|Billed height||1.72 m (5 ft 8 in)|
|Billed weight||82 kg (180 lb)|
September 10, 1981 |
Ichinoseki, Iwate, Japan
|Trained by||Yasushi Kanda|
|Debut||July 29, 2006|
Masato Onodera (小野寺 正人) (b. September 10, 1981) is a Japanese professional wrestler and former mixed martial artist, known by his ring name Yamato (stylized as YAMATO), who competes for Dragon Gate and its international expansion Dragon Gate USA.
The 5th graduate of the Dragon Gate dojo, Onodera had previous professional fighting experience competing under his real name in Pancrase and was recruited into Final M2K directly after his debut. Yasushi Kanda gave him his "Gekokujoh" character, and inherited a lot of the Gekokujoh-era moves that Kanda had used during his own career. He later chose to leave Final M2K so he could grow along his own path, which was one of the reasons for the M2K break-up.
He won the first NEX-1 tournament, which earned him the right to travel to the U.S. His stay was brief, at under three months. He returned in May, aligning with his generation peers Shingo Takagi, BxB Hulk & Cyber Kong in New Hazard, dropping the Gekokujoh lineage completely and renaming himself to YAMATO.
He appeared in Ring Of Honor's All Star Extravaganza III and Super Card of Honor II. He defeated Pelle Primeau and was beaten by Claudio Castagnoli during a U.S. tour.
On April 17, 2008, YAMATO betrayed New Hazard and sided with the Muscle Outlaw'z after he attacked his partner Naoki Tanisaki in a tag match against Gamma and Genki Horiguchi. However, the betrayal was a ruse, for on May 14, Takagi and Kong betrayed Hulk before the trio were scheduled to defend their Open the Triangle Gate titles against YAMATO, Gamma & Horiguchi. New Hazard was ended, and Takagi and Kong joined up with YAMATO and company to form the new super-heel group Real Hazard. Then, he, Gamma, and Takagi won the newly-vacant Open the Triangle Gate titles in an impromptu match against Hulk, Naruki Doi & Masato Yoshino. Their title reign lasted until June 28, when they were defeated by Keni'chiro Arai, Taku Iwasa & Shinobu. However, he would win them back from them on July 12, along with Yasushi Kanda & Gamma, and the trio would lose the titles to Masaaki Mochizuki, Don Fujii & Magnitude Kishiwada on September 28. But, YAMATO would not be without a championship for long, for a week later, he teamed with Cyber Kong to defeat Naruki Doi & Masato Yoshino for the Open the Twin Gate Championship.
When Gamma and Yasushi Kanda began to have serious problems with each other, he helped organize a match between them where the loser would be kicked out of Real Hazard. Even though Kanda lost, Gamma ended up being the one ousted from the unit, after Keni'chiro Arai joined the group's ranks and assisted them in beating down Gamma. YAMATO then took over Gamma's role as leader.
On March 1, he and Cyber Kong would lose the Open the Twin Gate titles to Susumu Yokosuka & Gamma after stablemate KAGETORA interfered and turned on them. He then began to provoke BxB Hulk, and even offered him to join Real Hazard under his Black Hulk persona. Hulk responded by randomly attacking members of Real Hazard as Black Hulk, dominating each attack until April 15, when Real Hazard got the better of him and laid him out. YAMATO then challenged him to a match, and said he did not care whether Hulk fought him as Black Hulk or his normal self. The match, held on May 5, saw BxB Hulk as Black Hulk beat him by referee stoppage.
Shortly after this, a lot of friendly fire began to occur between Real Hazard in their matches. On May 23, YAMATO told the group not to interfere in his match the next day against Shingo Takagi. However, Kanda still hits Takagi with a blue box and then tossed the box to YAMATO. A disappointed YAMATO refused to use the blue box and even gave Takagi a free shot on him due to the interference. In the end, YAMATO lost the match. The refusal of help from his stable caused Genki Horiguchi to question his reasoning. He then went to New Japan Pro Wrestling to compete in their annual Best Of The Super Juniors tournament, hoping tensions would've cooled down by the time he returned to Dragon Gate. Though he was eliminated from contention in the round-robin portion of the tournament, only winning two of six matches, his two wins came against junior heavyweight greats Jushin Liger and eventual winner Koji Kanemoto. When he returned to Dragon Gate, he continually refused to team with his Real Hazard stablemates, and finally quit the group altogether on June 26.
He joined up with KAMIKAZE and re-formed his team with Shingo Takagi, and they made a challenge for Ryo Saito & Genki Horiguchi's Open the Twin Gate Titles on July 19. They failed to capture the titles due to him being blinded by a protein powder attack from Keni'chiro Arai. However, they would gain another title shot in August, after winning the annual Summer Adventure Tag League Tournament, and they would win the titles a month later. They would lose the titles to CIMA & Gamma on December 27.
On March 22, 2010, YAMATO defeated Naruki Doi via Gallaria to become the 11th Open the Dream Gate Champion at Compilation Gate 2010 in Tokyo. Following this match, YAMATO enjoyed three successful title defenses against Susumu Yokosuka, Shingo Takagi and Masaaki Mochizuki. On July 11, 2010, YAMATO lost the Open the Dream Gate Championship to Masato Yoshino at Kobe World 2010. On May 13, 2011, Takagi disbanded KAMIKAZE and the following day both him and YAMATO joined Masaaki Mochizuki's new stable, Junction Three, to battle CIMA's Blood Warriors. On June 18, YAMATO, Gamma and Yoshino defeated the Blood Warriors team of CIMA, Naruki Doi and BxB Hulk to win the vacant Open the Triangle Gate Championship. They would go on to lose the title to the Blood Warriors team of Kzy, Naoki Tanisaki and Naruki Doi on September 2. On October 16, YAMATO lost his hair to Cyber Kong in a six-way steel cage Hair vs. Hair match. On February 9, 2012, Junction Three was forced to disband, after losing a fourteen man elimination tag team match to Blood Warriors. On April 19, 2012, YAMATO, alongside Shingo Takagi joined with Dragon Gate NEX Member Chihiro Tominaga, and the debuting Super Shenlong III and formed -akatsuki-. On July 22, 2012, YAMATO and Shingo Takagi defeated Jimmy KAGETORA and Jimmy Susumu to become the 22nd Open the Twin Gate Champions. They lost the title to Don Fujii and Masaaki Mochizuki on September 23, 2012. YAMATO and Takagi won the title for their third time together on May 5, 2013, by defeating BxB Hulk and Uhaa Nation. They lost the title to Akira Tozawa and BxB Hulk on June 15, when Yamato turned on Takagi to join Tozawa's and Hulk's Mad Blankey stable.
Dragon Gate USA
On Enter the Dragon, Dragon Gate USA's first ever pay-per-view which first aired on September 4, 2009, YAMATO defeated BxB Hulk in the opener. On the very same show, YAMATO cemented his villainous status when he and Gran Akuma engaged in a post-match attack on Mike Quackenbush and Jigsaw, starting a feud with the CHIKARA wrestlers. This led to YAMATO & Akuma facing Quackenbush & Jigsaw in a losing effort at Untouchable. At Freedom Fight, YAMATO entered the tournament to crown the first Open the Freedom Gate Champion. He defeated Davey Richards to qualify for the four-way elimination match tournament finals against Hulk, Akuma and CIMA, but Hulk gained revenge when by last eliminated YAMATO to become champion. At Fearless, YAMATO teamed with Shingo Takagi in an elimination match against Naruki Doi & Masato Yoshino and The Young Bucks. The duo would survive seeing the Bucks eliminated but fell to Doi & Yoshino in defeat. After the conclusion of Fearless' main-event, YAMATO ran out with Takagi, Akuma and Richards to beat down both Hulk and Dragon Kid, but the attackers were thwarted by the CHIKARA wrestlers. At Mercury Rising, YAMATO successfully defended his newly won Open the Dream Gate championship against Susumu Yokosuka in his first defense, while forming the Kamikaze USA stable with Takagi and Jon Moxley. At Uprising, Akira Tozawa and Gran Akuma were added to the Kamikaze USA stable, while YAMATO teamed again with Takagi to defeat the team of CIMA & Dragon Kid. Kamikaze USA would also attack Quackenbush, Jigsaw, Yoshino and Hulk after their matches, leading to Quackenbush challenging YAMATO to a match between Kamikaze USA and the CHIKARA wrestlers. The match took place at Enter The Dragon 2010, which saw YAMATO, Tozawa, Moxley and Akuma, representing Kamikaze USA, being defeated by Yoshino, Quackenbush, Jigsaw and Hallowicked, ending the feud between Kamikaze USA and the Chikara wrestlers. At Untouchable 2010, YAMATO was defeated by WWE wrestler Bryan Danielson.
At United: NYC in January 2011, YAMATO defeated nemesis BxB Hulk to win the Open the Freedom Gate Championship. At Mercury Rising 2011, Austin Aries challenged YAMATO for his title by putting his own career on the line. YAMATO defeated Aries, who would later renege on his promise to leave the company. At Open the United Gate 2011, YAMATO defeated his former Kamikaze USA stable-mate Akira Tozawa to retain his title. By June, YAMATO had joined the Junction Three stable in Japan to feud with heels Blood Warriors after the dissolution of Kamikaze and its American version, Kamikaze USA, which cemented YAMATO's face status. At Fearless 2011, YAMATO would join forces with Tozawa to challenge for the Open the United Gate Championship from tag team champions (and Junction Three stable-mates) Masato Yoshino and PAC, but PAC pinned Tozawa to ensure the champions retained their titles. At Enter the Dragon 2011, YAMATO defeated his stable-mate PAC to retain his Open the Freedom Gate championship in his fourth successful defense. (YAMATO's third successful defense of his title was against Yasushi Kanda in Japan in April 2011) At Untouchable 2011, CIMA, YAMATO's longtime rival and the leader of the Blood Warriors' stable, challenged YAMATO for his Open the Freedom Gate championship based on CIMA's pin on YAMATO in a fatal-four way non-title match earlier that year at Uprising 2011. YAMATO managed to beat CIMA in his fifth successful defense of his title. At REVOLT!, YAMATO defeated BxB Hulk, who was now a Blood Warriors member, in DGUSA's first no-rope no-DQ match, which was also a non-title match. At Bushido 2011, YAMATO equalled BxB Hulk's number of successful title defenses with six by defeating Chuck Taylor of Ronin. At Freedom Fight 2011 in November, YAMATO lost the Open the Freedom Gate Championship to Johnny Gargano of Ronin.
- Finishing moves
- Signature moves
- Ankle hold
- Big boot
- Cloverleaf hold
- Corner elbow smash
- Crawling under the ring, emerging behind the opponent and dropkicking the leg
- Cross armbreaker
- Death Valley driver
- Figure four leglock
- Guillotine choke
- Kimura lock
- Leaping elbow
- Multiple suplex variations
- Punt kick
- Rolling elbow
- Single leg Boston crab
Championships and accomplishments
- Dragon Gate
- Open the Dream Gate Championship (1 time)
- Open the Triangle Gate Championship (3 times) – with Gamma and Shingo Takagi (1), Yasushi Kanda and Gamma (1) and Gamma and Masato Yoshino (1)
- Open the Twin Gate Championship (4 times) – with Cyber Kong (1) and Shingo Takagi (3)
- Summer Adventure Tag League (2009) - with Shingo Takagi
- Dragon Gate NEX-1 (2007)
- Pro Wrestling Illustrated
Lucha de Apuesta record
|Hair||Cyber Kong||YAMATO||Osaka, Japan||October 16, 2011||This was a six-way steel cage match, also involving Akira Tozawa, BxB Hulk, KAGETORA and Shingo Takagi.|
|Hair||CIMA||Yasushi Kanda||Aichi, Japan||May 5, 2008||This was a six-way steel cage match, also involving YAMATO, BxB Hulk, Dragon Kid and Masato Yoshino.|
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