McRonald Kamaka (March 9, 1937 – July 23, 2007) was an American-Canadian professional wrestler known by the ring name Tor Kamata. He won several heavyweight and tag team championships, most notably the PWF World Heavyweight Championship in All Japan Pro Wrestling and the AWA World Tag Team Championship in the American Wrestling Association. He was a classic heel, reviled for dirty tricks in the ring, included rubbing salt in his opponent's eyes.
|Birth name||McRonald Kamaka|
|Born||March 9, 1937|
|Died||July 23, 2007 (aged 70)|
Saskatoon, Saskatchewan Canada
|Professional wrestling career|
|Ring name(s)||Tor Kamata|
"King" Tor Kamaka
|Billed height||6 ft 3 in (191 cm)|
|Billed weight||350 lb (159 kg)|
Professional wrestling careerEdit
After returning to Hawaii after leaving the United States Air Force, 50th State Big Time Wrestling promoter Ed Francis convinced Kamaka to try professional wrestling. He was given the name Tor Kamata in reference to Tomas De Torquemada of the Spanish Inquisition. He also worked as Mr. Moto, holding the American Wrestling Association's AWA World Tag Team Championship with Mitsu Arakawa. One of his signature moves, the "judo chop" became a popular phrase for all types of martial arts strikes in the 1960s, even being mentioned by Snoopy in the comic strip "Peanuts" (21 December 1964, 14 January 1967). A generation later, the phrase was satirised in the Austin Powers films.
In 1976 and 1977, Kamata wrestled in the World Wide Wrestling Federation. Managed by Freddie Blassie, he had two memorable matches with Bob Backlund when Backlund was on the brink of becoming the WWWF Champion. In the first, Kamata threw salt into Backlund's eyes, which set the stage for a televised Texas Death match, aired May 7, 1977. Again Kamata threw salt in Backlund's eyes, so Backlund merely used the referee's shirt to wipe it out. Then Backlund delivered an Atomic Knee Drop and won the match. At the time, Superstar Billy Graham had just defeated Bruno Sammartino for the championship and Backlund was being built up as the number one contender.
Kamata was an amateur wrestler during high school. He was a club bouncer before becoming a professional wrestler. He joined the United States Air Force and trained with amateur wrestlers in Turkey. During the 1970s, he owned restaurants in Calgary, Alberta, and Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, where he also ran a shiatsu business.
Championships and accomplishmentsEdit
- 50th State Big Time Wrestling
- All Japan Pro Wrestling
- American Wrestling Association
- Central States Wrestling
- Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling
- NWA Southern Tag Team Championship (Mid-Atlantic version) (4 times) - with Kinji Shibuya (2) and Duke Keomuka (2)
- NWA Los Angeles
- NWA New Zealand
- NWA Mid-America
- Stampede Wrestling
- Western States Alliance
- World Wrestling Association
- Worldwide Wrestling Associates / NWA Hollywood Wrestling
- NWA World Tag Team Championship (Los Angeles version) (1 time) - with Kamalamala
- WWA Americas Tag Team Championship (1 time) - with Freddie Blassie
- NWA International Television Tag Team Championship (5 times) - with Hans Hermann (1), Freddie Blassie (2), Bearcat Wright (1) and Kintaro Ohki (1)
- World Wrestling Council
- Oliver, Greg (July 7, 2004). "Tor Kamata: Mean but nice". SLAM! Wrestling. Retrieved 2009-12-20.
- Oliver, Greg (July 26, 2007). "Tor Kamata dead at 70". SLAM! Wrestling. Retrieved 2009-12-20.
- Real World Tag League 1978 at purolove.com retrieved on October 6, 2018
- Royal Duncan and Gary Will (2006). "(Kansas and Western Missouri) West Missouri: North American Tag Team Title". Wrestling Title Histories. Archeus Communications. p. 253. ISBN 0-9698161-5-4.
- "NWA North American Tag Team Title (Central States version)". wrestling-titles.com. Retrieved March 24, 2015.
- "Stampede Wrestling Hall of Fame (1948-1990)". Puroresu Dojo. 2003.
- Royal Duncan & Gary Will (2000). Wrestling Title Histories (4th ed.). Archeus Communications. ISBN 0-9698161-5-4.
- "W.W.A. World Tag Team Title (Indianapolis)". Puroresu Dojo. 2003.