Akira Taue Has Officially Ended His In Ring Career
Dec 11, 2013 - by Andrew Davis
From Wrestling Observer Newsletter (WrestlingObserver.com)
Akira Taue, the last active true big-time headliner of the 1990-95 glory period of All Japan Pro Wrestling, and current President of Pro Wrestling NOAH, ended his active career with a ceremony on 12/7 at the Ariake Colosseum in Tokyo.
Taue, 52, started his sports career as sumo Tamakirin. He was not a superstar in sumo, but was a name second-level fighter at a time when sumo was still gigantic on television there in the mid to late 80s.
He was signed by Giant Baba after he left Sumo in 1987, because he was tall, and Baba had great success a decade earlier with Genichiro Tenryu and lesser success with Hiroshi Wajima (who was a superstar in sumo but old by the time he started pro wrestling) and John Tenta. Because of his name from sumo, and the feeling he facially resembled almost a cross between Baba and Jumbo Tsuruta (the company’s two biggest Japanese stars in its history up until that point in time). His first match was well publicized in the media, teaming with Giant Baba in a featured match, on January 2, 1988. Of the big four native superstars of the mid-90s, Mitsuharu Misawa, Toshiaki Kawada, Taue and Kenta Kobashi, it was Taue who started out with the most fanfare and was given a featured push because of his sumo name from the beginning.