Ask ACW: February 2002

Tanako X and Madison Payne -

Tanako X - Q: Who is Tanako X and what is his background and involvement in wrestling and the martial arts?

A: Tanako X, the CEO and Founder of Apartment Championship Wrestling has been involved in the apartment wrestling industry from more than 15 years. He worked with the World Apartment Wrestling Federation for 7 years before taking over the smallerUniversal Apartment Championship Wrestling in 1993. After the X Wars in 1996, Tanako absorbed the remaining assets of WAWF and in 1998 acquired Ladies Apartment Wrestling Association and Global Apartment Wrestling Association and merged all of the assets into a new promotion which he named Apartment Championship Wrestling. With all of the acquired assets, ACWs’ lineage can be traced back to the earliest known World Champion Helen Armstrong in 1959.

Prior to his association with the apartment wrestling industry, Tanako X was a well-known fighting champion in the mid-1960’s. He holds black belts in 7 martial arts disciplines and was also a champion wrestler at the University of Maryland and defeated French champion Marque LeMonde for the Pan American Wrestling Festival title in 1967. He was favored to win the gold medal in Judo at the 1968 Pan-American games but suffered injuries in a well documented attack by a rival competitor three weeks before the competition.

He was out of action for 14 months and returned briefly to the martial arts world working as a stunt coordinator on the movie Game of Death before production was shut down after the tragic death of the movie’s star Bruce Lee. X coordinated the stunts on several other movies in the early 1970’s before disappearing in 1976. He was believed to have traveled to Katmandu where he underwent a spiritual training over a two year period (although rumors insist that he was employed by various intelligence agencies during that period of time). Very few photographs of X exist without his mask which he began wearing in 1968 after the aforementioned attack. He was known for wearing sunglasses at all times before donning the mask. His ethnicity and place of origin are unknown to all but a few people and he has no known relatives (although speculation continues that he is the brother of Masahiro X – Tanako scoffs at such suggestions).

Tanako X currently resides in Chicago, Illionois, United States.

Barbie Mayfield - Q: What is the D-Cup championship?

A: In Japan each year, professional wrestling’s elite junior heavyweights from around the world compete in a high-flying, action packed tournament called the J-Cup. The tournament is open to competitors from all promotions and is the most highly regarded of its kind in the world. In 1983 Japanese apartment wrestling promoter Sayama Sensake called for an open competition between apartment wrestlers worldwide in an annual tournament. Sensake designated the tournament the Sensake games but in 1999, after his untimely death, his son Tehru renamed it the D-Cup tournament.

Barbie Mayfield won the tournament a year later as she suprised the international field of competitors in her debut.


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