cross, a wrestler with a barbed wire crucifix as a weapon. A BARBED WIRE CRUCIFIX!

Anyway back to it's influence. Like Jushin Liger, this series spawned a real wrestling gimmick (in fact the series had featured real wrestlers occasionally like Giant Baba). In 1981, Satoru Sayama donned the feline mask and became Tiger Mask.

However, unlike Liger more than one man has donned the mask. In 1984, Mitsuharu Misawa became Tiger Mask II. In the early 90's Koji Kanemoto was Tiger Mask III. And since 1995, there has been the as yet unknown Tiger Mask IV.

Also of note is the Black Tiger gimmick, the arch foe of the man who wears the Tiger Mask. It has been portrayed by a variety of wrestlers, most notably the late Eddie Guerrero.

And of course, King from Tekken is Tiger Mask in all but name. He even has the same origin as the manga/anime character (orphan who helps orphans).

Here's a site with more than you'll need to know about Tiger Mask

It's the return of Puroresu time!