Sunday, April 1, 2007

WCW: Kensuke Sasaki

Kensuke Sasaki is a Japanese professional wrestler who currently wrestles for various promotions through his own agency, such as All Japan Pro Wrestling. His agency also runs shows by itself. He has also previously worked for WCW.

Starting in Riki Chōshū's Japan Pro Wrestling Promotion (a satellite of All Japan Pro Wrestling) in 1986, and joined him in returning to NJPW in 1987. Kensuke Sasaki soon left on an overseas learning excursion in January 1989. Sasaki won his first title while in Stu Hart's Stampede promotion (the Stampede International tag team title, ironically with AJPW loyalist Sumo Hara as his partner), and would return to New Japan in March 1990. In November of that year, he formed a popular tag team with Hiroshi Hase and had two reigns as IWGP Tag Team Champions. Two more tag title reigns followed when in 1992, Kensuke Sasaki appeared as the third Road Warrior, Power Warrior. Teaming with Road Warrior Hawk as the Hell Raisers they dominated the tag scene in New Japan.

Sasaki dropped the Power Warrior persona in 1994 and began climbing the ranks in singles competition. His first major title was again a foreign title, the WCW United States Heavyweight Championship, in November 1995. He won the G-1 Climax tournament in August 1997 by defeating Hiroyoshi Tenzan in the final and captured the IWGP World Heavyweight Championship by defeating long reigning champion, Shinya Hashimoto, a few months later. Sasaki solidified his dominance in the heavyweight division by defeating both Masahiro Chono and Keiji Mutoh in his first and second title defenses.

Kensuke Sasaki won the G-1 Climax for the second time in 2000 with a victory over Manabu Nakanishi in the final. Sasaki now held a both of New Japan's two heavyweight singles crowns. In 2001 Sasaki lost the IWGP Heavyweight Title to Scott Norton and later that year resigned after a falling out with company management. In the beginning of 2003 Sasaki joined his mentor, Riki Chōshū, in his new World Japan promotion. When that company failed, Sasaki returned to New Japan as a "traitor" in 2004, now playing the role of a heel. After heated feuds with Nagata and others, Sasaki enjoyed three more IWGP Heavyweight Title reigns and established himself as one of New Japan's most successful wrestlers ever.

Afterwards, he became a freelancer who toured other promotions such as All Japan Pro Wrestling, where he won the 2005 Champion Carnival), and Pro Wrestling NOAH, where he had a famous dream match against Kenta Kobashi at the Destiny 2005 show on July 18, 2005 in the Tokyo Dome (a loss by pinfall at 23:36 after a Burning Lariat from Kobashi).

Sasaki's agency is known by the name Kensuke Office. The company represents several wrestlers, including Sasaki himself and Katsuhiko Nakajima, and has in the past organised its own shows. Kensuke Office is run by Sasaki's wife, former Joshi wrestler Akira Hokuto.

In September, 2006 Kensuke Office was announced as a member of the Global Professional Wrestling Alliance.

Kensuke Sasaki won his third IWGP Heavyweight Championship from Genichiro Tenryu while wrestling with a 39 degree fever.
Kensuke Sasaki and Akira Hokuto have two young sons. Also, Kensuke has a strong bond with his protégé Katsuhiko Nakajima, whom he considers a member of the family.

technorati tags; wrestling,pro wrestling,wrestling news

Popular Posts