Former WWE Tag Team Champion "Dymanite Kid" Tom Billington was featured in a Japanese language TV documentary on Satoru Sayama (the original Tiger Mask). The documentary was filmed for NHK TV and it aired on TV earlier this month ahead of the new Tiger Mask cartoon series. The series of matches between Billington and Sayama in the early 80s were a huge deal because that style of wrestling was not being done on a national level. Both men helped opened the door for smaller wrestlers who worked a faster-paced style.
It's sad to watch the part of the documentary with Billington because he is in a vegetative state and confined to a wheelchair in a nursing home after suffering a stroke last year. At the time of his stroke, his family said publicly that he would make a full recovery. It's unclear when the footage was shot but we hope he continues to recover.
Billingon is hard to track down these days and it took them over a month to find him but near the end of the documentary they are able to talk to him and that is when he is shown a video message from Sayama. Billington can barely talk or keep his eyes open but he reacts when he sees Sayama put on his mask. Despite some of the stories you may have heard in shoot interviews, you can't deny Billington's influence on the wrestling business and it's sad to see the condition he's in these days.
You can check out the documentary below. The Tom Billington footage is at 53:33.
(Thanks to Don in Calgary for his help).