Isao Takagi (高木功 Takagi Isao, born November 8, 1961), who goes by the stage name Arashi, is a Japanese professional wrestler from Moriguchi, Osaka Prefecture, who works for Dradition. He has previously worked for All Japan Pro Wrestling.
|Born||November 8, 1961|
Moriguchi, Osaka, Japan
|Professional wrestling career|
|Ring name(s)||Isao Takagi|
Love Machine Storm
|Billed height||1.90 m (6 ft 3 in)|
|Billed weight||146 kg (322 lb)|
|Debut||March 31, 1987|
Takagi was initially a sumo wrestler under the name of Takuetsuyama (previously Maenohikari). He joined Takadagawa stable, run by former ozeki Maenoyama, in 1977. He reached elite sekitori status upon promotion to the second highest juryo division in July 1985, but was demoted back to the unsalaried makushita division after only four tournaments. In 1986, at the age of 24, he decided to quit sumo and joined AJPW upon an offer from owner Giant Baba. He made his debut in 1987. The same year he accompanied Baba to an excursion into Jim Crockett Promotions, where they competed in the Jim Crockett Sr. Memorial Cup Tag Team Tournament. They made it into the semifinals before being defeated by eventual runners-up Lex Luger and Tully Blanchard.
Takagi remained a strong member of the undercard, feuding with dojo classmates Akira Taue, Kenta Kobashi, Tsuyoshi Kikuchi and Tatsumi Kitahara. In 1990, however, he decided to follow former sumo wrestler Genichiro Tenryu out of AJPW and into a new promotion, Super World of Sports. Takagi was fired from SWS in early 1991, with the company claiming he missed too many training sessions due to claimed injuries and he spent too much time gambling. Afterwards, Takagi wandered in the independents until settling down in the successor promotion, WAR.
In WAR he adopted the name Arashi (storm), originally a masked gimmick used by also former rikishi Benkei Daikokubō. His first success came teaming with Koki Kitahara (formerly known as Tatsumi), and with Nobutaka Araya, formerly of International Wrestling Association of Japan, to win the WAR 6-Man Tag Team Championship.
In 1998, as WAR went into decline due to Tenryu making a comeback in New Japan Pro Wrestling, Arashi went to Yoshiaki Yatsu's SPWF promotion. He stayed there until Tenryu called him back to AJPW in 2001. Initially he supported Tenryu's WAR faction, but after Tenryu left yet again, aligned himself with Keiji Mutoh, and won the World Tag Team Championship with him in 2003. On December 27, he and Muto (under his Great Muta persona) defeated Christopher Daniels and Dan Maff to retain the title at an ROH vs. All Japan card.
After he and Mutoh lost the World Tag Team Championship to Kojima and Kaz Hayashi, Arashi was relegated back to the mid-card.
In September 2006, after a trial on drug charges, Takagi was sentenced to three years in prison. Freed after serving a portion of his sentence, Takagi returned to puroresu, wrestling in Tatsumi Fujinami's Muga World (now Dradition) promotion. In 2007, Takagi appeared during a match under his real name for the first time since 1993. He's since brought back his real name as a ring name periodically.
Championships and accomplishmentsEdit
- All Japan Pro Wrestling
- Apache Army
- Tenryu Project
- Wrestle Association "R"
- "Isao Takagi profile". Online World of Wrestling. Retrieved 2013-03-24.
- "Profile at Puroresu Central". Puroresu Central. Retrieved 2013-03-24.
- Observer Staff (February 18, 1991). "February 18, 1991 Observer Newsletter: More on Wrestlemania relocating". F4WOnline.com. Wrestling Observer Newsletter. Retrieved September 4, 2019. (subscription required)
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2011-01-03. Retrieved 2015-04-09.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)