Masanobu Fuchi (渕 正信 Fuchi Masanobu, born January 14, 1954) is a Japanese professional wrestler currently signed to All Japan Pro Wrestling (AJPW), where he is also a director and the co-head booker. Fuchi has exclusively worked for All Japan since his debut in 1974, and holds the record for the longest World Junior Heavyweight Championship reign at 1309 days. Fuchi became a freelancer in 2009, but officially re-signed with AJPW in 2013 as both a director and wrestler, making him the longest tenured member of the All Japan roster.
|Born||January 14, 1954|
Kitakyushu, Fukuoka, Japan
|Residence||Kitakyushu, Fukuoka, Japan|
|Professional wrestling career|
|Billed height||183 cm (6 ft 0 in)|
|Billed weight||105 kg (231 lb)|
|Trained by||Masio Koma|
|Debut||August 22, 1974|
Professional wrestling careerEdit
All Japan Pro Wrestling (1974–present)Edit
With a background in amateur wrestling, Fuchi debuted as a professional wrestler on August 22, 1974 for AJPW, facing future Death Match innovator Atsushi Onita. For the next couple of years, Fuchi and Onita alternated between teaming and feuding on the opening bouts. In 1979, the two went on an excursion to Memphis, Tennessee to season their careers. Fuchi briefly worked for the NWA's Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling as a jobber who always showed a good account of himself.
Following Onita's retirement in 1985 and Tiger Mask II's graduation to the heavyweight division in 1986, Fuchi became the top junior heavyweight star, holding the World Junior Heavyweight Championship on five different occasions spanning over 11 years. Fuchi's third reign spanned 4 years (1989–1993), but the fact that AJPW was relatively closed off to outside competition factored heavily in his lengthy third reign.
After losing the belt for the last time in 1996, Fuchi was relegated to the opening "legends" bouts, mostly in teams with Haruka Eigen opposing AJPW founder Giant Baba and Rusher Kimura. In 2000, when Mitsuharu Misawa defected from AJPW to form Pro Wrestling Noah, Fuchi was one of two (the other being Toshiaki Kawada) native wrestlers who remained with the promotion. As a result, Fuchi was pushed for a while into the upper regions of the card, teaming with Toshiaki Kawada and becoming a top contender for the World Tag Team Championship. Fuchi's first title in eight years was the All Asia Tag Team Championship with fellow veteran Genichiro Tenryu.
Fuchi became a director for the promotion soon after the arrival of Keiji Mutoh, a position that Fuchi still holds to this day. Fuchi still competes on a full-time basis for All-Japan Pro Wrestling, but usually in comedic preliminary bouts against rookie heavyweights and junior heavyweights. On August 20, 2006, Fuchi became a member of the Voodoo Murders stable, competing under a red mask as Akaoni. His tenure as Akaoni and with the stable only lasted for that evening, as Fuchi unmasked and helped fellow All Japan competitors attack the stable following the main event. From November 23 to December 9, 2007, Fuchi teamed with Osamu Nishimura to compete in the World's Strongest Tag Determination League, finishing the league with 7 points (2 wins, 2 losses and 3 draws) and placing 5th overall.
On June 21, 2013, it was revealed that Masanobu Fuchi had long since resigned from his position in the AJPW Board of Directors and hasn't had an exclusive contract since 2009 due to his age, thus becoming a freelancer, although he still wrestles for AJPW on a pay per performance basis. However, on July 14, during the launching event of the post-Keiji Mutoh All Japan, Fuchi appeared and announced that he had officially re-signed with the promotion not only as a wrestler, but also as a member of the Board of Directors, ending his tenure as a freelancer. Shortly afterwards, Fuchi also became the co-head booker of All Japan, alongside Jun Akiyama.
On November 27, 2016, Fuchi and fellow first class graduate Atsushi Onita defeated Atsushi Aoki and Hikaru Sato to become the 100th All Asia Tag Team Champions. It was Fuchi's first title in 12 years, and the combination's first title in 35 years, since their third and last AWA Southern title reign in Memphis in 1981. They lost the title back to Aoki and Sato on June 20, 2017.
Championships and accomplishmentsEdit
- All Japan Pro Wrestling
- Continental Wrestling Association
- National Wrestling Alliance
- Pro Wrestling Illustrated
- PWI ranked him 323 of the 500 best singles wrestler during the "PWI Years" in 2003
- Tokyo Sports
- Wrestling Observer Newsletter
- 5 Star Match (1989) with Jumbo Tsuruta and Yoshiaki Yatsu vs. Genichiro Tenryu, Toshiaki Kawada and Samson Fuyuki on January 28
- 5 Star Match (1990) with Jumbo Tsuruta and Akira Taue vs. Mitsuharu Misawa, Toshiaki Kawada and Kenta Kobashi on October 19
- 5 Star Match (1991) with Jumbo Tsuruta and Akira Taue vs. Mitsuharu Misawa, Toshiaki Kawada and Kenta Kobashi on April 20
- 5 Star Match (1992) with Jumbo Tsuruta and Akira Taue vs. Mitsuharu Misawa, Toshiaki Kawada and Kenta Kobashi on May 22
- 5 Star Match (1992) with Yoshinari Ogawa vs. Kenta Kobashi and Tsuyoshi Kikuchi on July 5
- 5 Star Match (1994) with Toshiaki Kawada and Akira Taue vs. Kenta Kobashi, Mitsuharu Misawa and Giant Baba on February 13
- 5 Star Match (2000) with Toshiaki Kawada vs. Takashi Iizuka and Yuji Nagata on December 14
- Meltzer, Dave (September 16, 2013). "Sep 16 Wrestling Observer Newsletter: Mayweather vs. Canello hype, Night of Champions preview, Olympic Wrestling, CMLL 80th Aniversario preview, tons more!". Wrestling Observer Newsletter. Campbell, California: 31. ISSN 1083-9593.
Jun Akiyama and Masa Fuchi have taken over as bookers for this group.
- "Update on AJPW's Personal Situation (German)".
- 渕正信、全日本に残留／全日本. Nikkan Sports (in Japanese). 2013-07-15. Retrieved 2013-07-15.
- "11.27東京・両国国技館大会試合結果②". All Japan Pro Wrestling (in Japanese). 2016-11-27. Retrieved 2016-11-27.
- Rose, Bryan (2016-11-27). "AJPW Sumo Hall results: Miyahara vs. Suwama for the Triple Crown". Wrestling Observer Newsletter. Retrieved 2016-11-27.
- 6.20帯広大会[観衆]703人(満員). All Japan Pro Wrestling (in Japanese). 2017-06-20. Retrieved 2017-06-20.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2011-07-07. Retrieved 2010-09-15.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2012-10-16. Retrieved 2012-03-04.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
- "Wrestling Observer Newsletter 01/01/2001". members.f4wonline.com. Retrieved 2018-04-30.