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Takashi Sugiura (杉浦 貴, Sugiura Takashi, born May 31, 1970) is a Japanese professional wrestler, currently working for Pro Wrestling Noah. Sugiura, an accomplished amateur wrestler, joined Noah's dojo in 2000, making his professional debut on December 23, 2000, and thus becoming the first wrestler to make his pro wrestling debut in Noah. He has also competed in mixed martial arts with a notable victory over Giant Silva. Sugiura wrestled as a junior heavyweight in his earlier pro career and is a former GHC Junior Heavyweight Champion. Sugiura moved up to heavyweight and became the second longest reigning GHC Heavyweight Champion, having held the title for 581 days between December 2009 and July 2011. As of September 2011, Sugiura is the chairman of Noah's Wrestler's Association and holds the concomitant position on the promotion's board of directors.[3]

Takashi Sugiura
Takashi Sugiura.jpg
Takashi Sugiura as the GHC Heavyweight Champion in 2011
Born (1970-05-31) May 31, 1970 (age 49)[1]
Nagoya, Aichi, Japan[1]
Professional wrestling career
Ring name(s)Santa Claus[2]
Takashi Sugiura
Billed height1.78 m (5 ft 10 in)[1]
Billed weight104 kg (229 lb)[1]
Trained byAll Japan Pro Wrestling Dojo
Yoshihiro Takayama
Tamon Honda
Akira Taue
DebutDecember 23, 2000[1]

Early lifeEdit

Sugiura was an accomplished judoka in high school and narrowly missed the cut representing Japan at the 1996 Summer Olympics. He then became a self-defense instructor and was recruited to the All Japan Pro Wrestling Dojo by Tamon Honda, who (along with Yoshihiro Takayama) oversaw all of Sugiura's training.

Professional wrestling careerEdit

Sugiura made his debut in December 23, 2000, when he partnered Masao Inoue and Takeshi Rikio in a tag team match against Takeshi Morishima, Yoshinobu Kanemaru and Kentaro Shiga.[1] Initially a low-card wrestler, Sugiura's American-influenced style became popular with fans and eventually he formed a tag team with Kanemaru nicknamed "SugiKane". Within a few months the two defeated Naomichi Marufuji and KENTA for the GHC Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championship ending the team's long & historic run. Sugiura owns the distinction of being the only wrestler in Pro Wrestling Noah to have been a double champion on two separate occasions. In recent years, he has made a name for himself in the heavyweight division receiving a title shot against then GHC Heavyweight Champion Takeshi Morishima in a highly regarded match and winning the GHC Tag Team Championship along with Naomichi Marufuji from the bigger & stronger team of D'lo Brown and Bull Buchanan. At NJPW Wrestle Kingdom III he pushed New Japan Pro Wrestling representative Shinsuke Nakamura to his limit in a cross promotional tag team match with Mitsuharu Misawa and Hirooki Goto as their respective partners, but came up short and tapped out to Nakamura's Cross Armbar finish. Nakamura then stated that there would be a singles match between them soon, as he felt he was embarrassed by a wrestler below his standards. The two met again later in the year in a cross-promotional match, this time Sugiura teamed with blue-chip prospect Go Shiozaki & Nakamura teamed with then-RISE stablemate Milano Collection AT, who was also returning from injury. Shiozaki/Sugiura picked up the win & Nakamura demanded a rematch against the duo with Hirooki Goto as his tag team partner.

On July 20, he faced Hiroshi Tanahashi in the first ever NJPW vs. NOAH match for the IWGP Heavyweight Championship. After 24 minutes and two High Fly Flows, Tanahashi retained the Championship.

Sugiura also participated in the 2009 G1 Climax. With his rival Nakamura in his block, a long anticipated singles match came to pass. Although he lost the match he still managed to finish second in his block & advanced to the semi-finals losing to the tournament eventual winner Togi Makabe. On December 6, 2009, Sugiura pinned Go Shiozaki to win the GHC Heavyweight Championship. On January 4, 2010, at Wrestle Kingdom IV in Tokyo Dome Sugiura successfully defended the title against Hirooki Goto.On 28 February,he retained his title against Togi Makabe and then on 10 July against Yoshihiro Takayama.[4] On October 1, 2010, Sugiura travelled to Tamaulipas, Mexico to defend the GHC Heavyweight Championship, defeating Chessman at Lucha Libre AAA World Wide (AAA) event Héroes Inmortales IV.[5] Sugiura returned to New Japan on January 4, 2011, at Wrestle Kingdom V in Tokyo Dome, where he and Yoshihiro Takayama defeated Hirooki Goto and Kazuchika Okada in a tag team match.[6][7] On May 15, 2011, Sugiura defeated Claudio Castagnoli in Oberhausen, Germany[8] to make his fourteenth successful GHC Heavyweight Championship defense, breaking the record for most defenses, set by Kenta Kobashi. On July 10, Sugiura lost the GHC Heavyweight Championship to Go Shiozaki, ending his reign at 581 days. On January 4, 2012, Sugiura returned to New Japan at Wrestle Kingdom VI in Tokyo Dome, where he was defeated by Hirooki Goto.[9]

In early 2014, Sugiura formed the Dangan Yankies tag team with Pro Wrestling Zero1's Masato Tanaka. The duo worked in both Noah and Zero1, winning the GHC Tag Team and NWA Intercontinental Tag Team Championships in May 2014,[10][11] the Furinkazan tournament in December 2014,[12] and the Global Tag League in both 2014 and 2015.[13] In addition, Tokyo Sports named Dangan Yankies the 2014 tag team of the year.[14] On December 23, 2015, Sugiura turned on Noah and joined the villainous Suzuki-gun stable.[15] On January 31, 2016, Sugira defeated Naomichi Marufuji to win the GHC Heavyweight Championship for the second time.[16] He lost the title to Go Shiozaki on May 28.[17] Sugiura regained the title from Shiozaki on July 30.[18] He lost the title to Katsuhiko Nakajima in his third defense on October 23.[19] On December 2, Sugiura turned on Suzuki-gun, after Minoru Suzuki had unsuccessfully challenged Nakajima for the GHC Heavyweight Championship.[20] In January 2017, Sugiura formed an alliance with Kaito Kiyomiya, almost serving as a mentor. The two began regularly teaming together, and were eventually joined by Kenoh, who turned on his tag team partner Masa Kitamiya during a match against Sugiura and Kiyomiya, aligning himself with Sugiura in the process. On March 12, 2017, Sugiura and Kenoh defeated Muhammad Yone and Kitamiya to win the vacant GHC Tag Team Championship.[21] They lost the titles to Naomichi Marufuji and Maybach Taniguchi on April 14.[22]In June, he went on hiatus so he could get open-heart surgery as he had irregular heartbeat for a long time, which was successful. He returned on October 28, where he teamed with Kenoh to defeat LEONA and Katsuhiko Nakajima. On March 11, 2018, he defeated his tag team partner Kenoh to win the GHC Heavyweight Championship for the fourth time, making him the only man to have held the title four times. On April 29, he defeated Atsushi Kotoge to make his first successful defense and afterwards offered Naomichi Marufuji the next shot at the title, which he accepted. This led to a match exactly one month later on May 29, where he defeated Marufuji for his second successful defense. On June 26, he defeated Kenoh in a rematch to make his third successful defense. After the match, he issued a challenge to Go Shiozaki, who had pinned him in a tag match two weeks earlier, which he accepted. They would face off yet again on August 18 in Kawasaki, where he defeated Shiozaki to make his fourth successful defense and was afterwards challenged to a title match by Masa Kitamiya, who he would defeat on September 2 to make his fifth successful defense. Then on October 4, he defeated Kitamiya's tag team partner Katsuhiko Nakajima to make his sixth successful title defense. Sugiura then participated in the 2018 Global League, where he finished with a record of four wins and three losses, including one to eventual tournament winner Kaito Kiyomiya. This led to a match on December 16, where Sugiura lost the title to Kiyomiya in his seventh defense. Sugiura participated in the 2019 Global Tag League, teaming with Kazma Sakamoto where they went on to win the tournament. During the tournament, he formed a stable named "Sugiura-gun", with Nosawa Rongai, Hideki Suzuki, Sakamoto and Kinya Okada, while Sugiura was positioned as the leader of the stable. At the Mitsuharu Misawa Memorial Shows, Sugiura first challenged Kaito Kiyomiya for the GHC Heavyweight Championship on June 9th, losing. Then, Sugiura challenged the team of Go Shiozaki and Katsuhiko Nakajima for the GHC Tag Team Championships on June 13th, winning the titles for the fifth time with Kazma Sakamoto.

Mixed martial arts careerEdit

Sugiura also dabbled in mixed martial arts, given his amateur background. His first fight was against the Brazilian rookie Daniel Gracie, which saw Takashi giving a strong impression. The Japanese wrestler dropped Gracie with a right punch at the first round, defended a back mount for a long time and blocked all of Daniel's submissions. He event tossed Gracie to the ground with an amateur throw and held top position over the Brazilian jiu-jitsu specialist. At the end, however, after Gracie dominated the final round from his guard, he was given the split decision over Sugiura.

Takashi's second fight was against another pro wrestler, Giant Silva, who had a 160lbs weight advantage over him. However, Sugiura dominated the bout, taking him down and throwing knee strikes until the referee brought the stoppage. The fight featured a controversial moment afterwards when Sugiura cut a promo which moved Silva to try to attack him with a wood club, having to be restrained by a team of officials. The brawl is cut from the DVD version distributed in United States, and is believed to be a professional wrestling angle or promotional stunt.

He also participated in the Pancrase Heavyweight Championship Tournament but was eliminated by Ryuta Noji. Sugiura's final match was against Alexandre Ribeiro in Sengoku, being finished by strikes and stomps at the third round.

Championships and accomplishmentsEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c d e f "Sugiura Takashi (profile)" (in Japanese). Pro Wrestling NOAH. Retrieved 3 February 2012.
  2. ^ "Noahful Gift 2017 ~ファン感謝祭~". Pro Wrestling Noah (in Japanese). Retrieved December 26, 2017.
  3. ^ "新役員人事について (Appointment of New Directors)" (in Japanese). Pro Wrestling NOAH. 6 October 2011. Retrieved 3 February 2012.
  4. ^ "January 4 New Japan Tokyo Dome report – legends, promotional wars". Wrestling Observer. 2010-01-04. Retrieved 2010-01-04.
  5. ^ Carrillo, Omar (2010-10-02). "Resultados 1ro. de octubre – AAA "Héroes Inmortales IV" – Legado AAA, Mesías, Wagner, Aerostar y 187 ganan sus respectivos encuentros". SuperLuchas (in Spanish). Retrieved 2010-10-03.
  6. ^ レッスルキングダムⅤ in 東京ドーム (in Japanese). New Japan Pro Wrestling. Retrieved 2011-01-05.
  7. ^ Gerweck, Steve (2011-01-04). "1/4 TNA-NJPW Results: Tokyo, Japan". WrestleView. Retrieved 2011-01-05.
  8. ^ "NOAH Genesis in Germany – 15.5. – Results". Westside Xtreme Wrestling. Archived from the original on 2011-10-02. Retrieved 2011-05-16.
  9. ^ "NJPW 40th anniversary Tour. レッスルキングダムⅥ in 東京ドーム" (in Japanese). New Japan Pro Wrestling. Archived from the original on 2012-01-08. Retrieved 2012-01-04.
  10. ^ a b "Navig. with Breeze 2014". Pro Wrestling Noah (in Japanese). Retrieved 2014-05-31.
  11. ^ a b "【Zero1】耕平vs鈴木の世界ヘビー戦、大谷&カミカゼvs田中&杉浦のICタッグ戦". Battle News (in Japanese). 2014-05-06. Retrieved 2014-05-06.
  12. ^ a b 12/24風林火山タッグトーナメント決勝戦・後楽園大会試合結果. Pro Wrestling Zero1 (in Japanese). 2014-12-24. Retrieved 2014-12-25.
  13. ^ a b グローバル・タッグリーグ戦2015. Pro Wrestling Noah (in Japanese). Retrieved 2015-05-04.
  14. ^ a b "【プロレス大賞:最優秀タッグ賞】杉浦と田中の弾丸ヤンキースが海外進出宣言". Tokyo Sports (in Japanese). 2014-12-09. Retrieved 2014-12-09.
  15. ^ 丸藤が鈴木を下し、悲願のGHC王座奪還! しかし杉浦が衝撃の鈴木軍入り! KESはタッグ王座死守、タイチはJr.王座陥落!【12.23ノア大田区結果1】. New Japan Pro Wrestling (in Japanese). 2015-12-24. Retrieved 2015-12-23.
  16. ^ 【試合結果速報致します】「Great Voyage 2016 in Yokohama」1月31日(日)横浜文化体育館大会. Pro Wrestling Noah (in Japanese). 2016-01-31. Retrieved 2016-01-31.
  17. ^ "infoNear inc. presents Great Voyage 2016 in Osaka". Pro Wrestling Noah (in Japanese). Retrieved 2016-05-28.
  18. ^ "日テレG+ presents「第10回日テレG+杯争奪ジュニアヘビー級タッグリーグ戦」". Pro Wrestling Noah (in Japanese). Retrieved 2016-07-30.
  19. ^ "Great Voyage 2016 in Yokohama vol.2". Pro Wrestling Noah (in Japanese). Retrieved 2016-10-23.
  20. ^ 中嶋が鈴木との“最終決戦”制してGHC初防衛!杉浦は仲間暴行で鈴木軍離脱へ. Daily Sports Online (in Japanese). Kobe Shimbun. 2016-12-03. Retrieved 2016-12-02.
  21. ^ https://www.cagematch.net/?id=1&nr=170650
  22. ^ https://www.cagematch.net/?id=1&nr=172553
  23. ^ "Nikkan Sports Awards - 2014". wrestlingscout. September 6, 2016.
  24. ^ "Nikkan Sports Awards - 2009". wrestlingscout. February 28, 2016.
  25. ^ "Nikkan Sports Awards - 2011". wrestlingscout. September 13, 2016.
  26. ^ "Nikkan Sports Awards - 2010". wrestlingscout. September 10, 2016.
  27. ^ ""PWI 500": 1–100". Pro Wrestling Illustrated. 2011-08-09. Retrieved 2011-08-09.
  28. ^ "Power Slam". What’s going down... SW Publishing LTD. p. 7. 132.
  29. ^ "ja:グローバル・リーグ戦2014". Pro Wrestling Noah (in Japanese). Retrieved 2014-11-08.
  30. ^ グローバル・タッグリーグ戦2014. Pro Wrestling Noah (in Japanese). Retrieved 2014-04-27.
  31. ^ "後楽園大会 大スギウラコール爆発! 杉浦がKAZMAとGTL制覇、GHCシングル&タッグ二冠獲り宣言 東京・後楽園ホール大会試合後コメント". プロレスリング・ノア公式サイト | PRO-WRESTLING NOAH OFFICIAL SITE. Retrieved 2019-05-10.
  32. ^ http://www.purolove.com/noah/profiles/takashisugiura.php
  33. ^ 「Year End in Korakuen」12月27日(土)後楽園ホール大会 調印式&試合後コメント&心に残るプロレス発表. Pro Wrestling Noah (in Japanese). 2014-12-28. Retrieved 2014-12-28.
  34. ^ 「グローバル・リーグ戦2013」各賞発表 (in Japanese). Pro Wrestling Noah. 2013-11-10. Retrieved 2013-11-10.
  35. ^ http://www.purolove.com/noah/history/globaltagleague10.php
  36. ^ 「グローバル・タッグリーグ戦2013」各賞発表 (in Japanese). Pro Wrestling Noah. 2013-04-28. Retrieved 2013-04-28.
  37. ^ "2010 Tokyo Sports awards – New Japan involvement". Strong Style Spirit. 2010-12-09. Retrieved 2010-12-09.
  38. ^ "Trios Tournament". Cagematch. Retrieved 2010-02-19.[unreliable source]

External linksEdit