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Taka Michinoku



Real name: Takao Yoshida
Height: 5’9″
Weight: 180 lbs.
Date of birth: October 26, 1973
From: Morioka, Japan
Resides: Yotsukaido, Japan
Pro debut: 1991
Trained by: The Great Sasuke
Finishing move: Michinoku driver

Biography

- Yoshida took his ring name in tribute to his trainer, The Great Sasuke, who had wrestled as Masa Michinoku in his early career
- In his first professional match, Michinoku teamed with Sasuke in a loss to Super Delfin & Terry Boy
- His early career was spent hopping between several Japanese promotions
- Michinoku made his New Japan debut by competing in the 1994 Super J Cup, but was defeated in the first round by Black Tiger (Eddie Guerrero). He also competed in that year’s Best Of The Super Juniors Tournament, but failed to reach the finals
- On May 5, 1996, Michinoku defeated Koji Nakagawa to win the FMW Independent Junior Heavyweight Title
- On May 31, 1996, Michinoku defeated Minoru Tanaka to retain the FMW Independent Junior Heavyweight Title
- On June 24, 1996, Michinoku defeated Hayato Nanjyo to retain the FMW Independent Junior Heavyweight Title. He repeated the feat in August
- On August 11, 1996, Michinoku defeated Naohiro Hoshikawa to retain the FMW Independent Junior Heavyweight Title
- On September 20, 1996, Michinoku defeated Ricky Fuji to retain the FMW Independent Junior Heavyweight Title
- On October 30, 1996, Michinoku defeated Minoru Tanaka to retain the FMW Independent Junior Heavyweight Title
- On November 26, 1996, Michinoku again defeated Hayato Nanjyo to retain the FMW Independent Junior Heavyweight Title
- On February 9, 1997, Michinoku returned to New Japan but was unsuccessful in his attempt at the J-Crown
- On February 14, 1997, Michinoku made his American debut, successfully competing in a 6-Man Tag Team Match for ECW
- Michinoku made his PPV debut at Barely Legal ’97, appearing on the losing side of a 6-Man Tag Team Match
- On May 8, 1997, Michinoku defeated Flying Kid Ichihara to retain the FMW Independent Junior Heavyweight Title
- Michinoku returned to PPV in July 1997, making his WWF debut at In Your House 16. He was defeated by fellow debutant The Great Sasuke. Michinoku continued to appear regularly for WWF over the coming years
- On August 25, 1997, Michinoku defeated El Satanico to regain the FMW Independent Junior Heavyweight Title. He vacated the title in December to focus on his American career
- In November 1997, Michinoku entered the WWF Light Heavyweight Title Tournament, defeating Devon Storm & Aguila to set up a final against Brian Christopher
- At In Your House: D-Generation X, Michinoku defeated Brian Christopher in the tournament final to become the first recognised WWF Light Heavyweight Champion
- In early 1998, Michinoku defended the WWF Light Heavyweight Title on the house show circuit against Brian Christopher and Jesus Castillo
- At In Your House 20, Michinoku defeated Pantera to retain the WWF Light Heavyweight Title
- At WrestleMania XIV, Michinoku defeated Aguila to retain the WWF Light Heavyweight Title
- Over the next two months, Michinoku defended the title on television against Scott Taylor, Jimmy Cicero, David Jericho, Sho Funaki & Dick Togo
- In early-mid 1998, Michinoku embarked on a feud against Kai-En-Tai
- At In Your House 22, Michinoku teamed with Bradshaw in a 3-on-2 loss to Kai-En-Tai
- At King Of The Ring ’98, Michinoku teamed with The Headbangers to defeated Kai-En-Tai
- On July 28, 1998, Michinoku aligned himself with Kai En Tai
- On August 11, 1998, Michinoku defeated Scorpio to retain the WWF Light Heavyweight Title
- At SummerSlam ’98, Kai En Tai (Michinoku, Dick Togo, Mens Teioh & Sho Funaki) were defeated in a 4-on-3 Handicap Match by The Oddities (Kurrgan, Golga & Giant Silva)
- On September 28, 1998, Michinoku defeated Sho Funaki to retain the WWF Light Heavyweight Title
- In early 1999, Michinoku began to appear less frequently for the WWF and made frequent appearanaces in Japan and ECW. It was also around this time that Kai En Tai (now reduced to TAKA & Funaki) developed their infamous ‘INDEED!’ catchphrase
- In summer 1999, Michinoku once again took time off from the WWF and would not return until November
- At WrestleMania 2000, Michinoku entered the Hardcore Battle Royal
- On the July 6, 2000 episode of Smackdown, Kai En Tai & The Brooklyn Brawler defeated Triple H in a Handicap Match
- Michinoku made his final WWF appearance on the October 21, 2001 edition of Jakked, teaming with Funaki to defeated Raven & Justin Credible
- After a brief spell on the sidelines with a shoulder injury, Michinoku returned to competition for the Kaientai Dojo in his native Japan
- In July 2002, Michinoku entered the ZERO-ONE Fire Festival, but failed to make it to the finals
- On October 23, 2002, Michinoku, Tetsuhiro Kuroda & Gosaku Goshogawara defeated Kuroge Wagyuta, Masato Tanaka & Shinjiro Otani to win the WEW Six Man Tag Team Titles
- On September 6, 2003, Michinoku returned to PPV for the first time since leaving the WWF, teaming with Gigantes in a failed attempt to win the AJPW Tag Team Titles from Arashi & Keiji Mutoh
- On February 22, 2004, Kaz Hayashi defeated Michinoku to win the vacant AJPW Junior Heavyweight Title
- On April 20, 2004, Michinoku competed in Masanobu Fuchi’s 30th Anniversary Match, teaming with Taiyo Kea & Jamal to defeat Fuchi, Kaz Hayashi & Arashi
- On October 30, 2004, Michinoku & Ryota Chikuzen defeated GENTARO & YOSHIYA to win the UWA/UWF Intercontinental Tag Team Titles
- On January 10, 2005, Michinoku defeated Kaz Hayashi to win the AJPW Junior Heavyweight Title and the Strongest-K Title
- On February 2, 2005, Michinoku defeated Mini Love Machine to retain the AJPW Junior Heavyweight Title
- On February 19, 2005, Michinoku defeated The Great Sasuke to win the Tohoku Junior Heavyweight Title and retain both the AJPW Junior Heavyweight and Strongest-K Titles
- On March 20, 2005, Michinoku defeated NOSAWA Rongai to retain the AJPW Junior Heavyweight Title
- On April 20, 2005, Michinoku defeated Katsuhiko Nakajima to retain the AJPW Junior Heavyweight Title
- On June 3, 2005, Michinoku defeated Toshizo to retain the AJPW Junior Heavyweight Title
- On July 4, 2005, Michinoku defeated KAZMA to retain the Strongest-K Title
- On July 22, 2005, Michinoku defeated YASSHI to retain the AJPW Junior Heavyweight Title
- On August 21, 2005, Michinoku defeated MAZADA to retain the AJPW Junior Heavyweight Title
- On September 1, 2005, Michinoku defeated Taichi Ishikari to retain the AJPW Junior Heavyweight Title
- On September 23, 2005, Michinoku defeated PSYCHO to retain the AJPW Junior Heavyweight Title
- On June 4, 2006, TAKA & TOMO defeated Shiori Asahi & Makoto Oishi to win the FMW/WEW Hardcore Tag Team Titles
- On January 28, 2007, Michinoku & KAZMA reached the final of the Strongest-K Tag League, but lost to Makoto Oishi & Shiori Asahi
- On May 2, 2007, Michinoku & Dick Togo defeated Gedo & Jado to win the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Titles
- On July 6, 2007, Michinoku & Togo defeated Koji Kanemoto & Wataru Inoue to retain the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Titles
- In August 2007, Michinoku entered the Strongest-K Tournament, defeating PSYCHO, Saburo Inematsu, Madoka & Yuji Hino on the way to winning the event
- On November 5, 2007, Michinoku & Handsome Joe defeated Kengo Mashimo & Madoka to win the Strongest-K Tag Team Titles
- On November 11, 2007, Michinoku & Togo defeated Gedo & Jado to retain the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Titles
- On December 1, 2007, Michinoku & Togo defeated Kota Ibushi & Madoka to retain the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Titles
- On April 13, 2008, Michinoku & Handsome Joe defeated Boso Boy Raito & Madoka to retain the Strongest-K Tag Team Titles
- On May 6, 2008, Michinoku & Handsome Joe defeated Kunio Toshima & Saburo Inematsu to retain the Strongest-K Tag Team Titles
- On May 23, 2008, Michinoku & Handsome Joe defeated Daisuke Sekimoto & Katsumasa Inoue to retain the Strongest-K Tag Team Titles
- On August 9, 2008, Michinoku & Handsome Joe defeated Kazma & Miyawaki to regain the Strongest-K Tag Team Titles
- On August 31, 2008, Michinoku & Handsome Joe defeated Kesen Numajiro & Shinjitsu Nohashi to retain the Strongest-K Tag Team Titles
- On October 4, 2008, Michinoku & Handsome Joe defeated Hiro Tonai & Taishi Takizawa to retain the Strongest-K Tag Team Titles
- On November 3, 2008, Michinoku & Handsome Joe defeated Daigoro Kashiwa & Kunio Toshima to retain the Strongest-K Tag Team Titles
- On December 29, 2008, Michinoku, Antonio Honda & Francis Togo defeated Nobutaka Araya, Toru Owashi & Takuya Sugawara to win the UWA Trios Titles
- On February 21, 2009, Michinoku, Honda & Togo defeated Jacques de Atsushinu, Louie Takanashi XIV & Minoru Polnareff to retain the UWA Trios Titles
- On March 15, 2009, Michinoku defeated Daigoro Kashiwa & JOE to win the Strongest-K Next Challenger Tournament
- On April 12, 2009, Michinoku defeated Kengo Mashimo to win the Strongest-K Title
- On May 4, 2009, Michinoku, Honda & Togo defeated Daisuke Sekimoto, Louie Takanashi XIV & Takao Omori to retain the UWA Trios Titles
- Over the next week, Michinoku defeated Makoto Oishi to retain the Strongest-K Title, before teaming with Francis Togo to win the KO-D Tag Team Titles from Kenny Omega & Kota Ibushi
- On June 9, 2009, Michinoku defeated The Great Sasuke to retain the Strongest-K Title
- On July 26, 2009, Michinoku participated in Nobutaka Araya’s retirement match. He teamed with Masanobu Fuchi in a loss to Araya & Kikutaro
- On August 9, 2009, Michinoku defeated Daigoro Kashiwa to retain the Strongest-K Title
- On September 23, 2009, Michinoku defeated Yasu Urano to retain the Strongest-K Title
- On October 25, 2009, Michinoku, Honda & Togo defeated HARASHIMA, Hoshitango & Yukihiro Abe to retain the UWA Trios Titles
- At NJPW New Dimension ’11, Michinoku & Satoshi Kojima defeated KUSHIDA & Togi Makabe
- At Wrestling Dontaku ’11, Michinoku & Taichi (soon to become known as Suzuki-gun) defeated KUSHIDA & Tiger Mask
- On August 28, 2011, Michinoku made the final of the Strongest-K Tournament, but lost to Saburo Inematsu
- At G1 Climax ’11, Suzuki-gun defeated Kyosuke Mikami & Tomoaki Honma
- On January 3, 2012, Michinoku & Kengo Mashimo defeated Hiro Tonai & Yuki Sato to win the Strongest-K Tag Team Titles
- On January 28, 2012, Michinoku & Mashimo won the Kaientai Dojo Tag League, defeating GENTARO & HIROKI in the final
- On February 5, 2012, Michinoku & Mashimo defeated Makoto Oishi & Shiori Asahi to retain the Strongest-K Tag Team Titles
- At NJPW New Beginning ’12, Michinoku was on the winning side of a 10-Man Elimination Tag Team Match
- On March 24, 2012, Michinoku, Mashimo & Isami Kodaka defeated Captain Daigoro, Kaji Tomato & Marines Mask II to win the Chiba Six-Man Tag Team Titles
- At the NJPW 40th Anniversary Show, Suzuki-gun defeated KUSHIDA & Ryusuke Taguchi
- At the NJPW World Tag League PPV, Suzuki-gun (Michinoku, Mashimo, Minoru Suzuki & Taichi) defeated BUSHI, Masaaki Mochizuki, Ryusuke Taguchi & Yuji Nagata
- On April 14, 2013, Michinoku defeated Yuki Sato to win the UWA Middleweight Title
- On May 11, 2013, Michinoku defeated Nanjyo Hayato to win the Independent Junior Heavyweight Title and retain the UWA Middleweight Title
- In June 2013, Michinoku entered the Best Of The Super Juniors Tournament, but was defeated by Alex Shelley in the semi-final
- At NJPW Dominion ’13, Suzuki-gun defeated Jushin Liger & Tiger Mask
- On July 3, 2013, Michinoku defeated Kazuhiro Tamura to retain the Independent Junior Heavyweight Title
- On July 14, 2013, Michinoku defeated Funaki to retain the Independent Junior Heavyweight and UWA Middleweight Titles
- On September 30, 2013, Michinoku defeated Tigers Mask to retain the Independent Junior Heavyweight Title
- On October 14, 2013, Suzukigun (Michinoku & Taichi) defeated Alex Koslov & Rocky Romero to win the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Titles
- Later that week, Michinoku defeated YASSHI to retain the Independent Junior Heavyweight Title
- On November 10, 2013, Michinoku & Kaji Tomato defeated Kazma Sakamoto & Kengo Mashimo to win the Strongest-K Tag Team Titles, only to lose them 6 days later
- At the World Tag League PPV, Suzuki-gun defeated BUSHI & KUSHIDA
- On December 11, 2013, Michinoku defeated Yasu Kubota to retain the Independent Junior Heavyweight Title. Over the next week, he defeated Kabuki Kid, Shinsuke Wakataka & Menso-re Oyaji
- In January 2014, Michinoku announced his imminent departure from New Japan Pro Wrestling


Post Category: Japanese Regulars, ROH Roster/Free Agents

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